Special Extra — EDITORIAL: A New Low For Neo-Soviet Russia

EDITORIAL

A New Low for Neo-Soviet Russia

The Voice of America reports that “at the rare Sunday session of the [U.N. Security] council, called jointly by the United States and Georgia, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad questioned Russia’s motives in sending some 10,000 troops into South Ossetia in recent days to prevent Georgia from reasserting control over the Russian-backed breakaway region.”  VOA quotes Khalilzad:  “Russia has claimed that its military operations were intended to protect its peacekeepers and the civilian population in South Ossetia. Yet, its reaction goes far beyond any reasonable measures required to do so. Indeed, its escalation of the conflict has been the immediate cause of increased loss of innocent life and humanitarian suffering.” 

Khalilzad then referred to a phone call between Sergei Lavrov and Condoleezza Rice:  “In that conversation, Foreign Minister Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Rice that a democratically elected president of Georgia – and I quote –  ‘must go.’ I quote again: ‘Saakashvili must go.’ This is completely unacceptable and crosses the line,” Khalilzad said.  He then stated bluntly: “I want to ask Ambassador Churkin, is your government’s objective regime change in Georgia? The overthrow of the democratically elected government of Georgia?”

Churkin would not give a direct answer.  Instead, he merely said that Russia  does “not use such an expression.” He didn’t say Russia isn’t trying to affect regime change in Georgia, only that it doesn’t use those words. When asked for clarification, he refused to give it.

It was, in other words, an exact replica, word for horrifying word, of what we heard in the Cold War.

So it was hardly surprising to see the Christian Science Monitor write in an editorial: 

A new Iron Curtain is being drawn around Russia.

When he was Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin accused the West of reigniting the cold war, but it is actually Russia that’s stuck in the cold-war mentality. Bullying through energy blackmail and now tanks and bombers, it reaches for its imperialist past and believes it requires a buffer to protect itself from threatening democracies. It would love to get back, or more tightly control, parts of Ukraine and Moldova, the long-disputed region of Nagorno-Karabakh, and parts of central Asia. 

It’s hard to believe, but Russia has actually found a way to sink to a new neo-Soviet low.  Not only is it abrogating all the things it said during the Iraq and Iran confrontations about the need for negotiations (Russia opposed even economic sanctions, much less military force) and the dangerous risks of unilateral use of force by the United States. Not only is it brutally crushing a tiny defenseless neighbor, and alienating the whole world in the process.  Not only that, but Russia is returning to the very worst, most arrogant and insular Soviet attitudes, displaying haughty contempt for facts and even its own best interests.

Russia is spitting on the graves of all those who perished in the Soviet dictatorship, it is baiting the return of the worst of those times and a whole new legion of corpses.  Just when you think Russia can’t possible sink any lower, it plunges to such horrifying depths that its prior station looks exalted.

Russia now appears before the world like a crude bully, a thug, a rogue nation incapable of being treated like a member of the group of world leaders.  Georgia is a country with less than 5 million people and poses no threat whatsoever to Russian security. Russia has not confined its attack to Ossetia, but has greedily grabbed not only for Abkhazia and indeed for Georgia itself, bombing the Tbilisi airports.  Russia has shown the world that Georgia was right to request NATO membership, that Russia cannot be trusted to respect the sovereignty of the former Soviet slave states.

Once again, of its own volition, Russia stands utterly alone in the world, a rogue among rogues.

4 responses to “Special Extra — EDITORIAL: A New Low For Neo-Soviet Russia

  1. Distinguished Blog Authors,

    you clearly failed to remember, that Russia started it’s troops deployment after mr. Popov made an agreement with Saakashvili on July 31st. Than, the next day, Georgian army erased city of Tskhinvaly and few small cities around, killing thousands of civilians with UN-forbidden Katusya weapons.

    Russian reacted two days after the massacre has began. It was unfortunately too late for big part of civil population.

    It is clearly a repeated act of Ossetian genocide.

    Back in 1921, Georgia has made similar attempt, killing 70,000 civilians. Same happened in 1992.

    Have you guys ever seen Mark Whalberg’s “Shooter” movie ?

    Your La Russophone Blog is only hepling to protect greedy american oil companies resources. You are being run by absolutely amoral, dishonest and insane persons. You just fixed on your hateress to Russia,

    Russia is itself a pro-western, pro-american democracy, a powerful, but friendly country. We are deeply concerned over our brothers in Georgia (an Orthodox people, if you remember), helping them to get rid of oil-fuelled Marionette, the Saakashvili.

    Instead of drowning into Russian-American tensions, our countries should be cooperative, and look for improvement of economical situation in both countries, which looks really gloomy for America this days with it’s high-tech and production moved to China. China is heavily militarized last few years, so the real trouble is only coming. And it’s not coming from Russia – in which last generations of citizens are pretty much grown by Hollywood , Microsoft and Intel. We are not your enemies, for god sake.

    LA RUSSOPHOBE RESPONDS:

    Distinguished Dmitry Mironov:

    If you are not our enemy, why are you supplying weapons to Iran and Venezuela, two of our most hated enemies? If you are not our enemy, why are you sending your nuclear bombers to fly over our heads and threaten us? If you are not our enemy, why are you providing money to Hamas and Hezbollah, terrororist groups that hate us? If you are not our enemy, why don’t you say clearly in the UN that you don’t want regime change in Georgia, one of our close allies?

    If you are a democracy, why didn’t you have a real election for president instead of pushing all the oppositon candidates off the ballot and giving Medvedev 90% support in some regions? If you are a democracy, why don’t you have any opposition parties in the Duma? Why don’t you have any criticism of the regime on national TV? Why do you allow the president to appoint local rulers instead of electing them?

    Russia started the trouble in Ossentia by shooting missiles into Georgia and sending soliders to “repair railways” and supporting attacks by local rebels. Russia does in Ossetial EXACTLY what it demanded others NOT do in Chechnya. Please read Vladimir Socor’s article, posted below. The entire world had condemned Russia’s actions in Ossetia, you are like the infamous “Emperor” with his “new clothes.” You stand naked before the world.

  2. Thank you for the response.

    Selling defensive arms to Iran and Venezuela may be just another loop of a vicious circle, beyond the fact it is a very profitable business. The way how Serbian conflict was managed, for instance, seriously irritated some of Russian elite.

    Sending an unarmed bombers (it is no weapon is actually carried in those flights) may only indicate deepest Russian concern over placing missile facilities in Eastern Europe; Russia views at as an attempt to create nuclear domination ring on it’s very borders.

    In Georgia, Russia is looking to separate Ossetian and Georgian parties. It is also calling Georgians to re-elect a new government, that will be able to overcome challenges, communicate effectively and finally deliver piece and stability on Kaukazus. It is more or less the same agenda for few centuries already.

    Russian president was the first one to bring condolences and offered Russian help on 9/11.
    http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/europe/09/10/ar911.russia.putin/
    Russia had absolutely no trouble with Georgia sending it’s troops to Iraq, and even helped new Iraq state in its War on Terror. For instance, Russia signed off $10+b off the Iraq debt helping country to rebuild.
    http://www.turkishweekly.net/news.php?id=52336

    I have not seen any intelligence or documentary proof of Russian troops being armed or doing anything illegal, or building military objects, when repairing the railways. I am sure it was some sort of commercial repairs. As far as I know from CNN reports, all troops are know being deployed over the Rock’s tunnel, by land.

    I completely agree that Russians are fully responsible tor actions of government we elected. If majority of the society are not fully supporting internal and foreign policies of Russian government, it is Russian people duty to fix the things. I can assure you that there was and is a very strong movement to elect more effective and transparent government and Duma. Public support to Putin’s “United Russia” has become extremely weak. However, the way NATO and the US managing Georgian business (by blindly painting all Russians as a bloody monsters, providing Saakashvili military support and weapons, NOT taking measures when asked so in UN security council and declaring Ossetian conflict an internal Georgina business), really helping Putin to regain back his popularity.

    We do not have much of criticism on the TV, because all channels are owned by commercial companies, closely related to Putin and his close allies.
    However, Internet and Radio broadcasts are fully available and it’s more or less okay in blogosphere.
    Check http://b-nemtsov.livejournal.com/
    Nemtsov is a strongest Putin opponent and presidential candidate. He is regularly appearing on the TV, Radio and he has his blog, which is extremely popular.

    I can assure you, that situation with democracy in Russia is not much worse than in US itself;
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard102.html

    Most of Russians, however, view US as a de-facto standard of a modern democratic state, a goal that we all are running to; US is usually mentioned as an example of the way how people should build it’s government and manage bureaucracy.

    Despite the fact that US modern Serbian/Ossetian foreign policy is very unpopular in this part of the world, it does not make us, Russians, your enemy. We rather looking for a free trade and economic integration, than a military dispute.

  3. If your media belongs to professional ones, you could not miss the true information. But you either do not want to deliver the truth, or it is forbidden to you.
    Didn’t you know, that Georgian heavy artillery during the first 12 hours on 07.08.2008 night (when Russians did not yet move at all) killed almost 1600 civilians in Ossetia? Russian peace-keeping troops were forced to protect the victims, although began their activities too late, the day after, when the Georgian troops had already killed and burned thousands of women and children. This is the truth.
    But your media delivers only “trench propaganda” from agressor’s side in style of Dr. Goebbels.
    That’s very sorry, that free and independent information does not exist in the West any more!

    Prof. Dr. Poulenc

    LA RUSSOPHOBE: As we understand it, you feel that state-owned Russian media is the most reliable source of information about what Russia is doing in Georgia. In our opinion, that’s simply psychotic, and you don’t even link to the reports you claim are true, which is beyond psychotic. Please don’t drink before posting on our blog.

  4. Well, mr. George W Bush just said in his television address (here is the link, 0:58) from doorsteps of the White House:
    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/12/georgia.russia/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

    Literally, “to depose Russia’s duly elected government”

    Big question – in the end of day, who has been drinking? America wants to throw out Putin and in the same time says that Russian government is “duly elected”?

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