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Posted at 12:45 PM ET, 12/16/2010

How's that 'reset' working out?

By Jennifer Rubin

As the Senate begins its START debate, and in the wake of John McCain's admonition last week to re-examine our relationship with Russia, it is worth noting how imbalanced our relationship with Russia has become.

The foreign ministry of Georgia, a country with 20 percent of its territory occupied by Russian forces, has released a statement on the latest development in Russian espionage, which relates to the arrest earlier this month of six Georgians accused of multiple bombings in co-ordination with a Russian military officer, Evgeni Borisov. The statement reads in part:

Georgia has asked to have the Russian authorities question Major Borisov about the case in the presence of Georgian authorities. Tbilisi also has requested that two Georgian citizens implicated in the case, and currently in the occupied territory of Abkhazia, be returned to Georgian authorities. . . .

The attacks took place between September and November of this year and targeted the US embassy, railway stations, and the Labor Party headquarters in Tbilisi. The investigation that led to the arrests hinged on a series of witness statements, telephone records, and other evidence.

Understand what is going on here. The United States embassy was targeted for attack. What has the Obama administration done? Nothing.

Notice, also, the mild response by the Georgian government. The statement goes on to say:

President Saakashvili, in his statement on the day the arrests were announced, did not make any link to Russia. "All evidence currently gathered by our law enforcement agencies suggests that these individuals were acting on orders from the occupied territories," the President said, emphasizing that "the allegations have yet to be established by due process of law."

Does the U.S. issue a statement of solidarity with Georgia for this restraint exhibited by an occupied democracy? Or suggest that Georgia might be deserving of some military aid? Nope. These are the terms of the relationship that the Obama administration has set. Even when American interests and territory (for that is what an embassy is, after all) are at stake, the Obama administration still walks on egg shells. What will it take for the administration to open its eyes and reverse course? It is hard to imagine what would do the trick at this point.

By Jennifer Rubin  | December 16, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories:  foreign policy  
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Posted by: RainForestRising | December 16, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Rubin's thinking seems to be something like "Georgia is a test-run for Israel. If we ignore Georgia, we will ignore Israel. Showing we care about Georgia is like showing we care about Israel." The same goes for Hong Kong, Iraq and Afghanistan, South Korea, the list goes on. But it's hard to imagine a less consequential strip of nowhere than Georgia.

Posted by: bj2000 | December 16, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Rubin, do you understand that Russian cooperation on the issue of Iran and its nuclear ambitions is critical? If not explicitly supporting Georgia is the price required to have some solidarity on Iran then so be it.

If Rubin supports Iran's nuclear ambition then this latest post from her makes sense. If Rubin opposes Iran's nuclear ambitions then this latest post proves she is incapable of understanding the complexities of foreign policy.

Posted by: veritasinmedium | December 16, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Rubin's thinking seems to be something like "Georgia is a test-run for Israel. If we ignore Georgia, we will ignore Israel. Showing we care about Georgia is like showing we care about Israel."
Posted by: bj2000

bj,The history of our relationship with Taiwan/Formosa is instructive. In its heyday,we were as or more committed to the national integrity of Taiwan,as we are to Israel today. But "real-politik" eroded the Taiwanian committment to a mere parody of what it once was. The same entropic process may occur with Israel as we incorporate the fact,that in the real world,Islamic nations are more important to the interests of the United States than one Jewish nation,in other words,Our Energy/Economic Requirements trump loyalty to Israel. However,this being said,Israel is a dangerous Frankenstein Monster Nation(Mary Shelly's Creation,not Hollywood's) with 200 Nukes,and a huge debt to settle that one day may need be settled*,so because of its Nukes,we cannot just dump Israel as we did Taiwan.
*The necessity for revenge for the Holocaust is being denied,but it remains an unhealed wound.

Posted by: rcaruth | December 16, 2010 2:17 PM | Report abuse

I really have to admire the cold bloodedness of veritasinmedium. It must be nice to consign all those people to wearing the yoke of Russian dominiation so that folks can feel all righteous about sanctions against Iran.

Russian duplicity is made all the easier when America acts as a willing dupe.

Yeah, let's trade the freedom of the Georgians for whatever it is the Russians feel like giving us relative to Iran. Sure, that will work out well for all considered, except of course the Georgians.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | December 16, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse


Since we didn't give the Georgians their freedom, how can we trade it away? Furthermore, your and Jennifer's attempts to treat the current administration as a foreign policy pinata are always noticeably deficient on alternative ideas.

I have asked you many times before, but what the hell, for old times sake. What would you do about Georgia or Russia. We've already tried inviting Putin to the Bush ranch, and that didn't seem to make them our buddy!

Posted by: 54465446 | December 16, 2010 3:06 PM | Report abuse

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