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The New, Resurgent Russia
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
08/18/2008
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Russia has pledged to remove its troops from Georgia, but signs of military action remain.

 

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52:00 minutes (24.96 MB)
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Dr. Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University: Photo By Chion WolfDr. Peter Rutland, Wesleyan University: Photo By Chion WolfWhen Russia came to the aid of separatists in the Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it prompted outrage from many in the international community, which saw a possible return to Soviet-style dominance of the region. The Bush administration called for a cease-fire and withdrawal from a country that it counted as a democratic ally of the West.

The big worry for many now: will Russia continue to try and annex former states that it lost nearly two decades ago?

Tom Vincent of Save the ChildrenTom Vincent of Save the ChildrenToday on Where We Live, Connecticut's reaction to the new Russia. Scholars David McFadden from Fairfield University and Peter Rutland from Wesleyan take your questions about tensions in the region and what to expect.  And, we get reports from the field from Gregory Feifer, NPR's Russia correspondent, and Tom Vincent of the Connecticut-based aid organization Save the Children. 
Dr. David McFadden: Photo by Jean SantopatreDr. David McFadden: Photo by Jean Santopatre

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Thank you for the show
several points
This is one of the many reasons so many people opposed the invasion in Iraq:
The United States is responsible for creating a global environment where Saakashvili feels he has no reasonable reason not to do as he pleases, and is even more fully justified in doing so because of geographical proximity. A Russian soldier reportedly asked one of the NPR reporters ( Gregory Pfeifer? ) over the weekend, " Bush invaded Bhagdad, why can't we take over Tbilisi ( or Gori?) ?" I.e. we no longer have any moral authority. What a shameful waste of the American legacy of ethical international dominance, at least overtly.

Second point: The same reporter described the bands of military irregulars or "brigands " I believe he used that term. Elderly people with no homes, having escaped from them being burned around them. . . . no place to stay or go. This sounds like an urgent human rights issue. Who do we contact to urge rapid action?

Thank you
Carol
Norwich

email to wherewelive@wnpr.org

What's missing from the commentary on the Russia-Georgia conflict is the expansion of the U.S. military noose on Russia from nearly all sides. Russia certainly does not ignore this vital threat.

Look at a map of Europe and Asia. Look at the attached map of U.S. and NATO military bases all around Russia.

There are already U.S. and NATO bases and military personnel in Norway, Germany, Austria, Italy, parts of the former Yugoslavia, Albania, Greece, Cyprus, Turkey, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, and Uzbekistan, at least. Czech is hosting radar U.S. facilities while Poland, Bulgaria and Georgia are negotiating for bases. The Middle East is chock full of U.S. bases, not to mention two wars. Oh, but wait there is a gap - Iran has no U.S. bases, yet.

While the Bush administration shrieks at Russia's defense of South Ossetia, I wonder how we would feel if a real giant Al Qaida was invited by Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Bermuda, a breakaway Hawaii to set up bases and additionally had huge naval fleets off our shores.

The closest we've come to that feeling was the Cuban missile crisis, which resulted in John Kennedy threatening nuclear war.

The U.S. invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, has caused the killing of over a million civilians, forced over 5 million refugees. So the Russians are fully aware of what the U.S. is capable of in terms of human rights and war crimes.

Were the U.S. serious about peace in the Caucasus it would relinquish its own empire status, remove its foreign bases, stop attacking other countries and abide by the UN charter.

Henry S. Lowendorf