Sunday, August 10, 2008

Well, You Saw This Coming

The Nameless One weighs in on South Ossetia.
Vice President Dick Cheney says Russia's military actions in Georgia "must not go unanswered."

Cheney spoke Sunday afternoon with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. "The vice president expressed the United States' solidarity with the Georgian people and their democratically elected government in the face of this threat to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity," Cheney's press secretary, Lee Ann McBride, said.

Cheney told Saakashvili "Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community," McBride said.

What pray tell, with our ground troops a tad busy at the moment, should our answer be Mister Vice President? A shooting war with Russia? He's on the McSame page as McSame, while Obama is pointing out Bush's lack of diplomacy with Russia led to the fact we can't do a damn thing about this.

And what the hell is Condi Rice doing through all this? Isn't she supposed to be our Russia expert? How incompetent can you get, when the SecState is a RUSSIA EXPERT and missed this little powder keg?

The Guardian newspaper goes over what's next for the region, which is A) status quo antebellum, B) war spreads to other parts of Georgia and another breakaway province or two or C) the Ukraine gets involved, and we have a shooting war between multiple former Soviet republics. So far, it's looking like Option B is happening now.

There's not much we can do. We have no diplomatic or military stick to wield right now without Russia going "Hey assholes, IRAQ" to our faces and continuing to bitchslap the Georgian Army around. Again, this is what the Bushies have brought us. McSame wants to up the stakes here, Nameless One style.

At this point, everything's up to how far Russia feels like going with this.

And our President Bush? He's letting Nameless and Condi run the shop while he's busy playing beach volleyball.

Yeah, we're screwed.

PS: The Iraqis Are Encouraging The Terrorists

...because they want a timeline for withdrawal. Now.

Clearly Obama and the Iraqis are working together because both the Iraqis and the Democrats are trying to legislate defeat and...umm wait...Ya know it would be a shame if anything happened to the Iraqi Foreign Minister. Clearly the terrorists would want to attack him for working with the Americans and trying to get them out of Ira...errm no, um...because he was giving in to demands of the enemy of the Iraqis, the Iraqi dammit! Umm...he's a Sunni and the Sunnis want the Americans to stay forever unlike the Sh...oh screw it, OBAMA IS A SCARY BLACK MAN BOOGA BOOGA SLEEP WITH YOUR DAUGHTER AND MAKE LITTLE MOCHA BABIES THAT HATE AMERICA AND DO TERRORIST FIST BUMPS AND HE'S ELITIST FOR GOING TO HAWAII WHEN YOU CAN'T BECAUSE IT'S NOT LIKE HAWAII IS AMERICA RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!

What's the Why in South Ossetia?

The question people are asking now about the conflict in Georgia is "Why?" Why did the Russians come down like an Iowa tornado on Georgian troops?

There are two theories. One, the other, or both may be correct.

Theory one is that Russia is going after the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline which is the main moneymaker for the Central Asian former Soviet Republics to make money by delivering oil to the Med...oil that does NOT go through Russia. The West has been funding this project for 15 years now, and BP owns the pipeline.

Much like Russia continues to fund Communist Cuba on America's doorstep, we're trying to give Georgia an economic boost into capitalism. About 1/3 of the pipeline runs through Georgia. It's all about the oil.

Theory two is that it's not all about the oil, but the fact the Russians aren't going to put up with any more Kosovo situations. Sick of the West funneling arms and equipment into places like Georgia and setting up pro-Western dictators like Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili, the Georgians thought the US would back them up if they made a play for South Ossetia. NATO made Kosovo off limits to the Russians and REALLY pissed them off. They have decided that it will not happen again. NATO will not claim Georgia.

The Georgians were wrong. The proxy war led to the proxy being smashed by the Russians. We left them out in the storm just like we did with the Iraqi Kurds, who got smashed by Turkey.

One, the other, or both may be correct. For theory one to be correct, Russia would have to occupy Georgia. This may be the beginning of a series of "annexations", the stuff of nightmares in the region, and the US being involved in yet another war.

But Russia may opt to do the same thing to send a message to the US on theory two...get your pro-Western governments off our back yard. This is our turf. We're daring you to do something about it. Theory two also looks strong. I think it's both economic and political, as they are often tied together with oil being involved.

Considering NATO is tied up in Afghanistan and the US is tied up in Iraq, Russia clearly feels it can operate with impunity in the region, and is feeling pretty burly right now.

The United States on Sunday accused Russia of trying to overthrow the government of the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where Russian troops have been battling Georgian forces over the breakaway territory of South Ossetia.

At an emergency session of the United Nations' Security Council, the U.S. alleged Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "must go."

"This is completely unacceptable and crosses a line," said the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Zalmay Khalilzad, who made the allegation.

In a crackling exchange of a type rarely seen since the end of the Cold War, Khalilzad asked Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin whether the Russians were seeking "regime change" in Georgia with the military operation they launched Friday.

In response, Churkin objected to the disclosure of a confidential phone call between top diplomats and said "regime change" was "an American expression."

The Russians are now playing hardball with Georgia and with the West. They've seen the US get away with Iraq and Afghanistan now for years. Now it's their turn. This is what the Bush Doctrine has wrought upon realpolitik. Again, they are daring the world to do something about it. There's little it can do, frankly. The rapid expansion of NATO into Russia's turf has clearly been viewed as a hostile act. Russia has moved swiftly against Georgia given the excuse of bringing liberty to the Russian people of South Ossetia.

Given that we've got a lame duck President, an election year, and we're militarily tied up, Russia saw the brass ring and went for it. Whether it's for oil or territory or both, they moved.

Will they stop or keep going? Can the world even respond militarily? John McSame wants to clearly antagonize Russia further. But it's not the Georgians who were sent a clear message over the last four days. It was the United States. That message is "Get Out."

This is the inevitable next step in the Bush Doctrine: other powers will see what we did and copy it to their own benefit. McSame promises more of this. I'm not sure if Obama doesn't yet, but I believe McSame would actually be far worse.

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