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Anger With Saakashvili, U.S. Options

The United States finds itself with limited options in addressing the Georgia situation, as Dan Eggen and Karen DeYoung note this morning. Meanwhile the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili, writes that "Only Western peacekeepers can end the war."

Our Readers Who Comment have been all over both the story and Saakashvili's op-ed. Many of them note that Georgia invaded South Ossetia before Russia engaged, an inconvenient fact Saakashvili does not note.

There is a lot of anger in the comments this morning -- anger at Russia, anger at Georgia, anger at neo-cons because they are seen as responsible for both the U.S. invasion of Iraq and Georgia's actions in South Ossetia, anger at President Bush, and angry responses to all those angers. Some of the postings that defend Russian actions appear to come from Russians, based on understandable but fractured English. Perhaps the best we hope for out of this is that the anger will be contained to comment strings.

We'll start with Chagasman, who said, "Saakashvili made a stupid mistake, thinking he could invade separatist provinces protected by Russian peacekeeping troops... invasion was a foolish option. Does Saakashvili
think the West will risk a war with Russia, one that could easily turn into a nuclear nightmare, to protect his country? Sorry, his people and his country are on their own..."

MPatalinjug said, "It is plain for all to see that Vladimir Putin simply ignored Bush's recent warnings to Moscow for violating the ceasefire brokered by French president Nicolas Sarkozy...That is a good measure of how the U.S.'s standing in the world has deteriorated under the stewardship of George W. Bush."

oberst wrote, " 'I'm interested in good relations between the United States and Russia,' he said. 'But in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations.'
except Iraq, of course"

protagoras said, "The Bush government needs to be stopped. It is incapable of handling any complex problem. Whatever soft power the US has left is being squandered before our eyes. No one believes Saakashvili, but Saakashvili, Lieberman, and the other neo-cons could easily talk baby Bush into further dubious entanglements."

MikeMcNally wrote, "Doesn't it strike anyone as ironic that we can provide A country half a world away immediately, but it took 5 days before we could do anything for New Orleans? Maybe New Orleans should have been paying McCains advisors $millions in consulting fees."

But HarroldtheCat said, "And the Blame America First moonbats are quick to see equivalency in Iraq and Georgia. Who would have guessed?"

And LaxBuddy21 said, "I really am sick and tired of all the liberals that post here and do nothing but trash the president no matter what he does. If he tells Russia to back down he is wrong. If he were to threaten with military force and force them to back down he is wrong. If he does anything short of kill himself in office he is wrong... Get over yourselves and start looking at the issues and not what party someone is from."

aparusov wrote, " 'Russia's continued military incursion in Georgia' -it is disinformation. It looks like, main media in USA are under control and not objective. Or they using false sources."

tintorelli said, "it is a fine thing that the post publish a piece by the president of georgia. we hope you will also publish a piece by the president of russia. it takes two to tango, and the u.s. does not need to take sides or inflame an already dangerous situation. mr. saakashvili might have also told us how much he's been paying mccain's advisors over the past couple years in preparation for this day."

icheney wrote, "Mr Saakashvili. I admire your courage and determination to defend your independence and the liberty of your people. I fear that you have placed too much reliance of the determination of the leaders of the Western democracies...Also, interesting to see the number of Kremlin stooges (get your English grammar right, guys) who post on this site"

braultrl said, "So much for "The American Century." Thnaks to Dumbya's ongoing bankrupting of America by fighting his war for oil in Iraq underwritten by the Chinese, our position as the only superpower after the break-up of the Soviet Union is over... Good thing Georgia wasn't part of NATO or we'd be in a shooting war with Russia, which would only please the Apocalyptic evangelicals..."

A-Contrario wrote, "I wonder what Bush sees in Putin's soul now."

Roger11 said, "This is the president that joined the Coalition of the Billing and then launched a n attack on the Ossetes with equipment the U.S. war machine had provided him. Nice move... Do your country a favor and join your patron George W. Bush in permanent retirement in Crawford, Texas."

phughez asked, "Who are the victims? The victims are those who lost their lives because political leaders chose violence and abandoned dialogue. All the military gadgetry--all the military training--all the world's pity--is meaningless compared to human beings committed to a peace process."

We'll close with whistling, who wrote, "I cannot believe what i just read here. About the planes...the SecState an't take her plane to a war...because cheney has it on a fundraising trip. The Defense Secretary is going on vacation and so is the pesident. Still we hear what a big deal this is from Bush. We are a banana frappe, not even republic."

All comments on the limited options article are here.

All comments on Mikheil Saakashvili's op-ed are here.

By Doug Feaver  |  August 14, 2008; 9:40 AM ET
Categories:  Georgia , Russia  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: McCain, Georgia and Lobbying
Next: Turning Virginia Blue

Comments

Saakashvili is an opportunist. His ratings were low. There were protests in Georgia all the time. In fact during one of such protests he ordered police to open fire on the Georgian people.

Now, what a better way to fix your ratings than to create a military conflict? Saakashvili started this whole thing by launching a heavy artillery attack against villages in South Ossetia. 2,000 of civilians including women and children were killed during the attack.

Posted by: Manny (NYC) | August 19, 2008 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Czech President Vaclav Klaus has rejected Condie's comparison of Georgia 2008 to Czechoslovakia 1968. He said Georgia instigated the fighting in the Caucasus. And best of all, Saaaakashvilli is no Dubcek. No, he is not Dubcek. He is not even a shadow of Dubcek. He is an opportunistic thug.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 18, 2008 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Some commrades didn't get the memo. The propaganda doesn't work now. Try the facts, they still work.

Posted by: deflag | August 16, 2008 7:16 PM | Report abuse

Georgia-is an aggressor in the situation with South Osetia and with Abkhazia (1991-1992)PERIOD!!!! Georgia is a terror.It is undescribeable how they were torturing women, children, elderly people in both regions(OSETIA and ABKHAZIA),and how can you expect the citizens of both countries to live with Georgia and ruled by it?? Its never impossible, "territorial integrity can not be demonstrated by attacking innocent people". "Sovereignty is based on the will of the people of both regions (Osetia and Abkhazia),and their will is "Never be part of Georgia-terror". Russia never had/has intention of invading Georgia, it has a responsibility to defend its citizenz during aggresion. Its always easy to blame only one side in a conflict. The media is disinforming the world, but fortunately who "really" wants to know the truth already knows. Georgia is paying of for all the sufferings it caused to people in Abkhazia, and it will pay of double for Osetia too. Inhumane and heartless, no other words!!!!!

Posted by: Anonymous | August 16, 2008 6:59 PM | Report abuse

There's a Google ad running. CIA Forged Iraq Documents. Pray tell, Saddam Hussein needed to be made to look worse than he really was, so documents were developed because he looked too good on paper. Truth be told, he looks better dead on dead trees and ink than he ever looked alive. Good grief Charlie Brown, read it now. The CIA forged Peanuts comics too.

Posted by: deflag | August 16, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

I'm so busy here, I don't have time for anger. People make you lose focus and waste your time. It gets expensive, so all you can do is stay busy and focused on what matters most. If you are focused on peace, you are likely to find progress and there is the security. If you can't kill all of your enemies, you can make them wish that you did. Then they lighten up and back off. People want peace and quiet, not all this political drama. If I want noise, I have a hi-fi set and if I want bombed I have a bottle of Jim Beam.

Posted by: deflag | August 16, 2008 11:18 AM | Report abuse

the war is between the USA and RUSSIA.
as for wins coment yes you are right im growing up and relizing that the USA government is very wrong. there values are gone.

Posted by: goldenpriest | August 15, 2008 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I am seeing a larger and larger divide between what official media outlets tell us (both print and TV mainly controlled by US/Britain/Europe) and what is available and expressed on the internet. Any views on why that is. Respected offical media like the BBC are not only repeating what US/European officals are saying, they are even more "catholic than the pope." US leaders realise they cannot intervene militarily in the conflict with Russia, and that in this case Russia was needlessly provoked. But journalists in press conference seem to be pressing for more aggressive US action. NOT one asks whether US actions in Serbia, Iraq, and Afghanistan and the hightened rhetoric has perhaps led Russia to believe it can do the same 'in its own backyard.' At the very least, how can Western leaders lecture Russia after what they themselves have done.

But what I find really surprising is the diminshing influence of the official media. I would say the large majority of posts on various sites dealing with the conflict in Georgia are fully aware that it was Saakashvili that gambled that he could take back Ossetia by force despite what they are being told by CNN/BBC/etc. One can argue that Georgia has the right to take Ossetia and Abkhazia back by force but we cannot say they did not escalate the attack.

So how is it that the individuals/posts know the reality of what has happened despite the propoganda of the official media?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 8:28 PM | Report abuse

"What an idiot you are. Georgia 'invaded' South Osseti? THAT'S PART OF GEORGIA!" - If Georgia sees fit to slaughter it's own citizens, it's clear that S. Ossetians have every right to break away from Georgia. Killing civilians is murder, what state murders it's own citizens like that?

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The media bias against Russia in this situation is so cheesy and such obviously contrived propaganda that I honestly wonder why the various western media outlets even bother to claim they are 'the media'. It's time the people of this world move to minimize the damage that can be created by our 'leaders'. Why should anyone be subjected to warfare due to the petty whims and ego's of some guy who claims the authority to 'lead' us. Representing us seems a long dead notion.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 15, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

win said:
"The US has plenty of options. They just have to break the rules, like Russia has"

My friend, Who broke the rules here was Shaakasvili that, willing to please his master, broke the previous peace agreement invading Osetia and killing Russian citizens.
I dont think Bush administration can speak about breaking the rules:
Remember about the pressence of weapons of mass destruction in Irak? The huge menace to the hole world from a nation that, as the US invasion showed, hadn’t even a propper aviation nor fleet? maybe you mean the absolute lack of involvement of Sadaman with 11-S nor Bin Laden? Remember poor Colin Powell triyng to cheat the UN security Counsil by fake photos of an Irakian truck able, almost, to destroy the world: Shame on you!
Therefore, should I trust Bush? How big lies has Putin sell the world compared to the ones that led to the slaughter in Irak? The main refugee flow during this war was fron Osetians going north, to Russia, and the only city grounded (almost completely) has been the Osetian capital, my friend.
Compared to the civilians killed by the USA-Israel coalition in last 20 years(Panama, Granada,Palestina, Lebanon, Irak), Russian response to Georgian agression on Osetia is a kid’s game. ¿Do you know for how long (weeks) did NATO bomb Belgrade or NoviSad(much more far away from Kosovo than Gori from Osetia)and how many people were killed? Please, check it out!
I do not like Russian regime at all but its crappy democracy isn’t worst that the Saakashvili’s regime, as his irresponsible acting and grotesque attitude o these days, and his usual corruption and repression on opposition have shown us.
Would USA allow Russia to install his missiles and radars in, let’s say, Monterrey or El Paso? Why is so important to humiliate Russia on its own neighbourhood?

Posted by: Pablo | August 15, 2008 8:26 AM | Report abuse

win said:
"The US has plenty of options. They just have to break the rules, like Russia has"

My friend, Who broke the rules here was Shaakasvili that, willing to please his master, broke the previous peace agreement invading Osetia and killing Russian citizens.
I dont think Bush administration can speak about breaking the rules:
Remember about the pressence of weapons of mass destruction in Irak? The huge menace to the hole world from a nation that, as the US invasion showed, hadn’t even a propper aviation nor fleet? maybe you mean the absolute lack of involvement of Sadaman with 11-S nor Bin Laden? Remember poor Colin Powell triyng to cheat the UN security Counsil by fake photos of an Irakian truck able, almost, to destroy the world: Shame on you!
Therefore, should I trust Bush? How big lies has Putin sell the world compared to the ones that led to the slaughter in Irak? The main refugee flow during this war was fron Osetians going north, to Russia, and the only city grounded (almost completely) has been the Osetian capital, my friend.
Compared to the civilians killed by the USA-Israel coalition in last 20 years(Panama, Granada,Palestina, Lebanon, Irak), Russian response to Georgian agression on Osetia is a kid’s game. ¿Do you know for how long (weeks) did NATO bomb Belgrade or NoviSad(much more far away from Kosovo than Gori from Osetia)and how many people were killed? Please, check it out!
I do not like Russian regime at all but its crappy democracy isn’t worst that the Saakashvili’s regime, as his irresponsible acting and grotesque attitude o these days, and his usual corruption and repression on opposition have shown us.
Would USA allow Russia to install his missiles and radars in, let’s say, Monterrey or El Paso? Why is so important to humiliate Russia on its own neighbourhood?

Posted by: Pablo | August 15, 2008 8:24 AM | Report abuse

I have been reading several Spanish, Italian and British media these days. While almost every media was unconditionally supporting the Bush administration agenda repeating their version (only our friends can destroy cities and kill civilians, even if our friend started the fight the blame is on Russia) the readers comments and posts on these same media were overwelming upset by the obvious manipulation. After the Irak episode it should be clear for any grown-up that Bush and Blair administrations dont hesitate lying and fabricating news to achieve its geopolitical goals using humanitarian and democratic values as a prostituded tool.The present conflict leaves a bittersweet sensation. On one hand it's reconforting how citizens have learned to be critical about the propaganda they are feed with. On the other western journalists are giving a very poor show of independece and critical view. I sometimes have the impression than several jounalist get their salary fattened by CIA funds.

Posted by: Pablo | August 15, 2008 8:09 AM | Report abuse

Sakashvili deserves this legitimate invasion. After all, he helped Bush in his Iraqi invasion. Now this US puppet gets a little taste of being invaded. So Mr. Bush and McCain do not lecture Russians and shut up.

Also see this analysis:
http://www.opednews.com/maxwrite/diarypage.php?did=8600

Posted by: John | August 14, 2008 9:18 PM | Report abuse

Anger is like cancer. People want to control others, which is the problem. As if people don't have enough trouble, you have all of this big government muscle pushing your buttons and bombing your people to try to make a point. The goal of politics is to keep the people in a state of peace and plenty. The new goal seems to be to keep the people in a state of war and terror, which makes government worse than the terrorist they should and seek to oppose. It's as if the people are now all the enemy. Our options are only as limited as our peace. War limits options at a high cost to the people. The problem is war fever. Be a slave masters of destruction.

"Never, never, never believe any war will be smooth and easy, or that anyone who embarks on the strange voyage can measure the tides and hurricanes he will encounter. The statesman who yields to war fever must realize that once the signal is given, he is no longer the master of policy but the slave of unforeseeable and uncontrollable events."

Posted by: deflag | August 14, 2008 7:34 PM | Report abuse

There appears to be a preliminary agreement to allow US missles in Poland. Poland, and likley other similar countries in the region, do not feel comfortable with the latest events.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 5:07 PM | Report abuse

FJH,

Then its ok for the world to attack Russia if it acts to move, albiet when it probably should not have in the case of Georgia, within its own soveriegn territory?

Russia is a big government, with a big military. They should not have gone into Georgia itself.

Some here are making much of Georgia's actions, and Georgia's alleged human rights offenses, but they are there on both sides, and Russia is complicint in the human rights abuses against Georgia.

If Russia was not able to control its urge to retaliate, or not able to control Georgia's actions, then Russia, as supposed peacemakers in the region, has a responsiblity to resolve that issue at the UN. That is not what Russia did. Russia invaded Georgia and has not taken precautions to protect the civilian population. Instead they have spread what by most accounts appear to be propaganda inciting human rights abuses against the ethnic Georgians.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

I have had two theories to explain the events:

1. The West cut a deal with Russia, their Non-Nato near abroad for Iran. Proof of this will come when the Security Council needs to vote on extending sanctions. against Iran. If the theory is true, expect Russia to abstain. Also expect them to keep delaying shipment of advanced arms to Iran.

2. The Russians are back! If this is true, expect them to accelerate shipment of advanced armaments to Iran sooner than not.Even if this theory is true, they may still abstain at the UN. This move will be to open new fronts to challenge the US, to make life extremely interesting for the them in Iraq. How this new Russia will be accommodated is up to the next President of the US. Don't expect the US to lay down and get this teeth bashed in, expect lots of trouble in the Russia near abroad if the Russian's open up a second front in Iraq with Iran's help.

I wish for theory One but my money is one theory Two.

Posted by: Suhail Manzoor | August 14, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

WIN...at any cost?

I rather like this 'Jewish' perspective from the JPOST today:

"ALL RIGHT, so Georgia started it. But that doesn't necessarily mean Georgia was wrong; maybe it was a war of self-defense, a justified war. So let's see - what are the facts about the territory they were fighting over, South Ossetia? Which side are the people of South Ossetia on, Georgia's or Russia's?

The 70,000 people of South Ossetia, it turns out, are what the media describe as "pro-Russian." South Ossetia is what the media describe as a "breakaway province" inside Georgia.

Which country is South Ossetia breaking away from? It's breaking away from Georgia. It fought a war of secession against Georgia in the early 1990s. So did Abkhazia, another "pro-Russian, breakaway province" in Georgia on the Russian border.

The people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia identify with Russia, not Georgia. Most of them have Russian passports. Over the past week, the fighters in South Ossetia and Abkhazia fought with Russian troops against Georgian troops.

And finally, those tens of thousands of war refugees from South Ossetia - to which country did they flee for safety? To Russia. And who went to meet them? Putin.

So what we've got here is a bloody war started by Georgia against a small, pro-Russian province it wants to rule - against the will of the people who live there.

And when Russia retaliates against Georgia, the people of South Ossetia, along with the people of Abkhazia - the true victims of this war, the true underdogs, the true Davids - are grateful to Russia for saving them.

YET THE world's sympathy goes to Georgia, and its condemnation goes to Russia. Why?

Because Russia has a bad history, because Russia was the West's nemesis in the 20th century, because Russia wants to be an empire again, because Russia is much stronger than Georgia - while Georgia calls itself a democracy, Georgia is the darling of the Bush administration, Georgia's president speaks good English and knows all the buzz words like "values" and "human rights" that Westerners love to hear, and because Georgia defies big, bad Russia.

All this is true. But none of it changes the fact that in this war, Georgia was the aggressor and Russia the defender.

Now that Georgia has lost the war, the world is saying that President Mikheil Saakashvili made a "miscalculation" by starting it.

Again, the world is wrong. Starting a war of conquest that kills and maims thousands of people is not a miscalculation, it's a horrible, detestable crime. The world should save its sympathy for South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

I'm sorry for my ignorance and prejudice, but these days, when I think of Georgia, I think of the place Stalin came from."


Mazel Tov!

Posted by: FJH | August 14, 2008 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Georgian human rights violations flooded my google search with stuff like this:

"Georgia under President Mikheil Saakashvili has been hailed by Western governments as an example of a successful transition to democracy in the former Soviet Union. However, the fragility of Georgia’s commitment to human rights and the rule of law was revealed on November 7, 2007, when government forces used violent and excessive force to disperse a series of largely peaceful demonstrations in the capital, Tbilisi. In the course of breaking up the demonstrations law enforcement officers hastily resorted to the use of teargas and rubber bullets. Police and other law enforcement personnel, many of them masked, pursued fleeing demonstrators of all ages, kicking and punching them and striking them with truncheons, wooden poles, and other objects. Heavily armed special troops raided the private television station Imedi, threatening and ejecting the staff and damaging or destroying much of the station’s equipment. Outside the studios, Imedi staff and their supporters found themselves set upon by riot police again using teargas and rubber bullets and pursuing those who fled. Extensive photographic and video evidence captured that day by journalists and others illustrates these incidents."

Posted by: fjh | August 14, 2008 4:26 PM | Report abuse

FJH, that is not the way the laws in this country work.

It is wrong to use racial, ethnic, or national origin profiling. Making all muslims, all jewish, all chinese, all black, all white, or all of any other such group is not legitimate.

Nor do I believe the current situation in Georgia is a Jewish plot at all. Georgia and the autonomous regions had problems long before that pipeline got there. That is why they were autonomous regions.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 4:24 PM | Report abuse

The Georgian Minister of Defense is an Israeli citizen; there are an estimated 1,000 Israeli military and other technical advisers in Georgia; Israel was anticipating being a recepient of oil piped through Georgia at two ports; most of the NEOCONS are Jewish; it is RUMORED that the Georgian military buildup and the Israeli 'technical' assistance was paid for through US aid given to Israel---I wonder if Russia took out that vaulted Israeli air defense system , no wonder they're gloating over this blitz.

It's time to publiclly scrutinize the "JEWISH LOBBY" on the Hill and especially the Zionist contingent in regard to this fiasco.

Follow the money; learn the truth

Posted by: FJH | August 14, 2008 4:19 PM | Report abuse

The US had actually advised Georgia they would not get involved if they tried something like this. The US has nothing to gain, they would rather avoid confrontation with Russia of any sort. That is why in the past the US has been willing to allow Russia into organizations like the G8. Russia has taken advantage of that to portray their real desire to not allow former nations of the Soviet Block the rights of soveriegn nations.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

When a BBC commentator duly noted that a Russian Deputy paraphrased the U.S. justification for splitting off Kosovo from Serbia in their 'high road' approach to entering Georgia, I knew we had another 'BAY OF PIGS' on our collective conscience...again!

Re. History Books...they are invariably written by winners!

Posted by: FJH | August 14, 2008 4:07 PM | Report abuse

fhj

Human rights watch seems to be seeing it that the crimes were done against ethnic Georgians, more then by Georgia.

Which human rights groups are you referring too?

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

It’s really amazing how partial and cinic western media can be. Let’s remember some facts that have been hidden to western citizens. The US keeps 120 military advisors in Georgia and american forces were taking part in military exercises in the country only weeks ago, in JULY. Should we believe that Saakashvili’s irresponsible agression (HE broke the status quo dear american journalists) could be planned without US approval? International agencies have served us the traditional images of suffering georgian cildren and women but, from the true “ground cero” of this war, the devastated Osetian territory and its 2.000 dead and 30.000 refugees, images have been hidden. It’s starting to be trully disgusting how invisible are the atrocities commited by NATO allies, as long as they proclaim themselves Bush friends and send some troops to Irak, our shame war. And dont make us laugh with the supposed quality of georgian democracy. It’s as poor as russian one. Remenber Belgrade, Novi-Sad, Bagdad and its dead

Posted by: Pablo | August 14, 2008 4:04 PM | Report abuse

"It's not like you can't open a history book and educate yourself." either spoken like a unionized teacher addressing prize winning home schoolers, or a college reluctant to refund tuition for a politically biased education.

The Abkhaz were a self-governing entity for thousands of years; and seperated from Georgia by a river.

Liberals love to quote the 'rules' and draw lines in sand. The propaganda from the Georgia ministry of truth, love and forgiveness has to today, shaped the views of the MSM.

The tide changed when Gordon Brown joined Russia in opposing the Bush insistance that NATO accept GEORGIA; and as more and more facts about the inhuman 'first strike' in S. Osset. emerge from human rights organizations.

I suggest that Clinton be employed to teach SAASH how to 'self-rehabilitate' himself; and Edwards to initiate self-flagelation 'worse than anyone could administer'....otherwise its war crimes for this ambitious idiot.


Posted by: fjh | August 14, 2008 3:57 PM | Report abuse

fjh. The US, and every other country in the UN for that matter, recognize Georgia's government. The government of Georgia is free to choose if they want to work with the US. Just as, for example, the government of Poland.

That these countries used to be part of the USSR has no bearing on it, none, nada. The USSR is defunct. The governments of the countries make the choices now, not Russia.


Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Isn't it only fair; that if the Russian troops have to leave; then the US should halt all military and intelligence technical assistance which empowered Saash. to launch his 'sneak' attack in the first place?

Once again, the DEMS on the Hill in control of these authorizations and appropriations are as guilty as Bush & Rice in enabling the Georgian 'quasi' democracy to 'shoot first' and even break a ceasefire?

Posted by: fjh | August 14, 2008 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Its amzing how too many people can compare the Georgia conflict with the war in Iraq. Anything to bash our government and President. The only thing those two countries have in common is that they're both far away.

Posted by: Americano805 | August 14, 2008 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Shawn,

Where is this speech where McCain threatend Russia with military might? This is what I got from the articles.

Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama also called for rethinking U.S. and international agreements in the wake of the conflict.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 3:37 PM | Report abuse

John McCain should know better than to threaten to use military force against Russia. That's not good judgment and that's not what a responsible leader would do. In the history of US and Soviet/Russian relations the two powers have engaged in military confrontation only once in their history, that was the Cuban Missile Crisis and even that stopped short just before an escalation towards all out nuclear war. Russia is not Iran. You can not engage militarily a country with 10000 nuclear weapons and the means to deliver them anywhere in the world. The military option is not on the table. Reality check for the warmongers and neocons among us. Both the United States and Russia can destroy the world several times over.

Posted by: Shawn | August 14, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"Ugh listening the America-hating garbage that comes out of the liberals that post here and the California commies I'm starting to wish we had an American Fascist Party so we could deal with them like they deserve."

we do. It's called the Republican party.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The regions were autonomous because international law does not allow a region to just claim its independence because they do not like their current government. There are cases where they can, this is not one as of yet. At least that is what the international experts say. They were autonomous, then declared their independence. The autonomous allows them the right to their own government, but not to become independent.

The people can move to other countries, but the land remains a part of the nation. Russia offered many the opportunity to become Russian citizens, they did so, while staying in what is Georgia territory. Then Russia claims its citizens are under attack and attacks Georgia. A sneaky ploy considering they are there as peacekeepers, but there is more then one way to keep the peace.

Personally, if they are Russia's citizens, then the should go back to Russia. Georgia should not have its soveriegn rights and its territory infringed upon because of Russia's underhanded excuses.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 3:15 PM | Report abuse

"Stalin was Gerogian, Krusciov was Ukrainian, Napoleon was Corsican, and neither country has anything to thank them for."

The sign outside Gori saying "Homeland of Joseph Stalin" says it all. I was in Gori about 4 years ago and people in the market were telling me Stalin didn't kill anyone, he was just mis-understood, it's part of a huge conspiracy, Stalin invented the telephone, hardly ever slept, as he was too busy working for the good of all people, etc etc etc. If you would mention to them that his crimes are documented, that he was a psychotic mass murderer, the Georgians' eyes would light up like an insane person, like you'd just insulted their mother (for which they will easily stab someone). These people are the example of a free democracy, and civil society in the post-Soviet Union space? God help us all.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 3:14 PM | Report abuse

Ok, it was good to see this discussion. Clearly the American public has more info that what the neo-con-gone-saakash-crazy group has been telling them. That's good news. CNN Int now has a reporter in Tskhivali for the first time so see what poor, weak Georgia did to the Ossetians.

Arguing with Georgians is like arguing with a 5 year old. Its exhausting but fun at times. From now on, the Russians will have to talk directly with your new masters, so they (Uncle Sam) can tighten the leash and makes sure Saaaaaakashvilloni doesn't go off the deep end again. It is for your own good, even if you don't know it. Uncle Sam apparently told you many many times not to do this, but Misha Saakash-whatever didn't listen and mis-behaved.

I hope this mess is over soon and Russian troops leave Georgia. This will accelerate the Ossetian and Abkhaz drive to independence so they can start to re-build. Same for Georgia. And I have a feeling the Georgian people will soon figure out what to do with Misha.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

'Did you know that GEORGIA was a bunch of penny-sized entities before STALIN, a native Georgian, united them?'

No, because that's ridiculously wrong. It's not like you can't open a history book and educate yourself.

Stalin was Gerogian, Krusciov was Ukrainian, Napoleon was Corsican, and neither country has anything to thank them for.

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

fjh, the size of Georgia really depends on what historical map you use. The Kingdom of Georgia was bigger then the current Georgia.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 3:01 PM | Report abuse

'No-one knows what the Ossetians and Abkhaz want???'

NO.

'You're not living under a rock, you're under re-inforced concrete. They've had numerous referendums,'

Not ONE of them free.

'and they have never never never even once said they want to be part of Georgia. The Soviet Union had not even finished crumbling when they said they want out. Both fought in elite legions of the Russian imperial army and the Soviet army. Both were trusted by Russians as allies in the Caucasus from the first days of the Russian presence there. You may not like that, but that's the way it is.'

Surely that's why Russia needs to have so many military there, to keep its friends company?

Georgia isn't powerful and was even less so before. The Abkhaz and SO could have defended themselves alone if they were in charge of their own affairs (the Chechens did fend off Russia(!) in the 1990s).

'The Armenians are in the same camp by the way.'

The Armenians are the single example in all the post-Soviet conflicts where the Russians stood with the 'right' side (they couldn't do it all wrong, of course). But on the whole, the Armenians have very little to thank for, the Russians didn't help them at all againts the Turks when it was needed (the 1920's).

Which also doens't mean that the solution for NK can simply ignore Azerbaijan.

'The irony of all this, is that it was the Georgians which asked the Russians to come to their defence against the Persian Empire in the early 1800s.'

Oh, so the Georgians were friends with the Russians too? I wonder what's happenned in between...

'Be that as it may, Georgia has one choice: forget Abkhazia, forget Ossetia, stop mouthing off,'

Ah, so once again, this is what it's about, Russia telling a neighbour what it should do. It becomes clearer and clearer.

'modernise the economy, build a civil society with Western help, DO NOT BUILD UP A POWERFUL MILITARY (learn from the Baltics),'

God forbid a Russian neighbour which is not a Russian vassal should have a powerful military!!!

'get Georgians living in Russia to leave gradually so they can help their own country,'

A sound advice to all those Russians infesting Russia's neighbours, wouldn't you think?

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"hard to believe this guy graduated from GW on a MUSKIE scholarship....Liberals run amoke????or under the influence of Israeli NEOCONS?"

A Georgian liberal??? I've never seen such a thing. Every Georgian I've ever met keeps saying that Georgia is the country in the world, has the best food, most courageous fighter (lots of evidence of that) the best wine, the best of everything. Georgian are not in the 19th century, they are still in the 16th century.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Did you know that GEORGIA was a bunch of penny-sized entities before STALIN, a native Georgian, united them?

...if you want credibility then do the research into slam phrases like 'protecting territorial integrity'!

...The Russian GRAD rockets launched against S. Ossettia rank alongside of cluster bombs as weapons of mass destruction, and that, of course, makes Saakashvili a war criminal.....hard to believe this guy graduated from GW on a MUSKIE scholarship....Liberals run amoke????or under the influence of Israeli NEOCONS?

Posted by: fjh | August 14, 2008 2:49 PM | Report abuse

The US has lost its moral standing to blame Russia? No more then any other country has lost a moral standing to blame the other. What nation is it that is so perfect morally that it has the right to blame another then? All countries have their issues, yet each country still has the right to blame another if they see a situation deserving of it.

Even a convicted criminal has the right to accuse those who have commited crimes against him(or her). So does a country still have a right, especially a country that has not been convicted except in the view of some part of the media, and the people.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

No-one knows what the Ossetians and Abkhaz want??? You're not living under a rock, you're under re-inforced concrete. They've had numerous referendums, and they have never never never even once said they want to be part of Georgia. The Soviet Union had not even finished crumbling when they said they want out. Both fought in elite legions of the Russian imperial army and the Soviet army. Both were trusted by Russians as allies in the Caucasus from the first days of the Russian presence there. You may not like that, but that's the way it is. The Armenians are in the same camp by the way. The irony of all this, is that it was the Georgians which asked the Russians to come to their defence against the Persian Empire in the early 1800s. Be that as it may, Georgia has one choice: forget Abkhazia, forget Ossetia, stop mouthing off, modernise the economy, build a civil society with Western help, DO NOT BUILD UP A POWERFUL MILITARY (learn from the Baltics), get Georgians living in Russia to leave gradually so they can help their own country, join NATO, EU, the North Pole Club and whatever else they want. I think if they can get the Europeans to drink their super-sweet wines and sulfuric mineral water, they just might have a chance. Bonne Chance.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 2:43 PM | Report abuse

'The only answer is thank God the Soviets had the vision not to trust non-Slavs with the Nukes and other WMD.'

Ah, what might those barbaric 'non-Slavs' do if they had the means.

Your racist positions spell clearly what this is all about - a country which is too big and has too many resources for the amount of bullies its society breeds.

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:36 PM | Report abuse

The power of the human mind to bend reality is really amazing.
The same people who worked for Kosovo independence say that Ossetia and Abkhazia must remain part of Georgia. The same people who attacked Serbia, Iraq and Afghanistan and who say they have the right to attack Iran, now say Russia is an aggressor because it attacked a sovereign country. How do this work? They say that Russia is a 19th century mentality power and they are all grown-up with 21st century mentalities. The truth, my friends, is that might is still right. And the US and the Europeans are the trend-setters here. If they, with all their riches, want still more, and want to rule when and where it pleases them, then others will follow. The world is going to become an even more dangerous place.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 2:34 PM | Report abuse

Don't be ridiculous. NO ONE knows what the Ossetians and Abkhazians want. They just don't have the minimum considitions to express themselves freely. And no one here said SO SHOULD be part of Geirgia - just that it IS, which is the truth, no matter how much you dislike it.

Quite possibly, the Abkhaz and the Ossetians would like to be jut that - Abkhaz and Ossetians - and in control of their lives. Just how that might be accomplished is an open question. As of now, they are slaves of the Russian army. Of course, if you ask any slaves, the slaves will tell you they adore their masters.

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Somebody asked would Russia have attacked Georgia, if Georgia had nukes. The only answer is thank God the Soviets had the vision not to trust non-Slavs with the Nukes and other WMD. An insane criminal like Saakashvili would have been the start of WWIII.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

(For the record, I'm not happy with the way that the Kosovo independence process was conducted. Even if I think it couldn't viably remain a part of Serbia, I think Serbia was ill-treated and one evil doesn't excuse another.)

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:27 PM | Report abuse

Russia putatively supports independence for South Ossetia and Abkhazia because their people want independence.

What's the difference between them and Chechnya, exactly?

Oh, that's right. Chechnyans hate Russia.

The U.S. has lost its moral standing to criticize Russia for its ridiculous hypocrisy, but someone needs to.

Posted by: David | August 14, 2008 2:25 PM | Report abuse

More than 90% South Ossetians and Abkhazians hold Russian passports, THEY ARE RUSSIAN CITIZENS, just like the citizens of Moscow. NO difference. THEY CHOSE TO BECOME RUSSIAN CITIZENS, just like tens of thousands of other citizens of other former Soviet republics who are lining up to go 'back' to Russia. The difference with the South Ossetians is that the entire region chose to obtain Russian citizenship. Georgia wants to force them into Georgia. From day one they have said NO NO NO. Their wishes must be respected. What part of this is difficult for you to understand. Stop repeating that SO must be part of Georgia. SO will be whatever its people want it to be: independent.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 2:23 PM | Report abuse

Nikola,

Russia would not have had the opportunity. More of the world would have been involved in the situation from the start.

The West really hoped for the integration of Russia after the fall of the USSR, and if anything has allowed that restrict their involvement when dealing with situations such as this. The West let the hope of a peaceful Russia cloud their thinking and allowed Russia the advantage of joining organizations and agreements while ignoring the changes that were supposed to occur within Russia.


Could somebody answer my question, please !
Would Russia attack Georgia if Georgians had few nuclear bombs?

Posted by: NIKOLA | August 14, 2008 2:08 PM

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

'"1. South Ossetia IS legally part of Georgia, whether that's fair or not."
Not true – South Ossetia was independent from Georgia for 15 years. Georgia was independent from Russia for 18 years.'

LEGALLY part of Georgia. That means according to intreational recognition. Every country in the UN considers SO part of Georgia, even Russia.
SO has been in the hands of the Russians since the time of the Soviet Union, the independent Gerogia didn't have control of SO even before it allowed Russian 'peacekeepers' in.

'"2. Ergo, Russia has clearly been occupying foreign territory for years now."
Russians had a group of peacekeeping force under the agreement signed by Georgian and Russian presidents in 1993. Georgia asked for Russian peacekeepers to be in South Ossetia to prevent war. They did an OK job keeping peace, up until Saakashvili decided to executive 2,000 villagers in South Ossetia.'

The Russian 'peacekeepers' were there before the 1992 'agreement'. The 'agreement' was the recognition from Georgia that it could not oust them so it might as well allow them (not 'asked' from them) rather than have war with Russia. It's occupation, albeit allowed post-facto because there was no power to end it. As to their 'fine job', it consisted first of not allowing Georgian control of its own territory, and for some years now of offering protection to the shelling of Georgian villages.

I'm all for the rights of peoples, but it's quite naive to think that the Ossetians rights are being protected by Russia.

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Anonymous,

If it becomes a decision between energy or clean energy, clean energy will lose. That aside, there will never need to be a decision. We buy most of our imported oil from Canada and Mexico. The reason we are often concerned about oil in other regions, is not to bring it here. It is because of a balance of power in the rest of the world, as well as a need to defend our oil companies to a lesser degree. There nuclear, coal, natural gas, and our own oil, along with biofuels, and conservation, to name a few.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Could somebody answer my question, please !
Would Russia attack Georgia if Georgians had few nuclear bombs?

Posted by: NIKOLA | August 14, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

A. The analogy to the Sudetenalnd fails, but for other reasons: Sudetenlanders were German (the Ossetians aren't Russian), the Sudetenland had until recently been ruled by Austria (which was German) and had been torn from it against the wishes of its population (SO was never ruled by Ossetians, nor is it now!), and the Czechs had effectively discriminated against the Sudentenlanders (the Georgians haven't certainly done the same to the Ossetians, for the very simple reason that they never controlled SO since their independence). In short, the difference is that Hitler had SOME reason to take the Sudenteland. Russia has none.

B. No one dreamed of invading Iraq because of Saddam's oppression of the Kurds. Nor did anyone invade Serbia because of Miloshevic's oppression of the Albanians. Nor were the Kurds or Albanians' guerrillas puppets of a powerful neighbour with interests in the area. NATO bombed Serbia to force it to stop the mass expulsion of Albanians and only after a cease-fire agreement did international peacekeepers enter the area. By the way, Bosnia isn't in Serbia.

C. Anyone believing the propaganda of the atrocities committed by Georgia must be very guilible indeed. Just look at the time frame, the size of the forces involved and their knowledge with the terrain. That, of course, doesn't excuse the Georgian atrocities that may have effectively occured.

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

“1. South Ossetia IS legally part of Georgia, whether that's fair or not.”
Not true – South Ossetia was independent from Georgia for 15 years. Georgia was independent from Russia for 18 years.

2. Ergo, Russia has clearly been occupying foreign territory for years now.
Russians had a group of peacekeeping force under the agreement signed by Georgian and Russian presidents in 1993. Georgia asked for Russian peacekeepers to be in South Ossetia to prevent war. They did an OK job keeping peace, up until Saakashvili decided to executive 2,000 villagers in South Ossetia.

Posted by: Alex | August 14, 2008 2:03 PM | Report abuse

“Beg pardon? South Ossetia is part of Georgia's sovereign territory. “
South Ossetia was independent from Georgia since 1993 – the same way Georgia independent from Russia.

“Lincoln did the same thing when he "invaded" the South. Gee, by the way, so did Russia when Yeltsin sent troops to Chechnya.”

I never supported Russian military campaign in Chechnya. I’d give them some credit though since (1 they did agreed with Chechnya independence in 1997 and (2) disbanded troops to Chechnya only after Moscow was hit with a series of explosions in 1999. Again, I don’t support the military campaign in Chechnya but would argue that it had more merits than occupation of Iraq where the WMD – the sole justification for the Iraq war - are yet to be found.

Posted by: Alex | August 14, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

You all missed the point, and defintitely twisted my words - did you miss the "saying nothing nothing of whether it was iron-fisted or not" bit? Did I offer a single justfication for the rocket attacks?

Of course I thought it was a horrible decision to fire those rockets, but that belies the point. My point was that it was within their own borders, so it's not an *invasion*. You could have called it an invasion if the Georgians had beached the Russian border with tanks and bombers, sadly, Russia invaded Georgia.

Have fun with the rest of your summer term at the Karl Rove Memorial Institute of Deception and Misinformation.

Posted by: Bloody forehead | August 14, 2008 1:54 PM | Report abuse

1. South Ossetia IS legally part of Georgia, whether that's fair or not.

2. Ergo, Russia has clearly been occupying foreign territory for years now.

3. SO and Abkhazia were not 'given' to Georgia, they were part of Georgia before Georgia was annexed by the USSR.

4. However, the Georgian government never had control of those 2 since the independence of Georgia.

5. THAT's the difference to Kosovo: Serbia had full control of Kosovo for decades and used it to harass the natives, culminating in the 1999 war.

6. Georgia, however, never had such control to begin with, so it simply can't be guilty of what Serbia was. Abkhaz and Ossetians living in the other parts of Georgia do not have their rights curtailed.

7. Abkhaz and Ossetians are 'pro-Russian'? That's laughable. If anything, they are pro-Abkhaz and pro-Ossetian. So called 'pro-Russians' are merely the Russian puppets running those regions with support of the Russian army.

8. Russia's goal in creating the conflicts of Abkhazia and SO was clear: to have Georgia sign Russian-favourable treaties, in effect reducing the whole of Georgia to a Russian fief. The moment that Georgia accepted to become a Russian vassal, all those 'pro-Russian' Abkhaz and Ossetians would all of a sudden be quite happy to be Georgian citizens. Much the same is being done in Moldova.

9. It's NOT TRUE that Georgia attacked first. Georgia launched an offensive into SO but it was preceded by weeks of Georgian villages at the front being bombed by those 'pro-Russian' guys.

10. Clearly, Russia instructed its puppets to do the bombings while it organised a full scale invasion which would be triggered by the Gerogian reaction, which would come sooner or later (how long do you suffer being bombed without responding?). How else could the Russians have been so well prepared and acted so quickly? You don't conduct such large operations in a mountainous territory without careful planning, and no one could plan for this particular war unless also cooking the war itself.

11. The reasons are also clear, chiefly to set back the non-Russian pipeline which would rob Moscow of its ability to blackmail its neighbours into submission or freezing to death.

12. Russia thinks it has won, but in fact it lost big time. For one, the military status quo will remain the same, since they can't just take advantage of their advances. Second, their mask has come off and they just can't pretend to be 'peacekeeping' anywhere anymore. They've been exposed for what they are, a bully which 'can only have vassals or enemies at its frontiers'. Of course, there will always be those ready to defend the Russians' 'rights' to dictate the lives of their neighbours.

(In an unrelated note: the leadership of Iraq was given clear and reasonable warnings before both wars, with much advance, on what it should do to avoid an invasion. And the invading powers never threatened the territorial integrity of Iraq, or there wouldn't be an Iraq by now. Nor have the invaders gained territorially from the invasion.)

Posted by: Antonio | August 14, 2008 1:49 PM | Report abuse

To: My forehead left a hole in the drywall with this one

I would not be wrong if I assumed that you are brain damaged. Right?

Posted by: Winner | August 14, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

"Beg pardon? South Ossetia is part of Georgia's sovereign territory. Since when does undertaking an military effort - saying nothing of whether it was iron-fisted or not - within your *own* borders considered an invasion?"

So Saddam was justified in attacking the Kurdish separatists? And Milosevic (a
democratically-elected leader) was only within his rights "undertaking a military effort" in Bosnia and Kosovo. Now you tell us.

PS I bet you don't call it "undertaking a military effort" when it's your enemies doing it.

Posted by: OD | August 14, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Win, the problem with Peak Oil is it's speed. As an example, look at the Cantarell oil Field in Mexico. Production is down 25% just in the last year. The world just can't flip a switch and move to clean energy to match this rate of decline. On top of that no known source of energy matches the energy density and portability of Crude. You can use Nukes to power a ship but not your Ford. That's why there's this scramble in central asia and the middle east. Georgia is the second victim of Peak Oil after Iraq. You wanna know who's next? Just follow the pipelines.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Ugh listening the America-hating garbage that comes out of the liberals that post here and the California commies I'm starting to wish we had an American Fascist Party so we could deal with them like they deserve.

Georgia tried to recapture it's territory which was taken by Russia through a "separatist" subterfuge. Russia is now running rough-shod all over Georgia and lying to the intl community with it's "Cease-fire" .... they just better hope we're being honest that our troops are only flying in for "relief".

Posted by: Mike C. | August 14, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

"Many of them note that Georgia invaded South Ossetia before Russia engaged, an inconvenient fact Saakashvili does not note."

Beg pardon? South Ossetia is part of Georgia's sovereign territory. Since when does undertaking an military effort - saying nothing of whether it was iron-fisted or not - within your *own* borders considered an invasion?

By golly, Lincoln did the same thing when he "invaded" the South. Gee, by the way, so did Russia when Yeltsin sent troops to Chechnya.

Posted by: My forehead left a hole in the drywall with this one | August 14, 2008 1:35 PM | Report abuse

“Not to say that Saakashvili's actions weren't ill advised and no doubt some wrong doing on part of the Georgians most likely occurred.”

Really?? Saakashvili LAUNCHED a heavy artillery attack on South Ossetia that killed more than 2,000 civilians. There are reports and photographs of Georgian tanks driving through crowds with civilians, including children – all under Saakashvili direct order. Is this what you call “ill advised”? A murder of 2,000 people (mostly Russian citizens)? Right.

Timing is impeccable though. Saakashvili is one of the largest foreign donors to the McCain campaign. He was waiting for this military campaign up until the election period. McCain still lives in the Cold War era. There is no better way to bring back the Cold War memories than to engage Russia by murdering 2,000 Russian villagers.

This does sound familiar – I’ve read it somewhere before. Oh, yes. It was Goebbels who hatched a plan to ensure Hitler election by burning the Reichstag building and blaming it on the Social Democrats. It worked.

Posted by: Manny (NYC) | August 14, 2008 1:30 PM | Report abuse

There's a major problem with the Czech Sudetenland analogy. Czechoslovakia did not attack the Sudetenland and kills hundreds of people. Georgia did.

But part of the analogy is valid. Hitler was a respone to attempt by France and Britain to de-claw Germany after WWI. That didn't work. The hawks/neo-cons who created Saakashvili want to do the same with Russia. At least that's what they tried in the 90s. But Putin is not Hitler. Russia is not going to annex Georgia. But he is teaching them a lesson! The lesson is: do not attack us.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

YusufS, Russia may indeed get more agressive as we near peak oil, in an attempt to control the oil resources. They, as well as the US, have long considered the area as important to world control.

The times have changed, and so has the world. Oil is losing its hold over the world as we advance our technologies. Wars over oil are no longer forward thinking.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Simon, unfortunatley natural disasters are not known for following international laws on refraining from harming relief organizations. As far as I am aware we have no legal recourse, since Mother Nature (by whatever label you prefer) has not joined the UN, nor agreed to any treaty. The relief crews waited until conditions were safe to a point.

The National Guard did get there earlier. As I recall there was some issue between the State and Federal government on who would control the Guard.

Really though, its two different situations. Nice try at diversion however.


Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 1:19 PM | Report abuse

Georgia is just the latest victim of Oil politics. Prepare for more wars as Peak Oil really gets going and the oil wells run dry.

Posted by: YusufS | August 14, 2008 1:16 PM | Report abuse

Winner, if its about oil this region rules. The US has banned using the majority of its oil resources for years. Water, we have it, and that is considered to be the next resource shortage. Food, nor problem. The reality is without the US business involvement, much of the rest of the world would have a shortage of experts in oil exploration experts. If we need oil, we will get oil. With biofuels, we can make it if it gets that bad. Things get easier by a long short if we only concern ourselves with our region.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

John McCain declared that we are all "Georgians." Oh please. I bet it never occurred to him to declare that we are all citizens of New Orleans. He and Bush made sure that Georgia got relief supplies faster than anyone in New Orleans did after Hurrican Katina.

Posted by: Simon | August 14, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Americans are sore losers. Evil has won over good in the 'New World'. America will soon become another 'has been'. Like it or not.
It will be a great joy to see their impotency at its best as the upcoming conflicts in the Oil rich Asia unfold.

Posted by: WInner | August 14, 2008 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sattar Kahn,

I understand fine.

Zbigniew explained it to me, he does understand Russian policies.

Zbigniew Brzezinski, former foreign policy adviser to President Carter, and currently advising Barack Obama, called for world wide protest and organization against Russian aggression in Georgia. He compared Russian claims it was aiding Russian citizens living in South Ossetia as similar to Hitler using the suffering of Germans living in Czechoslovakia for taking over that nation. He also told Germany’s Die Welt Russian action was similar to the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939. Brzezinski warned the world Russia was attempting to reassert its control over former members of the Soviet Union.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 12:55 PM | Report abuse

goldenpriest, the US is a government, perhaps you look up to Russia? China? Great Britian? they all have their faults. Sorry if your beliefs were crushed, its called growing up.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Georgia attacked Russia, via Ossetia. They attacked and killed Russian peace-keeping troops in Ossetia AND 90% of the Ossetians hold Russian passports and are Russian citizens. Do you know why they accepted those Russian passports? Cause they don't want to be part of Georgia. Why can't you understand that? Forget about Ossetia, forget about Abkhazia. Be grateful for what you have left. Then you can join NATO, the EU and the North Pole Club for that matter. And while you're at it, why don't you kindly ask your million or more Georgian compatriots to leave Russia with their $$$$$ so they can come home and help their own country.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:50 PM | Report abuse

The US has plenty of options. They just have to break the rules, like Russia has.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Refering to grand strategy there are two possibilities in the Georgian mess. If it was instigated by the Bush administration then it might be a "head fake" to pin the Russians down in Georgia as a prelude to operations elsewhere, possibly Iran. If it was instigated by the Russians, then it was a combination of fear that Georgia will join NATO and greed to control all pipeleines out of central asia, in this case the Ceyhan-Tbilisi pipline. Control the oil and you control Europe. Note how Sarkozy is kissing up to the Russians. In any case NATO is a non-entity. They can't even control Afghanistan. If Georgia joined NATO, who do they expect to come to their..The French? The Poles perhaps? This is Russia's neighbourhood.NATO doesn't have the conventional military power match Russia....and who wants a nuclear exchange over Georgia. In short, the innocent will die and we'll be saying ... Georgia who?

Posted by: YusufS | August 14, 2008 12:47 PM | Report abuse

growing up i looked up to the USA and its values and belived in them, but the 90's that's when my beleif went. 1999 bombing of serbia thats when the values went.and now i dont look up to the USA .but i must be the only one that feels like that?

Posted by: goldenpriest | August 14, 2008 12:46 PM | Report abuse

The small country did not attack the large country.
That would be Georgia attacking Russia.
Georgia initiated a military action against a autonomous region within the country of Georgia. Not Russia.
Russia attacked Georgia.

Now, since I guess the new international "law" says it is ok to attack a weaker country, I propse the US take over all those countries unwilling to work with us in this region.
Venazula, Cuba, perhaps even Mexico and a few others. They are all getting to be a bit of a bother anyhow. I'm sure they'd be easier to control if we pulled out some might. Try out some of the new weaponry and crowd control devices we have been developing.

Posted by: win | August 14, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

It's refreshing to see people looking for truth on the internet in other places, because they won't find it on the washingtonpost.com's articles controlled by you know who! The USA neo-CONS dirty tricks are over, not even the Democrats will get away with fleecing the American people like the Republicans did for so long. Time to hold public officials responsible in a real court of law!

Posted by: stophypocrisy | August 14, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

The fact of the matter is that Georgia is small, but not democratic. In particular the Georgians have not realised what Central Europeans realised: it's best to join NATO and EU AND at the same time, keep good relations with Russia. The Georgians are decades from this mindset. They want to joint NATO, so NATO will send troops to whip the Russians and then rub their noses in it. Georgia has been doing everything to provoke Russia. Compare that with Azerbaijan next door, a US ally, where Western oil companies have invested billions of dollars and are sending their oil via Georgia to Western markets. Azerbaijan maintains good relations with Russia, is a muslim country that allow freedom of religion, education for its Russian/Christian minority. It goes out of its way to respect Russia and in return Russia does not create problems in Azerbaijan. The Georgian on the other hand are hot-headed; sort of like the Caucasus mujaheedin, except that their fighting skill are ... well ... clearly evident.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Russia: Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. There is blame on both sides, not much help for either face it.

Posted by: George | August 14, 2008 12:37 PM | Report abuse

this Sakash guy.. he kinda comes across as being weak... and using Hollywood imagery doesn't help. He needs to get off the TV..

Posted by: Fool2001 | August 14, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

In response to: "There are people who are dying because of a giant neighbour is attacking a small country." Here is some advice to all small countries; DO NOT initiate an attack on other countries, in particular very very large ones. DO NOT force even smaller, defenseless regions to join your country against their will. DO NOT bring in other large countries to balance the large country you've attacked, otherwise your country will become a battleground. IF YOU DON'T take this advice, then fight like hell so the large country eventually gives up (get some Chechen/Vietnamese/Afghan advisors), DO NOT run away even before the large country's troops are anywhere to be seen. Doing this will cause you to be the laughing stock of the large country and they WILL come after you. FOLLOW THESE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:30 PM | Report abuse

It is interesting to see our government
being supposedly,dedicated to "equa justice
for all". And while Georgia is entitled to the right of defending its"soverignity
borders"Serbia is not.Why?Because Kosovo has been Serb land since 8th Century and
South Ossetia and Abkhazia were given to
Georgia by its own communo-fascist and mur-
dered of 10 million Russians Joseph Stalin
after II World war.And now Mr.Saakashvili
want to legalize Stalin's Crimes against the
Russians in Ossetia and Abkhazia,just like
Muslim terrorists are justifying their cri-
es against the Serbs because they were Sta-
lin's and Hitler's allies against the Serbs
and against America in 1941-45.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 12:29 PM | Report abuse

The reasoning that separatism is growin in the US has been mentioned often in articles on these and other media. Seldom have the articles considered separatism as a valid plan.

The US should separate itself from the rest of the world. The world has its own issues, they are responsible for them. We have only to figure out ours and defend ourselves, and we can. Indeed, defending ourselves would be much easier if we removed the consideration of the rest of the world from the equation. Our defense systems could be automated to attack, and it can be improved. We don't need free trade anymore then we need illegal immigration. Even the benefits of legal immigration can be shunned in the interest of world peace. Would the US survive? Probaly better then it can on its current path. There would be short term problems, but nothing that cannot be solved, easier without the rules we have happily put upon ourselves in the name of globalization and world peace.

World peace isn't happening anyhow. If it did it would most likely be a bad version of it rather then a good version, given technological advances in areas such as mind reading, drugs that influence the mind, along with the growth of tracking people and their actions. How can anyone seriously believe that any world government coalition with any power would be benevolent? Has there ever been a government that stayed good and stayed in power?

Perhaps, just perhaps, we are mistaken in the belief that we should endeavor to make the world on big, happy, globalized ball of humanity. Perhaps the world would be better if we allowed wars to happen, its one way to control population and resolve differences. Who is to say it is better or worse then others?

Posted by: Win | August 14, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

To blame Georgia is to be an ignorant believer in Russian propaganda. Not to say that Saakashvili's actions weren't ill advised and no doubt some wrong doing on part of the Georgians most likely occurred. However, Russia's propaganda machine, sounding ever more eerily like its soviet predecessors claims of mass war crimes and even genocide are dumbfounded. If you look at the facts Georgia's military is extremely small and of a very limited capability. The numbers of deaths reported by Russia and the Ossetians and the time frame they occurred in would simply be impossible for a military of Georgia's stature. The Russians have never cared about protecting human rights, that notion is a joke. It shocks me that the world is ignorant enough to buy into Russian propaganda drawing parallels to Kosovo and comparing Saakashvili to Milosevic. The simple fact of the matter is that inconclusively (shown by the rapidness of reaction that no military in the world could display without pre-planing and mobilization), this invasion was planed by the Russian's and they have had it in the works for some time. The sad fact is that the world won't be able to gather the true facts because Russia controls the evidence and occupies the scene of the crime. It's time to wake up and see the Russia for what it is and historically always has been, a restless and maniacal autocratic empire that isn't content living peacefully within their own borders.

Posted by: sparty | August 14, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad Sergei Ivanov is not President of Russia. When asked by a foreign journalist what message Russia is sending to the world with its actions in Russia he said: "Don't ever attack us again!!! You will regret it."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 14, 2008 12:25 PM | Report abuse

If Geogia had few N bombs, would Russians attack them?

Posted by: Nikola | August 14, 2008 12:24 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, you are not focusing to understand the core problem: There are people who are dying because of a giant neighbour is attacking a small country. No matter why, its a small democracy, and now -infront of your eyes- it started to destroyed.

I guess if you don't do anything, there will be consequences. Sadly, usually the poor people paying the price of this ugly, strange, dirty game.

Who killed the civilians should go to the IJC, but can you imagine Shakaasvili, Putin, Medveiev infront of the international court?

Stop war!

Posted by: Guest | August 14, 2008 12:23 PM | Report abuse

I've seen a number of press conferences now with Rice, Gates and others ... not one journalists ask any good questions. They're all prodding the Americans to do more to save poor Georgia! Here are a few good questions: 1. What should the Russian response to the Georgian attack on Ossetia have been? Shouldn't they make sure the Georgians can't do the same? If Kosovo can be independent, why not Abkhazia and Ossetia? I know many Abkhaz and Ossetians. Before this conflict they didn't really hate Georgians but wanted to be part of Russia. Now they hate the Georgians. Crimea by the way, is in the same camp. If the US can attack Serbia all over the country, distroy their infrastructure so they can't attack Kosovo, why can't Russia do the same in Georgia to prevent attacks on Ossetia and Abkhazia. Precedent has been set.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:21 PM | Report abuse

To Scott S - Please get your facts straight - South Ossetia is NOT part of Georgia and has never been.
It seems to me that most Americans have lost the foundation to any good politics and geo-political logic - they lost common sense.
Keep drinking soda-pop. It's not about liberals or conservatives anymore.
I hope McCain will present Saakashvili a human-size safe like he has in his office... Soda-pop is good for you...

Posted by: Denns I | August 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at the level of journalism, in particular TV journalist. Most dissapointing has been the BBC (didn't expect much from CNN); although just saw CNN correspondent in Tskhinvali, the epicentre of the fighting and a town completely distroyed by Georgian artillery, with heavy civilian casualties. BBC hardly had any reports from Tskhinvali and no journalists there. Also none in Northern Ossetia, in Russia where there are 30,000 refugees. What happenened to the BBC? How have they turned so biased? One more British institution down the hole ... none more left, I presume.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I'm amazed at the level of journalism, in particular TV journalist. Most dissapointing has been the BBC (didn't expect much from CNN); although just saw CNN correspondent in Tskhinvali, the epicentre of the fighting and a town completely distroyed by Georgian artillery, with heavy civilian casualties. BBC hardly had any reports from Tskhinvali and no journalists there. Also none in Northern Ossetia, in Russia where there are 30,000 refugees. What happenened to the BBC? How have they turned so biased? One more British institution down the hole ... none more left, I presume.

Posted by: Sattar Khan | August 14, 2008 12:13 PM | Report abuse

I certainly would like to hear more from the Russians on their side of the conflict. It seems to me this conflict escalated due to Georgian aggression initially. Could it be the Russian response is appropriate? responding to injustice. Is not Russia doing the same?

Regardless the thought of McCain in charge of the American response is horrifying to consider when contrasted to the measured, thoughtful and much more diplomatic approach of Obama. Anyone who believes McCain's foreign policy is wiser than Obama's has a seriously skewed perspective of reality.

Posted by: Mike Robinson | August 14, 2008 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This Russian-Georgian conflict is pure provocation on behalf of Russia. How do you move over 10000 troops in a few days (and some naval ships) unless they were prepared for a fight. I for one don't believe any information being obtained from the Russians. The fact is the Georgians have been a thorn in the side of Russia for some time and gave the Russians a bloody nose by trying to join NATO so the Russians respond by removing the limbs and any other vital organs. Seems to me Russia has visions of revisiting the cold war and using Iron Fist tactics to achieve the end game.

Posted by: ozzy | August 14, 2008 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Saakashvili is Georgia's Saddam Hussein. This guy shelled whom he calls "Georgian citizens". And now we have the prospect of a lobbyist tool - McSame following the builders of "coalition of the billing". Additional billions down the military-industrial complex rathole and a few more places blown up.
Obama'ites seem too weak to point out this bizarre Georgia lobbyist funded behavior. They are not worth much if they can't even bring about this simple "change" in thinking.

Posted by: Alfa Romeo | August 14, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

I find a factor missing in the reports of this international situation. Namely, since the U.S. government has been sponsering/arming and training Georgia's military and has a reported 120 or so military "advisers/trainers" in Georgia, what did the U.S. Intellegence know of the invasion of South Ossettia prior to the invasion itself? I find it hard to believe that with all the involvement and global Intellegence at the command of the U.S. that this action took place without the knowledge of the current administration.

Posted by: Paul | August 14, 2008 12:04 PM | Report abuse

What an idiot you are. Georgia 'invaded' South Osseti? THAT'S PART OF GEORGIA!

I suppose if you were around during the American Civil War, you claim the 'US invaded Virginia and North Carolina'.

The US has many options. First, forget about Russia in the G-8. Forget trade deals. Let's use this as another reason to stop buying Russian oil.

Russia needs the West more than we need Russia.

Posted by: Scott S. | August 14, 2008 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Good leadership means settling matters through diplomacy if war is avoidable. Even as its becomes crystal clear that the Bush administration is partly to blame for this current crisis in Georgia, yet they are still not getting the message. It is diplomacy at its worst to openly support Georgia, thereby pitting yourself against Russia. Russia for all its flaws is still better to be engaged than isolated for the obvious reason that they can choose to arm Iran. Let us for a minute assume that US goes on to punish Russia by removing them from the organisation G8, and let us also assume that Russia on it own decides that its interest is being compromised as result, could any fathom how risky this would be? The fact is Bush is bad for the world and not Putin. Nobody in his sane mind will choose Georgia against Russia for all practical reasons. It is high time that Saakasvilli is thought to behave, and this won't be asking too much from the Bush administration considering that we all have common destiny.

Francis

Posted by: francis Igboanugo | August 14, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Actually the American "provisions" to Georgia occurred 6 days after the conflict started on the 8th, so your new orleans argument doesn't hold water (pun intended - as neither did the dikes which should have been maintained by the local government, and not the federal government)

Posted by: usa_is_the_new_rome | August 14, 2008 11:47 AM | Report abuse

kill em all

Posted by: usa_is_the_new_rome | August 14, 2008 11:41 AM | Report abuse

it's not worth saying anymore, hypocrites are running the world and people are letting them. who cares, Bela, Bela, Bela, Bela. the laughable part is that our "leaders" call for cessation of hostilities where they stopped at nothing to do their own dirty war. Nothing is honorable anymore. Everything is a big LIE.

Posted by: Marux | August 14, 2008 11:31 AM | Report abuse

MikeMcNally wrote, "Doesn't it strike anyone as ironic that we can provide A country half a world away immediately, but it took 5 days before we could do anything for New Orleans? Maybe New Orleans should have been paying McCains advisors $millions in consulting fees."

This is such an apt comment. McCain and Bush don't care about America at all.

Posted by: disgusted in Staten Island | August 14, 2008 11:30 AM | Report abuse

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