One strange paradox of my immersion in Orthodox culture is that I have befriended numerous people from central/ eastern Europe who are politically anti-Russian whilst I still have hopes for Russia to return as a Christian superpower. Yet I live in a country full of insular people, who do not care that we are heading for an extremely stupid and counter-productive course of action in encircling Russia. It is not that they love Russia's neighbours (or even know their names) but that they would rather watch Big Brother or football than think about what our government is doing.
Of course, even in these countries there are many who do not like their own governments and there was a Georgian mutiny ahead of NATO exercises. I read yahoo news headlines (you know the objective news source), taking Saakashvilli's claims that Russia was responsible at face value. Sadly the side photo did not show him mauling his tie with his face like Goya's Saturn, but heroically berating his troops (who hanged their heads in shame).
NATO really is an idiotic organisation. There is absolutely no reason left for it to exist, except to dishonour its own promises. Gorbachev was promised that it would not move into any former Communist states (such as East Germany), but now it is moving into Russia's borders.
Presumably if the tie-chewing loon Saakashvilli decides to provoke Russia, we will be called in to help. NATO said that they would speed up Georgia's application after he triggered a war (that he lost) in Ossetia. Rewarding a loser would normally be a stupid thing to do, but not for the NATO kleptocracy. As no one is threatening the titular 'North Atlantic', they have to go far afield to find someone dumb/ mad enough to give them a rationale for the money that is poured into the organisation. And Saakashvilli has. Saakashvilli in this case is a real golden fleece. A tyrant who uses any excuse to call himself a democrat, whose idiotic actions over Ossetia have given NATO a good excuse to expand military operations.
What I find oddest about this is that Saakashvilli will claim he embodies 'democracy'. Whilst sending opposition to prison, shutting down TV stations and using riot police to disrupt protests. What is democracy anyway? Getting to choose who leads your country into war? Choosing someone who will do the will of the bankers and industrialists?
Democracy is possibly the least bad form of government but feel sickened by the way in which it has become a religion in its own right. Like the Frankish Popes who were regarded as Christian purely because they were recognised as Christians, Saakashvilli is a 'democrat' because people choose to call him one. But few democratic East Europeans see the flip-side to this. As the Georgians are allies to NATO because they embody an idea, the idea is more valuable (in the eyes of our 'democrats) than the Georgians themselves. Just look at the Iraqis who were praised as a secular, educated people under a nasty dictatorship. When the Iraqis proved not so democratic or enlightened, they were bombed with white phosphorus. The Georgians may be praised as 'democracts' but cannot be surprised if they are bombed if they dislike how 'democrats' treat their country.
And as for the supposed assassination attempt on Saakashvilli: presumably the fact that his own people would murder him is an article in favour of coming to his help.
The people of central/ eastern Europe are lucky that Christianity is still a strong presence in these regions. I would have thought that they'd know that if you exchange Christianity for secular paradise, you will end up losing both. Hopefully the Orthodox Church will come to play a greater role in the east and help re-unify the Orthodox Countries because we need an Orthodox 'bloc'.
I do not see Empire as good or bad, but as a historian I can see that Empires did have brakes on their potential stupidity. Usually they had economic and power incentives. Whilst this was far from ideal, in our fallen world I think it may be the best that we can hope for. Unlike Britain or Germany, Tsarist Russia was a multi-ethnic, multi-racial state that had a largely peaceful existence. It was only when people came with a message of peace, democracy and equality that 20,000,000 people were killed. Epictetus said 'do not tell the world that you are a philosopher, but if you are wise show it in actions. A sheep does not vomit its food but puts it into producing wool'. The same goes for any humanist ideology. If you have an idea for exporting freedom, equality and fraternity then put it into action without sending people to the guillotine for opposing it. If democracy is so wonderful then surely we do not need to send high explosives to Georgia, and Saakashvilli does not need to close down TV stations. Whilst it is all very well for us to be smug about the Jacobins and Bolsheviks, NATO may be seen by future historians as a tragic symbol of secular humanist hubris.
My Romanian friend Bogdan said that people from his country had been victims of the bear's claws. By this he meant the multi-national secular humanist USSR. Given how NATO members America and France have treated those who reject their values (with white phosophorus and high explosive) I do not see them in such a positive light. I fear that Central/ Eastern Europeans may be seeking refuge from the bear's claws by leaping into the mouth of a secular humanist dragon.