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Friday, August 15, 2008


The war in Georgia seems to have reignited the neoconservative’s passion for what they would like us to think is ‘anti-communism’ and has reinflamed their old animosities toward the ‘East’ with the latest confrontation providing them with an opportunity to reinvent themselves as guardians of the ‘West’ as the ‘War on Terrorism’ fizzles due to a lack of any credibility.

Notorious neocon commentator, Max Boot, writing in the LA Times a few days ago opened his piece commenting on the conflict in Georgia by writing: “It took the Red Army -- excuse me, the Russian army -- only two days to secure Abkhazia and South Ossetia.” He then went on to regurgitate the same old Cold War writing style that we were familiar with during 60s, 70s and 80s prior to the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Boot writes: “By crossing Georgia's borders, the Russians have committed their worst violation of international law since the invasion of Afghanistan in 1979,” and he adds, “At a time like this, it is vital for the leaders of the West to stand together and make clear that this aggression will not stand.” Boot even resurrects the old anti-communist fear-mongering rhetoric that the West used to justify its ‘stand’ against communism in South East Asia. He says: “Likewise, the Russian attacks on Georgia, if left unchecked, could easily trigger more conflict in the future. The Kremlin has embarked on a campaign to destabilize not just pro-Western Georgia but other former Soviet satrapies that refuse to toe its line. Many of these states have their own Russian minorities whose alleged maltreatment provides the perfect excuse for Russian meddling. Today, Georgia; tomorrow, Ukraine; the day after, Estonia?”

Arch neocon William Kristol writing in The New York Times just couldn’t help himself as he jumped on the rickety bandwagon of Cold War invocation. “Will Russia get away with it?” is the title of his 10 August piece. Then in the opening lines he invokes the memory of brave little Georgia’s brave stand against ‘Soviet rule’. “In August 1924, the small nation of Georgia, occupied by Soviet Russia since 1921, rose up against Soviet rule.”

Kristol takes a slightly different tack than Boot. Kristol prefers to lump Putin in with China’s Hu Jintaos to make the communist connection, and then, just to tie things up with Kristol’s other object of paranoiac fear, Iran, gives President Ahmadinejad a mention as well. Just to reinforce that particular aspect of the connection Kristol adds: “Incidentally, has Russia really been helping much on Iran? It has gone along with — while delaying — three United Nations Security Council resolutions that have imposed mild sanctions on Iran. But it has also supplied material for Iran’s nuclear program, and is now selling Iran antiaircraft systems to protect military and nuclear installations.” As the ‘War on Terrorism’ slips aimlessly in to historical oblivion Kristol tries to give it the kiss of life attempting to connect Russia, now, if we are to go along with the neocons, the new enemy of the West, with the Islamic enemies the neocons created for us in 2001

Meanwhile, over at the Washington Post, that other notorious warmongering neocon writer Charles Krauthammer writes echoing the Boot and Kristol line. Again, the old Soviet and Cold War analogies are invoked. Krauthammer tells his readers that the Russian “…objective is the Finlandization of Georgia through the removal of President Mikheil Saakashvili and his replacement by a Russian puppet.” Apart from the obvious hypocrisy of this observation, considering America’s own history of promoting puppet governments all around the world, there is also the not insignificant fact that many observers contend that Saakashvili is actually a puppet of the West himself.

Krauthammer also invokes the analogy of the ‘Domino Affect’ of nations systematically being forced to come under Russian influence if Russia has its way in Georgia. He says: “Subduing Georgia has an additional effect. It warns Russia's former Baltic and East European satellites what happens if you get too close to the West. It is the first step to re-establishing Russian hegemony in the region.” Again, however, the hypocrisy is transparent; was not the invasion of Iraq and the replacement of Saddam with a West-friendly leader under pseudo-democratic rule supposed to have had exactly the same effect in the region?

Soon the neocons will be claiming victory in the ‘War on Terrorism’ as they scurry to clamour for the next war: the ‘War to Defend Democracy”?

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