Global Trends by Martin Khor
Monday 18 August 2008
Last week was a turning point in global politics. Russia sent tanks into a disputed region of Georgia and warned Poland not to be a missile base for the United States, giving clear signals it will not tolerate one-superpower hegemony lying down.
The big news of the past
week – besides the Olympics, of course – was the move by
Russia claimed it was not the aggressor, but the defender, as the Georgian army had invaded South Ossetia a few days earlier and killed up to 2,000 people in that region.
That figure was probably an exaggeration but there is no doubt that hundreds of ethnic Ossetians were `killed or injured and many houses were burnt.
On the other hand, Georgian
President Mikael Saakashvili (whose troops were routed) blasted
There are also reports of
burning, looting and killings in the wake of the Russian entry into
South Ossetia and into
What really happened in the
past traumatic fortnight in the area – including whether Georgian troops
and people, the Russian troops and militia and the
But one thing is certain
– the world, especially the Western world – has taken notice that
“Russia Resurgent” is the phrase used in The Economist and some European newspapers last weekend, to describe the new Russian resolve.
Many analysts are quick to
declare the arrival of a new world geo-politics, and quite a few see
the potential end of the uni-polar world dominated for so long by the
sole super-power the
Then last Friday,
Saying such an action cannot
go unpunished, Colonel General Anatoly Nogovitsyn warned that “by deploying,
Vladimir Putin, when he was Russian President, last year in a famous speech in Munich, said it was “pernicious, unacceptable and impossible” that there be a “unipolar world in which there is one center of authority, force and decision making, a world in which there is one master, one sovereign.”
He had also warned that if
Kosovo could become a state separated from
South Ossetia and Abkhazia
could also be independent from
Putin is no longer President but as Prime Minister he is still powerful, some say just as powerful as before.
In the wake of the Russian success, Ossetian militia then took revenge and burnt the houses of some Georgian families, with some being killed as well, according to news reports.
US President George Bush
But despite the appeals of
the Georgian leader, it was clear that neither the
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel met Russian President Dmitri Dedvedev last Thursday and said Russia should pull its troops from Georgia but added significantly that “both sides are probably to blame” for the conflict.
According to columnist Seumas
Milne of the Guardian (
In this perspective, there
has been a long-running dispute over South Ossetia ever since the breakup
of the Soviet Union and the region has been aiming at secession from
“Over the past decade NATO’s
relentless eastward expansion has brought the western military alliance
hard up against
“Now the Bush administration
is preparing to site a missile defence system in eastern Europe transparently
Seen from this light, the
Georgian army’s violent entry into
The “Russian resurgence”
is forcing the