CHENEY IN GEORGIA: WHAT DOES IT MEAN?
"There’s no attempt in Washington to convert Russia into a big enemy. The Cold War is over. What we’re concerned about, of course, are some of the steps that Russia has been taking recently, of course, with its attack on a neighbor, meaning Georgia, and its continuation of activities that give us concern in Georgia.
Russia is isolating itself. The United States is not trying to paint Russia as an enemy. We’re very concerned about its behavior and what that means for the future of the U.S.-Russia relationship. And we’ll be examining – we’re looking at all aspects of our relationship with Russia in terms of how we go forward. But there’s no attempt in Washington, here in the State Department or in the other elements of the U.S. Government, to paint Russia as an enemy".
Robert Woods, 4 September 2008, Spokesman, United States Department of State, in www.state.gov
"After your nation won its freedom in the Rose Revolution, America came to the aid of this courageous young democracy, we are doing so again as you work to overcome an invasion of your sovereign territory and an illegitimate unilateral attempt to change your country's borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world. Russia's actions have cast grave doubt on Russia's intentions and on its reliability as an international partner -- not just in Georgia but across this region and, indeed, throughout the international system."
American Vice-President Richard Cheney in Tbilisi, 4 September 2008 www.reuters.com
Based upon the statements made today in Tbilisi by Mr. Cheney and yesterday's announcement by American Secretary of State Rice, of a One Billion Dollar economic aid programme for Georgia, it is not difficult to see that in certain respects the underlying aim of American policy in the Kavkaz region has not changed in the least: to build up forces of 'countervailing power', vis-`a-vis Matushka Russia (for the aid programme, see: www.state.gov). Saakashvili's Georgia being the first of these. The fact that the results on the ground between the 8th of August and the 12th indicated that nothing came of the prior American attempt, does not appear to have impressed itself very much in the American mindset. However, in point of fact, it is Moskva which is in the driving seat at the moment. Both Turkey and Azerbajian (the first leg on Cheney's trip to the region), being both studiously neutral about Russia's de facto annexation of Georgia's breakaway territory. Just as they were studiously neutral about the Russo-Georgian War preceding it (for this see: some very good articles in www.eurasianet.org). Similarly, Ukraine which is the last leg of Cheney's trip, has suddenly seen the downfall of its 'pro-Western', reformist Cabinet, with a majority of the deputies in the Rada, now opposing membership of NATO (like in that respect Ukrainian public opinion), and the anti-Russian stance of President Yuschenko (see the relevant article in today's Financial Times, in www.ft.com). Similarly, if one reads carefully, the tea leaves of say the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office, it would appear that not even the USA's closest European ally, the UK, shares Official Washington's animus towards Russia, nor its plans to attempt to re-build, an anti-Russian bulwark in the Kavkaz area (see: "Georgia: latest Developments," in www.fco.gov.uk & www.number10.gov.uk). The real issue for at least this diplomatic observer, is as follows: is there any sense in attempting to build an anti-Russian phalanx in the Caucasus? The answer to my mind was self-evident, avant the Russo-Georgian War, and, nothing that has occurred since has caused me to change my mind about the matter. Unfortunately the same cannot be said for our anti-Russian ideologues in Washington, DC. All to no good whatsoever, both short-term and long-term for eveyone involved except for the Chinese and the Persians...