In all indications, the skirmish in the Caucasus has developed into a long-running, hard-line situation.
The US rigged a plan to pull at scabs, scratch open old sores and have accomplished the feat.
Decider George will launch his vice president, Dufus Dick Cheney, to a few countries next week (within minutes of giving the lead-off speech at the RNC next Monday — Labor Day, who would want to see that sonofabitch on TV instead of outside at the BBQ — Dufus Dick will depart eastbound to Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine with a small sidebar in Italy) to rub salt in a wound and ratchet up the already increasingly ominous chatter between Russia and the US.
After Russian President Dimitri Medvedev granted Czar-reality status to Azerbaijan and South Ossetia earlier this week, he tried a little blowback on the US and cited how the Russkies would stand up to the West.
Especially throwing the ‘Hearts and Minds’ catastrophe in Afghanistan.
The Russians are after the US at the UN.
This from Reuters via Wire Dispatch:
- The Russian delegation has drafted a statement, seen by Reuters, that would say the council’s 15 member states are “seriously concerned” about the U.S.-led coalition attacks Aug. 22, which the U.N. mission in Afghanistan says it believes left 90 civilians dead, most of them children.
Russia and the United States are permanent members of the council with veto power, along with France, Britain and China.
The draft statement, which several diplomats said had no chance of getting the unanimous backing it would need for approval, also says council members “deplore” the fact that this has happened before in Afghanistan.
“I think the Russians want to divert attention from Georgia and annoy the Americans,” said one diplomat on the sidelines of a council session on unrelated matters.
The US disputes the report that 90 civilians — two-thirds of them children — were killed in US-led air strikes Friday in the western Afghan province of Herat.
Twenty-five militants and five civilians were killed, the US says.
No matter — the incident brings forth finger pointing by the Russians at the UN.
Also at that august body on Thursday, UN reps from the US and Russia exchanged Cold War-like insults against each other.
- U.S. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff told the meeting it was a violation of the U.N. charter for member states to use force against others, or threaten to use it, and suggested that Moscow’s claims to be protecting Russian citizens in Georgia’s South Ossetia region were a sham.
Russia’s U.N. envoy, Vitaly Churkin, suggested Wolff’s statement was hypocritical and referred to the U.S.-led March 2003 invasion of Iraq, which Moscow strongly opposed.
“I would like to ask the distinguished representative of the United States — weapons of mass destruction. Have you found them yet in Iraq or are you still looking for them?”
And where in the Wide World War On Terror is Dufus Dick?
In the Caucasus, of course, stirring the coals.
Just prior to Georgia’s onslaught earlier this month against South Ossetia, Dufus Dick’s gopher, Joe Wood, visited the country, and although the White House denied it, must have soften up pulp President Mikhail Saakashvili.
This pseudo-good/smart guy Saakashvili leered out his Tbilisi window, ordered South Ossetia shit bombed into ruin — in the middle of the night, mind you — and then was freaked at Russia’s hard-driving response.
All part of the program: Sorry, Mikhail, see ya, wouldn’t wanna be ya.
Piotr Dutkiewicz, former director of the Institute of European, Russian and Eurasian Studies at Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada, wrote a seemingly-right-on commentary in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail touching the real heartbeat of what happened in Georgia — an ugly game against the Russian bear — which in turn has made the world much-more pants-shitting scary.
A couple snippets:
- Some critics have pointed to the conflict in Georgia as another example of botched Bush administration foreign policy.
But, in fact, America’s real strategy was brilliantly executed, and it achieved exactly the intended outcome. Unfortunately, it’s not an outcome that makes the world a safer place.
This was a carefully developed and magnificently executed strategy.
But it fails to recognize how important it is to have Russia inside the community of nations.
Russia has more neighbours than any other country in the world, and many of those neighbours are nations we need to engage.
The world is not a safer place without Russian involvement in the containment of nuclear proliferation. In fact, Russia plays a critical role in maintaining a dialogue with countries such as Iran that have nuclear ambitions.
And Russia is an essential energy supplier to Europe, even if Europe’s long-term desire is to diminish its dependency.
Russia’s help also is essential in the war on terror.
The U.S. simply cannot go it alone. But now Washington says Russian ships are no longer welcome to take part in the counterterrorism and non-proliferation operation in the Mediterranean.
That helps no one.
Incisive military/political writer (and ex-military guy) Jeff Huber also came up with a similar view of the clouded, nastiness in Georgia.
- It’s so hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys in these post-modern times, isn’t it?
Here, one second, you’re thinking Russia is being a bully to Georgia until you stop and think that Georgia was being a bully to South Ossetia and Abkhazia until the Russians stepped in and set things right, kind of like we did for Kuwait in Gulf War I.
And don’t you just wonder who told Georgia Peach Mikhail Saakashvili that we’d back him if he goaded Russian into invading him?
According to the BBC, a couple of days after ‘Georgia Peach’ (We like that name) Mikhail’s invasion started to backtrack, Dufus Dick telephoned him with a message that Russia’s so-called “disproportionate” counter-attack (Decider George’s rejoinder) “must not go unanswered.”
Included in the story:
- The BBC’s Justin Webb in Washington says Dick Cheney’s telephone call appears to have been an effort to send a message not just of solidarity but also of readiness for action.
And then Vladimir Putin, the Russian version of Dufus Dick, slapped at the US Thursday, claiming Decider George fashioned the Georgian war to help Jackboot John McCain in his ‘tarded run for the White House.
From the New York Times:
- â€œThe suspicion would arise that someone in the United States created this conflict on purpose to stir up the situation and to create an advantage for one of the candidates in the competitive race for the presidency in the United States,â€ Mr. Putin said in an interview with CNN.
He added, â€œThey needed a small victorious war.â€
â€œEven during the cold war, during the time of tough confrontation between the Soviet Union and the United States, we have always avoided direct clashes between our civilians, let alone our servicemen,â€ Mr. Putin said. â€œWe have serious reasons to believe that directly, in the combat zone, citizens of the United States were present.â€
â€œIf the facts are confirmed,â€ he added, â€œthat United States citizens were present in the combat zone, that means only one thing â€” that they could be there only on the direct instruction of their leadership. And if this is so, then it means that American citizens are in the combat zone, performing their duties, and they can only do that following a direct order from their leader, and not on their own initiative.â€
And the White House responded:
- In Washington, the White House spokeswoman, Dana M. Perino, dismissed Mr. Putinâ€™s remarks.
â€œTo suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate just sounds not rational,â€ she said.
She added, â€œIt also sounds like his defense officials who said they believe this to be true are giving him really bad advice.â€
Dana don’t or won’t comprehend “not rational” also includes her boss and all the underlings gushing with near-eight-years worth of “really bad advice.”
And the Times story continues:
- A senior Russian defense official, Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, said at a news conference in Moscow on Thursday that Russian forces had found a United States passport in a ruined building near Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia.
The position, he said, had been occupied by Georgian Interior Ministry forces.
General Nogovitsyn said the passport was in the name of Michael Lee White of Texas, but gave no information on whether Russians believed that he was a member of the United States military.
The United States Embassy in Georgia told The Associated Press that it had no information on the matter.
And the sign post up ahead: The Twilight Zone.
Nukes vs nukes vs nukes.