Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 07, 2018

Repost: Saakashvili Wants War? He Will Get It.

This is a repost. The original was published 10 years ago, just a few hours after that little war in Georgia began.
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Despite yesterday's announced ceasefire, the government of Georgia today launched an all out military attack on the breakaway region South Ossetia in northern Georgia.

There are multiple reasons for this conflict. South Ossetia declared itself independent in the early 1990s. Ossetians are a distinct ethnic group with some 60,000 living in South Ossetia and some 500,000 living in North Ossetia which is a part of Russia. Most people in South Ossetia have a Russian passport and there are UN mandated Russian peacekeepers there.

In the bigger picture Georgia is supported by 'the west' as part of an energy transport corridor from the Caspian to the Black Sea.

In 2003 the U.S. engineered Rose revolution brought the U.S. trained lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili to the top of Georgia. He since ruled with a dubious civil rights record. When opposition demonstrations in November 2007 became too big he imposed a state of emergency and suppressed the media.

Why Saakashvili decided to escalate this conflict right now is a bit mysterious. He may hope that the Olympics will distract from the conflict. He seems to have some 'western' support for this escalation:

At the request of Russia, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency session in New York but failed to reach consensus early Friday on a Russian-drafted statement.

The council concluded it was at a stalemate after the U.S., Britain and some other members backed the Georgians in rejecting a phrase in the three-sentence draft statement that would have required both sides "to renounce the use of force," council diplomats said.

For internal reasons as much as on foreign policy ground Russia will not allow Saakashvili to take over South Ossetia. It will either support the Ossetians with weapons which may lead to a prolonged guerrilla war, or it may even invade on its own.

Saakashvili already claims Russian intervention in form of air assaults and uses this as a pretext for mobilization of reserves. I'd take that with some grains of salt as it sounds like coming from the Gleiwitz radio station. If three Russian planes really bombed Georgia, they would have left damage. So far none was shown.

Saakashvili may hope for physical help from 'the west', but neither NATO nor the EU has any appetite to support his escapades.

What has led him to this miscalculation?

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So far the repost. Saakashvili's little war unfolded pretty much as foreseen above. After the Georgian artillery attack on Russian peacekeepers the Russian army responded and within five days Georgia was defeated and disarmed. The status quo ante was reinstated. Saakashvili ate his tie (vid).

After the short war Russia diligently analyzed its losses and failures. The war gave impetus to the development of new weapons and tactics. Russian airplanes were equipped with new electronics. Better communication and coordination within the ground troops was emphasized. The high operational capabilities the Russian military demonstrates in Syria would not exist to their extend had that little war not happened.

The other side of the war - the U.S., NATO and Georgia - seems to have learned nothing from it.

Posted by b on August 7, 2018 at 08:00 AM | Permalink

Comments

Just in: NATO Typhoon fighter jet accidentally launches missile near Russian border
A SPANISH fighter jet has accidentally fired an air-to-air missile in Estonian airspace near the Russian border.

The NATO Eurofighter Typhoon 2000 launched the missile in error near the town of Otepää in southern Estonia at 3.44pm today.
Estonia’s Defence Forces (EDF) said the stray AMRAAM type missile should have a self-destruct mode that causes it to explode mid-air in the event of an accidental launch.
However, the EDF said the 3.7 metres (12.1 feet) long missile may have hit the ground.
The fate and location of the missile missile is not known.
The missile is thought to have landed 40km (25 miles) north of Tartu, around 50km (31 miles) from the Russian border town of Chudskaya Rudnitsato the east.

Hard to believe that this is a "mistake". It takes several steps to arm and launch such a missile. It is likely a provocation as the current NATO maneuvers on Russia's border timed for the 10 year anniversary of the Georgia war.

What are we to make of this?

Estonian Government @EstonianGovt
10 years ago 🇷🇺 military aggression gravely violated #Georgia’s sovereignty & territorial integrity. Today it continues illegal occupation of 🇬🇪 regions Abkhazia & South Ossetia. We must defend international law & remind #Russia its obligation to abide cease-fire agreement.
9:38 utc - 7 Aug 2018

It's a lie. Georgia started the war. Unprovoked.

EU Report - Independent Experts Blame Georgia for South Ossetia War

The independent commission appointed by the European Union to investigate the war between Georgia and Russia last summer has concluded that Tbilisi is responsible for causing the five-day conflict, SPIEGEL has learned.
...

Posted by: b | Aug 7, 2018 3:29:17 PM | 1

It proves that all BigLies must be perpetuated no matter how often they've been proven to be BigLies. Michael Hudson in his autobiographical remarks reveals one of the longest running BigLies:

"Everything changed in World War One. Afterward you had an anti-classical economics, which really was an anti-Marxist economics. The fight for marginalist theory, for Austrian theory, the fight for junk economics that we have today, is basically a fight against Marxism, because Marx showed the logical conclusion to which the Physiocrats, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, Ricardo and Malthus, the conclusion it was all leading was the synthesis that he made. It was later developed by people like Thorstein Veblen and Simon Patten in the United States."

"Anti-classical economics" isn't economics at all; rather, it's a set of contrived lies put forth to debunk/distort Marx at the beginning of the Anti-Communist Crusade that was waged to ensure Capitalism failed to evolve into Socialism so the elite could maintain their positions of power.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 7, 2018 3:58:21 PM | 2

May I up vote karlof1 @2?

Posted by: par4 | Aug 7, 2018 4:11:25 PM | 3

Fighting words.

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2018/07/10/they-will-die-in-tallinn-estonia-girds-for-war-with-russia-218965

(Molly K. McKew is an expert on information warfare. She advised the Georgian president from 2009-2013)

Posted by: dh | Aug 7, 2018 4:22:39 PM | 4

The US - learn something?
The motto of the US is 'Hulk smash'.

Posted by: AriusArmenian | Aug 7, 2018 4:50:52 PM | 5

just as the training they're getting in syria will aid them in the (near?) future. ditto hezbollah and the various iraqi groups that turned daeshtards into stains.

they also have skin in the game. most large/powerful countries use proxies here and there. why risk your own soldiers when you can use hessians as cannon fodder? the west, however, has become so lazy and risk averse that it almost exclusively "outsources" these matters to salafists/takfiris, cubans in miami and other assorted uncle toms. that means all the experience (other than some new tech and/or "advisors" who get slipped in) goes to the proxies. who usually end up as - once again - stains on the ground.

after all, we can't have another niger-style debacle can we? at least not one that gets reported.

Posted by: the pair | Aug 7, 2018 5:03:06 PM | 6

Wasn't the russian army that initially responded to ossetia. It was the North Ossetian and Terek militias. They self mobilised long before moscow responded.

Posted by: S.O. | Aug 7, 2018 5:47:57 PM | 7

"The other side of the war - the U.S., NATO and Georgia - seems to have learned nothing from it."

Nope because being liberal neo-conn means you never say you're sorry or you did anything wrong.

Thanks b

Posted by: jo6pac | Aug 7, 2018 6:10:06 PM | 8

par4 @3--

Thanks for your support!

I know I've written this admonition before at other websites, and I might have here as well; but anyway, here it is again: Michael Hudson is THE economist that must be read--particularly his amazing bio I linked! What he reveals as he relates his life experience is one BigLie after another! Perhaps this nugget will serve as an enticement if what preceded hasn't:

"So here I was right in the middle of understanding how imperialism really worked. This was not what is in most textbooks. Most don’t talk about the balance of payments, but the key to financial imperialism is the balance of payments. The United States fights to prevent other countries from going back to the gold standard, because at the time America went off gold in August 1971, every American dollar bill was backed 25% by gold at $35 an ounce. Well, finally there was no more surplus gold, and that’s what forced America off gold." [Emphasis mine]

Imagine Russia and China following through on what Ghaddafi was prevented from doing: Introduce a 100% gold-backed currency.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 7, 2018 6:14:30 PM | 9

Is this an isolated thing, or the beginning of mischief to keep Russia occupied while the Iran conflict heats up?

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Aug 7, 2018 6:20:31 PM | 10

karlof1 10

I see gold is included in the sanctions against Iran. US trying to prohibit gold traders selling gold to Iran.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 7, 2018 6:24:09 PM | 11

I guess the gold sanction would also cover any countries or entities buying oil or other Iranian products with gold.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 7, 2018 6:27:10 PM | 12

A Russian documentary on the war in South Ossetia.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdwKylOslo0

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 7, 2018 6:43:49 PM | 13

Iran has lots of its own gold. I thought of including Iran in my short list of nations as I'd read such was a possibility if the illegal sanctions resumed. I note the usual suspects are busily shorting gold. However, it's his brief balance of payments discussion that will get me to reread the relevant section of Superimperialism.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 7, 2018 6:44:58 PM | 14

Saakashvili was led to his miscalculation because he had been "promised" assistance for Georgia by the US if the country were to be attacked by Russia, on the condition that Georgia participate in the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. Georgia supplied more than 6,000 soldiers to serve in Iraq on 6-month rotations.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Role_of_Georgia_in_the_Iraq_War

Encouraged by this apparent promise, the tie-chewer embarked on his ill-advised venture to teach Ossetians a lesson on who is allowed self-determination and who is not. Needless to say, the assistance Saakarkrashianvili counted on never arrived. (He could have consulted the Kurds for a second opinion.)

And incidentally, where is the cravativore now? He gave up Georgian citizenship when he became a Ukrainian citizen (because dual citizenship is forbidden in Ukraine). The Ukrainian President then rescinded S's citizenship when S figured out where the money and the power were flowing in Kiev. Now S is wanted by Georgia on suspected murder charges relating to the carbon monoxide poisoning death of former Georgian PM Zurab Zhvania in 2005. Is he still in hiding in the Netherlands?

Posted by: Jen | Aug 7, 2018 6:50:22 PM | 15

@15 'Is he still in hiding in the Netherlands?' I would imagine so. He has permanent residency there thanks to his Dutch wife.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7, 2018 7:38:22 PM | 16

@2 - yes, thanks for that video. Watched all of it. It also, btw, confirms that us govt is basically a criminal enterprise.

Posted by: GoraDiva | Aug 7, 2018 7:39:54 PM | 17

@ Jen | 15

And incidentally, Where is the cravativore now?

Well, if he is in the Netherlands, he's probably enjoying his favorite nightcap about now-- a mai tai, of course.

Posted by: Ort | Aug 7, 2018 7:45:20 PM | 18

Georgia's attack on South Ossetia was preceded by a visit from Cheney as well as maneuvers with US and Israeli forces. And this was during the Olympics where Putin shook a finger at Bush as in "shame on you." I guess the weasel Saakashvili's wanted from wherever he stirs up trouble. I wonder who his benefactors are who keep him out of their clutches.

Posted by: Curtis | Aug 7, 2018 8:08:37 PM | 19

The Georgian cravativore (thank you Jen) is certainly a strange case. He no doubt thought the US would come to his rescue in South Ossetia. But then he goes to Kiev to clean up the corruption! It suggests a kind of idealistic naivety to my mind but he's past his use by date.

Posted by: dh | Aug 7, 2018 9:15:17 PM | 20

karlof1@2

Wow. I sure hope Michael Hudson has better results in China than Plato had with whatever ruler he was advisor to in the course of his career. And indeed, we did see how balance of payments seemed to be the tipping point (how interesting that it is never ever mentioned) for every bellicose occurrence since Vietnam and the US going off the gold standard. I can't pretend to understand it, but there it is.

Just fascinating to hear how the particular and uniquely unique upbringing Michael Hudson 'lucked into' brought about his hands-on experiences in so many fields reaching back to the dawn of civilization!

The Rosetta Stone! Who would have thought?! Vietnam. It all started then. MacNamara. War and Banks. Oy, what a nightmare!

Posted by: juliania | Aug 7, 2018 9:51:36 PM | 21

karlof1, I believe you are looking at this?

http://michael-hudson.com/2018/08/life-thought-an-autobiography/

"My first article that I wrote for publish was at Ramparts Magazine, called “The Sieve of Gold,” about how the Vietnam War was going to force America off gold, which it did, of course, in 1971 when President Nixon in August stopped the gold. Meanwhile, I took my balance of payments study to New York University’s Business School and they said, “Oh this is great! We’ll publish it.” So I was able to immediately get it published."

Hudson's "The Sieve of Gold" from Ramparts Magazine.

http://www.gata.org/files/RampartsMay1968-SieveOfGold.pdf

Posted by: daffyDuct | Aug 7, 2018 10:22:09 PM | 22

got muzzled on another website for arguing that no russia did not attack ukraine and georgia, and no russia isn't trying to expand. the conventional wisdom about russia is as deafening as it was at the height of the cold war. no dissenting opinions allowed.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Aug 7, 2018 10:54:44 PM | 23

@2 karlof1

Just finished the transcript to the Michael Hudson auto-biography. It's the liveliest piece of writing I've read in a while, I was enthralled all the way through.

Sorry to keep this off-topic thing going, but this key point that Hudson reveals about the US economy seems important to restate.

Hudson examined the US balance of payments back when no one else had, and discovered that every sector of the economy was in balance with its equivalent sector in foreign countries, except one, and this was the military. There is no US balance of payments deficit except for what the US military spends into the global economy through its operations. And this surplus in other countries forces them to buy US Treasuries to hold their dollars in.

And this is why Herman Kahn said, “This is brilliant. We’ve run rings around the British imperialists."

As others have noted, the US national debt - which is the total amount of US Treasuries on issue - stands at $21 Trillion. And the amount of money that the Pentagon cannot account for is $21 Trillion.

Is this how it works? Is this, finally, the secret of the US imperial economy since 1971?

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 8, 2018 12:15:07 AM | 24

MIchael Hudson So I became aware of the fact that academic economics is very fictitious. It has nothing to do about the real world."

BOE-"The reality of how money is created today differs from the description found in some economics textbooks:


* Rather thanbanksreceivingdepositswhenhouseholds save and then lending them out, bank lending creates deposits. 


* In normal times,thecentralbankdoesnotfixtheamount of money in circulation, nor is central bank money ‘multiplied up’ into more loans and deposits. "

https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/-/media/boe/files/quarterly-bulletin/2014/money-creation-in-the-modern-economy.pdf?la=en&hash=9A8788FD44A62D8BB927123544205CE476E01654


Posted by: Pft | Aug 8, 2018 12:25:25 AM | 25

Grieved@24. Only 1/3 of the national debt is held by foreign entities. 1/3 is intragovernmental (eg social security trust fund) and another 1/3 is domestic public debt , the largest amount held by the Federal Reserve (private central bank)

As for the so called missing Pentagon money. Its not missing so much as not accounted for properly. They simply dont want anyone to know where its going. They are not operated like a corporation who must account for expenses properly to deduct from taxable profits. Maybe if they had to pay a 30% tax on what they cant account for the problem goes away (or results in a military coup)

Posted by: Pft | Aug 8, 2018 12:36:39 AM | 26

@22 daffyDuct - thanks for the Sieve of Gold. That's an amazing piece, to be written by Hudson in 1968 - what a grasp of the situation he had. I'm so glad it's not lost.

@26 Pft - noted. I'll ponder this more, and wait for an open thread if I have more to say on this. Thanks for the input.

Posted by: Grieved | Aug 8, 2018 1:13:29 AM | 27

@Grieved | Aug 8, 2018 12:15:07 AM | 24

There is no US balance of payments deficit except for what the US military spends into the global economy through its operations.

In other words, the U.S. prints money, sends its military overseas with that money. The military draws on the host countries' resources, and pays for that with the printed dollars.

So even when Hudson was writing (1968), the net effect is that the U.S. was draining resources from other countries, paying for stuff with printed dollars.

Today, the U.S. is using much more than the military as a siphon on the rest of the world. But the idea of using printed dollars to drain the wealth of other countries is much the same. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 8, 2018 1:51:33 AM | 28

I looked up world GDP by country at wikipedia and ran onto this -
"When supranational entities are included, the European Union is the second largest economy in the world. It was the largest from 2004, when ten countries joined the union,[18] to 2014, after which it was surpassed by the United States"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_(nominal)

2014 was Ukraine, MH17 which US used to force EU sanctions against Russia and then counter sanctions by the Russia against EU. MH17, a move by the US to set back both the EU and Russia financially. Although a slight financial setback for Russia, the sanctions allowed the Russian leadership to push self sufficiency and perhaps a net gain in sovereignty, but it seems it set the EU back far enough for the US to come to the lead again in GDP.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 8, 2018 2:41:29 AM | 29

I remember vividly how the initial reporting of events "Georgia invades South Ossetia" flipped overnight to "Russia Attacks Puny Pathetic innocent Ally Georgia." The facts did not matter in the least. It's what started me on my path to anti-imperialism

Posted by: Pespi | Aug 8, 2018 3:19:52 AM | 30

A related, longer piece by Mark Ames written in late 2008:

The Day America’s Empire Died

But listening to Colonel Konashenko, it becomes clear to me that I’m looking at more than just the smoldering remains of battle in an obscure regional war: This spot is ground zero for an epic historical shift. The dead tanks are American-upgraded, as are the spent 40mm grenade shells that one spetznaz soldier shows me. The bloated bodies on the ground are American-trained Georgian soldiers who have been stripped of their American-issue uniforms. And yet, there is no American cavalry on the way. For years now, everyone from Pat Buchanan to hybrid-powered hippies have been warning that America would suddenly find itself on a historical downslope from having been too reckless, too profligate, and too arrogant as an unopposed superpower. Even decent patriotic folk were starting to worry that America was suffering from a classic case of Celebrity Personality Disorder, becoming a nation of Tom Cruise party-dicks dancing in our socks over every corner and every culture in the world, lip-synching about freedom as we plunged headfirst into as much risky business as we could mismanage. And now, bleeding money from endless wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we’re a sick giant hooked on ever-pricier doses of oil paid for with a currency few people want anymore. In the history books of the future, I would wager that this very spot in Tskhinvali will be remembered as both the geographic highwater mark of the American empire, and the place where it all started to fall apart.
...
Russia, meanwhile, is as high as a Hollywood speedballer from its victory. Putting the two together in the same room — speedballing Russia and violently bad-tripping America — is a recipe for serious disaster. If we’re lucky, we’ll survive the humiliating decline and settle into the new reality without causing too much damage to ourselves or the rest of the world. But when that awful moment arrives where the cognitive dissonance snaps hard, it will be an epic struggle to come to our senses in time to prevent the William Kristols, Max Boots and Robert Kagans from leading us into a nuclear holocaust which, they will assure us, we can win against Russia, thanks to our technological superiority. If only we have the will, they’ll tell us, we can win once and for all.

Posted by: b | Aug 8, 2018 3:23:06 AM | 31

Trump won in Ohio. The Democrats have lost.

Posted by: Fernando Arauxo | Aug 8, 2018 3:36:13 AM | 32

Cyril@28

"So even when Hudson was writing (1968), the net effect is that the U.S. was draining resources from other countries, paying for stuff with printed dollars."

Foreign ownership of US assets is significantly greater than US ownership of foreign assets.

Current account deficit of US is lower than UK, Canada and Australia as percentage of GDP

Us military spending abroad, especially in NATO countries has significant positive impacts on the local economies. Lot of dollars being spent on travel, housing, entertainment, etc

Posted by: Pft | Aug 8, 2018 4:01:31 AM | 33

@ b 31
What are you seeing here that we aren't (question mark key no longer works on my keyboard).
Is a US Russia hot war on the horizon.
Kissinger was the architect of the sequence of events that ushered in the petro dollar.
The petro dollar has run its course and Kissinger's new move seems to be energy dominance.

The anti Russia culture now prevalent in the US seems to work against the Kissinger Trump plan for energy dominance, as Trump needs Russia onside. I believe Nixon, who brought in the petro dollar, resigned before he was impeached. Trump is under similar pressure in trying to usher in a new US energy dominance era which I hope fails.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 8, 2018 4:02:34 AM | 34

Iraq has said it will abide by US sanctions on Iran, So Iraq is fully under US control. US only needs to take out Iran to gain full control of Persian Gulf oil.
Though to do this, Trump Kissinger US needs Russia. Trump prevents peripheral proxy wars against Russia, and the Russia haters trip up the Trump Kissinger plan for global energy dominance...

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 8, 2018 4:33:19 AM | 35

Pft says:

As for the so called missing Pentagon money. Its not missing so much as not accounted for properly

huh? so when they're done auditing themselves, a discussion on balance of payments might be other than completely moot, ya think? discretionary discrepancies in budgets are pretty normal...at least to the tune of 1% or so, but 21 TRILLION dollars? no, we're talking massive abuse of the Constitutional process. MASSIVE.

listen to the poor guy who uncovered the oddity...he seems like a real smart and ingenuous guy, but by the end of the half hour you can see that his mind is half blown.

Posted by: john | Aug 8, 2018 6:33:24 AM | 36

Peter AU 1 @35:

Lip service. Iraq will find ways to support Iran.

Posted by: Ian | Aug 8, 2018 6:49:37 AM | 37

@ Posted by: Ian | Aug 8, 2018 6:49:37 AM | 37

It would be nice if various nations would express their solidarity with Iran, but in practice their best national interest - speaking only of those (less powerful) nations who have no intention whatsoever to abide by US sanctions against Iran - would be to SAY they will abide by the sanctions and DO the exact opposite. That makes it harder for the US to take action against them, especially in advance. If they show their cards to the US in advance, of course the US will react. Announcing in advance they will defy sanctions only invites problems. The same applies to India even though it does not fall in the "less powerful" category, but we can be sure both Russia and China (and I think also Turkey) will vociferously reject the sanctions in advance.

Posted by: BM | Aug 8, 2018 7:23:12 AM | 38

Grieved @ 24, Pft @ 25, 26:

You both have stumbled across the fact that the US Department of Defense acts like a government within a government in its ability to spend money into existence.

Not only that but in many ways (perhaps in most ways?), the DoD acts as if it follows Keynesian economics. Many if not most communities and counties in the US could not survive if the DoD did not spend money to create jobs and encourage private firms to establish factories there. The DoD funds much scientific research, of which some actually may not have military applications (it's just that if researchers get knocked back by governments for civilian grants, they can apply for military grants by citing "national security" reasons - and who would argue against that?), and it even funds social, cultural and environmental organisations and charities.

See here Joan Roelofs' long article "The All-Pervasive Military/Security Complex", reproduced on Paul Craig Roberts' blog for ease of reading but also picked up by other blogs if you Google the author's name and the article title.
https://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2018/07/24/the-all-pervasive-military-security-complex/

One of the oddities mentioned in the article is that the DoD is funding a project to establish a dairy industry in Afghanistan - in spite of the fact that the physical environment and climate do not suit cattle, there is not enough grass to sustain such animals, proper transport infrastructure and storage facilities don't exist, and the local people already obtain milk from their own goats, sheep, camels and horses.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 8, 2018 7:39:50 AM | 39

Grieved @ 24, Oft @ 25, 26:

Can also recommend a short film by Sam Ellis: "This jet fighter is a disaster but Congress keeps buying it" on Youtube.com.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ba63OVl1MHw

It shows how much private corporations like Lockheed Martin depend on the DoD to keep the money spigot going and how Congress representatives rely on those corporations for campaign funds and reward them by nominating more funding for their activities (which include providing jobs in the politicians' electoral districts). The relationship is symbiotic.

Posted by: Jen | Aug 8, 2018 8:06:30 AM | 40

Many factions in Iraq some willing to US the US against their domestic adversaries, which make it ideal for tried and true divide and conquer.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 8, 2018 8:22:10 AM | 41

@41:

Arabs are their own worst enemy. After all the destruction, one would think they would stop helping foreigners from turning their nation upside down.

Posted by: Ian | Aug 8, 2018 9:19:07 AM | 42

Oh, come now people! Saakashvili isn't some kind of evil mastermind pulling strings all over the place. He is an idiot; far too stupid for the "mastermind" label, and likely even too stupid to really be considered evil. He is a bumbling fool selected pretty much at random by the US State Department and fished out of the backwaters in 1991 to be groomed in the US as a future imperial governor. His only notable quality is his loyalty to the Empire of Chaos and his puppy dog servility to his handlers at the CIA. His trust and devotion to the CIA is such that he will literally do anything they ask without a moment's hesitation to consider the wisdom of the action.

"Pick a fight with Russia!" they demanded and off he goes to war, confident that since it was the CIA who asked him to do so then it must be OK and things will work out. The CIA then demanded "Go to Ukraine and keep an eye on Poroshenko for us. Our people in the State Department got you a job there," and off to Ukraine he goes, certain that Uncle Sam has his back. The only reason the CIA/State Department put any effort into salvaging him after these debacles is because such craven servility is getting harder for them to find. As well, the effective intelligence of these organizations have been in steep decline, and that has the effect of making Saakashvili appear to them to possess more wisdom than he actually demonstrates. Indeed, Saakashvili is in possession of no wisdom whatsoever, but don't try to convince the delusional children at Langley of it.

Posted by: William Gruff | Aug 8, 2018 9:37:07 AM | 43

@42 ian

americans are their own worst enemy
europeans are their own worst enemy

etc etc

we will see how your fellow countrymen do when you ve been starved, shock and awed , humiliated tortured and raped and subjugated and then comes the devil incarnated (ZIO-Wahabis) raining some pocket change and the traitors start coming out of the wood work.

get off your high horse and go read about the hasd al shaabi and houthis

Posted by: occidentosis | Aug 8, 2018 10:07:47 AM | 44

thank you b and the btl commenters for such an interesting, informative discussion and for the links.

Posted by: cirsium | Aug 8, 2018 10:50:12 AM | 45

karlof1 @ 9

Also from that article

"So I wrote a study that Canada didn’t have to borrow money abroad for the provinces to invest domestically. They could create their own money. Basically, what I wrote was the first example of what’s now called Modern Monetary Theory, that governments can create their own money, their own credit. They don’t need a foreign-currency backing for it."

Michael Hudson is more in line with heterodox economists such as Bill Mitchell and Stephanie Kelton. I don't think he'd like to see a return to the gold standard as that can be too restrictive and austerity focused. But since the US left the gold standard it has monopolized world currency in a bad way. And it fights to prevent other countries using their own currencies in a similar manner (to the USD) such as China, Russia, Iran etc. But they are starting to do that successfully anyway.

Posted by: financial matters | Aug 8, 2018 11:57:02 AM | 46

Peter AU 1 @35--

No, Iraq will not obey Outlaw US Empire.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 8, 2018 12:04:22 PM | 47

re 35. Abbadi said today he won't sanction Iran.

Posted by: laguerre | Aug 8, 2018 12:04:30 PM | 48

My apologies to b for somewhat diverting his topic from Georgia's attack on South Ossetia as I just wanted to highlight the BigLie aspect of the entire affair that continues as I type. Thanks to the many responders to the Hudson item! Clearly, there's much more to recover there.

The item b posted @31 musing about 2008 being the turning point in the Outlaw US Empire's trajectory--it having reached its acme--makes sound points. I thought of writing a comment yesterday noting Georgia's attack was almost 18 months after Putin's impressive and very important Munich Security Conference Speech, which clearly fell on deaf, or at least dismissive, ears. IMO, the Georgia fiasco marked the last failure of the BushCo Neocons--and--the cracking of the previously unbreakable BigLie Media edifice regarding its ability to get away with anything it said as the truth of the affair was immediately available. However, I currently judge the failure of its aggressive proxy war on Syria as the point where global resistance to the Outlaw US Empire's crimes began its escalation--the massive weapon and munition caches representing billions of dollars in taxpayers monies being uncovered and publicized are the best evidence proving which nations are guilty of the gross crimes committed in Syria. At its outset, the current Forces of Resistance were weak and too decentralized; now 7 years later, those Forces grow stronger and closer in solidarity daily. Most important, the Battle for the Heartland has for all intents and purposes been lost by the Empire, which represents a great victory for humanity--now we just need to attain Justice for all the crimes committed since 1990.

The past 7 years has also seen major strides in establishing a Multipolar World Order, thwarting and overturning the Unipolar aspirations of the Outlaw US Empire to gain Full Spectrum Dominance, although it must be emphasized the Empire hasn't given up on attaining that policy goal. Palestine's destabilization continues to escalate after its 2006 failure in Lebanon. If the Zionist's Supreme Court doesn't overturn the Apartheid Law, all hell will break loose and Palestine will enter its greatest crisis since 1948. Imbecility on the part of the Arabs has also been revealed and their stock is also sinking--the pushing of Qatar into an existential alliance with Iran ranks as one of the greatest gaffs of all time--that and their abandonment of the quest for Palestinian Justice to align with the Zionists being a close 2nd.

Few seem to have noticed it was Medvedev this time who warned NATO about incorporating Georgia--Diplomatic relations were severed by Georgia 10 years ago. Here's a dated article about Georgia's efforts at reconciliation, although it appears Georgian Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili's resignation in June wasn't related to the issue of Russian-Georgian relations. Georgia's current ruling party is headed by its #1 Oligarch, Bidzina Ivanishvili. I agree with Medvedev's assessment; NATO should leave Georgia alone.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 8, 2018 1:23:09 PM | 49

Former Russian Defense Minister Sergey Ivanov reports that war Criminal Condi Rice said the blame rests with Saakashvili, to which I say Bull! BigLie Media was all over the event providing NATO's spin on the entire event proving it was entirely pre-orchestrated.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 8, 2018 2:00:50 PM | 50

@50 It is possible that Saakash pulled the trigger a bit early. Just couldn't wait. He's a very excitable fellow.

Posted by: dh | Aug 8, 2018 2:46:19 PM | 51

I agree, discomfiture of this cravativore lackey is a most enjoyable vicarious experience.

Posted by: Guerrero | Aug 8, 2018 3:56:56 PM | 52

After Georgia US went on to destroy Libya with no resistance. Turning points.. Putin becoming president of Russia was a big one - defeating the wahhabi US dream of a wahhabi Islamic state in Chechnya and Dagestan. 2008 Georgia Ukraine Crimea 2014, blocking US moves there, but then the first move away from Russian borders with the move into Syria in 2015.
More a long curving turn from the moment Putin became President rather than a single turning point.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Aug 8, 2018 4:33:52 PM | 53

dh @51--

No, BigLie Media had everything set and ready to publish as soon as the first shells were fired by Georgia.

Medvedev has given an interview with Kommersant, an English translation transcript is available here:

"Question: Mr Medvedev, the August 2008 war seemed unavoidable even before it started. Did you have the same feeling?

"Dmitry Medvedev: No, it was not at all unavoidable. And I still think that there would not have been a war if not for the irresponsible, immoral and criminal actions of Saakashvili and his minions." [Bolding in original]

But as Dmitry relates, there's much more to the story, rooted well before USSR's break-up in Caucus's well known, many ethnic divisions, which is why Abkhazia and South Ossetia existed. What was known as The Nationalities Problem was and is still being used to destabilize Russia.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 8, 2018 4:34:51 PM | 54

@Pft | Aug 8, 2018 4:01:31 AM | 33

Current account deficit of US is lower than UK, Canada and Australia as percentage of GDP

The U.S.'s current account should be hugely positive, due to Saudi Arabia putting its petrodollar profits into large American investments. The current account is in deficit, however, which means the U.S. is spending money it didn't earn. So this supports what I was saying, that the U.S. is sending lots of printed dollars abroad.

I'm not sure what you are trying to prove, that I was right about the U.S. siphoning wealth from other countries?

Posted by: Cyril | Aug 8, 2018 6:04:07 PM | 55

karlof1 @47, thanks for the best news I've heard all day
@54, thanks for the link.

Posted by: spudski | Aug 8, 2018 6:58:21 PM | 56

With due respect, my recollection of the Georgia fiasco is that NATO (North Atlantic Tosser's Organisation) betrayed Saakashvili. The accounts of the 'battle' which I recall zeroed in on the fact that NATO-advised Georgia "forgot" to close a tunnel connecting Georgia with Russia. As a result, Russia was able to send tanks and troops into Georgia via the tunnel. The RF Air Force was thus able to provide cover for these ground forces from the moment they emerged from the tunnel.

This embarrassing strategic omission on Saakashvili's part, plus the fact that Russia focused on neutralising military-related targets and didn't waste time bombing essential civilian infrastructure, helps to explain why the battle concluded so quickly. Georgia's military was neither large nor special compared with Russia's military which was designed to give NATO nightmares and persistent headaches.

And the fact that NATO chickened out is a sobering indicator of just how demented Saakashvili's pipe-dream was. Imo the only thing Russia would have been interested in learning would be the answer to the question "Could we have done it in fewer than 5 days?" Given the time the Russians has to prepare (peacekeepers in Ossetia), I'd bet the answer is "No."

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 9, 2018 12:02:39 AM | 57

You are missing the point, b.

The strategy is not to "win", but to create and sustain a situation where political and economic agreement is impossible.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 9, 2018 9:19:26 AM | 58

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 9, 2018 12:02:39 AM | 57

It is possible that the Georgian army did not intend to fight.

Posted by: somebody | Aug 9, 2018 9:41:18 AM | 59

50;rice today says,Russia started it.nyt.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 9, 2018 12:25:54 PM | 60

the usa will enact sanctions on Russia from skripals affair.goddam.

Posted by: dahoit | Aug 9, 2018 12:29:08 PM | 61

...
It is possible that the Georgian army did not intend to fight.
Posted by: somebody | Aug 9, 2018 9:41:18 AM | 59

The remainder of my recollection is that Russia didn't intend to fight either ... but changed its collective mind after South Ossetia was shelled by Georgian artillery, killing Russian peace-keepers. That left Russia with no choice but to respond forcefully. Saako was probably unlucky, in a NATO kind of way, because Russia might reasonably have assumed that there would be NATO involvement and would therefore have prepared a NATO-sized retaliation. But NATO didn't show up so Georgia "copped the lot" as we say in Oz...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 9, 2018 12:29:36 PM | 62

dahoit @60--

Clearly, after telling so many lies, Rice doesn't know what she once said. Again, the template was set as revealed by the total lock-step of BigLie Media which was accusing Russia from the very outset despite video showing the exact opposite. Anyone listening to Rice is a fool or worse. There was no accident, or an over zealous tie-eater. The operation was clearly intended to test Medvedev's resolve; he proved resolute. Not certain, but I wouldn't be surprised if NATO in Georgia is a Russian Red Line.

Posted by: karlof1 | Aug 9, 2018 1:02:50 PM | 63

Maybe the real truth is so much simpler. That 21 $Trillion ($65,000 from every citizen's taxes) was directly spent to build doomsday deep underground luxury bunkers exclusively for the rich CIA ruling operatives.

Nuclear powered deep boring/tunneling craft that use molten rock for cooling.

Their helicopters will let them watch the slaughter of the common peasants on the surface. Good times!

Posted by: blues | Aug 12, 2018 10:34:39 PM | 64

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Posted by: تعمیر کمپرسور اسکرو | Aug 15, 2018 2:15:02 AM | 65

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Posted by: تعمیر کمپرسور باد | Aug 15, 2018 2:23:25 AM | 66

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