The war between Russia and Georgia is not as obvious as you might think

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The war between Russia and Georgia is not as obvious as you might think

The Russians are not necessarily the bad guys in this conflict.

South Ossetia is an ethnic Russian enclave that wants to break away from Georgia. Its Russian citizens have been attacked and terrorized by the Georgians and were under the protection of Russian 'peacekeepers'.

Ossetians claim Georgians had always mistreated the Ossetians, and South Ossetians want to reunite with North Ossetia in order to avoid being swallowed up by the Georgians.

As usual for this region this conflict goes way back, long before the Soviet Union. It is clear that the Ossetian-Georgian hatred is old and deep, like many ethnic conflicts in this region. Indeed, a number of Caucasian ethnic groups still harbor deep resentment towards Georgia, accusing them of imperialism, chauvinism and arrogance.

Georgia sought to reclaim the territory by invading on 7 August killing over 1,400 people. Russia tried to use political means to stop the attack with the UN.

At the request of Russia, the U.N. Security Council held an emergency session in New York but failed to reach consensus early Friday on a Russian-drafted statement after being blocked by the US and other countries.

As a result Moscow send tanks into the region to protect its people from further attack.

Sure Georgia is a very pro western country, but Russias actions are a response to Georgian attacks. It will be interesting to see how it plays out in the media. Initially Russia was portrayed as the aggressor with no comment on the initial Georgian attack.

The following article talks about the 'stupidity' of Georgian leader Mikheil Saakashvili in trying to invade a town with Russian solders garrisoned, over some land run by peasant sheep herders with no economic value at all. Its good reading,

Rocket launchers from a Russian unit 58 assist South Ossetia plus a detachment of cossacks with over 300 volunteers from North Ossetia including other regions in the fight against Georgia.

Some information from

russian-rocket-attack.jpg - 8.66kb
By netchicken: posted on 10-8-2008

Still, the irony is as thick as tar.

Chechnya must remain a part of Russia, even if it kills every least Chechen. Mind you, I am unconcerned about the predicament as the Chechens are no lovers of infidels, but still.

Russia; wasn't it one of the ones that was making money under the table with Hussein and was against us in the Iraq war? Remember, the Russians even stated that they, too, believed Iraq to have special weapons, but it was more important to stand against us.

Russia; isn't the one that is arming Iran and Syria with all the hi-tech toys they can afford, insuring that Israel has no chance to live in peace and insuring that a major conflagration is just around the corner?

Nothing Russia does is innocent.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 10-8-2008

This has absolutely nothing to do with Iraq. I personnally believe that Russia was justified, a tiny little nothing country tried to pull something on Russia, believing the UN wouldn't allow retaliation. They were wrong. Now they have a national power p*ssed at them, and no one holding them back.
By peregrine: posted on 10-8-2008

Read what I said again. I didn't say it had anything to do with Iraq, did I? The irony was my point.

This has nothing to do with Georgia trying to get over on Russia, as it had nothing to do with Russia in the first place. There was no reason for Russia to get involved - unless you consider oil pipelines.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 10-8-2008

Georgian tanks and infantry, aided by Israeli military advisers, captured the capital of breakaway South Ossetia, Tskhinvali, early Friday, Aug. 8, bringing the Georgian-Russian conflict over the province to a military climax.

Russian prime minister Vladimir Putin threatened a “military response.”

Former Soviet Georgia called up its military reserves after Russian warplanes bombed its new positions in the renegade province.

In Moscow’s first response to the fall of Tskhinvali, president Dimitry Medvedev ordered the Russian army to prepare for a national emergency after calling the UN Security Council into emergency session early Friday.

Reinforcements were rushed to the Russian “peacekeeping force” present in the region to support the separatists.

Georgian tanks entered the capital after heavy overnight heavy aerial strikes, in which dozens of people were killed.

Lado Gurgenidze, Georgia's prime minister, said on Friday that Georgia will continue its military operation in South Ossetia until a "durable peace" is reached. "As soon as a durable peace takes hold we need to move forward with dialogue and peaceful negotiations."

DEBKAfile’s geopolitical experts note that on the surface level, the Russians are backing the separatists of S. Ossetia and neighboring Abkhazia as payback for the strengthening of American influence in tiny Georgia and its 4.5 million inhabitants. However, more immediately, the conflict has been sparked by the race for control over the pipelines carrying oil and gas out of the Caspian region.

The Russians may just bear with the pro-US Georgian president Mikhail Saakashvili’s ambition to bring his country into NATO. But they draw a heavy line against his plans and those of Western oil companies, including Israeli firms, to route the oil routes from Azerbaijan and the gas lines from Turkmenistan, which transit Georgia, through Turkey instead of hooking them up to Russian pipelines.

Saakashvili need only back away from this plan for Moscow to ditch the two provinces’ revolt against Tbilisi. As long as he sticks to his guns, South Ossetia and Abkhazia will wage separatist wars.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 10-8-2008

Today, Russia is continuing to attack Georgia. It has sent its tanks into sovereign Georgia and beyond the territories that have claimed defacto sovereignty.

By the way, the world protested when a homicidal maniac who was a regional threat was removed from Iraq by the U.S.
Where are the protests and mass rallies around the world, now?
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 12-8-2008

Because the Georgians were stupid enough to start it.

Here is a great read on the topic, witty and insightful

Saakashvili just didn’t think it through. One reason he overplayed his hand is that he got lucky the last time he had to deal with a breakaway region: Ajara, a tiny little strip of Black Sea coast in southern Georgia. This is a place smaller than some incorporated Central Valley towns, but it declared itself an “autonomous” republic, preserving its sacred basket-weaving traditions or whatever.

You just have to accept that people in the Caucasus are insane that way; they’d die to keep from saying hello to the people over the next hill, and they’re never going to change. The Ajarans aren’t even ethnically different from Georgians; they’re Georgian too. But they’re Muslims, which means they have to have their own Lego parliament and Tonka-Toy army and all the rest of that Victorian crap, and their leader, a wack job named Abashidze (Goddamn Georgian names!) volunteered them to fight to the death for their worthless independence. Except he was such a nut, and so corrupt, and the Ajarans were so similar to the Georgians, and their little “country” was so tiny and ridiculous, that for once sanity prevailed and the Ajarans refused to fight, let themselves get reabsorbed by that Colussus to the North, mighty Georgia.
By netchicken: posted on 12-8-2008

This very good analysis of the situation boils it down to one main factor that has lead to the current situation, the US and Georgia severely underestimated the ability of Russia to respond to the attack.

It is very difficult to imagine that the Georgians launched their attack against U.S. wishes. The Georgians rely on the United States, and they were in no position to defy it. This leaves two possibilities.

The first is a massive breakdown in intelligence, in which the United States either was unaware of the existence of Russian forces, or knew of the Russian forces but — along with the Georgians — miscalculated Russia’s intentions.

The second is that the United States, along with other countries, has viewed Russia through the prism of the 1990s, when the Russian military was in shambles and the Russian government was paralyzed. The United States has not seen Russia make a decisive military move beyond its borders since the Afghan war of the 1970s-1980s. The Russians had systematically avoided such moves for years. The United States had assumed that the Russians would not risk the consequences of an invasion.

If this was the case, then it points to the central reality of this situation: The Russians had changed dramatically, along with the balance of power in the region. They welcomed the opportunity to drive home the new reality, which was that they could invade Georgia and the United States and Europe could not respond.

As for risk, they did not view the invasion as risky. Militarily, there was no counter. Economically, Russia is an energy exporter doing quite well — indeed, the Europeans need Russian energy even more than the Russians need to sell it to them. Politically, as we shall see, the Americans needed the Russians more than the Russians needed the Americans. Moscow’s calculus was that this was the moment to strike. The Russians had been building up to it for months, as we have discussed, and they struck.
By netchicken: posted on 13-8-2008

Wonderful Jon Stewart from the Daily Show post on the war in Georgia. worth watching.
By netchicken: posted on 23-8-2008

I'm certainly not going to bother with Jon Stewart; I know better. Going to a comedian (not a very good one, at that) for political analysis is like going to McDonalds for a fine meal.

I am sure that our government knew full-well that Russia is no longer in the shambles they were - we helped get it back on its feet. My tax dollars insured it could become an energy broker and would survive to once again be an arms dealer and stability destroyer. That Russia was meddling in Georgian affairs and instigating rebellion within Georgian territory was also known. Georgia simply grew weary of the situation and decided to pull a bonehead maneuver.

Russia is not done. You are going to see plenty more.
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 23-8-2008

Thats interesting TC, Jon Stewart is considered one of the most admired journalists in the country.

When Americans were asked in a 2007 poll by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press to name the journalist they most admired, Mr. Stewart, the fake news anchor, came in at No. 4, tied with the real news anchors Brian Williams and Tom Brokaw of NBC, Dan Rather of CBS and Anderson Cooper of CNN.

And a study this year from the center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism concluded that “ ‘The Daily Show’ is clearly impacting American dialogue” and “getting people to think critically about the public square.”

I saw a video of some of your tax dollars being driven north in the form of Humvees and other equipment captured by the Russians :)
By netchicken: posted on 23-8-2008

Did I say what idiots thought? No, I said what I thought, Netty.
These are the same people who watch M-TV, Nip/Tuck and Sex in the City.

A friend at work didn't believe me when I said that most Americans are clueless idiots, so he went and asked them a few basic questions. He found out that most of the mechanics under 40 didn't know what the Soviet Union or the Cold War was, what started the first Gulf War or exactly why we were in Afghanistan.

Yes, I am sure that Jon Stewart is as trusted as Walter Cronkite. I am also getting a pretty good idea why your impression of the U.S. is as it is.

I, too, read that American equipment was taken by the Russians. To make it clear, that equipment was American property and not American-made equipment owned by the Georgians. Why do you bring that up; do you think that is a good thing; is that why you placed a smile after the sentence?
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 23-8-2008

Pat Buchanan says that Georgia started the war, and the question is just what did Condi know about it? Although the US might not be behind it but it give Georgia a green light?

By netchicken: posted on 24-8-2008

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