Russia-Georgia at war

My point is that this is an internal dispute within Georgia’s territory. Russia can’t go and take over nearly the entire country and claim righteousness. Russia’s forces are just forty miles out of the capital city, occupied multiple cities out of the disputed enclaves, and could have up to 15,000 troops in Georgia.

The cease-fire included a provision that required Russian forces to withdraw to their “normal bases of encampment” but also allowed them to “implement additional security measures.”

A senior American official said the vague language “would allow the Russians to do almost anything."

They have done a great deal under that “implementation” of security measures as well. They need to have tanks in Gori because, well, just the additional security. They need to blow up Georgian infrastructure and ships because it’s necessary for security. They need to occupy Poti because that’s just security.

According to the NY Times and CNN Russia is still moving onward in the country despite the cease-fire so I don’t blame Saakashvili for fighting back. I wouldn’t trust Russia while it’s still moving in.

I find their reasoning to be insufficient because the military build up in Georgia and the occupation of areas so far beyond the bounds of the dispusted territory hardly smacks of a “peace keeping” motive. If Russia gets what it really wants, we’ll have the President of a democratic nation who was duly elected being charged with war crimes that can’t be substantiated; the war crimes that were used as a reason to go into Georgia into the first place.

I’m not some crazed American nationalist. I don’t know what your talking about America becoming involved; all we’ve done is bring Georgian troops back from Iraq in order to defend the incursion of Russian troops as they went further into undisputed Georgian country and requested Russia to allow us to bring humanitarian aid. France has seemed to be more involved at least in the media sense. Heck, Bush is getting railed for not taking some sort of visible action. I don’t see how these actions are such a terrible thing, considering Georgia is obviously suffering a great deal at the moment.

Rice states that the US had warned Georgia about taking such actions against South Ossetia, but in no way shape or form does Georgia’s actions give Russia a blank check to just take over the country.

The power play is over. We get it Putin. Your mad about Kosovo. You realized you could manipulate Saakashvili so you could assert your good old fashioned Soviet and KGB values. Good for you. We hope you and President Medvedev feel better. Now get out of Georgia before you destabilize the region further, as if going into Georgia didn’t make the situation worse.

Coincidentally, I’m sure, they are the people who live there. Not that they would actually know.

It’s more plausible than killing tens of thousands of people to stop a leader who was known to sometimes kill his own people, after an even less plausible claim got shot down. You didn’t really seem pissed at that one. Or invading a country which is actually fairly okay with its somewhat impotent, fundamentalist government for consorting with a guy they weren’t really that close to, theologically, and who has never really been confirmed to have taken responsibility for the thing we were trying to catch him for.

The Human Rights watch that said most Western media was essentially lying about the conflict, so I don’t know that Russia exaggerating is so bad by comparison. If their count is even correct, yet. I’d imagine it’s hard to really get a good estimate what with a war going on while they try and count.

Well, um, you went for almost the exact same reasoning when America used it. Only then, most of the supporting facts were outright fabrications, instead of actual facts or, at worst, exaggerations.

I think helping a country that wants to become part of one’s country achieve that goal is more stable than invading a country which one has nothing to do with and arbitrarily deciding which side to give its land to. Which is the precedent we’ve been setting, from what I can recollect.

Why not? The US and Europe went and took over Kosovo and claimed righteousness, in fact they are still claiming righteousness to this day. And they gave that territory over to a bunch of vicious drug traffickers. And again, the Kosovo separatists weren’t Americans and had nothing to do with America, whereas the Osetin are legal Russian citizens and thus Russia has a real stake in the conflict.

So? When the US and Europe attacked Serbia, they also moved far beyond the disputed territory (much farther than Gori is from Tskhinval) and bombed the ancient Serbian capital of Belgrade into rubble with radioactive weapons. In the process, they deliberately targeted civilian infrastructure and even TV stations, “because, well, just the additional security.” Even Russia hasn’t gone that far. Face it – the “precedent” of which you speak was already created long ago by NATO. Russia’s reaction is the effect of that precedent, not the cause.

And I wouldn’t trust Saakashvili while his troops are still in Osetia.

“Democratic”? Saakashvili first came to power by overthrowing the Georgian government. In 2007, he imprisoned his political opponents and used American-trained, American-equipped riot police to beat demonstrators. He charged opposition leaders with espionage and attempted to close down their media stations, even Putin doesn’t operate quite that blatantly. Saakashvili’s biggest ally in the revolution accused Saakashvili of murder and corruption, then fled the country fearing for his life and asking Europe for political asylum. I honestly don’t care about how Saakashvili rules Georgia, but I categorically object to being forced to pay for it. If you think it’s worth paying for, then do it with your own money.

What? America has been “involved” since 2003. America supported Saakashvili in his overthrow of the Georgian government. Bush showered Saakashvili with free weapons and military training, sent him military advisors, promised him NATO membership, and encouraged him to engage in a military build-up regarding the disputed territories. Saakashvili would never have attacked Osetia if Bush hadn’t emboldened him by giving him unlimited support. Russia did everything they could over the past five years to avoid the war, and it would never have happened if Bush hadn’t paid for Saakashvili’s military stockpile.

No more free money. We have enough problems of our own. At a time when Americans are losing their homes from economic problems, there is no reason why American taxes should go to pay for a petty Georgian militarist who uses his alliance with America to satisfy his nationalist desires, and then expects America to pay for his mistakes.

All I have to say is, Mullenkamp, let me put it this way.

The US is not the Good Guy. As true as it is that I and most of us Westerners prefer the Western philosophies, we and the rest of the world don’t appreciate all the chaos the US is causing where they have no business.

With Iraq, and Georgia as well, judging by SK’s analysis (I’m getting hints of the same things he brings up in our news as well, but the bias is there, too), it’s the US marching in and causing grief. And how was that about Vietnam? Do you even teach that far ahead in history at school?

The US is that annoying upstairs neighbour who, when he hears (while walking upstairs, he doesn’t hear it when sitting in his own apartment) that the teenage daughter on the bottom floor apartment is listening to Britney Spears, comes down, knocks on the door and offers a Chic Tract to the mother. When the mother politely says “no thank you, I don’t read those things”, the friendly neighbour pushes his way in, enters the teenage daughter’s bedroom, jerks the speakers out of the stereo, and starts lecturing the surprised daughter on how she’s going to hell for listening to that music.

Then he turns around and tells the mother that he saw the daughter downtown last Saturday, holding hands with a much older boy. He leaves, feeling satisfied, as a fight breaks out between mother and daughter.

The other neighbours listen in, roll their eyes and pray to every deity in the world that the caring upstairs man won’t notice them, but they know he eventually will. Meanwhile, the man spends so much time on his crusade to help other people solve their problems that he doesn’t notice that his wife is popping pills for depression and his children are coming home from school with bruises on their arms.

There. That is how the rest of us look at all your World Police meddling.

No, I don’t trust Russia either, let me make that clear.

Now I sit back and wait for the SWAT team to break through my windows.

Double standard much? The U.S. tried to legitimate all that shit to invade wherever they felt like, but now that a regional power is following in their footsteps they’re all appalled. I’d be more outraged about Russia if Georgia didn’t attack S. Ossetia first. Is it their soil? Even if we say yes, atrocities against citizens by the government was the “reason” Kosovo became independent (even if the same reasoning wasn’t good enough for the Serbians in its northern part to remain in Serbia).

The precedent is one the U.S. made for themselves and Russia had warned them. Why do you think countries with “entities” at stake didn’t agree to it? Back then when the Soviets supplied Cuba it was too much to take, so close to the States, but when the U.S. do it’s another story. If you stay for 100 years it doesn’t count as destabilizing, I guess.

Oh, btw.

90% of the people living in South Ossetia hold at least Russian passports and the US and Europe bombed and invaded Kosovo under the same pretext used by the Russians at this time.

This war is a power struggle over vital resource pipelines and over the gradual creep of Western military might at the borders of Russia.

South Ossetia and Abkhaz were not parts of Georgia. They fought for their pseudo-independence in the early 90s during the fall of the Soviet Union and were never integrated into what is defined as Georgia since, remaining independent.

Sin, Frederick Kagan explained this in a better manner than I can, but the basic argument is the fact that Russia was making it very, very easy for passports to be basically be given out to the populace precisely so people could make some asinine argument like this which somehow gives the Russians the right to to rush in.

The beauty of that claim is just how dangerous it is when put into context. The Russians basically stated that if Russians are attacked anywhere in the world, the Russian military can go in and defend them. Not only that, but individuals who are accused of attacking Russians can be tried by the Russian Federation.

This isn’t about oil or resources - Russia has enough of natural gas and oil to guarantee ambivalence by the EU in wanting to do anything about its imperialist actions. It’s about something much more worrisome; Russia’s wish to reassert it’s power to respond militarily to diplomatic and political developments it disagrees with. If we allow Russia do what it wants here and run over Georgia we signal to them that we don’t mind them pulling htis trick again with Ukraine or whomever else they want.

If Kosovo was so bad, why in the world would you support a precedent like that? Just because a precedent is set doesn’t mean it’s right. If you think the US involvement in Serbia and Kosovo was wrong how can you state that Russia’s incursion into Georgia is in anyway okay? That’s a double standard.

Hold on.

I understand that the collective reasoning is to change the subject in this argument rather than deal Russian’s ongoing occupation and invasion but this is getting ridiculous. I’m going to use Weilla’s post because it’s the summation of everthing that’s wrong with the arguments I’ve been hearing.

I never once even mentioned America doing more than giving humanitarian aid to Georgia. Seeing as how the nation is being torn apart, I can understand that. I don’t know where you got the idea that US soldiers were in Georgia; US military advisors were in the region, yes. The reasoning behind this is the fact that Georgia is the third largest contributor of troops to the War in Iraq; they were no good to us untrained.

I was taught about Vietnam. I’ve read The Pentagon Papers, would have finished it if college and Scott McClellan’s What Happened hadn’t gotten in the way.

What every rebuttal to my point has failed to resolve or even contradict is the fact that Russia has pushed farther and father into Georgian territory. Ethnic conflicts have only grown more visible since Russia’s incursion.

You can’t defend Russia’s occupation of numerous cities that aren’t even in the disputed territories. Please, soemone tell me why Russia would stilll be in Georgia if they only wanted to resuce the Russians in South Ossetia and such.

If you want to have a conversation about Georgia, let’s have a conversation about Georgia. If you want to have a conversation about Iraq, let’s have a conversation about Iraq. If you want to have a conversation about Kosovo, let’s do that.

But right now, I want to know how Russia’s occupation of Poti and Gori is sensible and reasonable if they’re mission is supposedly just to secure independence for some breakaway regions.

But you know what I love? The fact that everyone is just nodding this off as the old power-meddling and that we should all just allow Russia to do what it wants because America did the same thing in Iraq and Vietnam and so on and so forth (not that I agree fully with the parallels but I’ll admit, they are there). Yeah, because since America’s done it before and it was so bad, it’s okay for Russia to do it and we’d better not dare have the audacity to dissuade them about it or give humanitarian aid or do anything for Georgia.

So, really, what everyone here wants to do is absolutely nothing, because your moral relativism hinders you from doing so. Great, ya’ll are more indecisive than President Buchanan.

Let’s just stop playing games here; if Russia occupied all of Georgia, which it’s very close to doing and deposed it’s President and tried him for war crimes and got everything they wanted none of you would care enough to say anything about it and if you did it would be too little too late.

Frederick Kagan is either ignorant, or dissembling, or both. When the Georgians decided to ethnically cleanse the Osetin in the early nineties, they denied them Georgian citizenship. Their objective (just like now) was to force them out of Georgia, the Georgian president Zviad Gamsahurdia said that the Osetin were “trash that should be swept north.” The Osetin simply had no alternative other than to apply for Russian citizenship, and it’s entirely understandable that they wanted nothing more to do with Georgia since that time.

In fact, no one in the world other than the Russians gives a damn about the survival of the Osetin. Sure, the Russians have cynical motives for supporting them, but nonetheless it’s true. If the Russians left Osetia and turned the monitoring over to Europeans, the result would be exactly like in Kosovo, where the Europeans completely ignored the indiscriminate murder of Kosovo Serbs. You don’t give a damn about the Osetin either – you simply don’t know anything about them, you didn’t know they existed until last week. I don’t advocate giving them money either, any more than the Georgians. But just because you think that their grievances are “asinine” or don’t exist doesn’t make it so. That’s why they want Russia, not you – and they’ll still be with Russia long after you’ve forgotten about the conflict and moved on to deliver moral judgments about the next CNN issue of the moment.

So? In that case, Russia would have a very strong claim to at least half of Ukraine, plus the entire Crimean peninsula. And Ukraine’s government has consistently conducted a policy of systematically eradicating the Russian language and Russian culture, and discriminating against Russians.

The same with the Baltic states, a bunch of Nazi-sympathizing Euro-puppets who deny citizenship to their Russian minorities and routinely revile, humiliate and discriminate against their Russian residents. There is no reason why America should do <i>anything</i> to protect a bunch of petty fascists who have abused their friendship with America to violate the civil rights of Russians. They have nothing to do with America’s genuine interests – they have spent years trying to pick a fight with Russia, and if they get it, that’s their own damn problem. No American taxpayer should have to support any of them.

Why not? Nobody respected the borders of the USSR when Georgia and Ukraine decided to secede. Therefore there is no reason to respect Soviet-era borders when Russians decide to secede from Georgia and Ukraine. That’s all there is to it.

The point is that America <i>has</i> been giving military aid to Georgia for five years up until the war started. The US supported Saakashvili in his overthrow of the Georgian government. Saakashvili started the war only because his alliance with the US went to his head, and he decided that he could be as aggressive and uncompromising as he wants and the US would pay for everything. That’s what we are criticizing. If you don’t support giving Saakashvili free weapons, if you only support humanitarian aid, then it should be administered through impartial civilian organizations, not by the US military.

Yes, exactly – because the EU is <i>still</i> in Kosovo, and the US is <i>still</i> in Iraq. It’s not something that happened long ago, it’s something that’s happening right now <i>and will continue to happen even if Russia leaves Georgia</i>. No Western country has ever disavowed this kind of policy, in fact they <i>still</i> practice it to this very day, every moment. Yes, in light of that, any attempts to “dissuade” Russia have no moral authority whatsoever.

It’s not like the US and EU have disavowed their own actions in Kosovo, or promised that they would never repeat the same mistake in the future. No, on the contrary, they’re convinced of their righteousness, and they leave themselves every opportunity to do it again if they want. If the EU offered to leave Kosovo as long as Russia left Georgia, it would at least be morally consistent, but no: they’ll continue doing it, it’s only Russia that isn’t allowed to follow that precedent.

Same with you. You don’t like that Russia uses its influence on “diplomatic and political developments it disagrees with,” and immediately your proposed remedy is to “dissuade” Russia and use US influence on a diplomatic and political development that you, personally, disagree with. You can’t argue with the Kosovo parallel because it’s so obvious, and you grudgingly admit that maybe it wasn’t a good precedent, but you don’t disavow the underlying idea – and I doubt you would even if Russia suddenly listened to you and agreed to withdraw its troops. There’s your “moral relativism” right there.

No one is advocating to support Russia. We have merely explained that Russia is not doing anything that hasn’t already been done much worse by the US and EU. We have also explained that the situation is far more complicated than the propagandistic “Georgia good, Russia bad” picture that you advocate. All of these facts are beyond dispute. The point of that discussion is to illustrate that the Osetin and Russians have legitimate grievances against Georgia, at least as good as the Georgians have against the Russians.

Furthermore, it is also an incontrovertible fact that American intervention in the region encouraged the conflict. Russia did everything it could to avoid the war, but the US armed Saakashvili, trained his troops, promised him unconditional support and NATO membership. If we hadn’t taken his side five years ago, he would have been more cautious and reasonable. Russia wanted to negotiate, Russia made repeated concessions to Saakashvili in recent years. But because a superpower was on his side, Saakashvili decided to reject all compromise and assault Osetia. The point of this discussion is to show that the US has already made things worse by taking sides, therefore it should stop doing so.

I favour <i>no American intervention on any side</i>, period. This is a simple and consistent position. The US should not have entered a war between Serbia and the Kosovo separatists, and the US also should not enter a conflict between Russia, Georgia, and the Osetin separatists. If some people somewhere want to fight, that’s their problem, there is no reason why American taxpayers should have to pay just because you happen to support Georgia.

For once, you’re right! No, I <i>don’t care</i> who rules Georgia, as long as the US isn’t paying for it. Why? Because it’s <i>none of my goddamn business</i>. It’s none of your goddamn business also. If you want to give money to Saakashvili so he can spend it on another blitzkrieg against Osetia, go to the nearest Georgian consulate and donate your life savings. Or better yet, ask them to let you enlist in the Georgian military. That would at least be much more honest than paying for Saakashvili’s blitzkrieg with other Americans’ money.

America had no trouble prospering back when the USSR controlled the entirety of Georgia. For what it’s worth, the Caucasus was also much more stable then, and most people living there were much better off materially. America will also have no trouble prospering regardless of whoever rules Georgia now, whether it’s a reckless Georgian nationalist like Saakashvili or someone else. In fact, America will become much more prosperous once it stops giving out free money to militarists like Saakashvili just because they’re anti-Russian. When we start minding our own business, then we’ll finally have enough money to fix our infrastructure.

This may shock your fragile young mind, but not every conflict in the world requires your CNN-informed opinion and judgment. Other people’s quarrels are none of your business, or mine – the only reason I am posting about it is because the US involved itself in the region for no good reason, thus wasting my tax money that could have been spent on something useful. Even if you have no clue about why two sides are fighting, they know why; even if you are totally ignorant of their history, they are not. Kosovo and Serbia wanted to fight; they had their own reasons for fighting which you still don’t understand. It was their fight and their business. Now, Georgia, Osetia and Russia want to fight (in a war that Georgia started), and it’s their business also. Not yours, theirs.

But people like you watch CNN, and then decide that now they understand everything about who is right and who is wrong in every single conflict on the face of the earth, in places they’ve never heard of before. You don’t have any serious stake in the conflict, you don’t belong to one of the sides, you don’t know about the local language or culture or history or why they’re fighting, it has literally nothing to do with you. But nonetheless, you choose one side that you think is “right” – again, based on a handful of highly tendentious news reports – and then you want the US to “do something for” that side, even though neither the conflict nor the outcome of that conflict has any bearing on your life. The idea that maybe neither side is “right,” or that both sides are “right,” or that the whole thing doesn’t concern you, never enters your head.

As a result, all that happens is that the US gets bogged down in more and more petty local disputes. Local thugs like Saakashvili use American aid to solve their own petty personal problems. You will quickly forget about the entire thing, because it really has nothing to do with your life, and CNN will have moved to a different issue – but the people involved in the conflict won’t forget. Eventually it creates “blowback” and makes things even worse. At which point, you’ll watch CNN again, find a new set of “good guys,” and demand another half-assed involvement, because you can’t imagine that anything in the world could possibly be resolved without it. And so we spend more and more US taxpayer money on things that have nothing to do with us. No wonder the economy isn’t doing well.

They’re a geneticaly different population of individuals from the Georgians. Its not a stretch of the imagination that if they want to identify themselves separately from the Georgians, with whom they’ve fought and won civil wars throughout their entire history, that they can. Who Russia allows and does not allow to become citizens of its country is up to them. Its not because the US is extremely hard to become a citizen of that Russia has to impose the same standards. Furthermore, Russia allowed people that chose to become Russian citizens to become citizens; citizenship was not imposed on them. Finally, Russia is not allowing Iraqis to become citizens so it can defend them if people attack Iraq. That would make no sense since Iraq has nothing to do with Russia whatsoever whereas Ossetia was split into North and South Ossetia in different countries with the break of the Soviet Union, against the will of the Ossetian people, as demonstrated with the civil war. Therefore, you are picking at straws.

“If Kosovo was so bad, why in the world would you support a precedent like that? Just because a precedent is set doesn’t mean it’s right. If you think the US involvement in Serbia and Kosovo was wrong how can you state that Russia’s incursion into Georgia is in anyway okay? That’s a double standard.”

Yes its a double standard. Its hilarious that you think its a double standard on Russia’s side because this is a double standard on the West’s side. Congratulations, you just agreed with us.

And there ARE major natural gas (not sure about oil) pipelines that run through Georgia to Europe, jsyk. Russia needs to control these things in order to keep Europe by the balls. Useful to have when you have the Americans and the Europeans create a destabilizing set of missile batteries literally in your backyard (which the US and Poland agreed to in response to the Georgia event).

Er, who does “you” refer to? I didn’t support Kosovo’s breakaway. My country (luckily) didn’t and most other EU members did -there was no common EU stance. The U.S. constantly pressed for Kosovo’s independence and even though you disagreed with it, you later supported one of the parties that pushed for it, right? :wink:

It’s striking how what you decry resembles what the U.S. have done on many occasions, but when it’s not them it’s foul play. About the double standard: I don’t support any war where a country isn’t attacked first. You may notice that Georgia was the aggressor here, perhaps because they thought the matter would stay in the family. I’m just saying how this became possible; I have no delusions that the Russians want to teach the local children how to play chess. But the Georgians don’t want either (as sending troops to Iraq is more important) and Washington surely doesn’t give a damn. But that’s the problem with dictators: they are usually overextending assholes.

I don’t care about Saakashvili and every Saakashvili, but if you care about the people under his rule, don’t support funding dictators with your money.

I don’t mean that all America has ever done has been bad, my metaphor was rather burly. :stuck_out_tongue: right back, and glad it was entertaining at least, haha.
However, there have been times like that.

And sorry, I meant Chick Tract of course, those fundamentalist comics.

Another measure adding to the conflict seems to be that a portion of the South Ossetians seem to feel “entitled” to perform retaliatory looting on ethnically Georgian towns that dot the South Ossetian landscape. You can bet that Saakashvili will be using this sooner or later in his international appeals, even though he initiated the conflict and created this kind of chaos in that region in the first place.

And, ah, this shows clearly the facets of the global community. On one face we have Russia, Belarus, Cuba, Venezuela, and various other anti-West countries, and on the other we have countries of the EU, the United States, Australia, and Japan. And then we have various Asian, South American, and African countries that don’t give a damn!

Sensible? Reasonable? How about logical?
Logical from a military point of view. Let’s say that your army units have secured a certain perimeter in the conflict zone – which could have been the initial goal of your mission – but the enemy is still shelling your positions, and there is a possibility that the enemy might push you back. So, you either dig in and exchange fire, or you continue your advance behind the targeted area and try to eliminate the threat.
There were military installations/ bases around Poti and Gori; it should be logical for the Russian forces to secure these facilities. Maybe the ammunitions stockpiles contained WMDs? Ha-ha [insert bitter smile here]…

That makes sense:

And now that Poland agreed to the interceptor missiles deal, maybe Russia will interpret this as a green light to upgrade their installations in Cuba. And since Chavez likes Russian subs so much, he would welcome a few thousand Russian “technical” advisors/instructors for his fleet.

Russia’s rationale for this war and for invading and occupying Georgia goes far beyond wishing to protect the poor little Ossetians. A military base in Georgia allows them a strong strategic advantage in the area, not only to protect themselves, but to attack Azerbaijan and Armenia, as well as even the Ukraine. Georgia gives them an advantageous berth on the Black Sea. In addition, Russia values Ossetia for its access to resources, just as Georgia did. Here’s an interesting question: if the Ossetians wanted indepence, to be their own country, would the Russians grant it to them? No way in hell would they. Finally, Russia chose to go to war not to protect the Ossetians, but rather to discourage their own myriad minority populations from revolting.

Russia’s occupation of Georgia is actually fairly similar to our occupation of Iraq. The only difference is that Russia has a valid moral reason to occupy the country - but, like Iraq, they’re using one valid reason to cover for a host of other secret, self-interested reasons.

The Russians, giving citizenship to refugees of ethnic cleansing! Damn you, Putin, damn your filthy pinko hide!

You mean pretty much the policy most countries have?

The Ukrainians I met when I sparred with a Tae kwon do school from there wouldn’t mind that, so I don’t see why I should.

Probably because they are fighting a war with Georgia, and those tend not to stop when Russia occupies Ossentia, as Georgia keeps attacking to try and take it back. Same reason the allies occupied Berlin instead of just stopping at the German border.

The world is not a series of isolated events. These all relate to one another. In essence, you are supporting the same thing with even less rationale behind it when America does it, but wanting intervention from America (again, the same with even less rational) when Russia does it. I know you claim not to want American intervention, but when you keep saying we can’t “just allow [the Russians]” to do something, that’s a pretty hard argument to buy.

Because they want to secure it. It’s just not being stupid, tactically.

We do the same thing in parts of the world that we do not understand and have virtually no relation to us. The Russians are doing it in a part of the world with politics and histories they actually have a pretty good grip on, seeing as they’re a big part of them. On top of that, they are defending people who are, and who want to be, Russian citizens. Russia is intervening in something that naturally, organically, involves it. The US has intervened in things it has no business being involved in, repeatedly. When the US does it, I pay for it. I’d rather spend that money on our education not being some of the worst in the world. Maybe giving Africa enough mosquito netting to protect most of the population from malaria with the Pentagon budget for one day. There’s a lot better ways to spend one’s money than selecting which of two dictators to give the means to murder large numbers of people based upon ethnicity.

It’s nothing to do with moral relativism, I just want America to quit fucking with things it doesn’t understand or have any legitimate reason to become involved in.

No, I wouldn’t really feel to bad about it. Especially since it has absolutely nothing to do with me, and is a problem that people actually involed in it should solve.

This could wait for a while – let Azeris and Armenians chew each other over Nagorno-Karabakh first.
Actually, Russia plays the role of Armenia’s protector in the NK conflict and the potential aggression by Turkey. Azerbaijan on the other hand, as a member of GUAM, and the owner of tremendous oil and natural gas reserves could be a target.
BTW, my reply to Mullenkamp addressed the Russian move beyond S. Ossetia borders strictly from a military point of view. I am too close to this conflict “genetically” to argue the political issues involved here, and be rational about it.


There’s a certain amount of relief, yet confusion in our choice of not joining NATO (Russia is our neighbour too) - no real obligations outside the humanitarian aid which will be needed once the situation cools down for real.

Our foreign minister visited the area with the French, and immediately upon getting back home, made our own papers shut the hell up, as they tried to squeeze some extra “peacemaker points” out of him on tabloids. No Nobel peace prize nominations this time, he did what he went there to do - to check up on the situation.

Yep. Add Turkey and Iraq to the list of nation’s they’re not more strategically positioned against. For a century the USSR ruled the Caucuses because of the strategic benefits. They were forced to pull out because of lack of money, not a genuine change of heart. Its only been 18 years since then - the nature of nations’ don’t change that much in that short a time. Given the chance, Russia will happily occupy the Caucuses once again for the strategic benefits - afterall, they felt compelled to do so before, why not so again?(though, at this point, they may still not have the manpower or resources for a long-term occupation, so I’m still holding out hope that they’ll withdraw).

Seifer, are you biased for or against Russia? Are you Russian?

At least American should be more carefull when they give their weapons to someone.
I just saw it on TV that some Russian soldies show a Chinese reporter the American’s new weapons they got from Georgia. This time American lost a lot of military technologies for nothing.

Yes, ethnically. But I was born, and spend my early childhood in Kiev, the capital of Ukraine; then my folks split to Canada just before the collapse/dissolution of the “Unbreakable union of freeborn republics Great Russia has welded forever to stand!” That was a while ago, and yet, since the S. Ossetia clash started, I despise the current situation – if this shit spreads to Ukraine…
Already there are rumors about Russian passports being distributed in Crimea (the peninsula has a considerable population of ethnic Russians). Sounds familiar? And now Yushchenko is jumping on the missile defense network.

It’s almost surreal to watch Russian tanks passing by the statue of Stalin – the Man of Steel, the greatest Georgian to rule Russia.