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1930s redux

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map of GeorgiaRussian expansion exploits weak foreign policy

This is starting to look like the Sudetenland in 1938, instead of Chamberlain substitute Sarkozy, instead of Czechs substitute Ossetians, instead of Hitler substitute Putin and Medvedev. The similarities are just too stark to be ignored.

Russia’s excuse, like Hitler’s, was to engage in the protection of an ethnic minority across it’s borders, and like 1938 some commentators agreed that the victim was actually the aggressor. How many journalists and politicians have claimed that Georgia’s President was foolish for attempting to assert his country’s integrity by moving against Russian backed Ossetian separatists? Like the Sudetan in 1938 when Neville Chamberlain returned “with a piece of paper” the aggressors show no signs of adhering to any peace deals, Russian troops are reported to be within 25 miles of Tbilisi the capital of Georgia, this will be a de facto occupation with the aim of regime change and control of a vital oil pipeline – does this sound like familiar territory?

While the West led by the USA has been too pre-occupied with the so called “war on terror” Russia has been strengthening it’s military on the back of a massive surge in oil riches, she has garnered a harvest of oil and gas fields, supplies, and transportation networks that threatens our own economic survival and she hungers for the final few pipelines not currently within her control so that energy  interests in Western Europe will be dependent upon the Russian Imperialist regime. Russia feels so emboldened by the events of the past week that she can now threaten Poland with a nuclear attack, feeling that the West has so far failed to live up to it’s rhetoric and can only be relied upon to answer force with force with nations of a much smaller scale.

We are the victims of our own mistakes, a reliance on fossil fuel energy sources that were as secure as quicksand. A failure to secure our own energy supplies or take the big bold decisions years ago that would have seen us using a mixture of nuclear and modern renewable energy sources. A failure to broker deals with friendly nations for the supply of what oil and gas we would nominally need, a strategic failure to spot the Russian economic grab of European energy supplies which has led to it’s expansionary adventures. A similar over reliance on pan European ideals has left foreign policy in the hands of those prepared to sell out Putin in exchange for greater fatter pipelines.

John Redwood makes the same point in his blog:

The West needs to play this long as Russia is playing it long. The adventure in Georgia was just to test how far the strengthened Russia can now go. It is not the end of the process of Russia building her strength and expanding her influence and territory. The West needs to take much more action to tackle the cause of its own weakness, its dependence on oil and gas imported from volatile parts of the world or from Russia herself.

The US. the UK and the other major European states need to be more energetic in encouraging the exploitation of more gas, oil and coal from within their own boundaries. They need to be install more hydro power, sensible renewables, nuclear – whatever it takes – to cut dependence on imported oil and gas. World markets may give us a breathing space from ever upwards price movements, and may dent Russian revenues for a bit, but price rises can and will resume after the slowdown unless the West does something much more positive to cut its needs for imports. I have set out before what the UK government could do – why the delay, when Georgia has made the point again that there is a strategic need to do this as well as an economic one.

The voices of Labour’s Gordon Brown and David Miliband are curiously quiet this week, George Bush and Condi Rice make the right noises but dare not wave a big stick, besides it is over employed in Iraq and Afghanistan, eventually it will all go quiet again in Georgia.

It did in the Sudetan, – and Austria, and Poland, the Danzig corridor, Belgium etc. etc.

What will we be doing when Russian tanks are entering the Baltic states or Ukraine?

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Written by curly

August 16, 2008 at 10:57 am

One Response

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  1. […] Original post by curly […]

    Curly’s Corner Shop

    August 16, 2008 at 11:35 am

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