Thursday, August 14, 2008

Has Putin Walked into a Trap?

The immediate Russian response indicates that Putin/Medvedev had long anticipated what the Georgians would do under orders. It also suggests they have had time to carefully consider their immediate, short and long term responses. So, if as Mike Whitney contends, Putin has walked into a trap - he has done so with full measure of forethought.
"The Grand Chessboard" it is the 21st century's version of the Great Game. The book begins with this revealing statement:
"Ever since the continents started interacting politically, some five hundred years ago, Eurasia has been the center of world power.....The key to controlling Eurasia, says Brzezinski, is controlling the Central Asian Republics."
This is the heart-and-soul of the war on terror. The real braintrust behind "neverending conflict" was actually focussed on Central Asia. It was the pro-Israeli crowd in the Republican Party that pulled the old switcheroo and refocussed on the Middle East rather than Eurasia. Now, powerful members of the US foreign policy establishment (Brzezinski, Albright, Holbrooke) have regrouped behind the populist "cardboard" presidential candidate Barak Obama and are preparing to redirect America's war efforts to the Asian theater. Obama offers voters a choice of wars not a choice against war.

On Sunday, Brzezinski accused Russia of imperial ambitions comparing Putin to "Stalin and Hitler" in an interview with Nathan Gardels.

Gardels: What is the world to make of Russia's invasion of Georgia?

Zbigniew Brzezinski: Fundamentally at stake is what kind of role Russia will play in the new international system.(aka: New World Order) Unfortunately, Putin is putting Russia on a course that is ominously similar to Stalin's and Hitler's in the late 1930s. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has correctly drawn an analogy between Putin's "justification" for dismembering Georgia -- because of the Russians in South Ossetia -- to Hitler's tactics vis a vis Czechoslovakia to "free" the Sudeten Deutsch. Even more ominous is the analogy of what Putin is doing vis-a-vis Georgia to what Stalin did vis-a-vis Finland: subverting by use of force the sovereignty of a small democratic neighbor. In effect, morally and strategically, Georgia is the Finland of our day.
The current administration is scratching its head and stumbling and fumbling for a coherent response. Bubba McCain is rootin and tootin with a full chaw of wikipedia powering his foreign policy and national security pronouncements. Meanwhile, old Brookings hands like Holbrooke, Albright, and the chessmaster himself are coming up out of the woodwork, making the media rounds, sounding authoritative and clueful establishment pronouncements about the way things are - and the way things are a gonna be.....,

(oh yeah.., if you're wondering - those are pictures of Zbig with his boy Osama in 1981 training with the Pakistani army)