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World Affairs Brief, August 15, 2008. Commentary and Insights on a Troubled World.
Copyright Joel Skousen. Partial quotations with attribution permitted. Cite source as Joel Skousen’s World Affairs Brief
PROVOCATION AND AGGRESSION IN GEORGIA–SORTING IT OUT
Every war has its superficial cause that is fed to the public but underlying this is usually a myriad of complex ulterior motives and agendas that are the real cause. This week I’ll help you sort out what has been going on historically in Georgia and what the major powers are up to in the current conflict. There are a variety of rash predictions flooding the internet about this conflict being a trigger for World War III. It is not, but it is part of a long term strategy by the West to slowly expose the public to Russian aggressive intentions–ironically, after spending decades covering for Russia and playing as if she is our ally. This will eventually lead to an all-out war between Russia/China and the West, but it is still a few years away since the enemy’s various forces are not ready yet. The West provoked this Russian attack and temporary occupation of Georgia, but Russia wasn’t innocent either. Putin had put in position large land, air, and naval forces surrounding Georgia just waiting for an excuse to invade. Now that they are in, they’re going to be slow getting out.
Georgia has always been a thorn in the southern side of Russia ever since the Russian empire and especially during the years of Soviet oppression. Thanks to my Balkan correspondent, Ivan Simic, for providing me with some of this essential background material, and also to the historical perspective of A. Heneen on iReport.com.
The Ossetians migrated into the area north of Georgia when the Mongols invaded their original homeland. In 1801, imperial Russia conquered both Ossetia and Georgia, but they lived in relative peace together during these early periods. Alough Ossetia has been a de facto independent province from Georgia since its declaration of independence in 1990. South Ossetia continues to be part of Georgia, since it was not diplomatically recognized by any member of the United Nations. Of course, that should never be the ultimate criteria for independent status.
This failure to recognize independence movements by the international community has its roots in the globalist policy of supporting Soviet tyranny during its inception and continuing through the Second World War-especially in the Yalta and Tehran agreements in which Stalin was promised control over Eastern Europe. Upon the deceptive breakup of the Soviet Union, Western powers said they would only recognize whole Republics of the former Soviet union, hence discouraging any ethnic independence movements–except when the West wanted to use ethnic conflict to create their own wars.
For example, the West fomented the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in order to poison the Slavic peoples’ new found love affair with America and the supposed freedom it represented–an essential, preparatory move toward galvanizing anti-American feelings that would eventually help Russia justify its attack on the West. Globalists also promoted Kosovo quasi-independence even though they resist Ossetian independence. Go figure. In like manner, the Russians are equal hypocrites. They support Abkhasian and Ossetian independence because it weakens Georgia (which they have lost control of). But they don’t support self-determination in Chechnya which wants to break out of Russian influence.
Georgia was part of the Soviet Union from 1922 until its independence in 1991. The occupation began in 1921. In 1924 it rebelled, but not because of Democratic aspirations. Georgia was run by Mensheviks, an equally tyrannical faction of the Russian Communists (Bolsheviks). Since Georgia’s independence from the Soviet Union in 1991, Georgia has been facing many difficulties, both civil and economic crises. Then in 2003 came the “Rose” Revolution, when then President of Georgia, Eduard Shevardnadze was ousted from power in a revolution engineered by the CIA and the National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Shevardnadze, the former Russian foreign minister, was a Russian puppet controlling Georgia, just like many other former Soviet states–all masquerading as reformed communists.
This left only the unresolved secessionist conflicts in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, regions allied with and controlled by Russia. Abkhazia was forced into the Transcaucasian Federation in 1922 by Stalin, in a treaty-alliance with Georgia (Stalin’s home country). Later in 1931 Abkhazia was reduced further in status to a semi-autonomous republic within Georgia.
The current situation has its roots in the 1918-1920 Georgian-Ossetian conflict. The Ossetians broke with the Georgians over the issue of new taxes and were won over by the Bolsheviks who claimed to not require new taxes (they would confiscate from the wealthy). The Russian Bolsheviks were then, as now, using the Ossetians to foster rebellion against Georgia and secede in order to justify further armed intervention by Russia. Just as the Germans used the presence of German populations in Poland to intervene militarily in WWII, there were ethnic Georgians in Ossetia and Ossetians in Georgia that have always been used to justify armed intervention both ways. In 1918 Georgia sent troops into Ossetia (led, ironically by an Ossetian) to collect taxes and restore order. The Ossetians rebelled which ended in a massacre of thousands of Georgians in the main city of Tshkinvali. Georgians later retaliated against Ossetians and the charges of ethnic cleansing have been flying ever since.
Later, in 1922 the South Ossetian Autonomous Oblast was created after the Soviet occupation of Georgia as a reward to the Ossetians who had helped precipitate the war and had fought alongside the Russians. After this, Georgian villages remaining within the Ossetian enclave became a permanent sore point in the ethnic conflict.
In the eighties, the conflict was followed by rising nationalism in the former Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic, the South Ossetian desire for greater autonomy, Ossetian demands for unification with Russia’s North Ossetia, and persistent Ossetian declarations of independence. Russia has always seeded its neighboring occupied regions with ethnic Russian immigrants to facilitate and justify continued control of these areas. Through ethnic cleansing and Russian immigration the Russian-speaking South Ossetians outnumber the Georgian residents 2 to 1.
The Georgian-South Ossetian conflict evolved into civil war in January in 1991 between Georgian government forces and ethnic Georgian militias on one side and South Ossetian secessionists and North Ossetian volunteers on the other, with periodic participation of Russian military forces. Georgia revoked South Ossetia’s autonomous status and sent in thousands of police and troops to disarm the South Ossetian rebels. The Ossetians were out-gunned so they responded by attacking ethnic Georgians and burning down Georgian homes, churches, and schools. Ethnic Georgians were forced out of this region for a while, while Georgian soldiers retaliated by bombarding the capital Tshkinvali, cuting off electricity, and imposing an economic blockade. The civil war ended in a military coup in Georgia, naming Eduard Shevardnadze to power. The deal Shevardnadze cut with Boris Yeltsin of Russia was typical of Soviet peace deceptions–allowing for joint peacekeeping forces knowing that Russian forces would dominate in time. Georgian police and peacekeepers were harassed and arrested by the Russians on the slightest pretense. The Ossetians adopted the Russian Ruble and Russian passports, so it was obvious Russia wasn’t intending any part of Ossetia to come back under Georgian control–which has been bluntly reconfirmed by the Russians in the current conflict.
Georgia has complained to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and asked them to replace the hostile Russian force with an EU force due to Russia’s continue refusal to remain neutral. The OSCE has done nothing. The EU turns a blind eye to Russian dominance and says the “Russians are changed,” but they all know it’s not true–and they do nothing to challenge Russian dominance.
In January 2005, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (installed and controlled by the globalists) presented a new plan for resolving the Georgian-South Ossetian conflict. This proposal included broader forms of autonomy, including a constitutional guarantee of free and directly elected local self-governance. Among others, President Saakashvili stated that South Ossetia’s parliament would have control over issues such as culture, education, social policy, economic policy, public order, organization of local self-governance and environmental protection. No agreement was signed, although the United States government and the (OSCE) supported the Georgian action plan.
In September 2006, South Ossetian forces opened fire at a Georgian helicopter carrying Irakli Okruashvili, the Minister of Defense of Georgia. The South Ossetian de facto government confirmed their troops were responsible for the attack, alleging that the helicopter had entered their airspace. Later in September 2007, this same Irakli Okruashvili was arrested on charges of extortion, money laundering, and abuse of power while still Georgia’s Defense Minister. A Georgian court found him guilty and sentenced him to 11 years imprisonment in absentia. However, Okruashvili did not go to jail, he was granted political asylum in France. [When Western nations provide an escape from justice for political corruption, it makes the local people cynical about Western intentions in the region. The French were also called upon to broker the current cease fire with Russia and they naively permitted the Russians to insert vague language permitting Russian peacekeepers to “implement additional security measures” while awaiting an international monitoring mechanism–a recipe for continued occupation and disarming of Georgian military facilities.]
In August 2007, a new conflict occurred: the Georgian missile incident. This time the incident was between Georgia and Russia. The Georgian government said that two Russian fighter jets violated its airspace and fired a missile, which fell on the edge of the village of Tsitelubani, near the Georgian-Ossetian conflict zone, but did not explode. Russia denied this allegation and said that Georgia may have fired the missile on their own territory as a way of provoking tensions in the region. This Georgia-Russia incident is not an isolated issue, there have been several crises, incidents and accusations in the past, including: the 2004 Adjara crisis, the 2006 North Ossetia sabotages, the 2006 Russian ban of Moldovan and Georgian wines, the 2006 Georgian-Russian espionage controversy and the March 2007 Georgia helicopter attack incident. Earlier in 2008 a Russian jet shot down an unarmed Georgian UAV (provided by the USA) over Abkhazia. The provocations by Russia were small but constant.
However, the manner in which the Georgian army attacked South Ossetia in the current conflict was also provocative. While reminiscent of the many ethnic attacks and counter attacks of years past, it was hardly a way to gain international support, let alone suppress the years of ethnic hostility that abounds in the region. The Georgian military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali with rocket launchers that obliterate large civilian areas. Around 1500 civilians were killed as Georgian rockets, artillery and aircraft hit apartments and other civilian areas. They also killed 15 Russian peacekeepers, and dozens of South Ossetian militants. This was totally unnecessary, and inevitably required a response from Russian “peacekeepers” eager for a fight. If they only wanted to reign in the breakaway republic, they needed only to enter and occupy-not destroy. The destruction of civilian infrastructure handed to Russia the excuse it needed to intervene.
Russia was quick to respond with overwhelming force, moving two divisions across the Georgian border, supported by tanks and artillery. They didn’t stop at halting the Georgian intrusion, but pushed on into Georgia proper, occupying about a quarter of the country and bombing key military installations. After two days the Georgian forces were overwhelmed and in headlong retreat. As they met reporters, they could only express outrage at the US and NATO. It became very evident from all the reports that Georgian troops, clear down to the individual combat soldier, had been promised by their officers that the US and NATO would be coming to their support. This never happens to this degree unless national leaders are given assurances of military support by US diplomats, and pass it on down the military chain of command to encourage the troops. I don’t believe Georgia would have taken on the Russians without those assurances of support. That support never came, nor was it ever intended, in my opinion. It was sadly reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs betrayal of anti-Castro forces in Cuba.
The Pentagon claims it wasn’t even informed of the coming Georgian attack on South Ossetia. But, I find that impossible to believe given that the US and Israel were both providing military training and material support for the Georgian army. Georgia’s president is a neo-con puppet of the globalists and would not have precipitated this attack without the green light from the US. If somehow the Pentagon wasn’t directly informed, the White House surely knew what was going on. All 130 low level American advisors may be able to claim ignorance, but Israeli advisors and trainers (the Israeli source Debka.com claims they numbered almost a thousand–which I doubt) never go into a country without having a small cadre of spies keeping tracking of both friends and enemies. In a closely coordinated joint operation, what the Israeli Mossad knows, the CIA knows.
In my analysis, this was a purposeful provocation initiated by the US–and an equally willing acceptance of the challenge by the Russians. The collusion and deception may go even further. McClatchy News says a US source told them that the US had an “understanding” with the Russians prior to the conflict: “At the same time, U.S. officials said that they believed they had an understanding with Russia that any response to Georgian military action would be limited to South Ossetia.” That means both sides knew this was coming and let it proceed.
Yet the establishment press, politicians and pundits uniformly pounded the drums about Russian aggression–omitting that Georgia started this portion of the long-term conflict. Whatever the Russian agenda was, they were stupid to take the bait and invade so deeply into Georgia, and stay so long. They are clearly helping the globalists break down Russia’s carefully crafted illusion of benign ally.
According to Russian officials, their main aim was to defend Russian citizens in South Ossetia, and force the Georgian government to accept peace and restore the status quo. Russian officials also stated that its army was acting within its peacekeeping mission in South Ossetia, and in line with the mandate issued by the international community. Tbilisi also stated that it was now responding to Russia’s aggression.
MOTIVES: Let’s look at the real motives behind this fiasco. For the Georgian and So. Ossetian troops this is a long standing grudge match, typical of ethnic conflicts like Bosnia and Kosovo. One has to live among the eastern Europeans to understand how unrelenting the hatred can be once it gets started and becomes widespread and hardened. This lingering pool of bad feelings simply provides the fodder for evil politicians to fuel future conflicts at will. The ethnic hatred, however, is never the real reason for larger wars, only the excuse to start them.
Russia: Russia is in the midst of managing its deceptive fall of the Soviet Union, which included temporarily relinquishing control of satellite states. In the beginning of this grand ploy, Moscow ordered all its Communist leaders in Eastern Europe to step down and yield power to other communist leaders who had been pre-positioned to act the part of “reformed” communists or even anti-communists like Lech Walesa in Poland and Vaclav Havel in Czechoslovakia. Those who refused to step down, like Nicolae Ceaucescue of Hungary were killed. In a few cases, legitimate anti-communists came to power in the aftermath of the phony fall of Communism, such as Vytautas Landsbergis in Lithuania. Eventually, several nationalist leaders backed by Western globalists came to power in various Eastern European countries like Viktor Yushchenko in the Ukraine (the Orange Revolution) and Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia. These globalist backed leaders, though they play lip service to free markets are not true libertarian leaders.
What the Russians must do in order to prepare for the inevitable war with the West is allow its “former” satellite states that are still under its secret control to become part of the EU, infiltrate NATO and become a fifth column inside Western forces. Where the Western globalists have gained control or influence over former Soviet states (Ukraine, Georgia, Poland, the Czech republic, parts of the former Yugoslavia, and the Baltics) Russia must continue working to undermine these Western leaders politically and/or threaten them militarily to come back into the fold. Russia also has got Europe by the throat economically since she is Europe’s primary supplier of natural gas. Moscow has been all too willing to shut down or sabotage pipelines for political and economic leverage in the former satellites and will someday do the same to Europe proper. Moscow also has underground military forces in each of these “lost” republics which can set the stage for violent revolutions if necessary.
There is also the oil motive. Russia has tremendous resources of its own, but it is intensely interested in denying the West oil from the Caspian Sea region, surrounded by former Soviet states that are now making deals with Western oil interests. Georgia is host to 3 pipelines carrying oil from the Caspian region to the Black Sea for shipment to Europe. More are proposed, but now on hold, as fear of Russian military intervention has caused investors to flinch. The continued instability in Georgia and neighboring provinces guarantees a future Russian presence which, in turn, will make it easy for Russia to cut off any Western oil flowing through Georgia in the future.
Then there is intimidation. Probably, the biggest message this conflict sends to the former Soviet States is 1) the US will not militarily back them up if Russia flexes its military might. And, 2) it is highly likely that the US and NATO will actually betray you. All of this makes it much easier for Russia to force them back into the fold when war comes.
Ukraine came out and warned Russia not to use its leased Ukrainian port (Sevastopol) for operations against Georgia. Russia simply thumbed its nose at the Ukraine and in essence said, “What are going to do about it?” Nothing. The Russians are already in possession and Ukraine doesn’t have the power to remove them. That’s intimidation and it works.
WESTERN GLOBALIST MOTIVES
These are more complex, because they involve both the appearance of being against tyranny (which the world has come to expect from the West), and the secret globalist agenda which is antithetical to liberty (which must be kept hidden). The establishment media is a knowing partner (at the highest levels) in this conspiracy as it steadfastly refuses to expose the horrendous dichotomies and hypocrisy in US policy.
I have documented for many years the fact that the Anglo-American establishment has helped foster communist movements from the very emergence of Marx, Lenin and Stalin– and sometimes fighting against them, when it serves their purposes. All the major communist revolutions were helped along by globalists who, like Alger Hiss, helped install communist agents in the State Department. The favored tactic was to use key players in the State Department to cut-off military support for anti-communist forces (China, Laos, So. Vietnam, Cuba, Nicaragua, Angola, Rhodesia, So. Africa, Mozambigue and many others), and sometime force them into coalition governments with the Communists where they would eventually be defeated.
Thus, with American motives, we have to analyze whether the US is sincerely helping out, or setting up a country for an eventual sellout. Since WWII, it seems our own government only does something right when it is forced to in order to keep up appearances and/or maintain its base of support among blindly patriotic conservatives who still naively believe in the inherent good intentions of our government.
It is true that the US is intervening to tie up oil supplies in most of Central Asia as well as the Middle East, though this is not the reason for provoking the Georgian war. In fact, this conflict is going to have very negative effects on the West’s ability to convince these former Soviet republics in Central Asia that the US is a reliable partner in defending its oil investments.
Here are the real reasons I believe the US provoked the current conflict with Russia.
1) The globalists are beginning a transition from the past policy of covering for the Russian war preparations and switching to a new policy of outing Russia as the potential future aggressor that she really is. They are getting ready to wake up the world to the Russian threat, just as they have been half-heartedly warning about the Chinese threat while simultaneously doing nothing to stop it. In like manner, they don’t intend to let Americans get riled up enough about Russia to actually prepare for nuclear war–only to alert people to Russia’s “new” aggressiveness so that our leaders can’t be totally blamed for the future surprise attack when it comes.
Remember too that US neocons like William Kristol of the Weekly Standard are calling for a new League of Democracies to replace the UN with its domination by leftist allies of Russia and China. Globalist Republican candidate John McCain has given two speeches calling for this same League of Democracies. That’s important because McCain does no thinking on his own. This is the work of his CFR advisors. We almost saw a showdown at the UN where Russia was prepared to veto any resolution calling for it to get out of Georgia. Russia partially stopped its offensive specifically to avoid triggering a veto over the appearance of Russian aggression. But it yet may come if Russia keeps taking advantage of the unwise “cease fire” loophole and the West presses the UN for further Russian sanctions. Remember how anti-communists in the US used to wonder at why the US would allow Russia and China to have a veto power in the UN Security Council? Now I believe we know. This was to be their future out to break from the UN just before the outbreak of the next world war so that they could have a “clean” world peace organization that skeptical conservatives could finally support. Conservatives are being set up for a major deception. At some future conflict, the US and British globalists will use a Russia veto as an excuse to launch this new breakaway world peace organization in earnest. They are just prepping the waters for now.
2) What better way to turn around Poland’s refusal to accept the US missile defense system than to allow Russia to bear it’s teeth. This little show war turned Poland from reluctant ally to Russia-phobic in a mere two days–and little wonder given how Poland suffered under both Germany and Russia in WWII, not to mention its initial betrayal by Britain. Of course, the new offer also included more millions in US military aid to Poland, as a bribe. But it does clearly demonstrate the power of Hegelian dialectics in use by both our own globalist masters and the Russians. They create conflicts and control both sides of the issue in order to drive a target audience into accepting something they wouldn’t otherwise accept.
3) The US will use the Russian aggression to accelerate bringing Georgia and other former Soviet States into NATO. This was promoted by a prominent opt-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by neocons Gary Schmitt and Mauro De Lorenzo of the American Enterprise Institute (“How the West Can Stand Up to Russia”). For an excellent commentary on how this institute pushes the globalist intervention agenda read Karen Kwiatkowski’s latest commentary: http://www.lewrockwell.com/kwiatkowski/kwiatkowski208.html. NATO is intended to become the future enforcement arm of the new League of Democracies. This will also reduce US conservative objections to a militarized world government organization, since they are already accustomed to thinking NATO is part of us, and won’t see it as a NWO threat. This is very slick. This is also why the US keeps pushing NATO to increase its involvement in Afghanistan.
4) To eavesdrop on Russian military operations. The Russians do this every time we intervene in a country and the US has had little opportunity till now to reciprocate.
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