(Originally posted Sunday, August 17, 2008 ) As everybody knows, the Caucasus region, where the current war between Russia and Georgia has flared up, is a patchwork of innumerable ethnic groups with different languages and customs. And the small, pugilistic province of Ossetia has somehow burst onto the world stage--the spark that raged into a wide regional war with international ramifications.
What are some of the insults you are likely to hear from an Ossetian -- (one that will likely lead to clan violence, retributive attacks, street skirmishes, police actions, invasions, and then finally a new Cold War?)
--*You are like a crude person of the plains.
--*Your hat is very much like a woman's.
--*Your dead father was a nickel hugger.
--*Your dead mother has nothing to eat.
--*Only your retarded dead sister would say such a thing.
--*Your retarded dead sister is still very dead.
--*I am young and you are going to die before me so I don't have to listen to what you say.
--*Your feta cheese tastes like something a pigeon spits into its young squab's mouth
--*Nobody gives a shit about us, you're just using our pathetic backwards asses as pawns in a chessboard of oil and natural gas maneuvering with other developed nations.
--*You are a Nazi Georgian pig and your democracy is a sham. Save us, Russia!
OK, now that I've told the crude jokes, let me say that, as far as I can tell, this war between Russia and Georgia has about as much to do with the Ossetians as World War I had to do with Serbian nationalism. A recrudescent world power, rich from oil and gas petrodollars, snubbed on issues such as Kossovo, Iraq and missile defense shields, has decided that it has the right to police its own backyard. Is this wrong? Well, all war is wrong. Mostly. I would ask the neoconservative professional mouth breathers who have now united once again in common cause for standing up to Russia to ask themselves how many times the United States has policed its own backyard and even, in the case of Iraq, something that was NOT its backyard. From Granada to Cuba to El Salvador to Nicaragua to Chile to Venezuela, the U.S. is the first to give up questions of right and wrong when it fears for its own national prestige, authority and economic influence. Just like Russia is doing now. Of course you could say we invaded those places* to better the lives of their inhabitants. But only your retarded dead sister would say that.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: Actually, we didn't invade those places, except for Granada (and Panama, an important omission on my part). In the other cases, we usually simply used proxy groups to try to assassinate elected officials and/or topple elected governments and/or reinstall fascist dictators friendly to American aims. I usually try to be more careful with my language. But the point is the same: the U.S. has no credibility on the world stage when it condemns other nations' military actions.