Sunday, August 17, 2008
Has the war started already?
In 1991, South Ossetia was promised independence from the Soviet Union, and the Georgian Republic. However, when Georgia became independent it saw an opportunity to grab some land, and the terminals for two major oil pipelines. Since Georgia is essentially bankrupt and an economic basket case, they saw this as a viable option.
It should also be understood that contrary to the 30 years old CIA report that is being circulated, Georgia is now over 60% Moslem, with Moslems controlling the government, and South Ossetia - which is surrounded on three sides by Georgia - is over 80% Orthodox Christian. This is something else that amazes me about Bush's choice of "allies."
They essentially invaded South Ossetia and installed a rather brutal military government. The South Ossetians did not want to be grabbed and they fought back, and in the fighting some Russian cities were damaged just across the border and there were a number of civilian casualties. Russia essentially said "Quit damaging our cities" and sent Russian troops to see that no more Russian cities were damaged. They became the main component in a small international (with Azerbaizhan and Tdjikistan) peacekeeping force in the region.
Comes last Thursday and the Georgians attack the Russians in South Ossetia. Once again, they are trying to isolate and grab those two oil terminals. As a preparatory move to this, they began shelling the Russian forces stationed in the area as peacekeepers...and once again overshot and hit two small Russian towns across the border.
The Russians come in to evacuate the Russian wounded and put fresh troops in place to keep the Georgians and South Ossetians from tearing up Russian cities and killing more Russian civilians in their own country. They also intended to stop a relentless Katucha rocket bombardment and standard artillery bombardment of the South Ossetian capital (which has no military significance) and has already reduced it to a pile of gravel and fine white powder -- with over 2,000 known civilian casualties, mostly the elderly and children.
The Russians tried to send in relief supplies (for all parties) and the Georgians tried to sink the unarmed, civilian transport ship. A Russian Krivak class frigate that was on a routine patrol out of Sevastopol picked up the SOS and responded. An 120 ft. missile boat is not much of a match for a Krivak class frigate... enough said. The result was splinters and an oil slick but not before the freighter had been seriously damaged and sustained numerous casualties.
The UN is sending in supplies, and no one stops them.
Because there is strong reason to believe that the US has been aiding the Georgians in the fight (just over 1,500 "advisors" on the ground from "Blackwater" that are demonstrable, and massive shipments of US arms and ammunition for the past 18 months) the Russians are suspicious of US aid, especially when it comes aboard military ships and airplanes. Comes the day the US sends aid via civilian vessels, the Russians will have no objections and have made it clear that such aid would be welcomed by all parties.
The French president is involved in hammering out a ceasefire that seems to be holding because the Russians and the Georgians and the South Ossetians all feel that he can be impartial because "he ain't got no dog in this fight." Still the Georgians have not completely ceased their offensive. They recently began shelling a Russian column that was withdrawing from South Ossetia along the only serviceable road in the region. They waited until the column was dead in the middle of the town of Gori before opening fire.
The US is fully aware of who started this and why. They are completely aware of who the aggressor is. It is inconceivable to me how Bush can go to Peking and bow down to the COMMUNIST Chinese and have "most favored nation status with both COMMUNIST CHINA and COMMUNIST VIETNAM and at the same time provoke proxy nut-cases like the Georgians and Ukrainians to attack Russia with the tacit support of the US.
At the moment, Bush is threatening to send a naval task force into South Ossetia under the guise of "humanitarian aid" and has "warned" Russia, through whose territorial waters it will pass not to be "belligerent." This is rather hollow to me. I tend to think sending a helicopter carrier and escort vessels into someone else's waters is belligerent in its own right.
How would the US feel if Russia did this in the Gulf of Mexico and "warned" the US not to be "belligerent." I seem to recall a similar incident in 1962 in Cuba.
There is currently a US infantry brigade set to deploy in Georgia and an unknown number of US military personnel set to airlift in with the "aid." The US flew Georgian troops, who took part in the wanton destruction of the South Ossetian capital into Georgia from Iraq on US transport jets. This has all of the makings of a repeat of what happened in Vietnam in '64 when Lyndon used two faked attacks in the Gulf of Tonkin to justify inundating Southeast Asia with US troops. It has "Henry Kissinger" written all over it.
This situation could get dangerous. It seems like Bush is deliberately trying to provoke a major war with Russia and this is a very bad idea. He is obviously believing his own propaganda about how "weak" Russia is and thinks our oil terminals and those in South Ossetia are easy pickings. If the US fires on, or fires at, a Russian vessel of any kind while they're delivering "aid" there is going to be a war. Nothing can stop it. No head of state could sit for it from any country. The same can be said if the reinforced Georgians resume their campaign of laying waste to South Ossetia and one more shell or rocket falls on a Russian town.
The long as short of it is that Russian forces were wantonly attacked and a defenseless city has been severely damaged. It's still going on and yet Russia is being blamed in the US as "over-reacting.
There was NEVER any intent to occupy Georgia or annex any territory for Russia as Condoleezza Rice is trying to have you believe. The entire operation was set off to STOP aggression by Georgia against a legally-mandated peacekeeping force and against defenseless civilians, and that is a demonstrable fact everywhere but in the US.
The US is now "pressuring" Ukraine to "limit" access by Russian naval vessels to a legitimate Russian naval base at Sovastapol and inciting the Ukrainians to further border raids against Russia. This is also demonstrable. It seems that Bush is determined to start a war with the "evil empire" (that only exists in his delusional mind).
US troops are currently landing in Georgia. Estimates are at least one "brigade strength" infantry unit with full equipment. They are joining the
Blackwater and Israeli troops (about 4,000 total) already present. The Bush Naval task force with yet more "aid" is supposedly in route. Whether it will be unchallenged when it enters Russian territorial waters remains to be seen.
Note: This article was written by a retired Lt.-Col. in the U.S. military, who is currently residing in Russia...