Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Display:
Dedefensa.org : Rumeurs polonaises, ou un écho de la non-Guerre froide
Polish rumors, or echoes of the non-cold-war


   
Il y a beaucoup de réunions en ce moment dans les pays autour du "front", c'est-à-dire les pays directement concernés par la crise géorgienne. C'est notamment le cas en Pologne. Les réunions, séminaires, etc., réunissent souvent des gens qu'on n'imagineraient pas voir ensemble selon les normes impliquées par nos vitupérations sur la "nouvelle Guerre froide", en l'absence d'autres qu'on imaginerait au contraire très présents si l'on s'en tenait à la logique de ces mêmes vitupérations dont ils sont coutumiers.There are quite a number of meetings happening these days in countries close to the "front line", ie the countries directly concerned by the Georgian crisis. This is particularly the case in Poland. These meetings, seminars, etc.., often get together people you would not expect to see according to the standards implied by our vituperative about the "new Cold War", and with the absence of other parties that one would expect to find there, according to the logic of the very same vituperative they are customary of.[...]
* On trouve dans ces réunions des gens aussi variés que des Polonais bien sûr, des Français et des Allemands, des Russes, des Géorgiens, des gens d'autres pays du Caucase. Il y a très peu d'Anglo-Saxons, avec les Américains quasiment absents et les Anglais à peine présents sinon par leurs positions extrêmes (voir plus loin). Cette absence confirment un des phénomènes principaux de la crise géorgienne, qui est la présence faible des Anglo-Saxons. (Cela n'est pas seulement une question de géographie, puisque d'autres Occidentaux, comme les Français et les Allemands, y sont très présents.)* In these meetings, one can find a diverse group of people such as Polish, of course, French and Germans, Russians, Georgians, people from other Caucasus countries. There are very few Anglo-Saxons, with Americans being virtually absent and the English barely present, but noted for their extreme positions (see below). This has confirmed one of the main features of the Georgian crisis, which is the low involvement of the Anglo-Saxons. (This is not just a question of geography, as other Westerners, like the French or the Germans, are very present.)
* L'état d'esprit des Polonais est très mélangé. On est loin, très loin d'un pays figés dans une position d'hostilité ou de crainte obsessionnelle. On trouve des positions plus fermes (anti-russes), d'autres plus arrangeantes vis-à-vis des Russes. L'impression qui prévaut est qu'il s'agit d'un pays dans un processus d'évolution et nullement bloqué dans une position donnée.* The mood of the Polish participants is very mixed. We are far, far away from a country frozen in a position of hostility or obsessive fear. There are stronger (anti-Russian) positions, while others are more arranging. The prevailing impression is that this is a country in an evolutionary process and not stuck in a given position.[...]
* A partir de plusieurs exemple précis dans ces réunions, avec toutes les références qui importent, on a pu juger de la position hystériquement intransigeante, anti-russe, etc., des Britanniques dans la situation actuelle. Le cas est si évident qu'on pourrait conclure que les Britanniques sont, dans ce petit monde de la crise géorgienne, très nettement isolés par leur discours absolument intransigeant. On ignore la cause directe et concrète de cette "politique"... Si l'on ajoute que les Américains brillent par leur discrétion, sinon leur absence, on jugera de la singulière position des Anglo-Saxons dans ce contexte de cette crise essentielle. Il est impossible, à cet égard, de ne pas faire un lien entre la situation de cette crise géorgienne et l'effondrement en cours du système financier complètement d'inspiration anglo-saxonne. Les répercussions de la crise financière pèsent de tout leur poids sur la politique en retraite des Anglo-Saxons dans la crise géopolitique de la Géorgie. La perception joue à cet égard un rôle fondamental, en influençant la psychologie; l'affaiblissement dramatique des conceptions anglo-saxonnes avec la crise financière mine tout aussi dramatiquement l'esprit offensif des Anglo-Saxons dans les crises géopolitiques, et particulièrement dans cette crise géorgienne.* From several specific example in these meetings, with all the references that matter, one could judge the hysterically intransigent, anti-Russian, etc.., position taken by the British in the current situation. The case is so obvious that we could conclude that the British are, in this small world of the Georgian crisis, very much isolated by their absolutely intransigent discourse. We don't know the concrete and direct reason of this "policy" ... If we add that the Americans are notable by their discretion, if not by their absence, we may assess the singular position of the Anglo-Saxons in the context of this essential crisis. It is impossible in this regard, not to make a link between the situation of the Georgian crisis and the ongoing collapse of the essentially Anglo-Saxon inspired financial system. The impact of the financial crisis weigh heavily on the political retreat of the Anglo-Saxons in the Georgia geopolitical crisis. Perception is playing, in that regard, a fundamental role in influencing psychology; the dramatic weakening of the Anglo-Saxon concepts with the financial crisis is also undermining just as dramatically the offensive spirit of the Anglo-Saxons in the geopolitical crises, especially in this Georgian crisis.

The TribExt bilingual column editor doesn't work on my computer, so I had to do it the old fashioned way...

Things seems to be progressing quietly behind the scenes in Eastern Europe, since the usual trouble makers are busy throwing good money after bad on Wall St...

by Bernard (bernard) on Fri Sep 19th, 2008 at 05:16:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The English are still stuck in the Great Game. As a French commander remarked after the charge of the light brigade in the Crimea war, "It's magnificent but it's not war. It's madness."

It's still applies- perhaps because they see in Saakasvili an incompetent fool just like the commanders of the light brigade were.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:22:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Here is the take of a Polish blog:

the beatroot: Sikorski with Laughrov

The New Cold war looks like this. Bit of a laugh, innit? (photo)

Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov was in town today. The meeting with Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski was keenly anticipated by the media commentariat. Would Sergei the Russian Bear be taken to task by Rad the Eagle? Or was Lavrov going to roast the eagle on a spit? After all, it's Sikorski's signature on the anti-missile shield agreement.

...

So tension was high in Warsaw's Foreign Ministry this morning.

And then...nothing really happened.

...

The only tricky bit came when Sikorski brought up the embarrassing antics of some of Russia's generals. They love to get in the newspapers threatening to nuke Poland from the face of the universe. Which is quite rude, isn't it?

But all in all, this was not the hyper aggressive Russia we have seen, on occasion, recently.

The historic fear of Russia in Poland is entirely understandable. But having an ahistorical fear of them is not. Russia is in a very new place right now. It has economic power, not military. It will try to hang on to as much territory as it can. It does so because it feels threatened. It's from weakness not strength that Moscow is authoritarian and can bully.

And we should always ask ourselves: can the US, UK etc really accuse Moscow of being the bullyboy when they have taken it upon themselves to act like the world's policeman/humanitarian social worker - whether the `client' wants it or not - since the end of the Real Cold War.?

Beware the bear with a thorn in its foot. But in the end Russia needs the West as much as the West needs Russia. All talks and disputes should take that as their starting point.



*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:43:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The English are panicking that they are running out of oil&gas and have no policies to deal with that - except the one tested over the past 7 years - distract the populace with enemies and wars.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 05:59:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
We have one of the worst political cultures in the Western world, and a wretchedly ignorant and incompetent civil service.

I don't think it's deliberate distraction so much as bumbling from one crisis to the next, repeating free market ideology robotically, and - in some of the more extreme cases - secretly believing the Empire never really died.

by ThatBritGuy (thatbritguy (at) googlemail.com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 06:46:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I too have the impression that such strategic oversight of the long-term situation isd beyond that of the current British political elite, especially Brown. Who, again, strikes me as just dumb, a surprise after years of having been told how the wily Bliar fears him.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 07:21:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It's a good theory. It's main weakness is that the British issues can be solved: they need just take a look at how their neighbouring countries are dealing with these issues, and how they have been dealing with them for the last few decades.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:22:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Their Neighbouring countries are Ireland and France. You're not really suggesting the British government is going to look to the French, let alone the Irish, for best practice?

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:54:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The case is so obvious that we could conclude that the British are, in this small world of the Georgian crisis, very much isolated by their absolutely intransigent discourse. We don't know the concrete and direct reason of this "policy"
The only explanation I can find is an atavistic throwback to The Great Game played between the British Empire and the Czars in Central Asia in the 19th Century.

In other words, the British political class is acting on a 150-year-old reflex.

A vivid image of what should exist acts as a surrogate for reality. Pursuit of the image then prevents pursuit of the reality -- John K. Galbraith

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sat Sep 20th, 2008 at 08:50:16 AM EST
[ Parent ]

Display:

Top Diaries

Occasional Series