August 25, 2008

Georgia's government: The Davos Man Junior Varsity Team

Because older Georgian politicians are mostly corrupt ex-Communist mediocrities, Georgia, since the "Rose Revolution," has had one of the youngest sets of political leaders in the world.

It's important to realize that they aren't some random grab bag of provincial hotheads. Instead, they are the cream of Georgia's new generation of globalized elite, almost all educated abroad and plugged into the most influential global networks of finance, law, media, trade, and NGOs. Thus, they've enjoyed tremendous press coverage from similar folks in the prestige media.

These are the kind of people who will be running the world for the next generation, making Georgia a harbinger of what's in store for all of us.

And what did these exemplars of the globalized Best and Brightest do when they got power?

They started a tank war with Russia.

*
By the way, judging from how fast Russia struck back, I would guess that Russia has plenty of spies within Georgia. Indeed, I wouldn't be surprised if one of those Georgian B&Bs was privately supplementing his official pay as Putin's personal agent provocateur within the Georgian government:
Hey, guys, let's go invade that Russian-occupied territory with our tanks! C'mon, what's the worst that could happen?

Perhaps that sounds excessively paranoid and convoluted, but, after all as they say in those parts (or at least should say):

"Forget it, Jake, it's Caucasustown."

For a profile of perhaps the most brilliant of all the dangerous operators who have emerged from that part of the world, see here.

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

39 comments:

Richard h said...

Davos types running first world countries can bleed their countries for a while. The Davos JV team steering the ship for a third world country hopefully won't last for long.

Space Sentinel said...

My favourite headline of the recent conflict, for its sheer neo-fink chutzpah, has to be Miliband demands Russian retreat.

Anonymous said...

I don't see what Saakashvili could have thought he'd win by starting that war. Obviously, the Georgian people didn't get anything good out of it either. But the neocons did win something - they've further demonized Russia in the Western press. Steve, you know that Georgia attacked first, but the average consumer of Western media probably doesn't. The average guy thinks Putin started it.

Saakashvili was brought to power in Georgia by a coup financed by George Soros, partly through something called the "Liberty Institute". A Google search for Soros + "Liberty Institute" brings up a lot of interesting things. Here's something from the Toronto Globe and Mail, for example:
Georgia Revolt Carried Mark of Soros

I can explain very easily why Soros needed that war. Why Saakashvili needed it - that's much more difficult. Soros and those um... like him needed that war in order to portray Russia as an aggressor in their press. They don't like where Putin has taken Russia. He's been leaning too harshly on the oligarchs (even jailed one), he's been spending billions on raising Russia's birth rate, and he's apparently been somewhat successful at it. Those are big no-nos for Soros and his ilk.

So I don't see this as a bunch of trendy, inexperiencwed Georgians blundering into a war they couldn't win because they were stupid. Maybe I should see it this way. Maybe this is actually what happened. Maybe I'm being paranoid here. And then again maybe not.

Anonymous said...

But Georgia is winning the peace. Putin is a fool.

Lugash said...

I am Lugash.

So is the current crop of Georgian bumpkins*, who all matriculated at the Liberty Institute, acting the way Soros wants them to, or did they take his money and do their own thing? What does Soros get other than warm fuzzies and maybe sticking his thumb in Russia's eye?

The JV teams seam to do OK against local thugs, but then they run up against a real throat slitter like Putin and lose. They seem to spend too much time in school, then in cushy NGO think tanks, to really learn how nasty people can be.

I am Lugash.

*Don't they remind you of our own Georgian country bumpkin, Jimmy Carter?

Anonymous said...

Space Sentinel, I'd never heard of this Miliband fellow before you mentioned him. I just looked him up on the Wikipedia. It turns out that the current British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs is the sun of a late Marxist theoretician from Warsaw. Interesting thing to know.

Garland said...

Yeah, and additionally, just how great is their democracy really? You could say it's not so much their fault as the people and/or history and/or external forces they have to work with, but you could say that about any of the countries that the Davos elites think they're going to globalize into democracy and prosperity. If that's the best they can do with what's probably one of the better countries in terms of what to work with, then they're not likely to do much with countries even worse off.

Garland said...

"Steve, you know that Georgia attacked first, but the average consumer of Western media probably doesn't. The average guy thinks Putin started it."

Yeah. I mean, Steve wrote the other day:

"A week and a half later, 90% of the press is still baffled by why Georgia thought it could get away with it. (And another 9% is still pretending Russia struck first -- see today's Washington Post where their Editorial Page Editor asks "Who Made Russia Attack?")."

Uh...is this right? Only 9%? Sure seems higher to me. And the WaPo isn't exactly obscure. Is it really that out of step with the other 81%?

Markku said...

You're stupid if you don't think Russia did not anticipate the eruption of tensions into a full-blown war. Why do you think Russian railroad troops built a railroad into Abkhasia other than for logistical support? How come were the Russians able to send their expeditionary force to South Ossetia in a matter of one day would it not have been a thouroughly excercised and prepared for?

Provocations had taken place in and around South Ossetia long before the war. The Georgian government was foolish to try and solve the territorial dispute by force of arms without making thorough preparations for the possibility of a large-scale Russian invasion. Don't think for a second Russia did not welcome this opportunity to straigten out Georgia and scare away all investors who were planning to increase the capacity of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline. Now the Central Asian oil producing nations are contemplating exporting their increasing oil production through Russia instead. For Russia, this was also a golden opportunity restore some of the honor lost in being powerless to stop the partitioning of Serbia.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe I'm being paranoid here. And then again maybe not."

Right the first time.

Anonymous said...

Can we draw distinctions between George Soros and the neoconservatives in terms of regime change? Soros can count several Eastern European victories where he was able to get people he helped into power for far less money than the neoconservatives spent in Iraq and Afghanistan. Soros seems to be interested in helping his people get elected so he can be close to power in order to financially benefit. Remember, Soros was convicted of insider trading in France. As such Soros picks easier targets than the neoconservatives. For the neoconservatives, Iraq wasn't about profit, but the profit from war contracts and oil was an added benefit. Their main concern was hostility towards Israel. In this regard, they were more ideologically motivated than Soros. My view on Soros' concern for human rights is that those NGOs are ploys to help him get political power. The Open Society Institute is unconcerned with the fate of right wing nationalists who are imprisoned for their political viewpoints.

anony-mouse said...

1/ Umm... Soros has given tons of money to anti-Bush/anti-Neocon groups.


2/ If Putin is such a genius at demographics, why did his army kill/force out tens of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of non-Muslims on his southern flank?

Well at least he's gotten back the Russo-Turkish border of old, this time with an increasingly numerous and increasingly Islamist Turkey. Perfect.

But he shouldn't worry. Sure its true that Russian oil production has fallen every year for the past 7, but he'll find the money for Russian mothers somehow. How about increasing taxes on the beer-selling (no not vodka) vending machines in Russian cities? Beer selling vending machines-universally recognised as the sign of a strong country.

testing99 said...

Steve --

It's probably unlikely that anything Saaskashvili did would have done more than change the timing of a war with Russia.

Georgia spent almost nothing on it's military, less than 1% of GDP (only Bulgaria spends more than 1%, at around 2.8% of GDP). Being small and weak next to a powerful neighbor that has ambitions to take parts of your country, like Abkhazia and S. Ossetia, was not smart.

Russia is not interested in merely "defending South Ossetia" (who thinks Vladimir Putin weeps for "plight" of the South Ossetians or cares any thing other than money). They sit astride Georgia to control that Pipeline and thus jack oil and gas prices up.

What Georgia has done is expose reality to the Eastern Europeans. American "tripwires" (there were more than 130 US Advisors) meant nothing and the US after making an alliance with Georgia did nothing. [If Russia merely wanted to take Abkhazia and S. Ossetia they had that in the first days.] NATO is useless and has no military forces outside the US much less any will to use it. Same for the EU, which is a talk shop.

If local Eastern European Elites do not want to be tossed out and be usurped by Putin's cronies (in running/looting their own nations) they'll have to fight. Surrendering to Putin means that he can, and reliably will, renege on any deal and put his own guys in power, without any consequences.

BUT ... Russia's relatively poor performance in Air (Ukraine's anti-Air missiles shot down a number of Russian planes, one pilot was 50!) and logistics suggests that a robust military could at least slow things down. And ...

The trump card to being conquered by the Russians is nuking up. Yes Poland has a "deal" with the US to put in ABM (against Putin's buddies the Iranians, Russia can still swamp that system) and also Patriots to deal with a few (again it can be swamped by Russia) short-range Scud-type missiles.

But I'd bet that Poland is nuking up quick. They have a $650 billion GDP according to CIA World Factbook. They could probably nuke up around the time it would take Japan -- maybe 4 years or so. That gives them their own guarantee. I'll bet Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Hungary, Ukraine, and the Baltic Republics are nuking up as quick as possible.

That's the small nation trump card against Russia -- they can predict that Western Europe will do nothing to "save" them just like last time, but can have their own deterrence. Why not? It prevents Russia from just coming in and taking (money mostly). Poland and those places are filled with smart enough people to make enough nukes that Russia can't gamble any more.

That's the real "lesson" and outcome of Georgia. Everyone in the neighborhood is going to nuke up.

Secondary lesson: Georgia and Russia both had McDonalds and went to war. So much for that Friedman theory. Third lesson: So much for the War Nerd's statement that modern nations would not fight with tanks and planes against each other. Fourth lesson: Georgia seriously damaged the Cruiser Moscow, losing small patrol boats in the process. Getting close to shore for capital ships is dangerous.

Anonymous said...

Certainly the Georgians were pretty stupid and walked right into the trap, but they were going to get invaded pretty soon anyway -you don't mount an invasion the size of the one that Russia launched without months of preparation, and there's no doubt that Putin was going to find some sort of an excuse to invade sooner rather than later. I would guess that the Georgians figured this out, and hoped to gain some kind of an advantage by striking first. This looks pretty stupid now, but to be honest, I doubt if anything besides an abrupt pulling away from the U.S. and the West could have saved Georgia from invasion this summer.

Tschafer

Anonymous said...

KGB Putin is a ruthless gangster and a judo student, and he is not stupid. Putin has sized up the Western leaders on a personal basis. Meaning he takes the measure of the man exactly and gauges physical courage.

George W., for all of his hideous faults, was not without physical courage: he was a jet pilot. But he is leaving the scene.

There is no Western leader on the scene who isn't a soft liberal, a woman, or a spineless coward.

McCain is the lesser of evils in this election only because Putin will move aggressively against Obama. Putin will correctly read an Obama Presidency as Jimmy Carter II and the beginning of the decline of the USA into Second World status.

On the other hand Putin would be much more cautious against a crazy old Prez McCain. McCain will, in fact, bomb the shit out of anyone who defies the New World Order. McCain has demonstrated great physical courage, and belligerence, and will be feared and respected in Russia. But the Russian generals will be positively itching for a fight with Obama.

We really have a problem with Putin. It's clear that he was only biding his time and building up Russian capacities while we leveraged our economy into the poor house.

Anonymous said...

"Instead, they are the cream of Georgia's new generation of globalized elite, almost all educated abroad and plugged into the most influential global networks of finance, law, media, trade, and NGOs."

Funny how this "globalized elite" dances to one tune. And who, pray tell, is paying the piper?

Soros or Adelson?

Casino magnate Sheldon Adelson is supposedly the third richest man in the country and he's been funding Republicans. With trends like this it's no surprise that the Republican Party is now positioning itself in opposition to its own base.

I wonder if Adelson's stable of "conservative" candidates will fight for mass immigration just like the Jewish-funded "conservative" candidates fight for mass immigration in the UK?

Sheldon Adelson: GOP's Answer To George Soros?

With Adelson spreading his megabucks around, the Republican players of the future--the ones who get "traction" i.e. donations and media coverage--will be fanatical Israel firsters, crypto pro-Socialist, pro-open borders, pro-Espanol, pro-Islam, pro-affirmative action, pro-Abortion, pro-gay, anti-Christian, anti-white, anti-Second Amendment, and, yes, especially anti-white male.

From the Huffington Post article:

"While Adelson's reported $30 million-plus has been generally welcome on the right, a number of Republican strategists complain bitterly that Adelson's micromanaging and interference with the organizations he is funding, especially Freedom's Watch, has resulted in staff resignations and abruptly canceled projects, with little, his antagonists argue, in the way of results."

Welcome to the New World Order. Step inside the voting booth and choose from the available options--Soros or Adelson.

Anonymous said...

"Secondary lesson: Georgia and Russia both had McDonalds and went to war. So much for that Friedman theory."

That stupid Friedman theory was disproved ten years ago: Serbia had McDonald's restaurants too, and we bombed the crap out of that country. In fact, the WSJ at the time had a front page article about steps Serbian franchisees were taking to distance themselves symbolically from the home country of McDonald's, i.e., the country that was bombing the crap out of them.

- Fred

Anonymous said...

DID RUSSIA PLAN ITS WAR IN GEORGIA?
http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/pp081608.shtml

none of the above said...

I'm not seeing how Putin's plans for expanding his power require a conflict with the US, to be honest. It's not like Russia is going to be trying to invade the US, or set up missile bases in Cuba. They're not even going to get into a war with Germany or France, both countries that could fight back effectively. Instead, they're likely to swallow up some former Soviet republics, to assassinate the odd dissident in the UK who's still making trouble for Putin, etc. There can be some bad consequences there, particularly if (as Testing99 points out) some countries decide they can't count on NATO or the EU, and want their own deterrent. But this isn't a return of the cold war and the USSR, and it doesn't require that kind of response.

SKT said...

This has lessons for home.

I'm a 26 year old guy and I've always been amused by the media trying to sell stories about what my generation supposedly wants, which seems to be a rehash of 1960's Woodstock mumbo jumbo, except now being parroted by "young" 40 something leaders that we all supposedly identify so much with.

Mark said...

Davos types running first world countries can bleed their countries for a while. The Davos JV team steering the ship for a third world country hopefully won't last for long.

Wait until they get their hands on the rudders of a first world country - us. Junior Deputy Midshipman Barack Hussein Obama reporting for duty.

Anonymous said...

Another good example of the new global elite can be seen in Roissy's "Spot the Alpha" item.
He has a picture of an American diplomat shaking hands with his Polish counterpart on the draft missile shield agreement.
The Polish representative is one Radek Sikorski who has his own stately home and is descended from an illustrious Polish family.
In England Radek was educated at Pembroke College and was a member of the fabulously "in" elite dining club the Bullingdon, along with British conservative leader David Cameron. The Bullingdon has had numerous ex prime ministers and cabinet ministers in its ranks - it is virtually an annexe of Eton.
According to Wikipedia he took British citizenship in the mid eighties and was "From 2002 to 2005 he was a resident fellow of the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, D.C. and executive director of the New Atlantic Initiative. He returned to government in Poland as Minister of National Defence in 2005. "
He is married to fellow Oxford graduate journalist Anne Applebaum.

headache said...

"And what did these exemplars of the globalized Best and Brightest do when they got power?
They started a tank war with Russia."

Well done Steve! That was so funny. These self-congratulating, utterly undemocratic elites are actually so provincial and mediocre. But listening to them you'd think the opposite. Generally the intellectual and character levels in the West are just way down. It seems the more global the elite, the worse it gets.

headache said...

Space Sentinel said...

"My favourite headline of the recent conflict, for its sheer neo-fink chutzpah, has to be Miliband demands Russian retreat."

Space Entinel, well put! The joke on Milliband is that he and Brown are so limp that they could not even force a geriatric tin-pot dictator like Mugabe, who had lost his own rigged election(!), to step down. But these hotheads wanted to tell Putin where to eat breakfast! How's that for just not knowing where your arse is.

headache said...

"We really have a problem with Putin. It's clear that he was only biding his time and building up Russian capacities while we leveraged our economy into the poor house."

The other thing is Putin is pulling guys like himself up the ranks. So you can expect more Putin's down the line. I think its great Russia is reemerging. The liberal, globalist elites have ruined western Europe and even the US. Now they are being kicked in the teeth and I'm loving it. So at least there is one country in the Christian/European hemisphere which is kicking butt again. Nothing like restoring the old kingdoms of pre-WWI Eurasia/US.

neil craig said...

If you are looking for agents provocateur I think you would be more likely to find them working for Washington than Moscow. Still Putin would have to be remarkably unconcerned about intelligernce assessments not to know this was coming, as indeed would Bush.

There was a video recently of Saaskashvili complaining that the Russians had cheated by reacting fast to his attack. Apparently really unsporting of them.

Your point about the Davos Man running affairs is well made. Such people have no understanding or sympathy for the problems of actually carrying out a military operation. They think wars are just carried out in Foreign Offices & the guys on the ground just have to look at the size of the various countries involved & will just accept what the bigger alliance says.

This explains the sheer degree of ineptitude of the Georgian army & its virtual disintegration. Beyond the example of the small amount they were spending on their armed forces is the failure to close the tunnell between Russia & south Georgia. Closing a tunnel must be one of the easier military operations but they just concentrated all thier artileery on the citizens & the Russians came straight through & whipped their asses.

AMac said...

On Aug. 14, analyst Pavel Felgenhauer wrote The Russian-Georgian War Was Preplanned. If Putin did as Felgenhauer suggests, Saakashvili & friends fell into a trap when they chose to send their tanks north.

Here is one of the best perspective pieces, by Kenneth Anderson, an American academic with first-hand experience of Round One of post-Soviet savagery in the region, in the early nineties.

Anonymous said...

Oh dear I see testing99 is pushing that weak Russian AF meme again including another guest star appearance from the 50 year old pilot.

Remind me, how many planes did the Russians lose and do we know exactly the cause of the loss in each case.

Anonymous said...

Check this link:

http://www.dyess.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123106406

Its only from July this year. Colonel Gass has taken over command of a B-1 wing - the rough equivalent of the Russian Backfire of 50 year old pilot fame.

Therein we learn that Col. Gass already "served two tours at Dyess during his 24-year career."

Why does that matter? Well it puts him in his mid or even later 40s. Not quite 50 to be sure but God forbid he be shot down at the controls of a B-1. Then the awful truth would be revealed - the USAF is running out of pilots!

Perhaps there is a cut-off, 45 year old bomber pilot - OK nothing to see here folks, move along. 50 year old bomber pilot - thats it, the Russian AF is finished!

Would Col. Gass generally be on combat missions? I suspect not but he might do from time to time. The Russian pilot (also a colonel I believe), was he commander of a wing or squadron (dont know how the Russians organize these things)? Well as a Col. it seems likely doesnt it. Testing99's assertion of decline in the Russian AF is based on us believing that the 50 yr old was a regular line pilot not some senior officer.

johnsal said...

Wow! Just stumbled on this site by accident. And I must say, what a stinking pile of horse manure. For those who wish to understand what ACTUALLY happened between Russia and Georgia, you must turn to Michael Totten's blog. No, neither Georgia nor Saakashvili started a war. They were responding to a Russia tank invasion entering their country after militia shelling of Georgian villages by outlawed 120mm cannon. And, if anybody here has read any history, particularly Russian policy after 1917, is this a surprise? Really, get educated people.

Jilted Peanut said...

From Wikipedia:

Michael J. Totten is a blogger who writes on politics in the Middle East, regularly reporting first-hand in mainstream publications, Web sites, and his blog, Michael J. Totten's Middle East Journal. He describes himself as a "weird combination of liberal, libertarian, and neocon."[1]. He supported the Iraq War.

Oh, yeah. This Totten fella is gonna be real popular around here.

rast said...

"weird combination of liberal, libertarian, and neocon."

I suspect that means he has chosen the worst qualities of all of those, and none of the redeeming ones. (I'm struggling to come up with any redeeming values in neoconservatism)

Or maybe he's just a neocon.

anony-mouse said...

BTW, the allegedly overly young President of Georgia is only a little younger than the President of Russia (turning 43 next month-Happy Birthday!). And younger than Obama.

And they're all lawyers by training.

Anonymous said...

"militia shelling of Georgian villages by outlawed 120mm cannon"

Sorry, come again? WTF is an outlawed 120mm cannon?

Outlawed by who? When? Where? The M-1 tank has an 120mm 'cannon' is it outlawed? The British Challenger tank also has an 120mm 'cannon' is that outlawed too? Do militias have access to such weapons - really?

When you say 'cannon' do you mean conventional artillery/tank guns, rockets or mortars?

Are you aware that there is no ex-Soviet/Russian 120mm caliber? Did you perhaps mean 122mm?

Its a trivial difference but it speaks volumes, its not the sort of thing that gets rounded to whole numbers. No-one says 6mm when they mean 5.56mm or 8mm when they mean 7.62mm and so on.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Totten is the real deal, as is Kenneth Anderson. Speculation from jilted peanut and rast that he must be wrong because he belongs to the wrong category is going to be pretty unpersuasive, don't you think? You might try reading.

We have now had enough of the delicious enjoyment of commenters thinking themselves wise because they believe the opposite of what most others do. It's time to pony up with evidence. Russia started this, but clumsily tried to make it appear that Georgia had. As the data come out (Russia blocked Georgian internet access at first) they do not support the prevailing opinion here.

This is not to claim that the Georgians are great guys who should be supported in whatever they ask for. Certainly not NATO.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

anonymous, if you had read johnsal's link you would have your answers. More fun to just spout, I know.

Anonymous said...

Actually there was no link was there. I had to find Totten's blog and mess about there to find the right article.

Which didnt actually enlighten me much. Thats why I ranted on a bit...sorry!

When were 120mm 'cannon' banned?

Sometime after 1992 it seems (1994 I think..) Except Ive already seen one article which seems to imply their use by persons unknown in Ossetia in 1995.

What they are really talking about are 120mm mortars. Going on about cannons leads one to think of real, long range, 122mm artillery. Mortars have often been favored by low tech forces. Much harder to police their use and ownership than 'real' artillery. Totten's post mentions 120mm 'guns' btw.

I far as I can gather there has been more than one cease-fire since 1992 but before 1994, cease-fires which have been broken by both sides (if there can be said to be only two sides!) and the dreaded 120mm 'cannon' have been used.

So we are back to the endemic conflict of the region.

Whether Russia actually started it this time or the Georgians did and whether 120mm 'cannon' were the deal breakers isnt some vast paradigm shift. The meme that Totten and his presence here at isteve are pushing is "Ohhh, they used the 120mm! OK thats the last straw, arm yourselves men!"

Totten mentions, various suspect characters being paid by the Russians to fight. Not saying thats irrelevant but these proxy wars dont start out of nothing. There has to be a beef going already.

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Yes, there was a beef going on anyway, and the Russians significantly escalated the conflict over the last few months in ways that were obvious to the Georgians but not obvious to outside observers. But even at that, Medvedev/Putin did not sucker the Georgians into throwing the first punch, as is supposed here.

There is a sports axiom that the ref always sees the return foul. One could argue that the Georgians should be aware of that dynamic, but it is also fair to ask what, then, they should do when continually fouled.

The significance of the weaponry is that anything over 80mm violated the treaty signed by both the Russians and Georgians.

Martin said...

"anony-mouse said...

How about increasing taxes on the beer-selling (no not vodka) vending machines in Russian cities? Beer selling vending machines-universally recognised as the sign of a strong country."

Beer vending machines? Japan is full of em' - or at least was, as recently as nine years ago. Japan was pretty strong nine years ago. Some of the vending machines even sold whiskey.

Of course the Russians aren't the same as the Japanese. And let us give thanks for that.