Georgia on my mind

Pipeline Wars

the Peak Oil Wars are here - welcome to the 21st century

related page:
Georgia (US) vs. Ossetia (Russia)
several commentaries by Michael C. Ruppert

hilarious - and scary - "what if" letter from Putin and Medvedev to Bush and Cheney (fiction, but contains truth)

It is not possible to overstate how quickly this is escalating. It is clear that US options are very limited, short of nuclear war. Thereare no sanctions anywhere that will cause Moscow to blink. What are we going to do? Boycott vodka and caviar? It has also become clear that the Russians have launched a Blitzkrieg attack which has very specific objectives that have yet to be fully achieved. They now control Georgian airspace and a full-scale cyber attack has paralyzed Georgian C3 (command, control, communications). You can bet that there's a battlefield in space that no one is going to talk about, maybe not until satellites starting falling out of the sky. There is little doubt that Russia will bat .1000 on the battle plan, probably within 2-3 days. This tactic is what Russia prepared for starting in 1946. It's in Russian DNA by now. I'm certain that Russian military commanders are under strict orders to "go for broke" in the region. The second front in Abkhasia and the engagement of the Black Sea Fleet signal that Russia prepared for total conventional war well in advance of the invasion. Therefore the nuclear option has been on the table from Day One. The U.S. pushing back through the Ukraine, which has refused to allow the Black Sea Fleet to return to Sevastopol while the conflict rages, is a limp-wristed move sure to further enrage Moscow. The Black Sea Fleet is going to go anywhere it damn well pleases.

France's Kouchner says Georgia made "major errors"
August 16, 2008

PARIS, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Georgia made serious miscalculations in the crisis with Russia but Moscow's reaction was disproportionate, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said in a newspaper interview due to appear on Sunday.

This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
War in the Caucasus is as much the product of an American imperial drive as local conflicts. It's likely to be a taste of things to come

Seumas Milne
The Guardian, Thursday August 14 2008

The outcome of six grim days of bloodshed in the Caucasus has triggered an outpouring of the most nauseating hypocrisy from western politicians and their captive media. As talking heads thundered against Russian imperialism and brutal disproportionality, US vice-president Dick Cheney, faithfully echoed by Gordon Brown and David Miliband, declared that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered". George Bush denounced Russia for having "invaded a sovereign neighbouring state" and threatening "a democratic government". Such an action, he insisted, "is unacceptable in the 21st century".

Could these by any chance be the leaders of the same governments that in 2003 invaded and occupied - along with Georgia, as luck would have it - the sovereign state of Iraq on a false pretext at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives? Or even the two governments that blocked a ceasefire in the summer of 2006 as Israel pulverised Lebanon's infrastructure and killed more than a thousand civilians in retaliation for the capture or killing of five soldiers?

You'd be hard put to recall after all the fury over Russian aggression that it was actually Georgia that began the war last Thursday with an all-out attack on South Ossetia to "restore constitutional order" - in other words, rule over an area it has never controlled since the collapse of the Soviet Union. Nor, amid the outrage at Russian bombardments, have there been much more than the briefest references to the atrocities committed by Georgian forces against citizens it claims as its own in South Ossetia's capital Tskhinvali. Several hundred civilians were killed there by Georgian troops last week, along with Russian soldiers operating under a 1990s peace agreement: "I saw a Georgian soldier throw a grenade into a basement full of women and children," one Tskhinvali resident, Saramat Tskhovredov, told reporters on Tuesday.
The Trouble with Georgia
by Dimitri Orlov

August 14, 2008
Master Plan or Screw Up? Georgia and U.S. Strategy

Brzezinski is not only the architect of the mujahadin-led campaign against Russia in Afghanistan in the 1980s, but also, the author of "The Grand Chessboard--American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives", the operating theory behind “the war on terror” which involves massive US intervention in Central Asia to control vital resources, fragment Russia, and surround manufacturing giant, China.

"The Grand Chessboard" is the 21st century's version of the Great Game. The book begins with this revealing statement:

"Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power.....The key to controlling Eurasia is controlling the Central Asian Republics."

This is the heart-and-soul of the war on terror. The real braintrust behind "never-ending conflict" was actually focussed on Central Asia. It was the pro-Israeli crowd in the Republican Party that pulled the old switcheroo and refocussed on the Middle East rather than Eurasia. Now, powerful members of the US foreign policy establishment (Brzezinski, Albright, Holbrooke) have regrouped behind the populist "cardboard" presidential candidate Barack Obama and are preparing to redirect America's war efforts to the Asian theater. Obama offers voters a choice of wars not a choice against war.


a small quibble - one reason for the "switcheroo" mentioned below is that Iraq turned out to have more oil than the Caspian Sea basin in the central Asian former Soviet republics. The Caspian has enough oil to justify new pipelines such as "BTC" through Georgia, but it's not another Middle East (as was hoped for in the late 1990s).

August 11, 2008
Up to 2,000 Killed as Russia-Georgia Fighting Enters Fourth Day

AMY GOODMAN: Can you talk about significance of this, in terms of nuclear warfare in Russia? Do we have anything to fear along those lines?
COL. SAM GARDINER: Absolutely. Let me just say that if you were to rate how serious the strategic situations have been in the past few years, this would be above Iraq, this would be above Afghanistan, and this would be above Iran.
On little notice to Americans, the Russians learned at the end of the first Gulf War that they couldn’t—they didn’t think they could deal with the United States, given the value and the quality of American precision conventional weapons. The Russians put into their doctrine a statement, and have broadcast it very loudly, that if the United States were to use precision conventional weapons against Russian troops, the Russians would be forced to respond with tactical nuclear weapons. They continue to state this. They practice this in their exercise. They’ve even had exercises that very closely paralleled what went on in Ossetia, where there was an independence movement, they intervene conventionally to put down the independence movement, the United States and NATO responds with conventional air strikes, they then respond with tactical nuclear weapons.
It appears to me as if the Russians were preparing themselves to do that in this case. First of all, I think they believe the United States was going to intervene. At a news conference on Sunday, the deputy national security adviser said we have noted that the Russians have introduced two SS-21 medium-range ballistic missile launchers into South Ossetia. Now, let me say a little footnote about those. They’re both conventional and nuclear. They have a relatively small conventional warhead, however. So, the military significance, if they were to be conventional, was almost trivial compared to what the Russians could deliver with the aircraft that they were using to strike the Georgians.
I think this was a signal. I think this was an implementation on their part of their doctrine. It clearly appears as if they expected the United States to do what they had practiced in their exercises. In fact, this morning, the Russians had an air defense exercise in the southern part of Russia that borders Georgia in which they—it was practicing shooting down incursion aircraft that were incursion into Russia. They were prepared for the United States to intervene, and I think they were prepared—or at least they were wanting to show the United States that their doctrine of the use of tactical nuclear weapons, if the US attacks, was serious, and they needed to take—the United States needs to take Russia very seriously.

The Russo-Georgian War and the Balance of Power
August 12, 2008 | 1508 GMT

The Russian invasion of Georgia has not changed the balance of power in Eurasia. It simply announced that the balance of power had already shifted. The United States has been absorbed in its wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as potential conflict with Iran and a destabilizing situation in Pakistan. It has no strategic ground forces in reserve and is in no position to intervene on the Russian periphery. This, as we have argued, has opened a window of opportunity for the Russians to reassert their influence in the former Soviet sphere. Moscow did not have to concern itself with the potential response of the United States or Europe; hence, the invasion did not shift the balance of power. The balance of power had already shifted, and it was up to the Russians when to make this public. They did that Aug. 8.

Russia May Turn Focus to Pro-U.S. Ukraine After Beating Georgia
By Henry Meyer

Aug. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Now that Russia has humiliated Georgia with a punishing military offensive, it may shift its attention to reining in pro-Western Ukraine, another American ally in the former Soviet Union. ....

``It's somewhat reminiscent, in 1939, when Stalin attacked Finland,'' former U.S. national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski told Bloomberg Television. ``I think this kind of confrontation is the best kind of answer as to why they are seeking to be members of NATO.''

Troops from Atlanta will train in Republic of Georgia
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 07/14/08

A large contingent of Georgia Army National Guard soldiers flew to the Republic of Georgia on Sunday for joint military exercises at a time when tension is brewing in the region.
The soldiers, mostly from the metro area, will be part of "Immediate Response 2008," which will amount to the largest U.S. footprint on the crossroads of Asia and Europe since the Cold War began.
several articles linked on Georgia / Russia
Progressive Review:
mutual assured destruction - why US can't attack Iran
Russia & Georgia
The Pipeline War: Russian bear goes for West's jugular

It is largely about oil pipelines
August 12, 2008
As Russia's unnecessary, immoral and illegal military campaign in Georgia grinds onward, the world should not be fooled by President Dmitri Medvedev's claim that his troops are fighting "to restore peace to South Ossetia."

The Russian assault has very little to do with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's ill-advised decision to send troops into that troubled region, and owes much more to Moscow's determination to control energy supplies in the Caucasus and strengthen its position as a near-monopoly supplier to Europe.

Georgia is a crucial transit point for oil and gas. Three major pipelines connecting energy sources in the Caucasus and Central Asia to European markets pass through its territory. One of these, the South Caucasus pipeline, is an important part of the plan for the Nabucco pipeline to Austria, which would deliver natural gas directly to the European Union, bypassing Russia entirely, if built.