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GEORGIAN REALPOLITIK August 20, 2008

Posted by wmmbb in Peace, US Politics.
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The most striking thing to me about Georgia is it’s isolation from Europe being surrounded by Russia, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. Of course it has the sea coast on the Black Sea, but a large part of that is taken by Abkhazia.

I suspect that Saakashvilli links to the Bush Administration, formal and informal, and there reports of a sophisticated information program preparation prior the action. I would have thought that the best option for Geogria was to develop relationships both with the EU and Russia. In the wash, I doubt that Saakashvilli will last long.

Still you have to wonder why some in Washington are bloviating, as is the style, over an irrelevant country. David Kaiser draws dark portents from the historical experience, concluding:

The United States fought the Second World War to save western civilization in Europe–and won only by promoting the spread of Communism in Eastern Europe and the Far East. During the Cold War, in my opinion, our biggest problems invariably stemmed from our inability to distinguish between territory that was vital and territory that was not. The defense perimeters around western Europe and Japan served a very useful purpose (and did not lead to war); attempts to defend areas like Vietnam or to promote friendly clients in Africa led to nothing but misery on an enormous scale. It does not increase the security of the United States, in my opinion, to treat territories like Georgia or Ukraine as comparable to West Germany or Japan in their importance. I shall try to think in weeks to come about how we might begin to reverse the track that we are on, but it looks harder and harder. The world order is disintegrating in ways similar to those of the early 1930s now, and a new catastrophe is slowly becoming a real possibility.

I suppose the counter-argument here is that in the absence of developing alternative energy, and thereby invading and occupying Iraq, oil is the most important strategic resource for the empire requiring forward bases in Central Asia, despite the displeasure of the Russians who presumably were thought to be powerless.

Andrew J Bacevich deals with the issues in an interview with Bill Moyers, via Talking Points Memo. Bacevich, seems to me, to represent what I call the traditional Republican Wasp view. The extended interview is worth a look. Here is an edited version:

Pat Buchanan, former Nixon speech writer, is emphatic on “Who Started Cold War II” at Antiwar.com.

I had not seen this quote before:

People who talk of outlawing the atomic bomb are mistaken — what needs to be outlawed is war.

– Leslie Richard Groves

Scott Horton, from Columbia University, talking to Antiwar.com has some personal connections and a slightly different take on recent events in Geogria. There is also the post by Walter Laqueur on “Russia and the Middle East”

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