Nice convention and all, but………

August 26, 2008

The latest fiasco of BushCo inches ever closer to war. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has officially recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia as sovereign entities:

MOSCOW – Russia stunned the West on Tuesday by recognizing the independence claims of two Georgian breakaway regions, and U.S. warships plied the waters off of Georgia in a gambit the Kremlin saw as gunboat diplomacy.

The announcement by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev ignored the strong opposition of Europe and the United States, and signaled the Kremlin’s determination to shape its neighbors’ destinies even at the risk of closing its doors to the West.

“We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a Cold War,” President Dmitry Medvedev said hours after announcing the Kremlin’s decision and one day after Parliament had supported the recognition.

Lovely idea, but no thanks. Seriously, are there any grown ups left in Washington who could step in and maybe manage this a little better?

What’s really screwed up about this is that the US is trying so hard to keep a straight face while it chest thumps and grunts at Russia. BushCo knows full damn well they created this mess, and they will exploit it to get McCain elected just like they used 9-11 to win elections in 2002 and 2004. Hell, this is even scarier then Iran ever could be. The war on terror wasn’t working anymore, but all those middle aged white folk remember the Reds.

And so we stir the pot. First off, from the article above, this really does stand out:

As the West focused on Russia’s effort to shift Georgia’s internationally recognized borders, the Kremlin denounced the U.S. use of a Navy destroyer and Coast Guard cutter named the Dallas to deliver aid to Georgia’s Black Sea coast.

“Normally battleships do not deliver aid,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dryly told reporters in English, apparently confusing the word “warship” with “battleship.”

Earlier Tuesday, the United States said it intends to deliver humanitarian aid by ship on Wednesday to the beleaguered Georgian port city of Poti, which Russian troops still control through checkpoints on the city’s outskirts.

Good point. Then there’s this:

The State Department said Monday an interagency team led by U.S. Undersecretary of State Reuben Jeffery arrives this week to assess Georgian post conflict reconstruction needs that officials of the Tbilisi government say could reach $2 billion.

The Pentagon meanwhile said an air and sea relief effort for Georgia continues and has now delivered more than 700 tons,nearly $20 million worth of emergency supplies. The first of three U.S. military vessels sent to Georgia, the Navy guided missile destroyer USS McFaul, arrived at Georgia’s Black Sea port of Batumi on Sunday.

Now why on earth would that make the Russians nervous? And it is making them nervous:

SOCHI, August 26 (RIA Novosti) – Russia does not want a new Cold War but is not afraid of one should it occur, the Russian president told the Russia Today international news channel on Tuesday.

President Dmitry Medvedev signed decrees on Tuesday recognizing Georgia’s breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states despite warnings by Western leaders against the move.

“We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a new Cold War, but we don’t want one, and in this situation everything depends on the position of our partners,” Medvedev said, adding that the West should understand why Moscow recognized Abkhazia and South Ossetia’s sovereignty.

Medvedev also said that U.S. presidential candidates may use this current situation in their election campaigns, although “voters are indifferent to events abroad during U.S. elections.”

And he’s right. We are all so worried about the economy that we have let Iraq slip into the background, and this fiasco is even less on the public’s radar. The Russians see this as their “Kosovo Moment”:

Both Abkhazia and South Ossetia have been seeking independence since the early 1990s, resulting in bloody conflicts with Georgia. Their hopes were given a new lease of life following Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia in February and subsequent recognition by most EU and western countries, including the United States.

“In both cases the center started a war in Kosovo and South Ossetia, as well as Abkhazia, but the conflicts were halted in different ways – through the ruthless inhuman bombardment of Belgrade in the case of Kosovo and without punishing Tbilisi for its attacks on Sukhumi [Abkhazia’s capital],” Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

“A ceasefire was agreed, peacekeepers were deployed and mechanisms for talks established. Belgrade has never tried to use military force or cast doubt on negotiations since 1999, but they were destroyed by Kosovo Albanians supported by the West. And it was Tbilisi that undermined the settlement mechanisms in South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” the minister said.

“Therefore, drawing parallels is irrelevant here, and the difference is evident between Belgrade’s policy towards Kosovo and how Saakashvili’s regime behaved towards South Ossetia and Abkhazia,” Lavrov said.

The Russians are using our own arguments against us. After all, who are we to point fingers with 150,000 soldiers and 190,000 contractors in Iraq, and we won’t honor the sovereignty of the government there that we helped get elected:

Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said Monday that all U.S. troops must be out of Iraq by 2011 and there would be no security agreement between the United States and Iraq without an unconditional timetable for withdrawal. This was a direct challenge to the Bush administration, which insists the timing for troop departure would be based on conditions on the ground.

“No pact or an agreement should be set without being based on full sovereignty, national common interests, and no foreign soldier should remain on Iraqi land, and there should be a specific deadline and it should not be open,” Maliki told a meeting of tribal leaders in Baghdad’s heavily fortified Green Zone.


But the White House disputed Maliki’s statement and made clear the two countries are still at odds over the terms of a U.S. withdrawal.

“Any decisions on troops will be based on conditions on the ground in Iraq,” White House spokesman Tony Fratto said in Crawford, Texas, where President Bush is vacationing. “That has always been our position. It continues to be our position.”

Fratto denied Maliki’s assertion that an agreement has been reached mandating that all foreign forces be out of Iraq by the end of 2011.

“An agreement has not been signed,” he said. “There is no agreement until there’s an agreement signed. There are discussions that continue in Baghdad.”

Maliki also said the dispute has not been resolved over immunity for U.S. troops and contractors when they are off their bases. He said this was one of the most divisive issues under negotiation.

“We can’t neglect our sons by giving an open immunity for anyone whether he is Iraqi or a foreigner,” he said.

See, it’s ok when we do it, but not ok when anyone else does it. The EU is no doubt regretting letting us run willy-nilly for so long because now they don’t really have a whole lot of ground to stand on either. They have been complicate in our antics since 2001 in one form or another. So this plea by Georgia’s president falls on deaf ears to a point, because they have been letting the US get away with much worse for years. Which brings us to another front in this blossoming cold war (let’s hope it’s a cold one):

MOSCOW – Russian President Dmitry Medvedev is warning his country may respond to a U.S. missile shield in Europe through military means.

Medvedev says that the deployment of an anti-missile system close to Russian borders “will of course create additional tensions.”

“We will have to react somehow, to react, of course, in a military way,” Medvedev was quoted as saying Tuesday by the RIA-Novosti news agency.

Again, what is Russia so concerned about? Not the most trusting bunch, those Reds.

And since this can only get worse with BushCo at the helm, we’re sending in Mr. Personality himself, Darth Cheney. Strangely, he was scheduled to be there any way about this time, which doesn’t make me feel any better about this whole mess. I guess Cheney has the time since his buddy in Pakistan is out of a job.

We still have troops dying in Iraq. That needs to be said everyday so people don’t forget about it.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. Michelle’s speech was nice and all, but……..

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