Georgia: A Pawn in a Game of International Chess played by the 'Big Powers'

Below is the text of a letter of mine that was published in last week's popular Galway Advertiser newspaper:
The Georgian conflict is a dangerous throwback to the days of Empire when little countries were pawns in a game of chess played by the Big Powers.
rather than the USA use its status as the world’s only superpower as a force for good over the last decade, the Bush Administration’s arrogant gung-ho unilateralism has encouraged the ‘new kids on the block’ of Russia and China to ignore international conventions and use their growing economic and military leverage to promote imperial self-interest. Chinese support of Sudan is only following a time-honoured American tradition of supporting tyrannical regimes in return for cheap oil and raw materials. Han colonisation of Tibet and the crushing of native resistance is analogous to the ongoing US-bankrolled Jewish racist settlements in Palestine. Putin said in 2005 that the break-up of the Soviet Union was the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the 20th century. Not surprising then that a re-invigorated energy-rich Russia should now be trying to re-establish its influence in the former Soviet Empire. Violent repression in Chechnya, the cutting off of gas supplies to Ukraine, the refusal to co-operate with Britain into investigating the death of political dissident Alexander Litvinenko, the cyber attacks on Estonian websites that ‘coincidentally’ followed the controversy over the re-location of a Soviet war memorial in Tallinn and the invasion of Georgia are the flexing of muscles by a publicly supported Kremlin intent on reversing years of national humiliation on the international stage. US policy has only encouraged this ‘Cold War’ re-awakening and Russian fear of encirclement with the Pentagon's decision to site missile systems in Poland and Czech republic and by promoting NATO expansion into Ukraine and Georgia. So sadly more Russian aggression looks likely to follow possibly over the Crimean region of Ukraine or Transnistria in Moldova both of which have large Russian populations as well as the presence of Russian military bases. But it is hypocritical for the USA to call for the territorial integrity of sovereign states and condemn military build-ups, foreign invasion, the creation of satellite states, outside political interference in the affairs of small nations, the arming of separatist militias and ethnic cleansing when these are the very policies pursued by George Bush. For the neo-cons efforts to turn the 21st into the ‘American Century’ has destabilised the world and slashed hopes of securing collective action to tackle serious global problems such as climate change. The US administration, funded by the oil corporations and the Zionist lobby, regularly ignores or undermines multilateralism in the form of the United Nations, the International Court of Justice, the Geneva Convention, Kyoto/Bali environmental agreements, conventions on the banning of landmines/cluster bombs and dismantling of nuclear arsenals. Talk of promoting ‘peace, freedom, justice, democracy and sovereignty’ is mere PR window-dressing. The United States supports brutal authoritarian regimes such as Saudi Arabia. The illegal invasion of Iraq led to the deaths of million people, the setting up of internal misogynist Islamic theocratic fiefdoms, ethic cleansing on a massive scale, the virtual annihilation of 2,000 year old Christian communities and the greatest displacement of people since the 1940s with millions of Iraqis forced to flee to Jordan and Syria for protection. The invasion of Afghanistan resulted in warlord-run territories and the creation of the world’s first narcotic state with ever-increasing annual yields of poppy plants bringing untold misery across Europe. US agents snatch suspects off Italian streets and elsewhere to be sent blindfolded and chained to secret torture centres across the world where detainees as young as 14 years are locked up for years in solitary confinement. Threats are made to Iran’s nuclear programme while Israel is allowed to maintain a huge nuclear arsenal, invade Lebanon destroying infrastructure and dropping tens of thousands of US-made anti-personal cluster bombs. International borders are illegally redrawn by its construction of a ‘Security Wall’ on Arab lands. In the USA’s ‘backyard’ of Latin America, efforts by the democratically-elected governments of Venezuela and Bolivia to promote wealth distribution and wrest control of their natural resources from multi-nationals for the benefit of the poor indigenous majority peoples has led to increased US funding for the once all-powerful elitist wealthy white minority groups. In total disregard for Cuban sovereignty, Bush turned the US military base at Guantanamo in Cuba into the world’s most infamous prison torture camp while maintaining the five decades-old economic blockade of the island nation.
In an era when we need genuine co-operation to save the planet from humanity’s past and present mistakes we are being treated to the spectacle of the superpowers playing a game of musical chairs at the bar of a sinking Titanic.
Yours sincerely, Brendan SmithCheck out my previous articles on related topics:
A Jesus in Today's Palestine?
What Have the Anti-War Protesters Ever Done for Galway?
Galway Businesses Glorify Terrorist Bombers
Sights & Sounds of US Bombers Reawakens Fears in Galwegians

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