12
Aug
08

On air: Do the strongest countries always get their way?

Russia has ordered an end to military operations against Georgia, after restoring what the Kremlin calls security for civilians and peacekeepers in South Ossetia. According to a statement, President Medvedev told his defence minister and chief of staff that “the goal has been attained”, but so far Russian troops haven’t withdrawn from Georgia. BBC Correspondents say this a ceasefire rather than a peace deal.

So Russia has got it’s way? Is it the case across the world that the biggest military and economic powers in any given region hold all the cards?

If you look at China in Tibet, the US in Iraq and Afghanistan – is the aggressor always the strongest country?

If you go back to the 10 year war between Russia and Afghanistan which started in 1979 – it perhaps tells a different story. But was that down to the US backing the Afghans?

Israel with all of it’s military force hasn’t managed to defeat Hamas

Lebanon and Hezbollah is another example:

Several countries around the world regard Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organisations. Is the age of military might now being undermined by terrorism? When only a few people can attack a strong nation?


130 Responses to “On air: Do the strongest countries always get their way?”


  1. 1 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 14:24

    Do the strongest countries always get their way?
    There is hard power and soft power .
    The Russians want an unconditional surrender and the resignation of the Georgian premiere as well as signatures on treaties dictated by them.

  2. 2 parth guragain
    August 12, 2008 at 14:25

    yes i think that strongest countries always get their way.here in Nepal what we see is visiable interferance by India in different internal matters of Nepal.

  3. August 12, 2008 at 14:25

    is the aggressor always the strongest country?

    Not always, but I think we can sit back and tell who was the aggressor in the US – Iraq debaucle.

  4. 4 Bob in Queensland
    August 12, 2008 at 14:25

    Whoever coined the phrase “might makes right” was obviously mighty…he or she was right.

    However, you raise and interesting point. I think the corollary to the “might makes right” rule is that “you can’t fight a terrorist organisation with a conventional army”. Look at every guerilla organisation in history: a few determined zealots can tie up (and even defeat) armies of thousands.

  5. August 12, 2008 at 14:26

    Another point to add, are we talking aggression as in threats, or actual military action? Can sanction impositions be classified as aggression (larger countries wielding their economic power)?

  6. 6 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 14:32

    The Finnish foreign minister should know better, Russia attacked Finland and annexed Karalia,and now he is allowing the same thing to happen to Georgia.
    The Russians in the Baltic states and Kalingrad should be repatriated .
    Collective security has to mean something,the Georgians and Ukrainians should not sign any thing dictated to them by Russia,once under the NATO umbrella ,let’s see how agressive the Russians are towards them.

  7. 7 Melanie Chassen
    August 12, 2008 at 14:39

    The word “always” in this question begs a reminder that there are exceptions to every rule. But in general, yes. Real or perceived strength gives power. Power creates fear. As soon as one party knows the other is afraid, the battle is already half-won.

  8. 8 Gretchen Eldrich
    August 12, 2008 at 14:44

    Yes. Especially if they have a veto on the UN Security Council.

    Next question…

  9. 9 Robert
    August 12, 2008 at 14:49

    They get a lot but not everything.

    The best example is the US in Iraq. They are not getting what they want by anybodies standards.

    China just wants the tibet issue to die away, but that isn’t happening.

    I’m sure Russia wanted complete control over all of Georgia but knew it would face a serious security threat if it tried to.

    Nobody will ever get they’re way using only force. Agreement must be reached (but sometimes the force makes the agreement easier to get)

  10. 10 1430a
    August 12, 2008 at 14:53

    well its great news to know that finally the Russians are getting some peaceful knowledge.I guess we should thank Sarkozy.:)I hope situations like this one does not occur again.

    DO the strongest countries always get their way?
    Ans:A very silly question.ofcourse they do and we have so many proofs:
    1)USA over most of the countries.
    2)China over tibet
    3)India over Nepal
    4)And now Russia over Georgia

    Abhinav

  11. 11 Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 15:01

    If the Western Democracy’s will not stand up to the tyranny of an oppressive resurgent Russia then yes, the strongest country will get whatever it wants. That is the way of the world and human affairs.
    Wishing, hoping, looking to an impotent UN or pixie dust will not change what has been the way things work since the dawn of life on this planet. Might stands against might and I like to think that the United States, despite not being perfect, stands for good in the world as opposed to Russia which stands for oppression and plundering of a nations resources.
    If the United States and the West do nothing concrete then the Ukraine better watch out as they are to be the next victim.

  12. August 12, 2008 at 15:15

    Hi gang ! :-)…. Unfortunately, the supreme powers in our miserable world (The US, Europe, Russia, China, Israel, ect., ect.,) are totally blinded by the extremely huge military and financial influence they have on the international stage… Their moral conscience is functionally disabled if not clinically dead… They play according to their own rules, and they do have a strong belief that they’re always right, and that their actions are always justifiable and unquestionable… They think that they can control the destiney of human beings who live thousands and thousands of miles away from them… They do believe that its their lives, their dignity, their safety, and their prosperity that matter the most, and that their blood is more precious and more valuable… Unfortunately they all have forgotten the oldest of lessons : Tyranny never lasts… Ultimately it leads to what we call clinically : Auto-digestion !!! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  13. August 12, 2008 at 15:22

    Strong in might does not necessarily overcome strong in determination.

    When the mighty see a weak target who do not have the latest in war technology or a large standing army, but as can be seen by the Viet Cong, the Mujahaddin, Taliban, Hamas, etc a greater will to triumph will not necessarily defeat a Goliath but will stop him in his tracks.

    Eventually the powerful aggressors have to succumb to political or public pressure or cannot stomach the threat of losses on their side and that is what defeats them in the end. These days it just takes the sight of a few bloodied soldiers to turn a nation off a fight.

  14. 14 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 12, 2008 at 15:24

    Chloe,

    Look, China in Tibet, the US in Iraq and Afghanistan…of course, aggressor is always the strongest country. I wonder what can UN and other world powers can do since all of them feel to invade small countries anyhow.

  15. 15 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 15:29

    Look at this from the large country’s perspective, ANOTHER “tribal”, “ethnic” or “religious” based mass murder of others. Can the powerful sit by and watch it happen again and again? IF the Russians stop at the borders of Abhazia and Ossetia and limit themselves to military targets and restrain their political involvement in Georgia, they should be complemented for showing restraint. Remember this is Russia’s backyard. They are the HEAVY that prevents the Caucasus from exploding. Note to smaller nations, if you don’t want large countries telling you what to do, then don’t murder each other.
    Likewise, the coalition forces in Iraq should be complemented for correcting an unbelievably idealistic invasion. Look at what the Iraqis have been able to do with restrained well disciplined military assistance. They will soon be a very wealth nation and a power in their own right.
    This is how the world really works, unfortunately.

  16. 16 steve
    August 12, 2008 at 15:29

    Europe is too dependent upon Russia for energy, so russia knows nobody will try to stop them. The US military is too bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another case for becoming energy independent. If people didn’t need Russia’s energy, they would try to stop them. Instead, we’re going to allow a democratic nation to fall becuase some megalomaniac in Russia doesn’t want countries to have independent foreign policies. I hope the Ukraine is watching, they’re probably next.

  17. August 12, 2008 at 15:32

    The strength of a party doesn’t consist just in the means it has but in the successful tactics it can use. The US huge army in Iraq was disastrously faced by suicide attacks from the insurgents. Hamas despite its relatively primitive missiles is causing concern to Israel which has one of the most modern army in the world.

    Wars as it seems aren’t the ultimate means to solve conflicts as they lead just to more disasters without radically solving standing issues. It’s better to engage in negotiations that can lead to enduring peaceful settlements. Using one’s strength to wipe out one’s enemy is a futile attempt, especially if the enemy has the means to resurrect and the problems just lay dormant before erupting with huge intensity.

    Also, as long as there are divisions between (strong) nations, factions/ militias will be used to start new conflicts. The skirmishes and wars in southern Lebanon between Israel and Hezbullah were just proxy wars to avoid direct confrontations between Syria and Israel.

    In the case of Georgia, Russia is sending a signal to the USA in case it seeks to include it in NATO. So the situation in Georgia is a test for Russia to confront US planned military expansion in the Caucasus region.

  18. 18 Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 15:35

    @ Lubna
    I just had to comment.
    Where do I start? The conflicts of the world have gone on since the beginning of life and if we find life on another planet we may just find that it is universal.
    Without discussing the morality of the issue where do you think this world would be without counterbalancing forces? There have always been oppressive dictators that wanted to control the world. You had one in your country and his progeny, two very sadistic sons, were next to carry on the family tradition. He tried to control the world by controlling the Middle East oil.
    In your disgust you are asking to change human nature and I do not think that is possible, I only think it can be controlled and channeled.
    As for this being a “miserable world”…..wow, I think you have may never come face to face with death or you would not so blithely throw this life away.
    To paraphrase a Star Trek character “This is a wonderful world with treasures and wonders to satiate desires both subtle and gross”. It is far from a miserable world and for those that suffer, it is our task to uplift them.

  19. 19 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 15:55

    Do The Strongest countries always get their way?
    Ans. NO Examples: America has not gotten her will in Afghanistan and Iraq, America did not get her will in Vietnam, Russia did not get her will Afghanistan, Israel did not get her will in against the Hezbollah in Lebanon and has not gotten her will against Hamas, etc.

  20. 20 vijay
    August 12, 2008 at 15:56

    @1430a India over Nepal what are you talking about nobody is interested in Nepal,Some middle class Indians like to have Nepali servants I suppose.

  21. 21 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 15:57

    Abdelilah, do you really this the US/UK was unsucessful in Iraq? Sure the cost was high X billion in monopoly money, 5,000 lives, 25,000 wounded … but the US/UK took over an entire country, with the means to fight back limited to strapping explosives to the mentally retarded and parent’s whose children are being held hostage. I really don’t think history will judge the US/UK as losers in Iraq but rather as a force that brought this area of the world into modernity.

  22. August 12, 2008 at 15:58

    This is not acquired character of the strongest countries. But they are always thinks and behaves so. If pressure should be given by the rest of the world, then definitely that country will come on track.

  23. 23 John Netherlands
    August 12, 2008 at 15:59

    Strenght of a nation is in its people; we will back up Georgia as we did with the GDR, as we did with Estonia, Litovania and Latvia. And we ‘ll get ‘m to the Haque International Court of Justice in the end if necessairy. I wish to remind you that the Georgian Presidents wife is dutch (Sandra Roelofs) and that she very well explained the danger for this young, free and democratic nation years ago !
    Now we all know where this danger comes from – where the shell came from that killed the dutch TV-journalist this afternoon ! Keep talking Europe.
    We’ll have ‘m in NATO some day anyway. Poetin or no Poetin.
    Keep your independence you Ruski, but leave it to your neighbours, for Georgians are our Allies. Not only in Iraq, but certainly on their own territory.

  24. 24 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 16:08

    is the aggressor always the strongest country?

    ANS. NO
    Examples: Al Qaeda backed and supported by the Taliban attacked the Americans on several occasions (1. bombed the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, bombed the USS Code in Yemen, bombed the WTO, Pentagon in America, Japan attacked America in WW II, etc.)

  25. August 12, 2008 at 16:13

    @ Brian Larson,

    I said in my comment, “The US huge army in Iraq WAS disastrously faced by suicide attacks from the insurgents.” But if NOW there is a relative lull in Iraq, it’s thanks to the Sunnis and the Shiaas who finally agreed to look for a peaceful settlement to the situation in their country, instead of letting Al Qaeda rule them.

    The winners in Iraq will be those who agree that their country should be a land of dialogue and coexistence and those who seek to take advantage of a worse situation.

  26. 26 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 16:18

    Is it the case across the world that the biggest military and economic powers in any given region hold all the cards?

    ANS. NO
    The biggest military and economic powers in the region don’t hold all the cards.
    Examples: Israel in the Middle East, China on Taiwan, even Russia in the Caucuses etc.

  27. 27 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 16:26

    Mohammed Ali: Did “America” lose in Vietnam in the long run? Or is Vietnam joining the dominate system in the world represented by your term “America”. Remember “America” doesn’t conquer countries in the traditonal sense of the term. It coops countries into joining a mixed market system, controlled democratic elections to curb domestic violence, and collective millitary security. It is kind of like the Borg on Star Trek.
    Like you, I resent this system but I see it as a very effective and dominate world force.
    Calling it “America” is giving the U.S. way too much credit.

  28. 28 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 16:28

    Abdelilah: That’s what the U.S. wanted, and a geopolitical check to Iran.

  29. 29 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 16:29

    Is the age of military might now being undermined by terrorism? When only a few people can attack a strong nation?

    ANS. YES. Reason, because the terrorists are anonymous group of individuals masquerading as innocent civilians with the objective attacking perceive enemies. If they could be identify as the conventional armies, then it would have been a different situation.

  30. 30 viola
    August 12, 2008 at 16:29

    Do the strongest countries always get their way?

    Ultimately, yes, they do. Unfortunately, it alway requires a fight, called war when it is between entities rather than individuals, to determine who is stronger.

    Canada

  31. August 12, 2008 at 16:32

    In most instances, these strong barking countries attack others for their own pleasure.Like my brother, Mohammed Ali said, they do not have their way but only instill untold suffering on the vulnerables. The use of force is but temporary; it may be able to subdue for now but it does bot remove the necessity of subduing again.

  32. 32 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 16:32

    Is the age of military might now being undermined by terrorism? When only a few people can attack a strong nation?

    ANS. YES. Reason, because the terrorists are anonymous group of individuals masquerading as innocent civilians with the objective attacking perceive enemies. If they could be identify as the conventional armies, then it would have been a different situation.

  33. 33 viola
    August 12, 2008 at 16:34

    Blank Page #19 had a bit of discussion about whether might makes right. However, that wasn’t the topic for today.

    Canada

  34. August 12, 2008 at 16:37

    The unanimity of a decision makes a strong one. Strong countries invading weaker ones under the canopy of liberation or democratization is sophistical. A consensus is usually witty. it is at that point that all and sundry will have their way.

  35. 35 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 16:39

    @

    Brian Larson

    ,
    The objective of the US, as you will prefer it, entering the war in Vietnam at the time was to defeat the communist. Did it happen? As far as I know the answer is NO.

  36. 36 Lubna
    August 12, 2008 at 16:41

    My dearest Dan : Hi… And thanks alot for your points… Ah, actually many of my loved ones had died since the US led invasion of my Iraq in 2003, and I myself have cheated death twice during one day when two roadside bombs have exploded at a very close distance to the car that was driving me and two of my best girlfriends to college on Monday the 3rd of March 2008… I am really so sorry for getting into personal stuff here, but I was only replying to your point… Dan, I do remember that you once said on this blog that you’re a man of faith, and that’s why I am totally sure that you’ll understand me when I say that if we always keep telling ourselves that it’s a HUMAN NATURE to do this and to do that, then what’s the benefit of moral codes and organised religions (whether Ibrahamic or other religions) ?! Why don’t we just throw all of that into the sea and convince ourselves that human beings tend to be evil and aggressive by nature and that’s why it’s simply useless to talk about moral codes, sacred religious texts, and what our humane consciences imply to us ?! And will that make us humans any different from wild animals in the jungle ?! Dan, just take a look at the US, the world’s most supreme power ! The Saudi Wahabi regime is one of the most evil, oppressive, and human rights’ violating regimes in the world, but still, Mr Bush visits Saudi Arabia and dances the “sword dance” with the Saudi king Abdullah Bin Abdul-Aziz !! Will that give Mr Bush and the US in general any moral superiority or credibility on the International stage ?? With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  37. August 12, 2008 at 16:43

    The strongest countries always gets their way simply because no other country will militarilly oppose it.
    Before and since the days of the Roman Empire it proved a strong country simply conquered another for one reason or another eg: For its resoures and wealth.
    Today however it is mostly for political reasons, news travel fast. If it does not suit a strong country’s interests she will act militarilly knowing she can impose her will.
    Yet some of the strong countries, sit in the UN and Security Council, pass judgement on world matters only because of their strength. If the UN have enough strength, they should condem countries that kill and mame innocent citizens of another country and exclude the aggressor from the UN for a year or two, but they will not such is the reality.

  38. 38 viola
    August 12, 2008 at 16:47

    Is the age of military might being undermined by terrorism? When only a few people can attack a strong nation?

    Unequivocally, no. It has always been the case that people with a cause, whether justified or not justified, have attacked a stronger power. If, through success in battle, “their” people rally to their banner and are turned into an effective fighting force, then they have a chance of winning. Then what?

    A reminder: Be careful what you wish for; you may get it.

    Canada

  39. 39 graceunderfire
    August 12, 2008 at 16:59

    The inner workings of a powerful country are seldom visible to the average citizen, much less to the average casual observer from a foreign country. It is true however, that certain people within powerful countries pretty much get their way every time. The US / Iraq war certainly hasn’t benefited the average person in either country; but it has been exceedingly profitable to small groups of folks in both countries. as well as to al qaida.
    The average observer places too much faith in, and blame on, politicians. The fact that they generally become richer while in office suggests they are downhill from sources of wealth, and power. The original question is too naive by half.
    guf

  40. 40 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 17:02

    Mohammed Ali and Abdelilah Boukili: Let’s change the term from terrorism to insurgent tactics. After all isn’t bombing someone from 30,000 feet terrorism?
    Do insurgent tactics win or just force a change in opposing tactics and delay the inevitable? I argue the latter.
    For example, Al Queda in Iraq couldn’t confront collation forces directly. Who in their right mind can confront a modern military directly? Suicide bombing and IED tactics are then used. These tactics cause “collateral damage” (disgusting term) alienating popular support. Insurgents then have to become more dictatorial to control the population as they begin to lose more and more support. Radicals within the insurgency take control. The population then revolt against the insurgents. This gives the Sunni tribal leaders room to accept regular payments from the Iraqi government and distribute those funds to the population, thereby gaining more support for themselves as leaders and the Iraqi government. The population become more and more invested in the Iraqi government until, presto, the end of the rebellion. War won.
    Afghanistan will be the same thing.
    War, terrorism, insurgency tactics doesn’t work toward solve injustice.

  41. August 12, 2008 at 17:10

    Every powerful nation or so-called super power in the world today seems to have lost her sense of marility. It’s almost an acceptable norm these days to launch an offensive against a smaller state without the UN sanctioning it. After all what power does the UN have apat from that provided by the stronger nations? I think the smaller nations can only really now on terrorists to come to their succour by exacting punishment on these so called super powers. God alone knows why these states haven’t yet pitted their mlitary brawn against another!

  42. 42 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 17:11

    War, terrorism, insurgency tactics don’t work toward solving injustice (Sorry for spelling).
    Mohammed, do you want to buy a USSR flag? I think NATO won.
    Lubna … what can be said … the powerful of this world don’t give a flying #%^$
    for PEOPLE. Sorry for your grief.

  43. 43 viola
    August 12, 2008 at 17:11

    @Lubna

    I think you are still depressed, and no wonder. Even though, in Iraq, things are getting better, it changes not one bit the deaths and destruction that have taken place, and the personal losses you and other Iraqis have suffered. It has ever been the case that when the mighty and the ambitious clash, the innocents suffer.

    Stay strong, Lubna, and draw on the strength that your basic humanity and belief in others’ humanity can give you.

    Canada

  44. 44 viola
    August 12, 2008 at 17:21

    @Lubna

    You’re on a roll. Getting mad must be a good antidote to depression!

    I watched a cheesy sci-fi movie last night, “Predator vs. Alien” which used the saying “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Maybe that’s what the Sauds are.

    Canada

  45. August 12, 2008 at 17:24

    Hi Chloe
    Did America think it could get away with Iraq and Afghanistan, in view of what is happening in Georgia, obviously not. Some 200,000 – 300,000 have been killed during the five year Iraqi war. Russia has so far killed 2,000 Georgians. We are back to basics.
    The expansion of NATO simply doesn’t make sense. Why shouldn’t Russia disarm Georgia, Poland, Hungary, Bulgaria and the Baltic states? That is the only long term solution that will bring peace to the world and satisfy Russia.
    In the long run, the answer to world peace is disarmament on a big scale.
    Why not disarm China, India, Pakistan and lthe rest. What do they need arms for. They would be better off looking after their land and feeding their people.
    Leave France, Britain and Russia to defend Europe, and America look after its only enclave, and let the rest of the world get on with the job of feeding, healing and educating their people.

  46. 46 jesse basse
    August 12, 2008 at 17:50

    do they always have their way?it depends on what,because the western powers always have their way and exert somuch influence on major economic discisions on the third world countries.but not on political which threatens a countries sovereinty and also on land issue this is no joke,any country that allows this is under bondage which georia is not so russia should respect their sovereinty and quite geogian territories now.they are bullies.

  47. 47 Mohammed Ali
    August 12, 2008 at 17:58

    @Brian Larson August 12, 2008 at 5:11 pm

    War, terrorism, insurgency tactics don’t work toward solving injustice

    Surely you are right.

  48. August 12, 2008 at 18:14

    It is not about the most powerful countries, but the most powerful people. in the US the at its height the Iraq invasion was held only a 49% approval rating. However, the war plans went on. Money and power might let you initiate an aggressive action, but it is the hear of the people who ultimately dictate the outcome.

    Economically and militarily powerful countries get their way in the UN because of “the golden rule”. that is, “He who holds the gold makes the rules.”

  49. August 12, 2008 at 18:19

    Hello,

    I am disturbed by the recent military actions that have taken place in Russia and Georgia. I am a born and raised United States American and I feel that we are not being given the full picture or all the details. I have heard reports that Georgia was delibertately atognizing Russia and provoking Russia and even possible threw the first punch.

    I find it hard to trust any of the USA news sources because they are slanted towards a goverment that has little credibility in many USA citizens.

    The question I pose to all is: “If a state in the United States of America, such as Nebraska for example were to claim independence, wouldn’t the goverment of the USA try and take back the state? What if that state was deliberately provoking the goverment?” I look forward to your replies from your distinguished guests.

    Sincerely,

    Noah Creamer
    Traverse City, Michigan USA

  50. 50 John in Salem
    August 12, 2008 at 18:28

    There is an old rule of politics in eastern Asia called The Law of the Fishes – “The big ones eat the little ones so the little ones have to be smarter.”

    I have the feeling the president of Georgia (like Saddam and so many others) never heard of it.

  51. 51 Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 18:29

    @ Lubna
    Forgive if I am short I am about to board a plane.
    Human nature and faith are independent forces. Absent faith we would all sink to our lowest level. States like Russia have no faith and thus no moral code only what they think is in their best interests. That is very dangerous.
    As for Bush & The Saudi Whabbists I heartily agree but sometimes one must sleep with the Devil to achieve a larger goal. The world needs the energy.
    I would love to explore this with you further as I have followed your posts and almost feel like I know you but I must get on this plane
    Hopefully we can “talk” over the weekend.
    BTW…any one or State who claims moral superiority is a fool.

  52. 52 Diwakar
    August 12, 2008 at 18:36

    well, why you talk about tibet occupying by china. Common, its a south asia. Here a country is formed by vicious bloodish war not by praying in stupa. Here , no human right is considered for formation of a country. Leaving the country is the biggest mistake carried by the tibetian. At last they were never independent from china.

    diwakar
    NEPAL

  53. 53 Diwakar
    August 12, 2008 at 18:38

    Talk about the kashmir issue. How brutally the indian government is killing the seperatist people. This is the labour pain for becoming independent.

  54. 54 tediouse
    August 12, 2008 at 18:40

    the pen is mightier than the sword,but only if you can stick it in someones eye,and a biger pen helps, why do they get away with it, the short one is because they can, throughout history it dont change, might is right ,the only time it changes is when the small guy has a nuke ,or a sniper shoots the other boss ,

    the bigger the machine the more oil and gas it needs, the g8 dicuss all the factors such as when we run out of oil ,and then they dicuss where we have the war, and who with ,then how we split up the resorses ,they control tecnology the small guy invents a realy cheap energy source ,the man says this would not be in the interest of the nation , so the little gets hit by a mac truck and the invention goes away, sorted,

    the americans have a saying [there are no substertute for cubic inches ] and for the best part its right.

    there are the oil wars ,/ palm oil = displaced people, which gets money but if the whole world did it ,you would have to eat the money because there would be no food, they are taking millions of acres across the world, water with the polar caps melting the g8 will have discussed the sea levels = on an island such as england we will be even shorter on space so land prices will have to go up, a lot of islands thoughout the world will dissapear,the americans have been checking the tides and currenta since the 60s upto this day,

    knowledge is might but it is the application that is sometimes wrong.

  55. 55 Sami, in Mbarara,Uganda
    August 12, 2008 at 18:41

    I believe strong countries always have the military, historical and financial muscle to get their way. Though Georgia’s resolve was brave they need to realise that they have a smaller military arsenal, small land mass and more importantly a small history and all these factors would in the end work not for but against them. Strong countries will always intimidate poor or tiny countries and you do not have to go as far as Russia vs Georgia to notice it. Look at Israel vs Palestine, Ethiopia vs Eriteria/Somalia, U.S.A vs Vietnam and Syria vs Lebanon. All these are classic examples of Strong countries acting as bullies and if it was not for the U.N they would always do as they wish but for fear of U.N/W.T.O sanctions they act like silent burners. All countries are supposed to be equal but I guess some are more equal than others.

  56. August 12, 2008 at 18:41

    Very interesting programme today! This is truly an issue of global importance. True, ‘tiny’ Vietnam defeated mighty America, and Aghanistan is still unconquered (though destroyed), but there are many examples of the big country brutally crushing the small.

    Machiavelli (in “The Prince”) has a relevant comment here:

    “But by maintaining soldiers there instead of colonies, one spends much more, being obliged to consume all the revenues of the state in guarding its borders, so that profit becomes a loss … everybody resents this inconvenience and everyone becomes an enemy; and these are enemies that can be harmful, since they remain, although conquered, in their own home.”

    This quote is relevant in many situations which the media usually describes as terrorism (when they side with the big country) or empire building (when they side with the underdog).

    Brennan Young, Denmark

  57. 57 Jim in San Francisco, CA
    August 12, 2008 at 18:41

    Always is a word to avoid, but they usually do throw their might around and buy people off to undermine leaders who try to do what is best for their people, or they use military action, covert action and even threaten nuclear strikes (every US president since Truman has) to get their way.

  58. August 12, 2008 at 18:42

    Russia was hurt when she lost(?) the cold war, again with the great break up of the USSR, she still has that imperial ideology and is flexing her muscle before Georgia and others join NATO.

    Dan –

    As for Bush & The Saudi Whabbists I heartily agree but sometimes one must sleep with the Devil to achieve a larger goal. The world needs the energy.

    And the US has to sell it’s arms to those same wahhabists? Essentially legally arming the US’ enemies? Odd that – I thought that it was just US oil purchasing cash that was being leaked through the system to AL Q etc.

    I am sure I could be wrong, though.

  59. August 12, 2008 at 18:42

    The strongest countries do always get their way in our present political order; but the days when this status quo can remain acceptable to the people of the world are coming to an end. We must restructure the United Nations, revoking veto status from the major nation members of the Security Council, providing the UN with its own fast response peacekeeping force, revise the UN charter to focus on global security and eventually provide a mechanism for the people of the world to directly elect their own representatives to the United Nations General Assembly instead of allowing the governments of the world to select the representatives:: in this manner the UN will represent the PEOPLE of the world and not just the strongest GOVERNMENTS of the world.

  60. 60 Kalypso-vienna,austria
    August 12, 2008 at 18:42

    yes of course. it was always like this, and i cant see how it would ever change, unfortunately. the countries with economic or /and military power always do whatever they like (.e.g. US, russia, china, BG etc).
    this is and has been another sad truth of politics.

  61. 61 Diwakar
    August 12, 2008 at 18:42

    STOP blaming Nepal government. we are not controlled by any countries. why do we support you. you fled from your country and protest in our land . After all you will be (if independent) indian puppet . The tibetian protester hurt themselves and make a photo session accusing the nepali police of bitting. It’s rediculous.

    diwkar
    NEPAL

  62. 62 Rui
    August 12, 2008 at 18:43

    I do not understand why BBC only talk about Russia against Georgia? Also tell the audients that China still occupys Tibet? Why don’t you talk about UK
    troops in Iraq?

  63. August 12, 2008 at 18:43

    My dearest Brian and Viola darling : Hi… And thanks a million to both of you guys for your extraordinary kind words… And Viola darling, it’s always so easy to curse the evil, oppressive, and human rights violating regime in Iran, as it’s also always so easy to turn a blind eye and ignore completely the evil, oppressive, and human rights violating regime in Saudi Arabia… In my opinion The West in general and the US in particular should be really proud of the shameless double moral standards they’re adopting… And both Russia and China aren’t any better at all in that regard… While Israel ?!! Please don’t get me started here ! Anyway Viola darling, I do believe in the power and the ability of ordinary people all over the world to stand up together and make a real change… Both me and His Excellency Rabbi David Rosen have done it one time here on the WHYS programme , and also both Danny (from Israel) and Semma (from Palestine) have done it another time also here on the WHYS programme… So may be there’s still some hope alive after all, thanks to the WHYS programme ! ;-)… With my love… Yours forever, Lubna in Baghdad…

  64. 64 Chris, West Indies
    August 12, 2008 at 18:44

    You open the programme by stating that the aggressor in conflicts are always the stronger countries etc. The USA & UK were the aggressors in Iraq, but in this conflict between Georgia and Russia, it was Georgia whom chose to use arms first, this is an extremely important point – Russian are not the aggressors here. An analogy; How would the UK have reacted in times gone by if the Republic of Ireland decided to attack the loyalist population in Northern Ireland during the troubles? I think we all know the answer to that question.

  65. 65 Chris
    August 12, 2008 at 18:44

    It’s really funny to hear here, compare US in iraq, as China in Tibet. Why not compare China in Tibet to UK in Scotland or France in Corsica?

    How long has US sovereignty over Iraq? Since 700 years before, Yuan Dynasty, China central government has had sovereignty over Tibetan. A lot other ethnic Chinese have classmate, colleague and friends of Tibetan, now only in Tibet, also in Beijing, Shanghai. Just like Scottish within UK now.

    It’s really funny to hear British told China is occupying Tibet rather than a united nation. How about UK or US. Then why not British leaves Scotland and Northern Ireland, not France leaves Corsica, not US give back New Mexico?

    It’s not always about powerful but the history. How many People criticising China on Tibet have been to Tibet, Beijing, Shanghai, known the real history than only media bias news???

  66. 66 Philippa, the Netherlands
    August 12, 2008 at 18:44

    No, not always: Big Georgia thought it could have its way with tiny South Ossetia, but huge Russia came along, assuring that tiny South Ossetia will have its way.

  67. 67 Skip – Chesterland, Ohio
    August 12, 2008 at 18:45

    I would say that the larger is not always the aggressor and they do not always get their way. The Taliban got their way in Afghanistan and were left alone even though they were a terrible government. Not until they supported global terrorism that things changed. Everyone seeks what is best for them. That is the way of nature. All countries have their best interest at heart. The more powerful countries simply have more clout. Such is nature.

    Use Iraq as an example. The U.S. has no long term goal to stay in Iraq. If it was our way then we would have forced different kind of government to exist. We have spent billions of dollars and lives to give Iraq a chance at something different and something better. How is this in the best interest of the U.S.? It has torn our country up politically and made us the bad guys around the world and yet the entire purpose was to get rid of a horrible person and give the Iraqi people a chance at a better life.

    Russia cares little for the good of another country. They simply want to act like a bully and strong arm this little country.

    There are many countries who operate in their best interest. Such is life. Big and small, all countries try to operate in their best interest.

  68. 68 Keith
    August 12, 2008 at 18:46

    If the big countries always got their way, wouldn’t Bush’s approval rating be higher? Although I think the Iraq war is completely wrong and I opposed it from the start, (Iraq’s affairs are none of our business), I don’t think “bullying” is the correct term for spending most of our budget on another country’s government. Before you even answer, yea i know, we bombed them first. But now we’re pathetically trying to help the government with a ridiculous amount of money. Although there is something inherently wrong in the entire situation, bullying is not the right word.

  69. 69 Bekele Woyecha
    August 12, 2008 at 18:49

    The current conflict between Georgia and Russia has made it clear that big countries can forcefully impose their wills on the small ones. Given what we have seen, I just feel that Georgia should have calculated the consequences before even firing a single bullet. It gave chances to Russia and the latter effectively used it to show its muscles and threaten any future actions. This is the contemporary world we are in. It is only the interest of the big ones whose interest is being kept by the United Nations as the big ones can always veto resolutions that are not to their interest.

  70. 70 george, ghana
    August 12, 2008 at 18:49

    Hi bbc, if no one stood up to the USA and her allies in their fight to destroy weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, no one else, i think is going stand up to Russia in their fight to protect their citizens in Georgia. Ali Kamara in Monrovia, Liberia.

  71. 71 Jonathan
    August 12, 2008 at 18:51

    Might doesn’t make right or wrong. The dominant power of the 20th century built no empire and held no colonies. American power protected a peaceful, prosperous Europe. from the embrace of the Soviet bear after saving it from Hitler. The latter being examples of immense, malign powers that nearly won.

  72. 72 Tim
    August 12, 2008 at 18:52

    The USA always gets their way because they control the UN and the World Bank. Both are tools to bring countries to their knees, so American business can continue to exploit and pillage for their own benefit.

  73. 73 Cristina
    August 12, 2008 at 18:52

    While the United Nations security council limits the action of organisation, and what it stands for, we must not forget all the departments within the UN that save millions of lives every year – for example: by working with refugees, development programs, and emergency relief. This cannot be forgotten.

  74. 74 JR Gibson
    August 12, 2008 at 18:55

    It is very clear that Russia will push military invasion west and south, step by step, over the coming years. It will attempt to weaken Europe by energy leverage. Words will not match deeds. The North American continent will fall victim to Russian aggression just as surely. The Artic regions will be disputed with Canada and Norway (especially) using the same Barbaric methods of deception and force. Russia will attempt to devide the US from Canada – something easily done when the history of US arrogance is considered.

  75. 75 Diwakar
    August 12, 2008 at 18:55

    @vijay
    Try to know your south block policy. we know better than you. You indian have never good relationship with border neighbours. This is fault in your leadership. They eat kashmir, they eat sikkim, they eat ladakh . Your ambassdor feels uncomfortable without influencing our inter matters.

    NEPAL

  76. 76 Neil H Scotland
    August 12, 2008 at 18:56

    Dear sirs,
    As usual I note that everyone in the so called mainstream media ( spin speak for pro-Zionist propaganda organ) is ignoring the Israeli aspect to this affair.
    I do not believe it is beyond the ability of your excellent reporters to discover just how much this operation has been originated and engineered in Tel Aviv with the deliberate intent of creating tension between the West and Russia.
    Rather that either they are actively discoouraged for doing so, or they know that such research would never see the light of day in the biased western media.
    Similarly the slavish promotion of the US position voiced by the White House puppet on the BBC News Front Page, although entirely predictable, is enough to turn the stomach.
    There was a time when the BBC was respected above all other media throughout the world. Sadly no longer the case.
    Give us some real news, show some guts.

    Regards,
    Neil H
    Isle of Bute.
    Scotland.

  77. 77 Per F
    August 12, 2008 at 18:57

    I find it interesting that a democratic country wants to keep a border
    that was dictated by Joseph Stalin.

    Per F
    Portland, Oregon

  78. 78 Dr. Mohamed K USA
    August 12, 2008 at 18:57

    Sir;

    Bush’s hypocrisy in limitless when he attacks Russia on its use of “disproportionate” force, it’s attempt at “regime change”, its disrespect for the “territorial integriety and sovereignity” of Georgia when he under the guise of manufactures lies invades Iraq that didn’t attack U.S. citizens and when he describes Israel’s destructive invasion of Lebanon in 2006 as
    self defense. Does America lack self mirrors in its pro war Pro Israel
    foreign policy?

    Thank you
    Dr. Mohamed K
    USA

  79. 79 Shirley
    August 12, 2008 at 19:05

    I find it hard to believe that Israel cannot defeat Hamas or Hizbullah. They are better armed and probably (?) better manned. If they do have the capabiity of defeating Hamas/Hizbulah, perhaps they are limited by the amount of civilian casualties that fighting the groups with full force would entail. I have a cynical view of Israel’s concern for civilians, but even my cynicism has to grant that no country wants to be known for clearing out massive numbers of non-combatants.

    I think that it is true that the more powerful are the ones who define the conflict, especially in post-conflict descriptions. Here in the States, even so many generations after we decimated the indigenous population here, high schoolers are unaware of the genocidal implications of bounties and bounty hunting. How long ago did we stop using the word “savages” in our textbooks? My family used the “s” word to describe Native American brides until I pointed out to her that it was a vulgar word. Being the golden-hearted folk that they are, they haven’t let the word touch their tongues since. And to be perfectly honest, I don’t see the attitude of “that happened before I was alive, so get over it” as perfectly innocent, either. I think that we would much rather bury our heads in the sand than face the modern ills of our past evils with open eyes. I also think that such an attitude lacks courage.

  80. 80 Jacques KO from Boston
    August 12, 2008 at 19:30

    If the west does not stand up to Russia and make them back off and away from Georgia, the Russians will be emboldened to even press to retake Ukraine and the Czech Republic under their influence. That is what happens when you have babbling leaders like WMD Bush and floozy Nicholas Sarkozy.

    Jacques KO from Boston

  81. 81 text
    August 12, 2008 at 19:30

    Not China , they mind their own business and react only when they are provoke and they are only interested in trade. The world should learn from China.

  82. 82 Mr alex w
    August 12, 2008 at 19:31

    We might equally well ask. Can anyone stand up to china or usa or france or uk. We now live in a gangster world where the powerful do what they feel like and the weak suffer whatever comes to them.
    Everything is now to do with money and or resources. Usa and uk and france always wanted a weak united nations. Well that is what we have.
    We need a redistribution of power in the world. And that can start with an end to dictatorships in the third world. Mr alex w

  83. 83 Colleen
    August 12, 2008 at 19:32

    @ Lubna

    I agree with you. saying human nature is inherently evil/selfish is just a convenient excuse for inaction against injustice. even if we are inherently flawed (which does seem to be the case) we also have the tools (intellect, communication) and capacity for forgiveness to overcome those flaws and pursue peace.

  84. 84 d
    August 12, 2008 at 19:33

    I have failed to find out the reason why Russia as a country throughout the many decades of last century has always wanted to be seen as so powerful and able to do whatever they wish to even when they are not all that powerful. How the likes of Putin and Medvedev gets themselves elected portrays the true character of the Russians,they do not like to be part of the world,they always want to be seen as the powerful

  85. 85 Mason
    August 12, 2008 at 19:34

    Strong countries (particularly those with nuclear weapons) get their way because the “weaker” countries have no means of coercion to limit the stronger countries actions, additionally the stronger countries have organized the UN to maintain their power and grant the smaller countries the impression of having a voice.  The only way for a peaceful world is for the powerful countries to yield some of their power to the UN and level the international playing field.  Unfortunately, this is highly unlikely as countries cling to archaic nationalistic views of the world, and refuse to recognize that we are one race on one planet and if we do not work together we will destroy ourselves.
        In the Nuclear Age, a country that posses massive amounts of nuclear weapons can essentially act with impunity, even other countries with massive amounts of nuclear weapons can do nothing.  If Moscow had no atomic arsenal and acted as they did in Georgia, Europe and the United States would have moved militarily to halt the aggression. Similarly with a non nuclear US moving into Iraq.
     
    Mason
    Park City, Utah

  86. 86 devadas.v
    August 12, 2008 at 19:35

    hello,
    this staement isnot100% but 200% correct .as united nations with its 1945 post second world war setup having no effect on the superpowers now america and russia and countries backed by them are having a big say in international scenario.if not the united nations is totally revamped and countries likeindia,germany,braziland southafrica are given veto rights in security counsil the world will be contolled as per america and russia wishes .
    blatant flouting ofsovereign rules laid down by united nations are the order ofthe day be in iraq,ossetia ,kosovo,palestine ,darfur ,zimbawe ,terror activities by pakisthan under isi yet backed by america for their own narrow needs ,chinese backupping darfur jinjaweed against poorpeople killing millions ,trouble in caucus region ,tibetan issue ,kashmir issue sparked by pakisthan backed isi , 45year economic embargo of cuba in this so calledliberalised world,european araes close to russian borders ,world has plunged into a space of uncertainity by this war call by russia and america to back up their own narrow selfish gains economically and politically ..
    its time for total revamp of united nations thats the only solution or else it will catastrophe as of the early part of the 21st century .
    the question is whether to cover up cancer warwounds by bandaidplaster or treat it from its roots for permenent cure.?

    devadas.v

  87. 87 tediouse
    August 12, 2008 at 19:36

    the bigger the machine the more oil and gas it needs, the g8 dicuss all the factors such as when we run out of oil ,and then they dicuss where we have the war, and who with ,then how we split up the resorses ,they control tecnology the small guy invents a realy cheap energy source ,the man says this would not be in the interest of the nation , so the little gets hit by a mac truck and the invention goes away, sorted,

  88. 88 sami. Uganda
    August 12, 2008 at 19:37

    I believe strong countries always have the military, historical and financial muscle to get their way. Though Georgia’s resolve was brave they need to realise that they have a smaller military arsenal, small land mass and more importantly a small history and all these factors would in the end work not for but against them. Strong countries will always intimidate poor or tiny countries and you do not have to go as far as Russia vs Georgia to notice it. Look at Israel vs Palestine, Ethiopia vs Eriteria/Somalia, U.S.A vs Vietnam and Syria vs Lebanon. All these are classic examples of Strong countries acting as bullies and if it was not for the U.N they would always do as they wish but for fear of U.N/W.T.O sanctions they act like silent burners. All countries are supposed to be equal but I guess some are more equal than others.

    sami.
    Mbarara,Uganda

  89. 89 Jim Haber
    August 12, 2008 at 19:38

    Always is a word to avoid, but they usually do throw their might around and buy people off to undermine leaders who try to do what is best for their people, or they use military action, covert action and even threaten nuclear strikes (every US president since Truman has) to get their way.

    Jim Haber,
    San Francisco, CA
    KALW listener

  90. 90 Kalypso-vienna,austria
    August 12, 2008 at 19:50

    yes of course. it was always like this, and i cant see how it would ever change, unfortunately. the countries with economic or /and military power always do whatever they like (.e.g. US, russia, china, BG etc).
    this is and has been another sad truth of politics.
    Kalypso-vienna,austria

  91. 91 Rui
    August 12, 2008 at 19:50

    Dear BBC,

    I do not understand why BBC only talk about Russia against Georgia? Also tell the audients that China still occupys Tibet? Why don’t you talk about UK
    troops in Iraq?

    Best,

    Rui

  92. 92 Chris
    August 12, 2008 at 19:51

    You open the programme by stating that the aggressor in conflicts are always the stronger countries etc. The USA & UK were the aggressors in Iraq, but in this conflict between Georgia and Russia, it was Georgia whom chose to use arms first, this is an extremely important point – Russian are not the aggressors here. An analogy; How would the UK have reacted in times gone by if the Republic of Ireland decided to attack the loyalist population in Northern Ireland during the troubles? I think we all know the answer to that question.

    Chris,

    West Indies

  93. 93 Maxwell in Nigeria
    August 12, 2008 at 19:56

    The aggression of russia in Georgia is bullying. Georgia is poor and russia can do what it likes

  94. 94 Skip Ohio
    August 12, 2008 at 19:59

    I would say that the larger is not always the aggressor and they do not always get their way. The Taliban got their way in Afghanistan and were left alone even though they were a terrible government. Not until they supported global terrorism that things changed. Everyone seeks what is best for them. That is the way of nature. All countries have their best interest at heart. The more powerful countries simply have more clout. Such is nature.

  95. 95 Jenala C
    August 12, 2008 at 20:03

    Worth nations are capable of dictating allthe terms in everything and they always walk away without any trace as if nothing has happened. American and Russia have shown that and small countries just ‘peep around to find themselves dishonourable graves.’ What kind of justice is this and how can they come back and start preaching peace and justice?

    Blantyre, Malawi

    BBC Listener

  96. 96 Dictatore Generale Max Maximilian Maximus I
    August 12, 2008 at 20:12

    The Security Council of the United Nations is a contradiction in terms!

    It is the reverse and should be named as such! What’s that?

    That is, the UNsecurity Council!

    Just THINK about it and research:

    >the periodicity of wars SINCE WWII
    >who or what instigated these wars
    >how (AND IF) these wars were resolved (If not then why not?)
    >Watch a TV soap titled ‘La Femme Nikita’!

    The answers are there! I don’t have the time to waste on the hypocritical, immoral, unethical, lying & obfuscating ‘powers-that-be’!

    Cheers!

  97. 97 André
    August 12, 2008 at 20:25

    No, the strongest countries often have problems getting things all their own way. Examples include the USA in Vietnam, the USSR in Afganistan and China’s current inability to absorb Taiwan. Big countries have the option to use unilateral military force in a way that small countries do not. That is the major difference between superpowers (or regional powers), and weaker countries. The world’s conflict resolution mechanisms, such as the UN, are powerless to stop such activities when carried out by a superpower.

    Superpower aggression is usually stopped by changing political conditions within the superpower itself; as happened in Vietnam and Afghanistan or by the achievement of the superpower’s objectives such as Russia’s current war in Georgia.

    The reasons for this are very simple. Economic and military power are not evenly distributed around the world. The USA and China are both economic and military superpowers, capable of projecting military force or economic power anywhere in the world. Russia is a military superpower that is rapidly developing its economy too.
    In other parts of the world South Africa, India, Brazil, Pakistan and Israel are regional powers with military and/or economic capabilities that are disproportionate large in their areas. (I use the term “regional power” to mean that these nations are capable for projecting considerable influence over their local regions).

    In all of these cases, “local” action by regional powers can only be stopped by the global superpowers acting in concert – usually though the UN Security Council or through sanctions etcetera.

    Therefore, to answer your question, superpowers can be stopped, but usually at a very high price to the target nation. Both superpowers and regional powers have significant offensive military capabilities which, if the politicians or the militaries wish to use, can result in long and devastating conflicts.

    Regional powers will usually call off their offensives if enough big powers object to their activities.

  98. 98 graceunderfire
    August 12, 2008 at 20:28

    @ devadas.v

    I agree with you.
    guf

  99. 99 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 20:57

    “United States and its allies are considering expelling Moscow from an exclusive club of wealthy nations and canceling an upcoming joint NATO-Russia military exercise.” … And we are no longer going to call you by a pet name, wish you happy birthday, and you cannot come to our golf club … so THERE!

  100. 100 Keith
    August 12, 2008 at 21:00

    @ Tim-

    Why does everybody always talk like that about the USA? It’s not 20 years ago, the US economy pales in comparison to many other countries. The USA does not control the UN, in fact we are resented by the UN, especially after Bush. American businesses are not even close to being capable of “exploiting and pillaging for their own benefit”, as most of our exports are taken over by other countries who can sell it cheaper (foreign cars, oil, crops, convenience products, the list goes on and on). If you are going to demonize us, do it for legitimate reasons like the war in Iraq, not for blatantly false reasons.

  101. 101 Colleen
    August 12, 2008 at 21:03

    @ Brian

    hahahaha

  102. 102 Jonathan
    August 12, 2008 at 21:33

    @Akbar–

    “Leave France, Britain, and Russia to defend Europe.”

    RUSSIA?

    I know of your high opinion of Russia, though I don’t pretend to understand it, but I have to think this was a bit of irony on your part, otherwise you’re not aware of half a century of European history. Half of Europe was absorbed and run as puppet states by Russia. They jjust recently emerged from years of oppression and poverty in the bear’s embrace. From whom do you imagine Russia might defend Europe?

  103. 103 CarlosK
    August 12, 2008 at 21:35

    Hi WHYSAYERS

    The simple answer to you question: Do the strongest countries always get their way? Is No.

    The best example is the defeat of the “mighty” Nazis Germans. Don’t be fooled into believing that might is right because of what is happening in South Ossetia and Iraq and Afghanistan, the Creator God sets up and knocks down empires and powerful states. Remember Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome?

    No “power ” on earth can exercise control or authority without the Creator God allowing it.

    Sooner than you think, all the wrongs of this world will be set right (see Daniel 2 in the Old Testament) by the visible intervention of the Creator God.

    Carlos, Kingston-Jamaica.

  104. 104 Shakhoor Rehman
    August 12, 2008 at 22:06

    Isaiah 45:7.

  105. 105 CJ McAuley
    August 12, 2008 at 23:53

    I know only 1 thing and it is this: there is FAR TOO MUCH throwing around phrases and words like “ethnic cleansing” and “genocide” these days! This ultimately will serve only to devalue both the meaning and import of these words/phrases! I have always been taught and have tried to do the following: one says what one means, and means what one says! I remain astounded that people, who on a personal level, say and do what is needed to get by or to achieve their aims, yet continue to expect something different from any nation!?

  106. 106 Roberto
    August 12, 2008 at 23:54

    Re:
    Neil H
    Isle of Bute.
    Scotland.
    ———————————————————————————————————-

    ——– Have you ever bothered to study the role Tel Aviv zionists played in settling the Isle of Bute?

    Absolutely chilling I tell you. Mossad have completely wiped out any historical references from all current public records. One has to have 13 levels of clearances, including full body searches and Magnetic Resonance Imaging to be allowed into the 500,000 acre World Library located underneath the Negev desert.

    It will freeze your bones, it will.

  107. August 13, 2008 at 00:08

    There are no powerful or weak countries . Countries do not fight . People do not fight. It is the elite gang that fight through the people. The world has been governed by force and not by consensus. This is coming to an end. What we are witnessing every day is the last dance of the protection gang who call themselves governments.

  108. 108 Jennifer
    August 13, 2008 at 02:24

    I think that there is a balance (even though it’s unbalanced) between so-called strong countries and other countries in getting their way much like continuous give and take. Each is looking out for it’s own best interest and is seeking the upper hand.

    I have 2 other comments about replies.

    #1 text August 12, 2008 at 7:30 pm

    “Not China , they mind their own business and react only when they are provoke and they are only interested in trade. The world should learn from China. ”

    That comment REALLY scares me.

    #2 CJ McAuley

    I agree with what you said and have been taught the same. I can say that alot has been thrown around about those terms and other ones like them. I do not believe that it is right to place blame for another countries problems on another country when they have done nothing to that country. I am 100% sure that even though I am American I do not exploit others or pillage for my own benefit. Like people in other countries, some choices made by US leaders are not the choices I or other Americans would make. I believe that it is wrong to lump all people from one country together as if they had a personal hand in making a decision. I believe that false assumptions only lead to the inability of countries to work together for mutual benefit.

  109. 109 vijay
    August 13, 2008 at 03:23

    @Chris
    The reason the British Army had to enter N.Ireland was due to Loyalist aggression against the Catholics.The repulic of Ireland the usa dod help the catholics in N.Irleland with arms ,training and a safe refuge from legal prosecution.
    Russians were already in South Ossetia and Abhazia regions of Georgia,also Russia was massing troops on the border of Georgia therefore the Georgian hand was forced.
    @Diwakar
    How backward does a country have to be for its citizens to migrate to India and Bhutan.
    Nepal(dont, how many cooks ,gardeners and actresses have gone over the border) and Bangladesh(20 Million!!!!) have an open border.
    How is your Chinese?

    .

  110. 110 Tom
    August 13, 2008 at 04:06

    Yes, especially if strength is calculated by both soft and hard power.

    The use of the military for settling disputes shows a weakness on the part of the agressor. It is almost always used as a last resort to overcome irreparable diplomatic and administrative blunders.

    With that said, Georgia’s decision to use force to resolve the S.O. crisis is an act of desperation, if not stupidity. With Chechnya as a neighbour, it would have known full well that the might of the Russian military is primed just across the border. Had the Georgians not attacked the way it did, the Russians would not have “attained its goals”, and this WHYS topic would probably not have been raised.

  111. 111 Tom
    August 13, 2008 at 04:08

    @ 1430a,

    Care telling us how Nepal is being internally interfered by India?

  112. August 13, 2008 at 05:41

    Georgia like child trains by group of gangs to go and committed crimes to his neighbour house, but when he was captured by the neighbour he was beaten to dead level even if he tells names of gangs that sent but the neighbour don’t want to ask these gangs, why you trained and sent these young man to committed crimes? Now USA governments, NATO and Russia government you are like these parents abuse their children to death level. Russia govt could have been right if he punished Georgia and questions USA govt EU for the crimes they sent Georgia committed. Then everyone in the world will know that Georgia is not only punished but also their senders were warn for the crimes they committed so that they will no repeats against.

  113. 113 Des Currie
    August 13, 2008 at 06:25

    When David whacked Goliath he set a precedent.
    Des Currie

  114. 114 Bryan
    August 13, 2008 at 06:40

    Neil H Scotland August 12, 2008 at 6:56 pm,

    “As usual I note that everyone in the so called mainstream media ( spin speak for pro-Zionist propaganda organ) is ignoring the Israeli aspect to this affair.

    I do not believe it is beyond the ability of your excellent reporters to discover just how much this operation has been originated and engineered in Tel Aviv with the deliberate intent of creating tension between the West and Russia.”

    Well, you just had a great opportunity to tell us all about it. I wonder why you didn’t. did you imagine that the pro-Zionist BBC would not have published your comment.

  115. 115 1430a
    August 13, 2008 at 07:06

    @ tom,
    Well if i start with the ways they(India) have interfered in our problems this page will be too long.For a shortcut i am giving you this link:
    http://www.gorkhapatra.org.np/detail.php?article_id=4820&cat_id=7
    I hope this helps.

    @Vijay,
    seems like you are quite overconfident about being an INDIAN.Having a huge population like that and winning just one gold???(just a small example)So just get a bit loose brother and look at the stats.Your country has a low literacy rate(lower than Sri Lanka).And guess what in your country the rich are getting richer(Ambani’s) and the poor are getting poorer.So learn something:When there is a dirt in your own shirt dont tell others about their stains.

    I hope you do get my point and if you havent tell me.I will explain it clearly in my next post.

    Abhinav

  116. 116 Bryan
    August 13, 2008 at 07:27

    Shirley August 12, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    “I find it hard to believe that Israel cannot defeat Hamas or Hizbullah. They are better armed and probably (?) better manned. If they do have the capabiity of defeating Hamas/Hizbulah, perhaps they are limited by the amount of civilian casualties that fighting the groups with full force would entail.”

    No “perhaps” about it. Imagine if Russia were the target of Hamas and Hezbollah terror attacks on its citizens. Russia would react far more strongly and with far less concern for civilians than Israel does.

    “I have a cynical view of Israel’s concern for civilians, but even my cynicism has to grant that no country wants to be known for clearing out massive numbers of non-combatants.”

    Except for:-

    Saddam under Iraq
    Cambodia under Pol Pot
    Armenians at the hands of Turkey
    Germany under Hitler
    Sudan under the Khartoum government
    Half of Africa under assorted dictators

    And so on, but we have to keep the comments short.

    One not-well-known act of slaughter by an army against terrorists sheltering among civilians took place in the town of Hama in Syria. The army simply surrounded the Islamic stronghold over the course of three weeks and blew it and everyone in it apart. Nobody knows the exact death toll but it was apparently between ten and forty thousand:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hama_massacre

    President Assad’s brother, Rifaat, apparently was not too concerned about the massacre being public knowledge. He “later boasted of killing 38,000 people.”

    So I guess when you say “no country” you mean no civilized country wants a reputation for slaughtering non-combatants. You might also like to consider the fact that Israelis have a genuine concern for civilians among their enemies.

  117. August 13, 2008 at 08:05

    @Bryan

    You might also like to consider the fact that Israelis have a genuine concern for civilians among their enemies.

    Yes, of course, we see that.

  118. 118 Bryan
    August 13, 2008 at 10:04

    Andrew August 13, 2008 at 8:05 am

    “Yes, of course, we see that.”

    I disagree strongly with many people on many issues on this forum. But I try to do them the courtesy of engaging in debate rather than coming up with sarcastic one-liners.

  119. August 13, 2008 at 12:11

    look at this

    and think who is the new georgian Gebbels

  120. 120 parth guragain
    August 13, 2008 at 12:21

    @vijay
    This is a typical large nation mentality you have shown calling Nepali people servant and cooks.it shows in your post that how Indian views their neighbour states.

  121. 121 Vijay
    August 13, 2008 at 13:53

    @1430a and @Path gurgain
    Maybe you are new to WHYS ,because I have posted a lot on the inadequacies of India and South Asia.All I want to point out is that Nepal and Bangladesh are in a worse position than India(how is that possible).Indians in my experience do not think about the outside world too much(Nepal and
    Bangladesh included).There seems to be a hystericial paranoid inferiority complex going on in Nepal regarding India(Hrithick Roshan affair).

  122. 122 parth guragain
    August 13, 2008 at 14:36

    @vijay
    what i think that it is enough we should not throw mud at each other.we should realize the short comings of each other.INDIA being a regional power is not able to provide health care facilities to its citizens and nepal is not different.But one thing is sure that India being big neighbour do try to impose its position over other countries,that’s sure.we in south asia as you have said are nation of inadequacies.we in this region are seeing disconcern by government for poorer people rich people are getting more richer and poor more poor .our government are less concerned for poor and common man.they are busy projecting image of shining india and rising middle class.we should try to be realistic and discuss of issues which is concern to both of us.as for inferiority complex so is india victim of inferiority complex as there were mass protest in case of harbhajan singh as BCCI come forward and project it as national issue.there were discussion going on in indian media that indian cant be racist.the real thing came out when Harbhajan slapped srisanth.

  123. 123 Elizabeth
    August 13, 2008 at 15:23

    Lubna — you are a much loved presence on World Service. God bless.

    As a child who grew up too idealistic for her own good, I have long been disgruntled by religio-fascism in the United States in the first place. When Mr. Bush last railed against Russia, I thought it was a case of the pot calling the kettle black. I doubt a lame duck president gets his way now, but, alas, he’s gotten it much too often.

    It’s bad enough when idealogues do get their way often enough.

    Thank you! Elizabeth

  124. 124 Pangolin- California
    August 13, 2008 at 18:09

    If Western Europe’s dependence upon Russian natural gas and oil is seen as being a threat to the freedom of the satellite states of the Former Soviet Union that situation can be ‘fixed.’

    Russia would do well to remember that the reason they are not ruled by the Tzar’s is due to the existence of bomb-throwing anarchist. Heck, Russia practically invented bomb-throwing anarchists.

    No, the bear cannot always defy the wasp’s nest .

  125. August 13, 2008 at 18:56

    At the heart of the Georgia conflict is seemingly one of internal ethnic problem and related issues, which has spilled into open conflict not only between the respective groups within Ossettia and Abkhazia, but also with the central government dominated by Georgians. In this respect it is no different to many others around the world- the scourge of the 21st century, said to occur in some 82 countries! Georgia is perhaps the latest. At the heart of the problem is good governance vis-a-vis all citizens, especially by the central state whose primary duty it is. Where this fails to materialise open conflict and internal rebellions are inevitable in the long run. We have a long way to go to materialise “true democracy” which is just not about holding mechanical elections and rule by majoritarian ethnic relgious or other groups but an equitable sharing of power for the good of all citizens guaranteed under the ‘rule of law’. The UN has been unable to solve this much vexed problem, not least because of the veto power exercised by just 5 countries, an altogether undemocratic set up. And when the big powers are involved it gets even worse. The biggest casualties are ordinary people whom only God perhaps can help!

  126. August 13, 2008 at 19:22

    Why isn’t the world “crying foul” when Russia attacked Georgia? If it was my country which did it, France, Germany, Russia and other countries in Europe and of course BBC would cry anti-Americanism.

  127. 127 Khan
    August 14, 2008 at 12:36

    This is in effect of the weakening of the image of UN security council after the US dis-respected its decision with the situation in Iraq (one example). I believe ultimately US is to blame for all th terrorism and the selfish political might the superpowers are displaying with little regard for those coming in their way. Now the other powers are following suit, defending by saying that “if US could do it and get away with it, why cant they!” Now look at the bias BBC is showing by broadcasts interviews of innocent civilians trying out for Western help. I would ask what about the innocent civilians, women and children, in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arent they human beings, werent they innocent? They were also calling for help, no BBC went there to ask their plea! What about every day killings of innocent civilians happening in Palestine by Israeli soldiers? Perhaps I am deviating from the topic of Georgia and Russia, but what about the rest of the disputed places where the situation is much much worse, and US, directly or indirectly, is involved. I guess this piece of opinion targets both your current topic as well as your previous blog on “policing the media”. I do listen to BBC everyday, but there definitely is bias towards the so called “Western propaganda”.
    People! awaken to world of western hypocrites! If you want to blame anyone, look at yourself in the mirror first.

  128. 128 Syed Hasan Turab
    August 14, 2008 at 21:22

    Crime against humanity are serious crimes dosent matter committed by internal or ecternal forces.
    While getting serious about Georgia please dont forget to look back, just to justify our self. Do we have Double standard, do we have ability to correct ourself with out eexternal forces.

  129. 129 joe casey
    July 14, 2009 at 04:14

    dear, chinesse people i want to tell you, i love your food,i love chinesse people,and i love so much TIBET , so support for HUMAN RIGHT IN TIBET and EAST TURKISTAN.(north west of china) and ONE WORLD ONE DREAM FREE FREE IN TIBET and EAST TURKISTAN……thankyou from SOUTH AFRICA

  130. 130 RAM G. KUMAR
    July 14, 2009 at 04:55

    this is kumar from india . i respect chinesse people not chinesse goverment…… b” coz 1959 in TIBET (1.2 millon people killed by china RED ARMY) and 1989 in CHINA and 10 MARCH 2008 in TIBET(more than one thousand tibetans people killed by RED ARMY. TO CHINA LEADERS THIS IS 21 CENTURY NOT 20th CENTURY THE PEOPLE IN THIS WORLD IS WATCHING. TIME TO CHANGE YOUR INNER BRAIN……………..or NEW LEADERS……….THANK U


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