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'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
08-09-2008, 07:02 PM,
#1
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
Yesterday a small war in the Caucasus became a major international flashpoint. Until now, almost no one had heard of Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.

But as Russian tanks and troops rolled into the disputed territory from the north, after Georgian troops invaded from the south, the world suddenly faced a major crisis.

South Ossetia has a population of fewer than 100,000 and is nestled on the southern slopes of the mountainous Caucasus region which divides Europe and Asia.

The region is riven with ancient tribal rivalries between its mountain peoples, and this has often led to warfare in the past.

The tribes of the Caucasus have fought each other since history began and long memories and grievances have fed a vendetta culture.

In the past, their skirmishes have gone unnoticed. But today a conflict in the Caucasus could draw in the world's great powers.

A glance at the map shows why Russia is involved. The disputed land lies on Russia's southern border which, ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union, has bitterly resented Georgia's independence.

Since 1992, South Ossetia has run its own affairs after defeating a rag-tag Georgian army's attempt to control it.

Most inhabitants of breakaway South Ossetia have now opted for Russian passports rather than Georgian ones.

Russian troops have patrolled the dividing line between the Georgian troops and Ossetians as 'peace-keepers' for the last 15 years and Russia has suffered casualties in skirmishes between the two sides.

But the West, too, has interests in the region. Running through Georgia from the Caspian Sea in the east to the Black Sea is an oil pipeline bringing BP's crude from Azerbaijan to the West.

Anyone filling their car's petrol tank this weekend won't need reminding how sensitive an issue oil supplies are at the moment.

For the Georgian government, the pipeline crossing the country is a guarantee of Western support against their local, Russian-backed enemies in South Ossetia.

Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili does everything he can to endear himself to the West in general and America in particular as the obvious counter-weight to Russia.

George W. Bush's portrait is widely displayed in Georgia. (Vladimir Putin is the political pinup for Ossetians.) President Saakashvili makes no bones about his desire to join Nato.

Predictably, the Kremlin's reaction to that has been one of fury.

American contractors and other Nato personnel have been involved in training the Georgian army and helping plan its operations, and the Russians see this as proof that the West was behind the sudden strike into South Ossetia this week.

As a result, the Russian army launched its own massive counter-stroke. The risk is that just as Russian 'peacekeepers' have been killed by the Georgian attack so the Nato personnel advising Georgian forces may take casualties as the Russians blast back.

If a Nato soldier is killed by a Russian shell the global temperature will rise alarmingly.

This is a high stakes game - and not just for Georgia.

For the deep involvement of Russia and the U.S. in this ostensibly local skirmish means the world is suddenly closer to a clash of nuclear superpowers than it has been since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962.

At least then Kennedy and Khrushchev were in charge of their countries' policies and could negotiate as if playing a chess match between superpower grandmasters.

But this time local Caucasian warlords are muddying the waters for both the White House and the Kremlin. Yet it is not the Cold War which offers the best historical guide to the crisis which threatens world peace.

In many ways it is the assassination by Serbs of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo in 1914 that prefigures the messy, complicated and often irrationally aggressive politics of the Caucasus today.

This, of course, was an event which appeared to be the result of local grievances but, because of the alliegances of the then great powers, had a domino effect which spiralled into the Great War. On that occasion, Austria and its ally Germany demanded that Serbia be punished.

But Britain backed Russia's support for Serbia - ironically in the light of the present crisis, Russia was then our ally. The result was worldwide slaughter.

Neither Russia nor the West wants this conflict in the Caucasus to get out of hand. But history shows that small countries can draw their patrons into a war which is not of their choosing.

The West, led by the U.S., will not want to be seen to let down its local partner. Likewise, Russia will want to stand by South Ossetia.

What happened in the Balkans in 1914 is the classic example of lesser allies drawing their powerful backers into a conflict which had nothing to do with them directly.

And I fear that the South Ossetia could be a terrible trigger point for our time, just as Sarajevo was in 1914.

<p>In 1919, only five years after Sarajevo, our foreign secretary Arthur Balfour opposed getting involved in the civil wars then convulsing the Caucasus.

<p>He told the Cabinet: 'If they want to cut their own throats why do we not let them do it?. I should say we are not going to spend all our money and men in civilising a few people who do not want to be civilised.'

<p>Idealists will be horrified by such attitudes, but people who remember how catastrophic wars get started by chivalrous interventions should beware of taking sides. If Russia respects our real interests in the region, why should we fight to decide whether Georgians rule Ossetians or vice-versa?

<p>Does either Moscow or Washington really want to go over the brink for the sake of a small partner? We avoided superpower mutual suicide during the Cold War but could this Caucasus conflict trigger it today?

<p>Both George Bush and Vladimir Putin are in Beijing and have been talking about the crisis. Let us hope and pray that they act together to win an Olympic gold for peacemaking.

Mark Almond is a lecturer in modern history at Oriel College, Oxford.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/worldnews/...-historian.html
“Everything Popular Is Wrong” - Oscar Wilde
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08-10-2008, 06:41 PM,
#2
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
funny how the invasion started right when the olimpic games began

i dont get 1 thing though, why werent they talking about this in the bilderberg meetings ?

i heard no one talking about georgia or russia, it was all iran, that they got leaked info regarding iran

its just weird, this thing cant be big , it cant escalate too much if it wasnt decided by the elite right ?

why wasnt there any kind of warning, its like russia decided to go on its own against what the elite plans

Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

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08-10-2008, 07:37 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-10-2008, 07:38 PM by ephilution.)
#3
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
Since you seem so certain of yourself, I presume you have been to the Bilderberg meetings this year to know what you've stated?

Also do you think the Bilderberg Club constitutes the capstone of the Pyramid of Power or are you open to the existence of other think-tanks and power-structures which, in power, rival, or exceed, that of the Bilderbergers?
General Brainquirks:http://1phil4everyill.wordpress.com

Mind control imbued by movies:http://predictiveprogramminginmovies.blogspot.com

Movers and Shakers of the SMOM:http://moversandshakersofthesmom.blogspot...identity.html
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08-10-2008, 07:52 PM,
#4
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
Quote:Since you seem so certain of yourself, I presume you have been to the Bilderberg meetings this year to know what you've stated?

Also do you think the Bilderberg Club constitutes the capstone of the Pyramid of Power or are you open to the existence of other think-tanks and power-structures which, in power, rival, or exceed, that of the Bilderbergers?


im talking about what might trigger world war 3.its the biggest thing ever if it happens, why wasnt there anything, ANYTHING at all ?
Matthew 7:14
Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Reply
08-10-2008, 08:30 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-10-2008, 08:42 PM by ---.)
#5
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
One thing I noticed which is a little odd is that former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder is on the payroll of both Gazprom and Rothschild - which, let's face it are probably the towards being the lynch pin players behind this kick off

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_hb59...04/ai_n24025111
http://finam.blogspot.com/2006/03/schroede...ld-develop.html
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5121201060.html

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08-10-2008, 08:55 PM,
#6
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
I've heard reports that the pipeline terminates in Israel, and that the NATO advisers are mostly Israeli. I wonder why our expert from Oxford failed to mention that?
[Image: randquote.png]
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08-10-2008, 09:39 PM, (This post was last modified: 08-10-2008, 09:41 PM by ---.)
#7
'The war in South Ossetia could be the most dangerous flashpoint since the Cuban crisis',
Yeah, the Israeli's aren't even exactly shy in expressing their interests in securing the fuel supplies or in saying they have 100's of military advisors in Georgia or that they have been shipping military hardware over there in the last couple of years.

I agree, odd how that angle is conveniently omitted in the uK analysis :(
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