Singing a Different Tune: Did the USA Flip-flop? Or Did Its Position Get More Evolved and Nuanced?

 

The American Ambassador to Moscow, John Beyrle,   said that Russia was justified in defending itself when it came under Georgian attack ;but what we don’t like is blowing up all that Georgian infrastructure and calling for a change in government. In the recent past the President and the Secretary of State have never really admitted that Georgia was the initial aggressor. Perhaps the support for Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is softening a bit as the harsh rhetoric of recent days has a sobering effect on the world.  I would never suggest that the recent, more conciliatory tone, was adopted by Washington because the high tensions had begun to undermine the dollars strength and the moderation of oil prices.  Heaven forbid that this would be the reason for this unexpected olive branch.  It appears that Washington is looking for face saving ways to cool the tensions and to but the Georgia issue on the back burner so cooler heads can prevail. It could also be the case that no one supports getting into the Russians face in the EU, NATO, the UN, the WTO and a host of other alphabet soup organizations .  Everyone deplores what Russia did but no one wants to present them with any consequences because everyone is afraid of Putin.  Apparently Washington, according to Ambassador Beyrle, still supports Russian membership in the WTO and the threat to oppose this membership has vanished into thin air.

Both sides, American and Russian, are pushing to have a new summit meeting between President Bush and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.  Interesting how the summit is between the Lame Duck Bush, with a few months left to go in his Presidency, and the Russian Strongman Putin, who is not the President anymore, but is very much the Supreme Leader of Russia. It’s hoped that this summit will reassure the world that the lame duck Bush and the new Czar Putin can reclaim their goodwill and once again look into each others eyes and establish that famous soul bond. An olive branch is being extended and I suspect that the rhetoric will end, and the Georgia story will fade, and the former Soviet client states will move ever closer to Russia, having realized that the Western Democracies won’t help them.  The world has looked beyond Georgia and found larger interests in the future and will simply step by this naked aggression and move on.  I suspect that Mr. Saakashvili will not be President of Georgia within a year and that the Georgian experiment with democracy will be defunct by two years.  All that remains is to hold face saving meetings in which the West will cede Georgia to Russia, with a tacit admission that we won’t interfere with reacquisition’s of the other Soviet states, as long as its not quite so naked in aggression.  The message of the West is to take back its empire in such a way that’s not bad for business and that doesn’t unduly call attention to the impotence of the West.  Russia must be subtle in its takeovers and we in the West will pretend they never occurred.

No one wants another cold war.  No one wants a hot war with Russia either.  The West has neither the will, the money, nor the courage to stand up to Putin at this time.  NATO is shaking in its boots and if war broke out the idea that NATO could survive a week as the main opposition force to Putin’s tanks is silly.  The sad and sorry fact remains that Russia has all the cards and the West has none.  Putin need not fire a shot but keep the rhetoric frightening and without firing a shot, he can watch the price of oil and the value of the dollar convince the West to see the crisis his way. No one wants war but don’t be deceived either:  Putin and Russia won this round and highlighted the weakness of NATO and America on the world stage.  The cost of our loss of prestige over this incident will have mounting consequences for both Europe and America in the days to come.  Bush has rolled over and given Putin access to our throat and its quite clear that Putin knows that too.  This is a very dangerous situation and but the first of the former client states to fall.  The Russians have emerged once again as a super power and the West has been unmasked as a paper tiger.  And Georgia?  No one wants war…..   Farewell Georgia!  We’re sorry.

Check out this artical at the Debka File:  http://www.debka.com/headline.php?hid=5528

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