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Generational Dynamics Web Log for 14-Aug-2008
Russia continues to tighten its grip on a humiliated Georgia

Web Log - August, 2008

Russia continues to tighten its grip on a humiliated Georgia

It's still not known what Russia's final objectives are, though there's no doubt in my mind.

Theoretically, Russia and Georgia have agreed to a cease-fire in the Russian invasion of Georgia, but Russia apparently isn't honoring it.

Russian soldiers are effectively splitting the country in two, by blocking critical points in major highways. Russian bombers continue to attack Georgian cities, and Russian troops are looting and setting homes ablaze.

There's a lot of public debate about what are the intentions of Russia and of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin in Georgia.

But there's little doubt about it in my mind: Putin's intention is to lay the groundwork for a complete takeover of Georgia in the near future. All other stated intentions are pure subterfuge.

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Why am I so certain? Because I've been watching Putin for several years now, particular during the 2004 takeover of oil giant Yukos.

In 2003, Yukos a privately owned Russian energy provider that supplied 11.4% of all the oil in the whole world. But then Yukos CEO Mikhail Khodorkovsky indicated that he was going to challenge Putin politically -- the biggest mistake of his life. Khodorkovsky was jailed on trumped-up political charges, and he's in jail to this day.

By the end of the year, Yukos had been dismantled and nationalized by means of the vilest series of steps imaginable.

It was in July, 2004, when I wrote "I wish we knew more about Putin's plans for Yukos," where I expressed my confusion about what Putin was doing.

By the end of the year, it was obvious that Putin had lied about his intentions, and that he was willing to use any means available to him to get what he wants, while still retaining personal deniability.

My conclusion was, and is, that Putin considers himself to be the new Nicolai Lenin (Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov), the father of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution. I've previously quoted this 1922 memo to the Politburo on the destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church in order to harvest the Church's wealth:

"We must pursue the removal of church property by any means necessary in order to secure for ourselves a fund of several hundred million gold rubles (do not forget the immense wealth of some monasteries and lauras). Without this fund any government work in general, any economic build-up in particular, and any upholding of soviet principles in Genoa especially is completely unthinkable. In order to get our hands on this fund of several hundred million gold rubles (and perhaps even several hundred billion), we must do whatever is necessary. But to do this successfully is possible only now. All considerations indicate that later on we will fail to do this, for no other time, besides that of desperate famine, will give us such a mood among the general mass of peasants that would ensure us the sympathy of this group, or, at least, would ensure us the neutralization of this group in the sense that victory in the struggle for the removal of church property unquestionably and completely will be on our side."

By the end of 2004, it was obvious that Putin was much more politically subtle than Lenin, but just as ruthless.

Like Lenin, Putin has a secret police available to kill or jail political enemies. Like Lenin, Putin is willing to use extortion and fraud and violent force to take anything he wants.

It's also clear that the new President, Dmitry Medvedev, is simply Putin's puppet. Putin is the one in charge.

There's something else. The Bolshevik Revolution was followed by an extremely savage civil war, with mass executions and many atrocities. And a major component of that civil war pitted Georgians against Russians.

Thus, one thing that has become apparent in the last few days is that we're seeing the beginning of the re-fighting of the Russian-Georgian crisis war of the 1920s.

It's always been 100% certain that a new crisis war would begin in the Caucasus. In the past, when I've talked about a major new genocidal war in the Caucasus, I assumed that it would be along the Orthodox / Muslim fault line, and would grow out of the existing conflict in Chechnya and Dagestan. That conflict may revive, but the epiphany I've had in the last week is that the major battle will be between Georgians and Russians.

In the 1920s, Lenin died of a stroke in 1924, and in the subsequent wars, Joseph Stalin -- a Georgian -- became the supreme dictator of the Soviet Union, and remained so until his death in 1953. He committed savage purges directed at Russians and Ukrainians, causing tens of millions of deaths by execution and starvation.

When Putin accuses modern Georgians of "genocide" and "ethnic cleansing," he may in fact be thinking of Joseph Stalin's genocide of his political enemies in the 1920s and 1930s.

There is nothing that can stop this re-fighting of the war between Georgians and Russians. There are only two important questions.

The first question is: How far will the West and the United States get pulled into this war? America's involvement has already begun, as indicated by a Wednesday afternoon statement by President Bush, that included the following:

"I've also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing. A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies."

The second major question is whether the war between the Georgians and the Russians will be the war that launches World War III -- the Clash of Civilizations world war. (14-Aug-2008) Permanent Link
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