In theory, Europe should be a major world power with considerable leverage over Russia and yet the September 1st EU summit on Georgia produced nothing except for clouds of hot air, revealing the complete impotence of "Europe". Meanwhile, the war will have a serious influence on both the domestic politics and foreign relations of Russia for years to come, and will also exacerbate the already festering national question in the region.

After September 11, 2001 the American people were psychologically prepared for a more aggressive foreign policy, severe restrictions on their civil liberties, increased powers of state repression and a further boost to military spending. But seven years later a radically different picture presents itself. Gone is the old confidence of the imperialists.

Despite the claims of the Russian and Georgian governments, there is no progressive content on either side of the war in South Ossetia and Georgia. The present nightmare of war and chauvinist poison is the result of imperialist meddling. The conflict between a strengthened Russian regional imperialist power and US imperialism, entangled in Iraq and Afghanistan, is the backdrop of these events. The peoples of the Caucasus are just small change in the pockets of the imperialists, but it is they who pay the price of the power politics between Russia and the USA.

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