Among the issues most commonly discussed are individuality, the rights of the individual, the limits of legitimate government, morality, history, economics, government policy, science, business, education, health care, energy, and man-made global warming evaluations. My posts are aimed at thinking, intelligent individuals, whose comments are very welcome.

"No matter how vast your knowledge or how modest, it is your own mind that has to acquire it." Ayn Rand

09 August 2008

Russian Expansionist Efforts

For centuries, Russia has sought to control most of Asia and Eastern Europe. Russia has also sought control of the Black Sea and access to the Indian Ocean. The collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 resulted in many parts of the USSR becoming independent countries. These newly independent states are Ukraine, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Russia has been trying to regain control of many of these states.

One of the mechanisms for claiming a cause for taking many of them over again was one used by Adolf Hitler prior to and at the start of World War II. Germans had long been spread all over Eastern Europe. Many professionals and many successful businessmen in the cities and major towns of Eastern Europe were of the German nationality. Hitler would claim that the government of one country or another in Eastern Europe was abusing these Germans and then use that as an excuse to threaten to invade the country if he was not given what he wanted. He used this to put pressure on Czechoslovakia to give up the Sudetenland, a large portion of the western part of Czechoslovakia. Czechoslovakia had to give it up when its allies, Great Britain and France, made a deal with Hitler in an infamous conference in Munich. Hitler used the fact that many Germans were in the city of Danzig in Poland to put pressure on Poland. When Poland would not give up Danzig, Hitler, working with Stalin, invaded Poland and WWII started as France and Britain finally declared war on Germany.

When the USSR controlled the former Soviet states which are now independent, it moved many of their people to remote areas such as Siberia and installed many Russians in high positions in desirable areas in those formerly independent countries. Now, there are Russians still in many of the former Soviet states, though they were not native to those areas. One of the Russian tactics to put pressure on these countries now is to claim abuse of the Russians in those countries. This has occurred in each of the Baltic States and to Ukraine, for instance. Russia and Belarus are now in a loose cooperative association, which Putin heads.

The independent state of Georgia, has become an ally of the United States and has contributed troops to the fighting in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The country has a population of 4.6 million and is separated from Russia by the Caucasus Mountains. There are many small ethnic groups in the Caucasian Mountains and some are dissatisfied with the government of Georgia and some are dissatisfied with the Russians. The Russians have given those within the border of Georgia who are dissatisfied Russian passports. There are two regions with many dissatisfied and rebelling people, one with a population of about 50,000 and another with a population of about 200,000. South Ossetia is the smaller region and the Russians have been supporting their efforts to breakaway from Georgia. Here is an article on the issues there and here is one describing the Russian invasion of Georgia.

The Russians have sent in 150 tanks in this invasion of an ally of the United States which has been seeking entry into NATO. The Russians are very opposed to Georgia being an ally of the United States and a member of NATO. As always, the socialist leadership of Russia is eager to learn whatever they can from such fascist socialists as Hitler, who was also eager to learn from Lenin and Stalin. The communists and the fascists have always demonstrated that they have much in common, even when their rivalries for socialist power led them into conflict.

It is wise to remember that American socialists have a long tradition which evolved from an admiration of such socialist leaders as Marx, Lenin, Mussolini, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and many others. As many of these men were very paternalistic and ruthless leaders, so are many of our American socialists, though they put a smiley face on their socialist agenda most of the time. Nonetheless, they all believe that power grows out of the mouth of a gun and are eager to use those guns to force others to their will. This is the nature of socialism, whether the version holds power over property while leaving nominal ownership in private hands most of the time as in fascism or whether property is owned by the state as in communism. Note that Russia today is a mixture of communism and fascism. The United States is still primarily capitalist, but with a very large measure of fascism, and a smaller measure of communism. The widespread use of income redistribution and heavy hand of regulation is fascism at work, while the U.S. postal system, the U.S. park system, and the public school systems are all instances of communism.

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