Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Collision Course

So, Russia has decided to recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia, as expected. Also as expected, the Empire is screaming bloody murder, threatening to use its veto in the UN, calling it "unacceptable" and claiming it's illegal.

Except neither Washington, nor London, nor Moscow, nor the OSCE gave a damn six months ago, when they created the "Independent state of Kosova." Was that illegal? Damn right it was. Was it a direct violation of Serbia's sovereignty, explicitly guaranteed by the UN, the Helsinki Final Act and just about any other law? Sure was. And yet the self-proclaimed "international community" simply bypassed the UN, ignored Russian objections (and those of some 150-odd countries) and declared occupied Kosovo to be a "special case" and "unique." Because they thought they could.

More than anything, the reaction from the West over Georgia reveals the utter hypocrisy and complete moral bankruptcy of the self-appointed rulers of humanity. To them, there are no absolutes except their own will. Sovereignty, democracy, legitimacy, legality - they all mean whatever they declare them to mean, subject to revision at their whim. We thought the Communists were bad, but they at least recognized their limits. For the Empire, there are no limits. Until they run up against reality, anyway.

Just because they keep telling themselves and the rest of the world that there is no wall there won't make it hurt any less when they smash into it face-first.

But wait, what about the Russians? Aren't they hypocrites for supporting the integrity of Serbia, but dismembering Georgia, just because one country is their ally, and the other is a client of the U.S.?

Actually, Serbia isn't a Russian ally at all. It's got more formal ties with NATO and the EU than with Russia. And the quisling Serbian government is certainly more inclined to Brussels and Washington than to Moscow.

That aside, I don't think Russia's policy is hypocritical, no. Georgia never actually controlled Abkhazia and Ossetia (since declaring independence), and clearly violated the 1992 armistice it pledged to uphold, and which Russia was a guarantor of. If Georgian actions in Ossetia before the Russian counterstrike don't qualify as "severe violations of human rights," I don't know what does. And shall we note that Georgian authorities never really bothered to invoke international law in their efforts to seize those territories? They simply assumed that military conquest - with the full backing of the Empire - was law enough. Sort of like what the Empire did in Kosovo, actually.

Now, if Moscow tries to argue that its recognition of Abkhazia and Ossetia is legitimate because the Empire carved out Kosovo from Serbia, thus implicitly recognizing that act, then yes, I would consider it a cheap trick.

Keep in mind, though, that most Kosovo comparisons are coming from the West, and that Russians are generally staying clear of them. Russians aren't using Kosovo as an argument/excuse for intervening in Georgia; they are using it to point out that the West has no moral right to protest their intervention. That argument doesn't have much traction in the West not because it's false, but because the Empire doesn't recognize the notion of objective truth. If "we" did it, it must be right. If "they" do it, it's clearly evil. It's impossible to reason with that sort of "logic."

Then again, one doesn't have to. That wall is getting very close now, and the impact of face on hard surface seems imminent.


Robstar said...

The way i'm reading the Russian position is that with Kosovo, Serbia had been trying to get a negotiated settlement when the west just decided to recognise Kosovo's independence, while with South Ossetia, Georgia restarted the conflict.

Russia is walking a fine line but its doing so brilliantly, running cirlces around the US/EU's self contradicting position. Most of all Russia has learned well from the Serbian experience of the western media's fondness of faking imagary to suit its story line. They have been very quick to point these out.

Unknown said...

If you are not already a member of the Google Group "Untimely Thoughts" run by Peter Lavelle I think you might enjoy participating in the discussions. I learned of your blog today from a post by one of the members recommending others check-out what you had written.

The URL is:


CubuCoko said...

Thank you, Timothy, I'll take a look.

Aleks said...

Maybe by recognizing the Abos and the Ossies Russia is forcing the West to respect the issue on territorial integrity, borders and sovereignty (after they got dizzy with unimpeded power in the 1990s+).

What is the liklihood now that any major state now going to risk unilaterally recognize a new state without the agreement of the state it is carved from?

It looks to me that the Russians have underlined that with a big stick. Maybe they are doing everyone a favor.

CubuCoko said...

I agree - however, for this argument to make sense, one has to think rationally, and believe in universal principles of some kind. The folks in Washington most definitely don't (on either count). I hope they get the message, but I won't hold my breath.