Monday, August 11, 2008
Georgia on my mind
Russia's offensive against Georgia, ostensibly over the "rights" of the breakaway Georgian province of South Ossetia, continues unabated, despite worldwide pleas for a ceasefire: http://www.philly.com/inquirer/front_page/20080811_Analysis__U_S__has_few_moves_against_Russia_.html. I used the word "rights" because I think that Russia is trying to make a much bigger point than just that it cares about Russian natives in South Ossetia. It is telling everyone of those "breakaway republics" that were part of the old Soviet Union that they're really not very safe, and that if they think that NATO is going to come to their rescue, they are sadly mistaken. No one had any illusions that the Georgian military would be able to provide much of an opposition to the Russian army, including I am certain the Georgians (hence their desire to join NATO). So, the messages here are for the Ukraine, the Baltic states, etc.: 1) Tow Moscow's line or face the consequences; 2) Don't count on help from the United States or NATO. They are paper tigers. You can be sure that those messages are being heard loud and clear in Tbilisi today, whose President, Mikhail Saakashvili, writes despondently in today's Wall Street Journal of what Russia is doing to his country: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB121841306186328421.html?mod=djemEditorialPage.