Thursday, August 28, 2008

Tsar Putin Tells The Left What They Want To Hear



The world's wealthiest man and the real CEO of Gazprom, Tsar Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin, of the KGB's 5th Directorate, and Don of the Uzbek heroin mafia, is telling the Left what they want to hear :Transcript: CNN interview with Vladimir Putin.

We have serious reasons to believe that there were U.S. citizens right in the combat zone. If that is the case, if that is confirmed, it is very bad. It is very dangerous; it is misguided policy

But, if that is so, these events could also have a U.S. domestic politics dimension.

If my suppositions are confirmed, then there are grounds to suspect that some people in the United States created this conflict deliberately in order to aggravate the situation and create a competitive advantage for one of the candidates for the U.S. presidency. And if that is the case, this is nothing but the use of the called administrative resource in domestic politics, in the worst possible way, one that leads to bloodshed. ...

I have said to you that if the presence of U.S. citizens in the zone of hostilities is confirmed, it would mean only one thing: that they could be there only at the direct instruction of their leaders. And if that is so, it means that in the combat zone there are U.S. citizens who are fulfilling their duties there. They can only do that under orders from their superiors, not on their own initiative.

Ordinary specialists, even if they train military personnel, must do it in training centers or on training grounds rather than in a combat zone.

I repeat: This requires further confirmation. I am quoting to you the reports of our military. Of course, I will seek further evidence from them.

Why are you surprised at my hypothesis, after all?
In case anyone is confused: Russia's Strike Shows The Power Of the Pipeline.

17 comments:

Quantum_Flux said...
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Quantum_Flux said...
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Quantum_Flux said...

Yeah, I believe that Putin tends to be dishonest. There is clearly a motive behind his smooth talking the left. He doesn't want McCain to win this election but he wants Obama to win. Why not, it would be much easier for Putin to fool Obama in diplomacy and to possibly cheat America in foriegn affairs. To a lesser degree, he doesn't want the US to start drilling domestically for oil because he knows it will be a loss of income for Russia until they find another client and because it would be one less string he could pull on the US.

Quantum_Flux said...

Does that sound fair to say about his motives?

Anaconda said...

"NEOCON" FOREIGN POLICY VERSUS "REALIST" FOREIGN POLICY

The neocons are in full-throated cry that Russia is in a new expansionist mode and must be contained in a new cold war.

I have wriiten previously of the need to develop new energy supplies that are independent of Russia for the duel reasons to both insulate Europe from energy "blackmail" and to decrease the cash coming to Russia which finances their military and encourages Russia to use its military might.

Russia can hardly object to other countries increasing and diversifying their energy resources.

That's good economic policy and sound geo-political security policy.

But let's look at the facts surrounding the Georgia incident:

Has anybody disputed the facts as Putin put forward in the interview?

Putin: "I have here the chronology of the events that took place on August 7, 8 and 9. On the 7th, at 2:42 p.m., the Georgian officers who were at the headquarters of the joint peacekeeping forces left the headquarters, walked away from the headquarters -- where there were our servicemen, as well as Georgian and Ossetian servicemen -- saying that had been ordered to do so by their commanders. They left their place of service and left our servicemen there alone and never returned during the period preceding the beginning of hostilities. An hour later, heavy artillery shelling started.

At 10:35 p.m., a massive shelling of the city of Tskhinvali began. At 10:50 p.m., ground force units of the Georgian armed forces started to deploy to the combat zone. At the same time, Georgian military hospitals were deployed in the immediate vicinity. And at 11:30 p.m., Mr. Kruashvili, brigadier general and commander of the Georgian peacekeeping forces in the region, announced that Georgia had decided to declare war on South Ossetia. They announced it directly and publicly, looking right into the TV cameras.

At that time, we tried to contact the Georgian leadership, but they all refused to respond. At 0:45 a.m. on August 8, Kruashvili repeated it once again. At 5:20 a.m., tank columns of the Georgian forces launched an attack on Tskhinvali, preceded by massive fire from GRAD systems, and we began to sustain casualties among our personnel.

At that time, as you know, I was in Beijing, and I was able to talk briefly with the president of the United States. I said to him directly that we had not been able to contact the Georgian leadership but that one of the commanders of the Georgian armed forces had declared that they had started a war with South Ossetia.

George replied to me -- and I have already mentioned it publicly -- that no one wanted a war. We were hoping that the U.S. administration would intervene in the conflict and stop the aggressive actions of the Georgian leadership. Nothing of the kind happened.

What is more, already at 12 noon local time, the units of the Georgian armed forces seized the peacekeepers' camp in the south of Tskhinvali -- it is called Yuzhni, or Southern -- and our soldiers had to withdraw to the city center, being outnumbered by the Georgians one to six. Also, our peacekeepers did not have heavy weapons, and what weapons they had had been destroyed by the first artillery strikes. One of those strikes had killed 10 people at once."

Dispute the above time line of events all you want, but you better have verified facts to back up your assertions.

The evidence is compelling: Geogia wanted to regain political control of South Ossetia. Georgia used military means to achieve that political objective.

Did Russia know about the planned attack in advance? Most likely they had their spys in place and knew of the imminence of the Geogian military operation.

But if you start a fight, it's hard to object when the other guy finishes it.

That's what happened between Russia and Geogia.

I'm no lefty, but I'm also not a neocon, either.

America needs to employ a "realist" foreign policy.

It's in America's national security interests to maintain positive relations with Russia for a whole host of reasons.

It is not in America's interest to allow a small country on Russia's border to drag us into a confrontation with Russia.

The neocons would place America in that position. It's reckless foreign policy.

"Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we have sought for 45 years to stay out of a shooting war with Russia and we are not going to get into one now."

Pat Buchanan is no lefty, either.

And while I don't always agree with him, in this instance his reasoning is sound.

Neocon foreign policy is reckless and dangerous.

The last thing we need is an unnecessary military confrontation with Russia.

Is Putin a saint?

No.

But neither is he a meglomaniac.

Geogia, simply is not the "flash point" over which to turn Russia into a hostile country.

Georgian President Saakashvili miscalculated badly, and got his nose rubbed in the dirt for his trouble.

Georgia is a breakaway and South Ossetia is a breakaway.

As Buchanan points out: "U.S. backing for his [Georgian President Saakashvili's] campaign to retrieve his lost provinces is what Saakashvili paid Scheunemann to produce. But why should Americans fight Russians to force 70,000 South Ossetians back into the custody of a regime they detest? Why not let the South Ossetians decide their own future in free elections?"

And South Ossetians don't want to be part of Georgia, just like Kossovo doesn't want to be part of Serbia.

We forced Russia to swallow Kossovo over their objections.

America has bigger fish to fry than to alienate Russia over Georgia.

Neocon foreign policy is dangerous and unnecessary for America to achieve its foreign policy objectives.

I'm no leftist.

I'm a realist.

The last thing America needs to do is push Russia into China's hands or have them "block" some of our other foreign policy objectives, such as derailing Iran's nuclear ambition.

America needs Russia's cooperation to achieve that objective, if we are to have any possibility of doing it without a military strike. A military strike would send oil prices soaring and send the world economy into a nose dive.

Demonizing Russia is a neocon policy that is wrong and is a disservice to United States foreign policy objectives.

Quantum_Flux said...

With all of the conflicting facts, I'm just going to play it safe and root for the home team even if home team is wrong. Certainly I feel it okay to demonize a guy who thinks it is okay to snag hard earned Superbowl rings and worked for the KGB.

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:
Your commnets are well taken. I also "root for the home team." But Georgia is not the "home team." The United States of America is the home team.

Georgia is an ally of the United States. But Georgia's national interests are not identical with the United States' national interests.

Does the United States have a 'national interest' to see Georgia subdue South Ossetia by military force? Particularly if that brings us nose to nose with Russia, militarily?

I don't think so.

America should not allow the "tail to wag the dog."

Also, military and political confrontation between Russia and America allows others, who are openly hostile to American interests, to use that 'confrontation' for their own advantages, which are hostile to American national interests.

Quantum_Flux, says: "With all of the conflicting facts..."

What conflicting facts?

I'm all ears. If you got "conficting facts" bring them forward, otherwise you're falling for Neocon propaganda.

Do I want Russia to leave Georgia proper? Yes, I do. Russia needs to demonstrate good faith, which requires them to pull back from Georgia proper into South Ossetia, that's the status quo ante.

That is the official American policy and it's a reasonable policy. I support that.

What I don't support is the Neocon position that America must encircle Russia and create long term hostility between the two countires.

The question in my mind, is whether America has larger and more important national security interests in our relations with Russia than supporting Georgia's military action to gain control of South Ossetia?

I believe the answer is yes.

The real questions concerning the Georgia incident are these:

Is Georgia a "first step" of a larger Russian objective of revisionism that seeks to re-incorporate ex-Soviet Republics that are now independent nations?

Or seeks to create a series of satellite nations that are under the "jackboot" of Russia?

These are the key questions.

So far, there has been little evidence to support that contention. The Georgia incident does not answer affirmatively that Russia is looking to re-incorporate former Soviet Republics, or place nations under its "jackboot."

There is a sharp distinction between the above senario and if Russia wants repect and influence in countries on its own border -- who doesn't?

How would the U.S. react in a similar situation?

My point is this: Don't let the Neocons rush America into a hostile confrontation with Russia.

By the way, overt political and military confrontation beyond the normal "jockeying" with competitors like Russia would likely cause higher oil & gas prices on the world market, which would give Russia more money and leverage and would hurt America's economy.

America's economy is our most important 'national asset'.

Georgia picked a fight and got punched in the nose.

Should Russia have broken Georgia's nose?

As Georgia is an American ally, no we didn't want to hear the crunch of bone or see the spurt of blood.

Let's try and isolate that, not turn it into the starting point in a downward spiral in the American - Russian strategic relationship.

Because that's what the Neocon policy toward Russia would lead to.

It's bad business and bad policy.

Quantum_Flux said...

I don't hate Russia. Sure, maybe Georgia deserved what it got or maybe that was just a horrible move by Russia. John McCain does not want to see Russia sacking any more of the separationist ex-soviet satelite countries. Maybe it was Russia's fault all along by tormenting Georgians with high gas prices during the winter time and provoking Georgians by flying their jets around the no fly zones in Georgia. John McCain has visited these satelite countries many times and it is in his interests, and possibly ours too, to see to it that these countries remain independent....or am I wrong on that?

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

Yes, it's in America's interest to support these countries' independence if that's what they want to be.

But a question to you: Does America want to start WWIII over Georgia? I'm not saying the Neocons want that result, but it puts into relief the question: What are we willing to risk for a small country that up until 1991 had been a part of Russia for nearly 250 years?

And what of the idea of self-determination? What if a large majority of South Ossetians want to be independent of Georgia?

Or want to be part of Russia, as they had been for nearly 250 years?

Putin: "But I would like to recall that all these state entities, each in its own time, voluntarily integrated into the Russian Empire. Back in the mid-18th century, in 1745-1747, Ossetia was the first to become part of the Russian Empire. At that time, it was a united entity; North and South Ossetia were one state."

That would be equivalent of Arizona breaking away from the U.S.A. as an independent state and having "North Arizona" wanting to be independent from Arizona or be part of the U.S.A. again.

And then having Russia getting politically or militarily involved.

Would we like that?

Remember, that's our rational in Kossovo for recognizing its independence from Serbia.

On the other hand, it's not in America's national interest to have small countries take military action that draws America into controntation with Russia.

This is a difficult set of relationships to wade into or base a long standing strategic relationship with Russia on.

Support Georgia, but don't start a spiral into a hostile confrontation of lasting duration because the Neocons want to create a Russian "boogeyman."

It's unnecessary and destructive to long term American national interests.

Quantum_Flux said...

I want a healthy US economy, not a World War with Putin though. I'm going to admit that the US is fucked up.

(1) Republicans have a pissed off 5 year POW torture camp survivor for the presidential nominee. McCain could very well make a lot of dumb decisions as far as foriegn policy is concerned, and I suspect he wants to start war with anybody and everybody

(2) Republicans have a Creationist Zionist for VP who believes in invisible pink unicorns and hallucinates God everywhere she goes.

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Do I disagree with McCain on specific issues? You bet. But overall, McCain has more experience and is not part of the "Chicago machine" and the far-left of that machine to boot.

McCain is far superior on energy policy. Democrats seem determined to hurt the little guy and the economy with high energy costs.

So, while I disagree with McCain on several issues, if the economy takes a further hit because of Democratic energy and budgetary policies, the other policies won't be worth a darn.

Quantum_Flux said...

McCain/Palin:

#1 Best outcome->strong economy

#4 Worst outcome->World War III

Obama/Biden:

#2 Best outcome->nothing gets done in Congress

#3 Worst outcome->Dollar drops below peso or everybody speaks Russian

--- Am I to hope for the best and prepare for the worst?

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

Bend your head between your legs and kiss your ass goodbye.

I'm kidding...

Quantum_Flux said...

Five years in a POW camp is enought to make anybody want to push the button .... maybe there should be a clause that says people need to pass psychological testing prior to campaigning for presidency or being picked for VP.

Anaconda said...

Quantum_Flux:

The status quo ante prior to the "incident" is reasonable and official American policy.

That policy should be persued.

Bellicose language or actions are not needed.

McCain has talked "tough" about Russia, but American policy towards Russia is still in flux beyond the stated policy of 'status quo ante'.

Quiet diplomacy at this point is more effective than "tough" public talk.

I suspect quiet diplomacy is also being conducted with a view of achieving the status quo ante.

At least I hope so.

Quantum_Flux said...

Alright, maybe I just spoke too soon. I suppose there really is no problem with McCain or Palin. This is America, dammit, land of the free. I shouldn't be judging people based on their whacky beliefs, I should be judging people on their experience and dedication and based on their policies....I think that McCain and Palin could be just what America needs.

Anaconda said...

TRYING TO SORT OUT BOTH SIDES OF THE STORY.

"The fog of war" is a real concept -- deception is an intragal part of battle tactics and even strategic planning and execution.

So accurate intelligence can be difficult to obtain because both sides to a conflict may have reasons to employ deception as part of their respective military campaigns.

The following link provides an account of the "Georgia incident" that is much different than the Putin account and lends support that Russia's hands are bloody in Georgia.

There is a ring of truth to the following account that should be placed in the balance when deciding American policy.

but it also points out the difficulty of any policy in that part of the world.

Michael Totten reports on Georgia

I highly recommend reading this report. If true, then the "Georgia incident" does shed light on Russian motives and objectives which are disquieting.