...this blog kills fascists...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ready-Made Wars

More from truthdig, this time it's William Pfaff writing about the rules of war and the NATO carrot in front of Georgia's (and the Ukraine's) nose:
British Field Marshal Bernard Law Montgomery was the man who said the first three rules of warfare are “Do not invade Russia,” repeated three times. A footnote to that rule would be that while the disputed Georgian districts of South Ossetia and Abkhazia are not parts of Russia today, they were yesterday, and probably will again be tomorrow, or the day after tomorrow. Most of their present populations carry Russian passports, and there are Russian troops in both provinces.

The fourth rule of war might be, “Do not let anyone trick you into invading Russia.” Apologists for Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili have claimed that the Russians prepared their riposte to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia before it happened last Friday, but misled Saakashvili into thinking an attempt to seize the disputed territory would go unopposed. However, The New York Times quotes “a senior American official” as saying, “It doesn’t look as if this was premeditated. Until the night before the fighting, Russia seemed to be playing a constructive role.”

The Russian version of the betrayal theme is that Saakashvili “was forced to start this war by Dick Cheney to support the campaign of John McCain. The only possibility for John McCain to win is to have some kind of war.”

That is the view of Sergei Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies in Moscow, and undoubtedly it is an opinion widely held in Russia. It is at least logical. If true, it would mean that Cheney should be charged with malfeasance in public office. (But that has been proposed before.) The U.S. vice president’s actual statement after the Russian counterattack was perfectly presidential. He said the Russian attack “must not go unanswered,” and if continued would have serious consequences for Russian-American relations. This said everything and nothing at the same time.

The fifth rule ought also to be precautionary: “Don’t let your friends in Washington democracy-promoting institutes or neoconservative think tanks, or who are important American newspaper columnists or television talking heads, convince you that if you attack Russia the United States and NATO will rescue you.”

Thus a sixth rule of conduct is one of political realism, and explains rule five. It was expressed by Henry Kissinger: “Great powers do not commit suicide for allies.” (Least of all small and unimportant allies.)

Nowhere in what I have read of the comment on this small but important war has it been explained why neither Georgia nor Ukraine should belong to NATO. They carry with them ready-made wars that NATO neither can nor should be expected to deal with. They are both ethnically and culturally divided nations whose histories are of struggle between or among their component parts...

..Thus the seventh rule, also one of political realism, is: “Don’t give guarantees or make threats you cannot carry out.” John McCain said, “Russia should immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgia territory.” That is ultimatum talk. But if McCain were president today, just what would he have done if Russia defied him?

Barack Obama said, “Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full-scale war.” This was called “weak” by the McCain camp, but it was presidential talk. It said what the two sides should do, without committing the United States to do anything, whatever happened. It maintained a free hand for the United States.

0 comments: to “ Ready-Made Wars

Post a Comment

Blogspot Template by Isnaini Dot Com