By Babu G. Ranganathan
Back in the early 1970's Pakistan, as a nation, existed in two geographically separated parts, West Pakistan and East Pakistan. The people of West Pakistan, where the capital was located, were different ethnically from the people of East Pakistan. West Pakistan bordered India on the West and East Pakistan bordered India on the East. The two parts were separated geographically by a large strech of India.
The East Pakistanis wanted independence because they felt they weren't being treated fairly economically and otherwise. The dictator of West Pakistan, at that time, decided to teach the East Pakistanis a lesson and sent his troops who raped, killed, and slaughtered scores of defenseless civilians. Many civilians from East Pakistan poured into neighboring India eventually bringing India into the war. India soundly and rightly defeated West Pakistan and West Pakistan became what is known today as the nation of Bangladesh.
The above scenario, although not the same, is similar in some respects to Russia's predicament with the nation of Georgia. The West should not be criticizing Russia but instead should be scolding the nation of Georgia! The whole world should be scolding Georgia.
It was Georgia that sent U.S. supported and trained military troops to kill scores of defenseless Russians in South Ossetia who wanted independence from Georgia. Russia sent in troops to put an end to the slaughter of its own people! This is Russia's neighborhood and Russia has a right to defend its people. We have no right to be there giving military training and weapons to Georgia.
Why is President Bush antagonizing Russia by expanding NATO and wanting to build missiles in countries neighboring Russia? Russia is no longer the Soviet Union. It was Russia that let those neighboring countries become free and independent in the first place. Russia is now democratic. So, why Mr. President, do you wish to expand NATO develop missile shield treaties with Russia's neighbors?
President Bush and his cabinet have no understanding of complex social, political, and international issues whether it be Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, you name it. President Bush has lied (not merely been wrong, but lied) and obfuscated, and drummed up "evidence" to suit his purposes. Being pro-life does not exonerate him for the evils and deceptions he has committed.
I thought it was a joke that we went to war with Iraq for oil, but now American oil companies are being offered cheap and long term lucrative leases to Iraq's oil fields. You do the math.
Read Mikhail Gorbachev's excellent article criticizing the West's reaction to Russia (Read his article at here).
No doubt, the NRO (National Review Online) would label my sympathies with Russia as liberal as if all truth is owned by conservatives only. How ridiculous! By the way, just so that the NRO may take notice, I am Christian, biblically conservative and pro-life. I am an Indian-American, a citizen of the United States of America which I love but do not believe is infallible or without faults. Only God fits that description.
The fact is that Gorbachev is a humble man without an egotistic chip on his shoulder. He was the primary instrument for the dissolution of the former Soviet Union. If he were a proud or arrogant man he would have become dictator which he did not. I would rather give benefit of doubt to Gorbachev's wisdom than the so-called "infallible" conservative think tanks of the West like the NRO.
The former Soviet republic of Georgia, with its newly U.S. supported arrogance, made the first move in massively attacking Russian citizens in the province of Ossetia. Oh, I see now. It's okay for Georgia to want independence from the former Soviet Union which Russia controlled, but it's not okay for Russians of Ossetia to want independence. What logic!
Why couldn't Georgia agree, as Gorbachev said, to a loose federation between the both? But, oh no, the proud Georgians don't want anything but absolute control. The Georgians started the killing of innocents with their massive U.S. trained and supported military might. Russia responded. What else could they do when they see thousands of their own people being ruthlessly slaughtered and killed?
If Russia was really imperialistic they would have still remained in Georgia and the West would have been able to do nothing about it. Admit it, West, Russia is not always wrong and the U.S. is not always right!
We simply have an arrogant, unenlightened, uneducatedU.S administration which doesn't understandthe social, political, and cultural complexities ofour world whether it be Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, you name it. The problem here is not Russia being imperialistic but this present U.S. administration being simplistic!
Read Gorbachev's fantastic article and contemplate first before accusing Russia on Ossetia! This a tragedy for everyone. The U.S. need not exacerbate it!
The author, Babu G. Ranganathan, has his B.A. with concentrations in theology and biology, and has been recognized for his writings on religion and science in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East". His website may be accessed at www.religionscience.com .