Sunday, August 10, 2008
clipped from: www.wsws.org
the attempt by Georgia to militarily seize control of the enclave of South Ossetia
Russia’s armed intervention to counter this assault.
US imperialism’s drive to establish hegemony over the vast energy resources of Central Asia and the Caucasus through the assertion of American military power in the region.
The Russian ruling elite, for its part, is seeking to reassert its grip over a region that was ruled by Moscow for two centuries
the Bush administration’s drive to incorporate Georgia into the NATO alliance
Moscow sees as part of an attempt to establish a military encirclement of Russia
President Mikheil Saakashvili sent massed military units into South Ossetia on Thursday morning
violating a unilateral cease-fire declared by Tbilisi.
the Georgian regime
launched an all-out military offensive aimed at conquering the region.
the Georgian military laid siege to the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali.
the town is practically destroyed,
more than 1,400 civilians had been killed in the Georgian military assault.
Georgia with utilizing massive violence with the aim of forcing the Ossetian population to flee.
a policy of ethnic cleansing
among the dead were ten Russian peacekeepers
30 more were wounded in the shelling of their barracks
The peacekeepers were deployed
as part of an agreement reached between Moscow, Tbilisi and South Ossetia to end the fighting that erupted following the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the subsequent bid by the peoples of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to separate from Georgia.
sending a tank column and infantry into South Ossetia, where they have become engaged in fierce combat with Georgian units for control of Tskhinvali.
Georgian authorities charged that Russian warplanes had struck the country’s military bases, airfields and the main Black Sea port of Poti late Friday and early Saturday,
Bombs reportedly fell on the capital of Tbilisi and on the area of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline.
The timing of the Georgian incursion
the opening of the Olympics in Beijing
The Georgian president
“looking with hope”
“is not about Georgia anymore. It’s about America, its values... America stands up for those freedom-loving nations and supports them. That’s what America is all about.”
Under the Bush administration
US-backed “Rose Revolution” that paved the way for Saakashvili’s rise to power
Georgia is as an American bridgehead into the oil and gas-rich Caspian Basin
strategic transit route for funneling energy supplies out of the region, while bypassing Russia.
Washington has provided hundreds millions of dollars in military aid,
sending in large numbers of US military trainers for the country’s growing armed forces.
participating in the US occupation of Iraq, numbering some 2,000
Tbilisi indicated Friday that it would seek US help in bringing at least 1,000
Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov
declaring, “Now we see Georgia has found a use for these weapons and for the special forces that were trained with the help of international instructors.”
Last month, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice paid a provocative visit to Tbilisi, denouncing Russia and reiterating US backing for Georgian NATO membership.
Washington has stopped short of providing explicit support
backs the position of its client state in the Caucasus.
United Nations Security Council failed
because of Washington’s opposition to a clause calling on all sides to “renounce the use of force.”
US is backing Georgia’s right to take military action.
Secretary of State Rice
“We call on Russia to cease attacks on Georgia by aircraft and missiles, respect Georgia’s territorial integrity, and withdraw its ground combat forces from Georgian soil,”
the end product of the increasingly aggressive policy pursued by US imperialism in the wake of the dissolution of the USSR nearly 17 years ago
to further its own aim of military and economic hegemony. This began with the bloody wars in the former Yugoslavia.
All of the arguments used by Washington to justify its support for Bosnia and Kosovo and its military assault on Serbia during the Balkan wars of the 1990s could be employed just as effectively to condemn Georgia’s intervention and defend South Ossetia, as well as Russia’s military intervention on its behalf.
In this case, however, Washington has elevated Georgia’s “territorial integrity” as the paramount principle
justifying Georgia’s military intervention and an assault on the province’s Russian population that Moscow has branded as “ethnic cleansing.”
The apparent contradiction
underscores the fact that US imperialism’s supposed aversion to ethnic cleansing and the suppression of ethnic enclaves is entirely dependent upon who is doing it and whether or not it serves US strategic interests.
There is a direct link between this latest war and those waged by the US in the Balkans. In February, the US and the West recognized Kosovo’s “independence” based on its unilateral secession from Serbia
The aim in backing this secession
its support for the suppression of similar secessionist entities in Georgia
to further US military plans for the encirclement of Russia and the securing of access routes to the Caspian Basin.
In the run-up to Kosovo’s unilateral declaration
Moscow had repeatedly warned that it would set a precedent
Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in particular. In its aftermath, the Russian regime stepped up its support for both territories.