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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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  #31  
Old 04 Feb 09, 09:44
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Originally Posted by Exorcist View Post
Hold on a sec, Vlad.

Compare that to the US looking the other way or actively giving intel while Turkey invades or bombs the Kurdish region in Iraq.

A few Kurdish crazies were using Iraq for a staging area and making raids into Turkey. That was not just mean and foolish, it was an attack against a NATO country! What, you would have proffered that we helped the Kurds?
We played fair, and you want to rag on us for that too?

So the picture is clear. The US did that because Yugoslavia was not an ally, moreover it was more or less alligned with Russia. So Russia did the same to Georgia last year.

Right... but because it was aligned with Russia? What did that really mean in 1999, anyhow?

So, they have cruise missiles in Kaliningrad pointed at somewhere in Poland, just in case they those 10 anti-missiles, angry reporters leaning on Estonia, the Gas fiasco with Ukraine, and war on Georgia. Are they done? What new Blitz in being prepared for anyone who is committing the horrible sin of being friendly to the US?

What will Putin demand for all of eastern and central Europe, and central Asia, if they would rather avoid what happened to Georgia?
Kurdish crazies?

First, according to the rules the US imposes on others (admittedly the US does not always practice what it preaches), the Kurds have all the right in the world to carve out a homeland for themselves from Kurdish-inhabited territories in Iraq,Turkey and Iran.

I mean,the PKK is no worse than the KLA. The difference might be that in the eyes of the US there are degrees of equality, meaning that the sovereignty of Turkey is "more equal" than that of Serbia.

Second, the same same rationale of "alignment with a regional power viewed as sin" can be applied to Serbia. The whole deal with the Kosovo war was highly controversial,from the KLA's mafia and terrorist ties to the Racak incident to the violation of the sovereignty of a state.I mean, Serbia has been subject to an international arbitration akin to the Vienna Dictate.

The true motivation was the elimination of Serbia as a Russian bridgehead. Given that the US has actively undermined Ukraine and Georgia by funding the Color Revolutions, this not only supports the thesis that the US still fights the Cold War and seeks to brick-up Russia in its borders, but also justifies Russia's show of force as well.

To top it off,the Color Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia have not delivered in their grand promises. Neither Saakhasvili nor Yushchenko can truly call themselves "spearheads of democracy".

As for the whole gas row, you cannot pin it solely on Russia.The vested interests of gas barons both Ukrainian and Russian (with a little detour to Switzerland) makes for quite a Machiavellian read as both countries jockeyed for the stronger position,both tightening the screws on the EU for support.

As for the South Ossetia '08 war,a quick glance at the timeline reveals a Georgian MRL bombardment on Tsikhinvali (August 7th) as the moment Saakhashvili upped the ante hoping Russia would not intervene for fear of the US (after all,Georgia had 3,000 troops in Iraq,he held his end of the bargain,surely the US would hold hers...).And the rest is history.

Looking past the whole panicky rhetoric about how Russia is on a conquering spree again,OSCE observers stationed in the area report that there was no provocation on behalf of South Ossetia. (cue the fiery replies about how the EU are cowards because Russia is always to blame)

The fundamental question is this : Does one or does one not put the US above political scheming? Given the US's track record in the Cold War,my answer is not. Benevolent (or so the story goes) the US seeks to extend its influence on the entire planet and knock down any and all possible competitors. That is, the "benevolent gunboat diplomacy" of Woodrow Wilson that states basically "The US is so special,it gets to break any rules" has never been truly repudiated and in fact it has been amplified during the Cold War (US-instated dictators are always better than USSR ones or so the story goes). President Obama did state something about changing the "mindset that got us into the war",but frankly,there is so much vested interest especially in the trillion dollar military-industrial (and heck,congressional and media) complex,that it's unlikely to change.

And this complex starts to stink. Proof? The newest US Marine jeep, the "Growler".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Growler_(vehicle)

It has arrived, get this, 10 years late and at twice the cost. A Growler costs 200,000$ instead of 100,000.WTF? Good Lord,it's not even armored and it costs 200,000 dollars? What the hell,an armored humvee costs 150,000,what gives? Then again,allegations of over-inflated pork being forked over in the direction of military contractors is nothing new.
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  #32  
Old 04 Feb 09, 10:32
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Originally Posted by Emil_G View Post
He knows they are uneccesary, just like the Russian missiles are. Russians don't want their military offensive options dictated by anyone, neither does the USA.
Obama risks alienating a lot of allies, if he backs down on the missiles - plus he would risk losing European support on his Iranian policies. I think he'll find the missiles quite necessary - unless of course Iran miraculously "unclenches its fist". I'd wagure he will try to offer Russia some additional face-saving measure like reduction of the number of ballistic missiles.

Russia's offensive options have been decimated by the crises for at least the following five years. It is very likely that by that time NATO has more integration and there are more NATO facilities in all of the new NATO states making the question about the missiles moot. In the end with regard to NATO vs Russia relations it doesn't matter whether it is a missile base or a logistics center.

Last edited by pp(est); 04 Feb 09 at 10:35..
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  #33  
Old 04 Feb 09, 11:25
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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post

The true motivation was the elimination of Serbia as a Russian bridgehead.
Serbia - Russian bridgehead? For what? Yugoslavia had rather cold relations with the USSR. Serbia has been used only for the domestic propagandist needs by the Kremlin for the last 15 years.

Quote:
Given that the US has actively undermined Ukraine and Georgia by funding the Color Revolutions, this not only supports the thesis that the US still fights the Cold War and seeks to brick-up Russia in its borders, but also justifies Russia's show of force as well.
If the US had wanted, it would have easily eliminated the Russian federation in the 1990s.

You'd better mention that the USA put versatile pressure on Ukraine to strip it off the Soviet stocks of nuclear weapons and transfer them to the RF in the early 1990s.

Color revolutions were just festivals, in case of Ukraine there were more than enough local Orange parties' moneybags who could finance a dozen of such revolutions. There was no need for the US to finance it. There were no changes neither for better nor for worse after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

As to Georgia.
Before Saakashvili Georgian government could control little outside Tbilisi. Most of Georgian territory resembled seperate fiefdoms ran by local gangs. Claiming that the US "undermined" Georgia is nuisence. There was nothing to undermine when Saakashvilli came to power. On the contrary Georgia has made progress in a number of fields since then.



Quote:
As for the South Ossetia '08 war,a quick glance at the timeline reveals a Georgian MRL bombardment on Tsikhinvali (August 7th) as the moment Saakhashvili upped the ante hoping Russia would not intervene for fear of the US (after all,Georgia had 3,000 troops in Iraq,he held his end of the bargain,surely the US would hold hers...).And the rest is history.

Looking past the whole panicky rhetoric about how Russia is on a conquering spree again,OSCE observers stationed in the area report that there was no provocation on behalf of South Ossetia. (cue the fiery replies about how the EU are cowards because Russia is always to blame)
I am afraid it is not as simple as you write. Georgian peace-keepers suffered losses from attacks in the S. Osetia on the eve of the war.

Last edited by Shamil; 04 Feb 09 at 11:41..
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  #34  
Old 04 Feb 09, 12:02
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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
First, according to the rules the US imposes on others (admittedly the US does not always practice what it preaches), the Kurds have all the right in the world to carve out a homeland for themselves from Kurdish-inhabited territories in Iraq,Turkey and Iran.
It is hardly just the US - the principle of self-determination is in the first article of the UN charter and is thus part of international law. More accurate description of the situation is that US abides by international law more often than many other nations.

As to Kurds having the right to self-determination - most certainly. However this doesn't mean that terrorist organisations like PKK are permissible means to achieve that. If PKK were a pure guerrilla force - like some other Kurdish outfits - its legitimacy would be much improved.

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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
I mean,the PKK is no worse than the KLA. The difference might be that in the eyes of the US there are degrees of equality, meaning that the sovereignty of Turkey is "more equal" than that of Serbia.
No, PKK is a pretty much straight forward terrorist organisation using suicide bombings, attacking fully civilian targets like tourist resorts, etc. while KLA was a guerrilla army. Of course KLA did not consist of angels and there probably was abuses, but at a different category compared to PKK.

BTW some KLA members were indicted for crimes against humanity and were quickly arrested. I am not sure if they were found guilty though or perhaps their trials are ongoing.

US administration has signaled on several occasions that while the Kurds in Iraq would be within their rights to seek full independence, their restraint at the time is appreciated as a stabilising factor. US current VP was an ardent supporter of the three-state solution.

I don't see how Turkey could ever become EU member if it doesn't resolve the Kurdish issue (not to mention the Cyprus issue). So Turkey does get a lot of grief over its policies.

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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
The true motivation was the elimination of Serbia as a Russian bridgehead. Given that the US has actively undermined Ukraine and Georgia by funding the Color Revolutions, this not only supports the thesis that the US still fights the Cold War and seeks to brick-up Russia in its borders, but also justifies Russia's show of force as well.
?!? This is absurd and hugely exaggerates Russia's importance.

A. In 1999 Russia was a friend (a little bit eccentric perhaps, but a friend). It was just recovering from a huge economic slump in 1997 and nobody was thinking the Soviet style leadership would make a comeback. Besides so far it has been mostly a rhetorical comeback and much noise without substance. Russia is not a strategic threat to US. US definitely doesn't worry about Russian bridgeheads as there is no reason to. The SO operation was conducted by the best Russia could muster - and by that standard it was a little bit pathetic.

B. Russia is scary not because it looks like a credible threat to conquer half of Europe as it once was. Russia is scary because it acts irrationally and can cause a lot regional unstability. Unfortunately this is what you get when you have too centralized authoritarian government.

C. The color revolutions stemmed from popular discontent and US support played a meager role. As is evident from the limited influence US has over these countries. The color revolutions are comparable to the events in Soviet Union and its satellites in 1987-1991. Other than setting the stage (by forcing Soviets into bankruptcy and being a beacon for freedom) - the US had no direct influence over the events.

D. Milosevic' Yugoslavia was a threat to European stability. His constant wars always carried a risk of spilling over - like Kosovo War to Albania, which in turn could have sent the whole region into a freefall. The number of refugees from his other wars was already a strain (in Sweden former Yugoslavians had found an interesting niche of armored car robbery). The thought of it getting worse was causing grey hairs on the heads of every European cabinet. Can you imagine them looking at the figures of refugees that were nearing one million and looking at projections for a situation of the war spilling over to Albania and/or Macedonia. I find it strange that you disregard this aspect of the conflict altogether in favor of a pretty far fetched conspiracy involving US expending considerable resources to rein in a country which was not threatening in any way - it would be as credible to claim that the operation was US masterplan to deny Romania a bridgehead next to Albania.

E. The fact that the operation ended up US lead, was a show of weakness of EU. It should've been EU to take care of its problem. But since they couldn't and since US stands to lose a great deal of money and influence should Europe faulter, the US stepped in.

F. The Kosovo war is significant in one more interesting factoid - it was lead almost completely by center-left politicians - Clinton, Blair, Schröder and this Italian guy - not Berlusconi. In particular Schröder has exceedingly friendly to Russia and yet he dragged Germany into its first military engagement since WWII.


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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
To top it off,the Color Revolutions in Ukraine and Georgia have not delivered in their grand promises. Neither Saakhasvili nor Yushchenko can truly call themselves "spearheads of democracy".
Georgia has shown considerable improvement over Shevarnadze era. The true test will be the next elections.

Ukraine has been a disappointment. Maybe it needs another Orange Revolution.

US really hasn't that much to do with either success or failure. Georgia has been actively seeking outside consulting help and has built on experience in succesful new markets and it has paid off. Ukraine hasn't been that interested in reforming itself.

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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
As for the South Ossetia '08 war,a quick glance at the timeline...
A quick glance at the timeline indicates the events didn't start on August 7. Two or three OSCE personnel submitting reports somewhat different from everyone else isn't that conclusive. There are always these kinds of outliers.



Bottom line. US is hardly perfect and has engaged many a nefarous scheme. However US is a democracy and there is regular rotation of people involved. Thus the schemes rarely get as nefarious as when you have chairmans for life at the helm. Besides when crooks get caught they are tried or publicly scolded or if not that then sent on early retirement.

Last edited by pp(est); 04 Feb 09 at 12:10..
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  #35  
Old 04 Feb 09, 12:09
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Serbia - Russian bridgehead? For what? Yugoslavia had rather cold relations with the USSR. Serbia has been used only for the domestic propagandist needs by the Kremlin for the last 15 years.



If the US had wanted, it would have easily eliminated the Russian federation in the 1990s.

You'd better mention that the USA put versatile pressure on Ukraine to strip it off the Soviet stocks of nuclear weapons and transfer them to the RF in the early 1990s.

Color revolutions were just festivals, in case of Ukraine there were more than enough local Orange parties' moneybags who could finance a dozen of such revolutions. There was no need for the US to finance it. There were no changes neither for better nor for worse after the Orange Revolution in Ukraine.

As to Georgia.
Before Saakashvili Georgian government could control little outside Tbilisi. Most of Georgian territory resembled seperate fiefdoms ran by local gangs. Claiming that the US "undermined" Georgia is nuisence. There was nothing to undermine when Saakashvilli came to power. On the contrary Georgia has made progress in a number of fields since then.





I am afraid it is not as simple as you write. Georgian peace-keepers suffered losses from attacks in the S. Osetia on the eve of the war.




The Russian Federation is not the US competitor and won't become one in future. The Russian Federation would have collapsed in the 1990s and if the US had wanted. Today the RF's survivability isn't significantly higher.
1) Good question. Yet,if anything, Russian support in the UN security council has incensed the Clinton administration when it came to the intervention in the disintegrating Yugoslavia.

I mean, the Balkan wars was truly ugly stuff and nobody can claim innocence as long as the entire saga was about nationalist sentiments blowing up violently after being suppressed for decades. Yet,it was Serbia that was made out to be the bad guy. I mean,heck,there were even some islamic radicals operating in the region that the US turned a blind eye to.

2) Eliminated the Russian Federation? How exactly?

3) The nuclear transfer from the Ukraine was also something on the Russian agenda.It's not like the US shoved those nuclear weapons down Russia's throat. Both the US and Russia benefitted from the transfer.

4) But the fact remains that in the case of Ukraine and Georgia.

In the case of Ukraine National Endowment for Democracy,USAid and Freedom House to name a few made funds available. About 60$ million.

In the case of Georgia, the same organizations (NED again pops up as does the magnate George Soros).A figure of 40$ million is floated.

These aren't trivial sums of money especially when waged against the countries economies.

Now,don't get me wrong, predecessor govts had to go if nothing,because of the corruption they tolerated, but it wasn't the place of the US to intervene especially since the factions supported also served the role of a US Amen-corner meant to further US influence. The US govt doesn't intervene out of the goodness of its heart (otherwise it would have been at war constantly and everywhere),but out of cynical self-interest. The monies injected were an investment not a free meal.

5) You are correct,a low-level conflict did exist,with peacekeepers having been killed on both sides.

But unless one goes for a clean break and make a land-grab in order to force a "fait accompli" on the adversary,you don't carpet-bomb a city full of civilians (that don't want to be Georgians,but Ossetians within the Russian Federation) with Katyushas, then storm it. It's a clear escalation and a clear message : "I don't care what you unwashed Ossetians think.This is Georgian land,submit or die".

You'll excuse me if I am reluctant to endorse Saakhasvili's gamble.

6) True enough,it's not a competitor, but it can be fashioned into one to justify the huge defence expenditures, just like China. Especially now since hundreds of billions could be diverted from the military.

The stubbornness of US officials regarding the military piece of GDP pies reminds me of North Korea officials that would rather starve their citizens so that nukes are developed,or what have you. Who the heck is the US preparing to fight? Itself?
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Old 04 Feb 09, 12:22
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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
1) Yet,if anything, Russian support in the UN security council has incensed the Clinton administration when it came to the intervention in the disintegrating Yugoslavia.
Of course. Russia blocking the Security Council was counterproductive. Milosevic was destabilizing Europe and Russia blocked actions against him to collect a few brownie points and flex some muscle. However this doesn't translate into Russia being a strategic threat to US.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
In the case of Ukraine National Endowment for Democracy,USAid and Freedom House to name a few made funds available. About 60$ million.

In the case of Georgia, the same organizations (NED again pops up as does the magnate George Soros).A figure of 40$ million is floated.

These aren't trivial sums of money especially when waged against the countries economies.
Those sums are trivial and certainly do not buy you a revolution. I am sure if you break the numbers down it will be mostly spent on scholarships, seminars, charities and the like - not even for buying orange cloth. Besides these are private organization - some of which like the Soros funded organizations - openly hostile to Bush administration.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
6) True enough,it's not a competitor, but it can be fashioned into one to justify the huge defence expenditures, just like China. Especially now since hundreds of billions could be diverted from the military.

The stubbornness of US officials regarding the military piece of GDP pies reminds me of North Korea officials that would rather starve their citizens so that nukes are developed,or what have you. Who the heck is the US preparing to fight? Itself?
US military force is a major stabilising factor in the world. Europe would be tearing itself to pieces as we speak without this stabilising influence. Stability is vital for US business interests. Thus the stability brought by the money spent on military has its returns.
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Old 04 Feb 09, 12:53
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US military force is a major stabilising factor in the world. Europe would be tearing itself to pieces as we speak without this stabilising influence. Stability is vital for US business interests. Thus the stability brought by the money spent on military has its returns.
Excuse me?? You're honestly telling me that the US intimidates the European nations into submission?

So I assume with every base closure in Germany, process started in 2005, Germany actually edges closer to nazism, Italy,were it not for the 173rd Abn Bde deployed there would dig up the "fascia" in a split second and Russia would switch to a Red Alert-ish "ve vill bery dem!" mode. Please...

War is an extension of politics. What political motivation is there for Germany to embroil itself into occupation of its neighbours,assuming it even wins? Where is the profit,gain, public aquiescence?

The Cold War is over and WWII doubly so.To say nothing of the fact that you really seem to have a VERY low opinion of European democracies that you think without the US constantly keeping the boot on their throat they would immediately dash for their secret stash of swastikaz.That's just naive.
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Old 04 Feb 09, 13:18
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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
2) Eliminated the Russian Federation? How exactly?
There were clear and strong tendencies of the disintegration of the RF in the 1990s

Instead of giving billions of dollars to Yeltsin to support the Moscow's central federal government, the US could deal with regional elites, give this money to them plus provide the CIA's support in quiting the federation. Moscow could not do anything under those circumstances.



Quote:
In the case of Ukraine National Endowment for Democracy,USAid and Freedom House to name a few made funds available. About 60$ million.
Well, it is just an assumption. There are no clear evidence that there were 60$ million and this money had something to do with Orange revolution.

Quote:
These aren't trivial sums of money especially when waged against the countries economies.
Ukrainian oligarchs are considered to be the richest in Europe after Russian ones according to Forbes. 60$ million is not a sum that may pose a problem for many of them who joined the Orange bloc then.


Quote:
5) You are correct,a low-level conflict did exist,with peacekeepers having been killed on both sides.

But unless one goes for a clean break and make a land-grab in order to force a "fait accompli" on the adversary,you don't carpet-bomb a city full of civilians (that don't want to be Georgians,but Ossetians within the Russian Federation) with Katyushas, then storm it. It's a clear escalation and a clear message : "I don't care what you unwashed Ossetians think.This is Georgian land,submit or die". You'll excuse me if I am reluctant to endorse Saakhasvili's gamble.
1/3 of S. Osetian population were ethnic Georgians
There are more Ossetians living in other parts of Georgia than in the S. Ossetia today. As I pointed out in this thread http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=70048 that there were two elected Ossetian governments and why we should believe that Kokoity's pro-Moscow government where all the key posts are held either by non-Ossetian officers or bureaucrats deployed from the RF is legitimate and represents local population?





Quote:
6) True enough,it's not a competitor, but it can be fashioned into one to justify the huge defence expenditures, just like China. Especially now since hundreds of billions could be diverted from the military.

The stubbornness of US officials regarding the military piece of GDP pies reminds me of North Korea officials that would rather starve their citizens so that nukes are developed,or what have you. Who the heck is the US preparing to fight? Itself?
The thing is that the present-day US' economy and its leading role in the global financial system heavily depend on its status of the single super power that possesses absolute military superiority over all other states altogether. It is very expedient to make such investments into military build-up and military industry for the US.

Last edited by Shamil; 04 Feb 09 at 13:27..
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Old 04 Feb 09, 13:41
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Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
No, PKK is a pretty much straight forward terrorist organisation using suicide bombings, attacking fully civilian targets like tourist resorts, etc. while KLA was a guerrilla army. Of course KLA did not consist of angels and there probably was abuses, but at a different category compared to PKK.
The PKK started using suicide attacks in the second phase of its fight, some 6 years after the start of the confrontation.

The KLA received US help some 1-2 years after the start of its military confrontation with the Serb authorities. It didn't reach the "desperate enough" stage to even consider using suicide bombings.

It had superior returns on its use of guerilla tactics and the US did the job for it by targeting Serbian homefront (from the air). Why waste effort with suicide attacks?
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Old 04 Feb 09, 13:43
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There were clear and strong tendencies of the disintegration of the RF in the 1990s

Instead of giving billions of dollars to Yeltsin to support the Moscow's central federal government, the US could deal with regional elites, give this money to them plus provide the CIA's support in quiting the federation. Moscow could not do anything under those circumstances.





Well, it is just an assumption. There are no clear evidence that there were 60$ million and this money had something to do with Orange revolution.



Ukrainian oligarchs are considered to be the richest in Europe after Russian ones according to Forbes. 60$ million is not a sum that may pose a problem for many of them who joined the Orange bloc then.




1/3 of S. Osetian population were ethnic Georgians
There are more Ossetians living in other parts of Georgia than in the S. Ossetia today. As I pointed out in this thread http://www.armchairgeneral.com/forum...ad.php?t=70048 that there were two elected Ossetian governments and why we should believe that Kokoity's pro-Moscow government where all the key posts are held either by non-Ossetian officers or bureaucrats deployed from the RF is legitimate and represents local population?







The thing is that the present-day US' economy and its leading role in the global financial system heavily depend on its status of the single super power that possesses absolute military superiority over all other states altogether. It is very expedient to make such investments into military build-up and military industry for the US.
1) And weren't these centrifugal tendencies manifested? Everything from the Baltic State breakway to the Central Asia "Stans". What other fragmentations were prevented?

As a side note, to my knowledge,the US aid was quickly gobbled up the Russia's own oligarchs. Or did you mean aid as in "bribe for unity" to start with?

2) So you are saying that only the Georgian South Ossetians are the "true" Ossetians and the Northern ones in the Russian Fed are the "fake" "puppet" ones? Why was there even fought a conflict and why was Tsikhinvali shelled? Why the city? I would understand a mortar strike killing Russian peacekeepers that actually happened. But employing heavy artillery? Katyushas a la Berlin?

The entire story is rotten. Yes,Russia has interests there,but then again the conduct of the Georgian leadership is deplorable as well. I mean,why hasn't the Kosovo precedent been applied? Are the Ossetian's claims lesser than Kosovo Albanians? Simple, dismantling Georgia was not on the US's agenda.

3) It has been the leading force,but sitting on a bubble,that is bursting. And if the New Deal debacle is of any indication, govt spending will not pull the US economy out of the sh*tter,but a major war will...
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Old 04 Feb 09, 16:50
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... What new Blitz in being prepared for anyone who is committing the horrible sin of being friendly to the US?..
...seems like you are having fun by exaggerating things
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Old 04 Feb 09, 18:38
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Excuse me?? You're honestly telling me that the US intimidates the European nations into submission?

...nazism... fascism...
No need to be silly. nazism and fascism are hardly the only reasons European states have begun wars. In fact throughout history that has been a very rare cause of war.

I also didn't mention anything about US intimidating anybody. What the US has done and is doing is bankrolling European security. The most obvious example was Kosovo - a purely European problem which threatened the entire region and the US solved it for us.

Without US backing us up we might have easily seen an escalation into an international war involving several countries - just like happens in Africa quite regularly.

Germany, Italy, France are of course much more sophisticated - France is unlikely to become a new Congo. However they got there they are because US again bankrolled their security. Without US - Italians and French would be singing Horst Wessel or perhaps the internationale. I don't know what would have happened in Europe had US not bankrolled our security. I do know though that we've seen the longest stretch of peace in this region throughout history.

---

As to Kosovo precedent to be applied to Ossetia - I am all for it. Please convince Putin to do it. I'll promise to say nice things about him if he does. Of course I hope that when you say Kosovo precedent you actually mean Kosovo precedent and not something else. The Kosovo precedent was:

1. a cool-down period after war under the management of disinterested third parties - Harri Holkeri certainly had no designs of carving out bits of Kosovo for Finland

2. no ethnic cleansing allowed - all refugees are allowed to return

3. a referendum


---
KLA wasn't a terrorist organisation (and you're widely exaggerating US support to them), PKK is a terrorist organisation. A major difference.

---
What fragmentation in RF was prevented? A surprising question - did you miss the whole nineties? The unifying theme of that period of western Russia policy was that we'll support whomever is in Kremlin no matter the cost - a sort of culmination of this policy was Bush's Putin-eyes-soul faux-pas.

The fragmentation prevented include - Mari Eli, Tatarstan, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Cherkessia, Konigsburg and this is just a short list of the top of my head. Hell at one point there were some people even in Petersburg region talking about breaking off. Of course many of the hundreds of movements were not really serious and didn't have much chance, but US could have easily picked a dozen or so and pump them full of money which would have made Kremlin's position very difficult. In stead US propped Kremlin - because it was scared all those new little countries will bring unstability.
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Old 04 Feb 09, 19:29
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Originally Posted by pp(est) View Post
No need to be silly. nazism and fascism are hardly the only reasons European states have begun wars. In fact throughout history that has been a very rare cause of war.

I also didn't mention anything about US intimidating anybody. What the US has done and is doing is bankrolling European security. The most obvious example was Kosovo - a purely European problem which threatened the entire region and the US solved it for us.

Without US backing us up we might have easily seen an escalation into an international war involving several countries - just like happens in Africa quite regularly.

Germany, Italy, France are of course much more sophisticated - France is unlikely to become a new Congo. However they got there they are because US again bankrolled their security. Without US - Italians and French would be singing Horst Wessel or perhaps the internationale. I don't know what would have happened in Europe had US not bankrolled our security. I do know though that we've seen the longest stretch of peace in this region throughout history.

---

As to Kosovo precedent to be applied to Ossetia - I am all for it. Please convince Putin to do it. I'll promise to say nice things about him if he does. Of course I hope that when you say Kosovo precedent you actually mean Kosovo precedent and not something else. The Kosovo precedent was:

1. a cool-down period after war under the management of disinterested third parties - Harri Holkeri certainly had no designs of carving out bits of Kosovo for Finland

2. no ethnic cleansing allowed - all refugees are allowed to return

3. a referendum


---
KLA wasn't a terrorist organisation (and you're widely exaggerating US support to them), PKK is a terrorist organisation. A major difference.

---
What fragmentation in RF was prevented? A surprising question - did you miss the whole nineties? The unifying theme of that period of western Russia policy was that we'll support whomever is in Kremlin no matter the cost - a sort of culmination of this policy was Bush's Putin-eyes-soul faux-pas.

The fragmentation prevented include - Mari Eli, Tatarstan, Ingushetia, Dagestan, Chechnya, Cherkessia, Konigsburg and this is just a short list of the top of my head. Hell at one point there were some people even in Petersburg region talking about breaking off. Of course many of the hundreds of movements were not really serious and didn't have much chance, but US could have easily picked a dozen or so and pump them full of money which would have made Kremlin's position very difficult. In stead US propped Kremlin - because it was scared all those new little countries will bring unstability.
1) You are correct,the US has placed itself between Western Europe and the USSR. But today? Sure,old habits die hard,but the US politicians have perhaps grown a bit too accustomed to having the Soviets always make them look good by comparison since the US foreign policy has included less-than-honorable episodes,but they could always justify them with the 4 letter word : USSR.

The EU is incontrovertible proof that Western Europe has quite simply grown past the historic rivalries.I mean,the EU is not a US design. Former Eastern Bloc countries,different story, but also different complications.

I mean, US guarantees to one side will only make that side milk the US guarantees for all they are worth (stay behind the bars and mock the tiger for all it is worth) and generally sabotage any negotiation attempts because the US backed side has no intention to give in when it has the US there to whack some heads if sh*t goes down and the other side is almost guaranteed to snap back due to the gross imbalance the US causes. If anything the US guarantees can inhibit conflict resolution because all too often the US ends up offering blank checks (which made sense during the Cold War) rather than conditioned support. US security guarantees is power.Power corrupts.

2) I beg to disagree. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. Really.

Robin Hood would be a Nottingham forests' Bin Laden.

Ok,jokes aside, terrorism described as attacks on civilians,has been perpetrated by the KLA.

Any objections if I quote Human Rights Watch sources?

http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/2001/kosovo/
http://www.hrw.org/legacy/reports/20...vo/undword.htm

And a piece from the Council for Foreign Relations.

http://www.cfr.org/publication/10159/

Inside there is a reference to Robert Gelbard's,Clinton's main diplomatic man in the Balkans at the time, statement that the KLA is a terrorist organization in unambiguous terms.

Mind you it was a useful organization,like the Mujahedeen, or the MEK, but I think we can agree that the US foreign policy also consists of episodes that are outright disgraceful for the nation founded by the Founding Fathers so KLA being a cat's paw would not be a premier.

As for how much US support and how much is little, that's debatable. The US has aided the KLA and without holding back.

As early as 2000 the CIA confirmed it has actively trained KLA fighters.

http://www.balkanpeace.org/index.php...les/kam01.incl

Other EU nations contributed,particularly Germany.

3) As for the fragmentation of the Russian Federation, what you mentioned are still hotspots. Your formulation was "the US stopped" as in Russia would have disintegrated without the US help (disagree) not the the US couldn't destabilize the newborn Russian if it wanted to (agree).
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Old 04 Feb 09, 22:01
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Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
1) US politicians have perhaps grown a bit too accustomed to having the Soviets always make them look good by comparison since the US foreign policy has included less-than-honorable episodes,but they could always justify them with the 4 letter word : USSR.
Well, they could always try another four letter word: Iran or maybe Cuba, or then they could try a five letter word like China but why not try some six letter word like Russia, then again seven sounds much better than six: like Belarus, but if we got seven maybe there's an eight?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
The EU is incontrovertible proof that Western Europe has quite simply grown past the historic rivalries.I mean,the EU is not a US design. Former Eastern Bloc countries,different story, but also different complications.
An organization which exist because of US and i


Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
I mean, US guarantees to one side will only make that side milk the US guarantees for all they are worth (stay behind the bars and mock the tiger for all it is worth) and generally sabotage any negotiation attempts because the US backed side has no intention to give in when it has the US there to whack some heads if sh*t goes down and the other side is almost guaranteed to snap back due to the gross imbalance the US causes. If anything the US guarantees can inhibit conflict resolution because all too often the US ends up offering blank checks (which made sense during the Cold War) rather than conditioned support. US security guarantees is power.Power corrupts.
What? When has this actually happened? AFAIK US has given security guarantees to NATO members, South Korea I guess also Japan and Australia. Can you point out any such negotiation where US security guarantees have made settlement impossible or have caused this "tiger baiting" you mention. I cannot think of any examples.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
2) I beg to disagree. Terrorism is in the eye of the beholder. Really.

...Inside ...Robert Gelbard'...
No, I don't buy into that moral relativism thing. Terrorism is also an objective fact. As I've already agreed KLA was not a bunch of angels and they sure did some bad things - some of them were even indicted and arrested. However it is a far cry from a terrorist organisation like PKK or Hamas.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RaduRO View Post
3) As for the fragmentation of the Russian Federation, what you mentioned are still hotspots. Your formulation was "the US stopped" as in Russia would have disintegrated without the US help (disagree) not the the US couldn't destabilize the newborn Russian if it wanted to (agree).
No US didn't hold Russia together anymore than it caused the color revolutions (except by its very existence - without it the motivation to strive for democracy would be much smaller). However US did contribute. I'd say US contribution with regard to that was bigger than with the color revolution. I claim that US support was critical for Yeltsin to win his re-election and thus consolidate power in Kremlin.

However in your conspiracy theory US is actively undermining Russia. If that were the case then that was the time to do it and US could have torn Russia to pieces. It didn't do that - instead it did the opposite.
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Old 04 Feb 09, 22:18
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Yes, we tend to treat our allies better than other countries, is that wrong? Is it unusual, or just an evil thing to do when it is the US doing it?
I already admitted that Kosovo was wrong, okay?

Bored already, I just want to know who's next on Putin's chopping block... Uzbeks?
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