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Russia mulling break with NATO--Watching the Former USSR

 
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:34 am
@old europe,
old europe wrote:

I'm also fairly sure that the majority of Russians would say that there isn't any intention for Russia to make Russian property out of Georgia. That Russia is merely protecting Russian citizens in South Ossetia, and stopping Georgian genocide in Abkhazia. That Russian troops in Ossetia aren't occupation forces, but merely peacekeepers. That Georgia, not Russia, started the hostilities. That Russia's recognition of Ossetian and Abkhazian sovereignty is exactly the same thing as Western nations recognizing Kosovo as a nation.


I seem to recall that Germany was merely protecting ethnic Germans in Czechoslovakia. In other words, one excuse is nearly as good as another.
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:36 am
@roger,
Exactly my point, roger.
roger
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 11:58 am
@old europe,
oh
Foxfyre
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:08 pm
@roger,
So OE is saying that he thinks Russia IS intent on expanding its territory? I didn't think that is what he thought earlier.

I don't have a clue what Russia's intent is myself. I only know it would be really stupid not to consider the possibility and have a contingency plan for that.
Walter Hinteler
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:19 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:

So OE is saying that he thinks Russia IS intent on expanding its territory? I didn't think that is what he thought earlier.

Because he said/agreed that one excuse is nearly as good as the other?
Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:20 pm
@Walter Hinteler,
Yes, along with his comments that preceded that.
0 Replies
 
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:20 pm
@Foxfyre,
Foxfyre wrote:
I only know it would be really stupid not to consider the possibility and have a contingency plan for that.


Who should have that "contingency plan"? And how should it look alike, you think?
0 Replies
 
old europe
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:22 pm
@Foxfyre,
Essentially I'm saying that people are rather apt to believe what their own national leaders are telling them, especially in a situation of an armed conflict involving their own country.

It's absolutely warranted to be suspicious of Russian intents. But I'm sure that's easier to say for someone not being part of the conflict than it is for a Russian or a Georgian citizen, for an Abkhazian or an Ossetian.

By the same token, it's understandable why many Americans didn't question the statements by their administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war, or, without equivocating those events, why Germans went along with the explanation the Nazis gave for their expansionist policies in the 1930s.
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 12:58 pm
@old europe,
old europe wrote:

Essentially I'm saying that people are rather apt to believe what their own national leaders are telling them, especially in a situation of an armed conflict involving their own country.

It's absolutely warranted to be suspicious of Russian intents. But I'm sure that's easier to say for someone not being part of the conflict than it is for a Russian or a Georgian citizen, for an Abkhazian or an Ossetian.

By the same token, it's understandable why many Americans didn't question the statements by their administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war, or, without equivocating those events, why Germans went along with the explanation the Nazis gave for their expansionist policies in the 1930s.


But Americans, I believe MOST Americans DID question the statements by their administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war as well as others interviewed for years on our national television, writing commentary in magazines and newspapers, and discussed at great length in radio formats.

Those statements spanned a 12-year-period during which time tens of thousands of Iraqis died as a result of international sanctions ordered by the UN who also was making its own statements.

The question was never whether action was needed. That was almost universally agreed. The question was a) when action was appropriate, b) when the action was most prudent, and c) what action should be taken. There was never any suggestion or intent for the USA to own anything of Iraq, but rather the intent was pretty well intentionally understood that it was to remove the threat of a crazed and opportunistic dictator. And there is been nothing in the history since that time to change that motive, though the mission has changed to restore a damaged Iraq and prevent an even worse dictator from gaining power there which would make the whole effort an exercise in futility.

It was after the fact that those who hold America in contempt pointed accusatory fingers and our own politicians began changing their story and manufacturing new ones to enhance their own political fortunes.

So now we have a situation in Russia. Was the action Russia took justified? Appropriate? Prudent? Was the timing right? And is there any motive other than that which Russia now proclaims. Are some trying to write a different history than the real one unfolding here?

Earlier today I started a thread dealing with the phenomenon of humankind too often wanting a 'feel good' explanation; i.e. an explanation that allows good feelings to exist and/or justification for feelings of anger or hate. Wouldn't we be better served by rather wanting the truth and the real explanation that might not feed our emotional desires, but which allows us to see things as they really are?
roger
 
  3  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 01:42 pm
@Foxfyre,
foxfyre wrote:
But Americans, I believe MOST Americans DID question the statements by their administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war. . . .


Most, maybe. I went for the WMD thing wholeheartly, and had no qualms till Powell's presentation to the UN. Gee, there was a photo of a building with trucks out side one day. Next day, the trucks were gone. This masterpiece of electronic intelligence gathering did raise a few doubts. I mean, the trucks moved? That's what trucks do.
Ramafuchs
 
  0  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 01:54 pm
@Lash,
i am of the opinion that Nato is a nonsensical club to uphold the criminal corporate cultue.
my appeal to the turkey
Waste not your money /energy/culture
and play not as a puppet.
Turkey is not qualified to be a partner/member but a country which should dance according the dictum?

None of the rational two-legged consumer( Humanbeing) will uphold this war criminal NATO.
0 Replies
 
Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 02:02 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:

foxfyre wrote:
But Americans, I believe MOST Americans DID question the statements by their administration in the lead-up to the Iraq war. . . .


Most, maybe. I went for the WMD thing wholeheartly, and had no qualms till Powell's presentation to the UN. Gee, there was a photo of a building with trucks out side one day. Next day, the trucks were gone. This masterpiece of electronic intelligence gathering did raise a few doubts. I mean, the trucks moved? That's what trucks do.


That was only part of the presentation though. But yes, there were other statements made that caused me to think that any number of interpretations could be attached to the points raised.

The fact is, however, that the previous administration, the current administration, most members of the UN, and most leaders in the free world believed Saddam had the WMD and was capable of using them or likely to use them.

To accuse President Bush (or Gen Powell) of manufacturing or falsifying evidence just doesn't hold up on the face of it and I think wouldn't even be happening if people didn't want to justify their anger at or hatred of the President so much. If President Clinton had initiated action against Iraq, I believe most of the same people now condemning Bush would be defending that action; and probably most of the people now defending Bush's decision would be condemning Clinton's.

I think many MANY people honestly don't want anything to interfere with what they have decided to believe about that.

Don't you think?

Meanwhile, those of us who have not suffered great personal tragedy or harm as a result of Russia/USSR activities do not have such strong feelings about either Russia or its leaders.

It is much easier to be more objective.
dyslexia
 
  1  
Reply Sun 31 Aug, 2008 02:09 pm
@Foxfyre,
Quote:
It is much easier to be more objective.

interesting, have you ever tried it?
0 Replies
 
mysteryman
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 07:00 am
Well, now we know why Russia invaded Georgia and why they seemed to support independence for South Ossetia...

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5iUA357W77ndvCMh32VlQqdGj53mAD92RRUHG0

Quote:
South Ossetia: Russia intends to absorb region
3 days ago

TSKHINVALI, Georgia (AP) " Officials in South Ossetia said Friday that Russia intends eventually to absorb the breakaway Georgian province.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and the region's leader, Eduard Kokoity, discussed South Ossetia's future earlier this week in Moscow, South Ossetian parliamentary speaker Znaur Gassiyev said.
Russia will absorb South Ossetia "in several years" or earlier, a position that was "firmly stated by both leaders," Gassiyev said.


Quote:
Moscow has recognized South Ossetia and Abkhazia, a second separatist region of Georgia, as independent, drawing criticism from the West. Russia found itself unable to shore up its own international support when China and four former Soviet republics in Central Asia refused a Moscow appeal to recognize the territories.


So this whole thing was nothing more then an attempt by Russia to regain some of its lost territory.


old europe
 
  2  
Reply Mon 1 Sep, 2008 07:24 am
@mysteryman,
Quote:
So this whole thing was nothing more then an attempt by Russia to regain some of its lost territory.


It probably as a bit more than just about territory. There's nothing of interest in South Ossetia. No natural resources, no strategic importance. Russia doesn't need the territory.

Also, you could just as easily say that " this whole thing was nothing more then an attempt by Georgia to regain some of its lost territory" - after all, Georgia broke away from the former Soviet Union, taking Abkhazia, Ajaria and South Ossetia with them.

And this here:

Quote:
Gassiyev's deputy, Tarzan Kokoiti, said South Ossetia has the right to reunite with North Ossetia, which is part of Russia.

"We will live in one united Russian state," he said.


North Ossetia is part of Russia. If South Ossetia became independent, I guess it would be up to them to join Russia and merge with North Ossetia.
SerSo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 2 Sep, 2008 07:46 am
@old europe,
I have found an article that covers another important aspect of the recent events - the psychological warfare:
Quote:

THE CNN EFFECT: GEORGIA SCHOOLS RUSSIA IN INFORMATION WARFARE
By Yasha Levine
http://exiledonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/cnn-large-450x214.jpg
I woke up to discover a weird link to a Digg post sent over by a friend of mine. It was a poll conducted on CNN’s website asking readers:

Do you think Russians actions in Georgia are justified?
1) Yes " it’s peacekeeping
2) No " it’s an invasion

Surprisingly, 92% of readers thought that the Russians were justified. Taking into account CNN’s boneheaded and overwhelmingly pro-Georgian coverage, the poll didn’t make any sense. Were sheepish CNN viewers actually using their brain? It didn’t seem likely. Well, the poll no longer appears on the site. It was taken down after charges of manipulation started surfacing. Apparently, Russian bloggers circulated the poll and called on Russians to let their voice be heard. And if there’s one thing CNN doesn’t like doing, it’s hearing what those damn Russkies have to say. CNN had no idea that this seemingly innocuous poll would demonstrate the huge rift in opinion between the West and Russia and underline the importance that information warfare has played in this conflict, not to mention show whom CNN was really rooting for.

“Information is no longer a staff function but an operational one. It is deadly as well as useful.”
"Executive Summary, Air Force 2025 report.

The Georgians didn’t just take this message to heart, they took whole sections out of DoD’s handbook on Information Operations and followed them to the letter. Even the most cursory look at this conflict shows that Georgia’s attack was an almost perfect textbook example of how modern warfare should be fought on the information front. The Georgians showed an amazing grasp of Info Ops concepts, pulling off counterpropaganda, launching disinformation campaigns and manipulating media perceptions as if they did this type of thing every day.

Oh, the Russians tried to do their part, too. But it still isn’t clear if they didn’t give a **** about what the world thought or just failed miserably. Either way, it was bad news for the Kremlin. Despite a military victory, they are going to have a hard time getting the world to go along with their plans for post-war Georgia. All because they failed to win over the hearts and minds of the world community. The Georgians knew the importance of a well-defined information war strategy. That’s because Georgia has had ample training by the masters of this art: America and Israel. Both have provided military strategy assistance, not to mention weapons training. The Americans were just in Georgia giving them a month-long military refresher course called "Immediate Response 2008" tab picked up by U.S. taxpayers). Israeli advisers were spotted in Georgia during the first few days of the war and had been training the country for years. In fact, Georgia’s Defense Minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli himself.

So how did things go so wrong for Russia and so right for Georgia? Borrowing a few talking points from a document on Military Information Operations prepared by the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, I’m going to try to evaluate their performance. What did they do wrong? How can they improve?
http://exiledonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/111-450x368.jpg

Psychological Operations
DoD definition: Psychological Operations (PSYOPs) are focused on the cognitive domain of the battlespace. PSYOP seeks to induce, influence, or reinforce the perceptions, attitudes, reasoning, and behavior of foreign leaders, groups, and organizations in a manner favorable to friendly national and military objectives. PSYOP is just another way to say that P word no one likes to use anymore, propaganda.

Analysis: This here is a no brainer. Georgia has dominated the psychological playing field from the beginning. As Mark Ames discovered, Georgian leaders were making collect calls to just about every influential person on Wall Street, convincing them that Georgia was the victim of Russian aggression even as Georgian rockets were leveling Tskhinvali. And that was before Russia officially entered into the fray. Saakashvili then made himself available for round-the-clock CNN and BBC interviews. He repeated the same simple lines in near-perfect English, and always flanked by an EU flag: “Russia is an aggressor. We are a small democratic country. Please help us.” Georgia was putting the “CNN effect,” as the military types like to call it, to extremely good use. The pro-Georgian CNN effect was so strong, in fact, that CNN used footage of Tskhinvali for a report on the destruction in the Georgian town of Gori. Check it out: http://ru.youtube.com/watch?v=NVNblG9PJMk

All the Russians did was call an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council to try to pass a resolution demanding that Georgia and the S. Ossetia lay down their arms. It wasn’t much of a psychological operation, one that the U.S. didn’t even back.

Psychological Operations Grade: Georgia: A+, Russia: F+
http://exiledonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/georgia13-450x282.jpg

Counterpropaganda
DoD description: Counterpropaganda activities are used to identify and counter adversary propaganda and expose adversary attempts to influence friendly populations and military forces situational understanding. They involve those efforts to negate, neutralize, diminish the effects of, or gain an advantage from foreign psychological operations or propaganda efforts.

Analysis: As soon as Russia started seeding reports that Georgia’s shelling of Tshinkvali might have led to more than 1,000 casualties started appearing, Georgia went on the defensive. Their brutal drive to retake the city was quickly forgotten and replaced with Georgian reports of Russian air raids on civilian targets. Georgia was now the victim of a Russian military invasion. When Russia accused Georgia of ethnic cleansing in S. Ossetia, the Georgians countered with claims of Russian genocide against the Georgians. Pictures of dead bodies, taken by Western journalists, appeared in every Western newspaper. To drive the point home, Saakashvili himself went to the city. The PR event was cut short,however, when Russian jets were spotted above. Cowering in fear, Saakashvili was bundled into a civilian Humvee and whisked away. The debacle convinced Russian viewers that Saakashvili was a coward, but to a Western audience it was more proof that Russian jets were attacking Gori. Georgian counter-propaganda was bolstered by the fact that Georgia made no attempt to hinder Western journalists’ access to the war zone, while Russia made it almost impossible for non-Russian reporters to get into S. Ossetia. Big mistake. Russian newspapers even bitched about it. When Russia tried to reiterate that it was not attacking civilian targets, Georgians claimed that Russian jets were bombing Western-financed oil pipelines deep inside Georgia proper. It was an utter lie, but that didn’t stop the headline from hanging up on Drudge Report for two whole days. Even now, after Russia signed an agreement to stop fighting, a disheveled and sleep deprived Saakashvili accuses Russian troops of attacking central Gori and moving tanks to take over Tbilisi. Who cares if it’s true. The Russian side is silent on the matter.

Counterpropaganda Grade: Georgia: A, Russia: F

Electronic Warfare
DoD description: Electronic Warfare operates across the electromagnetic spectrum, including radio, visible, infrared, microwave, directed energy, and all other frequencies. This includes targeting mass media and communications.

Analysis: Here is where both sides were more or less evenly matched. Both countries mounted cyber attacks on news outlets and government sites. As their first order of business, Georgia blocked all Russian TV transmissions and blocked all the .ru sites. Russia did the same, but despite those notorious Russian hackers, Georgia still managed to get the upper hand. Aside from getting reports of Russian attacks suppressed (thanks to Georgia’s effective counterpropaganda machine), Georgia’s big win was in managing to bring down the website of Russia Today, the only English-language TV coverage coming out of South Ossetia and the source of hard-hitting interviews like this one (skip about 1 minute forward): http://www.youtube.com/v/dvw01ye8sfM&hl=en&fs=1

Russia couldn’t keep up. And how could they? What, take down cnn.com?

Electronic Warfare Grade: Georgia: B, Russia: C-

You can email Yasha Levine at levine@exiledonline.com.

Got something to say to us? Then send us a letter: sic@exiledonline.com.

Posted on: August 13th, 2008

Source: EXILED ONLINE
0 Replies
 
Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sun 15 Feb, 2009 08:44 pm
btw, boy was I wrong about this.... I don't even know the status of SO presently...
0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 3 Mar, 2009 12:08 am
@Derevon,
Derevon wrote:
I think The Russians' actions are very predictable. I would liken Russia to a bear (coincidentally the president's surname means just this.) If you don't mess with it it's quite harmless; however, if you provoke it... I really don't know what the Georgian president was thinking when he gave the order to shell Tskhinvali into oblivion. He thought the Russians would just stand idly by and do nothing?


I'd like to note the fact that Georgian villages had been shelled for about a week, and Russian tanks were pouring into Georgia *before* Georgia launched their attack on the Ossetian criminals.

What was the president of Georgia thinking? I'd wager he was thinking that Russia is invading us and we need to defend ourselves as best we can.




Derevon wrote:
I think Russia considers itself a great and powerful nation, but I don't think they have any particular desire to take over all Georgia, or any other of the former Soviet republics.


No, Russia wants to conquer Georgia so they have a monopoly over gas and oil lines going east toward Europe.
0 Replies
 
literarypoland
 
  1  
Reply Fri 20 Mar, 2009 02:08 pm
The USSR has almost been resurrected. And the tentacles grab for more.
What's Moscow's offer for vassals? I read a lot about Xstan.
A ruling party which controls the industry, has a bank of jobs, nationalist rhetoric, folk dances, and poor people on the fringes, some of whom deal in drugs, and prostitution is rampant. Widespread unemployment, poverty. Contacts with Arab oil nations.
Big businessmen, as in Russia, can lose their property at any time. In fact they are just well-paid managers.
0 Replies
 
mramell
 
  1  
Reply Sun 12 Jul, 2009 11:27 am
@Foxfyre,
What some of you seem to forget, maybe not is the reason nations aren't annexing each other is because it cost a boat load of money to annex another nation because then you have to feed millions upon millions, provide for security, police and every other service any governance does. It also cost a boat load of money to move an army ten feet let alone around the globe or even next door. It just flat out is to expensive now days or we would all be running around being nation daddy everywhere.
0 Replies
 
 

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