Daily Report: Did Russia Invade Georgia to Prevent Iran Attack?; Russia Already Stirring Up Trouble in Ukraine?
1. The Bush Administration has announced a $1 billion aid package for Georgia. If reports are true that Russian forces have again entered Georgian territory outside of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, then this may be too late.
2. Medvedev has said that President Saakashvili is “no longer” the leader of Georgia. Apparently, Russia is attempting to delegitimize, or perhaps even overthrow, the government of Georgia. There are also rumors that Russia plans to demand the arrest of top Georgian government officials, including Saakhasvili, for war crimes. Russia is moving full speed ahead with regime change in Georgia.
3. Is Russia using its political allies to stir up trouble in the Ukraine? The Prime Minister’s political party and the pro-Moscow political bloc in parliament, have passed laws increasing the power of the Prime Minister and making it easier to impeach President Yushchenko, the anti-Russian crusader that “someone” (“someone” as in the Russians) previously tried to assassinate with a sophisticated poison.
Yushchenko, decrying the “political and constitutional coup d’etat” had his party pull out of the governing coalition.
Others say this is a political move. The Ukrainian PM, now Yuschenko’s rival, took part in the “Orange Revolution” in 2004. Yuschenko is threatening to hold early elections unless the PM forms a parliamentary coalition with the pro-Moscow political party, arguing that their recent cooperation on the impeachment laws already created a “de facto” alliance. Should the PM ally with the pro-Russian group, Yushchenko would be the only candidate for anti-Russian voters to support.
Whatever the case, it is clear that the pro-Moscow party in the Ukraine is moving against Yushchenko, possibly including impeachment. Russia is either behind this, or is at least eagerly waiting, hoping that a crisis will erupt to destabilize the pro-Western government. Expect Russia to make a move (not necessarily militarily) against the Ukraine soon if the political crisis continues.
4. Arnaud de Borchgrave reports on the Israeli-Georgian alliance. He says that a secret agreement was signed giving Israel permission to use two Georgian air bases in the south to bomb Iran with if necessary. This would significantly reduce the time it would take for the bombers to reach Iran and reduce the problem of refueling. Of course, Israeli aicraft would have to fly over Turkey somehow.
5. A new political group called the Arab Bloc for National Dialogue has been launched in Basra, Iraq and is calling for a boycott of all Iranian products. Isn’t this the Shiite south that was supposedly walking in lockstep with the mullahs? Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s it.