Putin’s Paranoia

So, you think foreign personages and governments aren’t trying to infuence the US Presidential election?

Just look at the latest exposition from Soviet Russian leader Vladimir Putin.  According to Putin, the US orchestrated the conflict in Georgia.  To what end?  Why to give a Presidential candidate a “talking point” of course.  It was all done to take a slap at the Russians, and to give McCain a boost.  Uh-huh.  I think Vlad needs to stop reading disinfo.com every day.

This is patently ridiculous.  Only the Russians stood to gain anything from the conflict over South Ossetia.  The impact on the US election will be minimal, if any at all.  But the Russians stood to regain dominance in the region.  They stood to gain effective control over Georgia by splitting it in two, controlling the main road and rail ways across the country.  The Russians stood to gain effective control over the oil pipe lines running through Georgia. 

No, this has little, if anything to do with US politics.  This is all about classic Russian ambitions.  The dreams of empire, which did not die with the USSR, are still alive and well.  And with an ex-KGB thug like Putin in charge, the Russian’s have been rather active in re-establishing their control and dominance over the former Republics.  Georgia is not alone, just that they’ve been the ones to get the Poland-Czechoslovakia treatment so far.

The Russians have been pushing hard on many of the former Soviet Republics.  The Baltic nations of Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania have all received heavy political and economic pressure from Moscow.  The Ukraine and Belarus have received more “active” pressures.  The Central Asian republics (Tajikistan, Khazhakistan, etc) have all been pressured by Moscow.  Their independence, their soveriegnty is irrelevant ot Moscow.  as far as the Kremlin nudniks are concerned, they’re all Russian possessions, they just don’t know it yet.

This policy is nothing new.  It’s old.  It goes all the way back to the time before there was a Russia, just warring Duchies and smaller kingdoms.  It begins with the ambitions of Novgorod and the Duchy of Moscow, and who would be the inheritors of the Byzantine Empire (setting aside Greece and Trabizond).  From then on, it has been about Empire, and expanding the empire.  Even under the defunct USSR, this was the policy, though expansion was often referred to as “buffer zones.” 

And this doesn’t even bring up the hypocrisy of Moscow as regards South Ossetia.  Compare what happened in South Ossetia with what happened in Chechnya.  Same thing, only the sides were drawn differently.  What Chechnya did was “illegal,” and “needed to be repressed.”  But the South Ossetians were “justified,” and “needed to be protected.”  So, aspirations of Chechnyians was not OK, but the aspirations of South Ossetians is OK.  The difference?  The Russians stood to gain from South Ossetia, and lose in Chechnya.

It should be noted that the EU, and its composite nations, have had a more active response to the Georgian crisis than has the USA.  They have taken a rather active stance in opposition to the Russian moves.  Well, except for the “old left” on the continent.  But this is only natural, as the EU borders Russia, and has some many deals in teh works with the Russsians.  In addition, the former Warsaw Pact nations, notably Poland, Hungary, and Romania, are all looking at the Russians anew in old ways.

And now the UN Security Council is meeting on the Georgian situation.  Not that anything will come out of that.  The Russians do have a veto there.  But it is an indication of what sort of hit the Russians will be taking for this.  It won’t just be the UN, or bad press.

The invasion of Georgia threatens a good deal for the Russians.  The natural gas/petroleum deal with Germany is up in the air.  Poland, which had been backing off the US missile defense plan, now has signed on.  The Baltics are ramping up their push to join NATO.  Georgia was on the verge of membership in NATO, which has also upset the EU.  The relations between Moscow and the former Soviet republics has taken a turn towards the tense.  They’re worried they may be next.  Former Eastern Bloc nations are looking to the EU and the USA to help fend off Russian expansionism.

Almost single handedly, Putin has pushed relations between Moscow and the world back 20 years, to the era before Glasnost and Perestroika.  Then again, you may be able to take the boy out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the boy.

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