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Robert Kagan: War in Georgia is just Putin's first step
By Robert Kagan -
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Story appeared in section,
The details of who did what to precipitate Russia's war against Georgia are not very important. Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia? Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama.
The events of the past week will be remembered that way, too. This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time. The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century" has re-established a virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore the country to its once-dominant role in Eurasia and the world. Armed with wealth from oil and gas; holding a near-monopoly over the energy supply to Europe; with a million soldiers, thousands of nuclear warheads and the world's third-largest military budget, Vladimir Putin believes that now is the time to make his move.
Georgia's unhappy fate is that it borders a new geopolitical fault line that runs along the western and southwestern frontiers of Russia.....
The U.S. is just used to having things its own way, and its leaders don't like people and nations who won't let them do what they want, when they want to do it, so they do all they can to paint them as the bad guys, since they consider themselves the good guys! And most of the mainstream media go right along with them, repeating the same government line and pumping out the same propaganda. Well, no one likes a bully. He may be feared, but he's not popular on the school grounds, much less in international affairs. The U.S. has become the sort of bully that it used to accuse the Russians of being, trying to bully Russia and picking on other nations when it can get away with it's usually weak little nations that can hardly fight back, like Afghanistan and Iraq.
Ted Rudow III,MA