by Felix Quigley
September 2, 2008
From the very beginning we said that the war against Yugoslavia and the Saakashvili genocidist attack on Tskhinvali in the early hours of August 8 as Ossetians were sleeping represented the first attacks by US and British Imperialism to make war on Russia and China.
The Imperialists want to destroy Russia and China in order to capture the whole Asian market for themselves. But they are weak and divided, a fact which does not lessen the danger from a decadent capitalist system.
The EU was meeting yesterday and they are totally divided because they are meeting a confident and powerful Russia, a Russia which does not owe a dime to anybody. These EU antisemites and haters of all things Russian are weak and divided. Well seen in the Der Spiegel report of today
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Even within the EU it is difficult to agree on a strong joint position. Much of the indecision comes out of the fact that the West — particularly its European manifestation — has grown. A number of former Warsaw Pact countries are now a part of the European Union, including the Baltic States, Poland and the Czech Republic. The threat they feel is much different than that felt by countries like Italy and Belgium. They wonder if their new allies would be prepared to die for Tallinn or Prague if the Russians were to march in. They tend to trust the Americans more in this regard — leading to the fact that the Eastern Europeans generally support the positions of the US over those held by the other Europeans.
(Der Spiegel is an imperialist type publication. The reason given above is wrong, even idiotic. These new states are really puppets of the EU and US Imperialism. And as puppets they have differences with the more established and traditional Europeans like France. Britain is close to these puppets because Britain has always been a toady of US Imperialism, right from Churchill on, culminating in the supreme toady of all time, Blair. These issues are linked to the Iraq war)
Huge Rifts Emerged
At the meeting of EU ambassadors in Brussels on Thursday, the positions of the hardliners and moderates clashed. They quickly agreed that they had to reach an agreement and decided to provide massive aid for poor Georgia. (Reminds one of the EU and US aiding the “poor” Palestinian Arabs…FQ) It was also clear that the country’s territorial integrity had to be reaffirmed. But as soon as the focus shifted to Russia, huge rifts emerged. The British and Danish representatives called for a suspension of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). There were also calls to suspend the agreement on easing visa regulations for Russia — a move that would affect Russian businessmen and diplomats, but also schoolchildren and students.
The French did what wise diplomats always do when the going gets tough: They shelved the issue. Paris said that it would wait until this week to issue a proposal for the summit. It is very possible that this will only contain a feasibility study for the foreign ministers who will meet in Avignon at the end of this week.
Back in mid-August, Javier Solana, Europe’s chief diplomat, was assigned the task of assessing plausible options. His 10-page paper is intended to facilitate a decision at the summit. Essentially, Solana sees three options for an active mission: One possibility would be that of reinforcing the OSCE mission in Georgia. Another would be for the EU to send its own observers to Georgia to monitor the cease-fire.
A particularly robust approach that Solana has put forward would be an armed “EU peacekeeping force.” This would of course require a United Nations mandate, and thus the approval of all parties concerned, including the Russians. And, it is extremely unlikely. There is no legal basis for it and most EU members are not thrilled about the idea.
(Nevertheless Solana is going for it…FQ)
What’s more, everyone knows that Moscow has its own options for responding should the West resort to sanctions.
(We now get into the problems and contradictions which the world capitalist countries are in. If they attack Russia they are not attacking tiny, defenceless Serbia but a very powerful nation with huge resources and which does not owe a penny to anybody…FQ)
Russia is part of the Middle East Quartet, which continues to mediate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. Furthermore, Moscow has for years reluctantly done its part in using sanctions against Iran to convince Tehran to halt its nuclear program. Since Sept. 11, 2001, Russia has been collaborating with the West in the fight against terror in Afghanistan. What would happen if the Russians were to suddenly stop cooperating because of the conflict with Georgia?
(This exposes the traitors to the Jews on the so called Jewish site Israpundit. Their hatred of Russia is so intense. But Russia has been according to the above applying sanctions against Iran. What happens if it stops. We have never been told this on Israpundit. Liars essentially also!)
In September, the UN Security Council will vote on whether to extend the ISAF mandate for the stabilization of Afghanistan. A Russian Njet would eliminate the legal basis of the operation, and the German parliament, the Bundestag, could hardly extend its mission for 3,500 soldiers, let alone boost the number of troops to 4,500 as is currently planned. Russia could make it more difficult to supply the troops in the Hindukush by banning NATO military aircraft from flying over its territory.
(Same thing here. Russia has been working alongside the Imperialists on Afghanistan. The liars never told us that. But now what if they stop and instead support the Taliban!)
(The total crisis which these reactionary politicians of Europe are now in because of Georgia is shown in the following lengthy, some of it quite reactionary, take by Spiegel…FQ)
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Ukraine’s request for a Membership Action Plan (MAP) will come up for discussion again at the next NATO meeting in December. Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s ambassador to NATO, has prophesied that the Crimea “will not join NATO” and that a “popular uprising” cannot be ruled out. Speaking in Sevastopol on the 225th anniversary of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in May, Moscow’s mayor Yuri Luzhkov announced that the future of the city would soon be decided — “in Russia’s favor.”
Are these merely threats or are they serious declarations that could lead to a future war? A colonel in the FSB, Russia’s domestic secret service and the successor organization to the KGB, expressed alarm last week. A violent conflict between Americans and Russians “on what is currently Ukrainian territory” is “highly probable,” he said, adding that if followers of Ukraine’s reformist president Viktor Yushchenko continue to insult the Russian inhabitants of the Crimea and defame the Russian Black Sea Fleet then it will be “time to come in and help the Russians living there.”
Around 1,500 kilometers to the north of the Crimea, in Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, belligerent statements of this kind evoke a distinct sense of fear. In 1939, these Baltic countries were deprived of their independence as a consequence of the Hitler-Stalin Pact. Today they are firmly anchored in Western alliances, but continue to be dependent on Russia for raw materials.
In a joint declaration on the Georgia conflict three weeks ago, the four presidents of the Baltic republics and Poland spoke of a litmus test for the West. Estonian head of state Toomas Hendrik Ilves called for a redefinition of Article 5 of the NATO treaty, which obliges members to come to the aid of an ally that has come under attack. The Baltic countries are now on the front line and in need of solidarity, Ilves said. He reminded the alliance that NATO defended West Berlin against the Russians during the Cold War.
Guardian for Energy Suppliers
Close to 400,000 Russians live in Estonia, more than a quarter of the country’s overall population. They were last in the headlines in 2007 when, with Moscow’s help, they staged street riots after the Estonians moved a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn to a new location.
But indications of renewed Russian influence extend well beyond the borders of the former Soviet empire. More or less subtle intimidation of former Soviet republics is being accompanied by diplomatic efforts on the part of Moscow to forge new alliances around the world aimed at counteracting US dominance. The Kremlin sees control of strategic energy resources as a tool for achieving such an objective.
Just as NATO is putting a military choke-hold on Russia, from the point of view of Moscow, Russia wants to put a choke-hold on the energy-hungry rest of the world through its control of huge gas and oil reserves. It is seeking to open up a new front by forming an alliance with resource-rich countries, pitting energy producers against energy consumers. It is against this backdrop that recent offensives by Gazprom need to be seen — for instance the offer it made to Moammar Gadhafi to sell Libyan oil and gas at world market prices. Russia currently supplies around a fourth of Europe’s natural gas requirement. Every additional percent of the market would increase Moscow’s ability to combine political subtext with prices and delivery conditions.
Russia, though, needs its Western customers just as those customers need Siberian oil and gas. Still, Moscow is trying to leverage its fossil fuel reserves by expanding its energy companies abroad and by offering its services as an alternative global gendarme, a kind of guardian for those countries who have not yet been able to fully profit from their resources. Russia is currently in the process of renewing its friendship with Cuba and intensifying its relationship with Venezuela. Iran is also welcome as an energy partner. It can’t yet be seen as a new bloc, but it’s an indication of how difficult it’s going to be for the West to hold its own in the new world order.
Just how serious the relationship with Russia could become was a subject of discussion at the German Foreign Ministry a few months ago. The Russia experts from the planning staff and policy directorate submitted a new scenario paper on Russia to the foreign minister in December last year. Since then it has become a guideline for determining the direction of German policy on Russia.
The core element of the forty-page document is an outline of three possible scenarios for the way Russia could develop along with necessary and feasible responses to them. What this development could mean for relations with Georgia was taken into account in all three options.
The ‘Cold Peace’
The best case scenario, referred to as “Russian Davos,” would be an “efficient modernization of the country.” This would be accompanied by Russia’s integration in the global economy and “gradual adoption of European standards such as the rule of law.” In an attempt to strengthen ties between Russia and the West “we should avoid putting too much pressure on a Russian reform government, for instance by putting Georgia on track for NATO membership.” The EU could well imagine entering into a “strategic union” with a Russia of this kind, the diplomats say.
The second theoretical scenario would be a relationship based on “selective partnership.” Ranging “from stability to stagnation,” this scenario describes the decline of cooperation into a kind of “confrontational cherry picking” where the two sides cooperate only if and when they feel they stand to gain from it.
The paper emphatically warns against giving Russia the cold shoulder in such a situation. “For reform-minded forces in the Russian establishment, Germany and the EU would be natural partners in a time of need and not the United States or China,” the document reads. This kind of partnership would include not pushing for Georgian membership in NATO, since this would weaken the position of reformers and strengthen the position of nationalists in Russia.
Lets hope Russia will balance the reckless powers.