Did Senator Rand Paul vote for Cold War II?Submitted by fightapathy on Tue, 08/30/2011 - 08:58
On July 29th, the Senate held a voice vote on S.Res.175. It passed unanimously. In this passage, it was Resolved, That the Senate--
(1) affirms that it is the policy of the United States to support the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of Georgia and the inviolability of its borders, and to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia as regions of Georgia occupied by the Russian Federation;
In an article on the vote, Patrick Buchanan rightfully noted:
"What is wrong with Senate Resolution 175?
"Just this. Neither Abkhazia nor South Ossetia has been under Georgian control for 20 years. When Georgia seceded from Russia, these ethnic enclaves rebelled and seceded from Georgia.
"Abkhazians and Ossetians both view the Tblisi regime of Mikhail Saakashvili, though a favorite of Washington, with contempt, and both have lately declared formal independence.
"Who are we to demand that they return to the rule of Tblisi?"
We are the United States of America, with strong vested interests in keeping Georgia's dictator and well-known drug smuggler, Miheil Saakashvili, permanently in power.
What's interesting is that Abkhazia held their latest Presidential election this past Friday. It was open, honest, clean, and gave a convincing victory for Prime Minister Alexander Ankvab.
How unlike in Georgia, where the 2008 election gave Saakashvili an unconvincing victory. Evidence of fraud caused 100,000 protesters to occupy Tbilisi's main square for weeks.
These protests were larger than the so-called "Rose Revolution" of 2004 that swept Saakashvili into power. Police used extreme brutality against the protesters, and many have been tortured in prison as the wave of repression has grown tighter and tighter.
Fractous, chaotic war and corrupt politics of the Caucasus are nothing new. Peace is the exception rather than the rule. Petty princes have vied for favour with larger Empires against their own family members for centuries.
For the U.S. Senate to inflame a tinderbox region like the Caucasus is beyond comprehension, especially as it involves Russia, whose claim to the region is based on treaties of protection with the various Georgian despots against Turkey and Persia, all of which were no less legitimate than the treaties the U.S. imposed on the Indians in the same period.
Georgia proper was annexed to the Russian Empire in 1801, two years earlier than the U.S. annexation of the "Louisiana Purchase," itself a cynical trade to France by Spain in 1799 for the tiny Italian duchy of Parma to one of the Spanish Bourbon royals.
In this case, Russia's claim to Georgia is stronger than, say, America's claim to the state of Iowa.
Abkhazia was not accorded protection until 1829, and its prince was not disinherited until 1864. Abkhazia rebelled against the Georgian republic in 1918, and Tbilisi went so far as to write the Armenian government that it had no right to open a consulate in Sukhum (Abkhazia's capital) without Tbilisi's permission. This showed the extent of Georgian legitimacy in the region.
After the Soviet reconquest, Abkhazia was briefly an S.S.R. on equal terms with Georgia, but in 1930, triumphant Communist Party chairman Josef V. Dzhugashvili (a Georgian who is better known as Stalin), attached Abkhazia to Georgia by decree.
For fifty years, the small territory saw much prosperity, and hundreds of thousands of Georgians freely emigrated under the open settlement policy of the Soviet Union.
However, the dissolution of the Soviet state tore open ancient wounds and reawakened old emnities.
The fall of the Soviet Union saw the dissolution of the Georgian SSR. Three autonomous republics within Georgia broke away successfully.
In 1994, cease-fires were signed, by which both Russian and Georgian peacekeepers would monitor the frontiers of these breakaway states. This case lasted until 2008.
In 2004, Saakashvili threatened President Shevardnadze with an army mutiny and a riot, as 80,000 protesters gathered in the square. The Rose Revoution was accomplished by Saakashvili's promise to the army, not to the people.
Saakashvili kept his promise to the army by striking humiliating terms with the United States, trading right of ways for oil pipelines -- and Afghan heroine -- through Georgia to Europe. In return, U.S. military equipment poured in.
In 2005, Saakashvili launched a surprise invasion of Ajaria, one of the three breakaways. Ruled by a gangster, it fell easily, but there were no peacekeepers to get in the way.
In 2008, Saakashvili got a theoretical green light from Condoleeza Rice (much as Saddam Hussein had gotten concerning Kuwait in 1990). On August 7th, 2008, Saakashvili signed a cease-fire with a South Ossetian militia, which traded live fire with Georgian peacekeepers all summer long.
On the night of August 8th, while the whole world was watching the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Saakashvili opened a rocket bombardment of the civilian city of Tskhinval, the capital of South Ossetia.
The famous scene of the time was Russia's Prime minister Vladimir Putin seated next to U.S. President George W. Bush at the Olympics opening ceremony. Putin got a message, leaned close to Bush, and whispered an excuse to leave. What might Putin have said to Bush? "Excuse me, I have to take charge of your reckless robot, Saakashvili"? Only those two men know for sure.
Within an hour after sunrise on August 8th, Russian forces were pouring through the Roki tunnel into South Ossetia, having been warned of Georgian artillery and troop massing along the frontier a few days before. They successfully drove undisciplined Georgian soldiery deep into Georgian territory.
The rest is history: Non-English-speaking Russia was styled the eternal bad guy. Suave, sophisticated, English speaking Saakashvili was a liberty loving hero, a victim of Soviet style repression.
Presidential candidate John McCain declared "We're all Georgians!" and Sarah Palin expressed that "NATO countries like Georgia have the right to American protection".
Both were embarrassingly mistaken.
And now, three years later, public knowledge of the real history of the eternally fractious Caucasus is as flawed and warped as ever.
As is the angry old men in the U.S. Senate, whose interest in keeping the cocaine-abusing dictator Saakashvili in power as long as possible.
WAS Sen. Rand Paul in the Senate when S.Res.175 was vote on? There is no record of voice vote for this resolution, only that it was unanimous...