Saturday, August 16, 2008

KTUU Channel 2 Poll Shows 63 Percent Of Alaskan Respondents Oppose Use Of American Force To Evict Russia From Georgia


In an unscientific poll conducted on Friday August 15th, 2008, KTUU Channel 2 News in Anchorage, Alaska asked viewers if they would support or oppose a U.S. military response if Russia refuses to withdraw forces from Georgia. Here is the official question and results:

Would you support or oppose a U.S. military response if Russia refuses to withdraw forces from Georgia, a U.S. ally?

- Support: 27 percent
- Oppose: 63 percent
- Undecided: 10 percent

While KTUU's polls are "unscientific", they can be considered reasonably authoritative and representative of statewide opinion, not only because KTUU news is broadcast statewide, but because the software permits a respondent to vote only once (although I haven't checked to see if I could vote a second time by clearing my cache and cookies).

There are several likely reasons why Alaskans oppose the use of American military force to evict Russia from Georgia. First, Alaska's proximity to Russia undoubtedly is a factor. In the event that an American-Russian confrontation in the Caucasus would escalate into general war, Alaska would be an early and prime target for Russia.

Second, our troops and weapons systems are so overextended in other parts of the world that we have little left to effectively wage a conflict against a Great Power like Russia. Despite this shortfall, President Bush continues to demand that Russia evacuate Georgia. How do we effectively enforce that demand? Russians aren't easily impressed with words; during World War II, when a Papal delegate told Josef Stalin that Pope Pius XII was unhappy with Stalin's policies, Stalin reportedly asked, "How many divisions has the Pope?"

Third, we have an annual budget deficit in the $450 billion range and a national debt approaching $10 trillion. In addition, bailing on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae along with failing banks will add to the deficit. Foreign debt owners could easily decide to call in their debts or simply refuse to finance our debts any further.

But finally, now that the situation is stabilizing in Georgia, we're finding out that Russia isn't the only "bad guy". Not only did Georgia actually start the active hostilities, but it appears Georgia may have used heavy weapons against civilians in Tskhinvali. So people may be concluding that it's merely a regional quarrel, despite the disproportionate size and strength differential between Russia and Georgia, and fail to see the wider geopolitical implications.

And Russia is wasting little time, not in mending fences with surrounding nations, but in exacerbating tensions further. On August 15th, in response to the sudden agreement between Poland and the United States to deploy defensive missiles on Polish soil, Russian Colonel-General Anatoly Nogovitsyn ominously proclaimed that Poland was now "exposing itself to a strike", leaving little doubt that Russia would be the source of the attack. Russian military doctrine permits the use of nuclear weapons against the allies of countries having nuclear weapons if they in some way help them. Russia, of course, would be the defining judge as to what constituted "help".

And in Georgia, the Georgian government reluctantly signed a cease-fire on August 15th, despite the fact that Russian forces continue to advance into the country and have now effectively cut Georgia in half. Although Georgia believes is still has technical sovereignty over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, Russia has effectively said that Georgia can forget about getting the territories back. Here's an updated report on the Georgia situation from CNN.

4 comments:

  1. "Despite this shortfall, President Bush continues to demand that Russia evacuate Georgia. How do we effectively enforce that demand? Russians aren't easily impressed with words; during World War II, when a Papal delegate told Josef Stalin that Pope Pius XII was unhappy with Stalin's policies, Stalin reportedly asked, "How many divisions has the Pope?"

    It is reasonable for anyone to ask that Russia stop its imperialist expansion south of its border. The mention of Stalin drives home the point that Russia is becoming a Russian Empire again... a neo-Soviet imperial entity. Chechnya has already fallen victim to Putin's imperial aggression.

    And Russia is the only bad guy here. Whatever Georgia may have done, Russia did not even bother with any serious attempt to have international organizations bring pressure on Georgia or deal with it. Georgia never attacked or threatened Russia. Russia just used whatever was going on as an excuse to expand its borders... nothing more than "we want to conquer and expand, so we will."

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  2. Huh.. "Realist", be realist! It was Georgia who attacked on AUgust the 8th UN secured South ossetia, besides, do not forget that Stalin is Georgian from Gori, the same city sakashvili launched the attack from on Ossetia..

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  3. Nice to know that so many Alaskans actually have brain, thereis hope yet for this country :)
    Stalin was actually an osetian (Oh irony !)
    Russia didn't bother with Inernational organizations? For 15 years Russia was "bothering" with those organizations trying to solve the Osetian and Abhazian problems. Apparently, international organizations were too busy in Kosovo to notice. As for Georgia never attacking or threatening Russia, excuse me, Georgia attacked a territory security of which it supposed to guarantee TOGETHER with Russia according to a set of treaties that Georgia signed in 1992-93. Coincidentally, one of the first thing they bombarded were positions of Russian troops on that territory; troops that at the point of strike didn't even have heavy weapons to respond. Go and read Georgian sources how they were boasting on the first day how many Russian APCs they burned. Ha! Certainly they did! A tank doesn't even have to shoot at APC , it can just roll over it.

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  4. Carl, you mental midget. How the hell are you doing? Still up to your stupid bull shit as usual I see!

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