I od hope everybody notices this one, since it it now getting serious (as Stalin would have said.)
Civilised nations DO NOT GO ABOUT defining in public, or otherwise, other nations as “Nuclear Targets”. Specially in a time when OUR companies are enriching, by YOUR PM’s leave, YOUR oligarchs who own OUR Foot Ball Clubs.
Sorry General! You shall have to go. If I ever meet you, even at a Chatham House Symposium, at the Royal Institute (for) (of?) (who cares a f*** which!) International Affairs (or whatever the thingy is called) I, a Lancashire Bumpkin, will have to kill you.
How can we sit here on our arses, and say that “what goes on in Georgia is not our concern and _does not affect our vital interests_ … “, when unsocialised, pre-capitalist barbarians say this? “THIS” is a USSR General Officer in the DT, describing what his government would do to Poland, a nation in NATO, because it has decided to have some American missiles, a good move I would have thought in view of the coming war, which crept up on us while we were asleep.
I have to return, to entrench the necessarily hawkish position that I have been taking here. I know that many libertarians are rightly suspicious of statist aggression. I am also. But the present most crying need, as far as libertarianism is concerned, is to defend what’s left of roughly-liberal-western-democratic nations, so as to keep fertile ground for libertarianism itself.
It’s much harder if we are starting out from the Gulag itself, or from the face of a firing-squad, than from London or Liverpool, be they ever so trodden-under by local stalinists.
It’s no use to carry on, if we are all 100% dead, or enslaved. The wicked will then have won.
I repeat: “Russia”, while it continues to be socialoist and to behave as though it can direct events and regimes in other nations, must be regarded as having no “near abroad”.
WE have a near abroad – it is called “the world”. Governments that behave like the current one in the USSR, are making messes in OUR backyard. It is OUR job to clear it up, kick their butts, take names, and impose detentions.
Can’t all you buggers get it into your heads that there is Good, and there is Evil, and that both are objectively definable? A war may come: You have to know how to decide which side you are on.
Ok, this is my first blog but was scared into doing some research by the comment “you think this is a crisis, wait and see what happens if Ukraine joins NATO, then you’ll have WW3” on newsnight tonight.
What stunned me was the apparent nonchalance with which the words WORLD WAR 3 were used. It sounded like he was playing a game of Risk, which to be honest is the impression I get when I hear most high powered politicians talking these days. Like we’re all little counters on their fucking boards.
I haven’t read enough about the current conflict to say a lot more (but I will) but if history has taught us anything it’s that diplomacy can work whereas war is always just absolute misery for whoever is involved and sabre rattling just makes everyone nervous and nervous people do stupid things………………………like start WW3.
There is Good and Evil – I agree, but if something is Evil, it remains so no matter who is responsible.
‘Civilised nations DO NOT GO ABOUT defining in public, or otherwise, other nations as “Nuclear Targets” ‘
The Neocon nuts have done this to Iran time and again saying ‘nothing is off the table’.
As for Poland, what do you think the USA would say if Russian or Chinese defence systems were to be installed in Venezuela?
The problem in your thinking is that you have pre-decided USA/Britain/Georgia=Good, Russia=Evil, so you condemn Russia for doing evil things that you would defend if done by USA/Britain/Georgia, and your definition of Good becomes nothing more than ‘what the side I support does’.
Trooper, would you say that the actions of the USSR government are good, and the actions of the governemnt of a state it has invaded are evil?
As Peter Simple said, “I only ask because I want to know”.
I think you should ask the people of South Ossetia that question.
Here’s a question for you to dodge(!) : why are you ignoring the fact that Georgia attacked first?
Did the USSR agree in the 1990s that “South Ossetia” was “inside” “Georgia”? Or, “not”?
If it was supposed to be inside there (which is to say, Georgia, why did the USSR issue “South Ossetians” with USSR passports? Or was this just an “admininstrative error” from which “lessons must be learned”?
You should also refer to my posts in which I state that, because the USSR has (not “is”, but “has”) a pre-capitalist barbarian “administration”, there is thus no justification in my mind for it to have a “near abroad”, in which (it thinks) it can bugger people about without our say-so – especially people like the Georgians, who have publicly (perhaps it was a mistake on their part since the job of the West is to betray its friends) expressed a will to be part of our culture and civilisation.
Oh and I DID NOT put that smiley up there above. WordPress seems to think it can nationalise my emotions. It will have to go.
Also, trooper, I would really really prefer that Russia (not the USSR, for we WILL have to do proper regime change in there first, for this to be so) ought to be our friend. I more than half agree with the comments of Tony Hollick here and elsewhere, to the effect that this ought to be so.
But this can’t happen until the poor wretched Russian people, who have no memory of what it’s like to be really really free (and we are losing it) have had the whole of the existing power structures set over them, removed, absolutely.
They would be better off being made a province of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, or Iceland. or even Andorra or the Bahamas or Bermuda. Then we could start to talk about their future, in terms that I could begin to take part in.
but all the existing KGB superstructure would have first to go. I don’t care where – perhaps I’d have them shot, perhaps not. It depends how corrigible I thought that they were ,on the day, whe faced with their fate which would be to lose their pensions.
So in your view, Georgia can do whatever it wants within those borders, including the breakaway enclaves?
Back to my earlier point, due to the manichean world of your perception, you cannot judge whether massacring civilians is good or evil, unless you first know who’s accused of doing it. If it’s the Russians, then you’ll say ‘of course it’s evil’. If it’s the Georgians, you’ll most likely say one of the following:
A) it never happened. It’s Russian propaganda
B) it’s exaggerated, and anyway the Russians are worse
C) It was within Georgia’s international borders, so it’s nothing to do with anyone else.
All that aside, what is it that you want? A nuclear stand-off like the Cuban missile crisis, every time something kicks off in the Caucasus? You want Nato to give Saakaschvili a guarantee that we’ll back him to the hilt, even if it means a war in which millions would die, so he can grab back a piece of land the size of Kent, whose inhabitants are not Georgians and want to be independent?
If they want to be independent, what busiess is it of the USSR?
And who’s going to pay for the demolished Georgian railway bridge, some days after Georgia gave in to the invaders, and after President-bear signed the ceae-fire? Who blew it up? Russians or Georgians?
Why are so many powerful liberal bloggers against our friends and for the Russians? Am I in the wrong room?
The problem with that (your last comment) is that the government of Putin is very popular in Russia. I know there very little freedom of the press, but nevertheless the Russians are not likely to overthrow something they generally support.
Supporting Putin (I am 100% sure that they mostly do) does not make them right. Supporting Hitler (the Germans in 1933, although it was slightly debatable whether he got an absolute majority as you know) did not make the German people right, either.
By the same token, one could argue that the destruction of German cities by Bomber Command was their fault, as they failed to reject Hitler at the polls, and failed to assassinate him thereafter.
Putin’s popularity inside the USSR (undeniable) does not justify his government’s attacks inside Georgia. If South Ossetia and Abkhazia are allowed to think of self-determination, why not the (rest of) Georgia? Why ought Putin’s USSR to interfere?
My last comment refers to something further up the thread.
“Why are so many powerful liberal bloggers against our friends and for the Russians?”
I can’t speak for them, but I’d say this:
Firstly, the depiction of Russian aggression ignores the chronology of events, namely:
1) Georgia agrees a truce, and then attacks
2) Russia piles in against them
To ignore this is like saying the lives of South Ossetian civilians don’t count.
Secondly, to anyone who doesn’t subscribe to the neo-con worldview, the sight of Bush/Cheney etc denouncing Russia’s actions is laughable.
Thirdly, I don’t see Saakashvili and his gang as being ‘our friends’, or even know who ‘we’ are in this context. The vast majority of the world just want to live a peaceful life, and we’re constantly being dragged into wars, because the people at the top want to play tin soldiers.
Trooper, I’d like to reply to that intellectually, but ny 5yr-old is tantrumming, and my wife wold like me to sort him out, and we have house-guests from Poland who were at school with my wife. I know it sounds like a cop-out, but can I return with a crushing reply when I will let you know whan that will be, in my own time?
I’m sorry: I know it’s not the sort of thing that the USSR military would allow.
Fair enough, man. I had to cut and run myself. One can’t spend all day arguing over such things. I must say someone called Spike gave an excellent summary of the affair on Sean Gabb’s post on this subject.
I will go and look at it, I noticed it coming in but haven’t gone there yet, DD