Is there any God but God? Is Muhammed not His Prophet?

It is days like today when allies like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and even Pakistan become useful. These are nations that fear God, in foreign policy, in very concrete ways. With Russia’s latest attack on the peace, where Moscow recognizes their allies in Georgia as independent countries, the question for our Islamist friends is: why may Russia be able to create new states, but Muslims may not?

Russia Backs Independence of Breakaway Georgian Areas – NYTimes.com
MOSCOW — Russia on Tuesday formally recognized the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, the two enclaves in Georgia whose separatist aspirations stirred the fierce conflict this month.
It drew immediate condemnation from the United States and its allies.

Acting a day after Russia’s Parliament unanimously supported the enclaves’ request to secede, President Dmitri A. Medvedev announced that he had signed decrees recognizing the two territories’ independence. He blamed the Georgian president, Mikheil Saakashvili, for causing the bloodshed and forcing Moscow’s hand.

He said it was clear that the warring sides could never again live together, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia had to be independent.

“This is not an easy choice, but it is the only way to save the lives of people,” Mr. Medvedev said in a nationally televised address.

Speaking on a trip to the Middle East, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called the move “regrettable,” The Associated Press reported. France, which holds the presidency of the European Union, said it “strongly condemns this decision.”

French President Nicolas Sarkozy’s office said in a statement: “This is contrary to the principles of the independence, the sovereignty and the territorial integrity of Georgia.”

An entity already exists for our Islamist friends to recognize, and for us to tacitly support: The Emirate of the Caucasus (currently in exile, but with language and cultural abilities that we could tap).

Indeed, encouraging states like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates to recognize the Caucasian Emirate may help us in the war against terrorism. The War in Afghanistan has degenerated into an Afghani-Pakistani Civil War, where “victory” will come by incorporating the Pashtuns in both countries into the political system while not allowing them to dominate non-Puthu regions of Afghanistan. The easiest way for this to happen is for the Taliban to be split from al Qaeda, which would allow cooler heads to prevail (as the Anbar Awakening split the Sunni tribes from al Qaeda in Iraq). Recognizing the grievances of Islamists — including their oppression by the Russians the right of Muslims everywhere to defend the Caucasian Emirate — legitimizes managable and expected intra-Gap fighting between Muslims and Russia helping the Core’s interests both in Afghanistan and in Russia.

Russia’s stock market, which had already dropped in response to the conflict in Georgia, fell sharply after Mr. Medvedev’s announcement, with the benchmark RTS Index falling nearly 6 percent.

Few countries are likely to join Russia in extending recognition to the two regions and the move is expected to increase strains between Russia and the West.

The Caucasian Emirate has been hinted at before…

9 thoughts on “Is there any God but God? Is Muhammed not His Prophet?”

  1. Except the fact that the only people within the Caucasus which support the Caucasian Emirate are the radical groups, like the Chechen Republic of Ichkeria. The people who live in these areas DO NOT support this. You say they have cultural ties, but the only cultural tie is Islam. For instance, Ingushetia is quite different than Kabardino-Balkaria, they are different ethnic groups with entirely different cultures.

    The Caucasian Emirate sounds nice in theory, but is completely impractical and impossible.

    http://the19thhole.wordpress.com

  2. TDAXP, if I understand correctly, your are not saying that the creation of a Emirate of the Caucasus is a good thing (desirable state), but the the movement for a such might server as an interesting proxy in which to distract, disrupt, confuse, prepocupy and make a lot of trouble for Russia.

  3. Purpleslog once again makes my case better than I could make it!

    Regarding RAWilliams, whether our Islamist allies support the C.E. or some other constellation of break-away regions is a technical detail. The purpose is to increase the heat on Russia to engaging in aggressive war and trying to dismember other states.

    I have no idea what Charlie is talking about. I only didn’t delete his comment because he’s typical of a lot of the emotionality I see on this issue.

  4. Dan
    I agree with your analysis on this. Declaring that every ethnic enclave with a grievance gets its own nation-state status is a bell the Russians will soon wish they could un-ring:[1]

    “MOSCOW (Reuters) – The Kremlin’s decision to recognize the independence of two breakaway regions of neighboring Georgia has prompted some people inside Russia’s own borders to ask: why can we not have independence too?

    The recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia risks starting a “domino effect,” re-awakening separatist sentiments in Chechnya and other parts of the turbulent North Caucasus where Russia has been fighting to contain rebellions.”

    While I don’t think the U.S. should rush to partner with Islamists (speaking of bell you can’t un-ring), it would be preferable to a more overt military confrontation and the option should be quietly explored and viewed as the strategic equivalent of a switchblade in our back pocket.

    [1]http://www.reuters.com/article/reutersEdge/idUSLR49820920080827

  5. Brent,

    Well said.

    Russia’s position is incoherent — they defend their recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by saying there cannot be one rule for Serbia and another for Georgia — but all the while deny that Kosovo is an independent countries [1]. (Simultaneously alienating both Kosovo and Serbia takes talent, but Putin managed it! [2])

    Supporting Islamists against Russia is the equivalent of supporting the People’s Mujahideen against Iran [3] — recognizing that bad things happen in the Gap anyway, the point is to keep the Gap busy in itself so as to minimize the violence it can export to the Core.

    That said, if we have peace with Iran [4], I think Iran may join the Core faster than Russia could.

    [1] http://www.economist.com/opinion/displaystory.cfm?story_id=12009678
    [2] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/27/mapping-the-core.html
    [3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Mujahedin_of_Iran
    [4] http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2008/08/15/peace-with-iran.html

  6. That said, if we have peace with Iran [4], I think Iran may join the Core faster than Russia could.

    And if Jessica Simpson stops dating Tony Romo she might start dating me. While this does not violate the laws of physics, it seems just as unlikely as the leadership of Iran ending their 29 year war against the United States or leaving their current positions of power any time soon.

  7. Mark in Texas,

    Thank you for your comment.

    And if Jessica Simpson stops dating Tony Romo she might start dating me. While this does not violate the laws of physics, it seems just as unlikely as the leadership of Iran ending their 29 year war against the United States or leaving their current positions of power any time soon.

    One does not follow from the other.

    We began constructive engagement with China under Mao Zedong, who was far scarier than the Ayatollahs — during the Cultural Revolution, which was far scarier than life in the Islamic Republic.

    Many of the historical reasons for harassing Iran no longer hold.

    Russia’s resumption of interstate war as a tool of diplomacy is one bigger threat, among many.

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