How's that 'reset' working out?
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.
| December 16, 2010; 12:45 PM ET
Categories: foreign policy
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