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The Expansionist
Friday, August 08, 2008
'Spirit of Peace and Brotherly Love' in Beijing; 'Territorial Integrity' in Georgia. On the very day that an event supposedly dedicated to international understanding opened in China, war broke out today between the nation of Georgia and the Russian Federation over the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia. Russia is trying to tear part of Georgia away, as Georgia broke away from the Soviet Union. "Turnabout is fair play." Or is it?
The United States, which was very quick to endorse a unilateral declaration of independence by the breakaway Serbian region of Kosovo, has suddenly changed its position, and now stands for the territorial integrity of Georgia! Apparently sauce for the goose is NOT sauce for the gander.
Mind you, the United States has in the past had a major secessionist movement of its own, the "Confederate States of America", that it did not smile upon. And the United States of today has separatist voices in Hawaii, Alaska, the Great Plains (Indians), and elsewhere, but somehow doesn't favor those. Why not? If it is OK for Kosovo, why isn't it OK for Hawaii, Alaska, the Lakota Indians, Texas, Vermont, "Cascadia", or any other area of the United States to break away — and accept military aid from a foreign power to accomplish that separation, just as South Ossetia has made recourse to aid from Russia?
As it happens, Russia opposed the secession of Kosovo, and warned that there are many places on this planet that want to separate from their current nation. One of them has been the cause of demonstrations in China: Tibet. When separatist movements draw in outside forces, as in Kosovo and South Ossetia, all kinds of international problems can arise, up to and including major international war, involving dozens of countries.
But the Bush Administration didn't care about that. It was more concerned about 'proving' that it has nothing against Moslems, despite a decades-long, mass-murderous course of violence against Moslems in the Middle East, by endorsing the breakaway of a Moslem area from Christian Serbia. And now Russia has showed the world that two can play at this secession game, and if it is appropriate for the United States and European Union to favor Kosovan secession, then it is appropriate for Russia to favor — and assist in — South Ossetian secession.
Where does it end?
The world should be moving toward fewer countries, more diverse and inclusive; not more countries, more conformist, ethnocentric, and discriminatory. We are safest in societies that value differentness and the peaceful resolution of differences. That is not the way we're headed. The U.S. Government must rethink, retreat from unwise policies of the past, and rebuke ever narrower nationalisms. The United States must never again promote separatism and should, indeed, apologize to Serbia and promote the peaceful restoration of Serbia's territorial integrity.
(The current U.S. military death toll in Iraq, according to the website "Iraq Coalition Casualties", is 4,136 — for Israel.)

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