Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Midnight death train to Georgia

Marius Ostrowski explains the South Ossetia Disturbance by drawing analogy with the UK, the Channel Islands and Europe, and does so rather well. However, he also makes some concrete predictions and I though that I would flag them up so that we can play Russian Imperialist Bingo and see how many of them come to pass.
So where is all this going (assuming we can all get the thought of the Channel Islands’ becoming French out of our heads)? The Russians will almost certainly set up client states in Abkhazia and South Ossetia (and possibly Adjara—that’s in southern Georgia, watch out for that name in the news, it was the ‘Dover’ in my example) and use the ’sensitive situation’ there as an excuse to shift all their military service exercises ever closer to the Georgian border. They will condescend to leave Georgia alone and ‘independent’, probably in return for massive diplomatic concessions that they can never tell us because they’ll get blown skyhigh if they do, but which will probably be along the lines of ’steer clear of NATO, stick two fingers up at the USA, stay out of the EU, come join the neo-Soviet paradise, oh and GIVE US THE OIL PIPELINE’. Doubtless by the time of the next election, a pro-Russian hardliner will have emerged, who will win, the outgoing president will be assassinated and given the most cynical state funeral in history,and Georgia will suddenly not want to be friends with the West any more.

Get your scorecards out, people, and your well-chewed biros and let's start marking those boxes...!

The first person to tick all of the boxes gets a free job in the Civil Service. The Russian Civil Service that is—working out of Siberia...

UPDATE: At the Sharpener, John B is not impressed and explains why. Instead, he also recommends this Blood and Treasure post on the bizarre actions of the Georgians...


John B said...

To me, Ostrowski's piece makes Russia's position more defensible: if everyone in the Channel Islands was French, held French passports and wanted to be part of France, and we sent in the Army to stop them seceding, we'd be entirely morally in the wrong.

(for previous instalments of 'why sending the British Army to stop people who want to secede is a Bad Thing, see 1777 and 1921...)

andrew said...

As usual, there's a whole lot of empty rhetoric on the West's part and a deliberate policy of equating Georgia to being some pious good neighbor - certainly in the press, anyway.

Personally, I believe the whole thing is being willfully blown out of proportion because it suits the powers that be to change focus from those pesky islamists to the universal 'auld enemy' Mother Russia.

I mean, have you heard some of them - nuclear war(!) with Russia over a stupid spat between them and the Georgians? Does anyone care to UNDERSTAND the IMPLICATIONS of using nukes? Do you value a job, a house, easy access to food, water, light? Life itself?

Hell, if we're so surrounded by all those nebulous enemies at the gates, why not put Trident/NORAD whatever to good use? Let's just lay waste to the entire world and pat ourselves on the back afterward, okay?

I know I come off as aggressive, but I'm so bored of the West impaling itself on yet another sword to appease a country that won't thank it later.

As for the Russians, they have zilch to gain by driving into Poland or whatever, as I've heard they 'might' do. I'm quite sure Putin likes living rather than dying, and the Kremlin would prefer to remain in one piece.

The Georgians, for better or worse, handed themselves on a silver platter to the Russians who, historically, have never done subtly. And this new, wealthy Russia wants to show the world it is a force to be reckoned with.

I suspect Georgia will be given a bloody good kicking by Ivan rather than being the first battle of WW3. In other words, Ivan just wants to prove a point.

Russians as a people are obsessed with national pride, whether we like that or not. Equally, Russia would have much, much more to lose by engaging in war against the West than it would to gain by starting WW3.

Just like the old concept of Mutually Assured Destruction, it applies in national dealings today. Afterall, it suits both the Russians and Americans to have each other around, if only to cast the occasional insult.

It's exactly the same as the Arabs need the Israelis much, much more than the Israelis need the Arabs.

Otherwise, who would be the focus of their Two Minute Hates?

Who exactly would win if Washington and Moscow were in flames? Statists don't like dying - they like us doing it for them instead, remember. ;)

Rob said...

It was crafty of those Russians, invading Georgia when apparently the entire Western "anti-War" movement was on holiday. Superb planning.

No doubt they'll be back home soon. Then the huge public demonstrations will begin, and furious denunciations of their former Marxist pin-up state in the left-wing media. I look forward to reading them.

E. Richter said...

Andrew- "Who exactly would win if Washington and Moscow were in flames? Statists don't like dying - they like us doing it for them instead, remember."

Well said. Has there ever been a greater invention than nuclear fucking weapons? Who knows how many millions of lives have been saved by making the government thugs that start wars the main target.

andrew said...

I reckon my point is proved by the fact that in forty years of a standoff, neither the Russians or Americans pushed the button.

Statists have nothing to gain by wiping one another out, but like to induce fear into the populations to keep them manageable.

If you think about, Shakespeare was just about right when he said 'All the world's a stage...'

International politics is theater in its own right. Nuclear war is a zero sum game - but a great threat to beat your chest about! Just look at Iran, they'd lose the reason to exist if Israel was no more. The mullahs need the Jews badly, lest the Arab man and women start questioning their places in islam...

archduke said...

what would happen if 49 per cent of the Northern Irish population rebel and want to join the Irish Republic - would Britain just let them do it? imagine if they set up their own army to accomplish their dreams of seceding from the UK..

oh wait....no.

Exile said...

You can forget Adjara - it has a population of three men and a dog and all four are Muslim. Russia will leave that to Georgia and sit back laughing.

The pipeline the Russians are not going to get as it is too far away. Besides, they can take it out with an airstrike if they need to.

The government of Georgia - do you really think that Germany et al will want to welcome that bunch of adventuring nutters into NATO? It will fall as folk wake up to the reality of what they were led into.

Dirty Euro said...

Quote from the BBC. "Russia and Georgia have agreed a truce brokered by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and have approved the principles of a full peace plan."

"Mr Sarkozy, in his current role as EU president, held talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow"

When will euroskeptic bully boys and pub bores finally accept for once congratulate the french president and the eu in this great deal for peace. By the way all european leaders supported this idea they did not go off on their own they backed a union where is the thanks from the devils kitcehn euro skeptic buddies where?
The union won peace end of fucking story not the usa not your heroes in the UKIP the eu won peace This peace deal is like bullet in the hearof euro skpeticism it makes you all see why we need the eu we need it for geopolitcal reasons to ensure bigger powers cannot play small euro pean nations off like pawns in chess game.

Dirty Euro said...

60 % of russians exports are to the EU. Who won the peace we won the peace not the wankers in the usa neonc government or the toshpots in the UKIP, who did fuck all we won the peace we the pro europeans we who support the eu as it ensures peace through trade and alliances. fuck you euro skeptics you have lost we won your evil eneimes in the neocons did fuck all for peace in georgia the eu won peace. I hope the nobel peace prize is given to the eu. The UK PM was fully behind the peace deal. He did not wave his dick in the air like a blair or thatcher would have he supported Sarkozy as the president. We are great we are europe we are great beat that nazi boys. The UKIP must be pig sick that europe won peace, not the usa.

Anonymous said...

from exile's website:

"The musigs of a Mancunian living in Mexico
The mixture is anti-imperialism & anti-globalism"

in other words- he's a socialist.

no wonder he's masturbating at the thought of the Russkies beating the crap out of Georgia.

Anonymous said...

dirty euro - you are missing the point - it was THE FRENCH who won the deal.

do you honestly think that if Jonah Brown was EU president that he'd clinch such a deal?

its got bugger all to do with the EU... its the French who did it. and i'm quite happy to congrat THE FRENCH on doing it.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Dirty Euro,

1) If you seriously think that Russia stopped simply because Sarkozy went and waffled at him, then you are even more stupid than I thought (and that puts you somewhere unprecedented on the stupidity scale).

2) If you think that this conflict is over, then you are even more stupid.


Anonymous said...

DK -> Sarko is pushing for his idea of a "Mediteranean Union" which involves a lot of Arab states.

Russia sells arms to Arab states.

France gets 92 per cent of its electricity from nuclear , so it isnt dependent on Russian gas and oil as much.

Yes , the Russians might tear up the deal, but i suspect that Sarko had a few bargaining chips to cash in...

archduke said...

actually, this French diplomacy completely scuppers the Europhiles ideas of an EU federal state.

the *only* people who could claim to be an honest broker in the conflict were the French. in an EU Superstate that would have not been possible.

Javier Solana didnt go - the French foreign minister did.

Just goes to show that in a time of crisis the EU is as useful as a chocolate teapot. The nation state is still needed.

the a&e charge nurse said...

The material facts are something for Historians to agonise over AFTER the event - the only lesson that is ever learned is how to make exactly the same mistakes, over and over again.

It has NEVER been a question of if, rather when [and where, and for how long] the next nation/state conflict will arise.

Russia has flexed it's military muscle simply because it can.

That's the way it's ALWAYS been, while todays technology [combined with increased population densities] permits aggressors to wreak even more havoc than yesteryear.

South Ossetia is merely the latest excuse for macho political posturing - and given that the West has so much blood on its hands, it's very difficult to advance any sort of moral counter argument [the vague western interests of Georgia poses the same sort of threat to Russia, as Iraq's weapons of mass destruction did to Europe/USA, i.e. none].

I've read that the death toll in Iraq is anything up to 600,000 [or more]- even a murderer like Putin has a long way to go to top those sort of numbers.

Dirty Euro said...

8/12/2008 11:43:00 PM It is not the french, the french and any other state on their are own are not powerful enopugh sarkozy was representing the eu not france. Grow up.

Devil's Kitchen You know noting of gepiolitcal considerations grow up. You do not have a strategic mind you know nothing of this.

archduke Solano wne to gerogia to help set up the deal this peace deal was done by the eu not france grow up.