Sunday, August 10, 2008

Up To Now, The Georgian-Russian War

Just some analysis I put on a Facebook board in response to a poster's frustrations with the lack of support from the West:

Part of the problem is that there are mixed reports over just who broke the cease-fire between S. Ossetia and Georgia in the first place (I'm talking about the cease-fire that occurred BEFORE the Russians went in). If the Georgians broke it, then as far as the rest of the world is concerned, they were just asking to get their butts kicked by the Russians because the West is not willing to start World War III over Georgia's risky (but rightful) attempt to reclaim their territory. If the South Ossetians broke it, then Georgia did have a right to go all-out and Russia is completely in the wrong to "defend their citizens from Georgian aggression."

Although, even if Russia is in the wrong, I don't think that'll help Georgia's image much right now...the view that's being taken by the people that matter (*rolls eyes*) is that Georgia poked the Russian Bear and is getting the thrashing it should have expected. The only way Georgia can get help now is IF the Russians launch a *ground* attack on Gori or other major Georgia cities not a part of S. which case the invasion will be exposed as a Russian attempt to retake or destabilize the country, an attempt that the West must oppose by force. The air attacks on other portions of the country, though in my book a sign that we should send in support, are not enough to move the other world governments to independent action.

I stand in solidarity with Georgia, as far as I'm concerned we should flying F-15s over the Russian tank columns right now as a warning to not go beyond S. Ossetia. Sadly, the political reality keeps us from doing that...for now.

Since then, there have been a couple developments that show their may be no turning back:
Mr. Putin made clear that Russia now viewed Georgian claims over the breakaway regions to be invalid, and that Russia had no intention of withdrawing. “There is almost no way we can imagine a return to the status quo,” he said in remarks on Russian state television.
The other:

Lavrov, Khalilzad said, told Rice "that a democratically elected president of Georgia -- and I quote -- must go." And the U.S. ambassador challenged Russian envoy Vitaly Churkin, "Is your government's objective regime change in Georgia, the overthrow of the democratically elected government of Georgia?"

"Regime change is an American expression," Churkin countered. And he scolded Khalilzad for revealing the contents of a secret diplomatic discussion.

The situation bears close monitoring. To add to that, there is this and of course, the Olympics.

A whole lot of gears are in motion around the world these days.