==== Aug. 12th, 2008 | 08:49 am Monday, August 11, 2008
In the middle of the night of August 31, 1939, Nazis took an unknown prisoner from one of their concentration camps, dressed him in a Polish uniform, took him to the town of Gleiwitz (on the border of Poland and Germany), and then shot him. The staged scene with the dead prisoner dressed in a Polish uniform was supposed to appear as a Polish attack against a German radio station.
Hitler used the staged attack as the excuse to invade Poland.
This was after 1938 when Germany took over Austria On March 13, 1938(termed the Anschluss) - a contingency specifically disallowed in the Versailles Treaty.
Adolf Hitler wanted more land, especially in the east, to expand Germany according to the Nazi policy of lebensraum. Hitler used the harsh limitations that were set against Germany in the Versailles Treaty as a pretext for Germany's right to acquire land where German-speaking people lived. Germany successfully used this reasoning to envelop two entire countries without starting a war.
The French and the British handed Germany a large portion of Czechoslovakia at the Munich Conference in September 1938. Hitler then took the rest of Czechoslovakia by March 1939.
Why was Germany allowed to take over both Austria and Czechoslovakia without a fight? The simple reason is that Great Britain and France did not want to repeat the bloodshed of World War I. They believed, wrongly as it turned out, they could avoid another world war by appeasing Hitler with a few concessions (such as Austria and Czechoslovakia). Great Britain and France had not clearly understood that Hitler's goal of land acquisition was much, much larger than any one country.
Today we have a very similar situation developing in Georgia, as Russia, using the excuse to aid the "break away"Ossetia province, in the quest to rejoin Russia. But the tanks and bombers are not limiting their targets to the area of conflict. The Russian army and navy have attacked Georgian cities with bombs, and have sunk a Georgian military naval vessel in the Baltic sea.
Russian planes have reportedly bombed military targets in the suburbs of the Georgian capital Tbilisi, just hours after the city of Gori was said to be under "massive" attack. An explosion was heard in the centre of Tbilisi around 4.40am...The first bomb struck the village of Kodjori some 10km from Tbilisi where the base of a special forces battalion was located, he said. The second bomb struck an air traffic control centre located 5km from the centre of Tbilisi, he added. Gori was said to be under attack from Russian artillery and planes, with ground forces preparing for an assault. Georgian interior ministry spokesman Shota Utiashvili said: "There was massive bombing of Gori all evening and now we are getting reports of an imminent attack by Russian tanks. "Gori is being bombed massively from the air and from artillery as well." He said Russian troops "are not there yet but it looks like they are getting ready for it". source:The New Media Journal
Georgia is the region's best hope for democratic development. If the Rose Revolution fails, we will wait a generation or more for another chance for positive change. Critical principles, including sovereignty and territorial integrity, are at stake. Russia is seeking to redefine the rules of post-Cold War European security to its advantage.Not unlike Hitler did after the Versailles Treaty took the Sudaten Land away from Germany,
Georgia is considered America's Allie, U.S. prestige is on the line. The Rose Revolution was animated by American values. Tbilisi has pursued American-style economic reforms, has 2,000 soldiers in Iraq and wants to join NATO. The region is waiting to see whether and when Washington will step in. If we don't try to stop Russia's overstepping, countries in the region -- from Azerbaijan to Central Asian energy producers -- will recalculate accordingly.
There is one way to stop this Russian power play for Georgia: solidarity. Working with our allies in Europe, we should draw a clear line and tell Moscow that there will be real consequences in its relations with us if it does not stop its aggressive course.
We need Moscow to reverse its creeping -- and illegal -- annexation of Abkhazia. In the longer term, we need to establish an authentic peace process that can resolve the conflict for good.And since Germany has already sided with Russia on this conflict. The heavy lifting will once again be on our backs!Especially since the useless UN issued this statement today:"“We regret it has not yet been possible to agree a Security Council statement on this issue,…nbsp;
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is finally engaged in this issue personally.Now President Bush should contact Vladimir Putin, with whom he believes he has a close relationship, Putin is still the mastermind of this anti-Georgia campaign.
If Moscow subjugates Georgia and then shifts its sights to Ukraine, that should be free to choose their own paths and to become normal democratic societies, including joining the European Union or NATO, if they so choose. That is why we should stand up for Georgia today. Accepting Moscow's demand for a sphere of influence was wrong in 1945 at Yalta, and it is wrong again today.
There is World War III in the air, in the conflict between Georgia and Russia. This "little war"could destabilize a region critical for Western energy supplies and ruin relations between Russia and the West.
This latest round of Russian aggression started after the West recognized Kosovo's provisional independence in February and NATO bungled the issue of offering Georgia and Ukraine a membership action plan at its Bucharest summit in April. Moscow has since launched a creeping annexation of Abkhazia, including a series of illegal moves to strengthen its military hand and to provoke Tbilisi into actions that could lead to further Russian military intervention.
Many in the West are tempted to look the other way. This crisis is, after all, inconvenient. Russia has a new president who many hope could be more liberal and open to the West. We also need Moscow to be aligned with the West in the United Nations on issues from Iran to North Korea to Zimbabwe. This is an situation where the USA must take a tough stance. It would be only too easy to equivocate, blame all parties a little and call for more diplomacy.And less you doubt, the man to deal with is KGB agent Vladimir Putin, not Dmitry Medvedev!!