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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus > South Ossetian Conflict

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South Ossetian Conflict Discuss the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

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  #1  
Old 15 Aug 08, 20:43
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Will the West convince itself Russia needs invading again?”

I had originally posted this on the Gulf War forum under the title “After the ME will the West convince itself Russia needs invading again?”

However with developments in Georgia recently I feel it may be better suited to this forum about the South Ossetian conflict. I’m not sure if the moderator will delete the one on the Gulf War forum?
How does that work by the way? I mean if you have a post starter which may be suitable for two forums?

Anyway to get to my point, here’s a slightly modified version of my original question:

“And before the usual crowd piles in about another lodestar wind-up this is a serious question!
I’m not talking about this year or the next but in the medium to long-term future.
Already some posters here have expressed the old fears of a re-assertive or ‘threatening’ Russian state.


And if posters on this site are starting to do it you can bet your runners some geo-strategists in waiting are starting to mull over the same ideas. Given the way the imbecilic ‘neo-cons’ were able to manoeuvre themselves into positions of influence over the current incumbent. I'm sure a future Prez is gonna come under the influence of someone similar who'll lay the groundwork for some kind of 'action' against the ‘Russian threat’.

Contrary to popular misconceptions it’s USUALLY the west going east with armies bent on hostile intent not the other way around (hey look I don’t care if this upsets your preconceived ideas about the Russians, this is a history forum and popular misconceptions are here to be torn down I’m just surprised people don’t do it more regularly).

It is often and might I add conveniently forgotten that Russia has repeatedly been invaded (often under the guise of pre-emptive strikes, ‘interventions’ or some other euphemistic term militarists are so fond of), but has never started an aggressive war into Europe proper (I’ll decide how that is defined when I’m good ‘n ready!).

They off course fought necessary wars in Europe proper:

They fought their way to and occupied Paris in 1814 after a long defensive war (and then invited a English army which had not done the fighting to conquer the city to join the occupation, very generous I thought) and fought their way into Berlin and Vienna in 1945 after a long and staggeringly costly defensive war (and once again invited an Anglo-American army which had not done the fighting to conquer those cities to join the occupation, very generous once again).

On the other hand Russia has been invaded time after time by the ‘West’:
by the Teutonic Knights in the middle ages,
by the Poles at various times in the C11th to C17th,
by Sweden in 1707,
by Napoleon in 1812,
by the French, English and Sardinians (never did trust them sardine munchers)) in 1854,
by the Germans again in 1917,
by the Entente Powers including the USA and Japanduring the wars of intervention in 1919 and 1920 and
by Hitler’s Germans and their ‘western’ (Italian Rumania, Hungary, Slovak, etc) jackals again in 1941.

Yet somehow, despite all of the above, it always ‘us’ fearing ‘them’ and of course eventually some western statesman concludes the situation is intolerable, the ‘threat’ or potential threat too grave and embarks on another ‘it’s now or never’, ‘we’re the good guys so it’s okay’, perfectly understandable ‘defensive’ invasion of Russia.

As the incomparable British historian AJP Taylor put it: ‘Statesmen often invade Russia’ (nobody but nobody could turn a phrase like the great AJP still the master some 17 years after his death). He also said in an essay entitled ‘Can we agree with the Russians?’:

“But the Russians do not distinguish between the Germans and the French, the British and the Americans.
For them we are all simply men of Western civilization, with our higher standard of life, with our superior machines and weapons, and with our refusal to treat the Russians as equals. …..
Thus, while doing nothing to weaken Western strength, our diplomacy should always be on watch to lessen Russian fears and Russian suspicions.
It is a great nuisance that Russia should exist at all; but since she does, it is up to us who are not driven mad by fear and suspicion to treat her seriously.
Many Russian fears are groundless; we can do nothing to meet them. Some however, have a basis in history and even a crazy rationality.”

Each time the Russians have had to drawn upon the reserves of national character, strength and endurance to defeat these aggressors and either send them and their minions to hell (Teutonic knights, Napoleon, Hitler), fight them to a standstill (Poles), obtained a peace which has halted further western aggression (Crimean War), or outlasted the invaders (1919-20).

So given all of this and the old adage that ‘a leopard does not change its spots’, is the West (the leopard in this case of course) inching towards military ‘intervention’ directly in Russia for the umpteenth time?

Now don’t get me wrong, I basically admire and like the ‘West’ as such it’s just that its people can often easily be misled by willful and disreputable leaders and causes.

Oh, and how do I define the West?
That is of course something I will do at leisure and at a time that pleases me - nothing like keeping your options open, I should go into politics.
I will at this stage however say that it does include the Sardinians.

When lodestar does not post many peoples’ lives feel desolate and empty.
When lodestar posts many people find a fresh reason to go on living.
Over the years this has become known as ‘THE WAY OF LODESTAR’
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  #2  
Old 15 Aug 08, 21:42
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No.

You could have just posted a link perhaps?
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  #3  
Old 15 Aug 08, 21:50
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Ummm...nope. The "neo-cons" ,as you refer to them,would rather use the threat of a resurgent aggressive Russia to build a stronger military and to justify large military budgets.
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Old 15 Aug 08, 21:54
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Not sure Georgia was gonna invade Russia, but hey, anything can happen in fantasy land.

& some of those "dates" are wrong
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  #5  
Old 15 Aug 08, 22:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
Contrary to popular misconceptions it’s USUALLY the west going east with armies bent on hostile intent not the other way around (hey look I don’t care if this upsets your preconceived ideas about the Russians, this is a history forum and popular misconceptions are here to be torn down I’m just surprised people don’t do it more regularly).
True enough, but its important to point out that Russia gave as good as it got. When it was invaded by the Swedish King Charles in the early 1700s, Russia was a part of a coalition of states that tried to take advantage of the young king (18 when the war began) only to find that he was quite the military leader. Despite the invasion, Peter the Great still managed to get what he wanted, a window on the Baltic. Russia was an ally of France when Napoleon turned on him (sound familiar). I can see how the Russians would see this as a double-cross of sorts but it could also be interpreted as a falling out among theives. Russian collaboration with France helped them acquire Finland after all. The Crimean War is a little vaguer. Britain and France did intervene on Turkey's behalf but they had a great-power type interest in keeping Russia from inflicting yet another defeat on Turkey. Russia's alliance with France and rivalry for influence in the Balkans with Austria-Hungary made them an inevitable enemy of Germany. The war didn't go quite as expected and the Czar lost his throne. The Bolesheviks thought is was a good idea to buy the Central Powers off with major territorial concessions so they could concentrate on building socialism in Russia. Of course they were quick to move into Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Georgia and the rest of the Czar's domains after the Armistice. From 1939-41 the USSR was in effect an undeclared co-belligerent of Germany. Not only did they connive in dismembering Poland, the went after Finland, annexed the Baltic states and modern Moldova from Romania. Collaboration with Germany was profitable for Stalin, until the Germans turned on him. Then Russians became "good guys" to the Anglo-American allies because they bled the Germans until D-Day. In this new guise they advanced to the Elbe and stayed there for over forty-five years (when did the last Russian troops withdraw from eastern Germany?). My point is that while Russia has experience invasions from the west, it was a natural consequence of the game it played. It was hardly a victim. It should also be noted that all the invaders mentioned failed in their ultimate goal of dominating Russia.
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Old 15 Aug 08, 22:37
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My point is that while Russia has experience invasions from the west, it was a natural consequence of the game it played. It was hardly a victim
I love this. You can say that about any war. This way invaided country had it coming, and invader did not mean it, but had no choice under the circumstances.
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Old 16 Aug 08, 01:10
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Originally Posted by Legate View Post
Ummm...nope. The "neo-cons" ,as you refer to them,would rather use the threat of a resurgent aggressive Russia to build a stronger military and to justify large military budgets.
Got to agree with that - post Iraq Russia will be very useful to certain parties
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Old 16 Aug 08, 01:35
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Originally Posted by lodestar View Post
On the other hand Russia has been invaded time after time by the ‘West’:
by the Teutonic Knights in the middle ages,
by the Poles at various times in the C11th to C17th,
by Sweden in 1707,
by Napoleon in 1812,
by the French, English and Sardinians (never did trust them sardine munchers)) in 1854,
by the Germans again in 1917,
by the Entente Powers including the USA and Japanduring the wars of intervention in 1919 and 1920 and
by Hitler’s Germans and their ‘western’ (Italian Rumania, Hungary, Slovak, etc) jackals again in 1941.
You forgot how Fredrick the great already at war with France and Austria ingeniously decided that now would be a good time to go to war with Catherine of Russia. Oh wait it was Russia that attacked Prussia as part of the coalition.

Let’s not forget that Russia started out as the Duchy of Moscow. I’m sure that all the rest of the land mass that consists of Russia today looked at that city and said “Wow that Romanoff guy he’s really on top of things we should subordinate ourselves to him forever”.
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Old 16 Aug 08, 22:37
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Just to compare. the following list is a list of wars US got involved in 20th and 21st centuries. Don't get me wrong, I am pretty sure there was a great reason for everyone of them

U.S. Intervention in Panamanian Revolution (1903)-The U.S. landed troops in Panama to prevent Columbia from crushing the separatist Panamanian government.

The Banana Wars (1909-1933)-A series of U.S. interventions in various Central American and Caribbean countries.

U.S. Occupation of Vera Cruz (1914)-The U.S. landed troops in Vera Cruz, Mexico.

Pershing's Raid into Mexico (1916-1917)-After Mexican rebel Pancho Villa attacked a U.S. town, General Pershing pursued him across the border.

Allied Intervention in Russian Civil War (1919-1921)-Also involved Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Poland and the Czech Legion against the new Bolshevik (Soviet Communist) government in Russia.

Korean War (1950-1953)-Also involved Britain, France, Turkey, and others against North Korea and China.

Intervention in Lebanon (1958)

Second Indochina War (1956-1975)

Vietnam War (1964-1973)--The "advisory" phase of U.S. involvement goes from 1956 to 1964, and then resumes from 1973 to 1975. The years 1964 to 1973 refer to the period of "official" combat deployment of U.S. forces in the war.

Cambodian Civil War (1970-1975)

Laotian Civil War (1960?-1975)

Dominican Intervention (1965-1966?)

Iranian Hostage Crisis (1979-1980)

Lebanese Intervention (1982-1984)

Grenada Invasion (1983)

First Persian Gulf War (1980-1988)-The U.S. gave logistical and intelligence information to Iraq in its war against Iran.

"Tanker War" (1987-1988)-The U.S. provided naval protection for Kuwaiti oil tankers in the Persian Gulf. This led to multiple clashes with the Iranian military.

Panama Invasion (1989)

Second Persian Gulf War (1991)

No-Fly Zone War (1991-2003)

Somalia Intervention (1992-1993)

Occupation of Haiti (1994-Present)

Bosnian War (1995)-The U.S. and NATO engaged in air strikes to force the Bosnian Serb forces to negotiate a peace agreement. Also known as Operation Deliberate Force. U.S. airpower contributed 65.9 percent of the NATO air sorties.

bin Laden's War (1998-Present) -Terrorist conflict between the United States and irregular forces led by Osama bin Laden. The violence has also involved Kenya, Tanzania, Sudan and Afghanistan.

Kosovo War (1999) --Links Page

The War in Afghanistan (2001-Present)

The Third Persian Gulf War : "Operation Iraqi Freedom" (2003)--The second major war between the United States-led coalition and the Middle Eastern nation of Iraq. Military members of the coalition also include the United Kingdom and Australia.

Intervention in Haiti (2004)--Intervention to prevent civil war/anarchy in Haiti following the Gonsalves Rebellion against the Haitian government.
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Old 16 Aug 08, 23:04
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Not another list
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Old 16 Aug 08, 23:19
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Quote:
Not another list
Agree, those things are long and boring, and clearly not interesting to look through.
Lets put it this way - if you would have to put your money on what country would invade somebody else first after, let say, next week - who would you put your money on?
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Old 17 Aug 08, 11:09
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Russia has certainly been attacked but presenting it as a defensive country is a falsification of history.It did attack and conquer too.
When russia tries to dominate eastern europe,that is an offensive action.
I do not fall for sob stories about poor russia.
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Old 17 Aug 08, 11:20
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I do not fall for sob stories about poor russia.
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Old 17 Aug 08, 12:46
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I do not fall for sob stories about poor russia.
what you basically saying is you gonna believe west propaganda no mater what.
There are a lot people in Russia would say the same about US - without thinking, without looking at facts, blindly believing to onesided media. It is like "I am brainwashed and happy about it"
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Old 17 Aug 08, 13:43
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That russia is not a poor defensiveminded country is a fact,not propaganda.
I will not fall for sobstories copied from communist propaganda during the cold war.I have heard it all before.
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