South Ossetia: You know, we’d really like to be Russian

posted at 10:15 am on August 29, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Does South Ossetia really want independence?  According to an official of the breakaway Georgian province … no, not really.  They believe that Russia will absorb them, and it sounds as though they look forward to the marriage:

Russia intends to eventually absorb Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia, a South Ossetian official said Friday, three days after Moscow recognized the region as independent in a move that drew criticism from the West.

South Ossetian parliamentary speaker Znaur Gassiyev said Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the region’s leader, Eduard Kokoity, discussed the future of South Ossetia earlier this week in Moscow.

Gassiyev said Russia will absorb South Ossetia “in several years” or earlier. That position was “firmly stated by both leaders,” he said in Tskhinvali, the provincial capital.

I wonder whether Medvedev wanted this stated quite so baldly at this point in time.  Western nations have accused the Russians of empire building with their invasion of Georgia, which Vladimir Putin and Medvedev have hotly denied.  They claim that they interceded on behalf of an oppressed minority that deserves independence, and in fact pushed through a recognition of independence for both South Ossetia and Abhkazia last week in the Duma.

Gassiyev’s admission puts an entirely different light on Moscow’s motives.  They want to annex the Caucasus provinces and put a tighter grip on energy exports from the region.  Nothing would prevent them from provoking another ethnic crisis in Georgia itself and swallowing it whole in the next few months, and by advancing their borders to within a short drive of Tbilisi and Poti, Putin will have put himself in excellent position to do just that.

If the Russians want independence for South Ossetia for entirely noble purposes, they have a splendid way of demonstrating that: grant independence to North Ossetia at the same time and unite the two provinces.  Ossetia for Ossetians.  Maybe the UN ought to take that under consideration.


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We can’t let Putin get away with this.

pseudonominus on August 29, 2008 at 10:19 AM

South Ossetia, be careful what you wish for.

Disturb the Universe on August 29, 2008 at 10:22 AM

Ssssssh! I’m hunting wabbits empire!

Maquis on August 29, 2008 at 10:24 AM

we’re back in the USSR, don’t know how lucky you are boys…back in the US, back in the USSR!!!

right4life on August 29, 2008 at 10:26 AM

Disturb the Universe on August 29, 2008 at 10:22 AM

SRSLY.

BohicaTwentyTwo on August 29, 2008 at 10:28 AM

No matter how you look at it, this ‘new Cold War’ is bad. I hope that things can be resolved otherwise we might have to revive ‘duck and cover’.

http://thepajamapundit.com/

thePajamaPundit on August 29, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Cue the Empire strikes back!! music!!!

*heavy breathing* you don’t know the power of the DARK SIDE…

resistance is futile

right4life on August 29, 2008 at 10:28 AM

Does this really surprise anyone?

TooTall on August 29, 2008 at 10:29 AM

And since Chechnya really does not want to be part of Russia I am sure Russia will let that area go. Right, Putin?

rbj on August 29, 2008 at 10:32 AM

“They claim that they interceded on behalf of an oppressed minority that deserves independence, and in fact pushed through a recognition of independence for both South Ossetia and Abhkazia last week in the Duma.”

I hate to say it because I belong to the “Patriotic Hawk Party” of the USA, but….The US has done this same thing previously, numerous times (Haiti, Panama, Grenada and for a direct comparison, Kosovo) It will be hard to argue that Russia was wrong when Georgia fired the first shots. I guess Russia is allowed to nation build or is the US going to claim exclusive rights to this policy…i’m just sayin’

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:36 AM

It will be hard to argue that Russia was wrong when Georgia fired the first shots.
Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Revisionist history?

TooTall on August 29, 2008 at 10:38 AM

As of today, the Russians have cancelled their orders for poultry from American producers, including all orders for chicken broilers, according to the Times Union, we manufacturer and send most of those exports to Russia. They aim to hit us in the pocket.

By doing this action, US chicken and beef producers, along with broiler makers will feel pain, as it rolls down, we will pay. This is part of their strategy.

Putin is the former KGB “boss”, and has learned well the ways of pain and how to inflict it.

This action will undoubtedly shed more jobs and, if you have noticed what a pound of ground-beef costs ($5.00-NY), then it is not hard to figure out that these prices will be on the rise. Soon

pseudonominus on August 29, 2008 at 10:39 AM

The leader of Abkhazia, has expressed interest in joining the united state of Russia-Belarus

beefytee on August 29, 2008 at 10:42 AM

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:36 AM

You must have both eyes closed by trying to draw these parallels (Hati, Panama, Grenada and Kosovo). Go study history for awhile!

dmann on August 29, 2008 at 10:43 AM

(Haiti, Panama, Grenada and for a direct comparison, Kosovo)
Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:36 AM

Ah, those must be a few of our other 57 states!

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 10:52 AM

TooTall on August 29, 2008 :”Revisionist history?”

http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-08-08-question-answer_N.htm

“Q. What are Georgia and Russia fighting over?
A: Georgia launched a military strike on the province of South Ossetia, aiming to reclaim it after 16 years of semi-independence. In response, Russia sent tanks in. Moscow says Georgian forces had killed Russian peacekeepers there and were committing acts of “ethnic cleansing” of native Russians living there.”

I’m not defending Russia because I hope they lose their butts on this one. These guys have a history of aggression but let’s get the facts right (our gov’t) before we confront them and make a case accordingly.

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 10:54 AM

Yeah, USA Today is nice, but try this one:
How the Georgian Conflict Really Started

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 10:59 AM

Putin is the former KGB “boss”, and has learned well the ways of pain and how to inflict it.

Why shouldn’t Putin and Russia prepare for economic warfare? Just what the hell does Europe think sanctions are all about? Is Russia supposed to roll over for this action? We will feel some pain and Europe will feel a LOT of pain if they continue on this path.

wrt the “breakaway” provinces–everyone conveniently forgets that one of the reasons these provinces are breakaway is the brutal ethnic strife–done by all sides in Georgia–back during the breakup of the USSR. Observers have previously said that the strife was every bit as bad as in Croatia, just not as well-known. If these “breakaway provinces” wish to become part of the multi-ethnic Russian Federation then why should we and the Europeans get unhinged over that fact?

Also, the cracks about return to the USSR are laughable. You guys need to remember history and talk to a few folks who have spent time in Russia. While it is not the USA, Russia is a far different place than you think.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:05 AM

I love how Ed casually admits that he didn’t know shit about what was going on in SO.

Gassiyev’s admission puts an entirely different light on Moscow’s motives.

That being said, what in the hell is the logic here? I’m not looking to agree with it necessarily. I’m just asking how the following is anything but random incoherent babbling of a drunk:

If the Russians want independence for South Ossetia for entirely noble purposes, they have a splendid way of demonstrating that: grant independence to North Ossetia at the same time and unite the two provinces. Ossetia for Ossetians.

So what’s “noble” here? El Paso and Cuidad Juarez have roughly the same ethnic composition. Would it be “noble” to unite them?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:08 AM

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:05 AM

You’re right, it’s not a rebirth of the USSR, it’s the Russian Empire redux, and history says that they were the bad guys.

OldEnglish on August 29, 2008 at 11:08 AM

Also, the cracks about return to the USSR are laughable

really? why? russia is reclaiming the empire it held as the USSR. oh I know now its the multi-ethnic Russian Federation whatever.

its like 1957 or 1968…don’t want those ‘provinces’ getting to uppity now…this’ll lurn em!!

right4life on August 29, 2008 at 11:09 AM

Nothing would prevent them from provoking another ethnic crisis in Georgia itself

Uhm, what would be the ethnicity that would go into the crisis mode?

In what other country can Putin casually “provoke another ethnic crisis”?

What’s so special about Georgia that he can easily do it there?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:11 AM

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:08 AM

I think that was sarcasm about Russia’s actual motives, not a genuine proposal.

joewm315 on August 29, 2008 at 11:18 AM

This is just the newest incarnation of Russian Empire building. They have no desire to see an independent nation rise out of this internal Georgian conflict. They only want to absorb territory they believe they have a claim to. Shameful, despicable behavior by KGB thugs.

That people like freevillage and Goodeye_closed could be so myopic with regards to this subject is troubling. Very, very troubling.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM

I also found it very interesting that Israel supported Georgia…the Bear has a long memory….

right4life on August 29, 2008 at 11:23 AM

and history says that they were the bad guys.

Well, true, that worldview does allow you to decide without thinking or investigating.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:24 AM

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 10:59 AM

I don’t doubt Russia had this planned, it’s in their interest and a point of national pride (losing Georgia in the first place), but we have to argue with the facts we KNOW are true and admit that Georgia attacked S.O. but we need to make the case just as the article you pointed to did, that it was a matter of national defense that we the US believe Russia had no business interfering in.

Now with the two break away provinces saying they WANT independence or reunification with Russia, we need to come up with an argument that says they need to remain part of Georgia proper.

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 11:25 AM

That people like freevillage and Goodeye_closed could be so myopic with regards to this subject is troubling.

How am I myopic? I haven’t said anything on the topic of “Russian Empire”. I tend not to speak using stupid Hollywood-like jargon, but that’s beside the point. I understand what you mean and I haven’t said anything about it yet.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:28 AM

but we have to argue with the facts we KNOW are true and admit that Georgia attacked S.O

Except that they didn’t.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:19 AM “That people like freevillage and Goodeye_closed could be so myopic with regards to this subject is troubling. Very, very troubling.”

Hey Hebrew, I’m on your side. I’m being a sort of devil’s advocate because we will NEED international support to take on Russia and our case will have to be iron clad without ANY false claims (see iraq), because I imagine in the end the military option will not be off the table. we need to be 100% correct in the case we make and not let columnists or pundits from either side of the isle make our case. It’s called leadership.

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 11:31 AM

Um, territorial sovereignty isn’t enough? I’m not prepared to make the argument that these territories should or should not be allowed to go independent, especially given the examples of other territories/countries you listed earlier. The problem is that this is not an movement toward independence, but the annexation by military force. While the U.S. may have intervened in Kosovo, etc., it did not do so with the intent of adding to our own landholding.

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 11:32 AM

They have no desire to see an independent nation rise out of this internal Georgian conflict. They only want to absorb territory they believe they have a claim to.

imho, it is vastly more complex than simly a desire to gain more territory.

I think we need to stop for a minute with the knee-jerking and reflect on what represents OUR national interest. Not Georgia’s–place that hasn’t been a sovereign country since the 18th century. We have expanded NATO to the point where it is nearly meaningless. Addition of Georgia and Ukraine would confirm the uselessness of NATO, since there is no rational argument to justify war against a real power–second rate though it is–over Georgia or Ukraine.

It is easy to forget, but the RF shares a huge border with one of the most dishonest, xenophobic, and imperialistic countries in the world–China. If RF looks like a pushover, what do you think the Chinese will do with all that Lebensraum to the north and west?

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:32 AM

I understand what you mean and I haven’t said anything about it yet…

…in this thread. I’ve read plenty of posts from you in other threads on this topic. Your point-of-view seems quite clear.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:32 AM

it’s in their interest and a point of national pride (losing Georgia in the first place)

This is insane. Nobody in Russia wanted Georgia back. Where do you get this stuff from? The problem with Georgia from the Russian perspective is that its government is singlehandedly most anti-Russian.

Disclaimer for the local vegetables. NO, JUST BECAUSE A FOREIGN GOVERNMENT IS AGAINST YOUR GOVERNMENT, HOWEVER UNFAIRLY, DOES NOT MEAN YOU CAN OVERTHROW IT OR TAKE THEIR LAND OR WHATEVER.

However, it’s preposterous to think anyone in Russia longs Georgia being part of it. What is this based on anyway? Do you have a poll to share with us? Or can you now simply say random shit without any attempt to support it?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:34 AM

…in this thread. I’ve read plenty of posts from you in other threads on this topic. Your point-of-view seems quite clear.

Really? Summarize it. According to me, where should SO and Abhazia be?

If you’re wrong, I’ll ask you for a quote.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:35 AM

we will NEED international support to take on Russia and our case will have to be iron clad without ANY false claims (see iraq)

That you say this makes your position quite clear. I need not say more.

Not Georgia’s–place that hasn’t been a sovereign country since the 18th century.

iconoclast, I hear this argument all the time. This is not a good reason to refrain from aiding an ally. Remember, Georgian troops were helping all of us out with the Iraq War. We. Owe. Them.

You give Russia an inch and they’ll take Ukraine.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:36 AM

However, it’s preposterous to think anyone in Russia longs Georgia being part of it.

You don’t think this has anything to do with the one oil pipeline in the region not controlled by Russia, or the possibility that Georgia joining NATO is seen as a threat?

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 11:37 AM

You don’t think this has anything to do with the one oil pipeline in the region not controlled by Russia, or the possibility that Georgia joining NATO is seen as a threat?

There’s no question that Russia would like to have more control over oil and gas supplies. I don’t think anybody in Russia would seriously presume that they can militarily take over a pipeline. How do you do that?

Again, because you are constantly fed lies or ignorance by Ed and similar authors elsewhere, I think, you’re led to believe that Russia has just started stirring these problems on its own. The OPEN conflict in SO has been going on for 15 years. The tensions existed for generations. Russia has not played a positive role there – that much is clear. However, it’s not about Russia wanting a piece of Georgia. It’s about the Ossetians not wanting Georgian nationalism in lieu of Soviet communism.

If you want to know how Russia intends to become more influential in the oil and gas department, look at their agreements with Algeria and Lybia. It’s not about military control over pipelines. It’s about exclusive rights to drill in various places around the world.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:45 AM

P.S. The likelihood of a NATO base or a radar or something in the proper Georgia has increased in my estimation.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM

If you’re wrong, I’ll ask you for a quote.

Here you refuse to respond to a post because someone correctly labels Putin as a fascist. From the same thread, my favorite myopic quote of yours:

A reasonable approach for Russia is to stop listening to the US’ threats. The US never did anything good for Russia.

We never did anything good for Russia? Nice hyperbole. You’re a joke.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:24 AM

History that I read – dope!

OldEnglish on August 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM

Here you refuse to respond to a post because someone correctly labels Putin as a fascist.

:))

P.S. No answer as to where I think SO belongs. Thought so.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:49 AM

You don’t think this has anything to do with the one oil pipeline in the region not controlled by Russia, or the possibility that Georgia joining NATO is seen as a threat?

I think the NATO threat upsets them much more than the pipeline.

Also, there is another imperative at work here: the demographic one. S. Ossetia are culturally Russian and the RF needs people to slow down the population time bomb that will hit them in the next 20 or so years. imho, they are looking less to obtain people and regions that will fight guerrilla wars against them than peoples who want to be part of the RF. People who are culturally Russian regardless of their specific ethnic background.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:49 AM

OldEnglish on August 29, 2008 at 11:47 AM

well, that was a compelling argument!

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 11:50 AM

No answer as to where I think SO belongs. Thought so.

It doesn’t matter where you think South Ossetia belongs. You’re a Russian apologist and you’ve excused their behavior quite recently. You have zero credibility on this issue.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:51 AM

Also, there is another imperative at work here: the demographic one. S. Ossetia are culturally Russian and the RF needs people to slow down the population time bomb that will hit them in the next 20 or so years. imho, they are looking less to obtain people and regions that will fight guerrilla wars against them than peoples who want to be part of the RF. People who are culturally Russian regardless of their specific ethnic background.

SO is culturally Russian?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In what sense? I mean, a lot of them speak Russian as a second language. What else?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:54 AM

It doesn’t matter where you think South Ossetia belongs. You’re a Russian apologist and you’ve excused their behavior quite recently. You have zero credibility on this issue.

Yes, I don’t hate countries and ethnicities. How much credibility I have with you is entirely irrelevant. I don’t have any proof you don’t drink your own urine.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:56 AM

Yes, I don’t hate countries and ethnicities.

This has nothing to with ethnicities. This has to do with territorial ambitions and you’ve solidly backed Russia’s expansionist agenda. Your opinion on South Ossetia is, again, irrelevant. You’re a myopic pro-Russian troll and your recent posting history validates my statement.

We need to poke Russia in the eye and we need to do it now. As I said above, you give Russia an inch and they’ll take Ukraine.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 11:59 AM

Remember, Georgian troops were helping all of us out with the Iraq War. We. Owe. Them.

You give Russia an inch and they’ll take Ukraine.

Look, I appreciate that Georgia sent 2,000 troops to Iraq. I am sure they appreciate the support (military and otherwise) they received in return. We also trained their troops in the country to fight the islamic Chechnyan terrorist that cross Georgian territory, a benefit to all countries.

But

I don’t believe that means we owe them a guarantee for their sovereignty in a fight with Russia. 2,000 troops does not justify a blank check like that.

Let’s see how things play out some more before we decide on the ultimate goals of the RF. You and I know we aren’t going to war over Georgia. The RF has pulled out of Georgia. Let’s assume that the S. O. and the other province join the RF–they want to and it is extremely hard to argue convincingly that we should start even economic warfare to prevent the provinces from joining the RF. Since these provinces WANT to join the RF, now convince me that the logical next step for the RF is to FORCE the Ukraine or Georgia to join the RF?

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM

This has to do with territorial ambitions and you’ve solidly backed Russia’s expansionist agenda.

I guess Jews must have their own pool of retards, too.

According to me, where should SO and Abhazia be?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:01 PM

Um, it’s been patently obvious since day one that Russia’s motives are not honourable. They have been active in South Ossetia since the early 1990′s. Putin & co. have not an altruistic fibre in their being. In any case, it’s certain that the “south Ossetian official” is a Russian puppet and not even remotely an independent representative of South Ossetian opinion.

pussum207 on August 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM

MAybe O! will move there, where he can throw off the mask for good…

RocketmanBob on August 29, 2008 at 12:02 PM

Yeah, Russia showed us in Chechnya how big they are on the rights of minority groups to be independant.

JamesB on August 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM

I guess Jews must have their own pool of retards, too.

I’m not Jewish. But thanks for calling me a retard, Russian Apologist #1.

I don’t believe that means we owe them a guarantee for their sovereignty in a fight with Russia. 2,000 troops does not justify a blank check like that.

It’s in our interest to stop Russia as well, iconoclast, not just Georgia’s. They are threatening our European trading partners [Poland] with nuclear strikes and now hinting at cutting off energy supplies to Germany. They. Are. A. Menace.

If we continue to let them act in a belligerent manner without putting them in check we’re going to be in an awful position to stop them further down the road. I’m not suggesting we go to war with Russia, but we definitely need to take a dump in their cereal bowl.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:10 PM

I don’t think anybody in Russia would seriously presume that they can militarily take over a pipeline. How do you do that?

Are you feigning ignorance? You seriously can’t think of a way that Russia might consolidate control over the movement of oil in the region? How about annexing the land the pipeline flows through? Or accidentally destroying the pipeline? Supply fears grow, price increases, Russia expands the profit margin. Then, Europe can’t possible stand up to the bear because it risks being cut off.

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM

I’m not Jewish.

*phew*

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Are you feigning ignorance? You seriously can’t think of a way that Russia might consolidate control over the movement of oil in the region? How about annexing the land the pipeline flows through? Or accidentally destroying the pipeline? Supply fears grow, price increases, Russia expands the profit margin. Then, Europe can’t possible stand up to the bear because it risks being cut off.

Why don’t they bomb the whole thing right now if it’s so easy? I mean, it IS easy from a technical point of view. Why don’t they do it?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:13 PM

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:11 PM

Wow. I’m screen-capping that one. Even if you’re joking, holy moley. That’s a really off-color joke.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:14 PM

SO is culturally Russian?!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! In what sense? I mean, a lot of them speak Russian as a second language. What else?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 11:54 AM

I think the language issue is a great example–nearly all in the RF are bound by a common language and quite a bit of common heritage. As I said before, SO has been part of Russia for over 200 years. Even the Georgians along with the SO have historically looked to Russia to protect them from Muslim expansion. Educationally, the system used in SO was nearly exactly the same as used everywhere else in the USSR for many, many years. I have seen in Moscow, SO (and Georgians, but less so given the war) can freely travel and easily work.

So that is a lot of common heritage, even if the distinct ethnic background is different.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM

Of course, I’m not joking. I was sincerely astonished to see a Jew that stupid. They are very big on educating their kids.

I’m now relieved to see I was wrong.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Um, it’s been patently obvious since day one that Russia’s motives are not honourable. They have been active in South Ossetia since the early 1990’s.

You should look into the ethnic strife–with the accompanying ethnic cleansing–committed in SO after the breakup of the USSR. Not pointing fingers at one side or another so much as saying that the RF was responsible for ending that evil as much as anyone else.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:17 PM

Dude. Enough.

Dead Hand Control on August 29, 2008 at 12:21 PM

I think the language issue is a great example–nearly all in the RF are bound by a common language and quite a bit of common heritage. As I said before, SO has been part of Russia for over 200 years. Even the Georgians along with the SO have historically looked to Russia to protect them from Muslim expansion. Educationally, the system used in SO was nearly exactly the same as used everywhere else in the USSR for many, many years. I have seen in Moscow, SO (and Georgians, but less so given the war) can freely travel and easily work.

So that is a lot of common heritage, even if the distinct ethnic background is different.

OK, I see. I just think your definition of “culturally Russian” is too vague and that it is very different from the one that Putin apologists would apply, for instance. If the education system is key for you then France is just as culturally Russian.

I’m not saying SO is as foreign to Russia as Zimbabwe, but I seriously doubt that an ethnically Russian would say that Ossetians are close to him culturally. Caucasus is a different world. Ossetia is probably closer than Chechnya though. So you have something going for you, I guess.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:22 PM

Of course, I’m not joking. I was sincerely astonished to see a Jew that stupid. They are very big on educating their kids.

Ahhh, stereotypes. They make you look so silly.

I actually was raised Jewish. Bar Mitzvah’d, confirmed and 12 grades of Hebrew School. But that’s irrelevant. I’m not a believer and Judaism is a religion, not an ethnicity.

And, to be quite frank, to be called stupid by a Russian Apologist isn’t much of an insult.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM

Dude. Enough.

Alright. I apologize that my opinion about the Jewish people is too high for this board.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:23 PM

I actually was raised Jewish.

OK, so I wasn’t wrong as is usually the case. Sad.

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:25 PM

Are you feigning ignorance? You seriously can’t think of a way that Russia might consolidate control over the movement of oil in the region? How about annexing the land the pipeline flows through? Or accidentally destroying the pipeline? Supply fears grow, price increases, Russia expands the profit margin. Then, Europe can’t possible stand up to the bear because it risks being cut off.

Europe already is hostage to RF oil and gas. Even if the EU were to get the flow from the pipeline from Georgia, elimination of RF supplies would be disastrous. The profit margin can’t be manipulated too much because the oil and gas are commodities after all and the EU willingness to pay more will cause more supplies to reroute to the EU. Supply and Demand.

And, Europe stand up to the Bear? Just what world do you live in? Not to be offensive, but can you really envision any sort of scenario where the EU would ever stand up to the RF? I cannot. The EU couldn’t even stand up to Serbia!

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:27 PM

The profit margin can’t be manipulated too much because the oil and gas are commodities after all and the EU willingness to pay more will cause more supplies to reroute to the EU. Supply and Demand.

Supply and demand? Really? Ever tried changing your gas company?

freevillage on August 29, 2008 at 12:31 PM

I’m not saying SO is as foreign to Russia as Zimbabwe, but I seriously doubt that an ethnically Russian would say that Ossetians are close to him culturally. Caucasus is a different world. Ossetia is probably closer than Chechnya though. So you have something going for you, I guess.

The education system amongst the different states, provinces, etc., is much closer than the French system. Much of the same history, much of the same topics, much of the same steps. Probably close than the Canadian system to the US and certainly closer than the British system to the US system.

I don’t know specifically about the SO, but I can say from experience that the Georgians (and Armenians, Ukranians) living in the RF are culturally closer to Russia than we might recognize. Doesn’t mean they necessarily want to BE part of the RF, however. But in the case of SO, it does appear that way.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:32 PM

Also, Security Group Refuses to Back Russia’s Actions.

DUSHANBE, Tajikistan — Russia suffered a significant setback here on Thursday, as members of a regional security group in which the Kremlin plays an important role offered little support for Moscow’s military action in Georgia.

Dmitri A. Medvedev, the Russian president, came to this Central Asian capital for the annual summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, or S.C.O., with the hopes that the six-member group would provide the strong international backing the Kremlin has so far lacked after its incursion into Georgia. Russia has urged other nations to follow its lead and recognize Georgia’s breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states.

Buy Danish on August 29, 2008 at 12:34 PM

Supply and demand? Really? Ever tried changing your gas company?

They own the pipe leading to my house. Not the same thing. How much oil and gas going to the EU comes from Africa, the ME, or S. America? Not saying there isn’t some inelasticity, but it isn’t infinite (I _think_ I used that term accurately).

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:35 PM

Nice link, Buy Danish. Shows that even Russia’s regional partners don’t buy into their BS.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:36 PM

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:16 PM

I will not bother to pose an argument with you on Russian history, it is too involved for a blog. However, your mention of Russian protection against Muslims, and others, is irrelevant. What Putin wants now, is to recreate the Russian Empire – as it was at its hight. Putin isn’t interested in ethnicity et al, he wants the power that an enlarged Empire brings.

OldEnglish on August 29, 2008 at 12:39 PM

What Putin wants now, is to recreate the Russian Empire – as it was at its hight. Putin isn’t interested in ethnicity et al, he wants the power that an enlarged Empire brings.

Bingo.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:43 PM

What Putin wants now, is to recreate the Russian Empire – as it was at its hight. Putin isn’t interested in ethnicity et al, he wants the power that an enlarged Empire brings.

You will struggle to find proof of that desire, I do believe.

And you will struggle to find support by the citizens of the RF for that desire. I know you will discount the need for that support, but the RF of today is much, much, MUCH more free and the people are not interested in endless wars for empire.

Finally, the RF cannot implement that supposed desire. Their desire for support does show their overall weakness.

However, I am sure your study of history has shown the geopolitical drives of Russia over the past 200+ years. Mix that in with the demographic disaster that is coming and it does get volatile enough without presuming grand motives by Putin.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM

Interesting that some think part of the so called Ruski aggression has to do with oil pipelines. Can we now talk about the energy pipeline plans for Afghan before the US invaded? The deal that Bush still had in mind while he courted the Taliban in the first few months of his admin? The pipeline being built there today with protection from US troops?

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 12:48 PM

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 12:48 PM

The US wasn’t the only nation to invade Afghanistan. It’s a NATO operation.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:51 PM

And the relevance of that is that only one nation took it upon themselves to intervene in an internal Georgian matter. And that nation is Russia, the belligerent bear.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 12:52 PM

And Nata doesn’t use oil?

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 12:52 PM

Nato

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM

nteresting that some think part of the so called Ruski aggression has to do with oil pipelines. Can we now talk about the energy pipeline plans for Afghan before the US invaded? The deal that Bush still had in mind while he courted the Taliban in the first few months of his admin? The pipeline being built there today with protection from US troops?

Yeah, and we hadn’t been trying to talk to the Taliban about working together peacefully for joint economic benefit BDS sufferers like yourself would be castigating the administration for having FORCED the Taliban to attack us.

$&*(^# troll.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM

There’s no doubt that you can find articles on both sides concerning Russia or Georgia firing the first shot but if you believe that history is written by the victor then Goodeye_Closed is correct that Georgia fired the first shot. It looks more and more likely that Russia will come out of this as the victor since I saw on the news that the European Union has decided not to impose any sanctions on Russia but will instead take a careful look at their relations with Russia in the future. Putan gets what he wants with little or no come back from the International community.

TooTall on August 29, 2008 at 12:55 PM

Putan gets what he wants with little or no come back from the International community.

I don’t think it is that simple. There has been quite a bit of to and fro on this issue and the RF–which is more than Putin–doesn’t want to be an outcast. Their desire for some sort of support, that they failed to get, from even their own security partners is a real signal that they overstepped.

Cutting off EU gas and oil is a doomsday threat that Putin cannot employ short of all-out economic war. The RF is rebuilding itself, much on oil and gas revenues, and to halt all of that will halt and reverse that progress. What it sounds like the RF was saying to the EU was “start an economic war by initiating sanctions and we will have no reason to not fight back”. As economic ties get closer between the RF and the EU the possibility of either side initiating economic war becomes less and less likely.

The next few years will be very interesting.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:53 PM

Hum, OK, whatever. Wanna try again?

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 1:09 PM

And NATO doesn’t use oil?

They don’t act unilaterally as opposed to Russia.

The motives of NATO are well documented at the link I provided. We have absolutely no idea what Russia plans to do; all we have is the evidence of their unwarranted aggression towards a neighboring nation. And, at least to me, that is most troubling.

Give Russia an inch and they’ll take Ukraine.

HebrewToYou on August 29, 2008 at 1:16 PM

“Between 1993 and 2000, Khalilzad was the Director of the Strategy, Doctrine, and Force Structure at the RAND Corporation. While at RAND, Khalilzad also had a brief stint consulting for Cambridge Energy Research Associates, which at the time was conducting a risk analysis for Unocal, now part of Chevron, for a proposed 1,400 km (890 mile), $2-billion, 622 m³/s (22,000 ft³/s) Trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project which would have extended from Turkmenistan to Afghanistan and further proceeding to Pakistan. He acted as a special liaison between UNOCAL and the Taliban regime.”

“At the same time their(Taliban) leadership were courted by the US(Bush Admin) — and given a red carpet tour of the country — over a proposed UNICOL natural gas pipeline. Negotiations between the US and the Taleban concerning the pipeline’s route continued right up until September 2001 but the Taleban refused to play ball. The rest is history. A former UNICOL executive Hamid Karzai ended up as Afghanistan’s president and the poppies have never bloomed as brightly.”

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 1:29 PM

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 1:29 PM

yeah, Chimpy, Afghanistan was all about oil.

psychotic moron. Next thing you will be doing is putting out some truther crap.

Isn’t it wet and warm under your rock? Shouldn’t you crawl back under it?

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 1:33 PM

They(Nato) don’t act unilaterally as opposed to Russia or the US.
Fixed it for you.

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 1:33 PM

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 12:47 PM

I should have expressed myself more clearly in referring to Putin. I meant, of course, the Putin machine, carefully garnered over several years, in all the right places, and all having their fortunes tied to Putin. It took him awhile to do this, along with removing, in one way or another, any and all opposition, while, at the same time, creating a sense of well-being among the movers and shakers. The fact that “the people” don’t want war is of no concern to Putin – they don’t matter. As with peasants the world over, they exist to be used by the elite, and will do as they are told – or else. A government’s main concern, vis-a-vis “the people”, is to keep them quiet enough that they do not rise up in revolt. Achieve that, while throwing around such platitudes as “glory”, “Motherland”, “freedom”, etc, and they will follow wherever Putin wants to take them.

Of course, this method also works pretty much the world over.

OldEnglish on August 29, 2008 at 1:39 PM

Yeah, iconoclast, Afghanistan was all about energy pipelines. Why was the Bush admin courting these backward religious fundies that have the same ideas now that they had back then. Clinton courted them also until they destroyed the ancient Buddhist monuments and women’s rights groups started calling out the Taliban for there horrible treatment of women. Bush wins and the US starts playing nice with them again.

Chimpy on August 29, 2008 at 1:42 PM

Iconoclast said:”What Putin wants now, is to recreate the Russian Empire”

Exactly Icono…and and isn’t that what this is all about?
The west is fearful (rightly so)that Russia wants back in the game and that means recapturing what it can of it’s old territory and possibly some of the previous Soviet sattelites. The thought that they have possibly used the timing of presidential elections with a lame duck prez in the US, Americans involved in a two front war in the M.E., and Iran on the horizon, points to a larger plan than just driving Georgia out of a couple of it’s own provinces.

The point I have been trying to make is that we NEED to fight back the correct way and get everyone on board and NOT repeat the mistakes going into Iraq. Hebrew used one of my posts to insinuate that I am some sort of anti-war troll, but I actually supported going into Iraq and still do support that mission but it has been made more difficult due to faulty intelligence and broken alliances….no one can doubt that!

My take is we can use RF aggression to our advantage now and go ahead with patriot missiles in Poland, radar systems in Czech, more missiles in Ukraine,and possibly sometime in the future, peacekeeping troops in Georgia. But if it looks to the rest of the world and a good percentage of American citizens like “here we go again, the Americans are fighting another war for oil and using lies to drum up a reason”, we will be doomed!

The idea is to avoid a war with a country who has enough nukes to destroy us in the first place, but as we all know, when a dictator sees that the US does not have international support, they feel they can take us on. Saddam did not listen to our threats because some major countries were blasting us at the UN and in the international court of opinion relentlessly.

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM

The next few years will be very interesting.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 1:04 PM

Very true.

TooTall on August 29, 2008 at 1:50 PM

Goodeye_Closed on August 29, 2008 at 1:44 PM

I think we are in substantial agreement with what to do in the future. The only difference is that I don’t believe that pushing the RF too hard by surrounding them with installations and treaties they have historically viewed as threats is a great idea. How far is not too far? I am too ignorant to say.

I also just don’t like immediate demonization. I lived throughout the Cold War, much of in Europe, and really don’t want to go back to those days. Nor, do I think, do the citizens of the RF. And I do think that matters to their leaders, just as what we think matters to ours.

iconoclast on August 29, 2008 at 2:10 PM

UHawaii columnist blames the victims;

Failure of Western media fuels Georgian conflict

…Both sides accuse one another of committing genocide – Russia against the ethnic Georgians living in South Ossetia, Georgia against the Ossetians and ethnic Abkhaz. The fact remains, however, that it was Georgian forces that attacked first.

Not that the Western media tells us anything of value or anything that doesn’t have to be questioned before any value can be acquired. But the coverage of the Ossetian War seems especially egregious.

Condoleezza Rice’s comments, comparing the Russian “invasion” of Georgia to the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and bloody put-down of Alexander Dubek’s “Prague Spring” were misguided, unintelligent and embarrassing and, at worst, hate-filled and fear-mongering.

Naturally… and the Czech’s provoked Germany into invading Sudetenland, too.

/forget, rinse, repeat

Terp Mole on August 29, 2008 at 3:43 PM

Naturally… and the Czech’s provoked Germany into invading Sudetenland, too.

Terp Mole on August 29, 2008 at 3:43 PM

No, the Western powers handed it to us on a silver platter. War was not declared, no battles took place.

Russia may cut off oil supplies to Europe

pseudonominus on August 29, 2008 at 10:37 AM

Time to speed up the Nordstream pipeline.

GermanAtheist on August 29, 2008 at 4:37 PM