Exclusive: In pursuit of a new Cold War with Russia, Official Washington wants to expand NATO into the ex-Soviet republic of Georgia, creating the potential for nuclear war to protect a sometimes reckless “ally,” writes Jonathan Marshall.
By Jonathan Marshall
A Republican leader calling for a new military base in Georgia is hardly newsworthy — the state already has more than a dozen such installations. But when it’s the speaker of parliament in the country of Georgia, who belongs to that nation’s Republican Party calling for a U.S. military base on Russia’s southern border, and for a constitutional amendment to guarantee his country’s commitment to NATO, that should raise some eyebrows.
Although major U.S. papers didn’t report that news this month, it reflects another escalation of NATO’s dangerous confrontation with Moscow. Eight years ago, Georgia’s intense campaign to join NATO — combined with its reckless aggression against the breakaway territory of South Ossetia — helped spark a brief but bloody war with Vladimir Putin’s Russia.
Today, the U.S.-led military alliance is once again promoting its expansion plans in Georgia and other countries on Russia’s periphery as if the Cold War had never ended.
On Sept. 7, ambassadors from all the NATO countries drove along George W. Bush Avenue to downtown Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, to meet with Georgian leaders about security cooperation and progress toward the country’s full integration into NATO.
At the end of the two-day visit, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg declared “the bonds between NATO and Georgia are stronger than ever.” His news release noted that “the Alliance is committed to helping Georgia move towards NATO membership,” and that “NATO experts in Georgia are providing advice on defense planning, education and cyber security, while Allies have increased joint training and exercises with Georgian troops.”
Just days earlier, the U.S. Marine Corps announced that it had joined “NATO allies and partners from the Baltics and Black Sea regions” in the Republic of Georgia to conduct live-fire military exercises with heavy tanks, armored vehicles, and anti-armor TOW missiles. And in July, Secretary of State John Kerry visited Georgia before joining President Obama at a NATO meeting in Poland to sign a new security cooperation agreement with Georgia.
All of these moves followed President Obama’s request to Congress in February to quadruple U.S. military spending in Europe next year, including military equipment to help Georgia in “countering Russian aggression.” Days later, NATO dispatched ships and sailors to Georgia for joint naval exercises in the Black Sea.
Moscow’s ambassador to NATO complained, “NATO is trying to draw us into a state of Cold War by inflating the myth about the threat from the East and justifying the necessity to deter Russia.”
NATO and the Roots of Conflict
NATO’s relentless expansion toward Russia — in violation of promises by Western leaders a quarter century ago — is a major cause of recent dangerous military escalation by the world’s major nuclear powers. In 2008, NATO extended membership invitations to both Georgia and Ukraine — two countries on Russia’s direct borders. George Friedman, CEO of the private intelligence firm Stratfor, explained that year why Moscow reacted with such hostility:
“US Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton had promised the Russians that NATO would not expand into the former Soviet empire. That promise had already been broken in 1998 by NATO’s expansion to Poland, Hungary, and the Czech Republic — and again in the 2004 expansion, which included not only the rest of the former Soviet satellites in what is now Central Europe, but also the three Baltic states, which had been components of the Soviet Union.
“The Russians had tolerated all that, but the discussion of including Ukraine in NATO represented to them a fundamental threat to Russia’s national security. It would, in their calculations, have rendered Russia indefensible and threatened to destabilize the Russian Federation itself. When the United States went so far as to suggest that Georgia be included as well, bringing NATO deeper into the Caucasus, the Russian conclusion — publicly stated — was that the United States in particular intended to encircle and break Russia.”
Conflict with Russia ensued that August when, according to official E.U. investigators, Georgia’s authoritarian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, ordered the shelling of the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, massacring civilians (and Russian peacekeepers) with cluster munitions. The resulting five-day war with Russia killed 850 people and displaced 100,000.
South Ossetia and nearby Abhkazia had broken away from Georgia in the early 1990s following the collapse of the Soviet Union. Their inhabitants were alarmed by the fanatical nationalism of Georgia’s thuggish first president, who declared that subversive minorities “should be chopped up [and] burned out with a red-hot iron from the Georgian nation.” South Ossetia alone lost more than one percent of its population to Georgian arms in 1991 and 1992.
President Saakashvili’s attempt to retake that territory in 2008 reflected his understandable overestimation of Washington’s willingness to back him up. Perhaps he listened too much to his paid lobbyist Randy Scheunemann, a neoconservative leader and chief foreign policy adviser to U.S. presidential candidate John McCain. Hardly had the war begun than McCain and other hawks rushed to blame Russia as the aggressor. The Arizona senator declared, “we are all Georgians.”
In addition, the New York Times observed just days after the war broke out, “The United States took a series of steps that emboldened Georgia: sending advisers to build up the Georgian military, including an exercise last month with more than 1,000 American troops; pressing hard to bring Georgia into the NATO orbit; championing Georgia’s fledgling democracy along Russia’s southern border; and loudly proclaiming its support for Georgia’s territorial integrity in the battle with Russia over Georgia’s separatist enclaves.”
Saakashsvilli may also have calculated that Israel, a major arms supplier to Georgia, would use its political clout to get Washington to intervene against Russia. Georgia’s defense minister, a former Israeli, said “We are now in a fight against the great Russia, and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House because Georgia cannot survive on its own.”
The Bush administration airlifted 1,800 Georgian troops from Iraq and guarded Tbilisi airport against Russian attack but did not save invading Georgian forces from defeat.
Fueling a New Cold War
Although Russia came out ahead, some Russian analysts concluded that their failure to teach Georgian leaders enough of a lesson in 2008 contributed to the recent conflict in Ukraine, where a violent putsch in 2014 installed an anti-Russian regime bent on joining NATO. As one Russian expert at Moscow State University observed last year:“The Saakashvili regime survived, it was not punished. What is happening in Ukraine is a direct result of the fact that in 2008 we did not pursue things in Georgia to the end. The junta in Kiev feels that it has absolute impunity, it is confident that Russia will not overthrow and punish it. That is why it is so brazen. And the West, seeing that Russia did not stick it out to the end, decided that it can do what it wants in Ukraine.”
(Lending support to that view, former President Saakashvili decamped last year for Ukraine, after being charged at home with a variety of offenses including embezzlement, violent crackdowns on opposition protests and the illegal seizure of a critical TV channel. The Kiev regime appointed him governor of the Odessa region and he has since become a major national political figure.)
In the West, the 2008 war fueled more anti-Russian sentiment, despite the consensus of most authorities that Georgia initiated the conflict. NATO roundly condemned Russia for recognizing South Ossetia and Abhkazia as independent states, setting the stage for continued tension for Moscow. In 2009, the newly elected President Obama began a training program for Georgian military forces.
In 2011, McCain’s buddy, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, engineered a unanimous voice vote of the U.S. Senate to condemn Russia for recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abhkazia (a vote that scandalized not only Moscow but conservative commentator Patrick Buchanan).
The same year, Hollywood actors Andy Garcia (playing Saakashvili), Val Kilmer and Heather Graham starred in the movie bomb “5 Days of War,” co-produced by a Georgian minister, about “a small country fighting for independence and freedom.”
Meanwhile, the neo-conservative opinion editors of the Washington Post have stoked the fires by running columns championing Georgia’s “enthusiastic embrace of Westernization,” its key role as a bulwark against Russian “domination” and “hegemony,” and the importance of hastening its entry into NATO.
The Post even ran a column by Saakashvili brazenly accusing Putin of trying to conquer Georgia in 2008, citing parallels with Nazi Germany’s occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938. The paper’s own editorial writers call for “tougher sanctions” against Russia to “deter Mr. Putin from taking further aggressive action” against Georgia and other neighboring countries.
Georgia’s ability to glean so much fawning attention becomes less mysterious in light of the fact that it is one of the top 10 foreign spenders on lobbying in the United States, including a $50,000 monthly retainer to the uber-lobbying firm, Podesta Group.
Among the few dissenters are foreign policy “realists” like the CATO Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter, who have the temerity to question the rationale for NATO in the post-Soviet age. Citing the cost and danger of growing U.S. commitments to that alliance, he wrote last month, a propos of countries like Georgia:
“The only thing worse than committing the United States to defend a small, weak, largely useless ally is doing so when that ally is highly vulnerable to another major power. . . Alliances with such client states are perfect transmission belts to transform a local, limited conflict into a global showdown between nuclear-armed powers.”
His words have gone largely unheeded. America’s dangerous commitment to Georgia is taking place nominally in public but far below the radar of most voters. So let me propose a serious question for the next presidential debate: “What would you do, if you were elected, about Tbilisi?”
Jonathan Marshall is author or co-author of five books on international affairs, including The Lebanese Connection: Corruption, Civil War and the International Drug Traffic (Stanford University Press, 2012). Some of his previous articles for Consortiumnews were “Risky Blowback from Russian Sanctions”; “Neocons Want Regime Change in Iran”; “Saudi Cash Wins France’s Favor”; “The Saudis’ Hurt Feelings”; “Saudi Arabia’s Nuclear Bluster”; “The US Hand in the Syrian Mess”; and “Hidden Origins of Syria’s Civil War.” ]
“What would you do, if you were elected, about Tbilisi?”
Kudos the reference to l’affaire Johnson-Barnicle. But mainstream media would never ask a major-party candidate something that hadn’t already been thoroughly pre-chewed by themselves.
Georgia has for at least a century and a half been of interest as ‘contested ground.’ The so-called Sidney Riley, a.k.a. “the ace of spies,” came into the world in Odessa around that juncture and grew up with a taste for life as a hired hand for English planners, and returned to the Caucasus to serve as a British agent both during the end of Tsarist Russia and at the outset of the Soviet Union, when Winston Churchill cavalierly asserted that the Anglo-American charge was to ‘strangle the Bolshevik baby in its crib.’
The Soviets caught Rozenblum/Riley and executed him in the mid twenties. Meanwhile, Lavrentiy Beria, Stalin’s notorious executioner and central figure in the Georgia gang in the Kremlin, died with a bullet to the brain a quarter century later after his colleagues accused him–albeit without anything akin to ‘due process’–of being an agent for London’s generations-long plans to carve up Russia and cement an Anglo cast on the whole of Central Asia.
To lose sight of these longstanding patterns is to miss out on key elements of what is happening today. Or at least that assertion makes sense to me.
Jim Hickey thanks for that little known history. That era you are referring too, is seldom if ever talked about. I will admit I have a lot to learn about those times. I did know that Churchill had a real attitude with the Russian Bolshevik, and I believe he hated Stalin. Also around that time I think that Lord Balfour wrote his declarations favorable stand towards the Zionist settling in Palestine. Versailles 1919 the big three wouldn’t even hear a young Ho Chi Minh’s plea for Vietnamese independence. Maps were being drawn like big time except the residents weren’t considered. I have a real interest in hearing about that period. I see much of what we are dealing with today, as being mere remnants of that momentous time in history. Hope to read more when your up to telling more about that time in history.
Just for the record I have been reading a lot of consortiumnews archived material. The comments sections are great. Some posters wrote some really long comments, but were interesting to read. Lots of history and current event references too.
Read this article and see comments…..
Hey, thanks Joe!
A good place to start is with a much lauded Supreme Court decision that is a free-speech ‘landmark,’ even though all its defendants received harsh prison sentences for throwing flyers from windows that recommended to American workers that they join up with Bolsheviks rather than fight against young Germans. Instead of going to jail, all of the defendants ended up deported back to Russia.
The decision (https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/250/616/case.html) in “Abrams versus the United States” came out just as the U.S invasion of Siberia and help with the French invasion of Crimea were occurring, in 1919. I’ve written at some length about these and related matters, for example here: https://sermcap.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/past-as-prologue-in-ukraine/.
In depth conversations about such things, with grassroots follow-up, is an essential ingredient for human survival. This could be unfortunate, given the general proclivities for willful ignorance. We’re in there pitching, in any case.
The whole saga of Southeast Asia that you mention is so crucial; if anything, however, the awareness of ‘past as prologue’ there is even worse than in relation to Russia. Keep me posted, &
Ciao for now,
The other question I have about this this is what is it the NATO wants to achieve??
And, you do mean “NATO,” rather than its puppeteer, the United States of America, right? You are questioning, I assume, why on earth would Britain, France, Germany, Holland, Liechtenstein and the other rich, highly evolved democracies want to put their very existence at risk because some dipshit loose canon member of NATO like Estonia, Georgia or Ukraine has some 500-year old axe to grind with Russia and starts a shooting war knowing that the rest of the alliance MUST come to their assistance. Like, human existence should end because Latvians now feel entitled to bully the Russian ethnics living within their boundaries? Brilliant! Only the mind of American diplomats could come up with something so genius.
WELL CONSIDERING ALL THINGS, I FIND MYSELF ASKING, “WHY DOES THE U.S. LOSE SO MANY OF THIER FINE YOUG MEN TRYING TO PROTECT A BUNCH OF UNGRATEFUL BASTARDS WHO THE WHOLE LOT OF YOU AREN’T WORTH ONE PRECIOUS AMERICAN SOLDIER”. SINCE WW11 COUNTLESS AMERICAN LIVES HAVE BEEN TOTALLY WASTED ON YOUR WORTLESS PART OF THE WORLD. GENERATIONS OF EUROPEANS HAVE LIVED IN FEAR OF THE HITLER’S AND THE PUTIN’S AND THE U.S. IS THE ONLY ONE WITH THE BALLS TO STAND UP TO THEM, NOW ONE CANDIDATE DARES TO BE FRIENDLY TO PUTIN, A NOVEL APPROACH, WONDER WHY NO ONE TRYED THAT BEFORE. I WILL ONLY SAY ONE MORE THING TO YOU U.S. HATERS, YOU FEAR A NUCLEAR TRAGEDY BUT THE THOUGHTS OF LIVING UNDER THE THREATS OF ANOTHER STALIN WHO KILLED MILLIONS OR ANOTHER HITLER WHO WAS HELL BENT ON WORLD DOMINATION DON’T SEEM TO FAZE YOU, BUT WHEN IT HAPPENS IT WILL BE YOU YELLING THE LOUDEST, “WHERE IS THE AMERICANS, WHY AREN’T THEY HERE TO SAVE US. YOU BUNCH OF SNEIVELING COWARDS…YOU HAVE ALWAYS AND WILL STILL GET WHAT YOU DESERVE WITH OR WITHOUT OUR HELP. GOD HAVE MERCY ON THE LOT OF YOU WHEN THE ISLAMIC NUTS START WACKING OFF YOUR SORRY HEADS// JACK J……………..
If America is ever ruled by a “Stalin” or a “Hitler” that individual will be completely home-grown, not imported from any other country. Dubya and Obomber haven’t quite made the grade as world-class dictators yet, but not for lack of trying. But when the day comes, rest assured, the man or woman who completely snuffs out all remaining American liberties will be a native-born American, someone calling himself a red-blooded American patriot who snatches your freedom for what he will call “your own good.” So, simple minds such as yours can stop looking to Putin or any other ridiculous foreign candidate as America’s contribution to the world’s great hall of dictators. By the way, I’m sure you’re thrilled that “Putin” records your every telephone conversation, email correspondence and internet search. Oh, wait, that’s the NSA, an arm of the American government and not Putin at all, isn’t it? (The “all caps” was a nice touch–shows how forceful a personality you have there, Jack.)
The idiot with all caps comes across as a spoiled brat stomping his/her feet and screaming. Since he/she is american it’s likely a completely accurate view.
What do you expect from an utterly ignorant, publicity-dazed, success-crazed bunch, epitomized (that word will flummox him!) by one presidential candidate who wants to know what a ‘leppo’ is, and how to deal with it, another who is a typical loudmouthed boor who wants to ‘make America great again’, but can’t make up his mind how to do it, and a third half-dead creature with blood dripping from her hands, and lies from her mouth. We can leave out Jill Stein, who is at least civilised if not particularly articulate. Observe that she has only about 4% of preferences, which more or less sums up intelligence levels in the country.
America never was great; there are just a lot of them.
Now there’s this oaf screaming in capitals. His punctuation and spelling are no great shakes either.
Don’t consider all things. You’ll just get yourself in a sweat, and your spelling isn’t up to discussion with intelligent people. Relax on your couch sucking a coke and drug yourself your favourite reality-show. Live the american dream.
Interesting article, I believe these NATO-rious war maniacs could perpetrate a Nuclear War
When the Nukes Start Flying
When the nuclear missiles start flying
The result will be many millions dying
Planet earth will be all aflame
Nothing will ever be the same
“Our leaders” will be hiding in their safe quarters
Hoping to escape the deadly horrors
Mad men of the earth who caused this fiery hell
“ Honourable” idiots with nothing left to sell
Useless scumbags in a now useless world
Their “victory” dreams are now fulfilled
Now they have nowhere to run or go
The stupid bastards now reap what they sow
Sadly, many innocent people will also suffer and die
Victims of the madmen who sent hellfire from the sky
Hell on earth becomes the final solution
Courtesy of maniacs who pay no restitution
This is what happens when war criminals rule
And people obey these bloody fools!
A corrupt system brings death and dying
This is what happens when the Nukes start flying.
Articles of interest at link below:
Has the Responsibility to Prosecute Become the “Responsibility to Protect” War Criminals?
I believe Saakashvili is hated by his fellow Georgians, and is now or was a governor of a province in the Ukraine.
Are Liberals and Conservatives ever going to oppose coups, regime change, and thug dictators? No, because that’s what a Liberal and Conservative are for.
Wobble… Yeah, I believe Saakachvili is wanted in Georgia for crimes but is now the Governor of Odessa and that “I am Ukrainian” Girl from the video, which I believe was produced by Larry Diamond who has ties to the US State Department, is now his Deputy Governor – how’s that for ironic?
Yes, as noted in the article, “former President Saakashvili decamped last year for Ukraine, after being charged at home with a variety of offenses including embezzlement, violent crackdowns on opposition protests and the illegal seizure of a critical TV channel. The Kiev regime appointed him governor of the Odessa region and he has since become a major national political figure.”
NATO is the US – with a puppet Scandinavian leader to appease the European members.
NATO hyping the Rusduan threat and is fighting the Cold War when Europe has a terrorism issue and a migrant issue.
Saakashvili a foolishness is still fresh in many mind.
It’s not clear whether the European members would want Georgia to become an issue as Ukraine has not been resolved and is costing them money and market share in the Russian market. And it has not affected Russians stance.
Georgia also relies on remittances from workers in Russia and some exports to Russia – these can always be shut down.
Among the few dissenters are foreign policy “realists” like the CATO Institute’s Ted Galen Carpenter, who have the temerity to question the rationale for NATO in the post-Soviet age.
If Washington’s warmongers and the military-industrial complex’s agency in Europe, NATO, have not reached the point of no return in irrational behavior, they must surely be very close to it. A president Hillary will likely get them over the top and down into the abyss. In this instance, his supporters may be able to claim lesser-evil status for The Donald.
I’m telling you, liberal minded people are falling hook line and sinker for all the demonization that’s being heaped Putin’s way by the likes of NPR, PBS News Hour, WashPo, and the NYT. It’s downright frightening and dismaying the manner in which otherwise intelligent and progressive folks are buying into the Russian vilification. It’s as if they’re utterly incapable of reflecting back to some 13 years ago when the same mendacious playbook was used against Baghdad.
It’s beyond irritating when some of my liberal minded acquaintances scoff at me in smug self-righteousness (sometimes on the verge of yelling in my face) that Putin’s indeed a criminal, gobbling up countries in Eurasia and intent on wiping the U.S. off the map, they assure me of it with a condescension that’s beyond belief.
Drew, don’t feel too a lone, I’m experiencing the same reactions from my liberal friends. Although, if you listen or read the MSM and how they describe Putin, and Russia, its easy to see how my dearly beloved liberal friends are influenced to believe the American media lies.
My gay friends are convinced how Russia is homophobic. I even emailed them a copy of Brian Heiss research in regard to RF#135FZ which turns out to be a media censorship law, and never mentions the word homosexual even once. In fact in Mr Heiss 144 page well documented white paper, he provides statistics proving how a gay Russian is saver by far over their American counterpart, but little in America is known of the real facts. Instead, the media portrays Russians as gay haters, and that’s the end of story.
I also saw on the news how our media is making a big deal about Russia playing war games on their own border. Any American who would question the Russian maneuvers on it’s own borders is brain dead. Brain dead to not take into consideration how America has invaded and destroyed countries who are no where near the American borders. No one seems to wonder why Russia may have good cause, but instead the ill informed in America would like to think how Russia is just an evil aggressor. Ask a liberal friend if they are aware that this past summer NATO installed Aegis missiles in Poland, and Romania….why is Russia beefing up its military???
My sports fan liberal friends were disgraceful in my mine, to how they cheered on the Russian Olympics athletes being barred from participating in the games. None of these friends of mine even knew what the McLaren Report even was when I asked them about it, so what’s that tell you?
Propaganda in America is alive and well, and if you don’t believe me then next time when around a couple of your liberal friends, tell them how much you really love Putin, or how you like Russians, and tell me how that goes for you. If Rod Sterling were a live today this subject would give him quite a lot of material to write a great episode for the TwiLight Zone. Cue the TwiLight Zone music here….
“Propaganda in America is alive and well, and if you don’t believe me then next time when around a couple of your liberal friends, tell them how much you really love Putin, or how you like Russians, and tell me how that goes for you.”
Great analysis, etc. Mr. Tedesky.
Maybe Rod Sterling would have written an episode where the liberals in one country are really the war hawk conservatives in the opposing company….or something like that. I’m no Rod Sterling, but watching how our American limousine liberals respond to the American news medias rants about Russia, is definitely perplexing to say the least. Take care Drew…JT
… its easy to see how my dearly beloved liberal friends are influenced to believe the American media lies.
They may be like many others of their persuasion wanting to believe the corporate media lies. It gives them an excuse to sit mute on the sidelines while they are also blind to evil’s looming success. This is especially true if they have signed on to vote for the Queen of Chaos to assume the throne in the Evil Office after she makes the obligatory meaningless oath of office on inauguration day.
Bill, as much as I love these liberal friends of mine, and I can’t understand for the life of me why they take Thomas L. Friedman seriously, and a couple of them do. I guess this does say a lot about they’re idea of liberal, which is totally different than my interpretation of the meaning of liberal.
When it comes to who to vote for, these same liberal friends are literally in fear of a Donald Trump presidency and who Trump may appoint to the Supreme Court. My friends didn’t take kindly to me telling them not to worry about the liberal judges, due to the fact that for a long time we have had a conservative court, and nothing has happened to Roe vs Wade…why, because the Republicans need Roe vs Wade so they have something to run on. I mean how can a Republican bring the right wing christian to the voting polls if it weren’t for their protesting against liberal laws.
Okay Citizens United is something to be against, but let’s just see how soon a Democrat in the White House will over turn this terrible law….it would not surprise me that if Hillary wins she will find someway to get out of doing away with Citizens United. Think about it, Hillary’s largest donors fit that category. I personally hope someone does do that law in, but I’m not getting my hopes up…I’m tired of being disappointed.
take care Bill JT
… which is totally different than my interpretation of the meaning of liberal.
Then again, Joe, what does the word “liberal” mean? The original liberals changed the meaning of the word themselves, and it has been tossed around in so many ways by people with so many different ideologies it has become almost meaningless.
Time to peruse George Orwell and Politics and the English Language – http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/politics/english/e_polit
I was thinking of Clinton and her assessment of Trump’s basket of “deplorables” which has some truth to it, but what’s in her basket? People like Meryl Streep who was impressed by three women who gave Hillary credit for saving their lives but who is apparently oblivious to Killary being an unmitigated disaster for millions of other women and will very likely have no mercy for countless others if she becomes commander-in-chief.
But we shouldn’t be surprised at how screwed up the US has become. The oligarchs of the Democratic and Republican parties have a long history of treating the people with contempt.
I never felt comfortable by claiming to be liberal. Yet again, there are certain right leaning views and ideology that make me liberal. I wish sometimes we didn’t have any political parties. Where I live if your not Democrat you don’t vote. We have closed primaries and a long line of people who have called themselves Democrat doing Republican things…it’s all good, it’s America!
Hillary’s basket should be the best Wall Street can offer. The goal of her Adminstration will be to establish “USA International Inc.” on every inch of the globe. She already is establishing her Russian policy with all her talk crap and pointing fingers at Vlad the boogeyman. Whoever brought this conversation up about liberals brought up a good one, because if WWIII gets started, it will be the liberals this time who started it….go Hillary, go!
Some minutes ago a colleague asked me if I am pro-Putin. I said yes and told him the reasons. In Germany anti-Russian propaganda is also fit and alive. As a provocation I raised a Russian flag in my office, learn Russian and just returned from a 2-weeks-holiday to Crimea. But that is no way to get very popular in Germany of nowadays.
Yes, the experience just as you describe has lifted the scales from my eyes, and I see that the “liberal” Democratic rank and file is just as weak-minded, uninformed, biased, easily mislead by corrupt leaders, and prone to violent solutions as the hard right. You don’t need to poll your so-called family, friends and acquaintances, just read any purportedly liberal Democratic website on the internet today. They are with HER. She wants war, so do they. She implies that Trump is a puppet of Putin and a traitor to his country because he would prefer to avoid a war with Russia, they snap it up, hook, line and sinker.
The classic question among those of us in the Post WWII generation was, how could the good Germans let Hitler happen? We are seeing how right now in our own midst. Our “leaders” fabricate false narratives and even false flag operations. They surround us with fear. They demonize the “other.” A whole lineup of foreign leaders are conflated with “Hitler.” First the Ayatollahs in Iran, then Saddam, then Gaddafi, now Assad and, most especially, Vladimir Putin. Killary has personally canonized Putin by name as the “new Hitler.” And, she will NOT appease any Hitler. She intends to extirpate him, using all the means of making war at her disposal through NATO. That’s why NATO must be expanded to the back fence of Putin’s dacha in the Russian countryside. Americans (and Brits) have become so intellectually lazy and ill-informed that they commonly conflate Hollywood movies with actual history. Many, if not most, actually think that “The Lord of the Rings” actually happened. Truly, they do, this was ascertained in polls taken by academics. The good citizens of the United States of Idioacracy are probably also convinced that Russia is Mordor and Putin is Sauron. Quick, go recruit Rohan and Gondor into NATO! Our survival depends upon it!
And, Jonathan, I can easily predict Killary’s response to your question, “What would you do, if you were elected, about Tbilisi?” No question it would go something like this: “Ack! Ack! Thbbft! Blech! Ack! Ack! I would nuke the bastard for not ack kissing my excep…ack…tional and indispensi..ack…ble ack, ack, ack, ass!” (Apologies to Bill the Cat, who spoke the words with greater elegance than Killary ever could, even when lying on the ground with her eyes rolling up in their sockets due to “overheating.”)
Thanks Realist, so now your telling me there is no Gandalf the Grey, wow next you’ll tell me there’s no Easter Bunny.
But seriously your comment is spot on. Between Mike Morell on Charlie Rose, and the 51 State Department Anonymous sour grape warmongers, and Hillary’s AIPAC speech, your prophecy of Killary wars on our horizon makes sense. I hope your wrong, but with Hillary in the White House what bookie odds are on Hillary being a peacenik? You could bet against the odds, but don’t bet anymore than your capable of losing and not buying the farm for placing your bet against these odds. Plus, having the Clintons back in the news is as unbearable as it gets. If you watch a lot of cable news, I can only advice you as a friend to quit paying your cable bill. So if she wins be prepared for scandals, and more scandals, while we deploy more military around the globe to spread the good news about liberty and freedom, all for the sake of fame and fortune.
But the demonization of Russia has caused serious rifts between Europeans and the US. Since the confrontation Course against Russia, the US is regarded by more and more Europeans as eminent threat to their well-being.
The anti-Russia-bashing reminds Germans of Goebbel’s propaganda machinery. They, like many other Europeans, react in a hostile way to any kind of transatlantism since the attempt to impose a new cold war on us. We know enough Russians to form an independent image of Russia ourselves and realise the difference between reality and the media caricature.
Thus the US is in the end certain to lose its control over Europe. See the violent resistance against Ceta and TTIP: People understand what this is about. And they don’t want it.
Transatlantists and neoliberals among European politicians are losing ground, too. The current confrontation line destroys Europe – and resistance is growing from below. Solidarity too. It’s growing in southern Europe, but as well in Germany.
In the end the current pathological move of US leads will lead to the end of their influence on Europe.
I hope you are right but I doubt that the US is losing ground in Europe. I have just the opposite impression that European politicians are even stricter on US line. Remembering CETA, TTIP and TISA which are pushed in Germany and the EU institutions. And militarily they are also strict followers of US – e. g. new German Weißbuch der Bundeswehr which calls Russia as an enemy.
And average citizens: Most people in my nearer environment have inhaled all the propaganda about Russia and Putin. Nobody can imagine which comments I had to listen to before and after my Crimea holiday.