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August 09, 2008


Rick Ballard

There is an interesting back and forth at Tiger Hawk's place concerning who moved first, Georgia or Russia. Unless I see info explaining why Russia would have an invasion force loitering in the neighborhood, I believe I'll subscribe to the view that Russia initiated the festivities.

McCain is being a little optimistic about NATO and the EU. Russia has a pretty firm energy foot on Europe's neck - the EU might wiggle a bit but they aren't going to put themselves at risk of a fuel shortage.


It is also important to remember that this is blow-back from the US and EU's decision to allow Kosovo to declare independence. The resort to war now on the part of both sides in Georgia stems from the fact that after the West recognized Kosovo (over strong Russian objections) Russia stated that it would recognize South Ossetia and Abkhazia if they chose independence from Georgia.

Kosovo established the precedent that a large regional power can rip away pieces of smaller sovereign countries and make them new little countries. Now the Russians are playing that same game in their own back yard at the expense of one of our allies.

“As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”


Dittoes, Ranger.

Patrick R. Sullivan

It's also the result of raging Bush Derangement Syndrome. Putin thinks he can get away with this because W is weak now.


This is part of the Clinton legacy, which Bush foolishly went along with. To as if Russia has no legitimate interests in the Caucasus and Central Asia is little short of delusional--SOP, however, for US foreign policy. The sensible approach would have been:

1. Let Slovenia go its own way, in recognition of its historic ties to Austria. The Yugoslav non-action with regard to Slovenia demonstrated that this was acceptable to all.

2. Guarantee the territorial integrity of Croatia and Serbia--to prevent the fighting that in fact broke out.

3. Bosnia to be partitioned between Croatia and Serbia without regard to the wishes of the Bosnians.

4. Everything else to Serbia.

This approach would have been agreeable to:

1. Russia

2. Croatia and its German allies

3. Serbia and its French allies

It would also have driven a stake through the heart of Islamist pretensions in the Balkans. No discernible good has come of the actual solution on the ground.


Ah yes, the "Vance/Owen canton plan, which would have given the Wahhabists in the GID
and the Iranians in the Revolutionary Guard; the excuse to create a expressly
Islamist state. For all our complaints about Gen. Clark and Mssr. Holbrooke, they were right about leaning on the Serbs with the a GBUs of persuasion, that and the 'mercenaries' aiding the Croatian Army; made Dayton possible. It was Christopher's dithering over 'lift and strike' that created the Bosnian cadres represented by Al Midhar, Al Hazmi, et al


It is the oldest strategy in the world,foment discontent or separatism amongst a section of a neighbouring country,then go to their aid.
The EU is all fur coats and no knickers,it is doubtful whether it can apply any pressure to prevent this conflict. It will prove as toothless in South Ossetia as it was in the Balkans.


Wrong, narciso. That would have been an exercise in Realpolitik, in which all relevant European powers would have joined. Greater Croatia and Greater Serbia would not have "cantons," and would have been in a better position to help with the Wahhabist threat in the Balkans. As a major added benefit we would not have aroused Russian paranoia, which now complicates virtually every aspect of our foreign policy--whatever that is.


The new world bank caucus?


No matter what you think of Rice in the run up to 9-11, she's shown a total lack of executive ability while getting bulldozed by the lifers at state.


Sorry folks,this is looking eerily like the Sudetenland.


Smells dangerous to me too, Pete. I wonder what Rice whispered in Bush's ear to whisper in Putin's.


PeterUK - more than a passing resemblance, now that Abkhazia is also in play, and there are reports of Russians landing on the coast of Georgia. The objective is likely the outright conquest of Georgia.

Just a wee bit too prepared for this to have not been their idea all along.


You really wonderful Thank you


The Russian timing is too good as well.The Olympics,every dog and his journalist will be in China.Te EU has castrated itself and signed up for a unitary surrendering committee,the Comrades run Britain,Bush is on his way out,America is in the throes of an election,I could go on but it is too depressing.


A large scale Russian Invasion.

A seaborne landing in Abkhazia for a second front.This is a well planned operation,not a simple escalation of some local skirmished with "Peace Keepers".


PeterUK, I'm thinking that you're 100% right. This operation has been planned for a long time to take place at the time when world attention is focused elsewhere.


If think you need to update your statement:
"Obama is probably playing this correctly"

You were obviously giving him to much credit for releasing his generic response to any violence anywhere, because today he released another statement which basically reads like it was copied from John McCain. It most likely was in a fashion.

So here we get a glimpse of Obama when the sh**te hits the fan. Three days later, he is still seeking to determine his correct response.


LogicalUS, I'm tellin' ya' it should be a McCain theme, over and over again, when Obama's campaign thinks about it, they take McCain's position. It's the struggle for the muddle, and they are starting to watch. Poor old Obama is just a puppy on a string.


Two years ago the EU refused the opportunity to replace Russian peacekeeping forces in South Ossetia with EU peacekeepers. Just why they did so is a measure of their pusillanimity. I'd like to know why.


So here we get a glimpse of Obama when the sh**te hits the fan. Three days later, he is still seeking to determine his correct response.

Posted by: LogicalUS | August 10, 2008 at 09:24 AM

Obama's campaign must have done some polling and discovred that McCain's position was better recieved.


Their uniforms were at the cleaners.


Right Ranger, fortunately the media selected for us a candidate intimate with the muddle, who has spent a couple of decades thinking about issues, and can appeal to the muddle in his sleep. Obama has spent a couple of decades appealing to the far left and can't articulate a muddle position if his political life depended upon it. His handlers are able to do so, but not pro-actively. It's going to be fun from here on out unless the panthers, er pumas, unseat him before the convention with the COLB business. Wanna bet Obama returns from Hawaii with the birth certificate the 'typical white person' stashed in the attic with the baseball cards?


Yeah, Pete, removing brown stains from the pants seat. Maybe this will jerk a few heads around in Bruxelles. Oh, how soon they forget the 420 millimetres.


One lesson from this is that there are limits to force projection--and rhetoric in foreign policy is not an adequate substitute for the credible threat of force. You don't have to like the Russians--I can't personally think of a single reason to like them--but you do have to deal with them in a reality based manner. We do small nations no favors by befriending them and encouraging them to antagonize a large neighbor without a credible backup plan beyond rhetoric. Maybe I'm wrong and Bush will pull a rabbit out of the hat, but right now this reflects poorly. There had to have been a better way to go about advancing our interests as well as those of the EU in Central Asia and the Caucasus. And McCain's plan was to kick Russia out of the G8--or maybe it wasn't? Oh wait, yes it was, no...


Ukraine has told Russia they can't use their ports. LUN


Well, at last we have a war for oil and everyone's eyes are on Beijing.


Bush probably thanked Putin for giving McCain a hand.


See what happens when massed Germans applaud a celebrity? The Russians get nervous.


New theme. It's Obama's fault.


You might find it worthy of note that the Blogs and clogs covering this subject are getting astroturfed.There are no end of Russians,false flaggers,comrades and fellow travelers commenting.
I think you should take this very seriously,because it is obvious the Russians do.
The essential meme is Kosovo,Georgian = Serbs,South Ossetians = Kosovans. The heroes are the Russians.


It's like those movie stars carrying Mao handbags and demanding Bush save Darfur, isn't it, PUK?


South Ossetians and Georgians are generally co-religious, though, and it sounds like the separatist movement started back when Georgia tried to suppress smuggling in S. O. You are right though with other parallels to Kosovo, though. The irony of the Soviets purporting to support self-determination, though, while the irony of Europe giving it up, is a lot for my plate this AM.


It is indeed.
THe whole affair stinks.Russians had an armoured brigade ready to go,plans to take Tskhinvali the capital of South Ossetia,plans to for a seaborne invasion and uprisings in Abkhazia.
They obviously knew you were away.
So we could have Russia sitting across the oil pipeline which will also carry oil from the Stans and the loonies in Iran in a position to choke off the Gulf.
Do you want to ring Pelosi about drilling?


In a small fashion, this will probably steel the resolve of the Ukraine and the Baltic states and Poland et al to remind them that the Russian boot on their neck never felt very good. But maybe they did not need reminding, but for the Europeans I am afraid the disease has progressed to where no amount of medicine can cure them. Perhaps a credible threat to remove our troops from Germany and Italy would stir some action, but even that is doubtful.


"The irony of the Soviets purporting to support self-determination, though, while the irony of Europe giving it up, is a lot for my plate this AM."

I remember Hungary and Czechoslovakia,recently the dissident murdered in London,the Bear hasn't got an altruistic bone in its body.

The KGB was responsible for countless third world brush fires throughout the second half of the 20th century,the organisation may have changed its name but not its methods

glenda waggoner

Kim, Clarice and PeterUK: Yes, Georgians are bi-religious, but Putin
demands Orthodoxy(he like Karadzic uses the church for self-purpose not worship)

Also, what is your heart and head telling you about Karadzic and his claims
Holbrooke, Clinton, Albright, and Chirac
protected him?

By the way, I'm receiving aid pleas from local Serbian church to help "homeland"
oppressed...I wonder who they mean?


"he Europeans I am afraid the disease has progressed to where no amount of medicine can cure them".

Now the EU is ruled by a central surrender Commission,it will be a pushover.
Remember too,a lot of them are comrades,if Putin breaks out the Red Flag they will be like trained seals.


I'm about half serious that Putin may prefer McCain to Obama. McCain is predictable, whereas that piece of driftwood, Barack, might well find himself in a mess with the ego and madness to do something headstrong and very foolish.

A growling bear is good for McCain. Growling pussycats, er pumas, not so much.


Barry will go with the party line.


Heh, the Party's over. Papa Bear stirred in his sleep, dreaming of porridge bowls.


Glenda, the Karadzic claim sounds not incredible to me..The story is that the Brits had his phone tapped and picked him up planning to violate the Dayton accords so the boom was dropped. OTOH, we all know that he will live fairly comfortably in the Hague and die there before any trial is completed.


Here's a link to an article by a former Indian Ambassador to Uzbekistan: A new dividing line in Europe. The article, written in March, 2007, ties a lot of issues (oil, prominent among them) together. It should be no surprise that many of these converge in Georgia--or at least show that Georgia is a linchpin in the US strategy vis a vis Russia.


Anduril, I'd be interested to see what we are doing besides jaw jaw given our strong interests in the area. Israel has also been helping the Georgians because that pipeline supplies them. Are we helping the Ukraine hold the line? What exactly are we doing?

BTW, I think the stirring of the Russian bear is not good for the Dems, The perception (correct in my opinion) is that they are weak on defense and people were willing to ignore that when it appearing Russia was defanged and no longer seriously threatening its neighbors.
I got the idea that many Europeans were suddenly becoming aware of the Russian (energy) boot on their neck.


clarice, as I remarked earlier, it's not clear to me from what has happened so far, if we ever really had a contingency plan in case Russia got ugly. Read that article. You can argue all day whether our strategy re Russia is justified or not, but there seems little doubt that, given past history, Russia would view it as a very direct challenge and even a threat to its interests. If we are going to implement a strategy like that, you better be thinking a few moves ahead (to use the chess analogy). Ralph Peters talks about how long the Russian supply lines are, but they're still a helluva lot shorter than ours. Their military is pretty shabby compared to ours, but they also have a lot fewer commitments and their foreign policy is a lot more focused.


Russia escalates the conflict,America pulls out.



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