Hotter Than Cold War
Apparently so! Russian military doctrine sanctions the use of nuclear weapons against allies of countries possessing nuclear weapons, “if they in some way help them,” according to a quote from top Russian General Nogovitsyn. The ally in the crosshairs is Poland, and the reference to a country possessing nuclear weapons is the USA!
Putin has warned against, and now is furious about an arrangement between the U.S. and Poland to install anti-missile batteries. In an age when everything is expected to be solved by diplomacy, Russia is running over Georgia with tanks and troops and threatening to nuke Poland over defensive, anti-missile batteries. “Poland, by deploying (the system) is exposing itself to a strike—100 percent,” Nogovitsyn is quoted in an AP release from Moscow.
It’s starting to look like the 21st Century version of the Cuban missile crisis. And, yes there have already been verbal exchanges regarding the landing, or stationing of Russian nuclear warhead carrying bombers in Cuba! The statements of Ms. Condoleezza Rice don’t seem to be carrying much weight with the Russians these days, as current events out of Georgia demonstrate. But it’s not her fault.
The U.S. is over several barrels right now. Strung thin in Iraq and Afghanistan, boots on the ground are at a premium. We are at the mercy of oil imports, as is Europe. We’re under economic strain bearing huge debt, at a time when Russia is flush with oil income. As long as Russia controls crucial segments of Georgian real estate, she controls all the oil coming west out of Asia. That amounts to a reported 25 percent or better of Europe’s consumption.
Is it any wonder that the U.S. and Europe right now can’t field anything more than diplomatic posturing? Well, we could do something, but Putin knows we’re not anxious to touch off World War III just now.
If you thought the whole situation in the Middle East and Central Asia was ticklish, unpredictable and dangerous last week, take a look today! Everything has just become much more complicated. And not just in the former Soviet possessions of east Europe.
Pakistan is a looming catastrophe. Their economy is a shambles with 25% inflation, and an indefinable relationship with radical warlords and the Taliban who are mounting attacks against our forces in Afghanistan. For us to take action in the ungoverned region would be unthinkable, according to some of the best thinkers. It would destroy the fragile “alliance” with Pakistan, or send the nation plummeting toward jihadist anarchy with a nuclear arsenal in the mix. And that may well be the outcome regardless. We “headlined” and linked a very thorough treatment of the Pakistani mess by the Economist this week. It illustrates how all surrounding parties, in addition to the U.S., have reached the sickening conclusion that Pakistan is and has been (during Musharaff’s reign) aiding and abetting terrorists at home and abroad.
The Iranian situation is one that’s been brewing for years now, with a moving deadline for when they might finally have nuclear weapons they could use to blackmail, intimidate or detonate on Israel or above the U.S. Even that situation is far more complex now, given Russia’s demonstration of fearless unpredictability. If the diplomats don’t feel rather small and silly as Russian tanks and troops roll over and trample their feeble protests, there’s no hope for them, or ultimately for us! Sticks and stones, you know?
There’s speculation that Russia may turn its attention toward Ukraine. And what about the rest of those fledgling democracies that emerged from behind the Iron Curtain. Poland has certainly been “put on notice!”
Will this be the catalyst that jolts Europe out of its slumber? With the possible exceptions of Britain and France, the continent with its layers of officials, diplomats and not much else beyond U.S. guarantees and NATO, must be wondering how strong those guarantees will be if push comes to shove.
We shall watch intensely for a European reaction. The EU looks impotent. The U.S. is seen to be weak, and Russia brimming with bravado. This just might be the start of something big, maybe a watershed change of direction in Europe. But it"s too soon to say for sure. Europe has allowed itself to be infiltrated to a very dangerous degree by an Islamic culture that is bent on establishing Sharia law inside host countries. This is going on in the U.S. as well, to a degree that it largely unknown and under-reported.
While we’re watching the sometimes emotionally charged international sporting events at the Olympics Games in Beijing, the world is undergoing some dangerous changes in what everyone thought was dependable conventional wisdom. Can you imagine the pressure that our president and military leaders must be under at this very moment? Everybody thought the upcoming election would be about domestic issues. The economy, health care, abortion, immigration, gay marriage; all seem rather insignificant in the face of a showdown with hostile nuclear powers. But that’s how it’s playing out this week! And we’d better get used to it.