Sunday, August 10, 2008

War in Georgia: What do we do?

This is a question that Iain Dale poses on his blog, quoting some interesting articles including some from Cicero's songs. I like Cicero and find him pleasant company and very knowledgeable on Russia and its former imperial possessions of which Georgia is one. Cicero's songs has this and this. One of those articles says that Russian troops have turned up in Abkhazia, Georgia's other break away region which shows Russia's true intentions.

So what do we do? Well, I would not start from here.

Cicero makes the point that this is a bit like the Rhineland. For those who are not as well versed in history that refers to Nazi Germany sending in their army into the Rhineland breaching the Versailles treaty of 1919. You might ask what is wrong with the Germans stationing their troops in Germany. Well, it was the first test of international resolve and lead to ever greater ones until the invasion of Poland in September 1939 which led to war.

However the problem is this: Whilst we would have had trade with Germany which we could have stopped with sanctions (but did not) we can't do the same with Russia. Firstly we have too much money there but more crucially Europe is reliant on Russian oil and gas. The only other way of getting the stuff out of central Asia is.. yes you guessed it, via a pipeline in Georgia the Russians have just bombed. In short the Russians have us by both out wallets and our heating and lighting.

We do seriously look at the way we have taxed our oil companies out of our own oil fields. Europe also needs to do no important trade with Russia, because frankly we can't trust their government.

The BBC has this.


Wolfie said...

...via a pipeline in Georgia the Russians have just bombed

You mean the bombing that BP deny on a pipeline that was already out of action?

Benedict White said...

Yes, Wolfie that was the pipeline and the fact that BP who own it deny it is the nature of war. There is much disinformation in war. One interesting thing though is that BP have much larger investments in Russia as well.