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Friday, August 29

What part of "Stand down" don't you understand?

KR: Re your chortles about Putin's accusations: There is still lot of fog about the Russo-Georgia war. We don't know what kind of evidence the Russians have collected. But Putin might be working up to something.

This said, I'll grant that he got carried away with his theories. Whatever machinations were going on from the US side surely had nothing to do with helping McCain get into office.

Things seem to have revolved around ratcheting up the argument for Georgia's fast entry into NATO's Membership Action Plan before a new U.S. president was installed. I assume that would be on the theory that if Obama got into office there was no guarantee he'd push for the MAP for Georgia and Ukraine with the same vigor as Bush.

In any case there is enough evidence to suggest that neither side has clean hands in this matter. Saakashvili was the trigger man but the U.S. military and/or the CIA put the gun in his hand then said, 'Now be sure not to shoot while we turn our back on you for a few minutes.'

Yet they knew he was trigger happy, and they did everything to egg him into a confrontation with Russia.

Keep in mind that the Israelis spilled the beans.The Jerusalem Post reported on August 10th with an update on the 11thWe cut arms sales to Georgia months ago
[...] "Several months ago, we carried out an evaluation of the situation in Georgia and realized that Georgia and Russia were on a collision course. We have good relations with both, and don't want to back either in this conflict," the official said. "We therefore made a decision to drastically minimize sales of weapons to Georgia.

Frantic requests from Georgia to Israel for military hardware leading up to the current conflict with Russia set off alarm bells at the Ministry of Defense.

"We saw that there was a surge in requests for weapons, and we therefore decided to, in effect, minimize the entire issue. After our decision, we sold only defensive weapons in small quantities to Georgia," he said.[...]
The key point is that if Israel -- a close U.S. ally -- noticed big trouble brewing, there was no way a gathering storm of that size escaped the notice of the U.S. Department of Defense, the Department of State, the White House and Congress.

Meanwhile, Georgia had been transformed into an arms depot, with French and U.S. leading the pack of arms merchants. During his August 14 conversation with CNN's Larry King, Mikhail Gorbachev observed (through a translator)
[...] Had Georgia not been armed to the teeth, it wouldn't have done what it has done. A small state has a $1 billion military budget. All kinds of countries participated, but particularly the United States armed Georgia with sophisticated weapons -- aircraft, land weapons. Mountains of weapons were supplied to Georgia. [...]
So why did the U.S. stage war games with Georgia's military in July, which Russia would surely interpret as a rehearsal for attacks on Georgia's autonomous regions?

Of course there's the other side of the story, which is that the Russian military was instigating in the same regions and doing everything they could to provoke Saakashvili, even though they also knew he was trigger happy.

But the refrain that Russia was staging provocations would be nowhere near the two major points for the U.S.

The first point is that when our government wants to use the military to yank another country's chain, the Congress has to inform the people they represent.

The second point is that the United States of America is a member of NATO and should act as such while on the continent.

If it had been NATO troops giving training to Georgia's military and staging military exercises, then any blowback would have been directed at NATO. Instead, and once again, the USA is left holding the bag. And once again the Europeans retain deniability.

Regarding your concerns about the petroruble, the SCO, and Russia weapons sales to Syria -- all right, tomorrow I'll go down the list and we'll see where we end up.

I will close by noting that Dr Stephen F. Cohen's Russia report on the 24th to John Batchelor is vitally important. Here is the link to the podcast. See the first hour.
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