2008-08-11

The Great Game in the Caucasus

11 August 2008.




  • The Great Game is on again, it seems, but this time 'round, the United States is not the only major player involved ; instead, as Professor Chossudovsky points out in this insightful analysis, Washington's man in Tbilisi, Mikheil Saakashvili by using the occasion of the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing* to launch an all-out attack on South Ossetia, and thereby, according to news reports, succeeding in destroying much of the capital Tskhinvali and killing some 1500 residents (a majority of which, as usual in this kind of attack, were civilians) managed also to draw in Russia. As a consequence, the «victory» of Georgian (or US and Israeli) arms was not long-lasting, however, and shortly the Georgian troops found themselves in full retreat, pounded by the Russian military. Much can be said about this matter, and much that is hidden now will no doubt come to light in drips and drabs during the course of the next thirty years, but with regard to the outstanding question - what's next ? - what seems most important is whether Saakashvili's foreign «advisors» tried but failed to restrain him (he has, as Jonathon Steele points out in the Guardian a (well-deserved) reputation as a «hot head», or whether, on the contrary, as Professor Chossudovky seems to indicate here, his handlers rather made use of this character flaw, employing him as a pawn to draw Russia into a conflict from which she may find it difficult to extract herself. «Conspiracy theory !» some will cry, but conspiracies are what Departments of State and Foreign Ministries and intelligence agencies, etc, etc are for, and as any psychologist can tell you, the best predictor of future behaviour is past behaviour. After all, the US has pulled this stunt previously ; smarting from its forced retreat from Indochina, it decided to create a situation in Afghanistan in which the Soviet leadership would find itself forced to intervene - quite successfully, as a matter fact, as Zbigniew Kazimierz Brzeziński has been bragging about ever since. But today's Russia is hardly the same as the Soviet Union of thirty years ago, nor are Bush/Cheney/Rice the same as Carter/Brzeziński or Putin/Medvedev the same as an aging Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev. My guess, for what it is worth, is that Russia will speedily agree to a cease-fire when all Georgian troops have been driven from South Ossetia and probably from Abkhazia as well (which latter would involve their retreat from the Kodori Valley, occupied (or «liberated», depending upon one's point of view) by Georgian troops in 2006). That Messrs Putin and Medvedev would be so imprudent as to attempt an occupation of Georgia seems to me unlikely in the extreme - as for Mr Saakashvili, he is now thoroughly discredited and when the patriotic fervour in Georgia cools, he will probably not survive the maelstrom of Georgian politics, which is not especially kind to those who have gambled with the nation's destiny and lost. Personally, I should like to see Mr Saakashvili answer to a tribunal in Den Haag for the entirely unnecessary loss of lives his foolhardy policies have caused. (Were his bagmen to join him there, my cup would run over, but I suppose that is too much to ask of le meilleur monde possible)....


    **My guess is that the Chinese leadership are quietly fuming at this violation of the «Olympic Truce» and blatant attempt to steal the thunder of the opening of the Games, but careful and prudent as they usually are, will say nothing, as their vital interests are not touched. But I doubt they are particularly impressed with the statecraft of the United States....

1 comment:

liyf said...

It's a sad thing to see "inconvenient" news keeps being ignored by "free and objective" media in the democratic world. People don't realize how manipulative and controlled media can be, and how dangerous it can be.

Another sad thing is small countries are just chess pieces, and people suffer for no reason.

America deserves to lose its glory and power if it keeps doing evil things like this.