Saturday, August 16, 2008


Aug. 16,2008
Damian Lataan

Events have moved along quickly with regard to the Georgia crisis. I get the distinct impression that the neoconservatives are now back-peddling somewhat from their aggressive stance against the Russians as they realise that it could jeopardise their primary commitment to Israel and their push for regime change in Iran. The neocons have quickly realised that the Russians aren’t going to be the pushover they first thought they were going to be. There has been posture and counter posture from both sides but there is only so much posturing the two sides can do without actual confrontation and, since the Russians have the advantage of home turf, the US are now all postured out and the Russians still haven’t budged.

Frederick Kagan writing in the neocon comic, The Weekly Standard, says: “The Cold War isn't back. The Russian attacks on Georgia don't mean American soldiers will soon be staring at Red Army soldiers in the middle of Germany or that U.S. defense spending must triple to match a global Russian military juggernaut.” Kagan even concedes, without actually saying it, that Russia has got the better of the situation; he writes: “American rhetoric about Russia's actions has been strong but has not deterred Putin from pushing even harder.” The reality is that while American rhetoric maybe aggressive, there is nothing they can do if Russia, as it has, digs its heels in and effectively tells the US to get knotted. Had the Russians backed off as the US demanded, the neocons and the Bush administration would have felt more confident in resuming their stance against Iran but since the Russians haven’t backed off the neocons and the administration have now found that it is they that need to back off from confrontation with Russia. Failure to do so could otherwise completely alienate the Russians and push them into the Iranian camp whereby the Iranian nuclear issue becomes part of the rhetoric in the standoff between the US and Russia – something the neocons and the Bush administration would be keen to avoid at all costs.

As the window of opportunity continues to close the countdown to a Final Confrontation with Iran is still ticking though the US and Israel are going to find it very difficult to get the regime change they need in Iran with the Russians breathing down their necks in anger.

posted by Damian Lataan



The rushed signing yesterday of a deal between the US and Poland for the US to base ten Interceptor missiles at a base in Poland renders totally transparent the US administrations assertion that the missile defence system is to protect Europe from attack by a nuclear armed Iran.

Over the past year or so the US, together with help from neocon front organisations, has insisted that the missile defence system they want to install in Eastern Europe is to protect the region from the threat of a nuclear armed Iran. Russia has always seen the transparency in this assertion and has objected to the US having their missile defence systems on their doorsteps saying that they are a threat to their own security.

The recent events in Georgia and the resulting stand-off between Russia and the US, culminating in yesterday’s expedited signing of a deal with Poland allowing the missiles to be positioned there, has reinforced Russia’s claims that the placement of the systems in East Europe has nothing to do with threats from Iran and everything to do with the further projection of US hegemony right up to Russia’s doorstep. The talks between Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk were centred against a background of discussion about US pledges to back Warsaw against any Russian aggression with Iran only being mentioned in passing as the Polish government and the US attempted to maintain the façade of the missiles only being for defence against Iran. If that’s the case then why the rush to sign off on the deal?

It’s becoming increasingly apparent that the neocons have been behind the push to confrontation with Russia as they realise their War on Terrorism is falling apart in Iraq and Afghanistan. Instead of being a ‘War on Terrorism’ in these places its becoming clear to the world that, far from being ‘terrorists’, those that are fighting the Americans and their allies are simply wanting their respective nations back. A renewed Cold War with the Russians is just what the US and their allies need at the moment to distract a watching world from the neocons failures everywhere else.

The difference this round, however, is that Russia is not Iraq or Afghanistan. The US, contrary to what they think about themselves, is not the world’s only superpower; Russia can be more than a match for them.

The US should be reminded that they do have weapons of mass destruction and, if their tenacious ability to defend their mother country as displayed during the Second World War is anything to go by, they would be more than willing to use them.

posted by Damian Lataan

No comments:

Post a Comment