Canada pulls out of military exercise with Russia
Jack Branswell, Canwest News Service
August 14, 2008
FREDERICTON - Canada is pulling out of a joint NORAD-Russian exercise to protest the Russia's occupation of Georgia, Defence Minister Peter MacKay said Thursday.
"As a result of recent events in Georgia we have formally taken a decision not to do that, not to participate in an operation that was known as Vigilant Eagle, which would have involved Canadian, American and Russian forces," MacKay said.
"It would be clearly inappropriate under the circumstances based on Russia's breach of territorial integrity in Georgia."
Imperialist hypocrisy over war in Georgia
By Patrick Martin - World Socialist Website
August 13, 2008
Fighting has largely subsided between Russian and Georgian troops, following the declaration of a halt in hostilities by Russian President Dmitri Medvedev. He made the announcement in Moscow after ceasefire talks with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who represented the European Union.
Sarkozy then flew to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, where Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili agreed to the same ceasefire terms, including a pull-back of Russian troops to South Ossetia and Abkhazia and an end to Georgian military operations against both territories, nominally part of Georgia but autonomous and under Russian protection since the breakup of the Soviet Union.
The five-day war has revealed the extremely tense state of international relations, posing the danger of a direct conflict between major powers for the first time since the end of the Cold War. It has also underscored the complete hypocrisy of the Bush administration and the American media, which have vilified Russia for military actions that are dwarfed by the ongoing wars of aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.
There is nothing progressive about Russia’s military intervention in Georgia. The Russian ruling elite is pursuing its own predatory aims in the Caucasus, a region that was ruled for two centuries by Moscow before the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. However, the main force behind the eruption of the crisis in the Caucasus is US imperialism, which has carried out a provocative policy aimed at supplanting Russia in that country’s former spheres of influence in order to establish American hegemony over the Eurasian land mass. A central instrument in this policy has been the pro-American Saakashvili regime, which came to power in 2004 in the US-engineered “Rose Revolution.”
The strangest thing about this conflict to me is how badly the NAU propagandists are handling it - it's like they got their talking points, but with no credible side, back or front story. - Dan F.