Fighting in Georgia provides clarity on US’s true intentions

Presidential candidate for the Republicans John McCain wants the world to believe that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin intends to "restore the old Russian Empire".

"Not the Soviet Union, but the Russian Empire." He then accused Putin of wanting to restore Russia to the days of czardom.

This is duplicitous in the extreme and would require a loss of historical memory on the part of the Russians, who would have had to conveniently forget that Stalin was a Georgian. Indeed when Russian troops occupied the threatened Georgian town of Gori, they would have had to ignore the museum still honouring the local boy, who made good by seizing control of the Russian revolution.

Washington’s bloody fingerprints are all over the invasion of South Ossetia. It is obvious that Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili could not have launched a massive military attack unless he had received unambiguous orders from his bosses at the White House. Military experts report that an operation like this takes months of planning and logistical support especially if it was timed to coincide with the opening of the Olympic games in Beijing. Saakashvili owes his political career to American power brokers and US intelligence agencies.

The Bush administration’s destructive "war on terrorism", which began after 9/11, has failed to accomplish its central purpose — to occupy Central Asia and the Middle East, and control energy flows and strategic corridors across both regions while blocking energy-related ventures by Russia.

The Middle East is increasingly inhospitable to Western interests. Oil is not flowing as expected out of a gutted Iraq, which the US is unable to control . Saudi Arabia, the other possibility, has simmering unrest and problems regarding Saudi connections to the Bush regime. Latin American energy has proved too complex, especially with smart political players, such as Hugo Chavez, successfully blocking new attempts at incursion. Iran is being set up for an attack.

The resource warfare across Africa in countries like Nigeria, Sudan and Somalia is intensifying, evidenced by increasing US military intelligence and covert operations, and the escalation of unrest and war.

Where natural resources are concerned, Russia’s hand is very strong: it reportedly holds 6.6% of the world’s proven oil reserves and 26% of the world’s gas reserves.

In addition, it accounts for 12% of world oil and 21% of recent world gas production. In May 2007, Russia was the world’s largest oil and gas producer.

According to the US State Department and the Department of Energy, the Caspian Sea region is estimated to hold between 200 and 235 billion barrels—10 times the amount of the North Sea, roughly as much as Iran and Iraq combined, and about a third of the reserves of the Persian Gulf. Working side by side with the US government, major oil companies have invested billions of dollars in the region but have yet to realise most of their profits.

With this in mind, the Clinton and Bush administrations provided Georgia with hundreds of millions of dollars in military aid, making it the leading recipient of US arms and equipment in the former Soviet state. Bush has also lobbied US allies in Europe to "fast track" Georgia’s application for membership in Nato.

It gets even murkier according to an Associated Press report saying that former Israeli generals also serve as advisers to the Georgian military. Paul Joseph Watson has written that the "US attacks Russia through client state Georgia".

It is against this backdrop that the fighting in Georgia and South Ossetia has been taking place. The Georgians may only be interested in regaining control over an area they consider part of their national territory. But the Russians are sending a message to the rest of the world that they intend to keep their hands on the Caspian Sea energy spigot, come what may.

What is noteworthy about the Georgian conflict is that for the first time since the so-called end of the Cold War, it is not the Anglo-American empire unilaterally bombing, invading or occupying a politically weak nation with a primitive military, such as Afghanistan or Iraq.

Russian military might is being unleashed directly on a US surrogate. Russia is daring the Anglo-American empire to do something about it. Putin has outsmarted the Americans and proved his prowess at geopolitics and "deal-making". He is reported to have collaborated with the Austrian government for a natural gas depot in Austria, which will transport gas to southern Europe.

He has joined forces with German industry to build an underwater pipeline through the Baltic to Germany, which could provide 80% of Germany’s gas requirements.

Putin has meticulously broadened Russia’s influence throughout Europe with the intention of destroying the Transatlantic Alliance and, eventually, breaking America’s vice-like grip on the continent.

Putin’s overtures to Germany’s Merkel and France’s Sarkozy are calculated to weaken Bush’s neocolonial allies in the EU and put them in Russia’s corner.

It has been said that at times wars provide clarity.

This is unquestionably true in this case. After the fighting in Georgia this past week, everyone in the Russian political establishment knows that Washington is willing to sacrifice thousands of innocent civilians and plunge the entire region into chaos to achieve its geopolitical objectives and greed for oil.

[Source: By Mohau Pheko, The Times, South Africa, 16Aug08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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