U.s. Eyes Russian Turf
Posted 01 January 2004 - 05:25 PM
By Vladimir Radyuhin
December 31, 2003
RUSSIA AND the United States are heading for a new spiral of rivalry
as Washington moves to install pro-Western leaders in the former
Soviet Republics and set up more military bases along Russian borders.
On Sunday, Georgia looks set to become the first former Soviet
Republic where the U.S. has orchestrated the rise to power of a new
leader. Mikhail Saakashvili, a U.S.-trained lawyer, is expected to win
a snap presidential poll on January 4. It was called after Georgia's
veteran leader, Eduard Shevardnadze, was forced to resign in the face
of massive protests over suspected rigging in a parliamentary poll.
Russia's Foreign Minister, Igor Ivanov, denounced "external
interference" in the crisis, while Mr. Shevardnadze directly accused
the U.S. of engineering his ouster through its envoy in Georgia,
Richard Miles, and the Soros Foundation. A faithful U.S. ally, Mr.
Shevardnadze, was shocked by Washington's betrayal. "I was one of
the staunchest supporters of the U.S. policy," he complained in an
interview. "When they needed help on Iraq, I gave it. I don't have
an explanation to what has happened here."
What happened in Georgia was that the U.S. dumped Mr. Shevardnadze
because he failed to deliver and was suspected of squandering a good
part of the $ 2.3 billion in American aid in the past 10 years. Mr.
Saakashvili, former Justice Minister, who gained popularity exposing
government corruption, is known for his anti-Russian and pro-American
views. Two weeks after Mr. Shevardnadze was ousted, the U.S. Defence
Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld, visited Georgia and Azerbaijan to discuss
long-term access for U.S. forces.
Both countries have strategic importance for the U.S. as the sole
transit route for Caspian oil and gas supplies to the West bypassing
Russia. A U.S.-lobbied Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline should start
pumping oil in 2005. Plans are also on to build a gas pipeline from
Azerbaijan to Turkey. The U.S. hopes to persuade Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan, where most of the Caspian energy reserves are located,
to export oil and gas to Europe through these pipelines, rather than
via Russia. Military presence in the region is essential for the U.S.
to control the Caspian Sea and threaten Iran.
Pentagon officials said plans were also being drawn up to establish
a permanent military presence in the former Soviet Central Asia -
in Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, where the U.S. already
has temporary bases set up for the post-9/11 anti-terror campaign
Moscow reacted angrily to the proposed redeployment of the U.S. forces
from Germany to Eastern Europe and the former Soviet republics. "Any
plans to bring NATO's infrastructure closer to our borders evoke our
understandable and legitimate concern," the Russian Defence Minister,
Sergei Ivanov, said. He made it clear that Moscow saw American bases
as a threat to its security. "We believe that security for one country
must not be ensured at the expense of other countries."
Russia was also enraged by the U.S. demand that it withdraw its
forces early from Georgia and Moldova. At an annual summit of the
Organisation of Security and Cooperation in Europe earlier this
month, Russia countered the demand with its own call to NATO's new
and would-be members to ratify Europe's conventional forces pact
which sets limits to troop deployment on the continent.
The U.S. moves to enlarge its foothold in the Caucasus and Central
Asia mean that Washington is refusing to recognise the former Soviet
Republics as a zone of Russia's strategic interests. Georgia may not
be the only newly independent state where the U.S. is conspiring to
replace the Soviet-era leaders with pro-Western politicians.
According to the former head of Russia's Federal Security Service,
Nikolai Kovalyov, Georgia's young opposition leaders, including Mr.
Saakashvili, had been trained in U.S.-funded camps in Serbia along with
representatives from Ukraine, Moldova, Armenia, Azerbaijan and a few
other former Soviet Republics. They studied the Yugoslav experience of
removing the President, Slobodan Milosevic, with the help of massive
public protests organised by Serbia's student movement Otpor.
"We are working with civil movements in several countries, and I
don't want to name them. But Georgia is the first success story,"
Otpor's leader, Slobodan Djinovic, who visited Tbilisi earlier this
year to share his revolutionary experience, was quoted by the BBC as
commenting on the removal of Mr. Shevardnadze, who himself confirmed
that he had been ousted "according to the Yugoslav scenario."
Otpor-modelled student demonstrations in Moldova last month helped
thwart a Moscow-brokered settlement in a decade-long conflict between
the central government and the Russian-speaking Transdniestr region.
Moldova's President, Vladimir Voronin, reversed his endorsement of
the peace plan after students protesters, encouraged by American and
European critics of the plan, vowed to bring the Government down. The
U.S. objects to the continued presence of Russian peacekeepers in
Transdniestr and wants them replaced by the European forces.
In the wake of the anti-Shevardnadze "velvet revolution", Mr.
Saakashvili visited Ukraine to sign a cooperation pact with the
Opposition movement "Our Ukraine". He thanked "Ukrainian colleagues"
for solidarity and predicted that Ukraine would soon follow in
Georgia's footsteps to install the pro-Western Opposition leader,
Viktor Yushchenko, as President "in four to six months," that is,
before the presidential elections scheduled for next October.
Attempts by Ukrainian Opposition parliamentarians to sabotage the
vote on a constitutional reform last week by jamming coins into
the electronic voting system, clambering over desks, and staging
fistfights were eerily reminiscent of the storming of the Georgian
Parliament by Saakashvili-led protesters a few weeks earlier.
"It is to be regretted that the methods of pressure and interference
in internal affairs that were used in Georgia are also being used in
other countries," Mr. Igor Ivanov said.
The ex-Soviet leaders of Central Asian republics are also on the U.S.
hit list. Kazakhstan's President, Nursultan Nazarbayev, is the target
of a "Kazakhgate" trial in New York against an American businessman
accused of giving bribes to Kazakh officials on behalf of several
U.S. companies. The U.S. Congress has stepped up pressure on Mr.
Nazarbayev to release from prison Opposition leaders in a bid
to encourage the change of elite in Kazakhstan in a parliamentary
election scheduled for next year.
Detailed instructions on "How to Make a Velvet Revolution in
Tajikistan" have recently been circulated in the capital Dushanbe
against the backdrop of stepped up activity of the Soros Foundation
and demonstrative contacts of U.S. diplomats with Opposition leaders
in the poorest republic of Central Asia where parliamentary elections
are due in a little more than a year.
The U.S.-masterminded coup in Georgia was met with concern in the
capitals of the Commonwealth of Independent States whose leaders,
like Mr. Shevardnadze, belong to the Soviet-era cadres. Expressing
their shared concern, the Ukraine President, Leonid Kuchma, issued a
stern statement in his capacity as current chairman of the CIS Council
of Heads of State denouncing the methods of the Georgian Opposition as
"categorically unacceptable to all democratic states."
Russia has sent a strong signal to the U.S. that it will fight
attempts to erode its positions in the former Soviet states. A new
defence policy paper published in October said Russia would view any
"deployment of foreign troops ... in adjacent and friendly states"
as a threat to its security.
At the same time, Russia under its pragmatic President, Vladimir Putin,
has been increasingly relying on its growing economic strength to
consolidate its position in the former Soviet states. Taking advantage
of the heavy dependence of its neighbours on Russian energy supplies
or Russian transit pipelines to export their oil and gas to Europe,
Mr. Putin has encouraged Russian companies to acquire industrial assets
in the CIS states. Russia already controls most of the oil and gas
processing factories in Ukraine, power generation and distribution
networks in Armenia and Georgia, core sector industries in Kazakhstan
and Belarus, etc.
Last week, Mr. Putin met Mr. Kuchma to win his final "yes" for a free
trade zone among the four most powerful former Soviet Republics -
Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus - a plan vehemently opposed
by the U.S. and the European Union. In a major concession to its
partners, Russia has agreed to lift an 18 per cent value-added tax
on its oil and gas exports. If the free trade pact takes off, more
CIS states may join it.
Posted 01 January 2004 - 05:54 PM
Lets get real, before Russia sinks into a nothing Nation they will fight for survival.
Bush is getting Americans into a corner that they may not have any way to back out of.
War will simply be the end of both countries..
Oh well, Americans wont do anything to stop that bunch of crooked bastards in Washington. Guess they will pay the price one day..Owl
Posted 01 January 2004 - 08:36 PM
Looks like 2004 is going to make 2003 look like the good times. O well, I wonder if we have a limited exchange will that bring people back to reality, remind them that it is only the 1% that gain in war, and yes indeed them and there family do die. Could we be real lucky and have a single SS22 into a carrier group do the trick.
Posted 01 January 2004 - 08:44 PM
In America Parents, and especially fathers have no human rights.
and basically the
Poor have no Democracy because it takes so much MONEY to play that Democracy Game.
One can only play democracy if he or some special interest give them tons of money. But then they own you, you have to do a lot of favors to these special interests, and are not representing the people that elected you.
Just ask Bush if you do not believe me. Ask him what favors he owed the oil companies, and the Soudi Bankers that financed his families busiensses and political careers.
SO Azov how can you guys make America a Democratic country instead of MONEYCRATIC country. Democratic people rule, Moneycratic money rule.
For now it is a country obviously is run by the rich no matter what party gets in power.
And can men in America ever get their human rights back, as well as their parental rights.
Is American ever going to be truely Free Country as their forefathers aspired and wanted them to be?
Posted 01 January 2004 - 10:15 PM
Owl, this is the type of "games " is what the states are so good at playing. I heard some time ago that the US always looked ahead some 20 to 30 years in planning for the future , and I never forgot it.
All this R. Reagan business telling Gorbashev to " tear down that wall" was the prelude to things to come.
Politics in America is dictated by the large corporations that hold the money.
A candidate is then chosen to bring about the changes necessary to head the country in the specific direction .
Greed and self-righteousness being this country's two biggest achilles heels however, leads them from time to time into underestimating the adversary , such as the Iraqis, and also a strong leader in Russia .
Putin knows the score and I have no doubt that he will do whatever he has to to protect Russia 's interests.
Posted 02 January 2004 - 12:00 AM
We didn't ask anybody if we could come in. The USA just entered Afghanistan, and we brought some friends.
>>>In America Parents, and especially fathers have no human rights.
That is nonsense. You've never even been to the US and yet you speak of it like you know something about it. I challenge you to provide proof (please dont link to some fake garbage).
>>>..would someone pls put the cold war back on again.. and add the world perhaps.. minus the uk.. to the big red map!
You are delusional. The Cold War was a Russian loss. Their territory has only gotten smaller. Much smaller. I dont see Russia building military bases in Canada and Mexico...
Big Red Map?? HAHAHA. Get real.
>>>Greed and self-righteousness being this country's two biggest achilles heels however, leads them from time to time into underestimating the adversary , such as the Iraqis,
Uh, no one underestimated Iraq and their military. I think it was the fourth largest on Earth? Equipped with Russian technology. The main part of the war ended very quickly. VERY QUICKLY. Historically quickly. Extremely quickly. Right now there are some people causing trouble. Barely a war, though. Saddam is in a cell crying about his screwed-up life right now. Less than 500 US hostile deaths. THAT'S DEFINITELY AN EASY WAR.
Russian military deaths in Chechnya:
"Russia's Itar-Tass news agency reported on February 17 that some 4,739 were killed in Chechnya in the year 2002, with another 13,108 wounded and 29 missing."
-Compare those figures to the real US figures in Iraq and you will see that the USA is doing a comparatively GREAT job in Iraq.
>>>Putin knows the score and I have no doubt that he will do whatever he has to to protect Russia 's interests.
Correction: he will TRY to do whatever he has to, but he will only do whatever he CAN. He can't stop the US from building bases and toppling regimes, so what makes you think he can take on the US military?
All in all I like Russia. I empathize with their problems with Muslim extremists. Together we could to amazing things. Russia can be angry, but that doesn't really change anything. Nucleur war is out of the question. As long as former Soviet states keep turning to the US, Russia can't stop the natural evolution of things.
I regularly hear about all the "mistakes" of installing pro-US regimes and trying to dominate other countries, but from where I sit it seems like everything is going smoothly. Over the past 100 years the USA has gotten more and more powerful, more and more wealthy. The Soviet Union collapsed and it presently licking its wounds, but it's in no position to exert real influence into the world. All the while, the US has been setting up shop all over the place.
Posted 02 January 2004 - 12:20 AM
You just show your ignorance. The Federal Russian Republic of Chechnya is RUSSIAN TERRITORY. IRAQ IS NOT US TERRITORY. US BORDERS ARE 1,000'S OF KILOMETERS AWAY.
When we count losses, we count the CIVILIANS KILLED IN HOSPITAL BOMBINGS. The real Military death toll in Chechnya is 2,700 since the 1999 attack on RUSSIAN SOIL BY WAHHABIST TERROSISTS SEEKING TO ESTABLISH ISLAMIC RULE ON RUSSIAN TERRITORY!
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