Who Hijacked Our Country

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Russian Invasion of Georgia, and What It Means

We've had a few days now to think about this horrifying event and what it all means.

It’s still shocking. Russia has invaded Georgia. What can you say? A sovereign nation has been attacked by another country. Is there no rule of law any more? The world has descended into chaos.

And Russia has a history of thumbing its nose at the World Court, the United Nations and other international organizations. Their leaders don’t seem to care about international law or what the world thinks of them.

And the scary part is, Russia’s leaders look almost moderate compared to some of the up-and-coming wannabes in that country. One particular basket case wants to stay in Georgia for a hundred years.

When Russia’s former leader stepped down recently, everyone was afraid (with good reason) that the new person would be awfully, uh, close to his ex-boss.

I sure hope these goons don’t have any further conquests planned after they get through with Georgia.

cross-posted at Bring It On!



Blogger J. Marquis said...

Have Russia and Georgia begun discussing time horizons?

August 13, 2008 at 5:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

J: Oh, it's much too early for that. Russia is in this for the long haul. The surge is working and Russia wants to bring democracy to the entire Caucasus region.

August 13, 2008 at 5:46 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

There's two sides to every story, so permit me to play devil's advocate by applying a little history and some geopolitical considerations to this situation for a moment.

Not that I am excusing Russia's excessive use of force, to put it mildly, but the rap on Saakashvilli is that he has made it a point to bait and taunt the Russians ever since he came to power in '03. Doing that scratches an itch the Georgians seem to have.

But it's a dangerous guilty pleasure, for entirely understandable reasons. What happened to Georgia was predictable, never mind if a Stalin, Kruschev, Putin or Ivan Ivanovich is in power. Here's why.

Russia is the world's biggest land-mass power. That means it has an incredible amount of border to watch and defend.

Now as throughout its history, Russia is surrounded by smaller countries which, singly and in groups, can represent a dagger at its heart, so to speak. Russia is also a nation that has over the centuries been repeatedly invaded and brutally occupied. So, the Russians take potential threats very seriously.

Russia made clear to Georgia that cracking down on S. Ossetia wouldn't be tolerated. Russia also made clear its lack of enthusiasm for Georgia joining NATO. And it doesn't take a CIA director to figure out how PO'd Russia was about the U.S. arming Georgia's military and training its troops.

Keep in mind, this is all going on on Russia's doorstep. Try to imagine if Mexico had a regime hostile to the U.S., and Hugo Chavez was using some of his oil money for training Mexican troops and buying medium-range missiles and such for Mexico, to spite Uncle Sam. Can you imagine the reaction from Washington? (I wonder, how do you say "pre-emptive strike" in Spanish?)

So, Russia was in a position of needing badly to send a message to Georgia and any other upstart neighbors, reminding them who the major power in their neighborhood still is, and that there's a limit to what that major power will put up with.

That's why Russia invaded Georgia, and why it used overwhelming force.

The question now is, what comes next? I suspect if the Georgians acknowledge to the Russians that they got too full of themselves and say something conciliatory about trying to get along, the Russians will pull out, saying, "Don't let it happen again."

August 13, 2008 at 10:38 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Thats a good take on it. (You do realize of course that my post was tongue-in-cheek.)

Somebody pointed me to this post (the post dated 8/11) for a detailed rundown. Excellent history of that whole region, and it explains exactly why the Russians did what they did.

August 13, 2008 at 10:57 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Russia also can't be too pleased about Bush sending Army and Navy over there along with Condi Rice and the U.S. aid mission. I know I'm not very pleased with it... all it will take to start a truly international problem with potentially disastrous results is for any U.S. military personnel to get injured or killed in Georgia. What is hell is Bush thinking?

August 13, 2008 at 11:40 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Snave: Yup, that's a pretty unsettling thought. I'm not quite ready to join the conspiracy theorists yet, but some people think BushCheney wants this war to distract Americans from domestic problems and help McCain get elected. It's so much easier than invading Iran. We can just let two arch-enemies (Russia and Georgia) go to war and then be "shocked!" when an American gets killed over there, and then we can go into retaliation mode.

How convenient.

August 13, 2008 at 11:56 PM  
Blogger Randal Graves said...

Geez, tom, you make it sound like we'll take any ole pretext if it'll continue the profitable-for-defense-contractors mode we've been in for eons. Don't you think that's going a wee bit too far?

August 14, 2008 at 5:40 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Randal: You're right; I don't know how I got so cynical. I'm gonna have to quit reading all those anti-American leftwing blogs.

August 14, 2008 at 9:55 AM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, I got that the post was tongue-in-cheek. But the situation is serious enough and there's been so much irrational bashing of Russia, as if there was only one side of the story, I wanted to toss in something for balance.

Snave, FWIW, I read yesterday Bush isn't sending any warships to the region. But troops will soon be sent to help restore Georgia's military. I'm sure that, along with McCain and the neocons' bloviating belligerence, will help improve relations with Russia and put them in the mood to be more helpful in the Mideast and elsewhere.

As for what Bush is thinking, you'd probably have to ask Cheney. Bush is clear about Georgia being a democracy. Beyond that, there's no telling what he knows — or thinks he knows.

August 14, 2008 at 1:02 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Tom, that link you provided to ClubOrlov was an excellent read. I found the following quote particularly telling because, ufortunately, it's a fair indicator of the regard the U.S. has earned around the world under our crackpot-crusader regime.

"It is unclear why he (Saakashvilli) decided to start it, but then his American education might offer a clue: the US doesn't seem to need good reasons to start wars either."

August 14, 2008 at 1:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

SW: Glad you liked that link. Really interesting and informative. Judging by some of his answers to other commenters, it doesn't sound like he's interested in arguing or debating. Otherwise I'd be tempted to show that link to some of the rightwing simpletons who are having mass orgasms at the thought of John Wayne and Dirty Harry storming in to vanquish those Evil Russians.

August 14, 2008 at 2:39 PM  
Anonymous JollyRoger said...

The simple fact of the matter is, Georgia started the war, and as such Georgia is responsible for any retaliation that resulted from their initial aggression. There is almost no doubt that Russia used Georgia to send the rest of the region a message. That's unfortunate, but the blame lies in Georgia.

August 14, 2008 at 7:36 PM  
Anonymous S.W. Anderson said...

Forget the Duke and Dirty Harry. I heard Cheney's going to invite Putin to go hunting with him next month, and Chertoff is bringing the beer.

August 14, 2008 at 9:42 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

JR: You're right, Georgia is responsible for this. If our government gets involved in a proxy war (or worse) over there, it'll be a huge mistake.

SW: LOL. Maybe McCain could tag along too.

August 14, 2008 at 10:24 PM  
Anonymous romunov said...

Preemptive strike in Spanish? Attakos los preemptivos? :D

August 15, 2008 at 11:54 AM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Romunov: Si si. El Russo has los weaponos de los mass destructios! (I actually took Spanish a long long time ago, believe it or not.)

August 15, 2008 at 1:27 PM  
Anonymous Americaneocon said...

Actually, I have lots of analysis on this, from a neoconservative perspective. Check it out!

American Power

August 15, 2008 at 8:04 PM  
Blogger Ricardo said...

I don't know but this Russia sounds like another place that I've heard of but I can't put my finger on. It's ruled by a king and they have really bad healthcare but excellent corporate welfare. The name escapes me.

August 17, 2008 at 12:31 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

Ricardo: Hmmm, that sounds like a terrible place. I don't think I'll visit there :)

August 17, 2008 at 3:24 PM  
Blogger American Hill BIlly said...

I don't know about the fairness of sending Putin hunting with the three, or four Neo Idiots.

He may accurately shoot them first!

August 19, 2008 at 11:12 PM  
Blogger Tom Harper said...

AHB: That would work for me.

August 20, 2008 at 12:28 AM  

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