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Friday, August 29, 2008

"Red-lining"in Cuba and Georgia: Hornberger

This sums up the transparent hypocrisy of the U.S. While it is quite inappropriate and a red-line for Russia to have a missile defence system in Cuba it is OK for the U.S. to have one in Poland. It is OK for the U.S. to recognise Kosovo against Russian objections and in violation of the territorial integrity of Serbia. However, it is not OK for Russia to recognise South Ossetia and Abkazia in violation of the territorial integrity of Georgia. Personally I would support independence in all three cases since I don't think any of the areas can successfully stay within the borders of Serbia in the one case or Georgia in the others but to support territorial integrity in the one case but not the other is inconsistent. Of course Russia is being inconsistent as well but then we expect that of Evil Empire II but not the Leader of the Free World!


"Red-Lining" in Cuba and Georgiaby Jacob G. Hornberger
In my August 19 blog, I pointed out how President Bush knowingly and intentionally ignored Russian President Putin’s warning that pushing to admit Georgia into NATO would cross Russian “red lines.”
At the urging of the U.S. government, NATO, whose original mission was to defend against a Soviet attack, has already admitted many Soviet-bloc countries as members. U.S. officials have also been pushing for the installation of missile batteries in former Eastern-bloc countries.
The U.S. position, and that of U.S. neo-conservatives, is that the Russians have nothing to be concerned about. The United States is a peaceful, law-abiding country, the argument goes, whose foreign policy is not based on pressure, aggression, and regime change. The Russians are simply suffering a case of paranoia over the NATO encirclement of Russia and the installation of U.S. missile batteries along Russian borders.
Previously, in my August 13 blog, I posited a hypothetical situation in which Russia entered into an agreement with Cuba to install missiles in that country. I suggested that U.S. officials and American neo-cons would go ballistic over such action.
Well, guess what happened! Last Friday, Reuters reported that Russia and Cuba are talking about an alliance in which Russian missiles are installed in Cuba.
And what do you suppose a U.S. Air Force general said in response to such an idea? According to Reuters, the general said that such action would cross a “red line”—yes, the same term that Putin used to express to President Bush Russia’s objection to Georgia’s proposed admission into NATO.
So, the military alliances between the U.S. and former Soviet-bloc countries and the proposed installation of U.S. missiles in such countries is as repugnant to the Russians as military alliances between Russia and Cuba and the installation of Russian missiles in Cuba is to U.S. officials.
How come American neo-cons have a blind spot in understanding this? Indeed, why did Bush persist in crossing one of Russia’s “red lines” when he had to know that Russia’s reaction would be no different from that of the United States if the situation was reversed? What purpose did Bush’s actions serve, other than to produce a new crisis for the United States? Have Bush’s actions made America safer?
Regardless of Bush’s motives, two things are certain: First, thanks to his actions, neo-cons and the Pentagon have a new crisis to exclaim about—the return of the Soviet “communist threat.” Second, thanks to the new crisis the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex now have reason to call for new massive increases in “defense” spending on conventional weaponry to protect against the “communist threat,” on top of all the “defense” weaponry necessary to protect against the “terrorist threat.”
Just another day in the life of the U.S. Empire and its policy of producing perpetual crises in the pursuit of perpetual peace.
Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.
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Jacob Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation. Send him email.Sheldon Richman is senior fellow at The Future of Freedom Foundation, author of

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