Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Moscow Mules

Not content with poisoning political opponents in London, it seems the Russian government is now using their new found petrol power to threaten a whole nation. The Georgians who are pro-West and pro NATO have small enclaves which Russians “moved” into during Soviet times (although Georgian, Stalin deliberately ethnically cleansed regions - he was a big fan of the divide and conquer rule). The regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are full of Russian occupiers Peacekeepers who are making damn sure they stay loyal to Moscow. Moscow is using them as leverage to make sure that Georgia stays out of NATO and are threatening war if Georgia joins up. The Georgians are naturally torn between loosing part of their territory, but gaining protection from Putin’s bully boys and enjoying the benefits of the West. Their alternative is to roll over, keep their territory but be another Belarus - Moscow’s rent boy in Europe.

The West is torn too; naturally they want to support democracy and don’t like the Russian bullying. The Czechs, Slovaks, Poles, Hungarians, Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Romanians and Slovenians all have very good reasons to feel very uncomfortable; as they got dumped on from a great height by the Russians. If you ever want to piss a Latvian off, greet him in Russian. At the same time the West needs their Gas and Oil, which the Russian government turns off on a regular basis. And once again the Germans and the French are being obsequious to Russia, splitting the unity of NATO and are willing to see a people screwed for oil. If this seems familiar, cast your mind back to ELF Aquitaine, bribed French ambassadors and the Iraq war.

I hope the West remembers this, especially the British who have had to put up with Putin’s crap more than most. We send our Navy to pull their submariners out of their wrecked craft, saving their lives and they spit in our face. We fund the rebuilding of their oil refineries and they throw our staff out; we educate their kids at the British council and they stick the FSB outside the offices. What do we actually get out of being friends with the Russians? As their Volte-face on Zimbabwe proves they can’t be trusted. They’ll say they will curb Iran’s dash to the Nuclear bomb but will do nothing, the Russian government hates the West so much they’d rather hand the Atomic bomb to a virulent Islamic government (when Iran gets what it wants off the Russians it will start funding 100 Beslan’s).

What should the West do? Well we’ve tried carrots like investment and G-8 membership, time to break out the diplomatic sticks. Regarding the power of oil supplies, Iraq is coming back on tap. Remember a Sale is a two way process; yes Russian Oil would be handy but we can buy elsewhere. For every seller there has to be a buyer, if we say we will get our energy needs elsewhere then the Russians could be screwed. We in the West must continue to give sanctuary to the ordinary Russian people who are fleeing this corrupt government.

Furthermore we should definitely get the Americans to keep building their missile shield, and indeed chip in a bit of cash ourselves, even if it’s a $100bn heap of metal, it offends the Russian government so much it’s worth it. We should give sanctuary to democratic nations who wish to be free of Putin’s grip, offer Georgia and the Ukraine membership now, otherwise our promises will count for nothing. Oh and the Georgians aren’t the only ones who could loose territory, If South Ossetia desires to be part of Mother Russia (which is their democratic right), we could point out to Moscow that perhaps NATO could start supporting those that don’t. I’m sure Chechnya amongst many others might welcome this new found Russian drive for self determination.


Seraphiel said...

A little history lesson to get things in perspective.

Abkhazia, South Ossetia and Georgia were separate countries before the Soviet Union. During the Soviet Union, Georgia got the administrative response over Abkhazia and South Ossetia. When the Soviet Union collapsed Georgia wanted to be independent from Russia, but at the same time claimed that Abkhazia and South Ossetia belonged to them. Which is unfortunately for Georgia not true. Therefore a war broke out in 1990 between South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Georgia. South Ossetia and Abkhazia didn't want to leave Russia because they knew that the Georgian government would do everything in its power to destroy the Abkhazian and South Ossetian culture. The war settled with Abkhazia and South Ossetia declearing themselves independent. Unfortunately the rest of the world didn't recognize them. With Georgia focussing more on pleasing the US by creating a strong army to bully Russia, in stead of taking care of its own citizens. South-Ossetia and Abkhazia got closer and closer to Russia. Russia gave them passports, and access to stable supplies of water, gas and electricity. With the US wanting Georgia to join Nato, so the whole border with Russia can be controlled by the US, the pressure for Georgia to get control over South Ossetia and Abkhazia is on. Especially after kosovo got acknowledged as an independent nation by the world.

Remember that Russia didn't want Kosovo to get independed and that is because they already feared that that would cause instability in the South Caucasus. If Kosovo can get independence the same has to count for Abkhazia and South Ossetia. And Tibet for that matter.

But because Russia is always the bad guy, nobody wants to listen to it. And the world got what it deserved another war on its hands. Triggered by two events. American imperialism and Kosovo.

Anonymous said...

I have little to add except the following: 'loose' means something other than 'lose'! I feel mean pointing that out, because the article was spot on. But it would really annoy me if I didn't ;-)

Anonymous said...

Too right Seraphiel. If the West will support Kosovo breaking away then the Russians will support the South Ossetians.

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