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advocatusDIABOLI
8th Aug 2008, 14:54
Bad live news on BBC........

Russian 'invasion' of Georgia. 2 Russian jets down........

Gulp!......... :eek:


Advo

Double Zero
8th Aug 2008, 15:17
Well from what we've seen at airshows, getting shot down / ejecting is just another day out for them...

The 'tanks' bit doesn't sound encouraging, but we've seen the sense of humour failure over NATO taking over ex-chums growing for a long time.

I'd like to think the Russians are a basically sensible people, ( though I've never seen one look happy ) unlike some others around this little planet...

I'd be more worried about what the Chinese do with Taiwan next, once they've stopped their display of choreographed thousands of automatons all sticking their thumbs up their bottoms simultaneously or whatever the latest bit is.

minigundiplomat
8th Aug 2008, 16:31
Any oil in South Ossettia?

Any troops doing nothing in the UK?

Any will to upset Europe's largest energy supplier?

No, no and erm.....no.

Standby to see Gordo wringing his hands makiing empassioned statements about Georgia's sovereignty, Milliband (with a dagger hidden up his sleeve) shadowing him talking about 'sankshuns'.
For those not on the Nu Labour message, 'sankshuns' are the answer to any problem which involves difficult decisions (Zimbabwe/Darfur) or any problem which requires the use of troops.
The use of troops outside of the ME is a bit tricky at the moment, as Nu Labour is in receipt of a deficiency chit for 'spare troops', hence the use of 'sankshuns'.
'Sankshuns' have the added value of not costing, meaning or achieving anything, whilst giving the impression that the government actually gives a toss.

minigundiplomat
8th Aug 2008, 17:02
I really should put you on my ignore list, but I just can't bring myself to do it.:rolleyes:

Double Zero
8th Aug 2008, 18:15
Speaking from experience, I can say arguments on forums just wind up the people involved, whoever's right -

We obviously will not take action over any Russian invasion of Georgia, but need to keep a sharp eye on gas supplies etc.

I would wish we can support the people of Georgia, while still keeping diplomatic contact & good will with Russia - it's possible, given people more skilled at that sort of thing than me !

glad rag
8th Aug 2008, 18:38
....................and who will be next if the bear is not reigned in? We could be looking at a pivotal moment here, for us and generations to come.

mr fish
8th Aug 2008, 18:57
and in 1938 czechoslovakia was a long way away too. ps, no spellcheck;)

glad rag
8th Aug 2008, 19:09
oopsy doopsy:}

kokpit
8th Aug 2008, 19:09
....................and who will be next if the bear is not reigned in?

Might that be the same bear who is possibly feeling a tad hemmed in within his cage at present?

dazdaz
8th Aug 2008, 19:44
I'm still trying to ascertain as to who are the good guys/bad guys? A quick looksie on the net.Attack a/c..........

Georgia a/f.... SU24=9
Mig25=15
SU25=35

Daz

KeepItTidy
8th Aug 2008, 19:55
This is the last quote on the BBC newspage at the moment


The US and the EU were reported to be sending a joint delegation to the region to seek a ceasefire and Nato said it was seriously concerned

It would be interesting to say the least if this get a lot worse and what a NATO response would be if any. All those on reserve lists in the UK stay away from your phones lol :E

dazdaz
8th Aug 2008, 20:03
Tell you this.....It's the start of the 2012 prediction.

Double Zero
8th Aug 2008, 21:06
There's a bit of 'end of the world, next we'll be fighting robot terminators' hysteria creeping in here; calm down chaps ( & I'm NOT from Liverpool ).

Archimedes
8th Aug 2008, 21:12
Any oil in South Ossettia?

Any troops doing nothing in the UK?

Any will to upset Europe's largest energy supplier?

No, no and erm.....no.

Arguably that should be Yes (sort of), no and no. There is a pipeline that runs through Georgia (just south of South Ossetia) and most, if not all of its output ends up in western Europe.

Roadster280
9th Aug 2008, 00:24
I live in Georgia.

Saw a 3 ship of Alberts go over a few minutes ago.

Don't tell me they got the wrong Georgia! I thought G Dubya was in China!

Mariner9
9th Aug 2008, 07:56
Poti (which has reportedly been "destroyed" according to Sky) is (or was) a major oil exporting port (and a location I've been to many times on business).

Georgia is an important oil hub - Kumkol crude oil from Kazakhstan, Azeri Light crude from Azerbaijan, and numerous products (fuel oil, Gas Oil, VGO) from all countires bordering the Caspian Sea gets shipped through Georgia.

This could get very, very serious :(

FlyMD
9th Aug 2008, 08:05
The price of oil was going in the wrong direction these last few weeks, so Big Oil had to do something about it. This little scrape should send the barrel right over 150 bucks again..

I blame Texaco and Dick Cheney, of course :E

Richard Taylor
9th Aug 2008, 08:24
I'm sure China will be delighted at the timing...

Howard Hughes
9th Aug 2008, 08:33
2012? I haven't got long to spend my money then...;)

effortless
9th Aug 2008, 09:04
Was the near miss of the pipeline a shot accross our bows?

Whiskey Oscar Golf
9th Aug 2008, 09:52
The US has invested quite a bit of military training and equipment in Georgia. This was due to oil control/pipeline etc. This will get interesting due to the continual posturing by Putin to reignite the bear. As to a NATO response I'm not holding my breath, but I think there might be a few fella's pulling their hair out in the state department. What is South Ossetia anyway?

SilsoeSid
9th Aug 2008, 12:53
BBC NEWS | Business | Giant Caspian oil pipeline opens (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/4577497.stm)
Wednesday, 25 May, 2005
http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/41182000/gif/_41182163_euro_pipeline2_map203.gif

The pipeline has been an international effort and was built by a consortium led by UK oil giant BP, which has a 30% stake.


The BBC's Emma Simpson said from Baku that for energy-hungry countries such as the US the pipeline was a strategically important non-Russian, non-Middle Eastern source of oil.

Overdrive
9th Aug 2008, 16:17
The price of oil was going in the wrong direction these last few weeks, so Big Oil had to do something about it. This little scrape should send the barrel right over 150 bucks again..




And Chatham House report "sees" oil going back up again, and possibility of >"$200 barrel" (yawn) in five to ten years (though yesterday it was quoted as 4-5 years), this time due to a supply crunch. Same old toy set.

frostbite
9th Aug 2008, 16:52
Sheer hypocrisy of GWB lecturing the Russians about "Sovereign Territory" !

dead_pan
9th Aug 2008, 19:45
Sheer hypocrisy of GWB lecturing the Russians about "Sovereign Territory"

.. same could also be said of the Russians given their response to Chechenya's threat to break away.

Incidentally, why the **** are Georgia squaring up to the Russians over place with a population of 70000? Thats about the size of your average small town in England. I reckon they could have offered to buy them off - give 'em each $100000 and tell them to shut up or ship out. Would have been a helluva lot cheaper than going to war. No doubt the likes of BP would have been happy to chip in, given how much money they make from their pipeline.

SXB
9th Aug 2008, 20:32
Sheer hypocrisy of GWB lecturing the Russians about "Sovereign Territory" !That's the kind of comment which probably illustrates a lack of understanding about what has just happened in Georgia. While I would agree that the US sometimes tends to pick and choose which human rights and which parts of international law they adhere to some of the examples and comparisons which the Russians, and others (to justify such action in Georgia) are wide of the mark.

The first one used by the Russians and others is Kosovo. What happened in Kosovo is different and can't be compared to other regional problems like in Ossetia, Armenia and Azerbaijan. In Kosovo the incumbent authorities murdered 30,000 people and displaced about a million more for no other reason than their ethnic origins. Seeing that the incumbent authorities (the Milosovic government) had a track record of doing this before the international community was forced to act and ejected the Serbs from Kosovo. UNMIK then inherited an impossible situation in which the only way forward was going to be the creation of a new state. There was no way on earth that UNMIK would ever persuade the Albanians to accept rule from Belgrade, there would have been another war. The international community were in an impossible position. The Russians can't use what happened in Kosovo as a template for Georgia. In fact the only recent conflict which can be compared to Kosovo is what happened in Chechnya, where the incumbent authorities (the Russians) were allowed to stay, the result being thousands of people missing and dead and continued persecution of the local population.

I'm assuming Frostbite is referring to Iraq, though he doesn't quantify his comment further. Again, I don't think the comment is really fair. Georgia is a developing democracy, apart from Turkey the most developed in that region. They have elections which are fairly transparent, though not perfect, but certainly a lot better than Russia. Iraq was not a democracy, it was a dictatorship where the regime repressed large parts of the population using terror, murder and torture and were, therefore, fair game. Obviously, with hindsight, the Americans would admit things have not turned out as they had planned but I still have no problem with the idea of dictators being removed by foreign powers, the big problem being who's the one who decides who stays and who goes.

tony draper
9th Aug 2008, 21:26
Georgia another country trying to get its lips round the Euro Tit,make noises about joining NATO ect ect,and as per Ivan is painted the bad guy in the Western media.
Keep our noses out of it.,

Gargleblaster
9th Aug 2008, 22:17
The world has two serious problems:

1. Bush Jr.: Thankfully about to be solved.

2. Russia: I predict that it'll take around 50 - 100 year for the population (uninformed and fed lies through govt. controlled TV) to understand and implement democracy. I wouldn't be surprised if there was one more revolution in this country in 20 years or so. Just a pity for all the people who are going to die in the meantime.

SXB
9th Aug 2008, 22:34
Georgia another country trying to get its lips round the Euro Tit,make noises about joining NATO ect ect,and as per Ivan is painted the bad guy in the Western media.
Keep our noses out of it.,

They want to join Nato so they have some security, the same security you enjoy because, as an accident of birth, you come from Newcastle.

2. Russia: I predict that it'll take around 50 - 100 year for the population (uninformed and fed lies through govt. controlled TV) to understand and implement democracy. I wouldn't be surprised if there was one more revolution in this country in 20 years or so. Just a pity for all the people who are going to die in the meantime.

I think it's less than 10 years away, a significant part of the younger population is discontent with life in general, the Russian polulation is declining, their best people are moving to the US and Europe (mainly France and Britain) Much of their population still lives in poverty. Their situation is not sustainable. It will hit the fan soon.

West Coast
9th Aug 2008, 22:50
Georgia and Russia shooting at each other =Sheer hypocrisy of GWB lecturing the Russians about "Sovereign Territory" !

Agenda or simply looking to show ignorance...or any vehicle to Bash Dubya is convenient.

tony draper
9th Aug 2008, 23:38
Yer lets sign up all the uncommited nations we can to NATO, and let Ivan do the same,he can call his lot the Warsaw pact, built missle bases on their turf and Ivan can do the same, pretty soon we are back in the fifties, or better still back to 1914,dozens a cross linked mutual defence treaties and a wee bush fire war leads to proper world war,thats the way to do it folks, and why not, we knew were we were in the cold war, when we had a proper enemy like Ivan didn't we.
:)

acmi48
10th Aug 2008, 07:40
The Georgian Foreign Ministry claims that Russian aviation struck the international Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline on Saturday. The ministry’s statement called the bombing of the pipeline “an encroachment by Russia on international energy security.”

new factor as previously mentioned
the georgian factor

monday morning when the markets re open properly will be interesting
..any excuse any excuse..hedge fund managers bonuses must be taking a caning. :}

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 09:23
That pipeline has been closed since last week and won't be operational for at least another month, it was attacked by terrorists in Turkey, it's closure hasn't seemed to affect oil prices greatly.

It's carrying Azeri oil, a country which Russia enjoys good relations with so I think it's unlikely they would attack that pipline.

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 10:44
Help me out this one want to make sure of the basic facts. I would like to get it right from the outset. Goerge and his boys are going to have a field day here. This story has legs.

Georgia, which is being aided (and encouraged) by the West, mainly in the form of Uncle Sam, wishes to join NATO, and probably also, the eurozone.

Within Georgia, they have a couple of areas, one being South Ossestia, which are allegedly not happy with this and would prefer to stick with Ivan.

South Ossetia declares breakaway and Georgia retaliates in an apparently heavy-handed way, hence the dramatic front page images in today’s press.
(initially slanted in the media as Ivans doing by the way)

Cue Ivan!

The tanks start rolling in defence of the South Ossetians, in an attempt to prevent any further slaughter one hand, and ostensibly to prevent any more slippage towards the West and NATO by Georgia.

Then we have the ubiquitous "pipline" thrown into the equation and that’s about it.

All seems a bit "convenient" to me


Can anyone colour in any more spaces?

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 11:14
El Grifo
Basically, you have it, though the dispute has nothing to do with energy/gas/oil, it's to do with joining NATO. Russia sees the south caucasus as its region of influence and they have threatening Georgia for some years now.

Russia has been quietly giving Russian passports to most of the South Ossetian population over the past couple of years in preparation for any Georgian assault on South Ossetia, now it has happened they can go in with their tanks and say "we're just protecting Russian citizens" but in reality it's about punishing Georgia and bring them to heel.

The pipleline is a red herring. It is important because it bypasses the need to transport oil through the bosphorous. In fact there is another pipeline going from Azerbaijan to one of the Georgian towns on the Black Sea but it's less important because it means the oil then has to be transported through the Bosporous. This is all Azeri oil in both pipelines and Moscow is reasonably matey with President Alyiev.

Outcome ? Probably a ceasefire, once the Georgians have left, followed by an increased number of peacekeepers in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia. But the peacekeepers will be Russian, there's no way the Russians will allow in Europeans or Americans, even if they wanted to go there, which they don't.

11K-AVML
10th Aug 2008, 11:29
Can't the UN send in 'peacekeepers' or would that take too long to organise?

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 11:29
So it is pretty much in line with what we have become to know as the SOP of major world powers today, irrespective of their political shade .


Am I right in thinking that the horrific images of old people bleeding in the streets outside burned out, shelled bulidings, was in fact the work of the Georgian forces during the assault on South Ossetia and not the result of Ivans reprisal ?

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 11:45
Can't the UN send in 'peacekeepers' or would that take too long to organise?You need the UN to make a resolution for that to happen, the Russians would veto anything they didn't like. I worked for the UN on secondment for 4 years and it's a fairly useless organisation because all the decisions are taken by the member states and most of the important countries have the right to veto anything they don't like.

Am I right in thinking that the horrific images of old people bleeding in the streets outside burned out, shelled bulidings, was in fact the work of the Georgian forces during the assault on South Ossetia and not the result of Ivans reprisal ?I believe most of the photos being used by the BBC are from Gori in Georgia proper (therefore victims of Russian aerial attacks) but Russian media is slowly releasing it's own footage. Some of the footage is misleading and inaccurate though, the BBC used a photo yesterday of two young girls looking at a casualty list which they said was taken in South Ossetia. Today they are using the same picture under the heading of "fear, anger and confusion in Tbilisi" The girl in the black top looks like an ethnic Russian to me, so it's probably from South Ossetia. In anycase, pretty shabby journalism from the BBC

11K-AVML
10th Aug 2008, 11:47
That would depend on which pictures you're looking at.
Gori was hit by the Russians, whilst parts of Ossetia have been hit by Georgia, both parties claiming their targets are military.

I would say there is a bit more to it that than the summary though.

I still think it's debatable as to who initiated the most recent developments. I do find it curious that Russia seems to have had a lots of tanks etc lined up, ready and waiting, whilst the Georgians have had to recall their troops from Iraq.

Its worth bearing in mind that it's not only passports that have been supplied to South Ossetians, but alleged assistance to the separatists. This simply allows the conflict to continue for decades. Also worth noting that of those residents that have fled South Ossetia, some of them went to Russia, whilst others went to Georgia. I don't really think the reference to ethic groups as used by the media and by each party helps the situation.

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 11:53
Also worth noting that of those residents that have fled South Ossetia, some of them went to Russia, whilst others went to Georgia. I don't really think the reference to ethic groups as used by the media and by each party helps the situation.

That's a good point. South Ossetia has both Geogians and ethnic Russians living there, the areas containing Georgians were controlled by Tbilisi before last weeks conflict.

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 11:54
After further research, it is clear to me now that both sides are at it, in respect of slaughter and reprisal.

It is fairly obvious it is just another classic struggle between the superpowers, with the ordinary people being used as pawns in the game.

Same Shit, Different Location.


Bugger.

tony draper
10th Aug 2008, 12:03
Not watched much news this morning but oddly enough flickng betwixt Sky News and BBC News 24 yesterday the BBC seemed to be taking a more balanced view,which is unusual,of course that may have changed today, they may have got their orders from Downing Street by now.
:cool:

West Coast
10th Aug 2008, 17:21
It is fairly obvious it is just another classic struggle between the superpowers, with the ordinary people being used as pawns in the game.



Who is the other super power? As if I didn't know your answer, really just want to see what creative tie you use to further the agenda.

Beatriz Fontana
10th Aug 2008, 17:27
It's all about Russia and pipelines. Georgia's just in the way and, in Russian eyes, needs to be sorted. The separatism argument is a front.

I hear Ukraine isn't letting Russian ships back in to their ports this evening. Yep, Ukraine knows what it's like to have the plug pulled on the oil pipeline.

$200 a barrel for oil by November, anyone?

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 18:09
$200 a barrel for oil by November, anyone?

Naw, because they can't blame the evil "Big Oil Companies" for the price rise. You see only the evil "Big Oil Companies" can make the price of oil rise. ;)

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 19:25
It's all about Russia and pipelines. Georgia's just in the way and, in Russian eyes, needs to be sorted. The separatism argument is a front.It has nothing to do with pipelines, though you're right Russia wanted to 'sort out' Georgia. This is Russia punishing a neighbour in what they consider their sphere of influence for having NATO ambitions. Russia also wants to illustrate to the rest of the world that the days of them being an ineffective military force are now over.

I hear Ukraine isn't letting Russian ships back in to their ports this evening. Yep, Ukraine knows what it's like to have the plug pulled on the oil pipeline.I haven't heard that about Ukraine closing some ports, I assume you're talking about the leased military bases in Sevastopol. If that is true I'd like to see how they will enforce that.

BTW, it was the gas pipelines that were closed by Russia in Ukraine, not oil.

The politicians who run my organisation have been debating whether or not to close our offices in Georgia for the last two days, they've now finally decided to close them down and evacuate the staff, of course they are now too late as the airport is closed. The London based security company who advise us in such matters told us on Friday to close our offices and relocate them to the Armenian capital Yerevan because "the airport will almost certainly close within the next 72 hours"........

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 19:56
really just want to see what creative tie you use to further the agenda.

Thanks for your interest Westie, but you got me there. Care to expand ?


Alternatively, give me your views and or, interpretation!

Actually, SXB does a pretty good job directly above :ok:

brickhistory
10th Aug 2008, 20:08
el, so you're 'good' with Russia's actions?






Geography, lack of available, suitable assets, and most importantly, lack of political will - centered squarely and firmly (pun intended)- by Europe and the UN will let Russia get away with this action.



Y'all have fun with the resurgent bear. Don't call us, we'll call you. Oh, enjoy the suspense on when/if the gas taps are closed as a way of demonstrating 'who's your daddy.'

ORAC
10th Aug 2008, 20:19
I read the following on the EUReferendum Blog and thought it was totally over the top....

ormer President, now Prime Minister, Putin has gone to Vladikavkaz in North Ossetia to sort things out, presumably the way he has been sorting matters out in the other parts of the Caucasus. He has also claimed that Georgia's actions in South Ossetia amount to genocide.

President Medvedev has made furious statements, demanding that Georgia withdraw troops from South Ossetia, then demanding that Georgia withdraw troops from just outside South Ossetia. So far he has not demanded that Georgia withdraw troops from Georgia.

The UN Security Council has failed to agree on action. American and European officials have sped to Tbilisi to try to negotiate a cease-fire. I have put up more details on the BrugesGroupBlog but the situation remains murky.

However, for the benefit of some of our readers I shall try to define the arguments used by the present-day appeasers. They are surprisingly familiar. Here goes: Russia is being victimized by the nasty evil Western imperialists in the shape of Georgia becoming pro-Western, more or less democratic and, possibly, economically far more successful than Russia itself. Therefore, Russia has every right to assert her influence in the region and protect her interests. The West, on the other hand, has no right whatsoever to support its ally or to ensure that Russia does not control the entire flow of oil from the Caspian region. There, that sums it up.

Then I found this on the, surprise surprise, Guardian/Observer site:

Georgia: how much is the west to blame? | Newsblog | guardian.co.uk (http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/news/2008/08/georgia_how_much_is_the_west_t.html)

Containing, besides the obvious ones in the article, such gems as...

On Aug. 8 (2008) Debkafile wrote "Israel backs Georgia in Caspian Oil Pipeline Battle with Russia"

According to the article, the question is about Israel's desire to route oil and gaz from Azerbaijan and Turkmenistan, through Georgia and Turkey to Ashkelon and Eilat, and from there by supertankers to the Far East rather than using Russian pipelines.

Last year, Georgia commissioned up to 1,000 Israeli military and intelligence advisers to train the armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. Georgia also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.

The article concludes that these advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the preparations to attack South Ossetia on Friday.

Has anyone ele mentioned that the Georgian government came to power courtesy of our ever-loving Al-CIA-da? That there are American marines with its troops as well as an Israeli contingent? The West has been provoking Russia into retaliation for years.

American warships are steaming towards Iran, sabre-rattling at Pakistan while the US economy falls to pieces. Come on, Grauniad - let's have the real story. Admit that there are some globalist trolls building a world war here.

FlyMD
10th Aug 2008, 20:29
Y'all have fun with the resurgent bear. Don't call us, we'll call you. Oh, enjoy the suspense on when/if the gas taps are closed as a way of demonstrating 'who's your daddy.'

Bricky baby, you can't possibly be that dumb, so I'll just assume you're suffering from amnesia...

Bush Jr made some pretty dumb promises to the Georgians in return for joining the coalition of the bought... sorry, "coalition of the willing" of course... First he told them he would get'em into NATO. When the rest of NATO shot that one down in flames, Bushie the Blunderer already had half the omelet on his face..
So now it seems he promised the guys in Tbilisi "unconditional support" against the Russians... Except the US does not have the means, nor the political will to do anything about the present situation.

The Georgian government got cocky based on promises by the US government.. So how is that Europe's problem? It's, truth be told, once again YOUR mess to sort out.. Have fun.

As for Russia turning off the gas pipeline to Europe.. why??

SXB
10th Aug 2008, 20:38
Geography, lack of available, suitable assets, and most importantly, lack of political will - centered squarely and firmly (pun intended)- by Europe and the UN will let Russia get away with this actionThere is no way the Europeans or Americans will get involved in the context of putting assets on the ground. The Europeans don't have the will or backbone to impose their beliefs even in their own back yard, think former Yugoslavia in the early 1990's Even the intervention in Kosovo in 1999 was because Clinton finally lost patience, the Europeans would have continued having lunch.

The most that will happen will be the continued blocking of WTO for Russia, maybe a strong statement from the EU and Washington, if they are feeling really brave some countries may summon the Russian Ambassador or the really bold might recall their Ambassadors from Moscow for 'consultations' The French, surprisingly, may take stronger action but it will still be administrative action (though do a google on their Foreign Secretary, he's a guy who's been there, seen it, done it)

You can forget about the UN completely.....

Selfloading
10th Aug 2008, 20:49
$200 a barrel for oil by November, anyone? Price of oil is still on it's way down :ok:

Crude Oil Price Forecast (http://www.oil-price.net/index.php?lang=en)

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 20:50
You can forget about the UN completely.....

That is the most accurate statement on this whole affair.

brickhistory
10th Aug 2008, 20:51
SXB, very accurate forecast I believe.



--------------------------------------------------------------------------

edited to ask:

FlyMD

Except the US does not have the means, nor the political will to do anything about the present situation.

Actually, agreed on this point.

The Georgian government got cocky based on promises by the US government.. So how is that Europe's problem? It's, truth be told, once again YOUR mess to sort out.. Have fun.

The basic question to you would be do you agree Russia had the right to take the action it has taken?

A related question would be, based on your post quoted above is does/did Georgia not have the right to try to secure its own border?

West Coast
10th Aug 2008, 21:08
Thanks for your interest Westie, but you got me there. Care to expand ?


You said superpowers, as in plural in your statement. Wondering what evil role you were inferring the US was playing.

As far as the current situation, looks like Georgia may have bit off more than it can chew. I simply don't know enough about the underlying politics to make any concrete conclusions. How about that? Much the same as many if not most of pruners, I'll simply admit it.

The West however should remain clear unless its citizens are expressly targeted. Even then...

FlyMD
10th Aug 2008, 21:26
The basic question to you would be do you agree Russia had the right to take the action it has taken?

A related question would be, based on your post quoted above is does/did Georgia not have the right to try to secure its own border?

Nice questions, worthy of debate if you're a college professor or living in an ivory tower... But how are they relevant right now?

Inasmuch as Russia is asserting it's sphere of influence, and nobody has the means or will to stop them, why ask if they "had the right" to do what they did? Is the answer to that question going to change anybody's behavior? hmmm.. thought so.
Georgia has the right to it's borders, but not the means to defend them.. And nobody is going to help them.. So again, why the question?

If the US wanted to remain the world's referee, it might not have been super-smart to commit all your resources to Afghanistan and Iraq... If that's not the role the US seeks, making promises to the Georgians was misguided..

West Coast
10th Aug 2008, 21:52
Educate me then.

How has the Russian invasion of Georgia fighting a break away region the fault of the US. Not saying the US doesn't have a role, a favorite and a desire for a certain outcome. I imagine most countries do. Your job is to convert that interest to a working theory proving the nefarious role the US is playing.

Go hog wild, weave a couple of conspiracy theories in as well.

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 21:55
Don't listen to little ole irrelevant me Westie and Brick.

The lads tell it better than ever I could :8
Same song, same friggin singers. Ever tried Strepsil :ok:

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 21:57
Unless youve had your head in the sand for the last couple of (hundred?) years

So, you're inferring that no other country in history interfered with any other country or peoples prior to the last couple of hundred years? That's fine, just please forget our phone number when this blows up in your face.

The basic two endings of this little war is that Russia will stop in South Ossetia and not invade the sovereign nation of Georgia, or will invade Georgia and overturn the elected Democratic Government of Georgia and install a puppet Russian controlled government. Either way there is nothing anybody, especially Europe, will do about it except make some nice speeches at the UN.

So now, we will just have to wait and see what Russia does.

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 22:07
Forgive me for interpreting this as "We are holier than thou" :ugh:

Or on the other hand "inferiority/superiority complex" select preferred option.

In light of events over the last decade on the world stage, I would hazzard the guess "creeping inferiority"

Then that's just me innit? :E

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 22:13
The only ego involved here is Russian. Will they stop or not? Not that it matters, nobody is going to do anything anyway. :hmm:


(Besides that El Grifo, I just read on the black hole thread that we are all going disappear in the blink of an eye when that machine is turned on. :uhoh:)

West Coast
10th Aug 2008, 22:20
El Grifo

Now it's my turn to say "Huh?"

El Grifo
10th Aug 2008, 22:33
No idea if you are young or old, or just plain indifferent.

Here's what I said earlier, this is what I say now.

No difference whatsoever, nothing has changed

After further research, it is clear to me now that both sides are at it, in respect of slaughter and reprisal.

It is fairly obvious it is just another classic struggle between the superpowers, with the ordinary people being used as pawns in the game.

Same Shit, Different Location.


Bugger.

11K-AVML
10th Aug 2008, 22:35
It would be interesting to know what the Ukraines, Turkish and Azeri are saying about the situation.

I see Russia is already putting some culpability towards the Ukraines for weapon sales to Georgia!

brickhistory
10th Aug 2008, 22:49
Nice questions, worthy of debate if you're a college professor or living in an ivory tower... But how are they relevant right now?


Ummm, this is Jet Blast? An insignificant on the world stage or shaper of world opinion little forum. I would think that A) 'nice questions' are what should be discussed and B) relevant to whom and for what?


Inasmuch as Russia is asserting it's sphere of influence, and nobody has the means or will to stop them, why ask if they "had the right" to do what they did? Is the answer to that question going to change anybody's behavior? hmmm.. thought so.

So, to sum up, you don't propose to answer anything but "it's the US' fault." Is that an accurate take on your reply?

Georgia has the right to it's borders, but not the means to defend them.. And nobody is going to help them.. So again, why the question?

See both the first of my lines in this post and are you saying the question shouldn't be discussed?

If the US wanted to remain the world's referee, it might not have been super-smart to commit all your resources to Afghanistan and Iraq... If that's not the role the US seeks, making promises to the Georgians was misguided..

I agree, I would double the size of the US armed forces. But that's just me. And if Georgia made a play within its own borders, I'm thinking they had the right.

Russia is seeing it differently.

So, flatly asked, do you think Russia is in the right of this matter?

I don't. But there is f*ck all that can be done about it. Or should by the US.

As the conflict is quite a bit closer to you, has repercussions that would hit much closer to your home than mine, I would think you'd be more than a little interested. But if a rightous anger at good ol' Uncle Sam will keep you warm this winter when the gas lines are empty, more power to you (pun unintended).

Russia is flexing her muscle, provided by the billions in energy she's made and will make. But that's ok, right?

West Coast
10th Aug 2008, 23:06
I see Russia is already putting some culpability towards the Ukraines for weapon sales to Georgia!

Potential to spread to a larger regional conflict, depending on how the Russian final analysis views it.


another classic struggle between the superpowers

I don't see it. I'm not indifferent, just not privy to your thought process.

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 23:07
Latest news.

Russia Expands Assault Against Georgia - AOL News (http://news.aol.com/article/russia-expands-assault-against-georgia/115304)

A key statement in the article.

Russia also sent a naval squadron to blockade Georgia's Black Sea coast. Ukraine, where the ships were based, warned Russia in response that it has the right to bar the ships from coming back to port because of their mission.

So, if Ukraine does bar the Russian naval squadron from returning does anyone think that Russia will attack the Ukraine? Shoot, Putin could kill two birds with one stone. That'll teach them upstarts.

mini
10th Aug 2008, 23:19
Guess Russia is just defending its interests... international precedent in that was established long ago.

con-pilot
10th Aug 2008, 23:36
Guess Russia is just defending its interests... international precedent in that was established long ago.

Hum, okay. I wonder if the citizens of the Ukraine, Georgia and all the other now independent nations of the former Soviet Union, who where independent nations before the Soviet Union conquered them, feel the same way you do?

I hope I'm wrong on this, but, while most of Europe was calling President Bush and the United States evil and power hungry they have seemed to have forgotten the sleeping bear in Europe's back yard who has awaken and now has a hunger that must be feed.

Matari
10th Aug 2008, 23:56
Just some quick background. I am a genuine Europhile. I've visited every corner of Europe and enjoy the continent immensely. My wife is European, my kids hold US and French passports, and I have spent most of my career working in Europe and with Europeans.

In spite of this closeness and affinity to Europe, I have never understood the general European antipathy and sometimes downright hostility to the former Soviet republics.

On the one hand we have Georgia, Ukraine and others trying to assert their independence, genuinely working toward European style democracy, wanting to join with and be part of the European experience. These nascent democracies are allied with the US and Europe, for many deep historical and security reasons. They need help and support.

On the other hand we have Russia, flush with petrodollars (thanks to US and other mega-consumers, I agree) which is displaying ever-increasing autocratic vs. democratic tendencies, crushing opposition voices inside Russia, vetoing sanctions against Zimbabwe and others, and now agressively invading Georgia.

Yet all we hear from our fellow ppruners like El Grifo and others is "it's all the superpowers' (i.e. US) fault," and "Russia is just defending its interests."

Get with it guys. Let's see if you can drop your childish anti-US rhetoric, display some leadership, condemn Russia as strongly as you'd ever condemn the US, and support (at least on this forum if not through your foreign ministries) the new democracies on your doorstep.

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 00:02
Dang Matari, I wish I had posted that. Well said. :ok:


(By the way, El Grifo is not that bad, wait untill the others show up. ;))

galaxy flyer
11th Aug 2008, 00:47
Russia, flush with petrodollars (thanks to US and other mega-consumers, I agree)

Mostly agree, Matari; but, with reference to the above-are not the Euros mega-comsumers of Russian energy? Why single out the US? Next, isn't the beloved anti-US German former German Chancellor Gerhard Schorder a senior executive (dare I say, apologist) of a Russian energy company? Gazprom, I think. The folks who make a deal, wait for winter, turn off the tap and ask for more rubles? :sad:

galaxy flyer
11th Aug 2008, 00:55
coalition of the bought... sorry, "coalition of the willing" of course...

I'm a member of the "coalition of the the willing to be bought". :E So far, no offers

GF

OTOH: What's with all this talk about Georgia? Bring back "Uncle Billy", he'll sort out. :p

Matari
11th Aug 2008, 02:35
Galaxy Flyer:

You're right, I forgot about Herr Schroeder's cushy Gazprom board seat. And yes, Europeans absolutely need Russian gas and I would think they would have most to lose from an increasingly belligerent Russia.

11K-AVML
11th Aug 2008, 07:17
In spite of this closeness and affinity to Europe, I have never understood the general European antipathy and sometimes downright hostility to the former Soviet republics.I tend to feel it's down to arrogance on behalf of many of the European populations, and a general apathy in general (in favour of consumerism) that hinders an understanding of how things work and world events.

BTW, I'm a European, despite what some of my fellow citizens will say.

FlyMD
11th Aug 2008, 07:38
Bricky, I'm not "full of righteous anger" towards anybody, least of all the US, I just happen to think that US foreign policy has been particularly stupid these last few years... There's a difference. I would not spend my holidays, and thus my hard-earned money in a country I was angry at...

Secondly, while I grant everybody the right to debate right and wrong anytime and anywhere, spheres of influence are a reality. If, hypothetically, the US were to go an "sort out" Panama or Grenada or, who knows, Bolivia for whatever reason, I do not think Russian posturing and threats would be very welcome. Same deal, really.

Also, the title "Democracy" seems to be a word everybody likes to play with lightly. Objectively, it seems difficult to me to determine if Georgia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Russia, Bolivia, or, for that matter, Florida :} are so well positioned on the democracy scale that anybody can justify intervention or not..

Given how events have played out, I would be very careful deciding that the poor "democratic" Georgians are being bullied and massacred by the big ugly bear... Seems there's a bit more to it, and given that the Bush government already has a few fingers in that pie, it seems logical for Europe to keep out of it.

Don't worry about our gas and oil supplies... Better worry about yours.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 08:22
Given how events have played out, I would be very careful deciding that the poor "democratic" Georgians are being bullied and massacred by the big ugly bear... Seems there's a bit more to it, and given that the Bush government already has a few fingers in that pie, it seems logical for Europe to keep out of it.
Georgia is most definately the victim here. Russia has broken the first two, unwritten, rules of international diplomacy. Those being;
One, a democracy shall not attack another deomcracy
Two, one democracy will not interfere in the internal affairs of anotherThere is also a third rule, which is it's ok to ignore rules one and two as long as you don't get caught or if you have a UN resolution.

Russia is definately guilty of breaking rules one and two and rule number three is not going to help them. So what will happen ? some censure, possible expulsion from the OSCE and the Council of Europe, I can hear them quaking in their boots. They'll be a fallback to the previous status quo with Russia providing the peacekeepers.

But, the Americans and the EU have also been guilty of breaking rule number two and the Russians are extremely pissed off about it. Both the rose revolution, in georgia, and the orange revolution, in Ukraine, were clearly masterminded and funded by foreign powers, who do you think paid for all those orange flags in Kiev ? The real source of Moscow's discontent is the increasing influence western governments are having in countries on their southern and western borders.

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 08:23
Yet all we hear from our fellow ppruners like El Grifo and others is "it's all the superpowers' (i.e. US) fault," and "Russia is just defending its interests."


Matari
For my part, the only way you think this is because of the usual twist on the truth applied by the great grandsons of Uncle Sam


When con-pilot writes I hope I'm wrong on this, but, while most of Europe was calling President Bush and the United States evil and power hungry they have seemed to have forgotten the sleeping bear in Europe's back yard who has awaken and now has a hunger that must be feed.
He is sailing closer to the mark.

"SUPERPOWERS" with an "S" fixed to the end, normally implied plural when I was at school.

The situation in Georgia is the conveniently contrived and fairly predictable outcome of the eternal struggle for power between the bald eagle and the bear.

I am no aplogist for Russia, I think we have a lot to fear from her in the decades to come.


Re-read that which SXB posted above without trying to twist the words!

But, the Americans and the EU have also been guilty of rule number two and the Russians are extremely pissed off about it. Both the rose revolution, in georgia, and the orange revolution, in Ukraine, were clearly masterminded and funded by foreign powers, who do you think paid for all those orange flags in Kiev ? The real source of Moscow's discontent is the increasing influence western governments are having in countries on their southern and western borders.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 08:37
"SUPERPOWERS" with an "S" fixed to the end, normally implied plural when I was at school.

The situation in Georgia is the conveniently contrived and fairly predictable outcome of the eternal struggle for power between the bald eagle and the bear.

I am no aplogist for Russia, I think we have a lot to fear from her in the decades to come.

Agree with most of that. One thing I would say is that there is only one superpower in todays world, that being the USA, no other country has the ability to project military power the way they can, Russia certainly cannot.

darrenphughes
11th Aug 2008, 10:24
But the US just sold the whole country to China, so they're the ones you need to look out for!!

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 10:52
Here is Saturday's "Pravda" spout on the situation.


It has that ring of familiarity to it don't you think

Maybe they all read from the same Book "1001 excuses for Military Invasion"

For Kurds and WMD's, read South Ossetians and volley-fire cleansings of several South Ossetian settlements.


Vague apologies for the cut and paste :ok:

09/08/08 "Pravda" -- The US administration urged for an immediate cease-fire in the conflict between Russia and Georgia over the unrecognized republic of South Ossetia.

In the meantime, Russian officials believe that it was the USA that orchestrated the current conflict. The chairman of the State Duma Committee for Security, Vladimir Vasilyev, believes that the current conflict is South Ossetia is very reminiscent to the wars in Iraq and Kosovo.

“The things that were happening in Kosovo, the things that were happening in Iraq – we are now following the same path. The further the situation unfolds, the more the world will understand that Georgia would never be able to do all this without America. South Ossetian defense officials used to make statements about imminent aggression from Georgia, but the latter denied everything, whereas the US Department of State released no comments on the matter. In essence, they have prepared the force, which destroys everything in South Ossetia, attacks civilians and hospitals. They are responsible for this. The world community will learn about it,” the official said.

In the meantime, it became known that the Georgian troops conducted volley-fire cleansings of several South Ossetian settlements, where people’s houses were simply leveled.

“The number of victims with women, children and elderly people among them, can be counted in hundreds and even thousands,” a source from South Ossetian government in the capital of Tskhinvali said.

The head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, Sergei Lavrov, told reporters that Georgia’s actions in South Ossetia question its consistency as a state and as a responsible member of the international community, Interfax reports.

"Civilians, including women, children and elderly people, are dying in South Ossetia. In addition to that, Georgia conducts ethnic scouring in South Ossetian villages. The situation in South Ossetia continues to worsen every hour. Georgia uses military hardware and heavy arms against people. They shell residential quarters of Tskhinvali [the capital] and other settlements. They bomb the humanitarian convoys. The number of refugees continues to rise – the people try to save their lives, the lives of their children and relatives. A humanitarian catastrophe is gathering pace,” Russia’s Foreign Minister said.

The minister added that the Georgian administration ignored the appeal from the UN General Assembly to observe the Olympic truce during the Beijing Olympics.

The Georgian administration has found the use to its arms, which they have been purchasing during the recent several years,” Lavrov said. “The fact that Georgian peacemakers in the structure of joint peacemaking forces opened fire on their Russian comrades from one and the same contingent speaks for itself, I think,” the minister added.

“Now it is clear to us why Georgia never accepted Russia’s offer to sign a legally binding document not to use force for the regulation of the South Ossetian conflict,” Lavrov said. “Not so long ago, before the military actions in South Ossetia, Georgia’s President Saakashvili said that there was no point in such a document because Georgia would not use force against its people, as he said. It just so happens that it is using it,” Sergei Lavrov said.

Sergei Lavrov believes that the international community should stop turning a blind eye on Georgia’s active deals to purchase arms.

“We have repeatedly warned that the international community should not turn a blind eye on massive purchases of offensive arms, in which the Georgian administration has been involved during the recent two years,” Lavrov said.

heretic
11th Aug 2008, 11:23
I suspect the timing and target of the Georgian attack were planned to precipitate the Russian response. The aim is to keep the Russian's occupied whilst the forthcoming attack on Iran proceeds apace. It is convenient that the Chinese are still busy with the Olympics. I would recommend a look at debka.com.

Flypuppy
11th Aug 2008, 11:36
I would recommend a look at The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy And Its Geostrategic Imperatives by Zbigniew Brzezinski.

It isn't exactly bedtime reading, but alot of things since 2001 start making alot of sense, after you have read this book.

parabellum
11th Aug 2008, 12:27
"(I write, of course, as a Democrat; while I prefer Sen. Barack Obama (http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/related/topic/Barack+Obama?tid=informline), I speak here for myself.)"

Presents an argument well but not sufficiently convincing for me.

ORAC
11th Aug 2008, 12:38
View from the Democratic Party elders - Washington Post:

Black Sea Watershed
By Ronald D. Asmus and Richard Holbrooke
Monday, August 11, 2008;

In weeks and years past, each of us has argued on this page that Moscow was pursuing a policy of regime change toward Georgia and its pro-Western, democratically elected president, Mikheil Saakashvili. We predicted that, absent strong and unified Western diplomatic involvement, we were headed toward a war. Now, tragically, an escalation of violence in South Ossetia has culminated in a full-scale Russian invasion of Georgia. The West, and especially the United States, could have prevented this war. We have arrived at a watershed moment in the West's post-Cold War relations with Russia.

Exactly what happened in South Ossetia last week is unclear. Each side will argue its own version. But we know, without doubt, that Georgia was responding to repeated provocative attacks by South Ossetian separatists controlled and funded by Moscow. This is a not a war Georgia wanted; it believed that it was slowly gaining ground in South Ossetia through a strategy of soft power.

Whatever mistakes Tbilisi has made, they cannot justify Russia's actions. Moscow has invaded a neighbor, an illegal act of aggression that violates the U.N. Charter and fundamental principles of cooperation and security in Europe. Beginning a well-planned war (including cyber-warfare) as the Olympics were opening violates the ancient tradition of a truce to conflict during the Games. And Russia's willingness to create a war zone 25 miles from the Black Sea city of Sochi, where it is to host the Winter Games in 2014, hardly demonstrates its commitment to Olympic ideals. In contrast, Moscow's timing suggests that Putin seeks to overthrow Saakashvili well ahead of our elections, and thus avoid beginning relations with the next president on an overtly confrontational note.

Russia's goal is not simply, as it claims, restoring the status quo in South Ossetia. It wants regime change in Georgia. It has opened a second front in the other disputed Georgian territory, Abkhazia, just south of Sochi. But its greatest goal is to replace Saakashvili -- a man Vladimir Putin despises -- with a president who would be more subject to Moscow's influence. As Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt pointed out Saturday, Moscow's rationale for invading has parallels to the darkest chapters of Europe's history. Having issued passports to tens of thousands of Abkhazians and South Ossetians, Moscow now claims it must intervene to protect them -- a tactic reminiscent of one used by Nazi Germany at the start of World War II.

Moscow seeks to roll back democratic breakthroughs on its borders, to destroy any chance of further NATO or E.U. enlargement and to reestablish a sphere of hegemony over its neighbors. By trying to destroy a democratic, pro-Western Georgia, Moscow is sending a message that, in its part of the world, being close to Washington and the West does not pay.

This moment could well mark the end of an era in Europe during which realpolitik and spheres of influence were supposed to be replaced by new cooperative norms and a country's right to choose its own path. Hopes for a more liberal Russia under President Dmitry Medvedev will need to be reexamined. His justification for this invasion reads more like Brezhnev than Gorbachev. While no one wants a return to Cold War-style confrontation, Moscow's behavior poses a direct challenge to European and international order.

What can we do? First, Georgia deserves our solidarity and support. (Georgia has supported us; its more than 2,000 troops are the third-largest contingent in Iraq -- understandably those troops are being recalled.) We must get the fighting stopped and preserve Georgia's territorial integrity within its current international border. As soon as hostilities cease, there should be a major, coordinated transatlantic effort to help Tbilisi rebuild and recover.

Second, we should not pretend that Russia is a neutral peacekeeper in conflicts on its borders. Russia is part of the problem, not the solution. For too long, Moscow has used existing international mandates to pursue neo-imperial policies. We must disavow these mandates and insist on truly neutral international forces, under the United Nations, to monitor a future cease-fire and to mediate.

Third, we need to counter Russian pressure on its neighbors, especially Ukraine -- most likely the next target in Moscow's efforts to create a new sphere of hegemony. The United States and the European Union must be clear that Ukraine and Georgia will not be condemned to some kind of gray zone.

Finally, the United States and the European Union must make clear that this kind of aggression will affect our relations and Russia's standing in the West. While Western military intervention in Georgia is out of the question -- and no one wants a 21st-century version of the Cold War -- Moscow's actions cannot be ignored. There is a vast array of political, economic and other areas in which Russia's role and standing will have to be reexamined. Moscow must also be put on notice that its own prestige project -- the Sochi Olympics -- will be affected by its behavior.

Weak Western diplomacy and lack of transatlantic unity failed to prevent an avoidable war. Only strong transatlantic unity can stop this war and begin to repair the immense damage done. Otherwise, we can add one more issue to the growing list of this administration's foreign policy failures.

Ronald D. Asmus, a deputy assistant secretary of state in the Clinton administration, is executive director of the Brussels-based Transatlantic Center of the German Marshall Fund of the United States. Richard Holbrooke, U.S. ambassador to the United Nations in the Clinton administration, writes a monthly column for The Post.

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 13:59
Do we think that Moscow had even the slightest thing to be fearful of, when witnessing the slow Nato-isation of Georgia, along what all of what that brings.


Do you think Moscow is being completely paranoid and irrational.

Or is it acting in a way which is pretty predictable given the state of the world we live in today.


Try and think rationally !

Capt.KAOS
11th Aug 2008, 14:06
One may wonder what Saakasjvili was thinking? I'm sure he knew Russia would react, so I guess it was to drag the West into this Caucasian powder keg in order to solve his bigger target called Abkahsia. Whatever one may think of the New Russian Empire, playing with fire is always dangerous.

Cynical enough the biggest ethnic cleansing in the Caucasis was preformed by a Georgian called Iosif Vissarionovitsj Dzjoegasjvili (aka Josip Stalin)...

Re ORACles article: "Regime Change, Invasion" I'm sure I've heard that before?

galaxy flyer
11th Aug 2008, 14:22
I strongly suspect the Causcasus will be the Balkans of the 21st Century. There are certainly enough ethic hatred, the Russians have an interest and oil (the pipelines) provide a strategic element. The difference is that the Russians are plenty nasty enough to, at first, crush 'em all. But, the locals, will strike back with the weak's tactic-terror. Does Afghanistan, Sarajevo and Mostar ring any bells?

GF

ORAC
11th Aug 2008, 15:21
The Republican view - essentially identical to that of the Democrats. Washington Post again...

Putin Makes His Move
By Robert Kagan
Monday, August 11, 2008; Page A15

The details of who did what to precipitate Russia's war against Georgia are not very important. Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany's invasion of Czechoslovakia? Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama.

The events of the past week will be remembered that way, too. This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time. The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union "the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century" has reestablished a virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore the country to its once-dominant role in Eurasia and the world. Armed with wealth from oil and gas; holding a near-monopoly over the energy supply to Europe; with a million soldiers, thousands of nuclear warheads and the world's third-largest military budget, Vladimir Putin believes that now is the time to make his move.

Georgia's unhappy fate is that it borders a new geopolitical fault line that runs along the western and southwestern frontiers of Russia. From the Baltics in the north through Central Europe and the Balkans to the Caucasus and Central Asia, a geopolitical power struggle has emerged between a resurgent and revanchist Russia on one side and the European Union and the United States on the other.

Putin's aggression against Georgia should not be traced only to its NATO aspirations or his pique at Kosovo's independence. It is primarily a response to the "color revolutions" in Ukraine and Georgia in 2003 and 2004, when pro-Western governments replaced pro-Russian ones. What the West celebrated as a flowering of democracy the autocratic Putin saw as geopolitical and ideological encirclement. Ever since, Putin has been determined to stop and, if possible, reverse the pro-Western trend on his borders. He seeks not only to prevent Georgia and Ukraine from joining NATO but also to bring them under Russian control. Beyond that, he seeks to carve out a zone of influence within NATO, with a lesser security status for countries along Russia's strategic flanks. That is the primary motive behind Moscow's opposition to U.S. missile defense programs in Poland and the Czech Republic.

His war against Georgia is part of this grand strategy. Putin cares no more about a few thousand South Ossetians than he does about Kosovo's Serbs. Claims of pan-Slavic sympathy are pretexts designed to fan Russian great-power nationalism at home and to expand Russia's power abroad. Unfortunately, such tactics always seem to work. While Russian bombers attack Georgian ports and bases, Europeans and Americans, including very senior officials in the Bush administration, blame the West for pushing Russia too hard on too many issues.

It is true that many Russians were humiliated by the way the Cold War ended, and Putin has persuaded many to blame Boris Yeltsin and Russian democrats for this surrender to the West. The mood is reminiscent of Germany after World War I, when Germans complained about the "shameful Versailles diktat" imposed on a prostrate Germany by the victorious powers and about the corrupt politicians who stabbed the nation in the back. Now, as then, these feelings are understandable. Now, as then, however, they are being manipulated to justify autocracy at home and to convince Western powers that accommodation -- or to use the once-respectable term, appeasement -- is the best policy.

But the reality is that on most of these issues it is Russia, not the West or little Georgia, that is doing the pushing. It was Russia that raised a challenge in Kosovo, a place where Moscow had no discernible interests beyond the expressed pan-Slavic solidarity. It was Russia that decided to turn a minor deployment of a few defensive interceptors in Poland, which could not possibly be used against Russia's vast missile arsenal, into a major geopolitical confrontation. And it is Russia that has precipitated a war against Georgia by encouraging South Ossetian rebels to raise the pressure on Tbilisi and make demands that no Georgian leader could accept. If Saakashvili had not fallen into Putin's trap this time, something else would have eventually sparked the conflict.

Diplomats in Europe and Washington believe Saakashvili made a mistake by sending troops to South Ossetia last week. Perhaps. But his truly monumental mistake was to be president of a small, mostly democratic and adamantly pro-Western nation on the border of Putin's Russia.

Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th-century style of great-power competition, complete with virulent nationalisms, battles for resources, struggles over spheres of influence and territory, and even -- though it shocks our 21st-century sensibilities -- the use of military power to obtain geopolitical objectives. Yes, we will continue to have globalization, economic interdependence, the European Union and other efforts to build a more perfect international order. But these will compete with and at times be overwhelmed by the harsh realities of international life that have endured since time immemorial. The next president had better be ready.

Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writes a monthly column for The Post. His most recent book is "The Return of History and the End of Dreams." He served in the State Department in the Reagan administration.

jetstream7
11th Aug 2008, 15:35
So what is the USA's plan for the B2's currently being deployed to Fairford? Due to land in the next hour or two.

I understand the KC135s are already there.

Curious Pax
11th Aug 2008, 15:40
Interesting article, but there is one point missed I feel. The Russians have for decades felt vulnerable to repeats of the numerous invasions they have experienced over the centuries, of which the Germans in WW2 was the most recent. This was one of the reasons the Warsaw Pact was created, and they have had a feeling of vulnerability since that crumbled, and NATO replaced it in many countries subsequently. That potentially a repeat performance has been creeping into some of the former Soviet republics in recent times hasn't helped matters. Put that together with the man in charge pushing the image of a stronger Russia in order to gather votes, and the Georgia incident is totally unsurprising.

I don't excuse the invasion of another sovereign country, but as the old saying goes you need to know your enemy.

Capt.KAOS
11th Aug 2008, 16:07
The next president had better be ready. Ah Robert Kagan... I have the impression some can't wait until the New Cold War starts again...

West Coast
11th Aug 2008, 16:09
Another war in Europe, brought to you by the US.

Is that what your looking for grifo. Europe at war, others to blame. Despite all posts blaming the superpowers (plural as you like it) I have yet to see a trail leading to the US for the war with Georgia.

Spunky Monkey
11th Aug 2008, 16:21
It would seem that the US has relieved the Georgian troops in Iraq, and facilitated their movement back to Georgia.

We may see how good the Typhoon actually is sooner than we first thought...

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 17:57
Here are a couple of webcams in central Tiblisi of which at least one is working right now. The other was OK until sundown.


Looks like business as usual.

Surprising after the reports of the attacks on the airports and suchlike.

Sadly can't find anything similar for Gori !

TVali.GE (http://tvali.ge/index.php?action=cameras#)


Another war in Europe, brought to you by the US.

Is that what your looking for grifo. Europe at war, others to blame. Despite all posts blaming the superpowers (plural as you like it) I have yet to see a trail leading to the US for the war with Georgia.

Westie, you are a smart guy with some wild views, but you have a serious fixation with people apparently blaming your country for all ills.

Is it perhaps the ole' "If you are not with us then you are against us" crap

I an seriously "not with you" but then again I am seriously "not with" Ivan either.

My sympathy lies with the pawns, ordinary people and soldiers alike !


Cheers
El G.


By the way Westie, not sure what they feed you as news in your part of the world, but here is a little extract worth reading, just to balance things in your head a touch.

Whilst I agree it comes from a well known, pinko, lefty rag, its worth a squint all the same.

FT.com / World - US troops train in Georgia as tension mounts (http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/28935910-528b-11dd-9ba7-000077b07658.html)

Happy Daze :ok:

heretic
11th Aug 2008, 18:33
So let me see
Attack in S Ossetia that the Russians are bound to react to.
Timed carefully to coincide with the Olympics.
US advisers in the country so Us Govt must have had prior notice and yet did nothing to stop a probable war crime.
Large US + allied fleet on way to the Gulf.
B2 bombers and KC135s in Fairford.
2000 Georgian troops repatriated from Southeast border between Iraq and Iran. Replaced by whom and by how many I wonder?

11K-AVML
11th Aug 2008, 18:57
Russia's foreign minister stated earlier today that there was no validity in Russia signing a ceasefire agreement because the conflict was between Georgia, Ossetia and Abkhazia; therefore the later two must sign.


Nice of them to responded with that once the agreement had been flown to Moscow.

icarus sun
11th Aug 2008, 19:25
The west is going to do nothing except talk ceasefire. The EEC and Nato are running around like headless chickens. Their leaders too cowardly to deal with this problem, which will get worse when Russia takes Tiblisi and the oil pipeline. It is time to stand up to the thug putin and friends. The leopard has not changed his spots.:uhoh:

West Coast
11th Aug 2008, 19:28
Grifo
All I'm trying to do is find direct evidence that the US is a large part of this. You inferred it, simply hoping you might provide some evidence.

Not too much to ask is it?

Earl
11th Aug 2008, 19:29
US evacuates more than 170 Americans from Georgia - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080811/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_russia_georgia_evacuation)
WASHINGTON - The State Department says it has evacuated more than 170 U.S. citizens from Georgia as the conflict over separatist areas there intensifies between Georgia and Russia.


A spokesman said Monday that two convoys carrying about 170 private U.S. citizens along with an undetermined number of family members of American diplomats based in Georgia have left Tbilisi on their way by road to neighboring Armenia. The spokesman says more convoys are being prepared in case other Americans choose to leave Georgia.

On Saturday, the State Department said it would pay for the dependents of U.S. diplomats to leave Georgia if they wanted.
FOXNews.com - U.S. Security Council to Take Up Georgia-Russia Crisis in Emergency Session - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,401702,00.html)

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 19:47
US advisers in the country so Us Govt must have had prior notice and yet did nothing to stop a probable war crime.

Okay, let's see here.

US advisers in the country

Oh yeah, all 126 of them will sure scare the Russians.

Us Govt must have had prior notice

Really, prove it.

and yet did nothing to stop a probable war crime

What war crimes? Prove that Georgia committed any war crimes. From some other source than the Russians' excuse to invade an independent, Democratic sovereign nation.

2000 Georgian troops repatriated from Southeast border between Iraq and Iran.

Err, yes, just what did you expect them to do, go on holiday?

Large US + allied fleet on way to the Gulf.
B2 bombers and KC135s in Fairford.

So what. Ships and aircraft are moved all over the world all the time.

What excuses are you going to use when Russia invades the Ukraine?

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 19:51
Westie

I am sure we are boring the rest of the team here to tears.

Quote me the relevant statements and I will make all effort to respond honestly.

Cheers
El G.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 19:56
So let me see
Attack in S Ossetia that the Russians are bound to react to.
Timed carefully to coincide with the Olympics.
US advisers in the country so Us Govt must have had prior notice and yet did nothing to stop a probable war crime.
Large US + allied fleet on way to the Gulf.
B2 bombers and KC135s in Fairford.
2000 Georgian troops repatriated from Southeast border between Iraq and Iran. Replaced by whom and by how many I wonder?

Heretic
let's take those points one by one. With respect to the Russians bound to react I agree, I still think Saakashvili deliberately provoked them hoping he would be able to occupy the high moral ground. Olympics ? who cares. US advisors aware in advance ? I think not, if they'd known he would have been told he was on his own. War crimes ? good luck in getting the UN or the ICC to prosecute that one.

Now to the interesting bit, large US + allied fleet heading towards the gulf ? Which gulf would that be ? Nobody is really sure how effective the Russian army and air force actually is, they have a lot of men, armour and planes but their effectiveness against a well equipped and determined enemy is unknown. The one area where the Russians are positively outgunned is in naval assets, but guess what ? they don't care because they have countless air bases only a few hundred ks from the theatre of operations.

Also, even if the Americans send three battle groups where are they going to send them ? You can't fight a naval battle from the Black Sea, the treaty of Montreux (look it up) specifically bans the passage of aircraft carriers through the Bosporus, and that's the only way in. Also no carrier commander would ever lead such a group into a sea where the only escape is through narrow channel, I wonder where the Akulas would be waiting to give the carrier group the good news? :)

So that would put the nearest carrier group somewhere south of Turkey. At a guess I reckon that's between 1000 and 1500kms from the theatre of operations but Turkey is in the way, no way will Turkey let the US fly over their airspace. The other way is to fly over Syria, Iraq, Iran and than Armenia - don't make me laugh, won't happen. Alternatively Greece, Bulgaria and then the Black sea - possible but it's a long way. The Russians have looked at the map just the same as I have and have come to the same conclusion.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 20:09
Oh yeah, all 126 of them will sure scare the Russians.

I have one observation regarding the purported number of US personnel in Georgia. Are we sure that's correct ? I've been in bars in Tbilisi in the last year where it seemed they'd been at least that number of US servicemen sipping Kazbegi (local beer) I find it difficult to believe there are only 126 of them in the whole country....

Spunky Monkey
11th Aug 2008, 20:16
What I can't believe people are seriously suggesting that US and Russia are spoiling for a fight, and they have found a reason.

Now they are going to have a full scale face off with guns and bullets and helicopters and everything...get real.

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 20:25
SXB, I made the unforgivable mistake of quoting a source from the media. :( However, I have heard no other figure from any other source. Therefore, I'm going with the number of 126 active duty US military personnel until I see a more informative figure. Any any case I don't believe that the US Military presence is a very large number, at least large enough for the Russians to worry about.

Let me do some more research on that.

So, Heretic, disregard my comment on the number of US Forces in Georgia until I can confirm an actual number.

brickhistory
11th Aug 2008, 20:45
C'mon, guys, let's give it up.

Those wily Euros have cottoned to our diabolical plan.

Somehow, they saw through our puppet mastery of both Russia and Georgia, have discovered the secret plans to send the 3d Fleet under the cloned Halsey into the Black Sea (screw the Bosphorus! We don't need not stinkin' Bosphorus), and found out where we've stored the extra 40 combat brigades to take over the region with its pipelines and oil.

They've discovered our secret Bond-ian lair for this diversion while we actually go into Iran with a spare army corps or two because we must get the price of oil to $200 by October if McCain is to win. Cheney is sitting in his futuristic chair stroking his long-haired, ill-tempered feline while knoshing on baby toes and fingers. Not to mention taking the Roswell UFOs out for the odd spin or two, then having his manservant Bigfoot polish the chrome.

The fact that 'spheres of influence' are proper for the Russians but not us is beside the point. We have no business being anywhere at anytime. Except of course when they need us.

Damn us. We're accused of being naive and inexperienced, but they've seen through our act for world domination. Fortunately for the world, Europe will solve the problem as Sir Humphrey would say, "In the fullness of time, with no undue haste, and after all considerations have been met."

MWAH-MWAH-HA-HA-HA-HA!

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 20:51
Con-Pilot
I've seen that figure quoted by various media as well. It's just that my general impression, when in Tbilisi, has been that there has been a fair amount of American military personnel present. They tend to stand out a bit, big guys with short haircuts. The personnel I've seen in Tbilisi may be just there for specific events though.

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 21:08
SXB, I just found this story dated Sunday the 10, still from the media, that have the number even lower than 126.


Georgia begins pulling forces out of Iraq: US military - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080810/wl_mideast_afp/georgiarussiaunrestiraqmilitary_080810183442)



Pentagon officials said Monday that U.S. military was assessing the fighting every day to determine whether less than 100 U.S. trainers should be pulled out of the country.

There had been about 130 trainers, including a few dozen civilian contractors, but the civilians had been scheduled to rotate out of the country and did so over the weekend, Whitman said. The remaining uniformed trainers were moved the weekend to what officials believe is a safer location, he said


I understand that back in the first part of July there were over 1,000 US Marines and Army personnel in Georgia, but they left a couple of weeks ago.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 21:08
That's the spirit brick ! :) I'm also very pleased to see someone located in the US watching Yes Prime Minister, after working for the FCO and a host of international organisations I can tell you it's very close to reality, most politicians that I've worked with, a few notable exceptions aside, are extremely limited.

Anyway, the day is about to be saved, the politician (Mr Secretary General) who runs my organisation flew to Tbilisi today , I know this because he called me last night on the off chance that I might know the password to his email account as he thought he might have quite a bit of mail (I'm not joking) Fortunately, we do have humble servants who are able to help with such things and our esteemed leader was able to then get his secretary to print all 985 mails for him to read on the plane. We also gave him printed picture cards of the relevant players in the south caucasus......

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 21:09
Now starting to resemble something akin to "The Bay of Pigs"

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 21:12
Sorry, off topic, but;

I'm also very pleased to see someone located in the US watching Yes Prime Minister

I have the entire series starting with "Yes Minister" on CD. Love that series. :ok:

Okay, back to the war.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 21:13
Con-pilot

I also had a quick look on the net and came up with the same numbers as you did, they must be correct I suppose.

SXB
11th Aug 2008, 21:25
Just as reality bite here is an extract of an email taken from a mail sent to me this morning from a colleague in Tbilisi

Thanks xxxxx fro you concern,
I can't say that we are safe... :( All night and day Russians are bombing whole Georgia including Tbilisi... We do not know what we can do and how further Russians will go... let's hope everything will go in Wright way. Please continue to send us vacancy job list from Strasbourg:)

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 21:34
Cue Tiblisi Live :-

TVali.GE (http://tvali.ge/index.php?action=cameras)

con-pilot
11th Aug 2008, 21:38
El Grifo, I was receiving the live stream earlier, but now both views seemed to have gone off the air. Can you still receive either one of the camera sites?

11K-AVML
11th Aug 2008, 21:44
I can't get it either, although I note that the advert just above the two links has now changed.

Perhaps it's just server issues; getting an influx of page hits every time you mention the cameras, at least I hope.

dead_pan
11th Aug 2008, 21:56
The Beeb reported earlier this evening that representatives of 5 eastern European countries were travelling to Tblisi to give their support to the Georgians. No mention of who they were or what if anything they were offering.

I can quite imagine the likes of Poland and the Baltic states leaping at the opportunity to wind the Russians up, now that they are fully-fledged members of NATO. This could get quite dangerous.

11K-AVML
11th Aug 2008, 22:17
I understand the argument against further military action, but I don't understand the argument that diplomatic action will achieve anything.

Even if the diplomatic action is meaningful and has the power to make Russia feel it, Europe still needs to depend on Russia for it's fuel. We will soon see the affect of any such action when winter draws in.

I do worry though that avoiding military action now merely delays the inevitable and when that does crop up again, the conflict will be even bigger than it would today.

Capt.KAOS
11th Aug 2008, 22:24
I have yet to see a trail leading to the US for the war with Georgia.Well, there's a (remote) one. Russia asked the US to stretch the independence of Kosovo over a longer stretch of time and wanted to tie this with an sort of process of indepence of S.Ossetia and Abkhazia. In return of this Russia would not veto the new creation of Kosovo. As history learned the US had nothing of this and rushed Kosovo's recognition and as usual didn't (want to) realised the geo-political consequences.

Probably the recognition of an independent Kosovo was a mistake giving the Russian the alibi to remake the "Near Abroad" (http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C07EED81E39F931A15756C0A962958260) map in the region. There should have been established some kind of international protectorate.

Captain_djaffar
11th Aug 2008, 22:29
Why Geogia had to 'invade' osseti first of all????They are those who ignited violence...so shield yourselves now.I am usually against Russia's policies..well a majority of them...but in this case...aaahaaa!!!

El Grifo
11th Aug 2008, 22:40
Sorry Con, both gonsies for the moment, will double check am. and get back.

23.40 here

LIMA OR ALPHA JUNK
11th Aug 2008, 22:41
Georgia has miscalculated. I've no doubt that Moscow has been attempting to undermine the Georgian govn't by arming militias in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but by attempting to re-take South Ossetia, they have given the Russians the excuse they needed.

Maybe Saakashvili should have got Georgia into NATO first before embarking upon such a reckless course. The US-trained Georgian army were always going to be woefully inadequate.

Got a nasty feeling this one is going to spread.

11K-AVML
11th Aug 2008, 22:49
According to news reports prior to the 7th August 2008 (i.e. before the recent offences) and as per the Georgian Ambassador to the EU this evening (11th August 2008), Georgia sought diplomatic resolution to the events occurring in Ossetia before military action.

It was claimed this evening that unless Georgia moved into South Ossetia (which is Internationally recognised as a part of Georgian territory despite the Russian backed separatists) numerous residents of South Ossetia would be killed due to the continuing actions of the separatists.
i.e., it is claimed that Georgia was forced to step in to prevent 'ethnic cleansing'.

(That's not a direct quote despite the quote marks but I am going to attempt to re-watch the interview once it's available).


Indeed, as was reported at the time, if Georgia successfully seized control of the capital why did Russian need to re-take it if the intention was to reduce humanitarian suffering, as is/was claimed by Russian?

...
I am a little surprised the tunnel into South Ossetia from Russia as well as the neighbouring valley containing the Military Highway hasn't been targeted. Although I realise the geography would pose some difficulties.

airship
11th Aug 2008, 23:04
According to the latest unconfirmed reports, Russian land-forces have pushed into Georgia proper and are now within 70km (or clicks in Vietnam parlance) of the capital Tbilisi. That might be even a little deeper than Putin had intended...? But it did make me wonder if the Russian commander in charge had a certain je ne sais quoi, call it a Patton-like quality. You know, the US general who, had he been given the gasoline and ammunition arguably wasted on Montgomery's lot, might have got to Berlin before the Soviets did. Who knows whether it would have been the right thing to do back then, as apparently Patton wished, once the Nazis had been defeated, 'to continue on to Moscow'...?! Perhaps Patton has indeed been reborn, a little ahead of time admittedly (before WWII, his last battles involved the Cartheginians) and on the 'other side'... ;)

Whatever, one has to wonder just how many of 'the silent majority' were caught unawares by the severity of the recent warfare. Given a second chance, might they have actively encouraged more dialogue, in view of their present circumstances, perhaps suffering the loss of loved ones and homes? As always though, I think about all the pet doggies and pudicats who've probably been involuntarily abandoned during the upheaval. Does it really matter whether someone is a Georgian, Russian, Mongolian or Tongan to them? And if there's any truth to that, why do we human-beings apparently risk everything in return for...what?!

To think that Georgia was a few steps away from entry into NATO and all that would involve...? :eek: I mean, what do we pay all our taxes into government coffers for? To think that a country as unstable as Georgia was even being seriously considered demonstrates a certain lack of appreciation by the government employees involved. I realise it's very difficult to fire most government workers, but we should be able to organise a 'broom cupboard' of sorts into which we could shove them all before they caused real difficulties...?! :rolleyes:

Looks to me like the newly-confident Russians of today are pursuing the same sort of half-baked ideas that didn't at the end of the day work out very well for the US, whether that was Vietnam, Laos or elsewhere. Maybe the Russians are hoping for a Korea-like outcome...?! :zzz:

West Coast
11th Aug 2008, 23:37
I can quite imagine the likes of Poland and the Baltic states leaping at the opportunity to wind the Russians up, now that they are fully-fledged members of NATO.

I should hope those at world HQ at NATO are on the phone telling the Poles to keep the rhetoric down. Same for other former East bloc nations.

Junk
For once, I think you nailed it.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 00:24
Why Geogia had to 'invade' osseti first of all????

Can you call it an invasion when technically it is part of your own country? South Ossetia is not a separate country, nor a part of Russia. It is part of Georgia.

fitliker
12th Aug 2008, 03:51
Yugoland 2
Same theme start a fight and ask someone else to finish it .Not me mate they are on their own on this fight they started .
Besides it will be all over by christmas anyway :}

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 05:53
League of Nations Pt 2....

In August 1924, the small nation of Georgia, occupied by Soviet Russia since 1921, rose up against Soviet rule. On Sept. 16, 1924, The Times of London reported on an appeal by the president of the Georgian Republic to the League of Nations. While “sympathetic reference to his country’s efforts was made” in the Assembly, the Times said, “it is realized that the League is incapable of rendering material aid, and that the moral influence which may be a powerful force with civilized countries is unlikely to make any impression upon Soviet Russia.”

“Unlikely” was an understatement. Georgians did not enjoy freedom again until 1991.

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 06:19
From The New Republic, a very left wing/democratic/Obama supporting magazine:The Analogists' Ball (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/11/the-analogists-ball.aspx)

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 07:27
Beyond Georgia: The Ripple Effects of Russia's Attack (http://blogs.tnr.com/tnr/blogs/the_plank/archive/2008/08/11/beyond-georgia-the-ripple-effects-of-russia-s-attack.aspx)
As the world watches Russian troops gather on its border with Georgia, we asked Central Asia expert Martha Brill Olcott to look at the broader implications of the recent fighting:

Senators McCain and Obama are both trying to demonstrate their leadership capacities in their strong statements on the conflict between Russia and Georgia. But the man who takes power as president of the United States in January will have to confront circumstances quite unlike those upon which he is now commenting on. The current conflict in the Georgia shows just how difficult it is for the U.S. to maintain a strategic position in the Caspian, as well as how tough a competitor Russia is.

There is no easily solution to the conflict. It is virtually a given that Russia will not be pushed from its current position--that of military protector in the break-away regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia--through diplomatic pressure. None of the NATO nations will send in troops to support the Saakashvili government because of the risk of a direct NATO-Russian military engagement. NATO countries may also be cautious about how much rebuilding of the Georgian military they are willing to do if they fear Georgia will use them for offensive rather than defensive purposes. Economic sanctions will create more of a hardship for European countries dependent upon Russia's gas than they would for Russia. And international criticism of Moscow from the Security Council podium in New York will also have little effect, save to demonstrate anew the divisions within and ineffectual nature of the United Nations.

So Russia will come out of its military actions in South Ossetia much stronger than it went into them, both at home and in many of the neighboring states. The Russian public has long sought a Russian government that supports its citizens--who include much of the population of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Most in Russia (and that would include those in the Kremlin) understood the Soviet-era assignment of these "autonomous" territories to Georgia as merely a temporary measure.

Russia's aggressive behavior toward these provinces will have implications elsewhere in the Caspian as well. The Azerbaijani's in particular, may want to rethink their strategic priorities, as they seek to hold onto the Karabakh province, whose Armenian population has been seeking independence since the late '80s. The Azerbaijanis first threw their lot in with the West at a time when Moscow, under Yeltsin, was much weaker. Russia's attack this week now means that Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev, up for reelection in October, will need to seek guarantees from Moscow that it will not now support Armenia's claims in Karabakh or in Azerbaijan's other territories that are internationally recognized as occupied. Recapturing all of these lands is Azerbaijan's ultimate aim, and who knows what Aliyev might be willing to offer Moscow to grant him this.

Turkmenistan and Kazakhstan are also going to have to calculate what this means for their own strategies. Both have been juggling competing offers for new oil pipelines--one from Western countries, who are calling for a Trans-Caspian (undersea) gas pipeline to export gas through Azerbaijan, Georgia, and on to Turkey, and one from Russia, who is offering higher gas prices and partial financing of repairs and expansion of capacity on the Soviet-era routes to Europe, all of which go through Russian territory. Developments in Georgia could make the newer Azeri and Georgian routes seem more risky. Kazakhstan too has been a major foreign investor in Georgia in recent years, and if the Saakashvili regime is ousted, Kazakhstan will want to work closely with any successor regime, presumably more pro-Russian, to make sure that the Kazakh investments (largely in the energy sector) are secure.

So while current attention is focused on Tbilisi, Obama and McCain should be beefing up their knowledge of the broader region, as this conflict is sure to have ripple effects far beyond the Georgia-Russia border.

Martha Brill Olcott is a senior associate with the Russian & Eurasian Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace in Washington, D.C.

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 08:18
You know, the US general who, had he been given the gasoline and ammunition arguably wasted on Montgomery's lot, might have got to Berlin before the Soviets did. Who knows whether it would have been the right thing to do back then, as apparently Patton wished, once the Nazis had been defeated, 'to continue on to Moscow'..

Just for absolute clarification here Airship, Eisenhower calculated that it would cost the lives of around 200,00 men to take Berlin, decided that it was too high a price to pay, let Ivan do the dirty work and thus take the glory.

At face value, an honourable decision I would say !!


Right, lets carry on :ok:

Con
Live stream from Tiblisi seems to be gone completely, will monitor during the day.

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 08:32
You know, the US general who, had he been given the gasoline and ammunition arguably wasted on Montgomery's lot, might have got to Berlin before the Soviets did.Nah... it would have been the 83rd infantry and White's 2nd US armored division (Hell On Wheels). Patton was too far south, besides he had more enemies within the Chain of Command at SHAEF than with the Germans...

henry crun
12th Aug 2008, 08:49
It was not only that Patton was too far south.
He was very good at chasing a fleeing enemy but, for all his boasting, against a determined defensive German army he was no better than any other general.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 09:25
"Medvedev announces Georgian Militray operation has ended"

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 09:34
I guess it's too late then for Sarkhozy to play the great peace maker? :hmm:

Medvedev said Russian forces had punished Georgia and re-established security for Russian peacekeepers and civilians in the separatist South Ossetia region.
"I have taken the decision to bring to an end the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace," a Kremlin spokesman quoted the president as saying.
Putin likes to show who has the best cards in that region. Maybe too early to say, but Saakahsvili's bluff was called for...

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 09:40
I guess it's too late then for Sarkhozy to play the great peace maker? :hmm:

Sarkozy was planning to be in Moscow on either Monday evening or Tuesday morning, I'm not sure if he did actually go or not. All world leaders like to meet Sarkozy and have their picture taken with him. This is not because they like him as a person, it has more to do with the fact he's very, very short thus making the other person appear tall when they're shaking hands....

Well, there's a (remote) one. Russia asked the US to stretch the independence of Kosovo over a longer stretch of time and wanted to tie this with an sort of process of indepence of S.Ossetia and Abkhazia. In return of this Russia would not veto the new creation of Kosovo

That is not so. The Russian position on Kosovo has always been that any agreement concerning Kosovo needs to agreed by both Kosovo and Serbia.

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 09:59
All world leaders like to meet Sarkozy and have their picture taken with him. This is not because they like him as a person, it has more to do with the fact he's very, very short thus making the other person appear tall when they're shaking hands....



Wrong, wrong and double wrong SXB.

They all live in hope that he will bring that leggy bint of a wife of his along, so they can see her in the flesh, so to speak :}

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 10:07
:) I think you may be right El Grifo

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 10:20
Maybe too early to say, but Saakahsvili's bluff was called for...Well he was warned not to bluff by the US, but he did it anyways, not a reliable NATO partner methinks.

From an interesting article (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/255/story/47631.html):

....A "parade" of U.S. officials, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, visited Tbilisi to urge Saakashvili to avoid giving the Kremlin [an excuse] to act, a State Department officials said."The Russians have clearly overreacted but President Saakashvili . . . for some reason seems to think he has a hall pass from this administration," said former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.BTW have you seen the stacked heels (http://www.news24.com/News24/World/News/0,,2-10-1462_2188338,00.html) Sarkozy is wearing?

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 10:37
That is not so. The Russian position on Kosovo has always been that any agreement concerning Kosovo needs to agreed by both Kosovo and Serbia.That was the "official" position. However in geopolitics the real life position is different most of the time. Read this (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1720718,00.html) about the "Kosovo Precedent" for instance.

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 10:55
Medvedev said Russian forces had punished Georgia and re-established security for Russian peacekeepers and civilians in the separatist South Ossetia region. "I have taken the decision to bring to an end the operation to force the Georgian authorities to peace," a Kremlin spokesman quoted the president as saying. I wonder if he asked his boss first this time? The last time he spoke without asking (over sanctions against Zimbabwe) he had to do a U-turn within 24 hours....

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 11:46
I wonder if he asked his boss first this time? The last time he spoke without asking (over sanctions against Zimbabwe) he had to do a U-turn within 24 hours....When you dance with the devil you wait for the song to stop. ;)

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 11:54
Capt K, your interesting article does not fit the 'US gave the green light' conspiracy being floated here, thus it doesn't help make a Russian invasion of a neighbor America's fault.



Please remove it at once lest the outraged forces of preconceived notions smite thee.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

henry crun, while I agree that Patton received far too much attention at the time as well as since - mainly due to the movie - he did pretty well in the Ardennes. The SS and Wehrmacht most certainly weren't fleeing when Patton made his rapid flanking movement.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 12:29
Quote:
That is not so. The Russian position on Kosovo has always been that any agreement concerning Kosovo needs to agreed by both Kosovo and Serbia.
That was the "official" position. However in geopolitics the real life position is different most of the time. Read this (http://www.time.com/time/world/article/0,8599,1720718,00.html) about the "Kosovo Precedent" for instance.

I disagree with that. Russia had very little flexability on Kosovo, Serbia is the only friend they have in that region and any deal over Kosovo would have ended that friendship.

Also, bear in mind that Russia doesn't really care about South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it's just a vehicle to punish Georgia for it's western ambitions.

billa
12th Aug 2008, 13:12
http://i332.photobucket.com/albums/m348/sargodha10/cartoon110808_43676a.jpg

BenThere
12th Aug 2008, 13:38
In reality, contrary to the implication of the above cartoon, it was largely Bush's strong response, along with surprisingly unified support from Western Europe, around whose scrotum Putin's firmly clenched fist remains with his pipeline spigot, that gave Russia pause to climb down from their invasion.

McCain also took a very strong position of general support for democracies in the region.

It's Russia's energy exports that put her in a strong position today. Putin may have recognized the temporary nature of that strength as oil prices declined precipitously, even in the face of this crisis. Raising the ire of the G7 is a bad long-term strategy and I think Putin recognized the cost after the initial headiness of stoking Russia's nationalism subsided.

The upshot, I think, is that Georgia will retain its democracy and continue to provide an alternate pipeline option for Caucasus energy exports. Other former SSRs and Eastern European satellites will have to decide along a continuum to either continue to assert their independence, or accommodate Putin's hegemonistic designs. Time is on their side as Russian fundamentals deteriorate, particularly if the world energy windfall moderates.

The potential conflicts in the region, and their complexity, will remain dynamic, proving once again that if proponents of an orderly world choose to ignore or wait out developing problems, those problems tend to spin out of control at greater ultimate cost.

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 13:53
Capt K, your interesting article does not fit the 'US gave the green light' conspiracy being floated here, thus it doesn't help make a Russian invasion of a neighbor America's fault.Conspiracies always occur after the event. International politics is like a game of chess, one has to see 10-20 moves ahead and know how to judge a position. I'm afraid the Ruski's are much better chess players than the Amerikanski's, except the Great Bobby Fisher, of course.

I disagree with that. Russia had very little flexability on Kosovo, Serbia is the only friend they have in that region and any deal over Kosovo would have ended that friendship.

Also, bear in mind that Russia doesn't really care about South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it's just a vehicle to punish Georgia for it's western ambitions.Russia is calling the shots, not Serbia. If Russia has a goal with Kosovo, Serbia has no vote in that. Again it's chess play, see the above.

airship
12th Aug 2008, 14:23
Also, bear in mind that Russia doesn't really care about South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it's just a vehicle to punish Georgia for it's western ambitions. SXB, just in case others in Strasbourg (but I guess they're all on summer holidays now anyway) might also have missed it, the latest Russian move may in fact be a very simple and poignant reminder: directed at (primarily) Western Europeans who depend so much on oil and gas from the Caspian sea region and thought that they could 'secure' these supplies by merely building all those pipelines through southern Georgia (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7556215.stm)...?! As the Russians have just most clearly (perhaps even admirably in some ways) demonstrated, the $billions spent building all those pipelines has been largely superfluous. They still maintain real control... :8

Perhaps, we will all just have to learn to live with it (that Russian control) or live without it (the oil and gas)...?! :ok:

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 14:29
perhaps even admirably in some ways


Ugh...................

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 14:31
It's also a very pointed threat to The Ukraine, where over 30% of the population is of Russian stock - especially the Crimea where it nears 70%, and there have been repeated mutterings about reclaiming it for Russia proper.

It is also a threat to the Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania, NATO members or no, where 30% of the population are Russian, and even Poland - where the Russian foreign minister has made comments/requests for a permanent land corridor to Kaliningrad.....

sispanys ria
12th Aug 2008, 14:52
I don't really understand some of your points.
When Tibet seeks for independence, everybody supports it and blame China. When Kossovo seeks for independence, everybody supports it and blame Serbia. But when South Ossetia seeks for independence, everybody supports Georgian military actions against rebels...

airship
12th Aug 2008, 15:15
Bol'shoe spasibo sispanys ria, I could nyet have put it better myself. Na sdarovie!

Ugh. Is the Russian action really any worse or much different than the USA's intervention in Iraq? You ostensibly invaded the place because it was full of al-Qaeda terrorists, only to find none. But not before anywhere between 60,000 and 500,000 Iraqi civilians perished. For what? For influence, oil or mere control...? :rolleyes: Of course, you did get your Iraqi-based al-Qaeda terrorists in the end, but I blame that on wishful thinking (GWB, and just ornery plain ole bad foreign policy choices) mainly... :sad:

BenThere
12th Aug 2008, 15:22
It's the process, Airship.

The Iraq war was preceded by years of going to the UN to get resolutions, building a coalition, and setting forth particular terms, in compliance with the previously negotiated peace after GW I, that, if not met, would lead to further sanctions and/or military intervention.

Hussein took the gamble and failed to comply with agreements he made. He misjudged the near post 9/11 American mood. He lost.

Do you really not see the difference?

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 15:34
Tiblisi webcams are streaming again if anyone is interested.

TVali.GE (http://tvali.ge/index.php?action=cameras#)

airship
12th Aug 2008, 15:43
The Iraq war was preceded by years of going to the UN to get resolutions, building a coalition, and setting forth particular terms, in compliance with the previously negotiated peace after GW I, that, if not met, would lead to further sanctions and/or military intervention. That is actually the version that the coalition would prefer gets written into the history books. That is not what actually happened, as has been more than adequately documented here and elsewhere in the aftermath. I'm amazed that we still have unrepentent 'apologists' for the Iraqi invasion here in our midsts at this time. Why haven't you all very quietly gone off to your pre-arranged jobs with Blackwater or any number of other contractors who've profited very nicely from it all...?! Do you realise that if you 'rock the boat' too much, you may end up driving an ice-cream float for a living instead, or that GWB might not be able to attend the opening of the London Olympics because (like Pakistan's Musharraf recently) he might be facing impeachment procedures back home...?! :p

PS. Can an ex. President face impeachment...?! :confused:

PPS. Whatever, very glad that PM Putin's spokesperson in the guise of Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev has announced an end to the Russian invasion of Georgia forthwith... :=

ORAC
12th Aug 2008, 15:51
So, let me see if I can summarise your argument:

1. The invasion of Iraq was wrong, illegal, and should result in the POTUS of the time being indited for war crimes.

2. This justifies Russia in conducting their own invasion of a sovereign state.

Seems a little bit lacking in logic to me.......

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 16:17
airship, I will regret this, but here goes anyway:

You wrote "perhaps even admire them" regarding the Russian's brutal invasion of Georgia.

Doesn't appear that the Russians particularly gave a damn about who/what they broke nor are they, so far, expressing any regret over any unintended casualties or damages caused. Their attitude, so far, has pretty much been 'pound sand' if you don't like it. (I can respect that attitude actually.)

I do not recall you admiring anything that the US did in Iraq even if I don't agree that the situations are analogous.


And I will not waste my time expecting anything like a cogent response from you. It's no doubt well after 5pm for you no matter what the local time...

airship
12th Aug 2008, 16:17
The invasion of Iraq was definitely 'wrong', in view of the resultant civilian casualties and complete breakdown of law and order in Iraq. Whether or not it was 'illegal' and/or whether or not those involved should be formally 'held to account' is open to debate. May one suggest, that if these people conducted themselves properly and 'have nothing to hide', that they should have 'nothing to fear' from an independent tribunal, whether a National or International one. I mean, even ex. Thailand PM Thaksin apparently has more confidence in the judiciary (or judicial process) in UK than back home? Unfortunetly, he is no Silvio Berlusconi who is able to adequately manipulate the laws to suit his own purposes when necessary...?! :uhoh:

Somewhere 'in the fine print' that constitutes the United Nations, there is, unless I'm mistaken, a text which sort of excuses if not actually condones direct and immediate armed-intervention without the necessity to seek a resolution first. Something to do with war crimes or genocide if I remember correctly. Something that any superpower like the USA, or even the UK, France etc. might have invoked for a massive intervention in Darfur for example...? Instead, perhaps the Russians are merely invoking whatever the texts allow to 'pre-emptively' protect against any or all abuses...?! :(

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 16:22
But you don't call for China or Russia to help out in Darfur. Just the West.



Very convenient.

BenThere
12th Aug 2008, 16:25
And he has not suggested he has any problem with Chinese arms as the tools of Sudan's genocide, either.

And if the US had intervened in any way further than being the first (Colin Powell) to declare genocide, he would have been at the ready to cast aspersions.

So do tell, Airship, how by your stated criteria at the top of your last post, that Iraq was wrong and how World War II is any different.

airship
12th Aug 2008, 16:32
I do not recall you admiring anything that the US did in Iraq. Actually, I originally did applaud the invasion (and something I've previously admitted here). I was so incensed by the imperfect 'oil for food etc.' restrictions that appeared to result in so many thousands of unnecessary Iraqi infant deaths (50,000 or more annually at the time if I recall properly). That on a whim, I finally thought something like 'if 50,000 Iraqi children are already dying every year, well, maybe, all things considered, if an invasion got rid of Saddam Hussein and put in place a more responsible regime, and if that had a one-off cost of 50,000 lives, then maybe it would be worth it...?! But how wrong I was. :{

...the Russian's brutal invasion of Georgia. How would you best describe the USA's (the coalition's if you insist) invasion of Iraq...? :confused: Being swallowed by the honey-monster perhaps? :}

PS. But you don't call for China or Russia to help out in Darfur. Just the West. Hey, you're the ones who decided it was OK to operate unilaterally, forsaking any requirement for the consensus you apparently (not very humbly) seek today...?! Unless I'm living on another planet, there's nothing at all to stop the USA, UK or France or whomever from making their rightful unilateral decisions to take on the Russians or Chinese wherever that may be: in Darfur or Georgia. Well, why don't you (they), singularly or collectively in some 'coalition of the willing'...?! :} Pah, your arguments would have most 5th and 6th formers yawning during their school debates mateys (not intended as an insult, just trying to be objective)...?! :E

West Coast
12th Aug 2008, 16:38
Airships fixation on all things American aside...

If this ends with Georgia still independent, I wonder how big the arms contract to them will be and which country will supply them. I also wonder what the ramifications for the EU will be. Cant be good, the 27 didn't speak with any degree of cohesion. Some spoke with courage, others pondered Russia turning off the spiggot. The same, I wonder what the status of UN memebership will be. Will those wanting entry be fast tracked. Perhaps just the same it may be slowed to appease the bear.

frostbite
12th Aug 2008, 17:03
Much to my surprise, I have some commonality with airship here.

The action by Russia is by no means totally unjustified, as some would suggest.

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 17:11
Actually, I originally did applaud the invasion (and something I've previously admitted here). I was so incensed by the imperfect 'oil for food etc.' restrictions that appeared to result in so many thousands of unnecessary Iraqi infant deaths (50,000 or more annually at the time if I recall properly).

Ok, thank you for this. But it seems a tad rubbery to support the Iraq invasion then be so vehemently against it. Remember 'you broke it, you bought it?' Once the Iraq invasion had begun, it would have, might still, result in a sectarian/tribal bloodbath that makes the violence there seem trivial.



But, we digress. The thread is about the Russian invasion of Georgia. You wrote "perhaps even admire them" about the Russian actions. What is admirable?

Related to that thought is all the "Well, it's just Ivan/the Bear" stating his natural desire for a buffer and it's the West's (America's) fault for goading him.

Flawrence of Horabia
12th Aug 2008, 17:11
West Coast:

I wonder how big the arms contract to them will be and which country will supply them.


Though your question is rehtorical in tone, you can find your answer here (http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3580136,00.html) and here (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1010187.html). Davit Kezerashvili, Georgia's defense minister, wouldn't have it another way :rolleyes:.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 17:52
What I feel we have here is the fact that if Russia really wants to flex her muscles and take military action in any former state of the ex-Soviet Union using the excuse of "protection its citizens" living in these former states the West will do nothing to stop them. I believe that there are two primary reason for this.

1. The dependency that Europe has on Russia for a very large percentage of of Europe's oil and natural gas supplies.

2. The understandable fear of the United States and Russia getting into an all out war, possibly even going nuclear. Make no mistake about it, if war between the United States and Russia happens, Europe will be devastated. And that simply cannot be allowed to occur. If it goes nuclear, hell the whole world will be devastated.

I sincerely believe that this Georgian mini-war was Putin warning the former Soviet states to 'know their place and not to get too uppity', or else.

There is only one country in the world that has the military power to stop any aggression by Russia, and of course that would be the United States. However, unless Russia actually invades Europe I cannot see the US challenging Russia. I do not believe that even Putin is insane enough to invade Europe. The primary reason he will not is simple economics. His major source of income that has allowed him to start rebuilding Russia's military is the flow of Euros/Dollars pouring into Russia from the sale of oil and natural gas from Russia and a minor part from the United States. Putin and Russia cannot afford to lose that income from its oil and natural gas sales.

So, it appears that no matter what Russia does in regards to the former states of the Soviet Union all we will do is make some very tough statements and flowery speeches in the UN.


One thing I would really like to know is, what is China really thinking about all of this? Remember, China and Russia have been enemies for centuries.

11K-AVML
12th Aug 2008, 18:24
I've had the recent impression that China has a pretty big and capable army too. Not sure how that compares with the USA, but I would have thought a reasonable power.


Separately from this, surely if everyone stood up to the Russian action, including China, they would have to listen, regardless of UN vetos. Russia may be able to ignore the diplomatic disapprovals from Europe and the USA, but surely if everyone was sounding their voices, including China, events would be tempered?

Capt.KAOS
12th Aug 2008, 18:26
I do not recall you admiring anything that the US did in Iraq even if I don't agree that the situations are analogous.
The Iraq invasion weakened US' position in the ME (World?) at the cost of zillions while the Russian invasion strenghtened it's position in the Caucasus within days. Quite a considerable different result.

The usual suspects kneejerk reaction about EU's lack of action is as predictable as misplaced. US needs Russia as much as EU does for energy, for it's War On Terror in Afghanistan and against Iran.

Putin knows exactly how far he can go and Kosovo gives him the tools. He (or rather his Pattons) were a little overanxious, but a ceasefire has been established, so there ya go.

Neither US nor EU or NATO wants to challenge Russia in it's back garden, Saakashvili just made a huge mistake and it'll cost him his head.

One thing I would really like to know is, what is China really thinking about all of this? Remember, China and Russia have been enemies for centuries.As I said before, they go the economical way and leave the geopolitics to US and Russia. Not a bad choice if you ask me...

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 18:50
A friend sent me this link.

The usual anti US rhetoric.
Or
Another brick in the wall.

Answers please on a clean sheet of A4


Massive US Naval Armada Heads for Iran | AfterDowningStreet.org (http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/node/35448)

sispanys ria
12th Aug 2008, 18:56
Please consider the following questions before posting:

Who started this conflict ?
Who are the Ossetian rebels ?
Who was first bombing the place ?

North Ossetia is part of Russia, why south Ossetia would be part of Georgia, especially when the population IS willing to be independent from Georgia.

I have one last good question: why were the Russians criticized when they were against the independence of Kossovo if today we criticize them when they support the independence of Ossetia ?

The US are so proud of their "democratic" model (that they brilliantly exported in Irak), maybe they should first consider what is the opinion of the first concerned population instead of supporting the Georgian government which is actually fighting against what it pretends to be its own population.

by reading some comments here and there I can see the brainwash is still very efficient. :ugh::ugh::ugh:

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:01
I've had the recent impression that China has a pretty big and capable army too. Not sure how that compares with the USA, but I would have thought a reasonable power.

I agree, the reason I did not name China as a superpower that could take on Russia was because I was thinking more Globally. In a land war, non-nuclear, I believe China would seriously damage Russia. I main reason for just naming the United States is because of our Navy. There is no country that has the size and scope of the US Navy. I'm not saying that this is good, bad or indifferent, just a fact.

A little know fact is that in March of 1969 China and Russia, well the Soviet Union back then, did actually engaged each other militarily and nearly went to war with each other. Tensions on the Chinese/Russian border are still rather high.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:03
by reading some comments here and there I can see the brainwash is still very efficient.

Who's? Your's? :hmm:

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:08
AfterDowningStreet.org

Ha, ha, El Grifo, well done. Now that is a real netural, unbiased website if I ever saw one. :p

The first five links on the opening page were about Impeaching President Bush.

Now, what the hell does that website have to do with Georgia? :confused:


(Inquiring minds want to know. ;))

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 19:13
We used to refer to it as the Ni**er in the woodpile, but that was a long, long time ago on a much simpler planet :ok:

Still, the US Navy is on the march.

Yeah brick, I realise. Contradiction of terms :}

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 19:17
No worries, el.


That train has sailed....










Someone call for a sturgeon?

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:19
Still, the US Navy is on the march.

Ah, well that is easy to figure out why.

You see the end of the physical year is coming up budget wise. The navy has to use all the fuel they were allocated this year or they will not get as much fuel in next years budget. :p

They got to sail around a lot. And it's real boring just sailing up and down the West Coast. ;)

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 19:20
By the way, I would have thought the US Navy would be heading for the Persian Gulf and the waters in the area.

You know, the place that they've been operating in international waters for some several decades now?

No way the forces rotate in and out so that the ones that have been on station can go home for a bit? Nope, it has to be an invasion armada.




Heading to Iran? Gonna look awful silly to have a mass beaching of big gray USN ships on the beaches of Iran.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

But to be clear, the point you were making was the US either planned the Russian invasion of Georgia so we could invade Iran on the quiet or the US was efficient enough to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Russian invasion less than a week ago?

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:26
Heading to Iran? Gonna look awful silly to have a mass beaching of big gray USN ships on the beaches of Iran.

Hum, could be that 'Lighthouse' thing again Brick. :p



Okay, back to, 'No matter what happens in any country, any place on the surface of the Earth it is America's fault.' conspiracy folks.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 19:28
SXB, just in case others in Strasbourg (but I guess they're all on summer holidays now anyway) might also have missed it, the latest Russian move may in fact be a very simple and poignant reminder: directed at (primarily) Western Europeans who depend so much on oil and gas from the Caspian sea region and thought that they could 'secure' these supplies by merely building all those pipelines through southern Georgia (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/7556215.stm)...?

Airship
Plenty of us are still here in Strasbourg. The viewpoint in my organisation is Russia will be expelled and Georgia will have it's voting rights suspended, this is not the official position of the organisation but that's the way it appears to be going. The opinion of the executive body (The Ambassadors who represent the member states) is that we can't have one member state invading another, the whole basis of the organisation was to ensure European security after the second world war.

The expulsion of Russia would be a fairly strong statement from the Europeans, it would say "sorry but you are not civilised and therefore cannot be a member of the European club" Russia would be enraged with expulsion.

On the negative side such action would penalise normal Russian citizens, their human rights would no longer be protected by the instruments in Strasbourg.

Also, there is an opinion here that Georgia has to bear some responsibility for her actions in launching a military strike on a city which was full of civilians.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 19:37
Another good post SXB, very informative.

I agree that neither Russia or Georgia are blameless in this matter, one is just less blameless due to over reacting.

Hopefully it is over and the Russian will withdraw from Georgia proper. However, I will bet a beer that the Russians stay in South Ossetia.



(By the way SXB, I figure that no one really loses a beer bet, because the winner always buys the next round.)

El Grifo
12th Aug 2008, 20:02
But to be clear, the point you were making was the US either planned the Russian invasion of Georgia so we could invade Iran on the quiet or the US was efficient enough to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the Russian invasion less than a week ago?

Actually brick - - No, that was not what I was doing.

However, I believe that was the intention of the author of the piece.

At the end of the day we all come here for a bit of relaxation, education and the letting of off steam.

None of us are bad guys; we just have different viewpoints, that's all.

I live by choice, in what really only could be described as a cultural and political vacuum I stopped the world and got off!!

PPRUNE is probably the most interactively enlightening medium that I access.

I love the medium and I love the cranky debate.

Thanks guys :ok:

OK - - - Ding-Ding, Round 5043 :eek:

Glad you liked the "Lighthouse thing" Con, That actually came directly from a US friend, who has a broad outlook on the human condition.

brickhistory
12th Aug 2008, 20:09
sorry el, should have stated 'the article's viewpoint.' But as you linked it, it was a natural assumption.

No offense intended.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SXB,

Very interesting post.

Forgive the humor this induced:

On the negative side such action would penalise normal Russian citizens, their human rights would no longer be protected by the instruments in Strasbourg.

"Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time" sprang to mind...

BenThere
12th Aug 2008, 20:17
Good point about the US Navy, Con-Pilot. The US Navy is the unchallenged sovereign of the sea.

In fact, the only level of conflict where the US is matched is at ICBM total war, where only the Russians can give as good as they get. Of course, no one would live to tell the story, that being the downside.

But the air battle is one-sided as well. Even in their own back yard, the Russians have never been able to air refuel or project what air power they have. They can't operate without ground-based C and C. Nor do they have the logistical expertise or experience to deploy forces.

As for air defense, the Iranians have recently wasted billions on a new Russian air defense system which would be totally suppressed within hours of the onset of serious hostilities. What could they have been thinking?

The bottom line is that, today, if the US decides and commits to resist militarily anywhere in the world, the outcome is a foregone conclusion. We control the level of conflict, the sea and the air.

I don't know what Bush said to Putin in Beijing, but the resulting Russian desistance was immediately apparent. I like such outcomes.

KAOS, you, too, are a usual suspect with an equally jerking knee.

flash8
12th Aug 2008, 20:25
Having lived a few years in Georgia (Tbilisi - Kutaisi) and speaking Russian (although I am British - if that makes sense) I will be the first to tell you it was inevitable - it got so bad a few years ago even that our Russian colleagues were politely asked to leave.

A bit off track but they fly like they drive. I saw two fatal road accidents in two years and numerous injuries... and I have first hand experience of their aircrew... and they ain't so pretty.

El Prez made a big mistake. He's been listening to Uncle Sams rhetoric too much methinks.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 20:46
Hopefully it is over and the Russian will withdraw from Georgia proper. However, I will bet a beer that the Russians stay in South Ossetia.


Con-pilot, I'd say you're 100% correct on that point. Also, there isn't a cat in hells chance of them allowing anyone else to keep the peace. We've been having a lot of beer bets in the office today.....

Forgive the humor this induced:

Quote:
On the negative side such action would penalise normal Russian citizens, their human rights would no longer be protected by the instruments in Strasbourg.
"Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time" sprang to mind...

Good one:) Though seriously, the court in Strasbourg is very important in Russia, the judiciary and the government is not separated in Russia like it is in most other European countries. Therefore, ECHR is a place where Russians can prosecute their own government. Also, most of our standards are now enshrined in Russian law. To give you an idea of the human rights situation in Russia nearly 20% of all cases before our Court are from citizens of the Russian Federation. The court covers 700 million Europeans across 47 countries.

Good point about the US Navy, Con-Pilot. The US Navy is the unchallenged sovereign of the sea.

In fact, the only level of conflict where the US is matched is at ICBM total war, where only the Russians can give as good as they get. Of course, no one would live to tell the story, that being the downside.


Ben There

In fact, Russia comprehensively wins on the ICBM front, they also claim superiority in other areas including land based armour. The naval argument is only relevant when projecting power in areas away from home, something Russia hasn't done for a while. In fact most of the rebuilding in the Russian military has postively ignored maritime assets. In fact they still have only one carrier, the Kuznetsova, which is, for the convenience of the Montreux convention, classified as some kind of hybrid cruiser and is therefore allowed passage through the Bosporus.

In anycase, my point being that Russia has made it clear they are only interested in projecting military capability in those areas which they consider are within their sphere of infuence. ie close to home

BenThere
12th Aug 2008, 20:49
You should know better than me, flash8, having spent time there and all.

But as it stands now, Georgia seems to have come out of this largely intact. True, S. Ossetia seems to be under Russian control, but Georgia wasn't ruling there anyway, and it may now be Russia's problem.

The other breakaway regions of Georgia are looking at leaving a democracy, however imperfect, and living as they always have, under a despotic regime. To each his own, I suppose, but I would guess that one day Ossetians might whisper in private to close friends, "You know, Georgia wasn't so bad, was it?"

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 20:54
A bit off track but they fly like they drive. I saw two fatal road accidents in two years and numerous injuries... and I have first hand experience of their aircrew... and they ain't so pretty.

Flash8
The standard of driving in Georgia is beyond belief, they drive like lunatics. There are also the potholes in the road, not small indentations but enormous holes. There is one roundabout in Tbilisi, I forget the name, which looks like it's been bombed, the Ladas et al often get stuck in the holes.....

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 20:58
But as it stands now, Georgia seems to have come out of this largely intact. True, S. Ossetia seems to be under Russian control, but Georgia wasn't ruling there anyway, and it may now be Russia's problem.

That isn't so. Large parts of both South Ossetia and Abkhazia were under Georgian control before the conflict. All the Georgians in those govt. controlled areas have been thrown out by the Russians.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 21:00
In fact they still have only one carrier, the Kuznetsova, which is, for the convenience of the Montreux convention, classified as some kind of hybrid cruiser and is therefore allowed passage through the Bosporus.


That is interesting. I wonder, if that is the case, would a US Navy Assault Ship be classified the same?

I know off topic somewhat and not really your area of expertise. Also I don't think that the US Navy would send such a ship through the Bosporus, too risky.

11K-AVML
12th Aug 2008, 21:02
Good one:) Though seriously, the court in Strasbourg is very important in Russia, the judiciary and the government is not separated in Russia like it is in most other European countries. Therefore, ECHR is a place where Russians can prosecute their own government. Also, most of our standards are now enshrined in Russian law. To give you an idea of the human rights situation in Russia nearly 20% of all cases before our Court are from citizens of the Russian Federation. The court covers 700 million Europeans across 47 countries.
SXB, quick question, but how much a difference does this make to the prevalence of human rights abuses in Russia? I know you suggest it's valued by the citizens, but I'm interested to know whether this actually affects the Russian government's domestic behaviour.

I don't dispute what you're saying, I'm just a very curious individual, who often plays devil's advocate.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 21:14
11K
That's a fair point and one we are asked fairly regularly. The court in Strasbourg has made a difference in certain areas, for example no-one 'disappears' anymore like in the 1990's. Also many of our conventions are now enshrined in Russian law which protects people even in Russian courts. Nobody is saying that the human rights are protected 100% now, the same as in any country, but there is now an independent body to which Russian citizens can go to.

West Coast
12th Aug 2008, 21:19
Gonna look awful silly to have a mass beaching of big gray USN ships on the beaches of Iran.


Hope they bring I-PODS to appease the Iranians.


I wouldn't be surprised if USN does go through the Bosporus, if the situation was that critical. Much the same was said of the Straights of Hormuz, which shares the same risks in that both are well within the range of modern weapons systems. Heck, they've operated two carriers and partial battle groups there as well. As pointed out, it is at great risk.

flash8
12th Aug 2008, 21:21
I have spent a lot of time both in Russia and in Georgia. I know both countries fairly well.

The difference in mentality between the Russians and Georgians are so wide as to be not even on the same planet.

If you ever went to Georgia, out of all the old Soviet satellites, it is the only one (that I have been to and I have been to most of 'em) that has a minuscule ethnic Russian Population that wasn't really integrated - unlike virtually ever other country where they live side-by-side in pretty reasonable (and sometimes almost indivisible) lives. (Uzbekistan comes to mind).

When Georgia left the bloc, its dependency on Russia for almost everything led it into total economic collapse. Even Tbilisi the major city is dirt third-world almost poor, and Kutaisi is most certainly a third-world city.

Mind you most Russians had the impression (during times of old) that the Georgians were lazy b******. If anything that impression amongst most Russians I know hasn't changed.

Anyway its Caucasian to the Russians. And believe me the Russians (generally) are the MOST racist people in the world.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 21:25
Con-pilot
As you rightly suggest military matters is not really my field of expertise but from what I know about the treaties covering the Bosporus the rules are slightly relaxed for the Russian Black sea fleet.

I believe that the treaty of montreux prohibits all aircraft carriers from passing through the Bosporus, excepting Turkish ones. Only one, non Turkish, naval vessel is allowed through the channel at any one time. There is also a rule about total tonnage of foreign naval vessels present in the Black sea at any one time, I think it's 30,000 tonnes but I stand to be corrected.

I know nothing about naval tactics but I would think the Black Sea is a bad place to fight a battle because it has only one exit, a very narrow one. Again, I don't know for sure but I think it would be impossible for a submarine to pass through the Bosporus while submerged.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 21:29
I forgot to say that I believe the turks have the right to close the Bosporus if they so please. I believe this treaty dates back tothe 1930's

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 21:31
Flash8
I don't believe I've ever met an ethnic russian in Tbilisi, ever.

flash8
12th Aug 2008, 21:51
Well I have and they are remarkable by their fewness. Remarkable as I said compared to other ex-Bloc countries.

The Georgians are somewhat "erratic" at the best of times. It wouldn't surprise me if the top officials knew nothing of this until it escalated.

With a weakened US "Lame Duck" President (who nobody listens to anymore least of all his own people), oil prices and control, strong popularity at home - the Russians were shrewd enough to know they could get away with it - even if they did the full monty to Tbilisi (and I bet the Russian Generals really wanted that).

As has transpired they whipped the Georgian ass big time.

SXB
12th Aug 2008, 22:14
Flash8

Our impression of Saakashvili is that he's a bit of a maverick, he's man with a very quick temper who tends to speak without thinking about the consequences of his actions. He's relatively inexperienced as a politician, as are all the Georgian government simply because of their age, I think he's 41 and he's quite a bit older than most of his cabinet.....

11K-AVML
12th Aug 2008, 22:34
That's a fair point and one we are asked fairly regularly. The court in Strasbourg has made a difference in certain areas, for example no-one 'disappears' anymore like in the 1990's. Also many of our conventions are now enshrined in Russian law which protects people even in Russian courts. Nobody is saying that the human rights are protected 100% now, the same as in any country, but there is now an independent body to which Russian citizens can go to. I suppose the Russian government complies for fear of being booted out of the club? What therefore does Russia get for being in the club; is it solely to have an influence on 'shaping the economic progress'?

Article 1(a) "The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress."

Could they not be demoted to 'guest status' rather than booted out completely or would that negate any diplomatic effect?

I'm trying to figure out what other options may exist; I would be fearful of all of one's cards being dealt in one hand...best to save something for future disputes (e.g. that with the upcoming Arctic territory/ies).

11K-AVML
12th Aug 2008, 22:40
It was interesting to see the television footage this evening of Georgia military equipment near the South Ossetian border abandonded, together with claims of Georgian soliders changing dress out of their uniforms.

con-pilot
12th Aug 2008, 22:49
(e.g. that with the upcoming Arctic territory/ies).

Oh dear, with all that is going on in Georgia I quite forgot about the massive oil/natural gas fields under the Arctic Icecap. I predict that sooner than we think there will be a long thread on this upcoming issue.

I did read an article that the US and Canada has started a rapid construction plan to build more modern ice-breakers, due to the fact that Russia has the largest ice-breaker fleet in the world.

Oh god, the dreaded ice-breaker gap. ;) (Maybe we can convert a few aircraft carriers into ice-breakers.)

flash8
12th Aug 2008, 23:01
>he's a bit of a maverick, he's man with a very quick temper who tends to speak
>without thinking about the consequences of his actions

That's a typical Georgian for you. I met his "cabinet" once (I used to travel to odd places before becoming arguably respectable) and what really struck me for those that were allegedly young, they all looked in their 60's. It was spooky. Well I was spooked anyhow :)

As I said the Georgians had it coming, it was on the cards, and they must have known the likely consequences because you can be damn sure many of us did.

The Great Bear was provoked, let the Great Game begin (again).

galaxy flyer
13th Aug 2008, 00:28
My 2 cents:

Is any landlocked country like, say most of the Russian "near abroad" ever really sovereign? Sort of the inverse of Great Britain during Empire days-no one could invade them; the exception being 1066. Ground warfare being far easier than naval actions.

C-P Want a real fight-tell Canadians that the Arctic is "international straits" and not sovereign territory. Add beer and FIGHT'S ON. But, I agree, ten years and it will be a Pprune hot topic. Interesting about EUHR, amazing source, Pprune is.

GF

SXB Most interesting posts, esp. about the EU's influence in Russian internal affairs through the ECHR courts. I take back all those bad statements about the EU. :) Now, about those Airbus subsidies ;)

CityofFlight
13th Aug 2008, 00:45
SXB...I have to agree with the above. Your input has allowed this thread to remain informative and on track--despite some efforts to drift into random blame shifting.

I think I've learned more about this "hot bed" of conflict here on PPRuNe, than I would have from any media source.

This has the potential for flare ups--long and short term. I hope cool tempers prevail.

nahsuD
13th Aug 2008, 00:58
I don't know what Bush said to Putin in Beijing, but the resulting Russian desistance was immediately apparent. I like such outcomes.


The 2008 version of "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall..."

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 02:14
flash8:
As I said the Georgians had it coming, it was on the cards, and they must have known the likely consequences because you can be damn sure many of us did.

The Great Bear was provoked, let the Great Game begin (again).

Wow. So it's ok for Russia to act as it wants, it was 'provoked?' I'd actually agree that Russia is looking after Russia's interests same as any nation does.

But, apparently, here on Jet Blast, only one gets to play at that game.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------

SXB, am I totally off base by thinking that Russia won't actually be 'kicked out' or even 'demoted?'

I expect a few "We're severely disappointed in you. Now don't do it again," but no further action or condemnation.

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 08:39
I suppose the Russian government complies for fear of being booted out of the club? What therefore does Russia get for being in the club; is it solely to have an influence on 'shaping the economic progress'?

Article 1(a) "The aim of the Council of Europe is to achieve a greater unity between its members for the purpose of safeguarding and realising the ideals and principles which are their common heritage and facilitating their economic and social progress."

Could they not be demoted to 'guest status' rather than booted out completely or would that negate any diplomatic effect?Generally the Russians do comply and some of the compliance has been extremely painful for them, especially earlier in the decade specifically with our activities in Chechnya.

There are occasions when they don't comply with a decision but all the member states do that sometimes, including countries like Britian, France and Germany.

There is no mechanism for demoting someone to guest or observer status, I don't think that would happen.

SXB, am I totally off base by thinking that Russia won't actually be 'kicked out' or even 'demoted?'

I expect a few "We're severely disappointed in you. Now don't do it again," but no further action or condemnation.The feeling at the moment seems to suggest expulsion. That said in international politics the power of forgiveness is often exercised very easily, especially when the community is attempting to persuade an aggressor to return to the status quo. There are things that we don't know, Sarkozy may well have promised the Russians that no further actioned will be taken if they agree to his peace plan, Sarkozy may have also agreed that with other European nations or not. But, if the French have promised they will support the Russians then the Germans will do the same. Voting rights here are done on the size of your budget contributions and France, Germany and Russia are three of the 'big five' Even three of them are well on the way to representing 50% of the total vote.

Also, any decision on explulsion, or other action, will have to wait until the elected representatives are all here in Strasbourg. This is not scheduled to happen until September, there is no way they will interrupt their holidays to convene a special session. Four weeks is an awful long time away in the world of international politics and news.

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 08:53
he's a bit of a maverick, he's man with a very quick temper who tends to speak
>without thinking about the consequences of his actions

That's a typical Georgian for you. I met his "cabinet" once (I used to travel to odd places before becoming arguably respectable) and what really struck me for those that were allegedly young, they all looked in their 60's. It was spooky. Well I was spooked anyhow :)

Yes, a lot of his cabinet have dates of births in the 1970's, the president himself was born in 1967. I believe the reason for this is because they completely washed their hands of anyone associated with the Shevardnadze regime.

I find all Georgians to look older than they actually are, I don't know why this is so.

SXB...I have to agree with the above. Your input has allowed this thread to remain informative and on track--despite some efforts to drift into random blame shifting.

Thanks for that. Most things in JB I know nothing about but Georgia and the South Caucasus is an area where i do have some knowledge. I've spent some time in all the countries in that region including southern Russia (Chechnya as well)

I would add that the things I've written are my own views and not necessarly those of the organisation I work for. I'm a humble civil servant and our role is to advise and support elected officials and those appointed by the member states and it is them who make the decisions and not us.

Capt.KAOS
13th Aug 2008, 09:20
KAOS, you, too, are a usual suspect with an equally jerking knee.Really? If you don't believe me, maybe you believe a former Pentagon official long involved in Georgia:
"We don't look very good," said a former Pentagon official (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/aug/12/georgia1) long involved in Georgia. "We've been working on [Georgia] for four years and we've failed. Everyone's guilty. But Putin is playing his cards brilliantly. He knows exactly what he's doing and the consequences are all negative."Bush's government foreign geopolitical moves have been rather naive at best, disastrous at worst the last 8 years. Bush is just no match for Putin, just as much FDR was no match for Stalin, no matter what US army muscles are flexing. Compare this with football players and chess players playing a chess game. Both Saakashvili and the US have totally misjudged to geopolitical situation and, as usual, underestimated the opponent. As I said this move eventually will cost Saakashvili's head.

Maybe this will force the EU to finally get things going with the Nabucco Pipeline? (http://www.euractiv.com/en/energy/business-commission-plea-nabucco-pipeline/article-173941)

PS I have to retract my words about Sarkozy, as it seems he was really involved. Nevertheless Russia would have never agreed if it wasn't already planned by them. Still Sarkozy has a talent for being in the lime light where the world attention lies.

vee-tail-1
13th Aug 2008, 09:22
SXB Your input here has enabled us to see what is actually going on. Armed with that understanding the lies and posturing of politicians becomes even more visible than during the Iraq debacle.:}

In the certainty that more "sh..t" will follow, please keep your input going on this forum. :ok:

dmitrik
13th Aug 2008, 09:42
I looked here yesterday and was shocked by the loads of uninformed [email protected] spouted by some people. Now the discussion seem to calm down but I'll post anyway, don't want to waste the efforts...

Let's rewind the tape and watch it in slow motion, shall we?

I intentionally use only 'respectable' western sources. That was actually quite difficult, because during the first few hours of the war (before russians came) western media coverage was practically non-existent. Try google news for yourself.

Some Background:

FOX NEWS: FOXNews.com - FAST FACTS: South Ossetia at a Glance - International News | News of the World | Middle East News | Europe News (http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,400046,00.html)
POLITICS: South Ossetia enjoyed broad autonomy within Soviet Georgia and first claimed independence in 1989. It has run its own affairs without international recognition since breaking away from the Tbilisi-based Georgian government during a bloody 1991-1992 conflict that killed more than 1,000 people and displaced tens of thousands.
Authorities held a referendum in 1992 proclaiming the province's independence, but it went unnoticed by the international community, leaving the region in limbo. South Ossetians voted overwhelmingly for independence in a second referendum in November 2006.Reuters: FACTBOX: What is Georgia's rebel South Ossetia region? | U.S. | Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/newsOne/idUSL728279620080808?sp=true)
(Reuters) - Fighting raged in and around the capital of Georgia's breakaway South Ossetia region on Friday as Georgian troops and warplanes pounded separatist forces in a bid to re-take control of the territory.-- The collapse of the Soviet Union spurred a separatist movement in South Ossetia, which had always felt more affinity with Russia than with Georgia. It broke away from Georgian rule in a war in 1991-92 in which several thousand people died, and maintains close ties with the neighboring Russian region of North Ossetia, on the north side of the Caucasus.-- The majority of the roughly 70,000 people are ethnically distinct from Georgians, and speak their own language, related to Farsi. They say they were forcibly absorbed into Georgia under Soviet rule and now want to exercise their right to self-determination.-- A peacekeeping force with 500 members each from Russia, Georgia and North Ossetia monitors a truce.Georgian offensive 8.08.2008 (before Russians came):

The Australian: UN to hold crisis talks on South Ossetia violence | The Australian (http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24147467-2703,00.html) The Russian Federation is convening an emergency public meeting of the Security Council tonight at 11pm (1300 AEST today) to consider the aggressive actions of Georgia against South Ossetia, an internationally recognised party to the conflict,” a statement from the Russian mission to the UN said. BBC: BBC NEWS | Europe | Heavy fighting in South Ossetia (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7546639.stm) At Russia's request, members of the UN Security Council are holding a rare emergency session to discuss a response to the escalating violence.The head of Georgian peacekeepers in South Ossetia said the operation was intended to "restore constitutional order" to the region.The Georgian Minister for Integration, Temur Yakobashvili, said Georgia's aim was not to take over the territory but to finish "a criminal regime".AFP: AFP: Heavy fighting as Georgia attacks rebel region (http://afp.google.com/article/ALeqM5jYiEYd_roDGOs5KuDVRoapNY-pTw) Tskhinvali has been surrounded by Georgian forces," Georgia's Reintegration Minister Temur Yakobashvili told AFP.The Georgian offensive came within just hours of reports that Georgia and South Ossetia agreed to meet Friday for talks and the declaration of a unilateral ceasefire by Georgia's president.Telegraph: Georgia pounds Russian-backed rebels in The Caucasus - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/georgia/2521200/Georgia-pounds-Russian-backed-rebels-in-The-Caucasus.html) The Caucasus are on the brink of war after Georgian troops launched a full-scale military assault against Russian-backed rebels in an attempt to wrest control of the breakaway region of South Ossetia.Georgian artillery shelled Tskhinvali, where government and separatists envoys had been due to meet for Russia-mediated peace talks later, and many houses were ablaze.http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00787/ossetia-460d_787588c.jpg (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/telegraph/multimedia/archive/00787/ossetia-460d_787588c.jpg)Georgian artillery shelled Tskhinvali Photo: ReutersWhat you see in this picture is this: BM-21 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9K51_Grad) One battalion of eighteen launchers is able to deliver 720 rockets in a single volley. However, the system cannot be used in situations that call for pinpoint precision.Some Russian claims (coming from the very top, Medvedev/Lavrov/etc., russian sources):
On the first night georgian missile hit russian peacekeepers barrack, killing 15.
1200 civilian casualties in Tshinvali on the first night of bombing.
Tshinvali in ruins.
30 000 S.Ossetian refugees (out of 70 000 total population) fled across the border to North Ossetia in Russia.also
Operation stopped as soon as it was clear Georgian forces are contained and no longer represent a threat.
Georgian civilian infrastructure is largerly left intact.
BP oil pipeline is intact, Gazprom did not even interrupt supply of gas through Georgia to Armenia.
Civilian casualties are minimal (compared to what could have been. It's a war after all, things do not always go as planned).
No unreasonable conditions for ceasefire, no territorial claims to Georgia, no immediate change in status-quo. Abhazia and S.O are still not recognized (yet) as independent states by Russia. They are of course recognized as a parties in conflict and signatories in any following peace agreements.
Troops are being pulled back.
EU peacekeepers and monitors are likely to be invited (along with russians of course).
Evidence is being collected to try Saakashvili in Haague.Realistically speaking Georgia have lost S.O and Abkhazia for good, these guys are not going to forget what they've done to them. And Russia will make sure their voices are heard. It is just a matter of time now.

http://static.diary.ru/userdir/5/8/1/7/58178/32186553.gif

Regards,
Dmitri

PS: Georgians (except few particular individuals) are respected.

galaxy flyer
13th Aug 2008, 10:12
SXB

Voting rights here are done on the size of your budget contributions and France, Germany and Russia are three of the 'big five' Even three of them are well on the way to representing 50% of the total vote.


Am I to take that to mean Russia contributes to the EU budget? :eek: If so, what other rights/responsibilities do they have as an non-EU country?

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 10:32
Am I to take that to mean Russia contributes to the EU budget? :eek: If so, what other rights/responsibilities do they have as an non-EU country?No, they don't contribute to the EU budget. For the benefit of the non-European posters here - Europe has three large organisations each with different responsibilities. The EU, the CoE and the OSCE.

EU
This is an economic union of most western and central European countries. Their budget is absolutely enormous, half of it is spent on agriculture.

CoE (Council of Europe)
This is a human rights organisation responsible for guaranteeing such rights through the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg. All European nations, except Belarus, are members of the organisation including Russia and those states in the South Caucasus (and Turkey) Their budget is relatively small. The court in Strasbourg is the highest court in each member state.

OSCE (Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe)
They are responsible security and co-operation between member states and their main function today is election observation, amongst many other things. You will also see them in post conflict zones like Kosovo. Their budget is often allocated on a project by project basis. Membership is open to some non-European countries.

The organisation we've been discussing with relation to possible expulsion of Russia is the CoE

Edited to say; if you want to join the EU you have to join the CoE first and meet their standards before going on to join the EU. Turkey has been a member of the CoE since about 1951 and still hasn't been able to meet CoE standards. I'm just using Turkey as an example, I don't have anything against them.

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 11:49
So it looks like Medvedev was just flapping his lips yesterday. Seems he has about as much power and authority as the editor of the Sun. I wonder when he'll announce his boss's, sorry his, policy....

Russian tanks patrol Gori in defiance of Nicolas Sarkozy's peace deal
Russia has ordered an incursion into a frontline Georgian town in defiance of the terms of an overnight peace deal brokered by French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

As the EU announced plans to send peacekeeping troops to monitor the ceasefire, Russian troops destroyed an empty Georgian military base in Gori and set up a checkpoint on the road to Tbilisi. In clear defiance of the spirit of Mr Sarkozy's peace deal, Russia appeared to be working to cement a buffer zone for South Ossetia.

A Georgian official claimed that 50 tanks had moved into Gori and South Ossetian snipers were also reportedly in operation in the town. Georgian troops pulled back from the town of Gori earlier this week and its civilian population has virtually abandoned the streets.

Georgia has also lost its last stronghold in another separatist province, Abkhazia, overnight as its troops withdrew from the Kodori Gorge. Russian-backed separatist forces took advantage of the Georgian military's collapse to attack Kodori. More than 100 Russian military vehicles entered the gorge on Tuesday forcing the Georgian retreat.........

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 12:22
SXB, thanks for the organizational lesson. I thought all three were branches of the same parent body. Most helpful.


I simply cannot conceive of this however:

The court in Strasbourg is the highest court in each member state.

Does it truly have the ultimate legislative say for each member nation? What are the limits of its jurisdiction - or it's remit, if I used the wrong word in jurisdiction. In other words, can it tell member nation X, "You must change this," and, if so, what is the enforcement power?

Not an attempt to insult, however alien (no pun intended) I find this, it is interesting.

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 12:22
A disparaging view of the French intervention...

On the Road to Tbilisi

Remember the French 35-hour work week? Disparu, compadres! Peace demands overtime, so French President Nicolas Sarkozy interrupted his vacation to fly to Moscow with Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner. Why? Because France is president of the entire EU and so M. Sarkozy is president of the continent. Duty calls, so when the two Frenchmen arrived in Russia, they worked! In August! And how, according to Le Figaro:

The French president negotiated for five hours with his Russian counterpart, Dmitri Medvedev, and prime minister Vladimir Putin, the specifics of the cessation of hostilities in Georgia....The working lunch which was to have lasted only an hour or less became a three and one-half hour session. There was only one topic on the luncheon menu: a cease-fire in Georgia.

It was served cold.

Putin, it turned out, was an uninvited guest at the luncheon (“which no doubt contributed much to lengthen the conversation,” said the paper). Sarkozy then went to Tbilisi, where, as Liberation observes, “the principle of Georgian territorial integrity” had suddenly disappeared from the international draft settlement.Sarkozy, the paper said, “will now have to convince not only Georgia, but also the other 26 European Union countries, that this compromise is not a new Munich.”

Later, after announcing the ceasefire, Medvedev noted that Sarkozy had “participated in resolving a complicated problem.”

That’s not exactly the headline Sarkozy had in mind, of course, and, fortunately for him, certainly not what the rest of the French press reported. The Georgian peace initiative, said Le Monde, was a EU triumph, exactly the sort of thing that could only be orchestrated by La France. As for the Georgians, their young president “gambled and lost.”

C’est la vie, and all that.

It was obvious by looking elsewhere at the news that the session in Moscow was drawn out not by painful negotiations, but precisely by the amount of time it took Russian troops to consolidate their positions, having sliced their way through the Georgian republic they so despise. Le Monde reported Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, NATO’s secretary general, was claiming Georgia’s ambition to join the pact is still in place. Which means very little indeed. In fact, maybe it’s a good thing they weren’t members, since if they had been, Putin would have succeeded in cutting NATO in two as easily as he did Georgia.

Georgia’s error was tactical in taking the Russian bait and moving into South Ossetia. Georgia’s sin, however, was wanting to be a part of the West, something Russia won’t easily permit. Putin obviously has been watching what was once American strength in Iraq has turned to weakness everywhere else on the planet, including especially in the U.S. itself where polarization is now so complete that a Republican president couldn’t declare war on litter without eliciting a pacifist response from Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

The Russians didn’t kill everybody in Georgia, as they could have if they’d wished. So that’s a victory. And Georgia still stands, although now more as an example to the rest of Eastern Europe what an alliance with a paralyzed U.S. really means. So as cynical as all the posturing on Georgia’s behalf in Europe may be, it’s a lot more inspiring than Condoleezza Rice’s waif-like “statements” about Russia’s reputation and W’s brow-furrowing utterances of the obvious.

Didn’t George once look Vladimir in the eye and “get a sense of his soul”? That was in Crawford, at the begging of what Bush called “a very constructive relationship.” He told reporters, “I wouldn’t have invited him to my ranch if I didn’t trust him.”

Maybe Bush has a new sense of Putin’s soul. If so, he now knows that if Putin had wanted to go to the Bush ranch, he wouldn’t have waited for an invitation.

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 12:30
Orac, well written.

Some gems:

"Another Munich," which it is.

A "war on litter" and a impotent President.

A brutal, effective demonstration by Russia to those recent former clients to not get too 'uppity.'

And this very accurate and well-stated:

Maybe Bush has a new sense of Putin’s soul. If so, he now knows that if Putin had wanted to go to the Bush ranch, he wouldn’t have waited for an invitation.

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 12:36
I simply cannot conceive of this however:

Quote:
The court in Strasbourg is the highest court in each member state.
Does it truly have the ultimate legislative say for each member nation? What are the limits of its jurisdiction - or it's remit, if I used the wrong word in jurisdiction. In other words, can it tell member nation X, "You must change this," and, if so, what is the enforcement power?


In the context of the protocols which a member state has signed, then, yes, it's the highest court. But, you must exhaust the legal means in your own country first. That said most of the protocols are now enshrined in a member states own legal system, so in theory less cases should now come to the court.

I'll give you an example of the type of case which could be heard before the Court - A man lives in South east Turkey with his family, the local police suspect he's a member of PKK. The police turn up in the middle of night and drag him away. The next day his family go to the police station and ask what's going on, the police say they don't know anything about it. The man is never seen again. Clearly the police went a bit OTT and they killed him and disposed of the body. This used to happen all the time in Turkey. Case ends up in Strasbourg and the Court finds against the Turkish government and compensation is awarded to his family. That will also trigger another series of events to ensure Turkey is living up to it's committment. That case would have been proscuted under denying someones "Right to life" though there are a host of other denials as well.

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 12:53
As the EU announced plans to send peacekeeping troops to monitor the ceasefireIf that's true then I'd be absolutely amazed

Also, some of the critcism of Sarkozy is not warranted, I believe. All he's doing is brokering a deal. Also, don't make the mistake of thinking that foreign presidents and prime ministers actually negotiate around a table for hours at a time. That's not how it works, moscow and paris would have exchange lists, common ground would be ticked off and then another list sent, in this case the original russian list would have been basically unchanged from the first draft. Sarkozy and Medvedev would then have been given the lists and told that's the best we could get. Then , the two presidents would sit around a table, drink tea and ask about each others families. That's how it's done.

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 13:08
In which case all he was doing was accepting the Russian ultimatum and conveying it to Georgia and it was another Munich. It certainly can't be claimed as a triumph of French diplomacy; more a trained dog to take and fetch on demand.

Why, they might even train him to fetch the newspapers on his own without being asked...

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 13:10
Orac
I'd agree with you. But someone had to do it. Also, when have the media ever bothered to cover something accurately ?

BenThere
13th Aug 2008, 13:16
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this affair is how the world interprets the reassessment it demands of NATO and the EU.

Now we must ask what would happen if Russia cuts off the energy flow to Europe and demands a ransom too high to pay? What if tanks rolled into Latvia to 'protect Russian citizens wherever they are'?

What can NATO or the EU do absent US willingness to step up. My view, and it is one widely and increasingly shared in the US, is that I'm against ever risking war again on behalf of Europe, even the UK, when a plurality of Western EU citizens think the US is the greatest evil in the world. I'm all for Europe finding out for itself who the greatest evil in the world really is.

Several NATO states are willing to send troops on a NATO mission, of course, so long as they are excused from combat. But what combat capability does NATO or the EU really possess, anyway? Who will be in command at the time? Zapatero? The only war fighting capability, and deterrent remaining in Europe is the nuclear arsenals of UK and France. The power of the EU market to impose economic hardship could be significant, but Europeans would be easily cowed against using it by a militarily superior adversary, and quite likely the major EU players could never agree on what collectively they might do to protect themselves.

This little episode in Georgia has profound implications for all of us, doesn't it?

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 13:39
Benthere
There are not hoards of western Europeans who think the US are the greatest evil in the world. Russia is not going to turn of the energy flow into Europe (they provide 25%) nor are they going to send tanks into Latvia.

As for a rethinking of NATO then I'd be all for that. The Europeans have been constantly cutting their defence budgets (even though they've been getting richer) Europe has needed a common defence policy for some time but some nations, the Brits especially, won't play ball and I suspect never will. At the moment Europe has three armed forces with some capability -the Brits, the French and the Germans, the rest of them are fairly useful . Europe is much bigger (there are more of us) and richer (we have a lot of money) than a nation like Russia so Europe has only itself to blame if it doesn't have the capability to put Russia in her place.

sispanys ria
13th Aug 2008, 14:01
It seems like the Abkhazians finally freed their land from the Georgian occupation and without any Russian support. The Georgian troops abandoned huge stocks of US weapons and ammunition before fleeing so please tell me who is interfering ?

I guess everybody knows the US shipped weapons and instructors in Georgia for years, which they used to maintain their occupation over Ossetia and Abkhazia... of course only the evil Russians have to be considered as invaders.

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 14:06
It seems like the Abkhazians finally freed their land from the Georgian occupation and without any Russian support. The Georgian troops abandoned huge stocks of US weapons and ammunition before fleeing so please tell me who is interfering ?

Umm, if you have sources and photos of these huge stocks, it would be very illuminating. In the meantime, all the press reporting is showing lots of blown up and/or retreating T-series tanks, towed Soviet-era artillery, trucks, etc. streaming away from former Georgian territory.

And no Russian support? Wow, I thought the Russian 'peacekeepers' in place for the last several years and subsequent infantry and armored troops since the current fracas began just cheered on the Abk-Abkhzig-ah, hell, too many consonants for a real country- freedom fighters?

I guess everybody knows the US shipped weapons and instructors in Georgia for years, which they used to maintain their occupation over Ossetia and Abkhazia... of course only the evil Russians have to be considered as invaders.

So, who exactly was there prior to 1991?

And how does one 'ship instructors there for years?' I'm thinking they might want to come home eventually.

Oh, you mean the US answered the request for help from an independent nation called Georgia? What were we thinking?

Of course, this is all our fault. Please forgive us.

Fortunately, some much needed discipline has been imposed on those wacky ideas of moving towards the West.

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 14:28
It seems like the Abkhazians finally freed their land from the Georgian occupation and without any Russian support. Personally, I'll believe the AP reporters on the ground...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008 - The Associated Press

ZUGDIDI, Georgia — An Associated Press reporter has seen 135 Russian military vehicles, including tanks, driving toward a key gorge held by Georgian forces.

The northern part of the Kodori Gorge is the only part of the separatist region of Abkhazia still held by Georgian forces, but they have come under attack.

Georgia says Russian troops are attacking, but Abkhazian officials say their own forces are carrying out the artillery attacks and that Russian forces are not involved.

An Associated Press reporter in Georgia on the road between the gorge and the Georgian town of Zugdidi on Tuesday afternoon counted 135 Russian military vehicles. They included tanks, armored personnel carriers and three pieces of artillery.

Russian forces opened the second battlefront in western Georgia on Monday, moving deep into Georgian territory from Abkhazia.

sispanys ria
13th Aug 2008, 14:44
Here we go for the reuters flash:

Reuters AlertNet - Abkhaz rebels exult over "liberation" from Georgians (http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/LD243285.htm)

I know who was there before 1991, and I also know Ossetia and Abkhazia never wanted to be part of Georgia, so whatever support Georgia was asking, it was used to occupy those territories in the name of freedom...

I'm not trying to say Russians would have any right over these territories. I just say it's really pathetic to pretend Georgia is a nice country looking fro freedom. Just ask what people in Ossetia thinks of Georgia and you'll get some light.
US weapons were supposed to protect Georgia against external threat, no to be internally used against minorities. Get a brain and a pair of eyes. How free and democratic are Iraq and Afghanistan today ?

RatherBeFlying
13th Aug 2008, 14:54
News reports show the Yanks and Israelis spent a few years training and supplying the Georgian military which has resulted in the Russians demonstrating who's really boss.

The Great Game continues...

Now that the Russians are well and truly p'd off, Iran would be only too happy to buy the latest technology anti-shipping and anti-aircraft missiles to deter attacks from the Yanks and/or Israelis.

It will work out in the end as any military strike in Iran would kite oil prices and do even more damage to the US economy.

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 14:57
US weapons were supposed to protect Georgia against external threat, no to be internally used against minorities.

1. If Georgia owns them, then they are "Georgian" weapons.

2. Again, I'm not arguing with you, I simply am asking what US-manufactured (see the difference?) weapons were used by Georgian forces either internally or externally?

Get a brain and a pair of eyes.

Good tip, thanks. Is your posting going to continue to be insulting because we disagree?

How free and democratic are Iraq and Afghanistan today ?

1. And this is related how?

2. A good bit more than they were in 2003 and 2001, respectively. Not perfect by any means, but an improvement certainly.

airship
13th Aug 2008, 15:13
Several NATO states are willing to send troops on a NATO mission, of course, so long as they are excused from combat. Excuse me, but would you care to rephrase that...? :mad: Just because not all NATO members are willing to throw in their lot willy-nilly behind a bunch of trigger-happy S.O.B.s who're convinced of the benefits of vainly dying for their country (both Patton and I were/are convinced that it's much better for the other poor S.O.B.s to die for their countries first)... :rolleyes: So what if they prefer to limit their involvement to certain peace-keeping and security activities? Are they really totally 'out of harm's way' as you have suggested? Have the (non-combattant) USA's NATO allies in Afghanistan never suffered deaths or injuries? 'Out of harm's way' or 'excused from combat' indeed...?! You deserve 2 severe cuffs behind the ears for that BenThere... :=

Do continue kicking yerselves in the butt with such statements matey... :ugh:

BenThere
13th Aug 2008, 15:20
Bush just gave a statement a few minutes ago saying we are going into Georgia with humanitarian aid delivered by the US military. The statement was direct and confrontational, with stated expectations that Russia will get out of Georgia and not interfere with US efforts, signaling a clear escalation of tensions. He accused Russia of violating its ceasefire agreement.

This situation may have some legs. Georgia may not be alone after all.

As we saw with the Dutch in Srbrenica, it's more than showing up, this keeping of the peace. I said nothing about 'harm's way' and take nothing from the troops sent by their wishy-washy politicians. If only they were allowed to do what they see needs doing...

There are no trigger-happy SOBs that I know of. You been watching BBC, Airship? The troops out there in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown themselves as capable of a restraint unknown in the history of warfare in the observation of our self-imposed rules of engagement, while fighting an enemy who observe no rules. They are the best people we have, and my faith in America is bolstered by the knowledge they will be returning home one day to inform the rest of us as to what's what in the world today

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 15:43
Abkhazia and South Ossetia: Differences Matter (http://topics.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/abkhazia-and-south-ossetia-differences-matter/) Interesting read. With reference to the paragraph..

Moreover, Kokoity’s administration became increasingly tied to Moscow. When the people of Abkhazia in 2004 begged to differ when Moscow tried to select their future leader for them, Moscow began introducing members of the Russian security services to the self-proclaimed governments of both secessionist territories. Hence, the defense and security institutions of the small entity basically fell under Moscow’s direct control. I found the following elsewhere...

So, why is this a victory over the siloviki -- those in the Russian ruling elite with close ties to the state security organs? Because there is no way the regime in South Ossetia can be in any sense called "separatist." Who there is a separatist? The head of the local KGB, Anatoly Baranov, used to head the Federal Security Service (FSB) in the Russian Republic of Mordovia. The head of the South Ossetian Interior Ministry, Mikhail Mindzayev, served in the Interior Ministry of Russia's North Ossetia. The South Ossetian "defense minister," Vasily Lunev, used to be military commissar in Perm Oblast, and the secretary of South Ossetia's Security Council, Anatoly Barankevich, is a former deputy military commissar of Stavropol Krai. So who exactly is a separatist in this government? South Ossetian "prime minister" Yury Morozov?

ORAC
13th Aug 2008, 16:00
Torygraph: Russian military advances into Georgia in defiance of EU peace deal
Russian military convoys have left Gori and are advancing towards a Georgian village, in defiance of the EU-brokered truce.
4:29PM BST 13 Aug 2008

A column of 70 Russian military vehicles, including military trucks with anti-aircraft guns and artillery, as well as armoured personnel carriers, pursued by a large contingent of the world's media, left Gori on the road to Tbilisi and turned left a few kilometres outside of the frontline Georgian town.

Russian troops claimed they were on a "humanitarian mission", however, the true purpose of the mission remained unclear as reports of burning and looting in villages near Gori by South Ossetian rebels and Russian army personnel emerged.........................

Viktor Yushchenko, the Ukrainian president, today signed a decree imposing new restrictions on Russia's Black Sea fleet, which is based in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopol.......

President of Ukraine Viktor Yushchenko has signed into law two resolutions of the National Security and Defense Council of August 13, 2008 limiting the movements of the Russian Black Sea Fleet outside its base and the crossing of the Ukrainian borders by the fleet, the Ukrainian President's press office has reported.

For ships or aircraft of the Russian Black Sea Fleet to cross Ukraine's border, the command should notify Ukraine's General Staff 72 hours prior to the proposed move. The notice must contain such information as what armament, munitions, explosives or other military property and equipment such vessels or aircraft carry.

If Ukraine's General Staff gives the green light, Russia's Black Sea Fleet must advise Ukraine's frontier guards and customs authorities of its military vessels or aircraft going out of and into Ukraine's waters or airspace no later than 1 day before such maneuvers.

flash8
13th Aug 2008, 16:01
Georgia "will not be alone" only if the US intervenes to serve its own interests obviously. I can't see how a confrontation with Russia will serve any interest - - nothing would surprise me however as far as Bush is concerned.

Georgia made a serious miscalculation in starting this, with Russia more than happy to escalate it (as would have been blatant to the Georgians - not that they have a serious grip on logic at the best of times).

I know a few Marine Officers in Georgia and I'm afraid their view on the Georgian military was not positive at all, if not completely and utterly negative.

Corruption in the Georgian government is allegedly rife, the country has been falling apart for years, NGO's/Foreign Mil are the only foreigners you ever see in the Country (not a good sign at all). And even Tbilisi is not a place you would wander alone after dark (as an embassy briefing warned us). Kutaisi (2nd largest City) is suicidal and the embassy supplied mandatory bodyguards/minders to the Non-Mil guys.

Georgia should have known better but "logic" and "Georgia" do not belong in the same sentence.

airship
13th Aug 2008, 16:04
BenThere, as you probably realised, I was speaking specifically of the NATO's involvement in Afghanistan. There are no trigger-happy SOBs that I know of. You been watching BBC, Airship? The troops out there in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown themselves as capable of a restraint unknown in the history of warfare in the observation of our self-imposed rules of engagement, while fighting an enemy who observe no rules. Are you on the 12 year-old Scotch yet? 'Self-imposed rules' - are you talking about the Geneva Conventions...? If they're such an imposition, then why bother continuing with the charade that we in the West are so much 'better than anyone else' but especially when they're an enemy in the middle-East (Iraq or Afghanistan) or the far-East (Vietnam or Laos), if only to name the most recent 'aggressors'?

Keep denigrating your allies and suggesting that agreed International conventions are merely 'self-imposed rules'...?! :rolleyes: You need to sober up pretty damn quick matey! :ok:

Matari
13th Aug 2008, 16:37
Airship, your airbags must be leaking helium because you are becoming more dense with every post:

Keep denigrating your allies and suggesting that agreed International conventions are merely 'self-imposed rules'...?If you read BenThere carefully, you would see that he was actually quite complimentary of all the NATO forces. He was referring to the "wishy-washy" politicians who refuse to understand the magnitude of the challenges we all face in Afganistan.

And yes, NATO and US forces do have self-imposed battlefield rules, many quite more rigourous than international treaties. And--anticipating your next riposte--these rules are enforced and violators are prosecuted.

Airship, lets be clear. The US, and western nations in general, are far from perfect. No one denies that. I just watch which direction people go when they choose to leave their homelands. Very few tend to pick the non-democratic states that you seem to be so fond of (from the comfort of your vinyards).

airship
13th Aug 2008, 16:55
And yes, NATO and US forces do have self-imposed battlefield rules, many quite more rigourous than international treaties. So, just how or where does Guantanamo and the 'extraordianry rendition procedures' which most of the USA's European allies have been pretty-much coerced-into fall into place.

Do you know what I find quite extraordinary Matari? It's that people like you continue to treat their fellow citizens (and the nationals of their closest allies) like so many mushy-peas. Having lost 99% of all your credibility in the wake of the Iraqi invasion, you all continue to behave as if everyone who subscribes to JB is an absolute ignoramus, having no other source of information other than your own poorly-researched and presented propanganda...?!

Teacher's report: Student shows promise but must try harder next semester... :p

icarus sun
13th Aug 2008, 16:55
Russia has been flexing its power incrementaly since Putin came to power. Each time getting bolder. Gas disputes ,chechen problem solved with great brutality, now goading Georgia into invading its own territory. What next?the Baltic states, they have a large left over Russian population. A ripe area to make problems.:hmm:

sispanys ria
13th Aug 2008, 18:17
Brick, I'm sorry if you felt insulted.
My point is that it is really too basic to think Russians are the bad guys currently carrying on a genocide as I read it today.
The US as well are not just good guys willing to help the poor Georgian government.

Just remember one thing:

Before any external military intervention Georgian army was fighting against the Ossetian rebel, which is supposed to be its own population. For this they used US weapons.
If you really want to call these weapons Georgian weapons please be welcome but as you can imagine they didn't cost so much to the Georgian government.
Georgia is used as a tool by the US in the same manner they used Afghanistan against Russia in the 80s... and everybody knows what happened to Massoud and to the twin towers 2 days later.
The point is to have control over the pipeline like in Chechenia or Afghanistan. In the end nobody cares about the populations damned to be on the oil's path to the westerners cars.

My point of view is that the US are quite far from home in this area and they maybe have better to do for the sake of their own population. Europe is supposed to be strong enough to handle such crisis without needing the Superman's help (who's basically interested in oil...)

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 18:30
Europe is supposed to be strong enough to handle such crisis without needing the Superman's help


Ya think? How'd that work out the last two times, plus the decades 1945-1991?


(who's basically interested in oil...)

Fortunately, Europe is above that. And Russia wanting the petrodollars/euros for itself.


But again, you are correct. It's all the US' fault. Do thank Putin and company for being a good steward of the world.

Al Fakhem
13th Aug 2008, 18:34
Perhaps the allies should have let Hitler finish his job on the Russians before landing on the beaches of Normandie.......

Matari
13th Aug 2008, 18:41
Airship, I love mushy peas especially with fish & chips and a pint or two of Boddingtons.

I was in Europe in the 1980's, when anti-American protests were erupting in every major city over Reagan's approach to the Soviet Union.

That the western alliance survived was not a forgone conclusion. It survived, and you enjoy the life you lead today, thanks to Reagan and forward-thinking European leaders like Maggie Thatcher, Helmut Kohl, Ruud Lubbers, etc. These visionaries saw through the day-to-day anti-American nonsense and kept focus on the end game.

The question is, why do you always assume the Western alliance has such mal intent? The life you live today is a product of this strong western alliance. Europe has been at peace for more than 50 years (outside of the recent Balkans conflicts) for the first time in its bloody history. Surely the US deserves some credit for the bountiful life you lead today?

sispanys ria
13th Aug 2008, 19:04
Ya think? How'd that work out the last two times, plus the decades 1945-1991?

You are right. Let's start the operation Freedom tempest. This time no need of powder in envelops and satellite pictures of mass destruction weapons.

In the end the population will suffer and innocent will die, as always. I'm not trying to clean Putin's puppet, but don't come to tell me W is a peacemaker willing to help the population :yuk:

Willing to help is a great demonstration of humanity, but pretending it in order to reach other goals is as much disrespectful for the victims than the Russians actions. Pretending the war in Iraq was in order to free the population, provide security and democracy was the ultimate humiliation for its population. If you want to criticize Russians, please don't copy what they did in Chechenia.

con-pilot
13th Aug 2008, 20:05
Well, well, big surprise, the Russians are not stopping.

US Plans Aid to Georgia as Russia Rolls In - AOL News (http://news.aol.com/article/us-plans-aid-to-georgia-as-russia-rolls/115304)

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 20:17
As the C-17 aircraft commander, Maj Kong, puts his Stetson hat on and clicks the interphone:

"Well, boys, I reckon this is it — humanitarian combat toe to toe with the Rooskies. Now look, boys, I ain't much of a hand at makin' speeches, but I got a pretty fair idea that something doggone important is goin' on back there. And I got a fair idea the kinda personal emotions that some of you fellas may be thinkin.' Heck, I reckon you wouldn't even be human bein's if you didn't have some pretty strong personal feelin's about humanitarian combat. I want you to remember one thing, the folks back home is a-countin' on you and by golly, we ain't about to let 'em down. I tell you something else, if this thing turns out to be half as important as I figure it just might be, I'd say that you're all in line for some important promotions and personal citations when this thing's over with. That goes for ever' last one of you regardless of your race, color or your creed. Now let's get this thing on the hump — we got some flyin' to do."


While back in DC, VP Cheney is going on about the "Ice Breaker Gap...."

con-pilot
13th Aug 2008, 20:34
While back in DC, VP Cheney is going on about the "Ice Breaker Gap...."

Hey now, I created that 'Gap'. Is Cheney going to give me any credit for coming up with that 'Gap'? :p

SXB
13th Aug 2008, 21:49
So, the Americans are going to bring humanitarian aid via the military. That tells us a couple of things, firstly they aren't even going to bother with the UN (normally they would co-ordinate such an effort) - no real surprise there. The second being they are going to establish a medium term presence in the country. I don't really have a problem with either, though they'll struggle to manage the humanitarian aid aspect, the military are not particularly good in that role because they have no experience.

Our local office there has begun to receive reports and figures of displaced people in and around South Ossetia, the figures are staggering, the numbers involved seem to surpass the total population of South Ossetia, which indicates people have fled from the surrounding regions. The Georgian population of Abkhazia has also either fled or been ejected. The total number of refugees is indicated at around 140,000, though we've only be able to obtain definate confirmation of 50,000. Also, a large number appear to have headed north, to Russia.

On to disinformation. Georgia has alleged a large scale cyber attack on the their country. Citing attacks on ISPs, phone lines and GSM gateways. All our communications in Tbilisi are working, our internet connections are unaffected, our phone lines work and we are able to reach our, few remaining, staff and Georgian officials from any of our offices. We are having problems with both landlines and GSM to the north of the country though, satellite phones are working fine.

brickhistory
13th Aug 2008, 21:54
SXB, excuse me?!

though they'll struggle to manage the humanitarian aid aspect, the military are not particularly good in that role because they have no experience.

Regular cyclone/typhoon/hurricane/earthquake/war clean-up missions ringing any bells?

con-pilot
13th Aug 2008, 22:14
So, the Americans are going to bring humanitarian aid via the military. That tells us a couple of things, firstly they aren't even going to bother with the UN (normally they would co-ordinate such an effort) - no real surprise there. The second being they are going to establish a medium term presence in the country. I don't really have a problem with either, though they'll struggle to manage the humanitarian aid aspect, the military are not particularly good in that role because they have no experience.

SXB, not overly surprised over the fact that we are not co-ordinating with the UN either. Now, last I head, President Bush ordered the 100 to 130 military personnel in Georgia to remain, as he did not want to give the appearance that the United States was leaving Georgia high and dry, so one could argue that we already have a presence in the country already. (Hopefully our guys have found a bar with a good supply of Scotch.)

However, I beg to differ with you regarding the humanitarian aid issue. If you refereeing to the US Military not having any experience with humanitarian aid I respectfully disagree. The US Military has responded world wide to natural and man caused disasters for many years with great success. I would be very surprised if there were not a large medical team and medical supplies on that C-17.

Anyway, I am still enjoying your very informative posts.

Thank you.