Dangerous Games in Caucasus

Criminals are said to be drawn to sites of committed crimes. With the ruins of the south Ossetian city of Tskhinval still smoldering after the Georgian shelling and the thousands of dead bodies still waiting to be buried, U.S. Vice-President Richard Cheney felt like visiting the Georgian capital city Tbilisi. Anxious to cheer up Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili, he pledged support, assistance and a billion dollars to the puppet government of Georgia. The one billion dollars will naturally come from the pockets of the far from prosperous American taxpayer.

People, who have an idea of what is happening offstage, are quite sure that the script for the military adventure in the Caucasus was written by Dick Cheney and men under his command and that Mikheil Saakashvili was played for a sucker in Washington’s dangerous political game.

Knowledgeable people rated the Republicans’ chances to retain control of the White House as minimum last summer. The shamefully lost war in Iraq, the failure to settle the military and political problems of Afghanistan and, on top of that, the critical developments in the U.S. economy had sent the rating of the Republican Administration down and the personal rating of President George W. Bush – to its record low. The Opinion Research Corporation had found out that George W. Bush was generally believed to be the worst of all American Presidents.

Faced with a real threat of losing the White House, Richard Cheney and other policy-makers of the Grand Old Party have decided to take emergency action. They hoped – unfortunately, not without a reason — that a war in the immediate vicinity of Russia plus verbal attacks on Russia and aggressive efforts to present Russia as an enemy of the United States would tip the scale in favor of their own John McCain.

The American voter has fallen victim to that cynical effort to cash in on his pseudo-patriotic feelings. Sad to say, some Americans have risen to the unsavory bait of a well-orchestrated brain-washing campaign. John McCain’s rating shot up higher than Barack Obama’s, even though Barack Obama had, till the eighth of last month, been seen as the indisputed frontrunner in the presidential race.

That a dirty military and political game was planned and masterminded by Dick Cheney comes as no big surprise. Mr. Cheney has long been known as a cynical policy-maker who would not hesitate to ignore the basics of political propriety and moral behavior. When the Republican choice in the presidential race of eight years ago, George W. Bush, asked Cheney whom he would advise him to choose for his running mate, Cheney — modesty aside – pointed to himself. The redneck Republicans forced Mr. Bush to team up with Mr. Cheney, and Mr. Cheney has surely met their expectations. The most influential Times of London said the other day that Dick Cheney haunted places that smell of oil and by-products of oil production.

Iraq comes third on the list of the world’s oil-rich nations. And it is an all but established fact that the decision to attack Iraq was prompted by Vice-President Cheney and his lieutenants. Anxious to lay his hands on the oil riches of Iraq, Dick Cheney minded his own interests. As soon as Saddam Hussein fell, his Halliburton Corporation moved in to seize control of some oil fields.

Dirty jobs are done with dirty hands. Because the adventurous Dick Cheney disregarded the U.S. legislation, one of the biggest political scandals on the American record sparked up and the threat of impeachment came to loom over Vice-President Cheney. But Mr. Cheney escaped unhurt. His chief-of-staff Lewis Libby took his seat in the dock.

The American defeat in Iraq has taught that gentleman nothing. Nor has it calmed him down. He and the people whose interests he protects have started dreaming of the oil riches of Iran. Washington has supplemented verbal attacks on Iran with the dispatch of nuclear aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf. The Pentagon makes no bones about its plans for a nuclear attack on Iran. Richard Cheney’s voice sounds loudest in the chorus of anti-Iranian voices.

And, again, that sweet smell of oil. Pipelines for the delivery of Caspian oil run through Georgia. But attempts to meet aggressive plans are countered by Russia. Which makes just the right sort of situation for Dick Cheney. The nigh forgotten words “cold war” have been brought back to life by none other than him. Those words were used more than once in his Vilnius address of May, 2006, whose form and content really smack of cold war.

Fiery spirits who accuse the Kremlin of planning a return to the cold war had better reread Vice President Cheney’s Vilnius address and transcripts of what Vice President Cheney told Mikheil Saakashvili whose hands are splashed with the blood of thousands of innocent civilians.

[Source: The Voice of Russia, Moscow, 19Sep08]

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The Question of South Ossetia
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