Condi sez “Immediately withdraw your forces”; Russia sez “Or what?”

This is the most lopsided game of chicken ever.

The Associated Press (All emphasis mine):

Russian forces pulled back Saturday from the center of a town not far from Georgia’s capital after Russia’s president signed a cease-fire deal, but his foreign minister later suggested there would be no immediate broader withdrawal.

Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov also said Russia would strengthen its peacekeeping contingent in South Ossetia, the breakaway Georgian region at the center of more than a week of warfare that has sharply soured relations between Moscow and the West.

Lavrov signaled Russia’s determination to set the rules for peace in an area where it has long viewed growing U.S. influence as an encroachment on its traditional sphere of influence. He said it is up to the South Ossetian people — and not Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice — to determine which countries can send peacekeepers and which cannot.

I can just see Putin, stroking his fluffy white cat while sitting in the castle of Greyskull, manically laughing at the impotence of the Americans.

What do you see in his soul now, Bushie!

I don’t know if the people of the United States and our government were aware that our handling of Russia post-Cold War really didn’t endear us to the Russian people.

After “we won” the Cold War we promised the Russians aid and that we would help them make the transition into the post-Soviet Era. Instead we did pretty much nothing but obsess about security their nukes because after Perestroika the Russian economy crashed, inflation shot up and misery spread across the country. The Russian people were lost in the wilderness. First Gorbachev allowed numerous Russian satellite countries to emancipate themselves without a shot fired (something he now regrets). Then the Russians elected an out-of-control drunk, Boris Yeltsin who bungled his way through the country’s economic reforms and flirtations with Democracy.

The Russians wondered when the US was going to follow through with that help, but the reality was, we’d won. That’s all we cared about. Most Americans couldn’t give two shits about what was happening in Russia. And when they learned the realities, that we were languishing about, getting fat off of Hot Pockets and Oreos with grocery stores flowing with abundance. When saw these paragons of gastronomical delights Yeltsin was mighty pissed.

After all, huge grocery stores with every food item you could want didn’t exist in Russia at the time. The Russian hospitals were so deficient at the time he had to send his own mother to the west to receive medical treatment. Yeltsin once screamed at 60 Minutes correspondent Leslie Stahl that the US had destroyed his nation. For decades the Russian people were routinely told the Americans were suffering as much as they were during our 60 year stand-off. To learn that we hadn’t suffered at all, but prospered greatly during the Cold War, was a slap in the face. Seeing how wealthy our country was demonstrated that the Russians could never match us in military spending.

Therefore, Russia has a huge chip on its shoulders. They used to be the biggest, baddest MFer on the block. They didn’t like being the eunuchs. This is sort of like what’s going on in China right now, although China has been the perennial loser since the Opium wars. Bullied by Japan and its once borderline psychotic obsession with conquering the Chinese people, made a cuckold of the west by the US and Great Britain, it sucked to be China. But now that they’ve got a little money in their pocket and a pep in their step they’re ready to move up to the big leagues. Sure, they’re still an authoritarian police state, but, hey, they got the Olympics.

And Russia really isn’t a Democracy, with Putin getting his own special little job, Prime Minister, translated as “Evil genius figures out way to rule forever.” It’s also a “capitalist” police state, like China. Both decided to reject all that western “openness,” freedom of the press garbage. Goodness no. To quote Gordon Gekko, “Greed is good.” Money makes you stronger. You can build and buy more weaponry. But a police state keeps everyone in line. Money is a pacifier in the mouths of your middle class. It gives the poor a status to aspire to (even if it’s impossible to obtain), it shuts people up. And we should know. We invented that here … and without having a police state.

After Perestroika, the Russian people were begging for some stability and Putin gave that to them. Prosperity and stability. So what if it’s still a police state? They’ve got Hot Pockets now, MFers!

Flush with cash from the vast natural resources, Russia is feeling a little randy. Last year they were testing fancy bombs and trying to punk others over that anti-missile defense system we keep trying to build in former Iron Curtain countries. Now Poland is the latest spot we’ve chosen for the system and the Russians are double-dog-daring the Poles to align themselves with us as the Russians feel this missile defense shield has nothing to do with Iran and everything to do with them.

Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, Putin’s not taking any chances. He’s only taking names.

From Time.com:

Russia warned Poland on Friday that it is exposing itself to attack — even a nuclear one — by accepting a U.S. missile interceptor base on its soil, delivering Moscow’s strongest language yet against the plan.

American and Polish officials stuck firmly by their deal, signed Thursday, for Poland to host a system that Washington says is meant to block missile attacks by rogue nations like Iran.

Moscow is convinced the base is aimed at Russia’s mis
sile force, however, and the deal comes as relations already are strained over the fighting between Russia and U.S.-allied Georgia over the separatist Georgian region of South Ossetia.

“Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike — 100 percent,” Gen. Anatoly Nogovitsyn, the deputy chief of staff of Russia’s armed forces, was quoted by the Interfax news agency as saying.

He noted Russia’s military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons “against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them.” Nogovitsyn said that would include elements of any strategic deterrence system, according to Interfax.

And while Condi, George, et al, are heavy on the rhetorical bombast over Georgia, they are mired in two wars with no desire to fight a third one with our old enemy. While we still have the better toys and the stronger military (even in this weakened state), the Russians could inflict vastly more casualties, cause us far more grief and get the Doomsday Clock ticking once again.

We’d also need to have one of those … what do you call it? A draft? Because, um … we’d need one if we’re going to take on the fourth largest standing army in the world (and still fight two wars). We actually have the second most troops (China has the most by far … with its 1.3 billion people to pull from), but our military budget is unrivaled by anyone on planet earth. We’re pulling down more than $583 trillion on our military. You have to count the entire European Union to get a distant, but substantial number two spot. NATO is bigger than us but only because we’re in NATO with our wads o’ cash.

The Russians are number seven in military expenditures, spending $45 trillion. That’s nothing to sneeze at, but our number is more that most countries gross national product. But even with less money and less toys, the Russians can still match us old decaying nuke for old decaying nuke. Plus we’ve spent the past 60 years preparing to fight each other. You don’t want to fight someone who already knows all your moves.

Plus, if the US did get involved, per usual, this would be a one country show. The European Union fears Russian aggression, but the western states are just as reluctant to act as they were when Hitler was devouring the former Czechoslovakia. This is one of those situations where everyone is going to sit on their hands until something truly messed up happens … like attack Poland. The shit will officially hit the fan if that happens. We let Hitler take Poland. Then we let Russia take Poland. Poland, now free, loves its western allies and doesn’t trust its former Russian overseers. They are a member of the EU and NATO. Being a member of NATO has its perks like … if Russia attacks you other members of NATO are supposed to come to your defense.

Either way, former Russian satellites are shoring up their military and finding out who their true blue friends are if Russia starts to get all handsy with them.

From Bloomberg:

“The divisions within Europe are more pronounced than those between two sides of the Atlantic,” said Charles A. Kupchan, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington. “There’s a host of new democracies in Europe that continue to worry they will again fall prey to Russian expansion.”

Poland and the Baltic states, all once held within the Soviet Union‘s embrace and now members of the European Union, rallied behind Georgia yesterday.

“Russia’s aggression against sovereign neighboring country Georgia shows to the whole world that the peaceful period after the end of the Cold War has ended,” Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip said. “Russia’s actions increase security risks.”

Poland today won a U.S. pledge to help improve its defenses in exchange for basing interceptor missiles on its territory. Estonia‘s government yesterday said it will boost defense spending.

This all reminds me of an episode of The Simpsons where out of the blue, the once down and out Russians magically reappear with their massive troops, a reanimated Stalin and the Soviet flag waving. When asked, “I thought the Soviet Union collapsed?” a Ruskie replied “That’s what we wanted you to think!

Russia’s here. They’re spreading fear. Get used to it.

The US can’t be the only one going around invading countries and overthrowing their leaders. Russia wants back in to the game. Strangely, in some sick way the Pentagon and our country might like its old nemesis back. Russia made to sense to us. We studied them. We obsessed over them. We built an economy and an arsenal set on defeating them. It also kept the other western countries in check, so afraid of Russian aggression that they kowtowed to us even when we sounded completely bonkers. Sort of like how former British Prime Minister Tony Blair followed Bush all the way to Iraq while everyone else scoffed. Blair was one of the last of the true believes in post-Cold War America. The US misses having that kind of power, respect and adoration as the Jedis to Putin’s Darth.

Although, Dick Cheney is the designated dark lord of the sith, so maybe we’re Sean Archer to Russia’s Castor Troy.

We want our mojo back. So we should know how the Russians feel. After all, if it had been our economy that collapsed and they were the ones promising help, they would have laughed as we starved to death and we would have sat around plotting our revenge on the east. (Much like Sean and Castor in John Woo’s excellent “Face/Off”)

Quite frankly, we don’t give a damn about each other in this game of “Last remaining superpower” versus “angry former superpower.”

Just don’t turn on the Doomsday Clock, please.

9 thoughts on “Condi sez “Immediately withdraw your forces”; Russia sez “Or what?”

  1. no one can breakdown these global messes liek u Snob. appreciate it.and John “We are all Georgians and stand behind them” McCain.WRONG.They thought they could cause sum trouble in Ossetia the 1st week uv the Olympics and Russia wouldnt notice….WRONG AGAIN.

  2. Great post.I agree the Russians is an enemy that we can wrap are mind around and understand, problem is as you pointed out the the United states has steadily been biting off more than it can chew, with the middle east and now this whole Africom mess, (if the Africans are smart they’ll say thanks but no thanks).And to complicate things China is growing like a weed in money and influence, and no one, least of all the United States, can wag a finger at them with a straight face and call them out for their global expansion. I’d move to Canada but hell it’s only a matter of time before they are dragged knee deep into this mess.

  3. OMG–excellent, excellent, excellent synopsis. I got a good cackle out of “What do you see in his soul now, Bushie!”When I first heard Bush utter that goofy nonsense I was like, yeah–and dude (Putin) is plottin’ like a mug. –Let’s see how THAT comes back to bite us in the butt later.Next few years should be really interesting both on the presidential front and on the global affairs front in general, that’s for sure.The Sleeping Giant that is US needs to wake the hell up and seriously get it together.(alright, that’s it for a while–I don’t normally comment this much…)

  4. Thanks for the breakdown; I didn’t fully understand what was going on and you helped me understand it a little better (not totally, as politics/politricks is quite complicated, but enough).

  5. I remember I made huge jokes about Condi knowing Russian in a day and age when we really didn’t need to know it. But, I was wrong, her Russian studies hopefully are coming in handy right now.However, I have a few questions.Would Russia, well, Putin (aka Pooty-poo) be the growing enemy that it is if it wasn’t for the foreign policies and even the wars that the current administration has gotten the US mired in?I mean, I remember, although much younger with less information, that it seemed that even with Putin in office, that Russo-American relations were, for the most part okay. But then here we go and clearly there are problems.As a side not,e I’ma need for John Mccain to back the hell down and let Bush and Condi hannle this one. I think Obama, at the end of the day, will come off as the smarter of the two. These men are SENATORS–their current job desciption doesn’t require them to go hoppin off and dabbling in foreign affairs. I mean, with McCain voting 100% with Bush this year alone, I’m trying to see what the problem.

  6. Hmmm this whole situation is blowback upon blowback. The US bankrupts the USSR so they can be the only superpower. Why Russia would have believed the US is beyond me. I’d be pissed too. Also there was a 12 y.o. girl from San Francisco whose family lives in South Ossetia. She was caught in the crossfire but they got her out and back to the US. Her family has been on the news slamming the Georgian President – until they get cut off – saying how he started this conflict to jockey for more power. I’d believe them before I’d listen to anything Shrub has to say. Where is all this concern/money/troops for Darfur/Zimbabwe, S. Africa etc.

  7. The specialist is caught without a Georgia plan, but Russia had their eyes on it all the time, history books will not be kind. Re-starting the clock would mean maximum Fail for this admin, beyond Katrina. Unrelated: saw “Sputnik Mania” documentary, we freaked which they launched that little satellite.

  8. The USA is like a old wrestler, like Hulk Hogan, it’s talking from a time gone past. It’s not just the Mid East conflicts we are involved in but it’s the place where the USA is in the coming future. China will be Number 1 and the US will become England. That’s why no one is taking the threat seriously because if they were to put any economic sanctions against Russia nothing would change. China’s eventual climb will mark the end of the European Era!

  9. The Media works for “big business” and corporations do not care who is killed or what just as long as there is a profit. The media is still in the business of distorting the truth. Russia has always been made out to be the bad guy, when the bad guy is really the USA. What interest does the USA have in Georgia??? Oil perhaps??? China, Russia and India have had more billionaires being created because of their growth and the US can not tolerate this new wealth. Russia’s actions were that of peacekeepers, but the media will always paint them as the aggressors since many of Americans have been brainwashed to believe that they and others are our enemies and they are out to destroy the USA.Can shooting peacekeepers and the mass extermination of a civilian population, mainly Russian citizens be regarded as hostile action against a state of the Soviet Union? Is it grounds enough to use armed force in self-defense and to safeguard the security of these citizens? The truth has been concealed from our country, by the media as always and the Tbilisi government. They can get so called humanitarian aid to a country thousands of miles away and they could not provide the needed support during hurricane Katrina within a timely fashion within the USA something they greatly disturbs me. Russia’s response is entirely justified and is consistent with both international law and the humanitarian goals of the peacekeeping operation conducted in South Ossetia.Does that mean that the United States and NATO can use brute force where they want to, and Russia has to abstain from it even if it has to look at thousands of its own citizens being shot? If it’s not hypocrisy, then what is hypocrisy? My thought is as long as you have the backing of the USA, you can go and do as you please just as long as you don’t have the courage to stand up for your people or your country, and if you do – then you will have hell to pay. If many of you don’t know about the cold war and what it stood for then many of you will get to see it all over again for the first time when you will live with the fear of the world and it’s people being annihilated by a bunch of men with some super inflated egos and the need for world domination and superiority. All of the former Eastern Bloc countries are now allies with the USA making the possibility of a new cold war threat and deployment of missiles right at Russia’s front door. Germany and other European countries removed many of the WOMD from their lands during the former cold war. So what interest did we have in Afghanistan, Bosnia and Iraq and now Georgia? Why aren’t they interfering in the Sudan? Oh! I forgot they get all of their intelligence on Al Qaeda from them and they need to blame it all on China and divert the publics gaze off of them. Just my random thoughts…

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