What Role Should the International Community Play in the Russia-Georgia Conflict?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
August 15, 2008
Russian Troops in Georgia

DipNote Editors' Note: Due to lingering crisis in Georgia, this entry will remain the "Question of the Week" for two weeks.

Last week, Russia attacked Georgia in response to a Georgian attempt to quell dissension in a breakaway province. On August 12, Russian President Medvedev met the President-in-Office of the European Union, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and approved a six-point peace plan. Late that night, Georgian President Saakashvili agreed to the text. Since that time, tensions remain in the region. Secretary Rice met with the Georgian President and called for a cessation of military activities and respect for Georgian territorial integrity and independence and sovereignty.

What role should the international community play in the Russia-Georgia conflict?

Comments

Comments

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 17, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

Since President Bush is going to be in Crawford a spell, I suggest he might get some positive results if he invites the heads of the G8 (Russia included) and any other concerned head of state that wishes to show up, and sit down to talk about the future we wish to create for ourselves.

I think it is time a clear understanding is reached, as Humanity has a vested interest in the matter.

What happened in Georgia is simply a symptom of a larger systemic problem of not properly dealing with long standing animosities.

The world is faced with a choice to let these old animosities continue to affect international relations in a dysfunctional manner, or the choice of engaging in group therapy.

Paranoia runs deep in societies capable of exterminating humanity. This symptom of collective insanity definitely needs to end.

How can we be good stewards of the planet otherwise?

Syrian P.
|
Syria
August 17, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

Why the U.S. is trying to fabricate a conflict in Georgia. The International community has no business interfering in Georgian-Russian affairs. Why the Israelis arming Georgia and sending army and security men to train Georgians in waging genocidal terrorist campaign against impoverished elderly, women and infants, when they are asking Iran and Syria to stop helping Lebanese resistance fighters fighting Israeli to regain occupied land. The disputed regions were really never Georgians, the inhabitants are not Georgians, they are Russians and they want to be part of Russia. The answer is clear, like Iraq, this is a resource war driven deceptively by false propaganda. Call it for real, the PIPELINES WAR.

Whoever is plotting all this mayhem in the Middle East and Central Asia is genocidal and ignorant indeed, a looser. Almost all the countries that are producing oil and gas would love to have Americans walk in and develop resources, they are ready to provide any aid needed for that endver. For these involved countries, the sale of resources represents more than 90 % of the entire State revenue. If they don't sell the resources, they will starve. And that is equally true for the transportation and its corridors, be it land or sea, the transit revenue is very attractive and needed.

So why use WAR as a modus-opri to gain the resources or secure its transportation. Why not use DEVELOPMENT and PROGRESS, economic incentives, investments as a tool, rather than bombs, genocides and terrorism that create the need for massive expenditures on armament and security.

Now you have your answer, this is not only a war to gain resources, this is a war were a group of very evil people that have majority ownership in both Oil and Armament industries have keen interest in plundering, genocides, creating conflicts and insecurities throughout the Middle East and Central Asia, soon later, in Southeast Asia as well, for purpose of selling arm, security gear and personnel, sell even own country interests to gain personal, legendary wealth of fabled Solomon riches.

They will fail miserably, unknowing to them; they are dragged, hooked by the jaw by their own greed and evil motivation to self destruct. In the Hebrew book of Ezekiel 38-39 you will find these words:

38:2. Son of man, set thy face against Gog, of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him,
3. And you shall say; So said the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Gog, the prince, the head of Meshech and Tubal.

Also, take note of the Quran text (Sura Al-Kahf):
"...But when Gog and Magog are let loose and they rush headlong down every height (or advantage). Then will the True Promise draw near" - (Qur'an 21:96-97).

Now: here are your keys to understand the participants in this final war 2012-2017, go do your Google homework, these are the nations involved in the coming great war of wars according to Ezekiel:

2. The sons of Japheth were:
Gomer, (Eurasian Steppes Caucasus, Black Sea),
Magog, (Scythia= Caspian Steppe, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Belarus, Poland and Bulgaria)
Madai, (Meads, Kurds)
Javan, (Northeastern Mediterranean Sea, Anatolia, Modern Cyprus, southern Turkey)
Tubal, (Georgians)
Meshech, ( Georgian Meskheti Moskova= Georgian king Mosokh/Meshech and his wife Kva, daughter Ya and Daughter Vuza= Yauza river in Moscow)

3. The sons of Gomer were:
Ashkenaz, (Ukraine-Central Asia),
Riphath, (Turkey),
Togarmah,(Georgian/Khazar).

Now, please don't tell me that this was written last week by some conspiracy theorists, you can go back more than 2000 years and you will find hand inscription of the above Ezekiel 38-39 text, even much more in the book of Daniel and the book of revelations. All together, they have described in full detail, the final unfolding events with great detail and accuracy. Here is what else you will find, that is a tale tale sign, who is the real Commander in Chief at work: "I will put a hook in the jaws of the Kings of the North and drag them unwilling to smash them against the kings of the south." It also says: In that day, I am angry at human ignorance and how easily they are deceived, that, in that day, I shall bring on them even greater deception, as punishment.

DIPNOTE: Please Publish, let readers research.

Zharkov
|
United States
August 17, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Russia did not attack Georgia. Russia responded to a military attack. Everyone in Europe knows this by now.

The first thing this State Department can do is to stop lying about who began the war. Here are the facts that can be easily verified within the mainstream media, but are buried beneath the rhetoric of anti-Russianism.

1) Ossetia is a ninety percent Russian area. Georgia has made repeated efforts to ethnically cleanse the region. Russian peacekeeping troops have been in Ossetia for years and were approved in international agreements so as to protect the citizens of the region from attacks by the Georgian military.

2) Georgia, not Russia, started this war. Georgia invaded Ossetia trying to take control of the region and ethnically cleanse the Russian population.

3) The Georgian Army, trained by US and Israeli advisors, commanded by their Minister of Defense (who is also an Israeli citizen), launched a surprise invasion and attack that caused the deaths of at least a thousand people in its first 24 hours. This attack was committed while the attention of the world was on the Olympics.

4) In the wake of Georgia's military invasion and massacres, Russia responded by battling to protect the Ossetian people and fighting the Georgia military so it could not continue its invasion and assault. Thousands of Ossetian civilians became refugees from the Georgian assault.

5) Instead of reporting these facts to the world, our State Department and news media have been dishonestly reporting that the Georgian state is a victim of "Russian aggression" and a "Russian invasion."

It was Georgia that first invaded, bombed, and massacred the people of Ossetia to start this conflict. On the cable news networks for hours after the Georgian launched invasion and massacres in Ossetia, Americans were only permitted to see the Georgia President and U.S. State Department officials screaming about how Georgia was "invaded" by Russia!

Germany and the heads of state of most European countries completely disagree with our State Department's claim of Russian aggression.

One may argue whether Russia over-reacted, but that is a completely separate issue from who began the attack.

Bruce
|
Illinois, USA
August 17, 2008

Bruce in Illinois writes:

Russia used the pretext of Russian passport holders as justification for intervention. Couldn't the U.S.A. decide to temporarily revoke all prior U.S. visas by Russian passport holders as an executive order (not legislative changes)? In short, they now present a potential national security threat (as in Soviet days) which was not apparent at the time of their visa application - so declare that all the visas need to be replaced by new applications.

Require that they reapply to establish their eligibility again for new visas - only available through Embassy Moscow with Soviet-style bureucratic delays and difficulties while waiting for new guidance about who should qualify or not.

All Russian elites who plan travel to the USA would thus have their plans and business interests disrupted overnight. Inform the airlines that all prior visas for Russian passport holders are no longer valid for boarding US flights. Leave angry Russian travelers stranded.

Let those angry Russians stay home and complain to Putin about being treated like pariahs, rather than feeling proud or more powerful.

Encourage the EU to do the same - close the borders until there are satisfactory negotiations about Georgia. Not likely to happen - but even talking about it would send a signal that we can be creative in our response too. Let Russians worry about their ability to travel freely - now that they have business and investment interests elsewhere.

This has a more immediate, disproportionate, and more unexpected impact than arguing over complex economic sanctions, G8 expulsion, etc. Surprise Putin by doing unexpected but peaceful things which upset ordinary Russians.

How about introducing a motion in the UN General Assembly to have Russia expelled? It would never pass, but they would lose face by just exposing how many countries don't want to be pushed around by a Soviet-style regime again. Purely symbolic, but if they're going to start broadcasting lies about Cheney being the cause of the Georgia crisis, then we should be very creative in our response too.

Do very unexpected political and economic (not military) things - not the predictable diplomatic stuff which Putin already discounted as irrelevant before the invasion.

Think more like Gandhi and his general strikes against the British. Do non-violent things which suddenly and very unexpectedly disrupt Russian interests and cause them to lose face or appear weak in ways which are beyond their control - just as we have few good options for dealing with their disproportionate use of military power in Georgia.

Use our disproportionate economic power again - as Reagan did despite European misgivings - instead of accepting the myth that we are helpless to respond just because they export a lot of oil and gas or can allegedly be helpful rather than unhelpful with Iran. That's how Carter thought, and the media still does.

Do things which they don't expect, and don't want to continue, and then at some point we can talk again about getting back to a more reasonable relationship. Until then, we should work with friendly countries to do peaceful things which really aggravate the Russian people who admire Putin so much. Don't make a martyr out of him by trying to impose sanctions. Find more creative ways to make ordinary Russians soon feel that this move was a big mistake by him, no matter how much propaganda he puts out in response.

Kirk
|
Kentucky, USA
August 17, 2008

Kirk in Kentucky writes:

It is amazing to think that a tiny spot on the map has captivated the entire world. A spot you could drive through in an hours time.

First, I encourage everyone to read this very moving speech by Dimitri Sanakoev who is the head of the provisional government in S. Ossetia.

http://www.civil.ge/eng/article.php?id=15101see

As for the international community, here is my vision:

1. S. Ossetia and Abkhazia may be legitimate areas of Georgia but what also must be considered are the tenets of democracy which say that governance over the people can only be conducted with the consent of those people. To that end, I think that the EU and UN need to sit down with the president of Georgia, the heads of each provisional government, and come to a resolution. Visiting dignitaries from these major institutions will legitimize the heads of each of these areas and the international community will exert enormous pressure on the break away regions to agree to the creation a federation of states. These institutions must be firm in their explanation that no other country will recognize them or respect their sovereignty as they stand now, divided, but united on an equal level with each other they will have the support of the world.

2. Russian "peace-keeping" forces need to be removed. It is an improper relationship. While the S. Ossetians may think themselves independent, as long as they rely on their "comrades" for military backing they will only be a cat's paw for Russian interests. Peace-keeping duties should be a co-opperative force of French and German UN troops. The Germans and Russians seem to have a trustworthy working relationship and the French can help retain neutrality. We do not need to be involved.

3. Part of the treaty of confederacy will obligate S. Ossetia and Abkhazia to repay their debt to Russia in a timely fashion.

4. The role of the U.S. should be to support Russia in the press and through diplomatic means to allow Russia a chance to have a leading role and re-gain the favor of the world for their "flexibility and wisdom." We need to say, in essence, "We don't agree with what you did, but you can help make it right." Though some say they should be penalized for their use of excessive force, I think it will only aggravate the situation so instead we should set up a situation where they can save face, mend fences, and diffuse tensions. They will be giving up a strategic advantage by withdrawing their forces, so some other concessions may have to be made for them. I'm not trying to paint Russia as some innocent reactionary, they can be disingenuous, cunning, dangerous and they have their own plans and designs. But at the same time, the major differences between us, that of Communism and Representational Democracy, has largely dissolved, so now we can reframe our relationship. We need to reshape our relationship with Russia in a new light.

To quote Goethe:

"Treat a man as he is, he will remain so. Treat a man the way he can be and ought to be, and he will become as he can be and should be."

Russia is not a petulant child that needs to be disciplined for unruly behavior. We are not Russia's parents. But as long as that nation feels like it is being disrespected from international partners, that our new allies are slowly stacking up against them, they will act out to in an effort to gain respect through fear and secure their sphere of influence. One of the ways to show some one respect is to listen to them. And sometimes you do have to sacrifice short term strategic advantages for long term peace. Not always, but sometimes.

The second part for our side will be to also pressure the break away regions to form a federation and to pledge some economic assistance.

Fantasy as it may be, that's my plan and I'm sticking to it.

Now my brain hurts. So who else has their thinking cap on?

Marian A.
|
New York, USA
August 17, 2008

Marian in New York writes:

Dear Secretary Rice:

Among the most disheartening events of this new, 21st Century, and we started it with many, is the throwback start of a war by the Russia against Georgia. Ever since the Mongols relinquished their control over it, Russia embarked on the imperialistic conquests of its neighbors, with perhaps the largest being a part of China's Manchu Province, with an area of 400,000 square miles.

This UN concepts violating Russian invasion may renew the once common violent aggression processes and re-establish such precedence, for others to follow.

In the present context, powerful, modernized and well organized but grossly overpopulated China may look north beyond the recently set boundaries on the Amur and Ussuri Rivers to the scarcely populated, once its own, lands.

Michael
|
California, USA
August 17, 2008

Michael in California writes:

@ Eric in New Mexico -- Eric - your analysis is appreciated: certainly there are deeper issues. I spent a few months in Georgia for work several years ago, and let me just say that it was awe-inspiring the way the proud Georgian culture flourished since the soviet occupiers left. Now they are back - pure and simple. Russia invaded Georgia again and is now occupying. There were once nukes in Georgia. Now there are none. Would Russia have invaded again if Georgia possessed those soviet-era nukes? unlikely. By not militarily supporting Georgia - standing toe-to-toe like we promised, and like Georgia did with US in Iraq, we are sending a VERY bad signal to our allies and potential allies: despite what you did for us, you are on your own when push comes to shove. We need to escalate the humanitarian aid. We need warships in and around Georgian ports. We need forcibly make the Russians BACK OFF if need-be. They invaded and are occupying our ally. Russian troops in Abkazia and S.Ossetia need to be replaced with UN blue helmets. I am very surprised the people of Abkazia and S. Ossetia even think Russia is 'on their side'. Integration with Georgia-proper is their best hope of sustained economic prosperity.

Ron
|
New York, USA
August 17, 2008

Ron in New York writes:

U.S.G. should take a long hard look at itself.

This situation is unfortunate for the Georgians, but just what the doctor ordered for U.S. to recalibrate foreign policy.

Paul
|
District Of Columbia, USA
August 17, 2008

Paul in Washington, DC writes:

Is the treaty just signed by the U.S. and Poland available online? There is a some concern that it could commit the U.S. to defend Poland if the Russians attacked the missile defense system about to be installed there, which the Russians will undoubtedly do. Could this cause a war no one wants, like what happened in 1914? No news reporter seems to have seen the actual treaty. Are its terms classified?

Allen
|
Virginia, USA
August 17, 2008

Allen in Virginia writes:

Hmm, so it was "quelling dissension" Georgia was up to in that breakaway province last Thursday night. It's enlightening that massed 122mm rocket fire on an urban area is useful for that. Now we know that the Soviets had the wrong method of "quelling dissension." If they had blasted dissidents apart with rocket fire, U.S. government would have gone along with it without making much fuss at all.

Robert
|
Florida, USA
August 17, 2008

Robert in Florida writes:

Please forward this!

What Georgia needs is a paratrooper drop from as many countries as possible.

This will show solidarity and they will be compelled not to fire upon them.

One wave after another from Germany, France Belgium, Iraq, Turkey, Poland, Ukraine, Britain, U.S. Everyone into the capital city.

Will Russia go against the world ? Forget the UN do it on our own diplomacy.

Thanks.

Helen
|
Georgia
August 17, 2008

Helen in Georgia writes:

International community should be closely watching as well as listening to experienced people like Mr. Bzhezinski &"no assumptions" was Kremlin ever worried about its reputation?! Is it showing any signs of carrying about reputation damages today?!

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
August 17, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

PRAY....and be realistic.

Pounding our chest does not accomplish anything beyond show the futility of the position we are in due to lack of forsight and serves to only shore up Russia's power....

Downplay may be a better move and cancellation of orders for Russian goods with a UN decree.

Then again, were they realy going to open a steel mill in Ohio and employ 4,000 Americans?

Robert P.
|
Wisconsin, USA
August 17, 2008

Robert in Wisconsin writes:

It seems to me that it should be difficult for President Bush to attack the Russian invasion of Georgia while we have invaded and continue to remain in Iraq. At a minimum the occupation of Iraq by US forces has stretched our military to the point that all we can do is object. The international community can only do what it did when we invaded Iraq. Complain.

Yes, I know, you are going to say that Iraq is different. But is it really?

Victoria
|
Canada
August 18, 2008

Victoria in Canada writes:

It is a precarious position for a country to be in when it is both apart of a democratic association like NATO, and yet, has faithful democratic allies outside of NATO. Not to worry as the key to this predicament can be found in Sacred Scripture. However, one does not even have to dust off their copy of the Good Book-just take a long look at America's Great Seal. The eagle looks to peaceful means first and foremost. Now, it is going to take a divinely inspired, diplomatic, genius to maneuver Russia and Georgia out of this dilemma. Good luck Dr. Rice-hopefully you've said your prayers!

In respect to the dissenting countries in the international community of NATO, clearly they have all done too much by not allowing Georgia to begin the process for entrance into NATO; so, perhaps the only action each of these countries should take is to follow suite, by falling in line with a U.S. diplomatic solution. Finally, at this point in time, both NATO and non-NATO countries need to express neighborly charity by assisting Georgia's war-torn people with whatever peaceful means they have at their disposal.

Sofia
August 18, 2008

Sofia writes:

NONE !!!!!!! You have to live with this people for CENTURIES to know their culture and how to deal with them... Instead of Criticizing Russia why don't we recall american bombing of Serbia...

Jeton
|
Kosovo
August 18, 2008

Jeton in Kosovo writes:

@ Sofia -- What are you talking about? Comparing South Ossetia or another place on Earth with Kosovo is total absurd. However I would compare this, Russia went in and attacked a democratic country, destroyed an entire city and generated thousands of refugees, ironically most of them South Ossetians who were manipulated by the Russian regime for the sole use of Kremlin interests. (Similar thing is happening in Northern Kosovo, with Serbs being manipulated by Belgrade).

NATO intervention in Kosovo returned about 1 Mil refugees back to their homes, and stopped the genocide and killings of civilians. (NOTE: Serbian Government Forces Killed over 10,000 civilians in less than 90 days starting January 1999).

Back to Russian aggression of Georgia: EU should answer this question, What good does the cheap gas is going to do for EU, if that cheap gas is going to fuel old Russian tanks?

Roman
|
Russia
August 18, 2008

Roman in Russia writes:

Shame on you!

Why do you think that Russia can not do the same as the U.S.? The actions of Russia in Georgia mirror the U.S. action in Yugoslavia.

Aristides
|
Florida, USA
August 19, 2008

Ari in Florida writes:

Russia is a very dangerous aggressor.

Putin who is still in charge in Russia wants to use the false patriotism and national pride to stay in power forever.

This was the style in the former Soviet Union and it is what he wants now. Remember he was a KGB officer and everybody knows what is that means.

I spent 10 years of my life in Russia. I know them very well. They are not compassionate people. Too many years of communist education that promoted the hate and intolerance.

Russia is a very violent society. And Putin is capitalizing on this to perpetuate himself in power.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 19, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ Roman in Russia -- Every conflict has it's own unique set of circumstances and motivations, thus like nations who are unique in their own being, U.S. policy is not applied in a "one size fits all" manner, and while Russia may try to find some justification in what you say, it would be misplaced logic to use such comparisons.

When the Sec. of State said, "Russia has overreached." this is why:

"A major issue is Russia's contention that the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia may not be a part of Georgia's future. But these regions are a part of Georgia, and the international community has repeatedly made clear that they will remain so. Georgia is a member of the United Nations, and South Ossetia and Abkhazia lie within its internationally recognized borders. Georgia's borders should command the same respect as every other nation's.

There's no room for debate on this matter. The United Nations Security Council has adopted numerous resolutions concerning Georgia. These resolutions are based on the premise that South Ossetia and Abkhazia remain within the borders of Georgia and that their underlying conflicts will be resolved through international negotiations. These resolutions are based on the premise that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are to be considered a part of the Georgian territory, and to the extent there's conflicts they will be resolved peacefully.

These resolutions reaffirm Georgia's sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity. Russia itself has endorsed these resolutions. The international community is clear that South Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia, and the United States fully recognizes this reality.

We will continue to stand behind Georgia's democracy; we will continue to insist that Georgia's sovereignty and independence and territorial integrity be respected."

- President Bush, Aug 17

So basicly Roman, every day the Russians are in Georgia is another day your nation is looking like it's breaking its own word and going back on signed UN resolutions rather than relying on them for a credible solution to the conflict.

Jim
|
United States
August 19, 2008

Jim in U.S.A. writes:

The actions of Russia are deplorable and it should face swift action from freedom loving countries of the world. What ever is necessary to remove the Russian aggressors from sovereign Georgian territory should be taken.

Our allies should take the following quote to heart.

"History does not long entrust the care of freedom to the weak or the timid." (Dwight Eisenhower)

As for the Russians I have this Texas saying "Never dig up more Rattlesnakes than you can kill!"

Jeton
|
Kosovo
August 19, 2008

Jeton in Kosovo writes:

Why do you think I don't want Russia to do the same that the U.S. is doing?

You are looking at the wrong mirror if you see a parallel between Kosovo and South Ossetia.

Were South Ossetia or Abkhazia constituive elements with its own constitution in U.S.S.R.? FYI Kosovo was!

Robintel
|
Romania
August 19, 2008

Robintel in Romania writes:

Hi!

It is my strong belief that the international community should support Georgia in its legitimate attempt to keep its borders.

I also strongly feel that NATO should offer strong and immediate support to Georgia because the conflict there is the price Georgia pays for being our dedicated ally.

It's really our war there: a war of ideas.

As always, people die. We should do something fast!

Are we going to allow Russia to make a mockery of everything we have built over the years?

@ Roman in Russia -- You are wrong. Yugoslavia did not have a democratic leader.

@ Ron in New York -- Is it fair for allies to die while we do nothing about it?

@ Bruce in Illinois -- I agree with your proposal. It's only fair: you want to see the world? Be part of that world and obey its rules.

@ Zharkov in U.S.A -- Russia has no legitimate business in Georgia whatsoever. I live in Europe.

Russia smuggled in weapons into Georgia's South Osetia so no, Russia should stay out. They have created the mess.

If you interfere with your neighbours you should expect some form of retaliation.

You are absolutely wrong. Georgia did not invade South Osetia the same way U.S.A. cannot invade U.S.A. Osetia is a part of Georgia. Remember that.

Eric
|
New Mexico, USA
August 20, 2008

Eric in New Mexico writes:

@ SNP in Syria and Joe in Tennessee -- It has been suggested by SNP that this conflict reflects biblical prophesy manifest. Joe suggests folks pray and get realistic.

OK fine, let me suggest then that:

1) These revelations of prophesy are not written in stone as if mankind had no choice in the matter, but written down to be read by folks in today's world as a warning to be careful about the world we create for ourselves.

2) The choice exists to remain subject to the vision of a possible future and believe phrophesy to the extent that we all walk over oblivion's cliff like lemmings, or change the parameters of understanding what purpose they serve in order not to create that dismal vision of long ago.

3) Since I don't believe God has anything to do with what is obviously the works of man in these circumstance, I have no reason to think prayer will solve the problem.

And that's about as realistic as it gets.

Zharkov
|
United States
August 20, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

Pat Buchanan has written almost exactly what I've been saying here:

"If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.

From Harry Truman to Ronald Reagan, as Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, U.S. presidents have sought to avoid shooting wars with Russia, even when the Bear was at its most beastly.

Truman refused to use force to break Stalin's Berlin blockade. Ike refused to intervene when the Butcher of Budapest drowned the Hungarian Revolution in blood. LBJ sat impotent as Leonid Brezhnev's tanks crushed the Prague Spring. Jimmy Carter's response to Brezhnev's invasion of Afghanistan was to boycott the Moscow Olympics. When Brezhnev ordered his Warsaw satraps to crush Solidarity and shot down a South Korean airliner killing scores of U.S. citizens, including a congressman, Reagan did ...nothing.

These presidents were not cowards. They simply would not go to war when no vital U.S. interest was at risk to justify a war. Yet, had George W. Bush prevailed and were Georgia in NATO, U.S. Marines could be fighting Russian troops over whose flag should fly over a province of 70,000 South Ossetians who prefer Russians to Georgians.

The arrogant folly of the architects of U.S. post-Cold War policy is today on display. By bringing three ex-Soviet republics into NATO, we have moved the U.S. red line for war from the Elbe almost to within artillery range of the old Leningrad.

And can we not understand how a Russian patriot like Vladimir Putin would be incensed by this U.S. encirclement after Russia shed its empire and sought our friendship? How would Andy Jackson have reacted to such crowding by the British Empire?

If Cold War II is coming, who started it, if not us?

The swift and decisive action of Putin's army in running the Georgian forces out of South Ossetia in 24 hours after Saakashvili began his barrage and invasion suggests Putin knew exactly what Saakashvili was up to and dropped the hammer on him.

What did we know? Did we know Georgia was about to walk into Putin's trap? Did we not see the Russians lying in wait north of the border? Did we give Saakashvili a green light?

The war in Georgia has exposed the dangerous overextension of U.S. power. There is no way America can fight a war with Russia in the Caucasus with our army tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nor should we. Hence, it is demented (i.e. crazy, insane, irrational) to be offering, as John McCain and Barack Obama are, NATO membership to Tbilisi."

I wish I could underline every word of the above article, but to this, I would add that it's a stupid foreign policy to offer the illusion of protection to smaller nations that America is not willing or able to provide. We should not arm them, teach them, then abandon them to be shot.

If Russia is surrounded by NATO members, it still remains Russia, with Russian attitudes, and Russian leaders, and it will deal with those who deliberately shoot Russians, as Russia always has, one way or another.

Helios
|
United States
August 20, 2008

Helios in U.S.A. writes:

Russia had little to no right to invade Georgia proper (i.e. beyond South Ossetia), and it's questionable that there was significant cause for them to legitimately invade any part of Sovereign Georgia (including South Ossetia). Any pretext has been set up by Russia over the last year - including granting citizenship to the population of a renegade province in another sovereign country. Charges of war crimes against the attempt by the Republic of Georgia to reclaim a recalcitrant province should have been fed through the International Criminal Court in The Hague. At most the Russia should have stopped at the South Ossetian border with the rest of Georgia and by no means should additional Russian Troops been sent to Abkhazia.

Granted I am upset that Mikheil Saakashvili took Russia's bait, but I have little doubt that if he hadn't Russia would have eventually designed another pretext to invade. My greatest fury is at the utter lack of useful response by the Federal Government (i.e. Bush the Coward) and the European Union (i.e. The Useless Gits). We abandoned an ally which is unforgivable. We should have at least made a show of force, such as redirecting a Battle Group toward the Black Sea. What we need to do is push the Russians out of the country and throw down the gauntlet. Diplomacy is useless in dealing with Putin, as can be seen by constant Russian violations of the so called cease fire and its use of Georgian civilians as force laborers (I'd use the term slave labor). Putin means to weaken the Republic of Georgia to the point of utter collapse, and George Bush bears some responsibility by his lack of response to the situation.

Since the U.S. Government and European Union have failed to act, it is incumbent upon the citizenry to do what the government has not. What can be done?

1. First, always complain to your Representatives and Senators. Call for any and all means to restore Georgian Sovereignty. This of course will accomplish little to nothing as many politicians are base cowards and sycophants, but you have to try.

2. Domestic Energy - I know we don't like the topic, but it has to be aired and new sources of fuel, both conventional and alternative must be found and developed.

3. Withdraw any and all investments in Russia and Russian Firms. Call on American companies to not do business in Russia.

4. Here's where things get a bit more direct - protest at Russian consultants and Embassies. Interfere with traffic in and out. Submit bogus requests to waste their time and energy.

5. Take down Russia websites and servers - hackers attack. Cost them as much money as possible.

6. Support Georgian resistance groups when and if the time comes.

JOE
|
Tennessee, USA
August 20, 2008

Joe in Tennessee writes:

1. It was predictable and Russia political relationship has been strained in the region for years. How many times has Georgia asked for Russian help in the past, then they turn around and side with the U.S. regarding the Nuclear Umbrella. If Russia would react, the most beneficial invasion point would be who? It shows POWER. The game piece has been played, like it or not.

2. Without ground forces, we have shown no real protection and this looks bad for NATO and the U.S. Even with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili pleading for ground forces to shore up his democracy, the world watched and merely pounded its diplomatic chest? Russia won hands down ...in fact they are still there are they not?

3. It would seem the only real actions would be for the UN to set legal recourse for any Nation to cancel any Russian manufacturing contract or service, otherwise there is no economic sanction possible as: France ordered it Nuclear reactors from them, Italy makes the SU-30 fuselages, Israel ordered its upgraded radar system ...gosh, the Democratic countries put a lot of money in Russian pockets and many are dependent on their petrol and gas? Even for the U.S., there is talk of a Russian firm opening a new steel mill in the U.S., in Ohio, that would employ some 4,000 workers. What can anyone do?

4. The move was predictable in every aspect. If no one seen all that hardware or the gearing up by Russia to invade Georgia we have severe problems and our National Security is more than at risk, we look very idiotic in every respect in the bigger picture...The fact we didn't back Georgia up militarily and make a confrontation will weaken our position with new allies and some smaller ones where Russia is concerned. Most simply put: As one foreign dignitary stated: "It seems the U.S.A.'s big stick is not large enough for Russia.?

As Sherlock Holmes would day: Watson, the game is afoot! Why deny it? Why do overeducated egos not accept the fact they are wrong or that things are not as complicated as they want them to be to justify their decision making?

Syrian P.
|
Syria
August 20, 2008

SNP in Syria writes:

QUOTE???You are absolutely wrong. Georgia did not invade South Osetia the same way U.S.A. cannot invade U.S.A. Osetia is a part of Georgia. Remember that??.END QUOTE

That is even worse, you mean the Villi's just committed genocide against own people, slaughtering more than 2000 elderly, women and children in the first 2 days of unprovoked attack! YEAP, that sound like the U.S. was really behind it, another of America puppets like Saddam and his genocides against Kurds and Shia is ruling now in Georgia.

Janet
|
California, USA
August 20, 2008

Janet in California writes:

Let's show Russian soldiers far from home defecting to the West for a better life. Hopefully, Moscow will fear more to follow and order it's troops to return home.

Zharkov
|
United States
August 20, 2008

Zharkov in U.S.A. writes:

@ Robintel in Romania -- Robintel in Romania, if you read my post carefully, you will notice I said Georgia "attacked", not "invaded", because South Ossetia is part of Georgia, and in that regard, I am absolutely right.

Russia was authorized by international agreement to maintain a peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.

I must have missed Secretary Rice's condemning Georgia's President for instigating the use of force. Was there any manner of DoS disapproval or was the sneak attack authorized?

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