One Too Many?
Was this war another massive failure of US intelligence? Russia was completely prepared, and responded to the situation within hours. The troops were already in place, the decision had already been made to repel Georgia, even before Georgia moved. Georgia obviously did not know this. It is reasonable to assume that the US did not know it either, otherwise they would not have proceeded in the direction of getting egg all over their face.
The heavily involved Israelis, responsible for training and arming the Georgian military, almost certainly did know, but they have their own agenda.
The US placing missiles into Poland is viewed by the Russians in the same light as the US viewed the Russians placing missiles into Cuba in 1962. It is a dangerously provocative act that backs Russia up against the wall. The really frightening aspect of it is that there are only two interpretations for the action. Either, like the Russians in 1962, America has totally failed to realize the catalytic nature of the provocation, or they are, at the very least, bent on increasing military tensions.
Whilst US Intelligence has, with a degree of regularity, failed quite spectacularly and visibly over the past decades, it beggars belief that they have not yet figured out that the Russians are very upset about being militarily encircled. One has to assume that the US is aware that they are causing military tensions which the Russians will be unable to ignore. The question has to be posed: why would the US wish to raise military tensions with Russia at the moment?
Certainly a damned good war has often been summonsed to take people's minds off the fact that their living standards are falling. Having the fear of a nuclear bomb dropping in the back garden would certainly take the edge off American's worrying about losing the family home and not being able to feed the children.
The Russians have been repeatedly threatened and lied to by the US. Assurances that NATO would not encroach on Russia's border areas after the collapse of the USSR were routinely ignored. As soon as the opportunity presented NATO was in like a rat up a drainpipe.
Nine NATO warships are currently cruising around the Black Sea. Turkey who controls access through the Dardanelles and Bosporus is in a frenzy of diplomatic activity. They desperately need this situation to go away. Turkey is a member of NATO, but Russia is Turkey's largest trading partner and also supplies more that 60% of her energy needs. Will the Americans replace that energy supply if the Russians cut it off? Hardly. The Georgian Foreign Minister is due in Istanbul this week. The Russian Foreign Minister is due in Istanbul next week. Busy, busy.
The Montreux Convention places specific limits on the total tonnage of warships allowed into the Black Sea. Though the US would not wish to ruffle too many feathers in Turkey, it should be remembered that the US is not a signatory of the Montreux Convention.
According to Gary North, the Abraham Lincoln and the Peleliu are already in the Persian Gulf. A third task force, the Iwo Jima, was dispatched to the Gulf on 22nd August. There is also an unverified report that the Theodore Roosevelt and the Ronald Reagan are sailing to the Gulf. Other reports state that French and British ships are accompanying the Theodore Roosevelt.
"The Arab world is aware of all this. Western audiences are not."
Why is all the noise in the Black Sea, but all the covert naval action in the Persian Gulf?
If the unconfirmed reports are true then this is the largest naval build up in the Gulf since the start of the second Gulf War in 2003. Is this whole business simply a distraction to tie Russia up so that an attack on Iran can proceed smoothly? Was it supposed to be some sort of a warning? With the presidential election only weeks away is Bush about to go out in a blaze of gory?
Or was it a trade off... you can exert your muscle in Georgia if we can bomb the crap out of Iran? Truth be told the Russians have far more to fear from a nuclear Iran than does America. If so watch out for a False Flag operation coming up in the next week or so. Even if the US has nothing planned, you can bet that the Israelis do. Why miss such a wonderful opportunity? The sinking of a US ship (better yet a French or British ship) in the Gulf would ensure retaliation against a conveniently identified 'enemy'. It certainly worked in the past for the Israelis (checkout USS Liberty on Google). There is no reason to suppose that it wouldn't work again. The Iranians have submarines, so do the Israelis. Who could tell where a torpedo came from?
Russia also has problems at the moment. Sure they have the third largest financial reserves in the world, but they have been printing money at the rate of at least 15% per annum... and that is the official figure. The subsequent price rises suggest that they have actually been inflating a lot more than that. Average nominal wages in Russia were up 29.4% in the first five months of 2008. The current fall in the price of oil is hurting.
Those problems could ensure that Prime Minister Putin and President Medvedev also welcome a little sabre-rattling at the moment. There is nothing better than the possibility of a little military adventure to take attention away from domestic woes. WW1 began with sabre-rattling. Incidents that appear trivial viewed in isolation, have a way of compounding.
Newspapers in 1914 showed no awareness of that which was pending. When war came it was a major surprise to all parties. There comes a point where without a circuit breaker, namely one party backing down, simple momentum becomes sufficient to lead to war, even though no one (?) intended it. There is a sense that neither Russia nor the US are prepared to back down at the moment. Momentum is building.
The world meandered into the First World War with very little understanding of either the horrors of modern war, or its dreadful financial attendants. In 1918 the world emerged from WW1 a very different place. The UK was financially and intellectually devastated. Much like the Ancient Greeks the English never recovered their greatness and are now in permanent decline. Let us hope that the world is not meandering into another modern war without sufficient regard for the modern methods of killing. At least we don't have to worry about the economy this time. That's already destroyed.
Whatever the machinations that have led to this rise in military tensions, the first and most obvious still seems to have the edge in plausibility. In the words of Vladimir Putin:
"If my guess is right, then it raises the suspicion that someone in the US specially created this conflict to worsen the situation and create an advantage in the competitive struggle for one of the candidates for the post of president of the United States,"
"They needed a short, victorious war. And if it didn't work out, they could always put the blame on us, make us look like the enemy and against the background of this surge of patriotism, once more rally the country around a particular political force."
As I write this the LA Times is running a poll asking its readers whether they believe Putin's line of reasoning. 47.8% answered 'Yes', 35.7% answered 'No', and 16.5% answered 'Maybe'. And that is in America. It's not hard to guess whether it is Putin or Bush who has more credibility in the world at the moment.
According to White House Press Secretary Dana Perino: "to suggest that the United States orchestrated this on behalf of a political candidate... it just sounds not rational."
Dana Perino should be congratulated for summing up the situation so succinctly. Whether it is the most obvious reason outlined by Putin, or something more ominous, it definitely isn't rational, and that is what is so troubling. Has George Bush finally taken one too many of his psychiatric drugs?
To answer queries from a few readers, yes, I will be at Professor Antal Fekete's Seminar in Australia.
11-14th November 2008. It is the only seminar anywhere in the
world where all aspects of the gold and silver basis are discussed.
Meet and hear one of the giants of our age. Bookings for the
seminar can be made through:-
Aug 30, 2008
Tom Cash is a business person and investor and the trustee of an Australian pension fund.
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