The Dandelions

.. the mutual admiration and bashing society.

Cold war? Russia, the new Soviet Union?

Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on August 28, 2008

COLD WAR!!! That is the headline coming out from the Western MSM. Yes, Russia as claimed by the Western MSM is the new Soviet Union, if we are to believe EVERYTHING that comes out from Western MSM especially those within NATO alliance! They are making Russia the villain of the Georgia and Russia war, but they are merely skimming the surface of Russia-Georgia relationship. In actual fact, the war started due to over-zealousness of Georgia to try to reintegrate South Ossetia into its administration.

The West tries to glorify democratic Georgia. Democratic my foot! We are talking about the president of Georgia who locks up the opposition, restricts free press, turning more authoritarian. He might be a ‘benevolent dictator’ but he is definitely not democratic!!!

Georgia and South Ossetia has a history of not getting along well. South Ossetia is small in comparison with Georgia. The population in South Ossetia has also suffered genocide under Georgia in the last century. The latest conflict originated when Georgia launched the first missile attacks on CIVILIAN TARGETS! This is the case of big brother Georgia bullying small weakling South Ossetia but it wasn’t a big deal. When Russia retaliates under the claim of ‘protecting Russian residents in South Ossetia’, the West starts making a hullabaloo over the big bully rejuvenated Russia, stretching its military might into is weakling neighbour.

So who masterminds the anti-Russia sentiment? It is the US and its belligerent foreign policies especially under the Republicans, compounded by the leadership of George Bush, the ‘holy crusader’. NATO was initially set-up to counter Soviet influence or aggression by trying to cage or corner them. Soviet had since fallen almost two decades ago, whatever practices that work for NATO in the past works then, does not work now. Now, Russia isn’t US natural enemy, US is trying to make an enemy out of Russia. Heck, it is expanding NATO membership to Czech Republic and Poland, right to the door-steps of Russia when NATO should have been disbanded 2 decades ago! US gave stupid excuse that the missile defence system to be set-up in Czech Republic is meant to counter Iranian threat. Mind you, in between Czech Republic and Iran, they are separated by Hungary, Slovakia, Romania, the Black Sea, Turkey, Iraq, Caspian Sea, Georgia, Israel and Azerbaijan depending on which route of invasion. US is provoking Russia by making a Mickey out of Russia’s sovereignty. Then suddenly, the US decided to use a different excuse, completely ignoring Iranian missile threat while using Russia’s aggression on Georgia as pretext to accelerate the admission of Poland and Georgia into NATO while justifying the need to build high tech missile defence system at Czech Republic and Poland to contain Russia. Flip-flopping international relations!

US argued that South Ossetia belongs to Georgia anyway, hence Georgia has the right to maintain its sovereignty with military where necessary (even if South Ossetia is oppressed). If I remember correctly, Kosovo was under Serbia too, but at that time, US claimed that the people in Kosovo (mostly Albanians), have the right to carve out their won destiny and independence regardless of Serbia’s sovereignty (mind you, Albanians in Kosovo isn’t exactly blameless too, they have committed their fair share of genocide against the Serbians). US is the liberator for the unfortunate? Bovine excrement! All these proxy battles are out of self-interest. These acts by US are exactly shaping Russia into an enemy they are trying so hard to contain! Why bother to be so bellicose? Yes US has nuclear weapons but Russia has nuclear weapons too, and hostility isn’t making things any better for everyone!

If Russia is Soviet Union, Russia wouldn’t have pulled its army out from Georgia (the West thought Russia is going to stay much longer than that!). Georgia houses the main gas pipelines (from the east) that supply much of Europe with natural gas. It could have easily occupied Georgia hence holding Europe by its bollocks. Where else can Europe depend for fuel when US has made sure that Europe treats Iran (world 2nd largest oil and gas supplier after Saudi Arabia) as en enemy, imposing trade restrictions? George Bush personally went down to Saudi Arabia to persuade them to increase their oil production in the past but failed miserably, the terms of persuasion was so childish I couldn’t believe the president of United States actually sounded like a beggar! He is no Ronald Reagan who somehow managed to persuade Saudi to triple oil output in 1980s.

Iran and Russia have the perfect symbiosis. The West (mainly Europe) can’t confront Russia too severely because they have already pissed off Iran too badly and they need the Russians! The Russians know it. Iran will not bow down to Western pressure because they owe Russia a favour for vetoing against UN intervention into obstructing Iran’s nuclear ambition (may it be for better or for worse).

US influence is waning due to Bush’s mismanagement. He leads the country into too many oxymoronic strategic disadvantages, struck by weakening dollar worsening the bargaining power of US. Bush (lacking foresight) even had to back down on its harsh ‘threats’ on China’s economic practices, when China threatened to unleash a fraction of its $1.7 trillion foreign reserves, which can further weaken the dollar than it already is now if it is done.

Who is going to come out the loser if there is really a cold war that US seeks so badly? I will place my bets on US……

35 Responses to “Cold war? Russia, the new Soviet Union?”

  1. if we are to believe EVERYTHING that comes out from Western MSM especially those within NATO alliance! They are making Russia the villain of the Georgia and Russia war, but they are merely skimming the surface of Russia-Georgia relationship. In actual fact, the war started due to over-zealousness of Georgia to try to reintegrate South Ossetia into its administration.

    This is the conclusion you form if you believe Russian propaganda, which in truth the MSM parrots by claiming that Georgia started this. Georgia did not start it, see Michael Totten:

    The Truth About Russia in Georgia

    When Russia retaliates under the claim of ‘protecting Russian residents in South Ossetia’, the West starts making a hullabaloo

    What’s a “Russian resident” of South Ossetia? South Ossetia is (or was, anyway) a different country from Russia, and that country is (was) Georgia. Russia simply fomented strife there to try to splinter it off and take over. Are you using your brain? The Russia excuse is the exact same as that used by the Nazis to invade Sudetenland. How can you not see this?

    So who masterminds the anti-Russia sentiment?

    Nobody is “masterminding” anything. Some of us are using our brains, looking at the situation, and coming to the only reasonable conclusion, which is that Russia is in the wrong.

    Now, Russia isn’t US natural enemy, US is trying to make an enemy out of Russia. Heck, it is expanding NATO membership to Czech Republic and Poland, right to the door-steps of Russia when NATO should have been disbanded 2 decades ago!

    How does that “make an enemy of” Russia? NATO is a defensive alliance and Russia has absolutely diddly-squat to fear from NATO as long as Russia doesn’t attack anyone.

    The problem of course is that Russia wants to attack other countries at will.

    US is provoking Russia by making a Mickey out of Russia’s sovereignty.

    How does putting missile defense sites in OTHER COUNTRIES threaten Russia’s sovereignty? Does Russia OWN those other countries? She sure acts like she thinks she does. Do you agree with that imperialistic attitude of Russia?

    All these proxy battles are out of self-interest.

    Does that include Russia then? Will you at least admit that much?

    If Russia is Soviet Union, Russia wouldn’t have pulled out its army from Georgia

    Russia HASN’T pulled its army from Georgia. What makes you think she has?

    Georgia houses the main gas pipelines (from the east) that supply much of Europe with natural gas. It could have easily occupied Georgia hence holding Europe by its bollocks.

    That’s not so clear that they could have “easily” done this. In the event, Russia tried (and failed) to bomb the pipeline. No matter what you try to pretend here, energy markets are not and have never been far from Russia’s mind in all this.

  2. barbie said

    The whole article by this Michael Totten is based on his ‘theories’

    1) all the ethnic conflicts happened in Georgia are all evil Russian machination
    2) Ossetia started the war because she used kick ass weapons 1st

    This guy only interviewed a media spokesman employed by the Georgian government, an academic well known for his anti-Russian views, two wounded Georgian soldiers, and one wounded Georgian civilian.

    Then he conveniently ignored the fact that Saakashvili is a Georgian an ultranationalist, no better than Milosevic which promised to reunite Georgia and bring his separatist regions to heel, by force if necessary, whether the aggrieved ethnic groups liked it or not.

    My take: Neither side is innocent

    1. It was Saakashvili’s recklessness in advancing into South Ossetia, (well they have shelling each other for years but Georgia upped the ante by her sudden aggression), invaded and seized the breakaway separatist region of South Ossetia which prompted the Russian to response.
    2. The Russian response has, of course, been disproportionate and heavy-handed.

    For the sake of discussion, let’s have more sources to read🙂

    The War We Don’t Know
    This War Could Have Been Avoided

    This is interesting, obviously you are against Russian ‘imperialism’ but closed one eye on US imperialism🙂

    How does putting missile defense sites in OTHER COUNTRIES threaten Russia’s sovereignty? Does Russia OWN those other countries? She sure acts like she thinks she does. Do you agree with that imperialistic attitude of Russia?

    Let’s sidetrack, what is your take on Taiwan, North Korea and Iran especially in regards to US policies?🙂

  3. The whole article by this Michael Totten is based on his ‘theories’

    1) all the ethnic conflicts happened in Georgia are all evil Russian machination
    2) Ossetia started the war because she used kick ass weapons 1st

    You really don’t sound like you actually read the article with comprehension. Get me to me if/when you do.

    This guy only interviewed a media spokesman employed by the Georgian government, an academic well known for his anti-Russian views, two wounded Georgian soldiers, and one wounded Georgian civilian.

    Which part of what they said is false?

    My take: Neither side is innocent

    I agree that neither side is ‘innocent’. But this doesn’t mean they are equivalent, let alone that Russia is in the right and Georgia ‘started it’.

    1. It was Saakashvili’s recklessness in advancing into South Ossetia, (well they have shelling each other for years but Georgia upped the ante by her sudden aggression),

    Again, did you read the article? Georgian forces were trying to transit in order to intercept stop a Russian column that was advancing.

    I guess they don’t have the right to do that. In their own country. They don’t have the right to try to stop a Russian invasion. Russia has the right to invade whoever they want, and anyone who moves to try to stop them, ‘started the war’.

    I really don’t know whether to laugh or to cry. This sort of propaganda sounds like it’s being made up on the fly by a 9 year old child and yet vast numbers of impressionable, ideological, (or??) folks in the West lap it up like a dog at a bowl.

    This is interesting, obviously you are against Russian ‘imperialism’ but closed one eye on US imperialism🙂

    You have no basis for saying I’ve “closed one eye” against anything. I haven’t brought up or mentioned US acts, policies, positions, or ‘imperialism’ either way, one way or the other. It’s just that my interest here is in discussing the Russian action against Georgia, nothing more.

    [I asked how defensive missile sites threaten Russia’s “sovereignty”] Let’s sidetrack, what is your take on Taiwan, North Korea and Iran especially in regards to US policies?🙂

    I asked a straightforward question. Why do you want to sidetrack? Is it because you have no good answer?

  4. barbie said

    You really don’t sound like you actually read the article with comprehension. Get me to me if/when you do.

    Which part of what they said is false?

    When writing an article dealing with a conflict that has three participants, it is good to talk to more than just one of them.

    What I was trying to say is, Totten’s article offers a pretty offers a pretty one sided view. I quote from the article:

    And for the first time since the war finished in 1992, they are using 120mm guns.

    “That was the formal start of the war,” he said. “Because of the peace agreement they had, nobody was allowed to have guns bigger than 80mm.

    Oh? Really? I find that a little bit stretching the definition of ‘war’.

    Again, did you read the article? Georgian forces were trying to transit in order to intercept stop a Russian column that was advancing

    The Russians sent an armored column into Ossetia – so what? Big deal. They have military bases in Ossetia. How many armored columns have they sent into Ossetia in the past 12 months? Why is this armored column so special?

    Heck we are not even sure on what time on the Russian move into South Ossetia. All we have are reports saying the Defense Minister received calls reported sighting of Russian units were passing through the tunnel.

    The Georgian claim is that their 7 August lunge northward from the Gori area to Tskhinvali was an effort to reach 15 km north of the city to that bridge, before the Russians Army force got to it. The bridge was damaged by Georgian airstrikes and paratroopers, but not enough to prevent the Russians from securing it and crossing it.

    Why the Georgian forces would assault Tskhinvali proper with Grad rockets, artillery, and tanks, and then occupy the city–rather than rushing north to that bridge then?

    The fact remains that Tottens sources are wildly partial and shouldn’t be taken as gospel truth. As it stands now, the report is just that, a report of one sides version of the story.

  5. And for the first time since the war finished in 1992, they are using 120mm guns.

    “That was the formal start of the war,” he said. “Because of the peace agreement they had, nobody was allowed to have guns bigger than 80mm.

    Oh? Really? So that justified the actions taken by the Georgians as response to that?

    Well, wait. I don’t claim to be an expert on that peace agreement, but if the peace agreement said ‘no guns bigger than 80mm’, and Side A starts using 120mm guns, and Side B responds, then: who violated the peace agreement? This is pretty simple logic. Is it hard for you?

    The Russians sent an armored column into Ossetia – so what? Big deal.

    South Ossetia is (or, was) a part of a different country from Russia. Do you understand this or don’t you? I realize, Russia doesn’t…

    Big deal. They have military bases in Ossetia. How many armored columns have they sent into Ossetia in the past 12 months? Why is this armored column so special?

    It was an invasion force. Look what happened. Is this really so hard to understand?

    Anyhow, I still don’t understand this idea that the Georgian government is supposed to sit idly by while Russia pours soldiers in at will, and you say “so what”. Georgia says they had to respond to that at some point or another, but when they do, you call them the aggressor. The conclusion seems to be that Russia has a God-given right to invade other countries. All they have to do is send their soldiers in slowly enough to make people like you say “so what??”. Then any attack on those Russian soldiers will be considered “starting a war”.

    How did Russia get the rules to be so rigged in her favor? No other country gets to play by these rules.

    Heck we are not even sure on what time on the Russian move into South Ossetia. All we have are reports saying the Defense Minister received calls reported sighting of Russian units were passing through the tunnel.

    Ok, fine, but the claim is: Georgia’s motive and intent was to stop that column that they thought was coming. Maybe they were wrong and/or got bad info as you say (i.e. make up out of thin air). But even if so this still puts the lie to YOUR claim that their intent was to “retake Ossetia”. That’s the point.

    Why the Georgian forces would assault Tskhinvali proper with Grad rockets, artillery, and tanks, and then occupy the city–rather than rushing north to that bridge then?

    Maybe because there was resistance there in the town trying to prevent them from proceeding. You know…”warfare”.

    The fact remains that Tottens sources are wildly partial and shouldn’t be taken as gospel truth.

    Okay, fine, not gospel truth. I take them with a grain of salt and have an open mind to contrary information (note: I have not seen any). However, the Russian side of the story is so bogus and reeks of amateurish propaganda to such a high degree that I was seeing through it from day one. There’s just no comparison here.

  6. anonymous said

    Are you believing the propaganda spouted from the western MSM? Georgia killed 1000 Russians in Georgia, shot 2 Russian airplanes, injured and killed 16 Russian peacekeepers and wasn’t reported on the WMSM. This is just another territorial war for pipelines.

  7. Madame said

    Jingo, darling! Thank you for sharing your perceptions on the current Georgia n Russia crisis🙂

    No one is ever innocent in such conflicts. What info we have been able to get so far are very much tainted by Western perceptions, by this I mean mainly the US of A and in part a little from Sarkozy, who I think has become George W’s fave lap dog😀

    Is is right for the US to intervene by sending in warships? Nope! These warships are not just carrying humanitarian assistance BUT they are also carrying weapons!!! Is this correct, I ask?

    I watched the live coverage of the DNC this morn, and guess what?! The Georgian crisis issue is another ‘matter’ for presidential candidates to score points off each other. Is this correct, I ask?

    Russia has been guilty of using heavy-handed tactics, I agree but do you think that Georgia has been any less innocent? Definitely not! Just bcoz Georgia ‘lacks’ the military might of Russia or is a much smaller and poorer country….it doesnt not make it any less guilty!!!!

    Thanks, guys for the diverse perceptions on this topic. I do enjoy a lively debate🙂

  8. barbie said

    Well, wait. I don’t claim to be an expert on that peace agreement, but if the peace agreement said ‘no guns bigger than 80mm’, and Side A starts using 120mm guns, and Side B responds, then: who violated the peace agreement? This is pretty simple logic. Is it hard for you?

    I only read about this in Totten’s article, do you have any other sources to verify that?

    “South Ossetia is (or, was) a part of a different country from Russia. Do you understand this or don’t you? I realize, Russia doesn’t…

    It was an invasion force. Look what happened. Is this really so hard to understand?”

    Look, you are saying the Russians provoked the war 1st by sending their tanks down the Roki tunnel and Georgia responded to that (moved their tanks to Tskhinvali) This is unconfirmed, a classic your words against mine, there are reports saying Russian advanced into Ossetia because Georgia moved their tanks up to Tskhinvali 1st. Who is telling the truth?

    Georgia’s action of provoking Russia, bordering on suicide mission comes a highly suspect to me, if it was just solely based on the reason of ‘guarding their sovereignty’.

    As I said, on what basis this armored column so special that it was treated as ‘invasion force’? Like I said they already have an army base in Ossetia, what makes Georgia thinks it was an invasion force?

    Remember right before Georgia invaded the territory, he called for a unilateral cease-fire in an attempt to roll through Tskhinvali unopposed.

    Well, of course it is easy for look at it chronologically as ‘Russia move troop into place, make Ossetian provoke a response from Georgia, then invade on the pretense of rescuing Ossetian and in the process taking chunks on Georgia territory.’ Convenient, and believable since Russian is the ‘big guy’ bullying small guy.

    Anyone has the chronological of events leading to the war? Everything seems sketchy at the moment, so to conclude Russia started the war just because of what Totten wrote, I think is a bit of stretching the ‘truth’ too far.

  9. mesoso said

    mesoso having severe headaches reading this article…
    :&

  10. missjolie said

    The West is at it again. Or should I say the US. Russia is now on watch because according to the West, the end of the cold war meant that major powers/players will no longer dictate to their neighbours how to handle their affairs!! (eyes roll) That’s why, Russia’s invasion of Georgia is/was so potentially ominious to the West. The West now has to show Russia that it won’t tolerate any of their attemps to reassert control over Georgia or any of the rest of the former Soviet Union.

    It is obviously US’ wish that the former Soviet Union will remain just that, former. Clearly, unity of Russia and it’s former states is NOT in the economic and political interest of the US. Putin and his gang at the Kremlin actually have a plan on controlling the former Soviet territories. Evidently, the issue here is more about nationalistic pride for Putin and he made it pretty clear with his declaration that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was ‘the greatest geopolitical disaster of the 20th century.’

    The US may go on about the moral challenges posed in the Russia-Georgia conflict but we all know it’s pointing towards geostrategic challenges. An independent Georgia would be critical because it will determine the international flow of OIL!

  11. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Sonic charmer, thank you for leaving comments to my article. I will get back to you after I finish my day and after I start reading and digesting all these comments while I was away sleeping. Cheers!

  12. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Before I forget, thank you Madame and Missjolie for the comments as well. Will duly consider your comments as well without a doubt. :D:D

  13. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Sonic Charmer,

    At the end of the day, it is the argument of how reliable your source is and how reliable my sources are. Up until now, you have quoted your source almost entirely from Totten. If you are really only relying on just one source to shape your view, it is not a bipartisan view as you pompously champion yourself to be by being patronising to the rest. If you want a better overview, read articles by Katrina van den Heuvel or Mark Ames from the Nation (an American paper). The Independent (British) is very much more bipartisan as well, and they have many good columnists covering the affair. So think again if you think I am influenced by Russian propaganda! My sources have more credibility as they are neither affiliated to Russia or Georgia unless you can provide me with evidence that the Kremlin spies are working in these media outlets.

    Quote: How does putting missile defense sites in OTHER COUNTRIES threaten Russia’s sovereignty? Does Russia OWN those other countries? She sure acts like she thinks she does. Do you agree with that imperialistic attitude of Russia?

    Let me ask you a question, what makes this so different from the 1960s Cuban missile crisis? Does Cuba (bordering America) having a missile/missiles, not threaten the sovereignty of America? Does America own Cuba? Mind you, I never say that Russia is an angel did I? My whole point about this article is that the West can do better to diffuse the threat of looming cold war rather than biasly pinning the blame entirely on Russia (which from the sound of it, you too).

    Russia has handed over the town of Gori back to Georgia. If Russia really wanted to expand through military force, why did it bother to return the town of Gori back to Georgia?

    Quote: That’s not so clear that they could have “easily” done this. In the event, Russia tried (and failed) to bomb the pipeline. No matter what you try to pretend here, energy markets are not and have never been far from Russia’s mind in all this.

    Do you mind giving us evidence that bombing the pipeline is not as easy as it seems? If bombing is that hard, Russia could have easily station its forces there to protect a horde of tractors to dig up and sabotage the gas pipelines! But Russia didn’t. I never say Russia does not have in mind to control strategic oil services. In my opinion, Russia understands the trade warfare that would result if they are to sabotage the pipelines, and this trade warfare is not going to benefit Russia and Europe especially when oil prices are so high. Europe probably has more to lose since it is a net importer of fuel. Russia is not stupid enough to try and risk a trade warfare, but some nations from NATO on the underhand, especially the States fail to understand the significance of trade warfare to global economy. Its continuous belligerent foreign policies towards Russia is adding on to the risk to an all-out trade warfare, especially in the face of global recession!!!

    Quote: How does that “make an enemy of” Russia? NATO is a defensive alliance and Russia has absolutely diddly-squat to fear from NATO as long as Russia doesn’t attack anyone.

    Really? NATO is a 100% defensive alliance? Why then did NATO attack Serbia? Serbia was just minding its own business like Georgia in its own internal affair……

    Quote: What’s a “Russian resident” of South Ossetia? South Ossetia is (or was, anyway) a different country from Russia, and that country is (was) Georgia. Russia simply fomented strife there to try to splinter it off and take over. Are you using your brain? The Russia excuse is the exact same as that used by the Nazis to invade Sudetenland. How can you not see this?

    If really trying to splinter country off and take over being equated to Nazis, then historically speaking the States have a better track record in splintering countries. Its involvement through the CIA in ousting a democratically elected President Mossadeq of Iran in 1952/1953, or the States’ involvement in Bolivia to fund renegade separatist faction against a democratically elected Bolivian government. The States which has a track record all the way from the early 1950s, comparing to the new Russia’s tainted history which can only be traced back to early 2000s?

    The truth is US still think itself as the world’s ultimate superpower in an increasingly globalised and multipolar world. It is merely using cold war rhetoric to try to retain its worldwide hegemony in the process forgetting that soft power sometimes can help solve problems global problems ……

  14. Madame said

    Jingo,

    Drooling…swooning….ahhhhh😀😀

  15. wahh.. this is such a burning topic.

    I love Maria Sharapova = I love russia. Enough said.

    ps: no brainer comment. really intensed talk here.

  16. anonymous writes

    Are you believing the propaganda spouted from the western MSM?

    I don’t understand this point. Most Western MSM I read is squarely on the ‘Georgia started it’ side and parrots Russian propaganda verbatim. So, of course the answer is no: I don’t believe the propaganda spouted from the Western MSM because it is virtually a conduit for propaganda spouted from Pravda.

    Georgia killed 1000 Russians in Georgia,

    Evidently you are the one believing in propaganda. This number has zero basis. Also, wasn’t the official number supposed to be 2000? What happened to that number? Answer: Kremlin has revised their propaganda downward.

    Also, let’s pretend the number is correct; who were these “1000 Russians in Georgia” that you speak of? Why were they there?

    This is just another territorial war for pipelines.

    Bingo. There goes the noble Russian claims of trying to protect the “South Ossetians” they supposedly care so much about.

    Madame asks,

    Is is right for the US to intervene by sending in warships? Nope! These warships are not just carrying humanitarian assistance BUT they are also carrying weapons!!! Is this correct, I ask?

    What sort of ships should be used? Cruise ships? If you want humanitarian assistance to arrive, the US military is pretty much the only entity capable of such an operation. Maybe you don’t want humanitarian assistance to be given to the Georgians.

    As for the warfighting potential, well sure. And those ships may act as a safety valve causing Russia to think twice before trying to drive further into Georgia, take more ports (they already occupy the main port of Georgia), or take the capital. Again, maybe you think this is a bad idea because you like/don’t mind idea of Russia taking over Georgia. Well some people think otherwise.

    The Georgian crisis issue is another ‘matter’ for presidential candidates to score points off each other. Is this correct, I ask?

    Huh??? Why wouldn’t it be. These two men are auditioning for the role of chief executive and commander-in-chief of the U.S.’s armed forces. Why on earth wouldn’t they be asked their opinion about an important geopolitical event? Why on earth shouldn’t they be judged on their answers? Strange.

    Russia has been guilty of using heavy-handed tactics, I agree but do you think that Georgia has been any less innocent [sic]?

    assuming you meant “less guilty” there, Yes. From all that I have read and seen: yes.

    Just bcoz Georgia ‘lacks’ the military might of Russia or is a much smaller and poorer country….it doesnt not make it any less guilty!!!!

    No, what makes them less guilty are their actions vs. Russia’s actions. Duh

    Question: who invaded whom? How many Georgian troops are in Russia? How many Georgian tanks are in Russia? How many Georgian checkpoints are in Russia? How many Russian towns does Georgia occupy?

    These are not trick questions.

    barbie


    This is unconfirmed, a classic your words against mine, there are reports saying Russian advanced into Ossetia because Georgia moved their tanks up to Tskhinvali 1st. Who is telling the truth?

    Fair enough, okay so let’s agree that these reports are unconfirmed and that it is difficult to unravel the truth. Why, then, do you all assume that the Russian version of events is correct and merits any less skepticism than the Georgian version? Somehow the Russian version is the ‘default’ whereas the Georgian version gets endless questions and doubts and ‘do you have more sources??’ attached to it. Why?

    The blogger above said flat-out that Georgia started it – no critical thinking, no doubts, no ‘hey maybe the sources are biased’, just: Georgia started it. Why the asymmetry? Especially in a case where it’s not exactly a secret who invaded whom?

    Georgia’s action of provoking Russia, bordering on suicide mission

    Source? What are you sources? Give me your sources! Who is telling the truth?

    I’m just playing by your rules.

    Well, of course it is easy for look at it chronologically as ‘Russia move troop into place, make Ossetian provoke a response from Georgia, then invade on the pretense of rescuing Ossetian and in the process taking chunks on Georgia territory.’

    Indeed it is. It’s very easy. That’s one reason why it’s the most rational explanation.

    I suppose you prefer to look at thinks unchronologically? Georgian traveled forward in time and attacked the Russians later, thus Georgia started it?

    Everything seems sketchy at the moment, so to conclude Russia started the war just because of what Totten wrote, I think is a bit of stretching the ‘truth’ too far.

    Again, all I ask is that you be consistent then: if everything is so sketchy at the moment, don’t go around claiming definitively that Georgia started it just because of what (someone else) wrote. Ok?

    jingo,

    At the end of the day, it is the argument of how reliable your source is and how reliable my sources are.

    A fair enough point. See my comments above to barbie: this is a razor that cuts both ways. If ‘my sources’ merit so much doubt and skepticism, then so do yours.

    Particularly since the ‘facts’ we were presented – at least in the first week or so of the conflict – seem to mirror precisely what you can find in non-independent Russian outlets such as Pravda.

    Up until now, you have quoted your source almost entirely from Totten. If you are really only relying on just one source to shape your view, it is not a bipartisan view as you pompously champion yourself to be

    I never ‘championed’ my view to be ‘bipartisan’ whatever that means. I am interested in truth vs. falsehood, and right vs. wrong. In that sense I am the opposite of ‘bipartisan’. I feel no moral compunction to be ‘bipartisan’ because an aggressor and the aggressed.

    If you want a better overview, read articles by Katrina van den Heuvel or Mark Ames from the Nation

    This may come as a shock to you but I trust the reporting of Totten infinitely more than that of the likes of van den Heuvel.

    It’s like you said: this comes down to sources. You have yours and I have mine. Every potential flaw you think you can cite in my source is present in yours. Yet for some reason you think your interpretation of events is the null hypothesis that must be disproved. No. Your interpretation of events is every bit as potentially colored by flawed sources as mine is.

    My sources have more credibility as they are neither affiliated to Russia or Georgia unless you can provide me with evidence that the Kremlin spies are working in these media outlets.

    My claim would not be that Kremlin spies ‘work in’ those outlets but rather that they have not taken as skeptical a view of the Kremlin line as a responsible reporter should.

    For the first few days after the war, we literally were spoonfed factoids that are practically verbatim what you can find in Russian outlets. For example: “Georgia killed 2000 Ossetian civilians” – how many times did we hear that number? Where did that number come from? Straight from Moscow.

    Has that number held up? No.

    [i asked how missiles in Poland violates Russia’s ‘sovereignty’] Let me ask you a question, what makes this so different from the 1960s Cuban missile crisis?

    Well um for starters, the missiles being placed in Cuba were not defensive missiles, they were nukes. The missiles being placed in Poland are defensive, and not nukes. I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to explain this to people. It’s as if Russia, and Russia’s defenders, don’t understand the concept of ‘defensive’.

    But to focus on the point, even if there were a valid comparison to the Cuban missile crisis, so what? Let’s even say that the U.S. was wrong to object to this missiles – would that make Russia right to object to these missiles? No. Arguments based on “the U.S. did it too!” are infantile and prove nothing.

    Finally, the U.S. objection to those missiles in Cuba – right or wrong – wasn’t based on claiming that it violated U.S. sovereignty. Again: you said that Russia had a legitimate concern about missiles in Poland threatening their “sovereignty”. Once again I must ask you how, because you have not given an answer.

    Russia has handed over the town of Gori back to Georgia. If Russia really wanted to expand through military force, why did it bother to return the town of Gori back to Georgia?

    I would imagine they don’t want to bite off more than they can chew at one time. There is a difference between what they want and what their military/supply lines are capable of holding. I suspect that Russia’s pretty happy with just banking the gains she’s already made and now is trying to quit/freeze in place the new status quo while (she thinks) she’s ahead.

    Do you mind giving us evidence that bombing the pipeline is not as easy as it seems?

    Well, they tried and failed. So it may or may not be ‘easy’ but evidently it was beyond their capability at this juncture. What’s your point exactly?

    I never say Russia does not have in mind to control strategic oil services.

    Good. Neither do I.

    Its continuous belligerent foreign policies towards Russia is adding on to the risk to an all-out trade warfare, especially in the face of global recession!!!

    Great point. We should just stand idly by and let Russia continually invade whomever she wants. Wouldn’t want any trade warfare to occur!

    If really trying to splinter country off and take over being equated to Nazis,

    I didn’t ‘equate it to the Nazis’. I just pointed out the obvious parallel regarding the method.

    [more childish ‘the U.S. did it too’ argumentation deleted]

    forgetting that soft power sometimes can help solve problems global problems ……

    Yeah, “soft power”, that’s the ticket. That’s really gonna work. If there’s one thing the likes of Putin respect it’s “soft power”. Maybe we should ask them nicely to play nice. Write them a letter telling them how hurt our feelings are.

    *rolls eyes*

  17. barbie said

    Fair enough, okay so let’s agree that these reports are unconfirmed and that it is difficult to unravel the truth. Why, then, do you all assume that the Russian version of events is correct and merits any less skepticism than the Georgian version? Somehow the Russian version is the ‘default’ whereas the Georgian version gets endless questions and doubts and ‘do you have more sources??’ attached to it. Why?

    The blogger above said flat-out that Georgia started it – no critical thinking, no doubts, no ‘hey maybe the sources are biased’, just: Georgia started it. Why the asymmetry? Especially in a case where it’s not exactly a secret who invaded whom?

    This argument of who started the war will never end, I foresee. Your argument of ‘Russia invaded Georgia’ based what again? Russia is bigger than Georgia? They moved their troops 1st, and Georgia responded to that? Fine we agree to disagree. You stick with your version Georgia started the war, I stick with mine.

    Source? What are you sources? Give me your sources! Who is telling the truth?

    I’m just playing by your rules.

    Indeed it is. It’s very easy. That’s one reason why it’s the most rational explanation.

    I suppose you prefer to look at thinks unchronologically? Georgian traveled forward in time and attacked the Russians later, thus Georgia started it?

    Most rational explanation? How about this for rational explanation.

    The war on Southern Ossetia was not meant to be won, leading to the restoration of Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia. It was intended to destabilize the region while also triggering a US-NATO confrontation with Russia. Georgia’s military buildup over the past years tell you this. Georgia is a just a pawn, a proxy war. If such a reason as argued above isn’t its main purpose, then it was asinine for the Georgians to have attacked Ossetia like this without strong backing. Hence the ‘suicide mission’ remark in my previous comment. What forces that drive them to attack Ossetia?

    Are you saying with her own military capabilities, Georgia would attack Ossetia, knowing very well Russia would response to that?

    My bet is of course is on the US. This is a proxy war. US ‘command’ the Georgians to attack Ossetia, provoking Russia.

    Georgians have been fully armed and controlled by the US and probably Israel, with full intelligence available to them 24/7. The Georgian leadership is handpicked US puppets, a well known fact.

    Now, the fact that the Russians had anticipated the assault by Georgia and were already in formation close to the borders because of which they were able to retaliate so quickly, was played to the world as ‘Russia advanced to invade Georgia’. Question arised, with such good intelligence helped by the Americans and Isralies, Georgia would know this fact for sure, so why still attack Ossetia? Why the Georgians went ahead attacking when they could trivially predict this hard likely response by the Russians? What motivates them?

    Rational explanation, it’s something bigger and more complex than ‘restoration of Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia’.

    Now let’s take a lot at the American side.

    Supported by media propaganda, the Western military alliance is intent on using this incident to confront Russia, as evidenced by recent NATO statements. The consistent Western mainstream news reportage over the past week which has entirely blamed Russia for the conflict in the face. (I do not get you actually when you said MSM general stance is Georgia started the war, when they actually blaming the Russians, consistently.)

    I quote from Russia destroying military bases in Georgia’ article.

    “While US military aircraft and warships are being sent to the region to deliver aid, and Miss Rice is due to visit the Georgian capital Tblisi on Friday, the presence of US soldiers in Georgia is also intended to send a strong signal to Russia of Washington’s support for the government of President Mikheil Saakashvili.

    The bolded “presence of US soldiers in Georgia” in the present tense, must logically imply such presence to have commenced from before the Georgian attack on Ossetia, since the United States proclaims to have only sent in relief supplies in its two plane loads and no military aid.

    Just three weeks before Georgia’s attack on Ossetia, Reuters reported “U.S. troops start training exercise in Georgia”. I quote:

    “One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighbouring Russia”.

    Pretty explanatory don’t you think? What were the Americans doing in Georgia?

    Next, why would the Americans deliberately antagonize the Russians by ferrying Georgian soldiers from Iraq back to the Georgian frontlines so that they can contribute to Russian and Ossetian casualties? That’s quite a needless and futile overt act of war directly by the United States against Russia – for what can an additional 2000 soldiers possibly accomplish against a modern Russian army which has a declared first-strike use of nuclear weapons as its well-publicized self-defense doctrine even in conventional precision warfare?

    This move by the Americans can only be understood rationally if the purpose is to further provoke Russia. This ferrying idea might have sounded really awesome for adding fuel to the fire already lighted. Perhaps the Russians can be coerced into shooting down a couple of those ferry boats. Proxy wars are wonderful.

    Conclusion: It was a trap set for the Russians to behave exactly as they did.

    Again, all I ask is that you be consistent then: if everything is so sketchy at the moment, don’t go around claiming definitively that Georgia started it just because of what (someone else) wrote. Ok?

    Wait, who is claiming definitely that Russian started it first, just because of what Totten’s wrote again?

  18. Your argument of ‘Russia invaded Georgia’ based what again? Russia is bigger than Georgia? They moved their troops 1st, and Georgia responded to that?

    No, not because Russia is bigger than Georgia. Because Russian troops invaded Georgia. This is a known and documented fact in the public record. I’m puzzled that you would even cast doubt on it. If Russian troops weren’t in Georgia we wouldn’t even be talking about this.

    If such an reason as argued above isn’t its main purpose, then it was asinine for the Georgians to have attacked Ossetia like this without strong backing.

    The argument being made (in, e.g. the Totten article) is that Georgia didn’t ‘attack Ossetia’ per se, they were trying to head off the Russian force buildup. You can dispute that argument if you want but at least try to keep straight what your opponents are saying.

    My bet is of course is on the US. This is a proxy war. US ‘command’ the Georgians to attack Ossetia, provoking Russia.

    You have zero-point-zero evidence to back this up. This is hilarious. At least I give links. For some reason your side of the argument is allowed to just make stuff like this up out of thin air, while simultaneously telling the other side that their sources are biased so they can be ignored.

    Now, the fact that the Russians had anticipated the assault by Georgia and were already in formation close to the borders because of which they were able to retaliate so quickly, was played to the world as ‘Russia advanced to invade Georgia’.

    Well duh. But of course you’re going to tell me the Real Explanation.

    Why the Georgians went ahead attacking when they could trivially predict this hard likely response by the Russians? What motivates them?

    The Georgian position is that the Russians were slowly but surely tightening their grip, moving troops and materiel into position, and had a continued policy of fomenting separatism until a breaking point. Thus, once the shelling started, the Georgian position is that they *had* to fight back against this Russian policy sooner or later, even knowing they had little chance of actually defeating the Russians. The only alternative was just to sit there and let Russia de facto invade while claiming that’s not what they were doing – like a frog not noticing he’s being slowly boiled because the temperature is increasing too slowly.

    Again: You can dispute this position if you want, but at least try to understand their actual position before you go making stuff up.

    The bolded “presence of US soldiers in Georgia” in the present tense, must logically imply such presence to have commenced from before the Georgian attack on Ossetia,

    Your Telegraph link doesn’t work for me. Anyway, it’s not any sort of secret that the US had personnel in Georgia training their armed forces. Georgia is a US ally. Your point?

    Second, I don’t know where you get the idea that the current presence of US soldiers in Georgia the article apparently refers to means they must all have been there before. It wouldn’t and doesn’t take that long for them to get to Georgia. August 6th was three weeks ago. It’s been all over the news that US ships have moved to Georgia. For some reason you put 2 and 2 together and come up with 37, implying that it’s not possible that any more US soldiers the article talks about got there via these means, after the fighting, in the intervening time.

    So of course you make up a theory of your own based on zero evidence, which of course is far more reliable than news reporting from independent journalist Michael Totten.

    Pretty explanatory don’t you think? What were the Americans doing in Georgia?

    Americans have been in Georgia in some presence or another for a long time now, training the Georgian army, like I said. Georgia in return has sent soldiers to Iraq to help the US endeavor. None of this is news, this is not a secret, everyone knows this, and there is nothing mysterious about it. Don’t let that prevent your imagination from running wild, of course.

    Next, why would the Americans deliberately antagonize the Russians by ferrying Georgian soldiers from Iraq back to the Georgian frontlines so that they can contribute to Russian and Ossetian casualties?

    “deliberately ferrying”? The only reason those Georgians were in Iraq in the first place was to help the US. You see, Georgia is an ally of the United States at present. Ever heard the term “ally”? Look it up.

    So, when Georgia’s government expressed a need (as I’m sure they did) for their soldiers to be recalled home, I imagine we gladly obliged, as allies would. What exactly is the problem? Should the US have said “NO, you cannot go home Georgians, you must stay in Iraq”?

    That’s quite a needless and futile overt act of war directly by the United States against Russia –

    Um, if you really want to go down this path: by attacking a US ally, Russia is the one who could be interpreted as committing an overt act of war against the United States. Just for your information.

    Conclusion: It was a trap set for the Russians to behave exactly as they did.

    You know what I love? I love how, when the US acts badly, it’s the US’s fault, AND when OTHER countries act badly, it’s ALSO the US’s fault. It takes real genius critical-thinking minds to see the world this way.

    Wait, who is claiming definitely that Russian started it first, just because of what Totten’s wrote again?

    I have looked at all the information available to me thus far and formed a judgment that in all likelihood, Russia started this hostility. Of course I could be wrong and my mind is open so if you have some actual information to the contrary, kindly let me know. (I haven’t seen any reason to change my mind thus far and I’ve been challenging Russia’s defenders to come up with anything everywhere I go, with no results.)

    Meanwhile, on what basis, proof, or evidence have you come to the opposite conclusion? Because Russia says so, of course. That’s what it boils down to. Russia says ‘it happened like this’ and that is the version of events that was splashed in our media and which you are basing your entire opinion on.

  19. barbie said

    Because Russian troops invaded Georgia.

    South Ossetia is an autonomy state, although not recognised by Georgia. Ossetia alligned herself to Russia. Georgia attacked Ossetia, Russian poured in not to invade Georgia. Why Georgia attack Ossetia again? Oh, they were trying to head off the Russian force buildup. I got you.

    You have zero-point-zero evidence to back this up.

    I back it up with events happening before and after the war. The links are working now, you can check it for yourself. The way I look it it, it is a proxy war, with US using Georgia to provoke Russia. US actions tell much of it.

    Of course I know Georgia is US ally, thanks for telling anyway. I already stated my point, for what can an additional 2000 soldiers possibly accomplish sent back from Iraq against the Russians if not to deliberately antagonize the Russians.

    I was relating the presence of Americans as written in the Telegraph article, to Reuters’s report. It was an official indirect confirmation of more than just the already known American and Israeli military advisors and military trainers being present in Georgia, which then Reuters had confirmed this presence in the article I posted.

    3 weeks before Georgia attack Ossetia, US troops start training exercise. Coincidence?

    The “two-week long” exercise”, named “Immediate Response 2008”, ended just one week before Georgia’s attack. Coincidence again?

    On what basis? US past actions, of course. It all bear the signs of another proxy war.

    You know what I love? It is funny how US always manage to somehow to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, many times especially on the pretense of ‘restoration of sovereignty’ and in the name of ‘democracy’. Couldn’t help but to take a jibe at US. Sorry.

  20. Madame said

    Sonic Charmer,

    Hey….I think I hv been pretty respectful in my opinions to the current crisis. I would appreciate if you could do the same, pls. I dont appreciate the word “Duh” and all its implications. Debates are healthy and are a great way to gain knowledge n share perceptions. Also, kindly refrain from putting words in my mouth and from presuming to know what I like or dislike. That is not nice!

    Nowhere did I imply that the US should hv sent cruise ships. However, humanitarian aid war ships being used to bring in weapons is plain WRONG!!! There is nothin humanitarian abt weapons, I believe🙂 Is it wrong for the current presidential candidates to politicise this issue? YES, it is!

    Btw, did u watch the interview with Putin and Mathew Chance last nite?

    Cheers!🙂

  21. missjolie said

    “You know what I love? I love how, when the US acts badly, it’s the US’s fault, AND when OTHER countries act badly, it’s ALSO the US’s fault. It takes real genius critical-thinking minds to see the world this way”

    It doesn’t take real genius critical-thinking minds to see the world this way. it takes an independent mind that hasn’t been brainwashed by US/West controlled media. Haven’t you heard of a thing called an opinion? This blog is about personal opinions. You have yours and we have ours. Learn to accept an opinion that is different from yours and we’d appreciate it if you not write in such a condescending tone. Who died and made you Walter Cronkite anyways?

  22. barbie

    South Ossetia is an autonomy state, although not recognised by Georgia.

    No, South Ossetia is not an autonomous state. It was recognized by no one else until Russia’s recognition 3 days ago. It is not merely ‘Georgia’ who doesn’t recognize their autonomy, it is ‘everyone except Russia’.

    More to the point, Russian troops didn’t stay in South Ossetia. They are in Georgia proper and this was my claim.

    The way I look it it, it is a proxy war, with US using Georgia to provoke Russia.

    But you have zero-point-zero evidence that either (1) the US wanted or encouraged Georgia to use military force or (2) Georgia is responsible for ‘provoking Russia’ into conflict rather than the other way around. I understand that this is “the way you look at it”, it’s just that the way you look at it is baseless and made-up.

    I already stated my point, for what can an additional 2000 soldiers possibly accomplish sent back from Iraq against the Russians if not to deliberately antagonize the Russians.

    Georgia wanted them to return. They had been invaded and their best soldiers were abroad. Is this really so difficult to understand? For crying out loud.

    3 weeks before Georgia attack Ossetia, US troops start training exercise. Coincidence?

    Right before Russia attacked Georgia, Russian troops start training exercise. Coincidence?

    On what basis? US past actions, of course. It all bear the signs of another proxy war.

    US “past actions” prove 0.0 regarding what are the details of this particular situation. This is not a real argument. Again, it’s funny that I get accused of using dubious or biased sources while meanwhile you are allowed to make stuff up and create arguments based on “past actions” + zero actual evidence.

    Madame

    However, humanitarian aid war ships being used to bring in weapons is plain WRONG!!!

    Then I ask again: how were we supposed to get the aid there?

    Is it wrong for the current presidential candidates to politicise this issue? YES, it is!

    Well, I disagree. This is a relevant issue to any prospective President, and their position on it/reaction to it has bearing on how/whether they will fulfill the job description.

    Missjolie

    It doesn’t take real genius critical-thinking minds to see the world this way. it takes an independent mind

    It takes an ‘independent mind’ to uniformly jerk one’s knee and blame the US for all bad things done by everyone else regardless of the details. Got it.

  23. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Sonic charmer said ”””A fair enough point. See my comments above to barbie: this is a razor that cuts both ways. If ‘my sources’ merit so much doubt and skepticism, then so do yours. ””’

    LOL, correction mate, you obviously pick out the parts you like to listen conveniently ignore the rest. Your Totten source is from Georgia, my source came from The Nation (American) and The Independent (British). I am amused that you conveniently ignore that your Georgian source might have vested interest that reduces its credibility, don’t you agree with me? Vested interested in your source is what I am trying to highlight.

    Sonic Charmer said ””’I never ‘championed’ my view to be ‘bipartisan’ whatever that means. I am interested in truth vs. falsehood, and right vs. wrong. In that sense I am the opposite of ‘bipartisan’. I feel no moral compunction to be ‘bipartisan’ because an aggressor and the aggressed.””’

    Again, I am challenging you to present facts that The Independent and The Nation are depending on Russia for favours, which you failed again for the second time. Interested in truth? Try to discredit the two papers then. I am sure if you have already known more truth than us about this whole affair, you can easily bombard us with facts that my two sources have vested interest while yours have none.

    Sonic Charmer ””’Okay, fine, not gospel truth. I take them with a grain of salt and have an open mind to contrary information (note: I have not seen any). However, the Russian side of the story is so bogus and reeks of amateurish propaganda to such a high degree that I was seeing through it from day one. There’s just no comparison here.””’

    I am still waiting for your answer that The Nation and The Independent are amateurish propaganda and bogus. Then we can compare.🙂

    Sonic Charmer said””’Well um for starters, the missiles being placed in Cuba were not defensive missiles, they were nukes. The missiles being placed in Poland are defensive, and not nukes. I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to explain this to people. It’s as if Russia, and Russia’s defenders, don’t understand the concept of ‘defensive’.””’

    What evidence do you have that defensive missiles can’t be used as offensive projectile in Poland then? By the way, I guess you said nothing about NATO, that means you agree with me then that NATO IS NO LONGER A DEFENSIVE ALLIANCE?

    Shonic CHarmer””’Finally, the U.S. objection to those missiles in Cuba – right or wrong – wasn’t based on claiming that it violated U.S. sovereignty. Again: you said that Russia had a legitimate concern about missiles in Poland threatening their “sovereignty”. Once again I must ask you how, because you have not given an answer.””’

    You fail to see the anology I am trying to point out. Let’s make it simpler for you to understand. Would you like to live beside a weapon making factory? Using your ‘logic’, I think you feel perfectly safe to live beside a factory since they are not making weapons inside your house. If you feel happy to stay close to a nuclear reactor or a weapon’s factory, then I must admit Russia is being paranoid and should seek your consel how to live without fear with a nuclear reactor or factory next to your house. 

    Sonic Charmer””’I would imagine they don’t want to bite off more than they can chew at one time.””’

    But then you mentioned

    Sonic Charmer””’Great point. We should just stand idly by and let Russia continually invade whomever she wants. Wouldn’t want any trade warfare to occur!””’

    One minute, you IMAGINED(????? Great intelectual capacity there to imagine mate! And you accused barbie of imagining stuff, the case of pot calling the kettle black I see) that Russia doesn’t want to bite off more than they can chew, next thing, you claim that she wants to invade other nations as well. Did you just shoot yourself in the foot? You are trying to tell me Russia does not have the military MIGHT to hold on to Gori, yet she wants to continue her outwards expansion to other nations. Hmmmmmm……

    Sonic Charmer””’I didn’t ‘equate it to the Nazis’. I just pointed out the obvious parallel regarding the method.
    [more childish ‘the U.S. did it too’ argumentation deleted]””’

    Yes indeed, I can also say that I didn’t compare Russia with US, I was just trying to draw a parallel regarding their splintering methods.😀 Don’t you agree with me that they seem eerily similar?🙂 And the hyperpower US has gone unchecked since the collapse of the Soviet Union?

    Sonic Charmer””’Maybe because there was resistance there in the town trying to prevent them from proceeding. You know…”warfare”.””’

    You base your conclusion and judgement on MAYBE?! With no justification or evidence at all, you seem to endorse the killing of civians in Tskhinvali proper…And you say we are not using our brains……

    Sonic Charmer””’“deliberately ferrying”? The only reason those Georgians were in Iraq in the first place was to help the US. You see, Georgia is an ally of the United States at present. Ever heard the term “ally”? Look it up.””’

    Ally? Really? Georgia should be wary of her ally. If only Georgia knows that the US betrays Singapore as an ally in 1961 trying to bribe the then prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew…… Hey mate, you are disillusioned. Maybe you should be the one looking up the term ally.

    Sonic Charmer””’Um, if you really want to go down this path: by attacking a US ally, Russia is the one who could be interpreted as committing an overt act of war against the United States. Just for your information.””’

    Hmm, who started the hostility…… United States are the one who first attacked Russia’s ‘ally’, Serbia, using NATO which leads up to this event……

    By the way, aid can be sent in using normal ships not warships. You must be crazy to be willing to risk world war 3, without trying to conduct a dialogue, first. By then you really do need tissue diplomacy after nuclear fall-out.

  24. missjolie said

    That’s a very ‘astute and profound’ observation/statement by the way. LOL…. Can you be any more FANATICAL than you already are? “…US blamed for all bad things done by everyone else…” Oh REALLY?! Why didn’t I realise that before? That’s what CNN, FOX, ABC, CBS reports! Got it. I will in future, ONLY tune in to these news broadcasts for the DETAILS!😉

    It’s obvious you’re a fervent supporter of the US through thick and thin. You can continue with your fantasies about the US being ‘blamed for all the bad things done by everyone else’. I’ll watch and laugh at a distance. You’re entertaining. Really you are!😉

  25. Your Totten source is from Georgia, my source came from The Nation (American) and The Independent (British).

    You are confusing the issue of sources and reporters. In both our cases the reporters are Westerners. It is their sources who are open to question. There are biases and vested interests on both sides. Where does Katherine van den Heuvel get her info?

    Again, I am challenging you to present facts that The Independent and The Nation are depending on Russia for favours,

    My claim is not that they ‘depend on Russia for favors’ whatever that means. My claim is that Western outlets such as these have been printing the Russian line without due diligence or sufficient fact-checking.

    What evidence do you have that defensive missiles can’t be used as offensive projectile in Poland then?

    They detonate in high atmosphere. They do not carry nuclear payload. Here is a funny interview with a Poland spokeswoman on the subject: “All military specialists know perfectly well that the rockets that would be placed in Poland are active in very high parts of the atmosphere, near the outer space. Those rockets are designed only to intercept long-range missiles that fly at such high altitudes. Besides, the rockets that would be installed in Poland are too small to carry nuclear warheads.”

    By the way, I guess you said nothing about NATO, that means you agree with me then that NATO IS NO LONGER A DEFENSIVE ALLIANCE?

    No, I disagree. There is 0.0% chance that “NATO” would be used to launch an offensive against Russia, unless Russia were to attack someone first. The real problem is not that NATO is ever likely to “attack Russia”, it’s that Russia wants the freedom to attack neighbors first without retaliation, evidently.

    Using your ‘logic’, I think you feel perfectly safe to live beside a factory since they are not making weapons inside your house.

    A better analogy is: what if my neighbors were putting up fences and bulletproof glass? Would I start complaining “hey, that bulletproof glass [missile shield] is aimed against me” and “by putting up fences [expanding NATO], you are encircling me”?

    If I did, my neighbors would probably decide I am a dangerous lunatic who wishes to attack them – and rightly so.

    You are trying to tell me Russia does not have the military MIGHT to hold on to Gori, yet she wants to continue her outwards expansion to other nations.

    Where is the contradiction between my saying there can be a difference between: 1. what she wants to do sooner or later, and 2. what she is militarily and diplomatically capable of getting away with at the moment?

    Ally? Really? Georgia should be wary of her ally.

    Sadly, I agree. Georgia has helped the US and we don’t seem to have helped Georgia very much. Georgians are pro-US, meanwhile many Americans are too eager to blame Georgia for this conflict and swallow the Russian line hook, line, and sinker. You are right, Georgian hasn’t benefitted all that much from being a US ally, and that’s sad.

    Hmm, who started the hostility

    Russia. You think otherwise?

    What is your source?

    Russia?

    By the way, aid can be sent in using normal ships not warships.

    It ‘can’ be but this is about timeframes and logistics. Do you think the Georgians should have to wait another month so that you don’t have to see scary warships?

  26. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Bravo to you. That is the way you should present your argument without using condescence. I will get back to you tomorrow. have a nice day.

  27. Madame said

    Sonic Charmer,

    I still disagree with you on the war-ships and the politicising of the issue by the US presidential candidates….but I guess at the end of the day, you are entitled to your own opinion as I am to mine. So let’s just agree to disagree on this😉 I like your most recent arguement….much better🙂

    Btw, interesting blog you have there😉

    U have a good one🙂

  28. Let’s not go overboard people…I still wasn’t that nice😉

  29. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    Quote: You are confusing the issue of sources and reporters. In both our cases the reporters are Westerners. It is their sources who are open to question. There are biases and vested interests on both sides. Where does Katherine van den Heuvel get her info?

    Quote: My claim is not that they ‘depend on Russia for favors’ whatever that means. My claim is that Western outlets such as these have been printing the Russian line without due diligence or sufficient fact-checking.

    Mark Ames has a more comprehensive article dating to the massacre of Ossetian by the Georgians in 1920s. Of course you can claim where does Mark Ames get his info from……That is an answer that will allude me and you, not just in this affair but in many other news we are exposed due to journalism standard of protecting anonymity of the sources if required. Is Michael Totten an on-site field journalist? The person he interviewed was Patrick Worms who was working for the Georgian government. The other person he interviewed was Thomas Goltz, he works in THE STATES for the University of Montana. Non of the person he interviewed was from Russia or pro-Russian countries. Why the bias? Why only present one side of the event? Isn’t that dodgy? The information is still based on opinions of these two professionals.

    The dissatisfaction the Independent and the Nation have is not about finding the source of the blame game, both believe Russia holds part of the blame anyway. Their main objective and dissatisfaction is the way the significant West spearheaded by US still stick to cold war politics employing less than defensive NATO to encircle Russia.

    Quote: They detonate in high atmosphere. They do not carry nuclear payload. Here is a funny interview with a Poland spokeswoman on the subject: “All military specialists know perfectly well that the rockets that would be placed in Poland are active in very high parts of the atmosphere, near the outer space. Those rockets are designed only to intercept long-range missiles that fly at such high altitudes. Besides, the rockets that would be installed in Poland are too small to carry nuclear warheads.”

    True, but it also reduces the chance for Russia to launch a counter-attack on US if US decided to attack Russia. It is foolish for Russia to put itself in a strategic disadvantage especially when US has been hostile in the past before with other smaller nations. Russia has a right to be worried to be in a strategic disadvantage. Imagine if Russia is trying to do the same thing what US has done, but only now, in Canada and Mexico. Will you be happy? Anyway, the supposedly defensive missiles are theoretical and haven’t been tested, its effectiveness is a big question mark. The untested missiles can ‘accidentally’ bomb unintended targets…… How many times have we heard of high tech laser guided missiles heating the wrong target even after years of practical application?

    Quote: No, I disagree. There is 0.0% chance that “NATO” would be used to launch an offensive against Russia, unless Russia were to attack someone first. The real problem is not that NATO is ever likely to “attack Russia”, it’s that Russia wants the freedom to attack neighbors first without retaliation, evidently.

    That is a bit bold to say NATO has 0% chance of attacking Russia considering what NATO has attacked Serbia. I have mentioned this THREE times. And THREE times, you have avoided and ignored this…… It is not about Russia wanting to attack her neighbours without retaliation, it is about telling the US to stop threatening and cornering Russia.

    Quote: A better analogy is: what if my neighbors were putting up fences and bulletproof glass? Would I start complaining “hey, that bulletproof glass [missile shield] is aimed against me” and “by putting up fences [expanding NATO], you are encircling me”?

    Pardon me for being repetitive, this is the 4th time I am saying NATO is not defensive as can be evidently seen in Kosovo (Serbia). Next time you come back again to me about NATO, explain this. Otherwise there is no point arguing with you if you only take what you want to hear and ignore the parts which you don’t like.

    Hmm, who started the hostility
    Quote: Russia. You think otherwise?
    Quote: What is your source?
    Quote: Russia?

    Hey mate, again you ignore my latter part of the sentence, let me bring it back to your attention, what I said was ‘United States are the one who first attacked Russia’s ‘ally’, Serbia, using NATO which leads up to this event……’

    Quote: It ‘can’ be but this is about timeframes and logistics. Do you think the Georgians should have to wait another month so that you don’t have to see scary warships?

    The warships do not have to be placed at Georgian waters, being so close to Russia. The ships can be stationed farther away on the opposite end of the Black Sea or in Turkish waters. It is good enough a warning for Russia. Why risk making Russia jumpy and agitated? Yes the US may not defend Georgia in time if Russia suddenly decides to ‘annihilate’ Georgia, but it is an unfortunate risk that had to be taken in an effort to try to reduce the risk of a nuclear war-fare for the sake of the world.

    I say ‘Do you mind giving us evidence that bombing the pipeline is not as easy as it seems?
    You say ‘Well, they tried and failed. So it may or may not be ‘easy’ but evidently it was beyond their capability at this juncture. What’s your point exactly?’

    So what is preventing Russia from using a horde of tractor to dig the pipes up and sabotage them? Enlighten me about their incapability to do it.

    Quote: Yeah, “soft power”, that’s the ticket. That’s really gonna work. If there’s one thing the likes of Putin respect it’s “soft power”. Maybe we should ask them nicely to play nice. Write them a letter telling them how hurt our feelings are.

    Let me give you an example of how soft power works rather than your interpretation writing a letter to convey the feelings of hurt.

    Ronald Reagan (Republican) understood that Soviet Union was financially strained from investing too much in military expenditure. He understood that Soviet Union would collapse if he could hurt Soviet Union’s income from oil export. He managed to persuade Saudia Arabia to triple its oil production which sends oil price plunging. Soviet Union was starved of its income, speeding its collapse.

    Now, this is what I call soft power. Not the one wielded by Bush. It is effective, no missiles were traded, no prisoners were taken, no one died. Do you think Ronald Reagan used the wrong approach? You have a better solution to that?  Two Republican presidents, two very different outcomes, a food for thought maybe?

    Many of us don’t here don’t blame the US for everything but that doesn’t mean we could critisize some of her practices especially under Bush administration.

  30. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    By the way sonic, if you want people to respect the US. You as a patriotic US citizen which I am sure you are🙂 should be setting a good example to the rest of the world by being courteous, lest not some others see this and think otherwise.😀

  31. Is Michael Totten an on-site field journalist? The person he interviewed was Patrick Worms who was working for the Georgian government. The other person he interviewed was Thomas Goltz, he works in THE STATES for the University of Montana. Non of the person he interviewed was from Russia or pro-Russian countries.

    Michael Totten is in Georgia at the moment. He travelled there at the outset of hostilities. So, yes, he is an on-site field journalist.

    I am sure that if/when he gets the opportunity he will interview people from Russia if they are willing to talk to him. What makes you think he wouldn’t? The problem is, 1. will any Russian spokesmen talk to him?, and 2. when Russian spokesmen try to state their case and defend what Russia has done, they sound like idiots.

    Now sure, the Totten article is open to the charge that the people he interviewed are biased and therefore feeding him false information. Again, this is true of all such articles. The fascinating question is why the pro-Georgian side seems to be held to a higher standard than the pro-Russian side, whose claims – no matter how stupid they sound – are essentially parroted and greeted without a hint of skepticism amongst a large fraction of West. Especially amongst people who USUALLY like to pride themselves on their skepticism of government claims – i.e., the Western left.

    The information is still based on opinions of these two professionals.

    Not exactly. If you read that article closely there were several other people he interviewed in it besides those two.

    [defensive missiles] True, but it also reduces the chance for Russia to launch a counter-attack on US if US decided to attack Russia.

    But the US is never going to “decide to attack Russia” out of the blue. This is crazy and paranoid talk. Anyway, you have conceded my point about the missiles themselves being defensive. Notice how you’ve had to back away from the original insinuations, that having ABM in Poland somehow violated “Russian sovereignty” and was a “threat to Russia”. Now you’re not even saying they’re a threat to Russia at all, you’re just saying they reduce the whole “MAD” logic, which (even if true) is a different claim altogether.

    It is foolish for Russia to put itself in a strategic disadvantage …

    Heh. See, now you’re admitting flat out that this is about raw, amoral strategic positioning.

    Imagine if Russia is trying to do the same thing what US has done, but only now, in Canada and Mexico. Will you be happy?

    If Russia were to form a defensive alliance with Canada and/or Mexico? I doubt I would be happy, but I hope I would recognize those nations’ sovereignty and right to enter into defensive alliances. If it were limited to alliances, basing rights, etc and other similar endeavors that DO NOT INVOLVE ATTACKING US, then I certainly hope I wouldn’t support a flimsily-pretexted invasion and ethnic-cleansing over it.

    Anyway, the supposedly defensive missiles are theoretical and haven’t been tested, its effectiveness is a big question mark. The untested missiles can ‘accidentally’ bomb unintended targets…… How many times have we heard of high tech laser guided missiles heating the wrong target even after years of practical application?

    This is what Russia is worried about, this is why they protest the Poland installations? Realllly? A broken missile accidentally falling down on one of their towns from Poland? I don’t believe this for a second. I doubt you do either.

    That is a bit bold to say NATO has 0% chance of attacking Russia considering what NATO has attacked Serbia.

    I don’t think it’s bold. I place the odds at 0%. If you place them at higher than 0%, tell me where you place them, state a time-limit, and I’ll be happy to place a bet with you. Go ahead, make a market.

    It is not about Russia wanting to attack her neighbours without retaliation, it is about telling the US to stop threatening and cornering Russia.

    I believe it IS about Russia wanting to attack her neighbors without retaliation. You said yourself that this is about strategic positioning. Russia’s ongoing project is to strategically position herself to monopolize energy markets as much as possible. This is obvious to all observers and they barely try to keep it a secret.

    And again, the US is neither “threatening” nor “cornering” Russia. Nothing the US is doing “threatens” Russia in any way except for the fact that she is paranoid. thought experiment: Suppose Russia didn’t attack anyone outside of her borders. Would there be any hostility?

    Hey mate, again you ignore my latter part of the sentence, let me bring it back to your attention, what I said was ‘United States are the one who first attacked Russia’s ‘ally’, Serbia, using NATO which leads up to this event……’

    That was a different conflict. I thought we were talking about Russia-Georgia. If you want to discuss the late-90s Serbia affair instead I invite you to pursue that conversation with someone who is interested. Write a new blog post and start a separate comments thread on it if you wish.

    Why risk making Russia jumpy and agitated?

    Why must Russia be so easy to make “jumpy and agitated” over the slightest thing? Why can’t she find a leadership composed of sane grownups instead of trigger-happy KGB creeps?

    Yes the US may not defend Georgia in time if Russia suddenly decides to ‘annihilate’ Georgia, but it is an unfortunate risk that had to be taken

    No it doesn’t have to be taken. It’s very interesting that you are so willing and eager to throw Georgians overboard, referring to the prospect of their annihilation as an ‘unfortunate risk that [has] to be taken’. Not all of us share your opinion of Russia’s neighbors as disposable, as their property to dispose of as they well, because it’s a ‘risk that has to be taken’.

    So what is preventing Russia from using a horde of tractor to dig the pipes up and sabotage them? Enlighten me about their incapability to do it.

    I don’t know where Russian troops are in relation to the pipeline. My impression was that it is farther south than where they have advanced. If that’s not true let me know & I’ll be interested to see sources.

    Now, this is what I call soft power. Not the one wielded by Bush. It is effective, no missiles were traded, no prisoners were taken, no one died.

    Plenty of missiles were traded and plenty of people died in various proxy wars, including during the 1980s, as I’m sure you’ll recall if you give it a moment’s thought.

    Anyway, I’m all for a ‘soft power’ solution to the current crisis if there is one available to us. What exactly is your proposal?

    By the way sonic, if you want people to respect the US. You as a patriotic US citizen which I am sure you are🙂 should be setting a good example to the rest of the world by being courteous, lest not some others see this and think otherwise.😀

    The typical audience of my comments in a comments section such as this are already predisposed not to respect the US and to blame it even for the actions of others, and so my view is, there is nothing I can do to change that.

    Moreover, my impression is that a sizable fraction of the people who tend to be attracted to, for example, the pro-Russian side of this affair aren’t really motivated by any genuine interest in (let alone knowledge of) what’s going on in Georgia in the first place – they just want to bash Bush because they hate Bush, and they observe that Bush seems to be pro-Georgian THEREFORE they take the Russian side, and all their energy in the argument is devoted to bashing the US administration they dislike which is really the only thing they’re ever interested in doing in the first place. I do not respect such people in the first place.

  32. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    This is my conclusion,

    What I am saying is that the missile technology hasn’t been tested. Whether it is merely a defensive weapon is up for questioning. LASER guided missiles have many times hit the wrong targets in the past. A Chinese embassy in Serbia was ‘accidentally bombed’. The defensive missiles has a potential for fatal error of becoming ‘unexpected’ offensive projectile.

    The war in Serbia with NATO, does have implications on the present event. I wouldn’t repeat myself here again.

    Nope. I know these people. Many of them are not pre-disposed not to respect US. We respect Bill Clinton, eventhough I might question some of his ethical practices with NATO, he has still done well for US. And I have a great deal of respect and sentimentality for Jimmy Carter who has done exceedingly well in his humanitarian effort.

    Russia has its fair share of mistakes like declaring South Ossetia and Abhakzia as independent states.

    Bush admin has drag the world into Afghanistan and Iraq mess. It is only logical for me to question his admin approach in Georgia……

    I will let the audience decide whose side is more convincing in their arguments.

    Ciao

  33. jingoisticbuthornydesperado said

    and I mean not missiles traded, i mean missiles were not use for any bombing purposes.

  34. Whether missiles are or are not defensive is not ‘up for questioning’, it is a matter of their construction and function. These missiles detonate in high atmosphere and do not carry nukes. And even if a ‘broken’ defensive missile were to accidentally fall and cause kinetic damage on the ground, that wouldn’t make it an ‘offensive missile’. You can’t launch an offensive attack via the method of launching defensive missiles and hope they accidentally malfunction and accidentally hit a populated or strategic area. Nobody really believes these are offensive missiles by the way. The Russians certainly don’t and I doubt you really do either. This is just their rhetoric designed to bully/propagandize us into obeying their will.

    Re: Serbia, again, discuss with someone who is interested. As a general rule let me just note that even if the U.S. was wrong to bomb Serbia that doesn’t make it ok for Russia to invade Georgia. This is the ‘we did it too’ argument and it doesn’t really work.

    Re: missiles during the Cold War, still unclear what your point is. Nicaragua, Afghanistan, Libya, Iran-Iraq…not always ‘missiles’ per se but plenty of killing was going around.

    My point re: Bush/domestic politics is that a lot of commentators on the Russia-Georgia affair seem motivated primarily by a desire to use it as a bludgeon against the Bush administration. Genuine interest in the Georgia situation does not appear to be widespread. It’s one thing to have valid criticisms of the Bush administration, it’s another to hate Bush so much that one looks at a Russian invasion and ethnic cleansing, towns being burned and hundreds killed, and thinks only one thing:

    “Excellent, another thing I can use to criticize President Bush! Let me log in to my blog!”

    Too many bloggers & commenters I am seeing appear to fit this description. Far too many.

  35. Abracadabra said

    Sonic, You are headstrong aren’t you, He was referring to Serbia’s incident to highlight NATO is not defensive alliance. He was not comparing American atrocities with the Russian atrocities. I would kindly advise you to think before going all emotional again about ‘defensive’ NATO.😀

    Don’t get too uptight. What can bloggers do to change the course of event? Nothing anyway. So let’s be Bobby McFerrin, Don’t Worry, Be Happy.😀

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