The Awakening of The Bear

Posted: September 12, 2008 by April Watkins in Current Events, Oil and Energy, Our Government, Politics
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One only has to look at the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Gustav to realize that energy is the lifeblood of modern society.  Without energy our cities stand still, our farms go untended, our industries do not produce, and our society grinds to a halt.  To most of the world, oil is considered the most important energy source.  Oil is, in fact, the currency in which our global economy trades.  Control of oil resources is the measure of true power; the ultimate factor for global domination.

Case in point:   the Russia-Georgia conflict.  Many of you may not be aware of the growing hostilities throughout Eurasia. However, the world’s leaders are aware and they are taking a scrutinizing look into Russia’s aggression and the effect this conflict could have on the rest of the world.  To give a brief background:  the country of Georgia is an ex-Soviet territory which lies south of Russia on the Black Sea.  Along with its pro-Western neighbors, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, these former Soviet states lie in a chain that sits over one of the world’s largest reservoirs of oil.  Unfortunately, this chain bypasses Russia, leaving her just out of reach of this sacred commodity.  Moreover, since the collapse of the USSR, Russia has had no access to these reservoirs now controlled by independent states, and has been forced to rely upon Iran and Venezuela for her oil resources.

The conflict is one of a dual nature.

Georgia-Russia Conflict

Georgia-Russia Conflict

One:  Russia has long grieved over the collapse of the USSR and the breakaway of its many territory states. However, with an infusion of new wealth and assets gained over the past two decades, Russia and the freed constituent republics have managed to rebuild their economies, their infrastructures, and their defense programs. As a result, Russia, The Great Bear, has begun to reconsider regaining her position as a world power.  Two:  The troublesome sect of Ossetia, which is part of southern Georgia, has repeatedly attempted to separate from Georgia and return to Russian rule. With this growing conflict, Russia saw an opportunity to regain lost territory and retook Ossetia as well as other parts of the interior of Georgia – territory near the coveted oil chain.

Prior to the uptick in violence, US Secretary of State, Condolezza Rice, visited the region to negotiate a peace treaty.  Then, this past week, Vice President Cheney skipped the Republican convention to fly to the region to meet with leaders from Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine.  These two high-level visits demonstrate the sensitivity of the situation and the magnitude of its possible outcome.

With limited NATO resources and US and UK commitments in the Middle East, there are few forces to monitor or restrain further Russian insurgencies.  The tension between Russia and her former Soviet territories will, no doubt, continue to play out in a game of aggression and withdrawal.  This information gives us a brief view of the complexity of foreign affairs and explains why such matters and the many possible outcomes are too sensitive to be revealed to the public.

The art of foreign relations is not a simple chat between adversaries to affect a compromise.  It is the management of relationships based on strategic moves and timing.  It is the ultimate game of chess.  Effective foreign relations require experienced statesmen who understand its complexity, which includes the history between alliances.  Successful negotiations are accomplished by respected leaders who have the personal integrity to make tough decisions when necessary.

The labyrinth of foreign affairs in today’s world is yet another reason that responsible citizens should seriously consider the pros and cons of the candidates for President.  We must vote for the man who understands the intricate spider webs of allies, as well as enemies, and recognizes the consequences of breaking a web.  Since the American mainstream media seems to no longer focus on serious stories such as this, we, as citizens, must educate ourselves by reading, surfing the web and talking with our friends and family to find the threads of truth.  And that is…Why It Matters.

  1. […] The Awakening of The BearAlong with its pro-Western neighbors, Azerbaijan and Ukraine, these former Soviet states lie in a chain that sits over one of the world’s largest reservoirs of oil. Unfortunately, this chain bypasses Russia, leaving her just out of … […]

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