FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Provoking Russia

by PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

It was five years ago that the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvilli, who was installed in power by the Washington supported “Rose Revolution,” launched a military invasion of South Ossetia, a break-away province under its own government.

The Georgian attack killed Russian peace-keeping troops and numerous Ossetians.

The Russian military response overwhelmed the US trained and equipped Georgian army in 5 days to the embarrassment of Saakashvilli and his Washington sponsors.

Washington began the training and equipping of the Georgian military in 2002, and continues to conduct joint military exercises with Georgia. In March and April of this year the US again conducted joint military exercises with Georgia. Washington is pushing to have Georgia admitted as a member of NATO.

Most analysts regard it as unlikely that Saakashvilli on his own would violate the peace agreement and attack Russian troops.  Certainly Saakashvilli would have cleared the aggression with his Washington sponsor.

Saakashvilli’s attempt to recover the territories was an opportunity for Washington to test Russia. Washington saw the attack as a way of embarrassing the Russian government and as a way of testing Russia’s response and military in action.  If Russia did not respond, the government would be
howeconembarrassed by its failure to protect its interests and the lives of those Russia regards as citizens.  If Russia did respond, Russia could be denounced, as it was by President George Bush, as a bully that invaded a “democratic country” with a Washington-installed president.  Especially interesting to Washington was the ability to observe the Russian military’s tactics and operational capabilities.

North Ossetia is part of Russia.  South Ossetia extends into Georgia. In 1801 Ossetia and Georgia became part of Russia and subsequently were part of the Soviet Union.

Under Russian law former Soviet citizens have the right to be Russian citizens.  Russia permitted Georgia to become independent, but South Ossetia and Abkhazia broke away from Georgia in the 1990s.

If Washington succeeds in installing Georgia into NATO, then an attempt by Georgia to recover what it regards as lost territories would escalate the conflict.  An attack by Georgia would comprise an attack by the US and NATO against Russia. Despite the risk to Europe of being pulled into a war with Russia, this month the chief of Denmark’s Home Guard was in Georgia on Washington’s mission discussing cooperation between the defense ministries of Denmark and Georgia on regional security issues.

Georgia lies to the East of the Black Sea.  What “regional security issues” does Georgia have with Denmark and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization?  NATO was established to defend Western Europe against Soviet attack.

Finland and Sweden remained neutral during the Cold War, but both are now being recruited by NATO.  NATO lost its purpose with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Yet, it has been greatly expanded and now includes former constituent parts of the Soviet Empire.  NATO has become a cover for US military aggression and supplies troops for Washington’s wars.  Georgia’s troops are fighting for Washington in Afghanistan and fought for Washington in Iraq.

Washington kept NATO alive and made it into a mercenary army that serves Washington’s world empire.

In a provocation to both Russia and China, the US is currently conducting military exercises in Mongolia.  Troops from Korea and Tajikistan, formerly part of the Soviet Union, are also participating. Washington calls such operations “building interoperability between peacekeeping nations.”  Obviously, foreign military forces are being incorporated into the Empire’s army.

Are Americans aware that Washington is conducting military exercises all over the world, is surrounding Russia and China with military bases, and now has an Africa Command?  Have Congress and the American people signed off on Amerika Uber Alles? Shouldn’t Washington and the military/security complex be reined in before Washington’s aggression triggers a nuclear war?

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. His latest book The Failure of Laissez-Faire Capitalism. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format.

Paul Craig Roberts is a former Assistant Secretary of the US Treasury and Associate Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Roberts’ How the Economy Was Lost is now available from CounterPunch in electronic format. His latest book is The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

May 30, 2017
Kenneth Surin
Can the Impossible Happen in Britain?
W. T. Whitney
Why Does the United States Beat Up On Capitalist Russia?
Patrick Cockburn
We Can’t Let Britain to Become a Vast ISIS Recruiting Station
Michael J. Sainato
Leaks and Militarized Policing: Water Protectors are Proven Right
Ted Rall
What Do the Democrats Want? No One Knows
David J. Lobina
The Israel-Palestine Conflict and Political Activism
Martha Rosenberg
Once Again, Mainstream Media Does Pharma’s Bidding
David L. Glotzer
Social Security: Clearing Up the Financial Nonsense
Edward Hunt
If They are Wrong the Planet Dies
Lawrence Wittner
How Business “Partnerships” Flopped at America’s Largest University
Guillermo R. Gil
Poems Must Never be White
Martin Billheimer
Strategies of Rose and Thorn in Portland
Tony Christini
What isn’t Said: Bernie Sanders in 2020
Chandra Muzaffar
Fasting for Palestinian Justice and Dignity
Clancy Sigal
Even Grammar Bleeds
May 29, 2017
Jim Kavanagh
No Laughing Matter: The Manchester Bomber is the Spawn of Hillary and Barack’s Excellent Libyan Adventure
Vijay Prashad
The Afghan Toll
Melvin Goodman
The Washington Post’s Renewed Attack on Whistlblowers
Robert Fisk
We Must Look to the Past, Not ISIS, for the True Nature of Islam
Dean Baker
A Tax on Wall Street Trading is the Best Solution to Income Inequality
Lawrence Davidson
Reality and Its Enemies
Harry Hobbs
Australia’s Time to Recognize Indigenous Peoples’ Sovereignty
Ray McGovern
Will Europe Finally Rethink NATO’s Costs?
Cesar Chelala
Poetry to the Rescue of America’s Soul
Andrew Stewart
Xi, Trump and Geopolitics
Binoy Kampmark
The Merry Life of Dragnet Surveillance
Stephen Martin
The Silent Apartheid: Militarizing Architecture & Infrastructure
Weekend Edition
May 26, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Anthony DiMaggio
Swamp Politics, Trump Style: “Russiagate” Diverts From the Real White House Scandals
Paul Street
It’s Not Gonna Be Okay: the Nauseating Nothingness of Neoliberal Capitalist and Professional Class Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
The ICEmen Cometh
Ron Jacobs
The Deep State is the State
Pete Dolack
Why Pence Might be Even Worse Than Trump
Patrick Cockburn
We Know What Inspired the Manchester Attack, We Just Won’t Admit It
Thomas Powell
The Dirty Secret of the Korean War
Mark Ashwill
The Fat Lady Finally Sings: Bob Kerrey Quietly Resigns from Fulbright University Vietnam Leadership Position
John Davis
Beyond Hope
Uri Avnery
The Visitation: Trump in Israel
Ralph Nader
The Left/Right Challenge to the Failed “War on Drugs”
Traci Yoder
Free Speech on Campus: a Critical Analysis
Dave Lindorff
Beware the Supporter Scorned: Upstate New York Trump Voters Hit Hard in President’s Proposed 2018 Budget
Daniel Read
“Sickening Cowardice”: Now More Than Ever, Britain’s Theresa May Must be Held to Account on the Plight of Yemen’s Children
Ana Portnoy
Before the Gates: Puerto Rico’s First Bankruptcy Trial
M. Reza Behnam
Rethinking Iran’s Terrorism Designation
Brian Cloughley
Ukraine and the NATO Military Alliance
Josh Hoxie
Pain as a Policy Choice
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail