Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let’s You and Him Fight

Last night I reported that Bashar Assad is visiting Moscow for talks with President Dmitry Medvedev. The two leaders are celebrating the traditional warm friendship shared by Syria and Russia, not to mention discussing a deal for the sale of Russian Iskander missiles to Syria.

Close on the heels of the Assad-Medvedev love feast comes a reported phone call from Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to the Russian president. A coincidence? You decide.

According to Ynet News:

Medvedev, Olmert discuss Caucasus conflict

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev phoned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert Wednesday in an apparent effort to ease tensions between the countries amid Moscow’s conflict with Georgia.

Knesset Speaker Dalia Itzik announces MKs will visit battle-stricken region soon in order to assist in post-war rehabilitation. ‘As member of Jewish people, when I see convoys of destitute refugees this war has left behind, I can’t just sit by,’ she says

The leaders spoke at length about a host of issues, including the situation in the Caucasus, the Middle East peace process and Syrian President Bashar Assad’s current visit to Moscow.

Assad and Medvedev are expected to meet at the resort city of Sochi along the shores of Black Sea to discuss the strategic alliance between the countries. The Syrian leader said he would use a visit to expand military ties with Moscow, whose arms sales to the Middle Eastern state have angered Israel and the United States. The Russian leader is expected to offer Syria advanced weaponry.

It seems that Russia is unhappy with prior Israeli assistance to the Georgians:
- - - - - - - - -
On Tuesday General Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of staff of the Russian Military revealed the extent of the military assistance Moscow claimed Jerusalem had given Georgia.

“Israel armed the Georgian army,” he told reported at a press conference held in the Russian capital.

According to Nogovitsyn, Israel provided Georgia with “eight types of military vehicles, explosives, landmines and special explosives for the clearing minefields.”

Vladimir Putin is adept at playing the old game of “Let’s You and Him Fight”. If Russia is surrounded by enemies — which has been the common theme of its foreign policy since Ivan the Terrible — it makes sense to set them to war with one another.

Iran, the United States, Israel, the Arabs, various European countries, India, Pakistan, North Korea, Japan…

As much trouble as possible, among as many of these players as possible: that’s what serves the interests of Russia.


Hat tip: Abu Elvis.

18 comments:

babs said...

There are two problems here. The first I realized several years ago when I auditied a course at my local university titled "The War on Terror." That is that "your western toolbox doesn't work here."
I think I could have just written that on the final and gotten an A. Everything everyone thought they knew about the Middle East, Asia and now Russia, based on their learned ideology in the United States has very little value in understanding and offsetting the mindset of this vast region of the world.
The second thing that I actually learned a long, long time ago in community college is that the press has an inherit bias, whether they want to acknowledge that or not. Just because we at the GOV understand this (or not), the fact is that one needs to read several sources of news and then apply CRITICAL THINKING in order to draw a reasonable conclusion. Most of the population of the west still hasn't tumbled to this.
I was actually taught this 30 years ago by a far left professor (God bless him) at the advent of NPR. The entire course consisted of subscribing to two newspapers; one from column A and one from column B and tracking one news story a day that appeared in both newspapers. It was a real eye opener. That is a lesson that will stay with me for the rest of my life.
I also had a writing instructor that did more for my writing skills than any other professor I ever had; even though I still can't spell...
Red Rocks Community College, Golden Colorado.

Cobra said...

An article for the russophiles trolling here:

The Bar at the Bottom of Red Route One

by Jed Babbin
Posted 08/21/2008 ET


Getting into the elevator Wednesday evening to go up to the BBC Washington studios, I felt as I had since the beginning of this eternal presidential campaign in January 2005: pulse slightly elevated, the dull ache of an eyestrain headache, but otherwise normal. Leaving after two interviews, I felt strangely rejuvenated.

The first interview, with Philippa Thomas, was good but uneventful. I said that Russia was back to its ancient habit of imperialism and that we had to treat them as an adversary. There need be no war: we won the first Cold War with nary a shot fired. Only an aggressor -- or a nation that planned to be one -- could object to a missile defense being put in Poland. And then came the second interview for the Newsnight program.

I was pitted against a Russian gent who went on and on about how Russia only wants stability and always extends its hand in a gesture of peace toward NATO. At that point, I began to smile, my age seeming to melt away. The bad old days were back. I answered him, saying that he was following the old Soviet script, regurgitating their tired agitprop nonsense. That if Russia wanted peace, it should withdraw from Georgia, not use cyberwar to try to topple Estonia’s government, and stop threatening Poland with nuclear attacks, as a senior Russian general did earlier in the week.

Leaving the studio, there was a new spring in my step. Something new, yet old, faced us again. The Bear is prowling the European woods. And we know how to deal with it.

It will be spy vs. spy, their aircraft intruding on our airspace, their ships dragging their coat off our shores, our submarines shadowing theirs. We know the rules, and so do they. They will undermine freedom at every opportunity, and we will stand fast against them. We can deter them, contain them, and we must.

There will be the usual liberal caterwauling about bloated military budgets, protestations that the -- now operational -- partial missile defense we have does not work, though it does. Our next president will have to face a very ugly fact, that Russia has developed new classes of aircraft, submarines and missiles while we have lagged badly. That Russian cyberwar capability -- and that of the Chinese -- probably surpasses our own. But those facts can be changed, to our advantage, if we and our allies are to remain free.

The Islamic radicalism that plagues the world must still be our primary enemy. To reach the uneasy stability of the old days, we have first to defeat the Islamists and their ideology. But when that is done, Russia will still be there. And whether it is Putin or some other neo-tsar, Russia will be just as it has been since the 17th Century under Peter the Great: expansionist, threatening Western Europe. They will be aiming, first and always, at America and its allies abroad.

So, to my old friends, let us take heart. They can only beat us if we let them. We stand, as we always have, for freedom and against oppression.

You’ll be able to find me, as you always could when we were younger. I’ll be sitting in the shadow, gazing out toward the Fulda Gap, sipping slowly from a glass of Johnny Walker Black, with my back to the wall in the booth at the far corner, in the Bar at the Bottom of Red Route One.

Mr. Babbin is the editor of Human Events. He served as a deputy undersecretary of defense in President George H.W. Bush's administration. He is the author of "In the Words of our Enemies"(Regnery,2007) and (with Edward Timperlake) of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States" (Regnery, 2006) and "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think" (Regnery, 2004).
Copyright © 2008 HUMAN EVENTS. All Rights Reserved.

supercargo said...

There has been general media censorship - except for Youtube - of the Saakashvili-Barrage that started the crisis.

Again, at 9PM of Aug. 7 the Georgian President stated on live TV an offer of "autonomy" to South Ossetia. At the same time he was ordering his Generals to implement "Operation Cleared Fields," to finalize the ethnic cleansing of South Ossetia. Shortly after midnight, an 8 hour artillery barrage was rained on Tskhinvali, with the intent of effecting ethnic cleansing. As refugees began to pour out of the city, Georgian tanks entered and commenced indiscriminate shooting of civilians. Lightly armed "Peacekeeper" troops were also attacked.

You know the rest, except for the fact that Russian troops attacked the Gori Barracks, and captured plans for "Cleared Fields." We should hold them to their promise to vacate Georgia proper, but we don't need to lie for the private benefit of a Soros' protege.

It is pure hypocrisy to attack Soros' intrigues and rhetoric (comparing Bush to Hitler and condemning the GWOT), while defending his Georgian player piano. Don't even think that you are speaking for Georgians when you do that. Saakashvili squandered a 30% lead over the national opposition, with his Soros constitution. He won a fixed election with only 52.8% of the vote.

Maybe the Russians should set up their own Radio Free Europe2, if the lying continues.

brianakira said...

Babbin article:

"Russia is back to its ancient habit of imperialism and that we had to treat them as an adversary."

Proves that the Russians are correct to see the West as antagonistic. Also, the US doesn't mind allying itself with France and the UK that still have imperial territories. Also, Georgia has an ancient imperialistic history, Also, Russian imperialism is a response to Tatar, Mongol, Turkish, Swedish, French and German aggression.

"We won the first Cold War with nary a shot fired."

Did "we" win?

Is this idiot so keen on a cold war when the Muslim world (half of which is supported by the US) is the real threat?

"Only an aggressor -- or a nation that planned to be one -- could object to a missile defense being put in Poland."

Interesting. Rice and Bush denied vociferously that missiles in Poland had anything to do with Russia,

"I began to smile, my age seeming to melt away. The bad old days were back. I answered him, saying that he was following the old Soviet script"

What a tool. Russia is not the USSR. Saakashvili is more of a Soviet-style propagandist than Putin.

"If Russia wanted [sic] peace, it should withdraw from Georgia"

If the US wanted peace, it would not have armed and trained Georgia and supported its aggression.

"Stop threatening Poland with nuclear attacks, as a senior Russian general did earlier in the week."

He made an observation that if Poland is seen as a threat to Russia, then of course it could be targeted.

"Leaving the studio, there was a new spring in my step."

Just what I thought. A bunch of impotent old men who are too confused by the world today, and too cowardly to speak the truth about Islam, so they want to go back to their "glory days" and are determined to have Russia as an enemy.

"Something new, yet old, faced us again. The Bear is prowling the European woods."

Georgia is south of the Caucasus, which has long been seen as the border between Europe and Asia.

"And we know how to deal with it."

Actually, no, you don't.

"It will be spy vs. spy"

Oh you pathetic old fool.

"They will undermine freedom at every opportunity, and we will stand fast against them."

Right, Russians stay up all night trying to figure out how to destroy "freedom" in Canada, heartland of the HRCs. And the US is so keen on supporting freedom in Saudi Arabia.

"We can deter them, contain them, and we must."

Again, you can't, and I doubt you "must."

"There will be the usual liberal caterwauling"

Right. Steinmuller and Trifkovic and Buchanon etc are real liberals.

"Russia has developed new classes of aircraft, submarines and missiles while we have lagged badly. That Russian cyberwar capability -- and that of the Chinese -- probably surpasses our own."

Oh yeah, sounds like the ideal people to go to war with at this point in time.

"But those facts can be changed, to our advantage"

I try my best not to believe in "the military-industrial complex" conspiracy. But it gets very hard to do so with warmongers like Babbin around.

"If we and our allies are to remain free."

Right. Said as civil liberties and freedom of expression are under assault all across the West, and people are increasingly under surveillance.

"The Islamic radicalism that plagues the world must still be our primary enemy."

Oh, good, one word of sanity...

"We have first to defeat the Islamists and their ideology."

Not "Islamist" you tool. Islam!

"Blah blah blah"

"You’ll be able to find me, as you always could when we were younger. I’ll be sitting in the shadow, gazing out toward the Fulda Gap, sipping slowly from a glass of Johnny Walker Black, with my back to the wall in the booth at the far corner, in the Bar at the Bottom of Red Route One."

You pathetic, impotent, hallucinating, Walter Mitty moron.

"Mr. Babbin is the author of "Showdown: Why China Wants War with the United States" and "Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe are Worse than You Think"

What? Shouldn't we crush Islam and then smash China and then smack Old Europe around [wait, I thought that was our "freedom-loving ally"] and then get rid of the UN and THEN demolish Russia?

Aaah, I love the smell of New World Order in the morning.

Protestant said...

The Russophiles and the willing-puppets-for-Putin are out in force here. Strange.

The fact is, Russia cares about Russia alone, and hates nations that resist it. Their hatred for the humble Nordic-oriented Estonians and Latvians is near-fanatical. They HATE that those peoples want to..continue to exist as Peoples and that they resist total Russification.

The fact is, if Western Europe fell into a pathetic balkanized mess, the Kremlin thugs would be as happy as a lark. A longtime enemy would be down and out, what could be better for them?

Protestant said...

Brianakira, put down the Kremlin notecards for a minute and answer this:

If Russia is really such a "victim", how do you explain their eagerness to arm any and every nation hostile to the Christian West? And their eagerness to set up alliance with Islamic nations?

brianakira said...
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brianakira said...
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Protestant said...
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brianakira said...
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Protestant said...
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Baron Bodissey said...

brinakira --

You're on notice: stop calling people names.

I've deleted the entire section of comments that descended to this unpleasant level.

latté island said...

‘As member of Jewish people, when I see convoys of destitute refugees this war has left behind, I can’t just sit by,’ she says

Slightly OT, but as member of Jewish people myself, I'd like to remind Ms. Itzik that we're not the only people who've suffered, and having public holocaust flashbacks every time something bad happens to other people is vulgar and manipulative, and we should probably give up our imaginary monopoly already.

Whiskey said...

Well, I'm a Russophile. I like the Russian people and am forever grateful to their sacrifices in helping stopping Hilter. Though they did not win against him alone either. But I am grateful.

That being said, well I've blogged on my own site about Putin's "Yojimbo" strategy -- set Iran and the US to fight, perhaps with China thrown in. So Russia, being weak but clear-headed, can pick up the pieces in a "win."

It's an ugly strategy, but about what you would expect from a thugocracy. Russia has been ill-served by Czarism, though it is understandable why they have it. [Lacking defensible borders and pressed historically by enemies at all sides, they look for strongmen.]

Defiant Lion said...

@BrianAkira

Absolutely superb post, well reasoned and containing truths the conceited, arrogant US just cannot see.

But this line had me stiches:

"You pathetic, impotent, hallucinating, Walter Mitty moron."

Hilarious and bang on the money!

Contrast this with:

"Brianakira, put down the Kremlin notecards for a minute..."

Pathetic.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

I happen to think that they're both incredibly inane.

Defiant Lion said...

Bully for you.

But even your somewhat vapid entry contains more of worth than Babbin's ridiculous article.

BrianAkira gave it what it deserved. Aggressive - yes. Inane -most definitely not and his:

"Is this idiot so keen on a cold war when the Muslim world (half of which is supported by the US) is the real threat?"

Is something many US supporters on here would do well to heed.

Bela said...

Hey, America haters!
Don't hold it back, let all the froth come to the surface, don't let it fester deep down for you might get sick!
Let the Commissars take over Europe, the proper comeuppance for the degenerate community.
Where is my popcorn?