Passing anecdotes and thoughts on politics, history, lit, sports or whatever...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Chechnya and Georgia

Perhaps I glossed over the American role in the Republic of Georgia? I know you caught that and thought, how can I trust him again. Well in a desperate attempt to redeem myself, I return to Georgia. The former president of Georgia, Shevardnadze, had to confront two breakaway regions in his country: South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Both of these uprisings were supported by the Russians. The Abkhazians were resisting the Georgification of Georgia following the fall of the Soviets and their subsequent independence. Supporting these movements did not endear the Russians to the Georgians and Shevardnadze. There were also requests at the time to remove Russian troops from Georgia completely.

The Georgians paid the Russians back by allowing the Chechens to run guns from Georgia to Chechnya to fight for their independence. It was well known that hired mujadeen fighters from the Bosnian War were now fighting in Chechnya as well. Oddly, Clinton was on the move against right wing jihadis, but ignored the Chechens. I have even read accounts that the USA supports the Chechens, but am not sure of their veracity. The reasoning would be to extract oil facilities in Grozny from Russian hands. To ignore the Chechens is odd as they have committed at least as many terrorist attacks as Al-Qaeda. It is the goal of the USA to dominate this oil, as it is with the Middle East. Even if it does not use the oil itself, it would hold a trump card in negotiating with future world powers such as China and India.

The Americans were in a tough spot when they wanted to invade Afghanistan. They did not have a place to build up troops, not the time to really do it. They had to invade before the winter of 2001. We needed the Russians to give us the ok to use Central Asian airfields from which to bomb. Moreover, since we could not insert a sufficient force in that time, we needed contacts in the Northern Alliance; we were to use them as a proxy force. The Uzbeks and Tajiks that supplied much of the the army were aligned with the Russians.

The Russians would give us the nod to use their air bases and would put us in touch with the leaders of the Northern Alliance in exchange for the USA to stop criticizing the Russian position and actions toward Chechnya and to stop the gun running between Georgia and Chechnya. Us forces were introduced and coincidentally, Shevardnadze soon fell out of power.

Thursday, February 23, 2006


The resource wars that Michael Klare explained have truly begun. It has always existed, but is now going to be the major preoccupation of major powers: USA, China, India, Russia, EU. Currently, Africa supplies us with about 14% of our total oil imports. The USA would like to increase this to 25 % by 2015. The US is now deciding whether they want to install a military base in Ghana to protect the oil flow from West Africa. The role of the military is not to protect us from attack, rather to secure natural resources; what a radical departure from the Clinton years which sought global stability. We now seek to destabilize in order to secure resources.

Now Ghana will attract anti-American elements which will ultimately threaten the stability of the country. I fear it is only a matter of time until the US intervenes in Nigeria; only a few days ago, rebels attacked oil pipelines in southern Nigeria, impeding up to 20% of Nigeria's output; this of course causes the price of oil to increase, resulting in negative pressure on western economies. How long will the USA stand for this, if we are not already involved covertly.

Another example finds American counter terror troops landing in Tblisi, Georgia in 2002 to be stationed in the dangerous Pankisi Gorge area that borders Chechnya. Of course the proximity to the Caspian Sea suggests the inevitable explanation, oil. Not ony does the USA want the oil flowing west, they want to alienate Russia and Iran from drilling and exporting this oil. Instead our newly found allies, Georgia and Azerbaijan, should enjoy this privilege. The US troops were sent to train elite Georgian commandos who had a curious job, protecting the oil pipelines that ran from the Caspian oil fields to western markets. This was part of the war on terror. Were we hunting down hired mujadeen fighters finding refuge in Georgia from Chechnya? It appears not.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006


What are the odds that we will bomb Iran this March? There are a few mitigating circumstances that could contribute to such an action. What will the consequences be? Far reaching or immediate?

As we know, Iran is not particularly close to developing a nuclear weapon that it can use. Bush has said as much previously. The Israeli elections seem to be the biggest variable that will determine a course of action. The incumbent, Olmert, might want to show that he is tough on Iran. Netanyahu of the Likud party, likely challenger, has stated that a nuclear Iran is not an option. I feel that Iran going nuclear is non-negotiable for Israel; they will not allow their leverage to deteriorate in this way. To rush any action, based on this variable, would be a political move and a disaster.

There is also the creation of the Iranian Bourse: a stock exchange for securities trading. This will end, or damage, the hegemony that the petrodollar has enjoyed. Most left wing critics site this as the most likely cause of any military action as the actual production of nuclear weapons are years away. Saddam was trading oil in petroeuros as well; critics have also interpreted that US military aggression was triggered by this action. The value of the dollar is inflated as countries need to use US currency to purchase oil. William Clark states, "In essence, the U.S. will no longer be able to effortlessly expand credit via U.S. Treasury bills, and the dollar's demand/liquidity value will fall. " This is problematic as we are increasingly running a monumental deficit.

If the USA uses tactical nukes, or arms Israeli bombers with them, Iran is likely to fire a hail of rockets at US bases and maybe into Europe. They could hit the green zone in Iraq, decapitating the US leadership there. Hezbollah is also Iranian backed and may be able to hit us at home; this might eventually lead to a full scale invasion/bombing/nuke attack on Iran. We can see where this is going.

I have seen predictions like this from the left before that turned out incorrect. The dynamic of the bourse leads me to believe that some action will be taken. The USA will generally go to war only if its economic interests are at play.