Giulietto Chiesa (1940- ), Italian journalist, Russian affairs specialist, EU MP, and former Fellow of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies
Many leading European political experts have concluded that the conflict in the Caucasus has a far more serious background than was realised initially. Its planners had far-reaching purposes, for they designed to sow bad blood between Russia and the EU. In particular, this opinion is voiced by a leading Italian expert on Russian affairs, EU MP Giulietto Chiesa. He believes that the Georgian war plans and the invasion of South Ossetia launched by the Saaskashvili régime were aimed at provoking a conflict between Russia and the EU. Signore Chiesa said that there are those, mainly in America, but, with support from a tiny group of Europeans, who want to provoke a falling-out between the EU and Russia. Hence, we see efforts to unduly aggravate the situation and NATO warships gather in the Black Sea as a result, Signore Chiesa said in an interview for the Russian Vesti (News) television channel.
To a large extent, Washington’s plans are known. For a number of reasons, the crisis in the Caucasus is in America’s interests. Firstly, it provides an opportunity for it to try to restore a measure of unity within NATO, for some members were opposed to adding Georgia and the Ukraine to the bloc through the so-called Membership Action Plan. However, there are even more glaring reasons why the US is relishing the Caucasus crisis. Compared to other industrialised nations, America is passing through dire economic straits caused by a mortgage crisis, a plummeting of the economic growth rate, and a shrinking US share in the global economy, all of which are complicated by a lower exchange rate for the dollar. At the same time, the economy of the EU, the main rival to the US, is bullish and the Euro is soaring.
Under the circumstances, provoking a standoff between Russia and the EU is believed by some American politicians to be exceptionally advantageous. Economic contact between Russia and the EU would be damaged, leading to lower bilateral trade, resulting in greater barriers to bilateral investments, and, of course, it would impair Europe’s energy security. The US can then ride on the waves of instability in Europe and Russia to economic prosperity. Yesterday’s steep fall of the Euro against the dollar speaks eloquently of the reason why Washington is throwing spanners in the Russia-EU works.
Is “Old Europe” prepared to play by the American rules of the game? Signore Chiesa said that clashing with Russia over South Ossetia is not in the best interest of Old Europe. Even Americans are wary of such a scenario. In comments on calls to punish Russia, the well-known American political analyst, Patrick Buchanan, said, “Before embarking on the road toward isolating and encircling Russia, we need to ponder carefully the end result of our actions”.
27 August 2008
Voice of Russia World Service
The grave of Garo “the White Bear” Kaqhedjian (1962-93), an Armenian-American hero of the Nagorno-Karabakh War. Eternal be his memory! Vechnaya Pamyat! The neocons are as willing to wink at Azeri aggression as they were to bless Georgian genocide.
This news story’s a good lead-in for a linked-item that one of my readers sent me. It was a link to an AP story on a planned trip next week by US Vice President Cheney to Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Ukraine, and Italy. A spokesman for Bush said, “The president felt it was important to have the vice president consult with allies in the region on our common security interests”. Interesting language. Only one of the countries named is a formal US ally, Italy. Merely having the Saakashvili régime invite in American military advisors and buying arms from the USA doesn’t make Georgia a “US ally”. The military ties between the US and the Ukraine are vestigial, mainly consisting in rhetoric uttered by the Orange junta and its deluded strongman, Yushchenko. Azerbaijan’s playing both sides off against one another, and Aliyev shall jump to whomever lets him attack Armenia. There are factions in the USA intent on encircling Russia. These same factions also wish to topple the Russian and Chinese governments and replace them with American puppet régimes. That’s what the rhetoric of the New World Order’s all about. Cheney’s a leading spokesman for that faction.
Every empire eventually comes to a point where it overreaches itself. For instance, Rome forwent some of the conquests of the great emperor Trajan because they were impossible to garrison and defend. Britain was defeated in Afghanistan. Spain lost its South American colonies to Bolívar and O’Higgins. Japan’s empire came to ruin in the Pacific War, ending in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Berlin was occupied for forty-odd years after the fall of the Third Reich and France suffered the twin defeats of Indochina and Algeria. America is overreaching now. Fully half of the combat strength of the army is in Iraq, more are in Afghanistan, and there are no reserves in the store-cupboard whatsoever. The projected deficit for next year is 490 billion dollars (12.067 trillion Roubles. 332.881 billion Euros. 267.001 billion UK Pounds). The American deficit spending’s bankrolled by sales of T-bills to Japan, China, and Russia. That’s to say, if the USA embarked on a hostile policy, China and Russia have the capability to stop the US government dead in its tracks by choking off funds. Let me repeat, the US government’s vitally dependent on bond sales to Russia and China. If they don’t buy the issue, the US government shall be broke, kaput, dead as a doornail; there ain’t no more kapusta left.
The US government can raise taxes only so much, and, then, in a word… Weimar. Yes, that’s what the Bushies are playing with. If the bonds weren’t sold, it’d result in the printing presses rolling, with inflation going through the roof. Reflect on the fact that Bush, Cheney, and Rice don’t give a tinker’s damn for the consequences, and that’s also true of their neocon allies such as Max Boot, David Frum, Strobe Talbott, Ariel Cohen, William Kristol et al. These people wish to reshape the world according to their lights, and they don’t care what means they use to do so. Remember the sleeping civilians of Tskhinvali murdered in the first 20 seconds of the indiscriminate Grad bombardment of their city. Our government and the neocons approve of such. “Who cares? You’ve got to break eggs to make an omelette”.
Cheney’s attempting to save the neocon project of encircling and strangling Russia. He’s going to Italy because that country is leading the fight against the neocon project. In addition, Pope Benedict opposes the US plans. Cheney had best watch out in his presence. Benedict Ratzinger didn’t gain the nickname of the “Panzer Cardinal” for nought. Saakashvili of Georgia’s so fearful that he refuses to leave the country because he suspects (rightfully) a coup; Yushchenko of the Ukraine’s so lunatic that he’s having his secret police investigate his entire government for “treason”, up to and including PM Yuliya Timoshenko. The talks with Aliyev of Azerbaijan are ominous. Saakashvili had irredentist claims on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, whereas Aliyev has revanchist claims on Nagorno-Karabakh. Cheney’s not averse to knifing Armenia in the back if it’ll advance the neocon project. However, this would involve a wealthy and politically-savvy group in Western countries. This is why the neocons haven’t allowed Azerbaijan to try to seize the disputed region. The Armenian diaspora’s cohesive, united, well-heeled, and focused on their political goals. Reflect on the fact that neocons aren’t averse to a replay of the Armenian Massacre as long as it serves their purpose of encircling Russia. Nice folks, aren’t they?
In short, Cheney’s mission is one of desperation. He’s trying to save the neocon project. If Italy balks at US “advice”, the rest of Old Europe shall surely follow. If Saakashvili falls, there’s no one to replace him, for all of his cronies shall go down with him. If Yushchenko falls, the US project there fails as well, for he’s the only politician of stature to submit to American “direction”. Therefore, there’s only one chance left for the neocons if their other options fail. They’ll use Aliyev, and they’ll not scruple at throwing the brave Armenians to the dogs. Thankfully, the Armenians won’t run like mice, they’re “stand-up guys” in the greatest sense of the term, and Russia won’t allow them to go down the tubes.
This is a bit longer than usual, but, there are very serious issues of war and peace at stake, rather complex ones at that. Ponder this… the neocons don’t scruple at anything… is that what you want our children to learn? I don’t… and I’ve the baroque notion that you agree. May God watch over all of us. We’re living in perilous times.
URL for linked AP story: