Russia is a strange and mystical country full of socialists and iron-fisted military types. It surprises me they can see through the vodka induced stupor to bomb the crap out of a neighbouring country – let alone do so in defiance of a brokered peace deal.
In all seriousness this conflict – and its timing (while the world is at play at the Olympics) worries me. Russia and China need an opportunity to flex their military might in the face of the US. This looks like a chance for them to do that. The US is stuffed – if they bite, they’ll probably either lose or have to nuke the crap out of Russia – neither seems like a wise move. The bearing it will have on the current presidential campaign will also be interesting – if McCain takes a strong stance it leaves Obama having to make an awkward decision.
The only easy solution I can see is for the US to topple Hugo Chavez in response – strike a blow against socialism and one for market based democracy. The analogies there are pretty endless – they’re similarly geographically remote from philosophical allies, they both influence the natural resource security of the larger country – and both have heads of state unpopular with the local neighbours but popular with the military superpower at the other corner of the globe.
That’s not really a solution – more a pointer to how complex this whole resource based empire game is. To quote the West Wing – “Free trade stops wars”.
Oil should be decommodified and used up as fast as possilbe. For free. By the masses. Then we’d have to use some initiative to wean ourselves off this dependency on a finite resource. Cost of living would stop growing astronomically and we’d all be happy.