War with Russia next on the agenda

The Americans are currently on the offensive; they are simultaneously conducting military operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and Iran. Although the military is stretched thin, ABC News recently reported that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin is open to the possibility of a war against Russia:

When asked if Georgia joined NATO, whether the United States should go to war if the country was again invaded by Russia, Palin responded: “Perhaps so. I mean, that is the agreement when you are a NATO ally, is if another country is attacked, you’re going to be expected to be called upon and help.”

The justification provided by Palin for going to war with Russia (that it’s a NATO obligation) should make us pause. NATO is an “entangling alliance” — precisely what Thomas Jefferson warned against. If America has to fight Russia because of NATO, then that’s a good reason for the US re-consider its involvement in that organisation. To be explicit: America needs to get out of NATO if war is the cost of remaining a member.

In the interview, Governor Palin also distorts the facts of the recent Russia-Georgia war. Although it’s hard to place complete blame on either side, it’s clear that Georgia was the initial aggressor. It is misleading to suggest that Russia’s attack was unprovoked.

In any case, confronting Russia at a time when the US is already involved in multiple wars would be most unwise.

56 thoughts on “War with Russia next on the agenda

  1. Sukrit, you really should stop smoking those funny cigarettes. You are becoming quite bizarre.

    Even the EU leaders, who are wet wimps like you now sound, agree that Russia’s invasion of Georgia (excluding South Ossetia and Abkharzia) was unprovoked aggression.

    But I guess that’s OK, because it wasn’t the Americans eh? And Georgians have no right to expect help to preserve freedom and democracy, do they?

    If it wasn’t for America, you’d be speaking Japanese and working in a slave labour camp.

  2. The US is currently on the offensive in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan and probably Iran. Recently ABC News reported that vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin won’t take a war with Russia off the table either.

    Sukrit, if your going to run an Anti-US/ Western propaganda series of threads why don’t you do it on your own site?

    Palin’ comment was doctored. She never suggested the US go to war over Georgia.

    Here is her comment in part:

    PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/p-j-gladnick/2008/09/13/abc-news-edited-out-key-parts-sarah-palin-interview

    Sukrit, were you refused entry in the US or something? So bitter.

  3. Still, if Sookey is right, then war has always been good for the economy! A war with russia should help people to rally round the flag, cement the party in power in place, and keep on centralising our economy.
    Who could object to that?

  4. From the little I’ve read, I’m definitely on Georgia’s side.
    Georgia has come along way since Soviet days having a reasonable democracy and improved quality of life.
    Russia is going backwards in terms of freedoms.
    And I think it’s reasonable to be concerned that Russia may keep going and start abusing their military dominance and invading other weaker countries.
    I also think Russia has also been investing heavily in their military? And they are of course known to be highly anti-USA.

    Russia’s invasion and highly reluctant withdrawal of Georgia will unfortunately have negative economic consequences in Georgia. They have done a large amount of damage to Georgia on multiple levels.

    It should also be concerning that Russia’s military action had a high degree of popular support within Russia.

    If we value freedom we could justify both supporting Georgia militarily and keeping a close eye on those dodgy Russians.

    Many people think that if you’re nice to bad people they’ll feel your love and forgivness and change their ways. Unfortunately this is a hippie fantasy. It’s more accurate to realise that if you give some an inch, they’ll take a mile.

  5. Sukrit this is really uncalled for.

    Who is Sarah Palin ?
    Last time I checked, she is running to be VICE president on the side that is polling much more weakly than Obama’s team.

    By the way, how are those Obama foreign policy views aligning with you ?

    What about Obama’s suggestion that America invade Pakistan to go after Al Qaeda ? Obama has done his fair share of sabre rattling (even if it is milder in form than his opponents) with respect to Iran and Russia.

  6. Sukrit, I agree with you all the way on one point.

    then I humbly suggest that the US re-consider its involvement in NATO.

    Damn straight.

    America should get out of NATO, WTO, GATT, NAFTA, the UN and all multi-lateral bodies, all entangling alliances, and look after its own sovereignty. Nobody needs world government.

  7. We might not care a figleaf about Georgia but Russia has been sabre rattling everywhere and even assassinating its dissidents on foreign soil (e.g. the UK’s). Yet Sukrit has NOTHING to say about any of this violation of the UK’s national sovereignty presumably because it’s part of the evil english speaking world.

    what is this? Indy Media?

  8. Georgia attacked Ossetia, took over its capital, killed lots of innocent people. Russia responded. It went too far though, in my opinion, by occupying some towns in Georgia proper and recognising Abhasia and Ossetia. But how far it should have gone? Compare this with US, when it’s killed Iraq for nothing. No WMD, remember?

  9. South Ossetia and Abkhazia are legally part of Georgia, Alex. They still are, notwithstanding Russia’s invasion. Russia is the only country in the world to say otherwise.

    Compare this with US, when it’s killed Iraq for nothing. No WMD, remember?

    OK, I’m comparing. What do I see? No intention to annexe territory. Just the removal of an obnoxious dictator and a fairly clumsy effort to replace him with a stable, democratically elected government.

    And did you say WMDs? In hindsight we know Saddam had them, lost them in the Gulf War, then subsequently tried very hard but failed to build them again. That was confirmed by Richard Butler when he was head of UNSCOM. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Butler_(diplomat)

    So is Saddam’s failure the point of your criticism of the US? Or is it that US spies were unable to find out that he failed?

  10. Sukrit,

    Obviously your post is meant to be provocative.

    I doubt that you have an issue with necessary self defence or the benefits from multilateral action against expansionist States.

    Yes – there is a limit to how far the US can be at war. Quite simply, they need somehow to pay for it.

    But Sukrit, could you please do the following:

    1. Answer my questions in your previous related posts in this post for posterity?

    2. Explain why Russia did not provoke Gerogia and why you side with Russia, and why Russia shouldn’t be punished or ostracised for their actions?

    3. Tell us why you are being reactionary to war. You are not reactionary to peace or freedom either, are you?

    4. Answer the following:

    I agree with your sentiment that the US is overextended, weak, has had bad strategy in the war against al Qaida, is paying for decades of bad foreign policy and didn’t need to go to Iraq and stuffed that up anyway. But why does this mean i) a well reasoned attack on Meshud, ii)interdiction of Iranian supplies of Shiite militants, iii) general suppression of an insurrection or iv) pressure, military or otherwise, to contain Russia and a ever drecreasingly despotic and degenerate Putin, are unacceptable?

  11. War with Russia, not to smart first of all, they dont have any open fronts so there concentration of military force would be quite effective. And unprovoked invasion of Georgia? the is ridiculous, Georgia pretty much asked Russia to invade it when it decided that attacking Russian citizens(South Ossetia) was smart thing to do. When Russia invaded Georgia, it was simply saying” Dont push your luck little man” and if they elect such stupid leaders who really cares what happens to them, they should not be in NATO, they are unstable, fight amongst themselves in there own country and will jeopardize security and stability in NATO.

  12. Robert,

    Read what David said. Ossetia was and still is legally part of Georgia.

    Self determination is great, but there are proper channels for it. No one is being oppressed in Georgia, unlike in Russia, so peaceful political avenues were available.

    America is simply saying the same thing to Russia – “don’t push your luck little man”.

    Indeed the same thing can be said for Russia – bad luck to Russians if they elect stupid leaders who provoke militarily superior nations.

  13. Because there were no peaceful legal avenues in Serbia, Sukrit.

    Georgia does not have a paramilitary who were attacking Russian seperatist political opponents.

    The two situations are not morally equivalent.

  14. Mark, I’m not going to spend time responding in the comments section where my responses will be buried and unseen. I’m going to be writing about foreign policy in main posts only.

    I suggest you read some of the books about foreign policy from the ALS store, as they helped shape my views.

  15. Sukrit,

    Why can’t you answer my questions? I can use a computer adequetely to find your responses, which I eagerly await.

    This “drive by” sledging without a basis is pretty slack.

  16. I suggest you read some of the books about foreign policy from the ALS store, as they helped shape my views.

    Keep reading Sukrit. You obviously haven’t reached the common sense section yet.

  17. Palin’s a small-time provincial politician. That much is clear. McCain will probably kick the bucket in the next couple of year and we’ll be stuck with with this ho in the White House. I mean, she believes in god! How pathetic is that!? Does she also believe in santa clause? She also thinks science is optional and McCain doesn’t even know how to use a computer.

  18. Mark, my job is not to spend my time spoon-feeding you the basics of libertarian foreign policy.

    My job is to increase the traffic to the ALS website and edit the posts.

    Please get your priorities straight.

  19. Sukrit,

    I understand that you cannot answer the questions because they blow your theories out the water. You can spit out cookie cutter slogans and insults but won’t answer questions about the basis for war. For example you refuse to enter into discussion regarding the tacitcal necessity in defeating Mehshud to defeat the Taliban. To me this means you have not considered all of the facts.

    Thankyou for your time.

    Venik: even an idiot and Russian stooge like you would be better than that murderous Putin arsewipe as Pm or President. That means Palin is overqualified for Russian politics.

    Belieiving in God has a more rational basis than believing in that “Super Judo Putin Shoots Tiger and Saves Mother Russia” BS your State controlled press keeps in dishing out.

  20. What Mark said!
    I think a belief in God should be made mandatory for Politicians. It’s the Atheist leaders, like Hitler and Stalin and Mao and Lenin, who end up believing they are God! At least a believer is required to have a conscience!

  21. Venik4

    So a woman who (if) is democratically elected by the American people is a “ho” now is she? How quaint!

    Dude, sorry if people offend you if they believe in God, but I suppose after 70 years of living in a rat hole like the old soviet union that banned religion I would have to forgive you for thinking like that. Not because you’re an atheist or anything, but because of the breathtaking intolerance of your opinion. And by the way, you jerk off, the three other candidates are also religious which i guess explains that you’re simply a misogynistic moron.

    She doesn’t think teaching science is optional as she has never said anything remotely close to that.

    It’s not that McCain doesn’t know how to use a computer it’s that he can’t use one because of his injuries.

  22. In general, Russians are actually highly religious. Both before and after the Soviet Union.
    Their atheism rate is in line with other European countries.

    Like many around the world, Russians seem to need an authority in their lives whether it’s God or State.
    Their Putin youth club seemed reminiscent of the Hitler youth to me.

    IMO, The Soviet isolation did make Russians generally ignorant of the outside world.
    eg/ I have a cousin who has worked in Moscow and Ekaterinburg and he has a funny story about how the supposedly intelligent Russian businessmen he was working with, thought he was an albino black man (because they found out he was born in Africa).
    People like to make fun of how ignorant average US citizens are of the outside world but IMO, Russians are far worse.

  23. Sukrit; Try to use proper sources for future posts of this nature. When you watched the interview you must have noticed that some of it seemed disjointed, and lacked normal flow. The reason for this is that it was heavily edited, removing a great deal of stuff favorable to Palin. The ABC is and always has been Obama obsessive.

    One way of checking is to go to Newsbusters where there is an article detailing how much was cut out.

    You could also go to “Palin & Media Bias and Bastardry.”

    The following is one section from the interview with the deleted sections in bold.

    GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.

    PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals. That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.

    And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.

    GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?

    PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.

    GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?

    PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

    We also see from Palin’s following remark, which was also edited out, that she is far from some sort of latter day Cold Warrior which the edited interview made her seem to be:

    We cannot repeat the Cold War. We are thankful that, under Reagan, we won the Cold War, without a shot fired, also. We’ve learned lessons from that in our relationship with Russia, previously the Soviet Union.
    We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along.

    Palin’s extended remarks about defending our NATO allies were edited out to make it seem that she was ready to go to war with Russia.

  24. Sukrit – these anti-US posts are juvenile, inaccurate and cringeworthy. please stop before you do this site and your reputation any further damage.

  25. It is quite funny to read comments made by people that don’t know much about Russia or Georgia what so ever..
    I wonder if any of you could point out georgia on the map.
    Georgia oppreses it oposition parties as much as Russia.

    And since when having a point of view that supports one country sudenly becomes a swear word.

    Get some better sourses than CNN!!

  26. For what a further bloggosphere commentary on the Georgian situation is worth, here is a link to a very interesting report I read from a guy named Michael Totten, who apparently is on the ground as a freelancer and blogger.

    A quick summary is:

    “The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel….”

    http://www.michaeltotten.com/archives/2008/08/the-truth-about-1.php

    This is not to say that I particularly endorse muscling up to Vladimir Putin in his own backyard while the US combat brigades are spread as thin as butter everywhere else you can stick a pin in a map, but the finger of blame as to who instigated the latest havoc descended upon the innocent locals there is still very much in need of resolution.

  27. Alex:

    You don’t need to look at a map to realize the Russians are muscling in on a sovereign country and are just shitty that they would even dare join NATO.

    Yes, Georgia isn’t a Jeffersonian model of government but it hardly speaks about the thugocracy running Russia.

    And no, I don’t watch CNN.

  28. Sukrit, if your going to run an Anti-US/ Western propaganda series of threads why don’t you do it on your own site?

    An amusing statement given the history of this blog. Perhaps it might be worth looking at who started this site and opened it up to others and helped nurture it’s growth to the point where it gets around 20,000 visits a month.

    https://alsblog.wordpress.com/2006/05/18/welcome-message/

    I don’t mind the grilling Sukrits ideas come in for. However telling him to take them elsewhere seems a little excessive. This is a site for discussing freedom and if disagreeable ideas are not welcome then what is the point of this place?

  29. Well he reads some some version of Chomsky, takes us for idiots and then becomes very aloof when asked to explain his idiocy.

    libertarianism is a big tent for sure however urine still smells when he’s pissing in the tent while he’s in the tent.

    Most of his stuff about the US is swill that he seems to get off 911 Truther sites. How long before he starts peddling the idea that Dick Cheney was responsible for 911 and why/how Putin tried to stop him?

  30. we won the Cold War, without a shot fired,

    Without a shot fired. No? Well maybe not a shot. A hundred million shots but not a shot – no. 🙂

  31. I cannot believe all the Rusophobe comments on your blog. It is truly pathetic that most in the western world don’t know or aren’t presented the facts of what took place in Georgia. Most still view Russia as the agressor, this is simply not true. I feel for those of you that are brainwashed by the media and are only getting a very twisted/distorted view of world events. So to JC and Jim Fryer and all the other Russophobes and ignorant western media drones on this board I say get a real education and go outside the mainstream media for your information, specially as it pertains to Russia which is quite clear you know nothing about.

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  33. JC… Sukrit doesn’t get his ideas from Chomsky. He gets his ideas from mainstream American libertarians. They are the good guys.

    I’m in Russia at the moment. Had a few interesting discussions about the Georgia incident.

    Terje — this blog is a merger of two previous blogs.

  34. DavidL — I don’t understand why you accept everything the European politicians & media says. It’s unambiguous that Georgia started a major offensive against Sth Ossetia before Russia entered the conflict.

    I’m not taking a side. Both Georgia & Russia have been fairly stupid about this whole affair.

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  36. David L; You bastard, how can you accept that armed rebels attacking Georgian troops is some sort of provocation for a deliberate attack on them. You have to accept that some causes are very chic and some are not.

    With your warmongering attitude Australia will have to send troops to Atlanta soon.

  37. I think that any country needs to take very very careful thought before deciding to go to war with Russia. Russia has never been takin a fool and i dont see them starting now.

  38. Guys, friends, just one comment. Russia never wanted to fight. if you’ll have a look on Russia history, it is always defended it’s territory from mongolians, french napoleons, nazis. there is no one example in history when russia started first to occupy some one. usa always trying to kill or occupy (sfganistan, iraq, ugoslavia, etc..). this is stupid gov decision. the rest of 99.9999999% people in the world like and want piece. let’s be patient to each other from nation to nation from country to country. and my last comment. if someone decide to fight with russia it will be the end of the world due to the nuclear weapons. lets think about expanding relations, forgetabout war and cold war asa well. it’s a different world now. chreees

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  40. So Russia or the USSR didn’t invade Afghanistan after they failed to keep a puppet on the throne oleg?

    Russia/USSR didn’t sign the Molotov Ribbentrop pact and invade Poland in 1939? Or Finland?

    Czechoslovakia, 1956, 1968?

    Lithuania, circa 1990?

    etc…

    Knowing facts like this doesn’t make us Russophobes. I’m a Putinophobe. He’s a creepy, vainglorious bastard who needs to be strung up from a lampost ala Caucescau.

    I agree with John though. Russia and Georgia are being stupid.

  41. DavidL — I don’t understand why you accept everything the European politicians & media says. It’s unambiguous that Georgia started a major offensive against Sth Ossetia before Russia entered the conflict.

    I don’t accept everything the Europeans say. I was merely trying to encourage Sukrit to look at the issue in different terms from his anti-US prejudice.

    I agree Georgia was throwing its weight around in South Ossetia. But South Ossetia is actually part of Georgia, not Russia. If Queenslanders were getting bolshie and the army was sent to shoot a few, that wouldn’t justify New Zealand sending in its army just because some Kiwis were among those that got shot.

    I’m not taking a side. Both Georgia & Russia have been fairly stupid about this whole affair.

    I agree with that as well. But you consistently argue against foreign military activity by the US (although not as predictably as Sukrit, I admit). Unless there is one rule for the US and one for everyone else, I don’t see how you can possibly justify Russian involvement. Georgia is not Russia.

  42. JC and Adrien. It’s obvious! The Effing French crashed the planes into the towers! Any other story is just a conspiracy!
    Oleg, why do the Chechens hate the Russians so much? Is it because Russia took over their country? And how come Russia rules Siberia? Was that because people fell in love with the russian language when they heard it, and willingly joined the Russian Empire? Or was it because you invaded the place? And didn’t Stalin grab some rocks to the north of Japan at the very end of world war 2? Which the Japanese still want back?

  43. One more time… Russian history is very long and full of historic events… Nor Stalin nor Putin conqured the teritory that is not Russia.
    Poland for example was not a country at all till late.. There more like buch of rich guys fighting all the time. Till one conqured all.. Like any othere country in the world.
    You guys were a british prison.. so what?

    Georgia is not russia (but it was afor a long time) because they asked russians to protect them from the Otoman Empire.
    But S Osetia was never part of Georgia… Never… The terretory was assigned to Georgia Socialist Republic by Stalin and his goons!! And the second Georgia reciaved independance they’we started a war to drive Osetians out of the teritory (because they siply don’t like them).

    Russians are just trying to prevent those morrons killing eachother… And considering that North osetia is part of russia.. they have to defend theirs!!!

  44. Oleg – if you’ll have a look on Russia history, it is always defended it’s territory from mongolians, french napoleons, nazis. there is no one example in history when russia started first to occupy some one.
    .
    Um I think you’ll tend to find that Russia is actually an Empire they were at one point expansionist. That they aren’t (much) anymore probably has something to do with the fact that the larger a state’s territory is, the more difficult it is to manage.
    .
    That said Russia isn’t the bad guy and Georgia isn’t the good guy: they’re both bad guys. 🙂

  45. Interestingly I recently had an argument with a Russian friend about Russia invading Poland in 1939. He genuinely had no idea what I was talking about. Eventually we established that it was the campaign to re-occupy western Belarus, taken from Russia a few years earlier. I believe Russian language Wikipedia has quite a different account of events to English Wikipedia.

  46. Russian history taught in Russian schools must truly be off the planet…

    # Polish language and culture, and history did not emerge until 1919 (just a bunch of rich guys fighting, were they former Prussian Army Corps officers?). This gave Hitler and Stalin the right to invade Poland, Finland, Belgium etc…

    # Asking for protection is the same as asking for a beating.

    # Australia (New South Wales) was a prison, but Siberia wasn’t.

    # Stalin didn’t invade Sakhalin

    # The Russian Army is sent by the Government and is here to help…

  47. DavidL — I don’t think Russia should have gone into Georgia.

    Regarding the actual situation with Sth Ossetia & Abkazia… I’m both sympathetic to independence movements (I like regions being able to break away from centralised authority) and also to the idea that countries need to be able to keep themselves together without foreign powers formenting trouble.

    Russia was wrong to say there was a genocide going on. There was not. Georgia was wrong to say that Russia wanted to take-over all of Georgia. They do not.

    I think America’s initial response was appropriate.

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