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Bloviating Zeppelin: Russia

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Russia

The Russian Bear has stopped -- temporarily.


The Russian onslaught, accompanied by relentless Russian air raids on Georgian territory, angered the West, bringing the toughest words yet from U.S. President George W. Bush.

Georgia, which sits on a strategic oil pipeline carrying Caspian crude to Western markets bypassing Russia, has long been a source of contention between the West and a resurgent Russia, which is seeking to strengthen its role as the dominant energy supplier to the continent.

Saakashvili endorsed an EU plan calling for an immediate cease-fire, in talks Monday with French and Finnish foreign ministers. Sarkozy was to negotiate the plan in Moscow, and the presidents of Poland and the former Soviet states of Ukraine, Lithuania and Estonia were headed to Georgia on Tuesday.

Bush had demanded Monday that Russia end a "dramatic and brutal escalation" of violence in Georgia, agree to an immediate cease-fire and accept international mediation.

"Russia has invaded a sovereign neighboring state and threatens a democratic government elected by its people. Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century," Bush said in a televised statement from the White House.

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) - Russia ordered a halt to military action in Georgia on Tuesday, after five days of air and land attacks sent Georgia's army into headlong retreat and left towns and military bases destroyed.

Georgian officials insisted that Russia has continued the bombings despite the pledge, but Russia denied that.

Hours before the Russian announcement, Russian forces bombed the crossroads city of Gori and launched an offensive in the part of separatist Abkhazia still under Georgian control, sending in 135 military vehicles - including tanks - and tightening the assault on the beleaguered nation.

We know what happened. But is it that clear and obvious? What is the primary motivating factor?

And what to do?

Take on the entire Russian Bear? Because against Russia, who would take an obvious side with the United States?

Anyone? Bueller?

BZ

12 Comments:

Blogger Ranando said...

Once you get your boy McCain in power, Russia will be the least of our problems.

It will be the USA and Israel vs. The World.

Should be fun to watch, can't wait.

Tue Aug 12, 11:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Could be. I'd shudder further to think of Obama in power.

BZ

Tue Aug 12, 01:32:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

Either way, it's going to be fun, YAHOO!!!!!!

What a Fuckin joke, smoke em if you got em.

Tue Aug 12, 01:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Z said...

So, rananda, let us know when Germany and Russia and Italy and France side with Russia against us, okay?

BZ..i just saw the Russian Amb. to the UN on CNN. YOu wanted to smack him with his smug suggestion Georgia asked US before THEY did anything. Absolutely insinuated this was America's fault.

Of course, Suzanne Malveaux was right there with him.

Tue Aug 12, 02:08:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Ranando said...

"So, rananda, let us know when Germany and Russia and Italy and France side with Russia against us, okay?"

OK "z", I will. How many drinks have you had today, just asking?

Tue Aug 12, 02:38:00 PM PDT  
Blogger TexasFred said...

Take on the entire Russian Bear?
******************
With WHAT?? An army that's too small and too tired to take on Iraq and totally subdue that shit hole in less than 5 years??

We can't do shit, not at this particular point in time, and here's what a bunch of ignorant asswipes haven't figured out, DO THE MATH...

We can't do it conventionally, and we'd be taking on China too, and let me tell ALL of the military geniuses that read here a thing or two, not only do we not have the troops to get that job done, we don't even have enough fucking bullets...

Someone needs to wake the fuck up and get out a goddamned abacus, man for man, bullet for bullet, we CAN'T go play on the world theater any longer...

Thank you Bush 41, BOTH of those asshole Clintons and Bush 43, the dumbest SOB to ever inhabit the White House..

I am likely gonna piss off damn near everyone here, but ya know, I am WAY past giving a fuck, the USA is screwed and it's because SOME of us are so fucking apathetic that we'll just keep on voting for the lesser of ALL evils...

We have the government we deserve people, we have the very government we VOTED in... And ya better get ready to deal with just as bad if it's McLame and even worse if it's Obama...

God help us all because some really dumb fucks in America have brought the wall down on ALL of us...

Tue Aug 12, 04:03:00 PM PDT  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

I've been seeing a lot of reports about Russia's military performance . It's pretty sad. There airforce made over 20 attempts to take out that pipeline. They were way off targets in the cities, killing a lot of civilians, and there ground performance was antiquated. It may not be as hard as you think, but it's the people with the keys to the nukes you gotta worry about.

Tue Aug 12, 04:46:00 PM PDT  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

TF: that's my precise point. I'm listening to various pundits advocating an immediate foray into Georgia by US troops. Sheer insanity.

BZ

Tue Aug 12, 05:34:00 PM PDT  
Blogger A Jacksonian said...

Looking at the background on some of Putin's reasons and the response from the US can be supportive of Georgia particularly as Russia's 'cease-fire' deal will *not* deal with the democratically elected government of Georgia. Guess that means 'regime change' or else. The US can do things if the Georgian government is actually defeated: host a government in exile sort of deal and work hard to build support to undo it.

Vladimir Putin is doing this for internal reasons in Russia, not external ones: Georgia has become a sore point where the money that should be going to Russia is slowly being circumvented by those oligarchs seeking to cut out the Putin middleman. Stepping into Georgia is an attempt to stop that completely while re-asserting power over the oligarchs. This is about a decade late, by any standard, as a quick perusal of the top richest men in the UK reveal names like Deripaska, Abramovich, et. al. These are the guys controlling the banking, finance and much of the industrial infrastructure of Russia, along with guys like Firtash who is running the Mogilevich system. Russia under Putin is feeling the pinch of seeing the oligarchs prospering while Russia decays. Oil and natural gas are the last leverage points Russia can get to dislodge these organizations, and even there they have gotten sweetheart legislation and deals Putin can't undo. The oligarchs were looking towards Georgia as a secure gateway outside of Russia's reach and a good way to divert even more wealth out of the region (white/black/gray market).

This is not peanuts as the Deripaska Rusal complex is now the #2 producer of aluminum globally, displacing Alcan and now setting its sites to pass Alcoa. Firtash's natural gas deal continues to cost Russia $10 billion/year just to *have* the deal where they become a bulk shipper of natural gas for him through Russia. Similar deals are seen in titanium, steel, copper, and a host of other industries where the black to gray side is slowly draining Russia of money. Considering that the old TransWorld Commodities group that was the predecessor and trailblazer had $70 billion in western transactions that couldn't be accounted for over 4 years in the 1990's and was only #3 on the global aluminum list, and you start to get an idea of just how much can be hidden in such a system. Mogilevich skipped out with pocket change after swindling US investors and gaming the Canadian commodities market to the tune of $400 million in a year or so. Pure profit. Mind you the guy used a $10,000 investment in 1991 to set up the organization currently taking in $10 billion/yr for natural gas management..

Georgia was lobbying *hard* to get western help and protection, along with Ukraine. They wanted a regularized and orderly system to ensure that the black and gray market were minimized, which means something like the Ukrainian current arrangement, while being protected from Russia. If you can't beat the criminals - tax them. Moscow can't do *either* the way things are set up, and Putin can't touch that as the FSB and ex-KGB are nowhere near as ruthless as the Red Mafia. Even worse is that he has to keep their corrupt system in place, and face the problem that he doesn't actually run many of his own ministries, beyond the top slot. Imagine if the US State Dept. was actually run by Communists under Reagan, so he could appoint a titular head but the rest didn't do anything. Imagine Chicago Machine politics done at a national scale.

I will take some exception to the 'beat down US Army' meme: it has had a long time in the field with a hard rotation schedule. It has also had the highest re-enlistment rate *ever* for the Army and makes its recruit quotas months before the FY is even over. It has been doing that for at least three years now and going on four. In case it has been missed the US now has the most battle-hardened and veteran force on the planet. Keeping the skills and organizational levels will be a challenge, and those truly worn down have been leaving... yet new recruits and re-enlistment have made that a non-factor. What is needed is a 'next gen' artillery, now coming on-line with the NLOS-C, and actually working to get the CAS mission away from the USAF. That last requires an entire re-think of the armed forces. That I looked at in the things that have been back-burnered for a decade or so.

On a personal level we can point to individuals who have had problems with the military system for personnel. It is a given that will always be the case in any personnel system: people fall through the cracks. That being said, those points are only indicative of a larger problem if seen repeatedly across multiple parts of the same institution and on a large scale. The force size commitment for Iraq and even the duration of it is almost exactly the same as that of the Philippine-American war and COIN campaign after it - no one considered *that* fighting force broken down, outside of the then radical Left. If you want truly eerie accounts from the then-Left and comparing them to today's Left, do look for the news articles of that era: the veiw they give is telling. Mind you much of that force would soon be going after Mexicans under Pershing, deploying to Haiti in a vain effort, all before becoming the nucleus of the WWI Army the US fielded.

The US does not have the size, scope nor depth of military to deal with Russia in Georgia and *shouldn't*: that is not our job as it is the throats of Europe that will feel the squeeze from the East once Putin starts to consolidate those resources. What we can and should do is work with the ex-Communist states of Poland, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, and anyone else we can round up as they are the next up on the chopping block once power and money is consolidated in Russia. The oligarchs will not go down without a fight, and should be encouraged to every legal thing they can do to tie up Russia in knots as it is their source of income Putin is going after. They are criminals, thugs and brutal organizations... make no mistake about it. We can aid by doing nothing to stop them in the legal realm against Russia - keep the State Dept. out of it. Maybe even encourage some suits from companies with US holdings.

Back up our friends and allies, give aid to the oppressed, and ensure that the enemies of our enemies fight, and let them maul each other. And any Georgians that want to form up a regular army if their country falls, should be welcomed to do so and aided in that.

If America can't even be a friend of liberty abroad, then we need to shut up about it. We are not in the time of John Quincy Adams, but we can do the low cost option of *helping* others to defend and secure their liberty. That should and must be the stance of America in the world - befriend us, help us, provide liberty and protections of it to your people, and you will have a friend in the US.

Georgia did that.

Now what kind of friend is the US?

Wed Aug 13, 05:09:00 AM PDT  
Blogger Isaac said...

Sadly, there are US troops there NOW. I posted on this in detail over at my blog, you can have a look.

Wed Aug 13, 08:34:00 AM PDT  
Anonymous WMD_Maker said...

"They were way off targets in the cities, killing a lot of civilians,"

What makes you think that killing civilians WASNT the target. You want shock and awe you dont precision hit military targets you terrorize the civilian population. Military casualties are expected and tolerated, civilian casualties make the populace think, "hey. is what we are doing worth the price?"

I think Russia also wanted to subvert Georgia's chances of getting into NATO. What better way than to attack it so that countries like France and Netherland go hey these guys have a high likelyhood of being attacked do we want to be forced by NATO agreement to go in an protect them.

Wed Aug 13, 08:45:00 AM PDT  
Blogger ABFreedom said...

wmd - sorry if I didn't make myself clear, should have specified that their military is doing a lot of damage due to lack of experience... that was the point I was trying to make. I realize death and war go hand in hand, but the left, here, demonizes our soldiers for even one death, yet for Russia... it's just another day.

The US, if it ever was to go to war with Russia, would walk right over them... it would be naturally messy, but they would get creamed...

Wed Aug 13, 09:14:00 AM PDT  

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