Monday, August 11, 2008

Two regional views of the Caucusus war

(1) From the "mixed-up US strategy" point of view (AlQuds alArabi)

The South Ossetia war came at a particularly bad time for the US-backed Georgian president Saakashvili, says the AlQuds AlArabi editorialist this morning, because Washington is in the midst of a diplomatic campaign to nurture some kind of international alliance on the issue of pressuring Iran, and a key point in that campaign is winning over Russia. Noting that Bush abandoned his Georgian ally without giving the matter a second thought, the editorialist explains:
The Georgia-Russia war came at the wrong time, not just because it coincided with the Olympics, but also because it coincides with a major American effort aimed at escalation against Iran, and the establishment of a Western consensus for punishing it following its renewed rejection of uranium-enrichment.

The Russian attitude, along with that of China, is thought to be decisive if they are to avoid a repetition of the bitter experience of having launched the war against Iraq without an international consensus, something that turned out to be counterproductive for American unilateralism.

And once again Washington has demonstrated that there is no place for the slogans of democracy and the march of freedom when the issue has to do with the needs of regimes "less than democratic". That's what the Georgian president found out when he called for intervention by the international community, and the calls fell on deaf ears.
Russia, says the editorialist, found in this an opportunity to let Washington know the extent of its anger over NATO expansion in its back yard. And Washington didn't respond in any meaningful way, partly because it has other fish to fry in the form of trying to build consensus against Iran.


(2) From the pipeline-policy point of view (AlAlam)

The Iranian news-site AlAlam published yesterday a lengthy analysis that focused on the pipeline business and Israeli involvement in providing Georgia with large-scale military and other assistance. Its conclusion seems to be that Russia's current aim is to alter the policical and business policies of Georgia, from pro-NATO and support of pipeline planning to serve the interests of Israel, to a pro-Russian stance. So it can't be determined right now whether the war is over or not. They write:
Observers think Moscow would not be concerned about the continued presence of the US-leaning Saakashvili who is trying to join Georgia to NATO, provided he discontinues those projects of his, and the projects of the Western oil companies, including the Israeli companies in extending the Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan pipelines through Georgia to Turkey, and instead agrees to the passage of the Russian oil pipeline.

If Saakashvili agrees to the Russian demands, then Russia would cease its support for the separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. If he does not respond in a way favorable to Russia, then the war will continue and the situation will deteriorate...
You could call it the malleable puppet theory.


Blogger Jesus Reyes said...

You have a typo in the second paragraph, Iraq instead of Iran

1:59 AM  
Blogger badger said...

thank you, corrected.

2:08 AM  

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