Special Peace Vigil For Georgia


Hello!

What follows is a complement to the current Meditation Focus #189: Anchoring The Love of God http://www.EarthRainbowNetwork.com/FocusArchives/MeditationFocus189.htm and will remain in effect for as long as the situation in Georgia requires it.

Please help NETWORK this call for a Special Peace Vigil For Georgia to as many people as possible.

Jean Hudon
Focus Group Facilitator
http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/FocusArchives/home.htm

P.S. Please note that the words that were missing at the end of the second paragraph of the Meditation Focus #189 are "and experience this same blissful communion of Love."


SPECIAL PEACE VIGIL FOR GEORGIA

1. Summary
2. More information related to this Special Peace Vigil For Georgia

This Special Peace Vigil For Georgia is archived at http://www.earthrainbownetwork.com/FocusArchives/VigilGeorgia.htm

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Also of special interest...

Below Milk Hill, near Alton Barnes, Wiltshire. Reported 080808
http://www.cropcircleconnector.com/2008/080808/080808.html
On the eighth day of the eighth month of the eighth year of the twenty first century the number eight appears in one of the fields of Wiltshire. The number eight is a very meaningful number to the Chinese as it is also to many religions of the world. The sheer scale of this formation is a marvel to behold. Many people were walking among its many circles in awe and wonder



1. SUMMARY

The tensions that had been simmering between the separatist province of South Ossetia, a pro-Russian autonomous region of Georgia, have escalated in open warfare. Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, launched a major offensive overnight Friday. Heavy rocket and artillery fire pounded the provincial capital of South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, leaving much of the city in ruins. Reports detailed how Georgian forces had initially killed 10 Russian peacekeepers and wounded 30 others - in addition to killing and maiming hundreds of civilians - which was the provocation for Russian forces to begin military operations, a fact that has been completely buried in most Western media coverage. Heavy casualties have been reported on both sides since Russian forces moved Friday into South Ossetia. Russian bombers were targeting Georgia's economic infrastructure, including the country's largest Black Sea port, Poti, and the main road connecting the southern part of Georgia with the east and the airport. International efforts to obtain a cease-fire have failed so far and a second front has been opened in Abkhazia, where the separatist government said it intended to push Georgian forces out of the Kodori Gorge. According to Russian officials, the war between Russia and Georgia has been orchestrated from the USA. This could turn out to be a ploy to divert Russia's attention while the US, Israel and their allies are massing one of the largest multi-national naval armadas since the First and Second Gulf Wars, allegedly in an attempt to create a US/EU naval blockade around Iran. Whatever the possible far-reaching consequences of this military conflict in Georgia, it appears that peacemakers from around the world urgently need to focus their attention on this situation in a collective effort to deviate the course of events so that no further escalation of this conflict occur, thus allowing a cease-fire to take place as soon as possible. Similarly, the growing tensions between Iran and the countries that oppose its enrichment of uranium claimed to be for peaceful purpose need to cool off so as to prevent any plan hatched by the same people responsible for the invasion and destruction of much of Iraq and Afghanistan to be executed. It is important to focalize our peace-fostering thought-forms towards envisioning a world where such conflicts are unthinkable and where all nations live in the same spirit of harmony and peaceful cooperation as exemplified by the athletes competing in the Olympic Games in Beijing.



2. MORE INFORMATION RELATED TO THIS SPECIAL PEACE VIGIL FOR GEORGIA

This complement of information may help you to better understand the various aspects pertaining to the summary description of the subject of this Peace Vigil. It is recommended to view this information from a positive perspective, and not allow the details to tinge the positive vision we wish to hold in meditation. Since what we focus on grows, the more positive our mind-set, the more successful we will be in manifesting a vision of peace and healing. This complementary information is provided so that a greater knowledge of what needs healing and peace-nurturing vibrations may assist us to have an in-depth understanding of what is at stake and thus achieve a greater collective effectiveness.

CONTENTS

1. Georgia: In 'state of war' over South Ossetia
2. Russian troops flood Georgia as war, casualties escalate
3. Georgia fears 'annihilation' after Russian assault
4. Q&A: South Ossetia dispute
5. Georgia, Washington and Moscow: a Nuclear Geopolitical Poker Game

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Also recommended...

Russian forces mass against Georgia, says official (10 Aug 2008) http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LA423150.htm
TBILISI, Aug 10 (Reuters) - Russia has brought 6,000 troops into Georgia and a further 4,000 troops by sea and is preparing to attack Georgia at dawn, a Georgian Interior Ministry official said early on Sunday."All of them are waiting for dawn to start active actions. Georgia faces a humanitarian catastrophe," Shota Utiashvili, the head of the Georgian Interior Ministry's information department, told Reuters.

Humanitarian impact
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_South_Ossetia_(2008)#Humanitarian_impact
International Red Cross urged the combatant sides to make a humanitarian corridor to evacuate the wounded and civilians from Tskhinvali. The main city hospital is reported to be non-functional, and ambulances cannot reach the wounded. According to South Ossetia, Georgia continues to bomb the hospital. Twenty-two wounded remain in the building, which has only two storeys left. International Red Cross spokeswoman Anna Nelson said it had received reports that hospitals in Tskhinvali were "overflowing" with casualties. The UN refugee agency said that thousands of refugees are leaving South Ossetia, mostly for North Ossetia. About 140 buses carrying thousands of refugees have already arrived the North Ossetia on Friday evening, according to Reuters. More refugees are said to be expected to arrive on Saturday. The Russian Emergency Ministry has sent a mobile hospital to North Ossetia. The Russian President has ordered the government to take urgent measures to provide humanitarian aid to those leaving the conflict zone. CLIP

Fighting with Russia spreads to cities across Georgia (August 8, 2008)
http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/08/georgia.ossetia/index.html
TBLISI, Georgia (CNN) -- Bombs rocked Tbilisi early Saturday morning as the fight between Georgia and Russia over a breakaway region intensified and moved into the Georgian capital. A warplane drops bombs near the Georgian city of Gori on Friday as Russian and Georgian forces battle. 1 of 3 Government buildings, including the Parliament, were evacuated when the bombs fell. Heavy casualties have reported on both sides since Russian forces moved Friday into South Ossetia, a pro-Russian autonomous region of Georgia. Russian bombers were targeting Georgia's economic infrastructure, National Security Council secretary Alexander Lomaia said, including the country's largest Black Sea port, Poti, and the main road connecting the southern part of Georgia with the east and the airport. Georgian television reported that the port had been destroyed.

US faults Russia for rising violence in Georgia (August 9, 2008) http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5gQYe039zkquHxitiI6u4M_TRr_BAD92F4I300
WASHINGTON (AP) — Russia's use of overwhelming military force against Georgia, including strategic bombers and ballistic missiles, is disproportionate to any threat from the former Soviet state and could escalate tensions in the volatile region, a senior U.S. official said Saturday. The Bush administration official, who briefed reporters on condition his name not be used because of the sensitive nature of the situation, said Russia has attacked areas in Georgia that are far away from the separatist province of South Ossetia, where the fighting has centered. The official also said the Russian military is striking civilian targets. "They have employed strategic bombers — the most potent air weaponry that is in the Russian arsenal .... They actually launched ballistic missile attacks on Georgian territory," the official said. He also said Russia has sent more than 1,000 paratroopers and armor into the region. Russian bombing has also taken place in Abkhazia, a separate breakaway region of Georgia, far from South Ossetia, the official said."This is a dangerous escalation in the crisis," the official said. Russia's military response "marks a severe escalation and is being conducted in areas far, far from the South Ossetia zone of conflict, which is where the Russian side has said it needed to protect its citizens and peacekeepers. So the response has been far disproportionate to whatever threat Russia had been citing." The U.S. official also scolded Moscow for stymieing attempts at mediation and refusing a cease-fire offer from Georgia. "The Georgians have offered a cease-fire. The response by the Russians has been to step up the attacks, continue bombing civilians with strategic air assets and then to reject the notion of any international mediation at all — it's very difficult for us to understand that," the official said. "It is simply not acceptable that anyone would reject an offer of a cease-fire and a plea for international mediation." The official criticized Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for suggesting Georgia was conducting "genocide" in South Ossetia. "Those are some pretty powerful words that are really not helping us to end the violence and bring together a new process that can resolve the conflict," the official said. "The line we're hearing right now (from Russia) is quite tough." CLIP

War between Russia and Georgia orchestrated from USA (09/08/08 "Pravda")
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article20469.htm
The US administration urged for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia. In the meantime, Russian officials believe that it was the USA that orchestrated the current conflict. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, Vladimir Vasilyev, believes that the current conflict is South Ossetia is very reminiscent to the wars in Iraq and Kosovo. “The things that were happening in Kosovo, the things that were happening in Iraq – we are now following the same path. The further the situation unfolds, the more the world will understand that Georgia would never be able to do all this without America. South Ossetian defense officials used to make statements about imminent aggression from Georgia, but the latter denied everything, whereas the US Department of State released no comments on the matter. In essence, they have prepared the force, which destroys everything in South Ossetia, attacks civilians and hospitals. They are responsible for this. The world community will learn about it,” the official said. In the meantime, it became known that the Georgian troops conducted volley-fire cleansings of several South Ossetian settlements, where people’s houses were simply leveled.“The number of victims with women, children and elderly people among them, can be counted in hundreds and even thousands,” a source from South Ossetian government in the capital of Tskhinvali said. (...) "Civilians, including women, children and elderly people, are dying in South Ossetia. In addition to that, Georgia conducts ethnic scouring in South Ossetian villages. The situation in South Ossetia continues to worsen every hour. Georgia uses military hardware and heavy arms against people. They shell residential quarters of Tskhinvali [the capital] and other settlements. They bomb the humanitarian convoys. The number of refugees continues to rise – the people try to save their lives, the lives of their children and relatives. A humanitarian catastrophe is gathering pace,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said. CLIP

U.S. Attacks Russia Through Client State Georgia (August 8, 2008)
http://www.prisonplanet.com/us-attacks-russia-through-client-state-georgia.html
Georgian forces, trained and equipped by the Pentagon and the U.S. government, killed 10 Russian peacekeepers early this morning in a provocation attack that has escalated into military conflict, but the subsequent corporate media coverage would have us believe that the U.S. and NATO-backed client state Georgia is a helpless victim, when in actual fact a far more nuanced geopolitical strategy is being played out. Original reports early this morning detailed how Georgian forces had killed 10 Russian peacekeepers and wounded 30 others, which was the provocation for Russian forces to begin military operations, but the fact that Georgian forces were responsible for starting the conflagration has been completely buried in subsequent media coverage. “Georgia and the Pentagon cooperate closely,” reports MSNBC, “Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military.” The latest exercise, Immediate Response 2008, which took place last month, involved no less than one thousand U.S. troops working with Georgian troops in a war game scenario. Moreover, the very “Rose Revolution” that brought the Harvard trained pro-US Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvilli to power in 2003 was wholly aided and abetted by the Central Intelligence Agency. Russian fury at U.S. support for Georgia and Georgia’s aspirations of becoming a NATO member have flared regularly in recent months, with tensions also rising following U.S. attempts to place missile defense shield technology in Poland and the Czech Republic, which most observers agree has nothing to do with Iran and is in fact aimed at countering Russian military superiority in the region. (...) Former Treasury Secretary under Ronald Reagan, Paul Craig Roberts, told The Alex Jones Show today that the entire scenario smacked of a maneuver on behalf of the Neo-Con faction controlling the White House, led by Dick Cheney. Roberts said the date was precisely picked due to the distraction of the Olympics and Bush being out of the country. Both Condoleezza Rice and John McCain have today demanded Russia withdraw its forces from Georgia immediately. Meanwhile, the U.S. media networks are seemingly more interested in the complete non-story of John Edwards having an affair, while a conflict that could have devastating and thunderous geopolitical consequences fizzes on the verge of explosion. CLIP

Q&A: Violence in South Ossetia
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7549736.stm
(...) Why do Ossetians want to break away? The Ossetians are a distinct ethnic group originally from the Russian plains just south of the Don river. In the 13th Century, they were pushed southwards by Mongol invasions into the Caucasus mountains, settling along the border with Georgia. South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic brethren in North Ossetia, which is an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Ethnic Georgians are a minority in South Ossetia, accounting for less than one-third of the population. But Georgia rejects even the name, South Ossetia, preferring to call it by the ancient name of Samachablo, or Tskhinvali, after its main city. (...) What about Georgia's links to Nato? President Saakashvili has made membership of Nato one of his main goals. Georgia has a close relationship with the United States and has been cultivating ties with Western Europe. There are those who believe that Mr Saakashvili may be hoping to draw Nato into a conflict with Moscow, making their alliance a formal one. But analysts say it is difficult to imagine Nato allowing itself to be drawn into a direct conflict with its Cold War rival after managing to avoid that for so long.

Questions answered on Russia, Georgia conflict
http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2008-08-08-question-answer_N.htm
(...) Q: How bad could hostilities get? A: It depends on how large a response Russia wants to muster. Russia has an active and equipped armed force of 1.02 million, according to the International Institute for Strategic Studies of London. The institute numbers Georgia's active servicemen and women at 21,150. Q: How have the United States and the rest of the world reacted? A: The United States, NATO and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe have called for a halt in hostilities and for Georgia, Russia and South Ossetia to sit down and talk. The U.S. State Department says it supports Georgia's territorial integrity, while calling for an immediate cease-fire. The White House says President Bush and Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin have talked about the situation while both are attending the Olympics. Q: Is there a chance that the United States and the West could be drawn into a confrontation with Russia over this? A: Georgia is not a member of NATO, so there are no obligations to come to its defense. Georgia so far has asked for diplomatic, not military, assistance from the West. The Pentagon says it has only 125 defense personnel and contractors in Georgia that provide military training for Georgian forces deployed in Iraq. Q: Could hostilities here affect U.S. military efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan? A: Georgia's president said Friday he is bringing home the 2,000 troops it had stationed in Iraq. That is a significant blow to coalition forces because Georgia was the third-largest contributor of troops behind Britain and the U.S. Apart from that, direct U.S. military involvement seems unlikely. Although Georgia may look close to Iraq and Afghanistan, it has little in common. Like Russians, Georgians and Ossetians are largely Orthodox Christian.

Analysis: South Ossetian Conflict Will Cost Russia Dearly (08.08.2008)
http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0,2144,3548662,00.html
The escalating conflict between Georgia and Russia over the former's breakaway province South Ossetia has far-reaching consequences and might become a major problem for Moscow, according to experts. (...) But analysts point out that Russian policy was not all war-mongering, and Moscow, having lost a dangerous political double game, may find itself trapped in a war that, if prolonged, could prove immensely costly. Just before April, Russia ended a 16-month blockade and resumed air and postal links to Georgia, holding out the possibility of dropping economic sanctions as well. Russia's special envoy Yuri Popov arrived in Tbilisi to mediate peace talks between the two sides on Thursday, even as the fighting escalated out of control with both sides returning heavy artillery shelling and making bomber sorties with Sukhoi SU-27 fighter jets. Now, Felgenhauer said, Russia has made a choice that will drag it into a prolonged and difficult war because mountains form a barrier between the region and Russia, leaving only a one-road pass, closed off in the winter. "It's a logistical nightmare to try to take South Ossetia back from Georgia's quite good military," Felgenhauer said. "Massive Russian intervention may turn out to be costly, not only in terms of human costs ... it could be politically devastating for Russia's standing and economy." Russian-Western rift likely Georgia, whose army numbers around 18,000 soldiers, had surrounded the South Ossetia capital on Friday. Such a war could swiftly create a political rift between Russia and the West, whose support remains with Georgia for the present, other Russian observers said. The United States sent its envoy to the region on Friday. "We support Georgia's territorial integrity and we call for an immediate ceasefire," State Department spokesperson Amanda Harper told DPA.

South Ossetia: The War has Begun! (August 8, 2008)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9772
The night of August 7, Georgian forces launched an attack on Tskhinvali, which Tbilisi cynically described as an effort to restore the constitutional order. Just hours earlier, Saakashvili declared a ceasefire in the conflict zone, but the move was only a propaganda maneuver disguising the plan for a large-scale offensive. The timing is carefully chosen — the attention worldwide is focused on the opening of the Olympic Games, Russian Prime Minister V. Putin is in Beijing, and Russian President D. Medvedev is on a short vacation. Georgian forces are acting with extreme ferocity. A total devastation of the Tskhinvali downtown which came under Grad missile, artillery, mortar, and machinegun fire has been reported. Dozens of blasts shatter the city every minute. Tens of armored vehicles and thousands of soldiers moved into the conflict zone. Russian Peacekeeping Force Deputy Commander V. Ivanov said that the positions of the peacekeepers were not directly targeted or hit and that they continue to watch the situation in the region. However, the Ossetian side and Russian journalists say that the peacekeepers' headquarters came under fire. The offensive has already left tens if not hundreds of people dead. Nevertheless, it appears that the activity of the peacekeepers remains limited to monitoring the situation. Their inaction helps the aggressor — the Georgian side states that the Russian peacekeepers are not intervening in the conflict. The army of South Ossetia returned fire, but it has no potential comparable to that of the Georgian forces. Several Ossetian villages have already been seized and there is a possibility that the Zar highway linking the Republic to Russia will be blocked. The statement made by Mathew Bryza in connection with the events is remarkably cynical — cunningly siding with Georgia and interpreting Moscow's position in the manner of a downright hooligan, he blamed the escalation on South Ossetia. Earlier C. Rice said in Tbilisi that the US was entirely on Georgia's side in the conflict, thus leaving no doubts concerning the US position. US State Department spokesman Gonzalo Gallegos says the US demands that Moscow exert pressure on the leadership of South Ossetia in order to achieve a ceasefire in the conflict zone. At the same time, the Georgian side is no more than advised to exercise restraint.It is symbolic that Tbilisi launched the aggression on the anniversary of the fall of the Republic of Serbian Krajina. Its demise became a prologue to the next phase of the Balkan war - to the war in Kosovo, the NATO strikes on Serbia, and the humiliation and partition of the country. It has been said many times that the West is reusing the Balkan scenario in the Caucasus, and that this time Russia is planned to play the role of Serbia. Belgrade politicians who said 13 years ago that selling their countrymen in Croatia and Bosnia would preclude the Western aggression now pretend they were unaware that Serbia's turn would come after the Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia. CLIP

NATO encouraged Georgia – Russian envoy (August 8, 2008)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9774
Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, has sent an official note to representatives of all member countries in Brussels in connection with Georgia’s military actions against South Ossetia. He’s calling on them not to support Mikhail Saakashvili.“Russia has already begun consultations with the ambassadors of the NATO countries and consultations with NATO military representatives will be held tomorrow," Rogozin said. "We will caution them against continuing to further support of Saakashvili."Rogozin says Georgian aggression against South Ossetia is obvious.“It is an undisguised aggression accompanied by a mass propaganda war,” he said.Rogozin has linked Friday’s onslaught to the support given to Saakashvili at the recent NATO summit in Bucharest. At the meeting, Rogozin says, it “was hinted Georgia has prospects in NATO.” South Ossetia close to humanitarian disaster – Russian FM Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov says he hopes Georgia’s Western partners take note of what has happened in South Ossetia and draw conclusions.“It all confirms our numerous warnings addressed to the international community that it is necessary to pay attention to massive arms purchasing by Georgia during several years. Now we see how these arms and Georgian special troops who had been trained by foreign specialists are used,” he said. The FM also accused the Georgian authorities of ignoring the UN Security Council’s call to observe a ceasefire during the Olympic Games in Beijing. CLIP

Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia (August 8, 2008)
http://www.prisonplanet.com/israel-backs-georgia-in-caspian-oil-pipeline-battle-with-russia.html
Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax. (...) DEBKAfile’s geopolitical experts note that on the surface level, the Russians are backing the separatists of S. Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia as payback for the strengthening of American influence in tiny Georgia and its 4.5 million inhabitants. However, more immediately, the conflict has been sparked by the race for control over the pipelines carrying oil and gas out of the Caspian region.The Russians may just bear with the pro-US Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili’s ambition to bring his country into NATO. But they draw a heavy line against his plans and those of Western oil companies, including Israeli firms, to route the oil routes from Azerbaijan and the gas lines from Turkmenistan, which transit Georgia, through Turkey instead of hooking them up to Russian pipelines. Saakashvili need only back away from this plan for Moscow to ditch the two provinces’ revolt against Tbilisi. As long as he sticks to his guns, South Ossetia and Abkhazia will wage separatist wars. DEBKAfile discloses Israel’s interest in the conflict from its exclusive military sources:Jerusalem owns a strong interest in Caspian oil and gas pipelines reach the Turkish terminal port of Ceyhan, rather than the Russian network. Intense negotiations are afoot between Israel Turkey, Georgia, Turkmenistan and Azarbaijan for pipelines to reach Turkey and thence to Israel’s oil terminal at Ashkelon and on to its Red Sea port of Eilat. From there, supertankers can carry the gas and oil to the Far East through the Indian Ocean.Aware of Moscow’s sensitivity on the oil question, Israel offered Russia a stake in the project but was rejected.

In photos: 'Georgia South Ossetia Conflict
http://tinyurl.com/5o42r8

2008 South Ossetia War
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_in_South_Ossetia_(2008)
This article documents ongoing warfare: Information may change rapidly, and might initially be unconfirmed, as the conflict evolves.

Full Coverage: Georgia
http://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Georgia;_ylt=AqLqrNbbwyuSp.kZfJ85udJ2y14A



RELATED DEVELOPMENTS

Rep. Ron Paul: The US is heading into an illegal attack on Iran (August 9, 2008)
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9775
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.) has warned millions of radio listeners that the United States is heading into an illegal attack on Iran, stating his amazement at members of Congress who have openly voiced support for a criminal nuclear strike."If we do (attack) it is going to be a disaster," the congressman told the Alex Jones radio show. "I was astounded to see on one of the networks the other day that the debate was not are we going to attack, but are we going to attack before or after the election?" Paul continued. Paul recently voiced concern over House Congressional Resolution 362 which he has dubbed a "virtual Iran war resolution." "If that comes up it is demanding that the president [put in place] an absolute blockade of the entire country of Iran, and punish any country or any business group around the world if they trade with Iran," Paul told listeners. Experts have predicted gas will rise to $6 per gallon if the resolution passes. Paul believes that may happen anyway, just by anticipation. "The frightening thing is they say they are taking no options off the table, even nuclear first strike," Paul said. Paul believes from talking with his contacts in and around Congress that a strike on Iran has already been green-lighted.

Ron Paul Fears Staged Iran Pretext Could Bring National Draft (August 5, 2008)
http://www.prisonplanet.com/ron-paul-fears-staged-iran-pretext-could-bring-national-draft.html
Congressman Ron Paul fears that a staged incident exploited as a pretext to attack Iran may be the precursor to a national draft, as he responded to Sy Hersh’s astounding report that Dick Cheney proposed faking a Gulf of Tonkin style incident by killing Americans in the Straits of Hormuz and blaming it on Iran.“The influence is still there that they want it to happen, they probably themselves don’t have a day set to do it but they’re waiting for an opportunity and something will come along,” Paul told the Alex Jones Show. “They’re capable of doing anything,” said Paul, refering to the consideration unveiled in the Downing Street Memo, where Bush and Blair discussed painting a U2 spy plane in UN colors and goading Saddam to have it shot down as a pretext to invade Iraq. Asked about Cheney’s proposal to kill Americans as part of a false flag attack to be blamed on Iran, Paul responded, “The sad part is a lot of people won’t be surprised….it’s tragic, it’s sad, all we have to do is have one our ships hit and a bunch of Americans killed and one or two news stations say it was the Iranians and the country’s going to be ready to go to war, they’d even be willing to call a draft to say we have to go to save Israel, we have to march in, so we need a draft - that’s the worst part that I fear,” said the Congressman. Back in January 2007, Paul voiced his fears on the House floor of a “contrived Gulf of Tonkin style incident that may well occur to gain popular support for an attack on Iran.”During an appearance on the Alex Jones Show last month, Congressman Paul said that a strike on Iran has already been green lighted, judging from what his contacts in and around Congress were telling him.“It is still totally bewildering to me when I see men and women in the Congress that I know and like doing this just to get along. Most of them will say “I agree with you on all you say but the Iranians are bad people and they might attack us some day… I hear members of Congress saying ‘if we could only nuke them’,” said Paul.

'2 US aircraft carriers headed for Gulf' (Aug 7, 2008)
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1218104233164&pagename=JPArticle%2FShowFull
Two additional United States naval aircraft carriers are heading to the Gulf and the Red Sea, according to the Kuwaiti newspaper Kuwait Times. Kuwait began finalizing its "emergency war plan" on being told the vessels were bound for the region.The US Navy would neither confirm nor deny that carriers were en route. US Fifth Fleet Combined Maritime Command located in Bahrain said it could not comment due to what a spokesman termed "force-protection policy."While the Kuwaiti daily did not name the ships it believed were heading for the Middle East, The Media Line's defense analyst said they could be the USS Theodore Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan. (...) Currently there are two US naval battle groups operating in the Gulf: one is an aircraft carrier group, led by the USS Abraham Lincoln, which carries some 65 fighter aircraft. The other group is headed by the USS Peleliu which maintains a variety of planes and strike helicopters.The ship movements coincide with the latest downturn in relations between Washington and Teheran. The US and Iran are at odds over Iran's nuclear program, which the Bush administration claims is aimed at producing material for nuclear weapons; however, Teheran argues it is only for power generation.Kuwait, like other Arab countries in the Gulf, fears it will be caught in the middle should the US decide to launch an air strike against Iran if negotiations fail. The Kuwaitis are finalizing details of their security, humanitarian and vital services, the newspaper reported. The six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) - Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE and Oman - lie just across the Gulf from Iran. Generals in the Iranian military have repeatedly warned that American interests in the region would be targeted if Iran is subjected to any military strike by the US or its Western allies. CLIP

Massive US Naval Armada Heads For Iran (AUGUST 7, 2008)
http://europebusines.blogspot.com/2008/08/massive-us-naval-armada-heads-for-iran.html
Operation Brimstone ended only one week ago. This was the joint US/UK/French naval war games in the Atlantic Ocean preparing for a naval blockade of Iran and the likely resulting war in the Persian Gulf area. (...) These ships took part in the just completed Operation Brimstone. The build up of naval forces in the Gulf will be one of the largest multi-national naval armadas since the First and Second Gulf Wars. The intent is to create a US/EU naval blockade (which is an Act of War under international law) around Iran (with supporting air and land elements) to prevent the shipment of benzene and certain other refined oil products headed to Iranian ports. Iran has limited domestic oil refining capacity and imports 40% of its benzene. Cutting off benzene and other key products would cripple the Iranian economy. The neo-cons are counting on such a blockade launching a war with Iran. The US Naval forces being assembled include the following: (...) The large and very advanced nature of the US Naval warships is not only directed at Iran. There is a great fear that Russia and China may oppose the naval and air/land blockade of Iran. If Russian and perhaps Chinese naval warships escort commercial tankers to Iran in violation of the blockade it could be the most dangerous at-sea confrontation since the Cuban Missile Crisis. The US and allied Navies, by front loading a Naval blockade force with very powerful guided missile warships and strike carriers is attempting to have a force so powerful that Russia and China will not be tempted to mess with. This is a most serious game of military brinkmanship with major nuclear armed powers that have profound objections to the neo-con grand strategy and to western control of all of the Middle East's oil supply. (...) A strategic diversion has been created for Russia. The Republic of Georgia, with US backing, is actively preparing for war on South Ossetia. The South Ossetia capital has been shelled and a large Georgian tank force has been heading towards the border. Russia has stated that it will not sit by and allow the Georgians to attack South Ossetia. The Russians are great chess players and this game may not turn out so well for the neo-cons. (...) Kuwait has activated its "Emergency War Plan" as it and other Gulf nations prepare for the likelihood of a major regional war in the Middle East involving weapons of mass destruction. CLIP

US: Iran stalling on nukes, new penalties likely (August 6) http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/us_iran_nuclear;_ylt=ApJ1ZPNIUY5cFirh96_Ho49Sw60A
WASHINGTON - Major world powers agreed Wednesday to pursue new sanctions against Iran, even though the watered-down penalties already levied by the U.N. have only made Iran rush faster to perfect nuclear expertise.

Iran vows no nuclear concessions (23 July 2008)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7520854.stm
Iran will not "retreat one iota" in its nuclear activities, its president says, in his first reaction to a new call for Tehran to end uranium enrichment.

Full Coverage: Iran
http://news.yahoo.com/fc/World/Iran;_ylt=Aky_3lRA5RGWwpngiziTAq92y14A

A War of Self-Destruction (August 9, 2008 Chris Hedges)
http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/20080804_a_war_of_self_destruction/
An attack on Iran, which Israeli and Bush administration officials appear set to carry out if Iranian uranium enrichment is not halted, would ignite a regional war in the Middle East and lead to economic collapse and political upheaval in the US. Chicago University Prof. William R. Polk, a member of the Policy Planning Council under President Kennedy predicts: “Industries would fail, banks would collapse, government revenues would dry up, universities would close, health care would virtually cease.”

Cheney Orders Media To Sell Attack On Iran (September 4, 2007) One year old but still valid!
http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/september2007/040907_cheney_orders.htm

Many more related articles though
http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=region&regionId=6 and http://www.prisonplanet.com




1.

From: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/georgia_south_ossetia;_ylt=AqVDZFx7bhNn9zuz.lTTWMOs0NUE

Georgia: In 'state of war' over South Ossetia

By MUSA SADULAYEV, Associated Press Writer

August 9, 2008

OUTSIDE TSKHINVALI, Georgia - Russia and small, U.S.-allied Georgia headed toward a wider war Saturday as Russian tanks rumbled into the contested province of South Ossetia and Russian aircraft bombed a Georgian town, escalating a conflict that already has left hundreds dead.

Georgia's Foreign Ministry said the country was "in a state of war" and accused Russia of beginning a "massive military aggression." The Georgian parliament approved a state of martial law, mobilizing reservists and ordering government authorities to work round-the-clock.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that Moscow sent troops into South Ossetia to force Georgia into a cease-fire and prevent Georgia from retaking control of its breakaway region after it launched a major offensive there overnight Friday.

In a meeting with refugees, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin characterized Georgia's actions as "complete genocide," according to his office's Web site. Putin also said Georgia had effectively lost the right to rule the breakaway province — an indication Moscow could be preparing to fulfill South Ossetians' wish to be absorbed into Russia.

The risk of the conflict setting off a wider war also increased Saturday when Russian-supported separatists in another breakaway region, Abkhazia, also targeted Georgian troops by launching air and artillery strikes to drive them out.

President Bush called for an end to the Russian bombings and an immediate halt to the violence.

"The attacks are occurring in regions of Georgia far from the zone of conflict in South Ossetia. They mark a dangerous escalation in the crisis," Bush said in a statement to reporters while attending the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili called it an "unprovoked brutal Russian invasion."

"This is about annihilation of a democracy on their borders," Saakashvili told the British Broadcasting Corp. "We on our own cannot fight with Russia. We want immediate cease-fire, immediate cessation of hostilities, separation of Russia and Georgia and international mediation."

Medvedev's office said Saturday evening that Russia had not received the Georgian cease-fire proposal.

Georgia, a U.S. ally whose troops have been trained by American soldiers, launched the major offensive overnight Friday. Heavy rocket and artillery fire pounded the provincial capital, Tskhinvali, leaving much of the city in ruins.

It was the worst outbreak of hostilities since South Ossetia won de facto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told reporters Saturday in Moscow that some 1,500 people had been killed in South Ossetia since Friday, with the death toll rising. The figures could not be independently confirmed.

But Tskhinvali residents who survived the bombardment by hiding in basements and later fled the city estimated that hundreds of civilians had died. They said bodies were lying everywhere.

Georgia, a country about the size of South Carolina that borders the Black Sea between Turkey and Russia, was ruled by Moscow for most of the two centuries preceding the breakup of the Soviet Union. Today, Russia has approximately 30 times more people than Georgia and 240 times the area.

Both South Ossetia and Abkhazia have run their own affairs without international recognition since splitting from Georgia in the early 1990s and have built up ties with Moscow. Russia has granted its passports to most of their residents.

Putin arrived late Saturday in the Russian city of Vladikavkaz to talk to South Ossetian refugees who have fled the fighting. He said there were at least 34,000 refugees.

"The actions of the Georgian powers in South Ossetia are, of course, a crime — first of all against their own people," Putin said. "The territorial integrity of Georgia has suffered a fatal blow."

Russia also laid much of the responsibility for ending the fighting on Washington, which has trained Georgian troops. Washington, in turned, blamed Russia.

"We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. We call for an end to the Russian bombings, and a return by the parties to the status quo," Bush said in the statement.

White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said Bush had spoken with both Medvedev and Saakashvili. But it was unclear what might persuade either side to stop shooting — both claim the other violated a cease-fire declared Thursday.

Alexander Lomaia, secretary of Georgia's Security Council, estimated that Russia sent 2,500 troops into Georgia. The Russian military would not comment on the number of troops. By late Saturday, Russian military commanders claimed they had driven Georgian forces out of Tskhinvali, a claim that Saakashvili denied.

Russia's ambassador to NATO Dmitry Rogozin said "98 percent of Tskhinvali" was in ruins. "Our troops have re-established control over the city," he said.

Smoke rose from the city, and intermittent artillery shelling and sporadic gunfire could still be heard.

Georgian forces knocked out about 40 Russian tanks around Tskhinvali, said Georgia's Deputy Interior Minister Eka Sguladze. "Our units are well-equipped with anti-tank rockets, and they thwarted a Russian tank attack," she told reporters.

Georgia, meanwhile, accused Russia of bombing its air bases and the town of Gori, just outside South Ossetia.

An Associated Press reporter who visited Gori shortly after the Russian airstrikes Saturday saw several apartment buildings in ruins, some still on fire, and scores of dead bodies and bloodied civilians. The elderly, women and children were among the victims.

The Russian warplanes appeared to have been targeting a military base in Gori's outskirts that also was bombed.

The Interior Ministry said Russian warplanes also bombed the Vaziani military base on the outskirts of the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and struck near the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. The ministry said two other military bases were hit, and that Russian warplanes also bombed the Black Sea port city of Poti, which has a sizable oil shipment facility.

Georgia said it has shot down 10 Russian planes, including four brought down Saturday, according to Lomaia. It also claimed to have captured two Russian pilots, who were shown on Georgian television.

Russian Col. Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, deputy chief of the General Staff, confirmed Saturday that two Russian planes had been shot down, but did not say where or when.

Lavrov, the Russian foreign minister, said Georgia brought the airstrikes upon itself by bombing civilians and Russian peacekeepers. He warned that the small Caucasus country should expect more attacks.

"Whatever side is used to bomb civilians and the positions of peacekeepers, this side is not safe and they should know this," Lavrov said.

Russian military commanders said 15 peacekeepers have been killed and about 150 wounded in South Ossetia, accusing Georgian troops of killing and wounding Russian peacekeepers when they seized Russian checkpoints. The allegations couldn't be independently confirmed.

In Abkhazia, the separatist government said it intended to push Georgian forces out of the Kodori Gorge. The northern part of the gorge is the only area of Abkhazia that has remained under Georgian government control. Lomaia confirmed that Georgian administrative buildings in the Kodori Gorge were bombed, but he blamed the attack on Russia.

___

Associated Press writers Misha Dzhindzhikhashvili in Tbilisi, Georgia; Douglas Birch on the Russian-Georgian border; George Abdaladze in Gori, Georgia; and Jim Heintz, Vladimir Isachenkov and Lynn Berry in Moscow contributed to this report.




2.

From: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/world/story/47016.html

Russian troops flood Georgia as war, casualties escalate

By Tom Lasseter | McClatchy Newspapers

MOSCOW -- Russian troops poured into Georgia Saturday as fighter jets unleashed bombs across the country, ratcheting up fears that a war has begun on Europe's border.

Russian airborne troops reached Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway Georgian territory of South Ossetia, where fierce fighting was reported and both sides claimed to have “liberated” the city. Russian state media reported some 100 military transport flights were planned to bring more units to the fray.

Earlier in the day, Russia Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that about 1,500 people had been killed in the fighting.

The Russian ambassador to Georgia, Vyacheslav Kovalenko, upped that figure to 2,000, according to Interfax, a state newswire. Those figures could not be confirmed, and were considerably higher than estimates by Georgia’s government.

Georgian soldiers had tried to seize Tskhinvali, in north Georgia, on late Thursday and Friday to end the long-standing conflict between the country's government in Tblisi and the breakaway region. Russia, which backs the South Ossetians, scrambled troops in response.

On Saturday, the Georgian government said it was in a state of war, and declared martial law.

At least 15 Russian peacekeepers had been killed and some 150 injured, according to Russian authorities. The Russian military confirmed to state media that two of its planes had been shot down over Georgia; Georgian officials asserted the real number was between five and 10.

Complicating the situation, a separate set of Russian-backed separatists from the area of Abkhazia, in Georgia’s west, launched rocket strikes at Georgian military targets, an unnamed Abkhaz military source told Interfax.

"The situation continues to deteriorate," Lavrov said, accusing Georgia of razing whole villages in what he said amounted to "ethnic cleansing."

The rhetoric against Georgia has increasingly shifted from South Ossetian officials to the Kremlin, signaling that the battle was taking on far larger proportions.

During the past week, 34,000 refugees have fled to Russia from South Ossetia, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said at a press conference Saturday.

Georgian officials said the fighting was the result of aggression by Russian forces and their proxies in South Ossetia, which declared independence in the early 1990s and is home to a large number of Russian citizens.

Western officials have expressed alarm at the violence, with fears growing that an all-out war between Russia and Georgia could drag in other nations, and force the United States to decide how much support to give Georgia, an ally in the region.

About 130 U.S. soldiers are in Georgia as part of ongoing efforts to help train units there, according to the Pentagon.

President Bush, in Beijing attending the Olympic Games, said the fighting was “a dangerous escalation” and pointedly called for Russia to end its bombings and support peace efforts launched by Europe and the United States.

"Georgia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity must be respected," Bush said. “We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops.”

Saakashvili, who is close to the Bush administration, accused the Russians of a widespread bombing campaign that has included towns, military bases and a seaport far outside of South Ossetia. Among the towns was Gori, between Tbilisi and South Ossetia, where a Russian bombing run reportedly hit residential apartments and killed dozens – footage from the scene showed dead bodies, bloody and twisted, sprawled across the ground.

Asked about Russian airstrikes in the conversation with reporters, Lavrov said "I'm not here to justify anything" and added that any sites in the country that were connected with attacks on Russia's military or civilian populations are “not safe and they should know this.”

It was not clear how far the two sides were willing to go with the fight and it was equally as unclear how they might draw back.

The Russians are publicly saying that their forces on the ground are part of a peacekeeping mission, aimed at maintaining the boundaries of South Ossetia, which is just south of the Russian border. In order for the fighting to stop, they say, Georgia must withdraw its troops from the area and sign a binding non-aggression pact -- steps that seemed unlikely.

The Georgians assert that Russia has violated their sovereignty by sending in troops to augment the small peacekeeping units, essentially invading their country in an act of war, and called for the soldiers to leave immediately -- which also seemed unlikely to happen soon.

Georgian officials say the Kremlin has for years deliberately set conditions in both South Ossetia and Abkhazia, funding the rebel governments and giving Russian passports to residents there, which it knew would lead to an eventual incursion.

The conflict is rooted in sharp geopolitical tensions between Russia and the West.

The United States has enraged Russian officials by training the Georgian military, which has contributed 2,000 troops to American efforts in Iraq, and backing the country's application for membership to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Many Russians accuse Saakashvili of trying to seize Tskhinvali to quell the separatists in hopes of making Georgia more attractive for its NATO application.

The Kremlin sees the U.S. relationship with Georgia as part of a continued strategy to isolate it from the Soviet sphere of influence, including plans for a missile defense shield in Poland and the Czech Republic.

On Saturday morning, the Russian foreign ministry lashed out at Ukraine -- another former Soviet republic that's applying for NATO membership with American support -- for "vigorously arming the Georgian army to the teeth over the past few years, thus directly encouraging the Georgian leadership to invade South Ossetia."

Georgia is withdrawing its troops from Iraq as soon as transportation is arranged, which they’ve asked the United States to do, said Georgian commander Col. Bondo Maisuradze.

"We're ready to leave. We're just waiting for the plane now," Maisuradze said.

As of Saturday, flights to Georgia from Russia were canceled and access to its government Web sites from Moscow appeared to have been blocked. There was no sign of when those measures might be reversed.




3.

From: http://www.afp.com/english/news/stories/newsmlmmd.063bfc2699e969fe4255ee63b05e2051.91.html

Georgia fears 'annihilation' after Russian assault

09/08/2008

TBILISI (AFP) - Russian warplanes staged bombing raids across Georgia on Saturday as the conflict over South Ossetia escalated and diplomatic efforts mounted to halt what Tbilisi called a policy of "annihilation."

"What they are doing is nothing to do with conflict, it is about annihilation of a democracy on their borders," Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said in an interview with the BBC.

He said Moscow's aim in entering the conflict over the breakaway enclave of South Ossetia was to show that "nobody ever will defy Russian rule in this part of the world."

France, which holds the current EU presidency, announced on Saturday that it would host a meeting of European foreign ministers early next week and possibly an EU summit later.

The French presidency said Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner would go to the region to present proposals for ending the crisis which include "an immediate cessation of hostilities; the full respect of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia; (and) the re-establishment of the situation that existed before."

CLIP




4.

From: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/08/georgia.russia4

Q&A: South Ossetia dispute

History behind the breakaway region's push for independence

Helen Womack in Moscow - August 08 2008 10:51 BST

Why has fighting broken out in South Ossetia?

The South Ossetians and Georgians have been sniping at each other, both with words and guns, for several weeks now, and patience on both sides has finally snapped. South Ossetia and Georgia's other breakaway region, Abkhazia, have had de facto independence since the early 1990s, but Tbilisi has never recognised the loss of its territory. The dispute between Georgia and the two regions was called "the frozen conflict" because the issues remained unresolved but there was no fighting. The ice began to melt, and the heat to rise, earlier this year when the west recognised Kosovo, against Russia's advice. The South Ossetians and Abkhazians argued that if Kosovo could be independent, then so could they, and renewed their struggle for freedom.

What is the basis of the regions' claim to independence?

The Ossetians are descendants of a tribe called the Alans. Like the Georgians, the Ossetians are orthodox Christians, but they have their own language. In Soviet times the Ossetians had an autonomous region within Georgia. The Georgians say the Ossetians cooperated with the Bolsheviks and tended to be more pro-Soviet. Their ethnic kin live across the border in the Russian region of North Ossetia, so they feel more drawn to Russia than to Georgia - and many have Russian passports.

Abkhazia on the Black Sea coast also had autonomy within Georgia during Soviet times. Because of its sub-tropical climate, it was the playground of Soviet leaders and is popular with Russian tourists today. It has a mixed population of Abkhazis, Mingrelians, Greeks, Armenians, Russians and Georgians, and a small but significant Muslim minority. Thousands of ethnic Georgians fled their homes in Abkhazia during the civil war at the beginning of the 1990s and now live as refugees in Tbilisi and Moscow.

Why has Russia become involved?

Russia says it cannot stand aside because many of the people in the breakaway regions are now its citizens. Georgia says Russia is meddling in its internal affairs and supporting the separatists, although Russia's peacekeepers are supposed to be neutral. Georgia accuses Russia of double standards in suppressing its own separatist rebellion in Chechnya while encouraging separatists in Georgia. Russia has become more engaged in the region since Georgia expressed an interest in joining Nato, an idea that Russia staunchly opposes.

What might happen next?

So far, this has been a proxy war, with Russia encouraging the separatists, but Moscow and Tblisi could find themselves in direct conflict. Russia's prime minister, Vladimir Putin, today accused Georgia of aggression and warned that a response was inevitable. Georgia said Russian jets had started bombing its territory.

What are the wider implications?

The conflict could widen to bring in other Soviet republics, the US and Europe. The root of the problem is that the international community cannot agree on rules for the independence of small regions. Russia said that granting independence to Kosovo would set a dangerous precedent. Moscow now seems determined to prove it was right all along.




5.

From: http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=9564

Georgia, Washington and Moscow: a Nuclear Geopolitical Poker Game

by F. William Engdahl

Global Research, July 12, 2008

The Caucasus Republic of Georgia as nations go does not appear to be a major global player. Yet Washington has invested huge sums and organized to put its own despot, Mikhail Saakashvili, in the Presidency in order to close a nuclear NATO iron ring around Russia. Now US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is in Tbilisi making sharp statements against Moscow for supporting the independent neighbor states of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, in essence blaming Moscow for an imminent war Washington has incited in order to bring Georgia into NATO by the December NATO Summit.

The Western media has either ignored the growing tensions in the strategic Caucasus region or has intimated, as suggested by Condoleeza Rice, that the entire conflict is being caused by Moscow’s silly support of "breakaway" republics Abkhazia and South Ossetia. In reality, a quite different chess game is being played in the region, one which has the potential to detonate a major escalation of tensions between Moscow and NATO.

Since the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact in 1991, one after another, former members as well as former states of the USSR have been coaxed and in many cases bribed with false promises by Washington into joining the counter organization, NATO.

Rather than initiate discussions after the 1991 dissolution of the Warsaw Pact about a systematic dissolution of NATO, Washington has systematically converted NATO into what can only be called the military vehicle of an American global imperial rule, linked by a network of military bases from Kosovo to Poland to Turkey to Iraq and Afghanistan. In 1999, former Warsaw Pact members Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic joined NATO. Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, and Slovakia followed suit in March 2004. Now Washington is putting immense pressure on the EU members of NATO, especially Germany and France, that they vote in December to admit Georgia and Ukraine.

The Georgia-Abkhazia military picture

The present escalation of tensions in the region began in May when Abkhazia said it had shot down two Georgian drones over its airspace. The announcement came two weeks after Georgia accused Russia of shooting down an unmanned drone over Abkhazia, which Tbilisi considers its sovereign territory. Moscow has denied involvement.

Russia has administered a peacekeeping contingent in Abkhazia and South Ossetia since bloody conflicts in the 1990s, and sent additional troops to Abkhazia recently to deter what it calls a planned Georgian military offensive. The two sides, Georgia and Abkhazia, have been in a state of suspended conflict since 1993, when Abkhaz separatists, backed by Russian forces, succeeded in driving the Georgians out of the province. Tbilisi claims sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia and refers to both as "breakaway republics." In 2001 Georgian troops joined with anti-Moscow Mujahadeen-trained Chechyn soldiers from neighboring Russian muslim province of Chechnya to mount a military attack, unsuccessfully, against Abkhazia.

CLIP

"Regardless of the motivation, whoever is stoking the conflict must realize that they are playing with fire. This brinkmanship can lead to a full-fledged war. Georgia would probably lose a war if Russia backed Abkhazia, while Russia would lose its hope of becoming a benign global player and would risk seriously straining its ties with the European Union and the United States."

Rice adds gasoline to the fire

The Bush Administration is adding gasoline to the fire in the Caucasus. In Tbilisi on July 10 the US Secretary of State, Rice, told the press, "Russia needs to be a part of resolving the problem and solving the problem and not contributing to it. I have said it to the Russians publicly. I have said it privately."

The effect of her comments, blaming Moscow for the escalating tensions, is to signal US support for the Georgia side in their efforts to force Russian troops form South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

This past May Abkhaz President Sergei Bagapsh said he was willing to conclude a military treaty with Moscow similar to that between USA and Taiwan. "Abkhazia will propose to Russia the signing of a military treaty that would guarantee security to our republic," Bagapsh stated. "We are also prepared to host Russian military bases on our territory within the framework of this treaty. I would like to emphasize that this would not go against the precedents already existing in international practice. For instance, this treaty could be analogous to the treaty between the US and Taiwan."

Just as Moscow refuses to recognize the sovereignty of Kosovo, so Washington refuses to admit the sovereignty of Abkhazia. In May a senior US State Department delegation was in Abkhazia meeting with local Non Governmental Organizations there as well as the President. In the past, from Serbia to Georgia to Ukraine, Washington intelligence agencies have used various NGOs, the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy, the CIA-linked Freedom House and Gene Sharp’s misleadingly-named Albert Einstein Institution to steer a wave of regime changes which became known as "Color Revolutions." In each case the new regime was pro-Washington and anti-Moscow as in the case of Saakashvili in Georgia and Viktor Yushchenko in Ukraine. Both countries begin seeking NATO entry after the success of the US-financed Color Revolutions.

In all this Washington is definitely playing with potential nuclear fire by escalating pressure to push Georgia and Ukraine into NATO. The Foreign Minister of the Czech Republic, Karl Schwarzenberg on July 8 signed an agreement allowing US deployment of special radar facilities on Czech soil as part of the top secret US "missile defense" it alleges is aimed at rogue missile threats from Iran. As even former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger recently pointed out, the Bush Administration’s categorical refusal to pursue the 2007 counter-offer of then-President Vladimir Putin to station US radar at the Russian leased reconnaissance facility in Azerbaijan instead, was a provocative mistake. It makes abundantly clear that Washington is aiming its military strategy at the dismantling of Russia as a potential adversary. That, as I have written previously, is a recipe for a possible nuclear war by mis-calculation. Rice’s latest Caucasus and Czech visit only added to that growing danger.

* F. William Engdahl is author of the book, A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order and is finishing a book, provisionally titled, The New Cold War: Behind the US Drive for Full Spectrum Dominance. He may be reached via his website, http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net



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