'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A Dirty Adventure (Part 4) 

UPDATE: Doesn't look like things are going well on the ground for the Georgians. A day after invading South Ossetia, they now want a cease fire. No doubt the US and the Europeans will fall into line. Or, is just more pretense? Meanwhile, there are some indications that the Russians may be targeting facilities involved in the transport of oil and natural gas, such as the oil export terminal at the port of Pori.

INITIAL POST: The US, France and Britain support Georgia in the United Nations:

But one phrase calling on all parties to “renounce the use of force” met with opposition, particularly from the United States, France and Britain. The three countries argued that the statement was unbalanced, one European diplomat said, because that language would have undermined Georgia’s ability to defend itself. Belgium, which holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council this month, circulated a revised draft calling for an immediate cessation of hostility and for “all parties” to return to the negotiating table. By dropping the specific reference to Georgia and South Ossetia, the compromise statement would also encompass Russia.

Go back and read it carefully. How does a statement to renounce the us of force prevent Georgia from defending itself? I obviously doesn't, but it would put pressure on Georgia to stop offensive military operations in South Ossetia.

We've seen this movie before. It is, as I predicted late last night, a repeat of the situation in the summer of 2006, when Israel conducted a campaign of air strikes in Lebanon, and the US and Britain rejected proposed UN resolutions that called for a cease fire. Expect the US, France and Britain to reject the new Belgium draft as well, as they will oppose any draft that does not place blame on the Russians, and responsibility for making concessions on them, in the hope that the war will go in favor of the Georgians. Again, as with the Israeli assault upon Lebanon, it is probably a forlorn hope, because there will be strong nativist popular Russian support for this conflict, as they perceive it as necessary to defend the people of South Ossetia against not just Georgia, but US and European sponsored aggression.

The situation is really quite shocking. The US and two of the dominant countries in the European Union are facilitating violent policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Lebanon and, now, Georgia. They are making demands upon Iran that increase the chances of war there as well. Germany is supportive in all instances, except this new Georgian adventure, probably because of its closer ties with the Russian Federation.

Few seem to understand that a red line has been crossed in South Ossetia. The US and the EU, with the assistance of Israel, is now openly using military force is in their political and economic competition with the Russians in the Caucasus and Central Asia. I try to avoid millenialist sensibilities, but, for the first time, I have become fearful that there is a horrifically destructive global conflict looming over the horizon. As US, Europe and Israel methodically go about increasing the number of tinder boxes, we can only hope that these conflicts somehow resolve themselves nonviolently. It is increasingly difficult to imagine that might happen.

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