Russian masterstroke protects Iran, American public
Mini-analysis

By Peter Duveen

PETER'S NEW YORK, August 13, 2008--Russia was able to accomplish more than to show its might in the recent action it took to protect an Eastern European enclave of disputed sovereignty (South Ossetia). It was able to open up a potential new front in the simmering conflict between the United States and Russia, and prevent American military resources from being squandered on an adventure in Iran. As a result, Russia may be the only force the American people can rely upon to stave off a disastrous expansion into the Middle East.

Commentators almost universally admit that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have left the American military overextended. The American economy is now in the worst shape it has been since the recession of the late 1970s. And the uncertainty surrounding the upcoming presidential elections will surely make any decision regarding action against Iran improbable. This may indeed be the respite Americans need to reshape foreign policy and reign in a federal government gone mad over foreign military exploits based on pretexts that have been shown to be entirely false.

While the Bush administration and its fellow travelers may be shouting that Russia is picking on its neighbor, Georgia, facts demonstrate that Russia's action was purely defensive, and certainly more justifiable than the American invasion and occupation of Iraq. The current Russian administration will have the press, and likely, popular opinion in its own country, on its side.

Russia being a nuclear power that can launch an effective strike or counterstrike against the United States and/or any other nuclear power, it is in a unique position to stave off the expansion of American military might that might be wielded either directly or indirectly through U.S. proxies such as Georgia. The Russian actions may signal a new realignment with other powers that may wish to throw their weight behind a block that would undoubtedly include Iran, Syria and China. Who knows where it  may go from there!

We can anticipate a sort of super-cold war in which a large portion of the world's population has a choice to align itself with the so-called "Western Powers," or a new sphere of influence of equal or greater clout. In fact, we may soon witness major defections from the U.S. sphere of influence.

In order to minimize internal dissent, the member countries of the new block may afford their citizens greater freedoms, thus securing popular support for their policies. Russia is a good example of a country where increasing personal freedom over the past decade and a half has boyed the popularity of its government. This bodes well for the West, for a competitive "East" may help the U.S. and Europe recognize that antagonizing their populations by abridging freedoms and expanding government surveillance is a far greater risk to national security than the bogus "Islamic terrorism" they have been trumpeting for the past seven years or so. 

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