Friday, August 08, 2008

Russia invades Georgia


The big news of this day is that Russian tanks are rolling across the border into the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Vladimir Putin, with the exquisite timing of a maestro, made his move while much of the world is longingly focused on the Olympic Games.

At this point, the (ostensible) causus belli is unclear.

Two Russian planes were shot down in Georgian airspace. The Georgians claim that the planes were bombing villages. The Russians deny this and, for their part, say they are responding to Georgian attacks on Russian peace-keepers and "ethnic cleansing" that is being carried out in the separatist region of South Ossetia. A muddled picture, to be sure.

Now, Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili is calling on the international community to denounce the Russian invasion and aid his country, while Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, urged the Europeans and Americans to "reach the right conclusions."

This entire incident is but another result of depleted American credibility brought about by the incompetence and malevolence of the Bush administration.

Like bringing a squirt-gun to a knife fight...
Junior once said of Putin: "I looked the man in the eye. I found him to be very straight forward and trustworthy and we had a very good dialogue. I was able to get a sense of his soul."

Well, one has to imagine that Putin was laughing up his sleeve when he heard that. Does it not seem apparent that Putin has calculated the costs of the current military adventure and determined that, with American credibility so low, he has a free hand to do as he will?

Bush and his sycophantic accomplice, the underwhelming Condoleeza Rice, have gravely damaged US relations with nearly everyone, but most especially with our European allies. The list of offenses is long: Guantanamo detentions, extraordinary renditions, flaunting of the Geneva Convention, and, of course, the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses.

With our alliances in such a state, and with our diplomatic corps eviscerated, there is nothing immediately that can be done. The White House response to the invasion was pathetic: "We urge restraint on all sides - that violence would be curtailed and that direct dialogue could ensue in order to help resolve their differences," mewled White House automaton Dana Perino.

Meanwhile, Junior yucks it up with Putin in Beijing at the opening of the Olympic games. It is unclear if Junior, who we know has an aversion to reading intelligence reports, was aware of the build up of Russian forces on the Georgian border before leaving for China. But I suppose, if he did know, he calculated it was better not to risk offending our Chinese creditors by snubbing their white-wash party than to stay at the White House and do his job.

Well, if Junior is sitting in the stands in Beijing, he is probably less likely to make things worse. Thank God for small favors.

6 comments:

Alex said...

Funny, and kinda pathetic, is what people like you are. You rant about how the US should be the world's cop but then when it does something you yell imperialism and war crimes and what else come into your mind. Did Europe, China, or India do anything more concrete than the US. I doubt it. And how the heck is all this the US of A's fault.

Shus li said...

I missed the post where you said the US should be the world's cop, Dade. Could you label that for us, please?

Anonymous said...

what has the US got to do with this?

According to US military sources (spokesman for US European Command), the US has more than 100 "military trainers" in Georgia. A Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman "said there were no plans to redeploy the estimated 130 US troops and civilian contractors, who he said were stationed in the area around Tblisi" (AFP, 9 August 2008). In fact, US-NATO military presence in Georgia is on a larger scale to that acknowledged in official statements. The number of NATO personnel in Georgia acting as trainers and military advisers has not been confirmed.

Arthur said...

"Russia invades Georgia" well the only quote that I haven't seen in this text perhaps was "Uncle Sam wants you". The only thing I have seen here, are biased pro - US views, well not surprisingly. Personally, I prefer collecting information from various sources - Russian, US, UK. It's obvious that mass media always presents news crooked to some degree. But let's look at some facts:
-Georgian troops invaded South Ossetia.
-Russian peacekeepers who were representatives of UN were killed.
-Many citizens of Ossetia, and what is more significant for Russian Federation - citizens of Russia were killed or injured (I am not denying the fact Russia took advantage of people, giving them Russian passports but that was completely legal move)
Now what I noticed in Western media, most attention is given not to these facts but to the fact that Russian army is stronger than Georgian and it attacks a democratical state! In my opinion "democratical" factor is not that important at all, moreover compared with other recent invasions like US invasion in Iraq -one can see way more critisism of the Russian side. Not suprisingly with most of the media influenced by the USA and the UK.
But I am quite surprised the conflict has actually started. I am not sure if I am right in my assumptions but technically if the 2 republics separate from Georgia, its president only wins - one of last barriers for entering NATO is removed. That is something what Russia don't want - so perhaps that is why now, this "Ossetia defence" operation expands further inside Georgia. As a citizen of Russia I think this one of the 2 options Russia could do: either try to influence the whole regime in Georgia or try to restore the times when South Ossetia was just an unstable region in the country. With latter not very likely it might be not so bad decision to do what it is doing now. Of course not bad for Russia, for the US it won't be good at all if Geogia is lost as a base for NATO in general and US in particular. But let's see what happens next

Anonymous said...

what has the US got to do with this?

According to US military sources (spokesman for US European Command), the US has more than 100 "military trainers" in Georgia. A Pentagon spokesman Bryan Whitman "said there were no plans to redeploy the estimated 130 US troops and civilian contractors, who he said were stationed in the area around Tblisi" (AFP, 9 August 2008). In fact, US-NATO military presence in Georgia is on a larger scale to that acknowledged in official statements. The number of NATO personnel in Georgia acting as trainers and military advisers has not been confirmed.

Alex said...

Funny, and kinda pathetic, is what people like you are. You rant about how the US should be the world's cop but then when it does something you yell imperialism and war crimes and what else come into your mind. Did Europe, China, or India do anything more concrete than the US. I doubt it. And how the heck is all this the US of A's fault.