Say Hello To The Next Twenty Years

As this shit gets thrown back in our faces:

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the United States for viewing Georgia as the victim, instead of the aggressor, and for airlifting Georgian troops back home from Iraq on Sunday.

“Of course, Saddam Hussein ought to have been hanged for destroying several Shiite villages,” Putin said in Moscow. “And the incumbent Georgian leaders who razed ten Ossetian villages at once, who ran elderly people and children with tanks, who burned civilian alive in their sheds – these leaders must be taken under protection.”

Meanwhile, the poor bastards in Georgia can’t figure out why we have not come to their aid:

As a column of soldiers passed through Gori, a black-robed priest came out of his church and made the sign of the cross again and again.

One soldier, his face a mask of exhaustion, cradled a Kalashnikov.

“We killed as many of them as we could,” he said. “But where are our friends?”

It was the question of the day. As Russian forces massed Sunday on two fronts, Georgians were heading south with whatever they could carry. When they met Western journalists, they all said the same thing: Where is the United States? When is NATO coming?

Not anytime soon, it appears:

American diplomats have conceded that there are few options for dealing what President George W Bush has branded a ‘dangerous escalation’ by Russia and ruled out military intervention on behalf of Georgia.

There was more to this article when I read it this morning and bookmarked it, it appears to have been rewritten since. Regardless, there is no sign that help will be on the way anytime soon, and if Georgia feels used, they should. Why exactly have we been using Georgia as a proxy to irritate Russia, why have we been pushing for their admittance into NATO, and why may we have done this:

Mr Saakashvilli may also have banked on support from his closest ally, US president George W Bush, whose administration is said to have given tacit support for a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in the believe that the territory could be recaptured within 48 hours.

But as events have unfolded differently, Washington has offered Georgia – one of the largest contributors of troops in Iraq – little more than lukewarm vocal support.

In a demonstration of the fact that Georgia could be abandoned by its chief ally, President Bush warmly embraced Mr Putin at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing on Friday.

With the West apparently unwilling to participate in a proxy war with Russia at a time when relations with Moscow are already highly strained, Georgia now faces potential isolation in its conflict with its giant neighbour.

It seems to me Matt Yglesias is asking the right question:

So if I’m in the Georgian government and I see that by far the largest and most powerful NATO country wants us to be a member — wants to extend an Article V security guarantee to us even though they are well aware that this will infuriate Russia and that we have ongoing disputes with Russia over Abkhazia and South Ossetia — then maybe I reason that if our ongoing disputes with Russia over Abkhazia or South Ossetia heat up, that the U.S. will be willing to intervene. After all, if the U.S. isn’t willing to intervene on our behalf in case of a heated up conflict with Russia, then why is the U.S. eager to support our bid for NATO membership?

Now of course it turns out that the U.S. — quite properly — has no particular desire to intervene on Georgia’s behalf in their quest to regain control over their breakaway provinces. But given that we don’t want to back Georgia in these situations, then why were we so eager to support Georgia’s bid for NATO membership? John McCain’s top campaign officials on national security issues, Randy Scheunemann, actually worked as a lobbyist for the Georgian government so that’s his excuse for not thinking this through more thoroughly. But how about everyone else?

The answer, of course, was provided the other day by Daniel Larison. Georgia is just a pawn in our game:

There is a basic problem with having all these satellites whose interests we are supposed to protect. U.S. interests will often require our government to raise the hopes of small nations, only to dash them when our real priorities conflict with lending support to them. At the same time, to the extent that our government takes these obligations to numerous satellites seriously it requires compromising or limiting our ability to pursue policies in the American interest.

Saakashvili thought he was a player in the game, when really he was just the ball. In fact, because of our possible behind the scenes antics, not only may we have falsely emboldened the foolish leader of Georgia, we may be responsible for a large part of the perception of him in Russia:

Second, if Russia really is entering Georgia in force, it’s about to become a different sort of game altogether. Russia has no reason to do that unless it’s gunning for regime change. Attacking Gori is right at the bleeding edge of plausible self-defense; Gori is near the border, and has been the forward base for Georgian operations in South Ossetia. But going beyond Gori, landing forces on the Georgian coast, or attacking in force out of Abkhazia, would be something else again.

There are undoubtedly plenty of people in Moscow who’d like to try. Russia’s leaders view Saakashvili as obnoxious and dangerous: for American readers, it’s sort of like how conservative Republicans feel about Fidel Castro. You know how, for fifty years now, a certain minority of Americans have entertained fantasies about landing in Havana and slamming that sonofabitch up against the wall? Like that. Except the Russians have the power to actually do it.

At any rate, if you have any up to date news or links, post it in the comments. Right now, it appears that the Russians are still pretty much copying the Bush administration of DWTFTW, and they will stop when they are finished. Meanwhile, we don’t have much we can do about it, other than a laughable UN resolution. Again, I am not familiar with this region or the politics and just trying to piece together a picture of what is going on from what few blogs and news sources there are out there that are reliable and functioning as more than a propaganda organ for either the Russians, the Georgians, or Americans with their own agendas. If any of this stuff is way off base or inaccurate, let me know.

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177 replies
  1. 1
    Incertus says:

    I said this over at ObWi this morning–not to excuse Bush or anything, because I find it completely plausible that he or a member of his administration told Saakashvili that we’d have their back, but what was Saakashvili thinking by believing him? I mean, it’s kind of been in the news a lot the last few years that we’re stretched past the breaking point militarily. Where would we get troops to put in, assuming that we were willing to get involved in a shooting war with Russia in the first place?

  2. 2
    calipygian says:

    Anatol Lieven writes. You read.

    He literally wrote the book on Chechnya and is worth paying attention to.

  3. 3
    JL says:

    John, Condi was in Georgia on July 10th. We might not ever find out what the leader of Georgia and the Secretary of State said to each other, but because of the timing, it does cause some speculation.

  4. 4
    Dreggas says:

    Gee, didn’t daddy give tacit permission for Iraq to take Kuwait in the 90’s then it blew up in his face? (Or at least looked the other way initially)

    Sounds familiar.

  5. 5
    calipygian says:

    The funny thing about Lieven’s 1998 book on Chechnya is that it was named “Chechnya: Tombstone of Russian Power”

    Guess it needs a new sub-title.

  6. 6

    From the BBC website:

    “This is a total onslaught,” Georgia’s National Security Council secretary Alexander Lomaia told the AFP news agency, adding that Georgian troops were pulling back to defend Tbilisi.

    Russia’s defence ministry quickly issued a statement rejecting the claim, saying there were none of its troops in Gori.

    Later, a spokesman for the Georgian interior ministry told the BBC that there had never been Russian troops in Gori.

    He said the Russian Army had taken up a position just outside the town after destroying a military base and admitted the Georgian army had fled the area without putting up a fight.

    +++

    The Ruskies are spending just enough time across the border to break every shiny toy that Bush gave Saakashvilli: radar stations, tanks, military latrines that electrocute you. They’ll leave the pipeline in place, as long as the West doesn’t escalate things.

    Putin doesn’t have to do any more to bring about a regime change, if he even wants one. The current putz in office has pretty much done enough on his own.

  7. 7
    JL says:

    I have a question for the military folks. The Georgian troops have already returned to their home country from Iraq. Wouldn’t it take some time to move out 2000 troops?

  8. 8
    TenguPhule says:

    Condi was in Georgia on July 10th.

    Pity she still isn’t there. It would do her good to be in the middle of it for once.

  9. 9
    TenguPhule says:

    When will people learn? If Bush says he thinks of you as a friend, what he really means is you’re his gimp.

  10. 10
    bud says:

    Saakashvilli: “But I thought we’d be greeted as liberators!”

  11. 11
    phobos says:

    Meanwhile, the poor bastards in Georgia can’t figure out why we have not come to their aid

    What, our geopolitical interests aren’t clear enough?

    The recipe has been out there for a while.

  12. 12
    JL says:

    My ex said that he still wanted to be friends and I asked what would we do together as friends. He was speechless. That’s like Bush. He wants to be friends as long as it does not expend any of his energy.

  13. 13
    Wilfred says:

    Shorter everybody:

    We fucked them, now they should just stay fucked, like good little niggers.

    There is a basic problem with having all these satellites whose interests we are supposed to protect. U.S. interests will often require our government to raise the hopes of small nations, only to dash them when our real priorities conflict with lending support to them. At the same time, to the extent that our government takes these obligations to numerous satellites seriously it requires compromising or limiting our ability to pursue policies in the American interest.

    Outstanding tut-tutting. How about a few definitions? Maybe we can start with ‘real priorities’ and ‘policies in the American interest’.

  14. 14
    JasonF says:

    Has anyone checked to make sure our ambassador to Georgia isn’t April Glaspie?

  15. 15
    flavortext says:

    The BBC is reporting that Russian troops have entered Georgia from Abkhazia. Looks like it’s going to be “regime change”.

  16. 16
    John Cole says:

    Yeah, Wilfred. That is what we are saying. Are you just trying to queer every fucking thread you can?

    All we are doing is examining what is going on- we are, you know, not in any position to do anything to help. At this point, you are little more than a keyboard commando. Go fucking fly to Georgia and five them a hand, you loudmouth.

  17. 17
    binzinerator says:

    Mr Saakashvilli may also have banked on support from his closest ally, US president George W Bush, whose administration is said to have given tacit support for a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in the believe that the territory could be recaptured within 48 hours.

    I can’t help but shake the feeling Bush and Cheney did this as much for domestic politics as anything else. Why provoke the Russians so sorely? I think the Bushies wanted to revive the right’s chances for another 4 years of Bushism. Seriously, they fucking want war, they think war plays well for them and any sane response to this stupidity they will shout down as being ‘appeasement’ and ‘weak’, which reinforces their narrative on Dems.

    Would Dick and Dubya instigate a war to get a boost for their party? Need I even ask that question? This is the sociopathic fuck who wanted to be ‘the war president’ because our greatest presidents were war presidents.

    The banality of evil. People just don’t want to believe it exists, especially in the White House.

  18. 18
    Rex says:

    Every so often you have to pick up a shitty little country and throw it against the wall just to show people that you mean business.

  19. 19

    There’s enough cynicism in this to go around.

    The Russians issued passports to tens of thousands of Ossetes and then declared them to be Russian citizens in the hope that Georgia would provide them with a pretext for military action.

    Saakashvilli assumed that the West would come to his aid if his actions against the Ossetes provoked Russia. He was more than happy to play “Let’s you and him fight.”

    The US administration just can’t quit poking the bear with a stick, whether it’s ABM bases in ex-SSR’s or encouraging Saakashvilli to stand up to the Russians.

    In the mean time, tens of thousands become refugees and numbers are killed while the super powers play chicken.

  20. 20
    magisterludi says:

    I think there’s Cold War nostalgia going on in some circles. It was so much easier to sell than the Global War on Terror. The whole Muslim angle was counter- productive, as it turned out. McCarthy had the right idea.

    Oh for the good old days when we lived under the comforting umbrella of mutually assured destruction…

  21. 21
    Partisan says:

    ” And it should be said that as of today Russia seems to be going beyond anything that could be justified as a response to Georgia’s provocation in South Ossetia.”

    I keep seeing variations on this theme in the blogs.

    As of this morning, the Georgians were still shelling Tskhinvali.

    Instead of going for an encirclement of Tskhinvali and a seizure of the Roki Tunnel, which is the logical strategy if you want to keep South Ossetia and the Ossetians in Georgia, the Georgians went for massive collateral damage and ethnic cleansing, leaving the Roki Tunnel open as an avenue to drive the South Ossetians out of South Ossetia.

    Last Friday, the Russian proposal for a ceasefire to the UN Security Council was shot down by Britian and the US on Georgia’s behalf, because it required that both sides renounce the use of force in solving the dispute.

    Rice was in high level talks with the Georgians two weeks ago. Last week, Saakashvilli was very busy, signing a peace treaty and limited Sovereignity agreement with the South Ossetians at the same time they were putting the finishing touches on their Invasion Plans, he still had time to meet with an unnamed high level US State Department official.

    When the Bear got involved, the Georgians alternated between declaring victory, claiming they were withdrawing from South Ossetia and declaring a ceasfeire, while Georgian troops were still in South Ossetia and still shelling and rocketing Tskhinvali and other South Ossetian towns.

    There are still Georgian Forces fighting in South Ossetia as of today, although it appears that Russian Forces will have pushed them out and completed mopping up operations by Wednesday or Thursday

    The Georgians histronically claimed that the Russians were attacking Gori, and Faux, CNN, ABC, AP et al, all confirmed this, but the reality, according to the only Western Media with actual reporters in Gori, (The Times and Reuters) is that the Georgians abandoned the city in a panic to mere rumours of Russians,

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/t.....509692.ece

    BTW, the Grad Rockets, Helecopter Gunships, SU-25 Attack bombers and 155mm artillary shells that have been indiscriminately pounding Tskhinvali for 5 days now, right up to the Georgian abandonment of Gori, came from Gori and positions around Gori.

    IMHO, the Russians will have “gone beyond justified” when they turn Tbilisi into another Grodzny. So far, the Russians have been very restrained in their response, a restraint that we have never seen the US manage. Georgian TV is still on the air, phone lines, water systems, cell phones, Georgian Radio are all, still on the air. Aside from a apartment building in Gori, across the road from the Georgian Airbase in Gori, there has been “no” collateral damage.

    This ain’t no Shock and Awe, unless your shock comes from seeing the Russian Army wage war surgically and your awe is based in how restrained the Russian response has been.

    Exile on Line has a couple of very good posts on not only the War so Far, but the propaganda campaign that Georgia has engaged in.

    http://exiledonline.com/

    Of course the Georgians are being hung out to dry, and from the latest pronouncements by the Talking Heads, it appears that the Georgians are expected to fight to the last drop of Georgian blood, (but not Saakashvilli’s, he’s an American Corporate Lawyer) just to prove the evil neocon meme about the Russian Menace.

    The Russian demands are pretty simple. Georgian military, political and police withdrawl from South Osettia and Abkhazia, a DMZ of some sort to protect South Osettia and Abkhazia from further Georgian treachery, and peace treaty where both sides refute the use of force in settling their differences.

    Contrary to what the Western Presstitutes have reported, the Russians are not asking for Saakashvilli’s head, they are just pointing out that the agreement will have to be made with someone else, as Saakashvilli can not be trusted to keep his word or hold to a treaty. Russia would probably be willing to have the US or the EU, act to guarantee the agreement, with more trustworthy Georgian Government Officials onside.

  22. 22
    Wilfred says:

    Go fuck yourself, John. You surrendered your last neuron assigned to critical thinking when you started posting crap like this.

    You’re posting this shit which politicizes this issue at the expense of a people who are going to learn what the Russians did in Chechnya and you call it being objective. All to score political points.

    The unstated satisfaction behind the collective smirk coming you and these commenters is the following: This is good for the Democrats.

    How I do know that? You quote Yglesias without blinking an eye when he brings up McCain’s campaign aide.

    You quote Putin as if nothing could be thrown back in the face of the Russians. Unbelievable.

    Well when Georgian kids grow hating Americans for leading them on and doing absolutely nothing to help when they needed it, I hope they take revenge on the right people.

    In the meantime, fuck off.

  23. 23
    John Cole says:

    Wilfred,

    You are a grade A drama queen. Now go sit on your couch and tell yourself that you care more for everyone in Georgia than anyone else, just because you do. really, that is what will make you feel better.

    Maybe you can pen another stern resolution to be voted down by the security council, because that will save more lives in the region.

    Jackass.

  24. 24

    Wilfred’s heart bleeds so much for so many that not a drop makes it to his head.

  25. 25

    […] I’m not going to pretend to have any insider knowledge of the Georgian/Russian conflict over South Ossetia, which is why I’ve stayed mum about the topic. Balloon Juice has a good rundown of events today, and the Newshoggers have been tracking the story for almost a week now. Between reading them, Wikipedia, and a random Power Line post that was informative though maybe delusional in that “Let’s kick former commie ass!” rightwing kind of way, I’m left with a few questions… […]

  26. 26
    JL says:

    John, Unfortunately Wilfred only listens to Rush and Sean, those great historians of the right wing. By the way did Sean or Rush even go to college?

  27. 27
    Ben Richards says:

    Wow. We are in Wilfred’s spittle zone WITHOUT a mention of the Jews! I guess it was only a matter of time.

    I vote for a Wilfred/Partisan cage match. Wilfred goes down in the third – verbal TKO.

  28. 28
    Shouting at the Rain says:

    Is there anybody who George Bush hasn’t fucked?

  29. 29
    JL says:

    Is there anybody who George Bush hasn’t fucked?

    Maybe Wilfred because he’s acting up again.

  30. 30
    Alan says:

    Or Wilfred liked it.

  31. 31
    calipygian says:

    Is there anybody who George Bush hasn’t fucked?

    His twins, I hope.

  32. 32
    gocart mozart says:

    “Well when Georgian kids grow hating Americans for leading them on and doing absolutely nothing to help when they needed it, I hope they take revenge on the right people.” says Wilfred.

    If he means “people on the right”, i.e Republicans, I agree with him. Although he is still an asshole who should go fuck himself.

  33. 33
    nightjar says:

    I’m betting on partisan being right in his information. I think Putin will punish the Georgians with destruction of their military infrastructure, maybe cut the country in half for awhile to send an unmistakable message to the west, that if you fuck with us on our western border states, there will be a price to pay.

    Georgia is not Chechnya and Putin would be a fool to permanently annex a country astraddle the European Continent. It would put in jeopardy all the increasing bourgeois niceties the Russian people are getting used to. The only sticking point would be their ultimatum that Saakashvilli be removed, as that would likely be a step to far for Putin.

    After that, the Russians will withdraw from Georgia proper, but occupy Ossetia at least until reliable foreign peacekeepers can be found. That’s about the best case scenario to resolve the situation.

  34. 34
    4tehlulz says:

    “Well when Georgian kids grow hating Americans for leading them on and doing absolutely nothing to help when they needed it, I hope they take revenge on the right people.” says Wilfred.

    Well, if they continue to pattern themselves after Dear Leader, Iran better look out!

  35. 35
    Partisan says:

    Damned if I know why Saakashvilli went ahead with this and the US, Britain and Isreal egged him on.

    Perhaps because as a US Corporate Lawyer he is as dumb as a post.

    Perhaps, because he never was popular, or really elected. He was brought to power in one of those hack the vote Foundation for Democracy soft coups replacing someone who was more realistic about balancing relations with the West and Russia.

    Perhaps his cultish affection for Beria and Stalin lead to delusions of grandeur and power far beyond his means.

    Reclaiming the enclaves with armed force was popular with the Georgian public and military. The US and Islraeli trainers kept noteing that the Georgian recruits and Officers were all were gung ho to turn their new weapons and training on the enclaves.

    Obviously, the Georgian Plan was never run by the US Military Advisors in country, or in the pentagon, because the Georgians were being trained up and armed up for a counter insurgency, first and foremost, for deployment to Iraq. They were not being armed and trained to take on the Bear.

    There was a possibility of the Georgian Military retaking South Ossetia, but it required bypassing the Russian Peacekeepers, seizing or destroying the Roki tunnel, and preferably in the fall when the winter would render all other roads impassable. That would leave the South Ossetian’s and the Russian Peacekeepers cut off from resupply, other than by air, and by avoiding conlct with the Russian peackeepers, simply render them hostage to a negotiated settlemet.

    However, this still meant losing all possibilty of ever regaining Abkhazia, peacefully or otherwise.

    Instead, the Georgian Military went for vengance and ethnic cleansing.

    Perhaps all that money that Saakashvilli was spending on arms, and being given in arms, went to his head.

    As the Russian Minister for Foreign Affairs pointed out last week, if the Georgians had taken 10% of their arms budget, and instead, spent it on infrastructure and development in South Ossetia, the South Ossetians would have been more than happy to stay in georgia. After all, that would be more money spent in a single year, than anybody has ever spent in South Ossetia. Instead, the South Ossetians look over the border to North Ossetia, where multi million dollar developments are raising everybody up, and Sochi, where the Olympic Winter Games building have created a boom, and then look around at home where no Georgian Government has ever bothered to spend a ruble.

    Saakashvilli is not going to do anything meaningfull to stop this war, ( see the list of Russian demands above), as people are still whispering in his ear, (The US has chartered Victor Blunt’s heavy lift aircraft to rush arms and ammo, even stripping the Iraqi Army and Afghan Army allotments) to keep this war going. Besides, he has a jet out, a Penthouse Apartment in New York City, a US Passport, and probably some of that Wingnut welfare.

    Britain, the US and Isreal will do nothing to stop this war. They will keep it going as long as they can, blocking the UNSC, making rediculous demands like a return to the status quo, no harm, no foul, rushing in arms and ammo, masturbating away their war-ons to their war porn, just like the Lebanon War, until somebody calls it quits.

    which will probably be some members of the Georgian Military and Government taking Saakashvilli out behind a shed in Tblisi somewhere and putting a bullet in his head, then acceding to the very reasonable Russian demands.

  36. 36
    dbrown says:

    It looks like the Russian’s don’t want this to be Chechnya. They are not attacking all sections of the country, and unbelievably – they are allowing foreign correspondents in among their soldiers (and I have notice these reporters are among troops moving forward and the Russian soldiers are paying them no mind) – that is really strange for the Russians. Apparently, they do not plain on the mass killings that occurred in Chechnya nor send Georgia back to the stone age like we did with Iraq and Serbia.
    Looks like Georgia might get off easy compared to our attacks or the bloody slaughter by the Russians in Chechnya.

    Hope Georgians realize who never to trust – repubics, neocons and their puppet king bushwhack.

    Of course we never signed any military treaties with them and so I am at a lost total lost to understand why they think we own them anything? Because butt-hole cheney is a blood thirsty monster who directs bush in what to do and they believed the stupid lies of bushwhack? Did they think we had the money, prestige and military power to help them? More like cheney just wants to tie Russia down in Georgia but it looks like the Russians may not be biting that bait but we will soon see.

  37. 37
    Wilfred says:

    You are a grade A drama queen. Now go sit on your couch and tell yourself that you care more for everyone in Georgia than anyone else, just because you do. really, that is what will make you feel better.

    You drunk fool – you’re still spouting the assigned meme. if someone challenges our inaction say that they don’t really care about Georgians – correct?

    Ok, How many black people lived in your house after Katrina, asshole? You didn’t re-enlist when you championed the war in Iraq, even when you believed the best interests of the United States were involved. Did you?

    Hypocrisy is the last refuge of a man who can’t think for himself. He just spews the latest crap that someone dumps in his head, and erases his past with his brain cells.

    Me go to Georgia? Well as it turns out a certain government agency has given me a pretty good contract to do some bridge repairing, metaphorically speaking, in a certain Middle Eastern country where the native language is not Hebrew and which is an extremely important strategic ally of the US. That’s where I’m going to be quite shortly, motherfucker .

    Oh, and if you think I’m a liar be prepared to bet the deed to your house – that goes for anybody else. Fair play’s a jewel.

  38. 38
    RAM says:

    This is the Bush family M.O. to a T. George H.W. did the same thing to the Shiias after Desert Storm. Now Little W is doing the same to the Georgians.

    Got to give them credit, though. They really know how to start wars, those Bushes. Have your ambassador tell Saddam Kuwait is not a vital U.S. interest; decide all that Iraqi oil needs to be owned by some moron in a cowboy hat wearing $2,000 boots; make those poor sods in Georgia believe they could actually stand up to Russia.

    Bush is playing with the big boys this time, not some tinhorn dictator. This dictator is solid gold, and means to stuff various sharp objects up W’s nether regions.

  39. 39
    Marshall says:

    The US administration just can’t quit poking the bear with a stick, whether it’s ABM bases in ex-SSR’s or encouraging Saakashvilli to stand up to the Russians.

    To be picky, neither were SSRs (Soviet Socialist Republics). Poland was the RPL (the People’s Republic of Poland) and Czechoslovakia was the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic (CSR). Both had a pretend multi-party system; there were other parties with no power whatsoever except for the power to take bribes from the government. The Soviet Union (USSR) didn’t even have that.

  40. 40
    4tehlulz says:

    Well as it turns out a certain government agency

    Mossad?

  41. 41
    John Cole says:

    Ok, How many black people lived in your house after Katrina, asshole? You didn’t re-enlist when you championed the war in Iraq, even when you believed the best interests of the United States were involved. Did you?

    You are an angry, sad, pathetic, fool.

    Lashing out at me for the sins of others makes you not only foolish, but pretty pathetic. By the way, have you managed to come up with a list of things we could do beyond your vague “resolution and economic sanctions?” I was real impressed with all the thought you put into that.

    Admittedly, I am sure he Georgians are reassured that you have their back- you are savaging some random blogger for covering the situation and proposing economic sanctions. They will be out of this jam in no time with help like that!

    And I still do not know what the asssigned meme is, or who assigned it, or who else is repeating said meme. Could you fill me in?

  42. 42
    The Moar You Know says:

    We fucked them, now they should just stay fucked, like good little niggers.

    You’ve probably smashed those pearls from clutching them so hard. Look, they fucked themselves. Nobody else.

    I can muster some sympathy for Saakashvilli while at the same time be awed by his seemingly limitless capacity for self-delusion. If we sent our armed forces into Cuba, what the fuck does any sane person think Russia would do? You’re damn right – protest a lot and stay home, same as we are.

    Saakashvilli is supposedly smart, and I would imagine that sometime in the last eight years he’s picked up a newspaper or watched CNN. How you could do this and not be aware that the United States is all about nothing but noble talk and all self-interested action is beyond me.

    He made a bad decision and now a lot of innocent people (and a lot of not-so-innocent people) are going to pay the price.

  43. 43
    JL says:

    Wilfred, What do the relocated people from New Orleans have to do with Georgia. You really need to start reading newspapers and books and stay away from Sean, he’s not good for your health and you come across like a bumbling idiot.

  44. 44

    flavortext, I wouldn’t catastrophize. The Russians appear to be going just far enough across the Georgian border to destroy military targets so this thing doesn’t repeat itself any time soon. I would expect plenty of destruction of roads and bridges between the runaways and Georgia.

    I’m still curious about the rumor that the Russians have recovered bodies of Americans. Perhaps CIA “trainers” showing the Georgians how to throw grenades into basements.

    Of course, there are rumors of war off of the Iran coast too. Never too many wars.

  45. 45
    dbrown says:

    Wifred – good luck but watch your back

  46. 46
    PC says:

    And I still do not know what the asssigned meme is, or who assigned it, or who else is repeating said meme. Could you fill me in?

    I think it involves SHI- SHI- SHI-. SHI- SHI- SHI- SHI- SHI-.

  47. 47
    The Moar You Know says:

    Oh, and if you think I’m a liar be prepared to bet the deed to your house – that goes for anybody else.

    I think you’re a liar.

    Hey, look, still got the deed to my house! Whaddaya know?

  48. 48
    Tsulagi says:

    As this shit gets thrown back in our faces

    Cue Condi: “No one could ever have imagined…”

    Meanwhile, the poor bastards in Georgia can’t figure out why we have not come to their aid

    Dumb shits. Before 9/11 the Chinese and Putin knew we have us a paper cowboy.

    Is there anybody who George Bush hasn’t fucked?

    His twins, I hope.

    I hope so too. Wetsuits, dildoes, diapers, gay/straight/tranny hookers aside, you’d like to think there is a floor for those paragons of family values.

  49. 49
    John S. says:

    Wilfred-

    I’m totally with you, partner.

    Now what I what to know is what are those goddamn Israelis up to? You know those sons-of-bitches are behind this in some way, amirite?

  50. 50
    John Cole says:

    I am serious. All Wilfred has done is lash out at me for trying to figure out what the hell is going on, and claim we can’t just fuck these people and let them die. I don’t understand the first part, but agree with the second part, we have to do something, I just don’t know what we can do. And I have not seen anything anywhere listing credible options for us, and that is on top of the fact that there really does not seem to be ANY real signs of urgency coming from this administration.

    Cheney has sputtered that the aggression can not stand, and we have issued some strongly worded statements, but other than that, bupkus. Christ on a crutch, Bush is still at the fucking Olympics passing the time with Bob Costas.

    And somehow, I am to blame in the eyes of Wilfred. I don’t get it.

  51. 51
    Wilfred says:

    By the way, have you managed to come up with a list of things we could do beyond your vague “resolution and economic sanctions?”

    Well, since you’re incapable of thinking youself sure, why not?

    How about a bipartisan resolution recognizing the support Georgia has given us in Iraq and condemning the Russian disporoportionate use of force? How’s that?

    How about this? Craft a variation of the Johnson-Vanik amendment to support Georgia and any other nominal if not treaty friend of the US?

    How about Suspending Russian’s most favored nation status until it withdraws from any parts of Georgia that it occupies?

    How’s that for starters?

    Lashing out at me for the sins of others makes you not only foolish, but pretty pathetic.

    You’re not that important, John, for me to give about you. I will tell you one thing in a friendly way. the first post I made here with this tag was to say that I come to the same conclusions that you did about the Republicans. You could look it up if you want.

    The mistake you made is that you threw the baby out with the bathwater. Only a goddmamned coward runs out on a friend without putting up a fight, and that’s what these commenters are pushing. Non servium.

    Admittedly, I am sure he Georgians are reassured that you have their back- you are savaging some random blogger for covering the situation and proposing economic sanctions.

    Gee, John here’s fucking kleenex. It’s not you, ti’s what you’re passing on.

  52. 52
    phobos says:

    Wilfred Says: Well as it turns out a certain government agency has given me a pretty good contract to do some bridge repairing, metaphorically speaking, in a certain Middle Eastern country where the native language is not Hebrew and which is an extremely important strategic ally of the US.

    Hmm…naah, that’s too obvious.

    Oh, and if you think I’m a liar be prepared to bet the deed to your house – that goes for anybody else. Fair play’s a jewel.

    That’s some awesome bargaining there Wilfred. Throw in a few camels and I might be tempted.

  53. 53
    Michael Gass says:

    Why would Bush push for Georgia to be part of NATO? That is obvious; as a part of NATO, it brings another country into the “fold”, and, one that is right on the border to Russia. That way, we could possibly have put that new anti-missile system into place like they are trying to get into Poland.

    How does the U.S. gain from Georgia and Russia fighting? The U.S. doesn’t… but the arms dealers do. Remember that the top 5 countries in the world selling arms are the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council.

  54. 54
    Wilfred says:

    Hey, look, still got the deed to my house! Whaddaya know?

    If you have any real balls, take the bet. If not, don’t interfere when two men talk.

    Now what I what to know is what are those goddamn Israelis up to? You know those sons-of-bitches are behind this in some way, amirite?

    John, I’ll leave it to somebody else to tell you how much you just made a fool of yourself.

  55. 55
    John Cole says:

    How about a bipartisan resolution recognizing the support Georgia has given us in Iraq and condemning the Russian disporoportionate use of force? How’s that?

    How about this? Craft a variation of the Johnson-Vanik amendment to support Georgia and any other nominal if not treaty friend of the US?

    How about Suspending Russian’s most favored nation status until it withdraws from any parts of Georgia that it occupies?

    How’s that for starters?

    Sure. I will get right on those.

    Are you starting to get the point? You are lashing out at me for shit I have no control over. I have no problem with a bi-partisan resolution. I have no problem suspending MFN status. But none of it is going to change what is going on right now, as the problem is deeper than that. Those grunts running for there lives past Gori- this isn’t going to help them one bit.

    Additionally, you spelled disproportionate incorrectly. Is this where I am supposed to call you a drunk?

  56. 56

    Well as it turns out a certain government agency has given me a pretty good contract to do some bridge repairing, metaphorically speaking, in a certain Middle Eastern country where the native language is not Hebrew and which is an extremely important strategic ally of the US.

    If you’re as judgmental, superior, obnoxious and foulmouthed in that Middle Eastern country as you are here then I suggest that you keep the motor running.

  57. 57
    nightjar says:

    Hypocrisy is the last refuge of a man who can’t think for himself. He just spews the latest crap that someone dumps in his head, and erases his past with his brain cells.

    Your the person that just recently declared your always for the little country over the big one, or some such. What kind of independent critical thinking is that. It’s a childish and emotional way to see events in any kind of thoughtful way. Sorry, but I think we’ve been trying here at BJ to find the underlying truth of this situation without axes to grind, especially yours.

  58. 58
    4tehlulz says:

    How about a bipartisan resolution recognizing the support Georgia has given us in Iraq and condemning the Russian disporoportionate use of force? How’s that?

    Not far enough. It needs to be in the form of a strongly worded letter.

  59. 59
    Partisan says:

    John,

    why should the Russians or the South Ossetians be subject to any form of sanctions ?

    They did not start this war, and they are not the ones stopping it from ending.

    The Government and Georgian people picked this fight and are the ones stopping it from ending. All they have to do to stop this war is stop killing South Ossetians, withdraw their Military, Paramilitary and Police Forces from South Ossetia, agree to a DMZ to protect South Ossetia from further acts of treachery, and renounce the use of force in settling the issue of South Ossetian Independance and Abkhazian Independance.

    The South Ossetians have never been Georgians and since independance, have not wanted to be Georgian. Other than during a brief period of Georgian Independance in the 1920’s, when nationalist Georgia made Imperialsit britian look like slakers with their gobbling up of neighbors, the South Ossetians have either been a self Governing district, or part of North Ossetia.

    Contrary to what the talking heads and the Presstitues of the West are saying, the Russian are not demanding South Ossetian Independance or Abkhazian Independance.

    It is a given that South Ossetians will demand Independance and Abkhazian’s will demand Independance, but that is to be expected when the only economic development Georgia has offered them is the liberal distribution of high explosives and the only self government is the choice between being shot on their feet, or shot in their beds.

    Georgia has had decades in which to take the high road with the South Ossetians and Abkhazians, and the economic development to make it the preferred choice for those peoples, but every chance she has had, she has taken the low road, genocide, ethnic cleansing and war.

    Georgia does not want the South Ossetian’s, nor do they want the Abkhazian’s. They just want the land these people have lived on since the 12th and 14th centuries. They would much prefer that the South Ossetians, and the Abkhazian’s, were extinct, but as a second choice would like to see them all as refugee’s in Russia.

    As much as it goes against our pavlovian Cold War reactions here, the Russians have the moral high ground here.

  60. 60
    dbrown says:

    Georgians are not our friends and most definitely not our allies in any true sense of the word – if someone only helps you to get aid and backing to launch an extremely dangerous gamble that can cost you your own life for reasons that are only based on the need to kill other people for reasons that are truly evil – that is neither an ally or friend. We owe Georgia only what we gave them (verbal support) and they only gave what they did to get enough power to slaughter Ossetia people and drive them out of their homes – that is not moral and I do not see why we need to help (except for food/medical aid.)
    Military aid? That would only kill more Georgians and achieve a warm fuzzy for neocons as others bleed and die for their comfort.

  61. 61
    4tehlulz says:

    If you’re as judgmental, superior, obnoxious and foulmouthed in that Middle Eastern country as you are here then I suggest that you keep the motor running.

    At least he’ll fit right in with the other Bush administration hires.

  62. 62
    Jody says:

    I’m with Partisan.

    And Wilfred’s a veritable lawn sprinkler of verbal diarrhea.

  63. 63
    iluvsummr says:

    South Ossetians nearly unanimously approved a referendum on November 12, 2006 opting for independence from Georgia. The referendum was hugely popular, winning between 98 and 99 percent of the ballots, flag waving and celebration marked were seen across South Ossetia, but elsewhere observers were less enthusiastic. International critics claimed that the move could worsen regional tensions, and the Tblisi government thoroughly discounted the results.

    Still trying to understand the historical context of what’s going on with South Ossetia and Georgia (the blockquoted text is from Wikipedia). Is there in international law a legal way for a region of a country to secede/declare independence? Lieven’s article indicates that the South Ossetians have wanted to unite with the North Ossetians (North Ossetia is now a republic of Russia), and have died to achieve this goal, since at least 1918.

    It’s kind of hard to know who/what to believe at this point; each side spinning its own story (Russia says it’s saving Ossetians from genocide/ethnic cleansing, Georgia claims unprovoked aggression from Russia as it tries to reclaim its rightful territory). We are suffering from a dearth of journalists well-versed in what’s going on outside the US who can put events in proper context. That was a problem in the lead-up to Iraq, and that will continue to be a problem. As long as the rest of the world is deemed too insignificant for careful study, lots of tactical and strategic mistakes will be made by the US. Saakashvili is suffering the consequences of this, unfortunately.

  64. 64
    maxbaer (not the original) says:

    Apparently, Wilfred has delusions of John Cole’s grandeur. More powerful than the wizard of Oz, I tells ya.

  65. 65
    w vincentz says:

    In my humble view, this has a lot to do with Abkhazia that is now involved in securing the Kodori Gorge. It’s the other end of the pipeline. Now that Russia controls both ends, it looks like they have Europe by the nuts. By controlling Europe’s energy, they realized Adolph H’s “wet dream”, the one that Rommel almost attained.
    But, heck, what do I know?

    OK…now back to the food fight with John C and Wilfred.
    Entertaining, no?

  66. 66
    Wilfred says:

    I have no problem with a bi-partisan resolution. I have no problem suspending MFN status. But none of it is going to change what is going on right now, as the problem is deeper than that.

    You asked me for suggestions, I gave you some. The Russian Federation has pissed and moaned for years about the Johnson-Vanik amendment – it’s worth a shot.

    Creeps like Yglesias are the Democratic Party equivalent of ratfuckers, out to exploit the crisis for political ends. That’s why they project their insipid comments about not caring about Georgians on people who call for some sort of response. The don’t want this to end in any way other than what they can chalk up as another debacle for Bush and McCain, hence the gratuitous association of McCain’s aide with what’s going on. Is he behind it? And how many black people did Yglesias take in after Katrina?

    If you’re as judgmental, superior, obnoxious and foulmouthed in that Middle Eastern country as you are here then I suggest that you keep the motor running.

    Gee, go fornicate yourself.

    Sorry, but I think we’ve been trying here at BJ to find the underlying truth of this situation without axes to grind, especially yours.

    Now that’s some hot air! You have shot down any attempt at a solution -has anyone but me even offered one? You have been relentlessly negative and hopeless from the start. You haven’t done a goddamned thing except wank on about how Bush started everything and now we can’t do anything, anything! because it might lead to thermonuclear war.

  67. 67
    calipygian says:

    I thought this was John’s blog.

    If it were mine, Wilfred would have been gone a long time ago.

    I do admire John’s willingness to tolerate fucking idiots though.

  68. 68
    The Moar You Know says:

    You have shot down any attempt at a solution -has anyone but me even offered one?

    Try “minding our own business”.

  69. 69
    jake says:

    Meanwhile, the poor bastards in Georgia can’t figure out why we have not come to their aid:

    Two words: No. Oil.

    Saakashvili thought he was a player in the game, when really he was just the ball.

    Um. Yeah. Surely I’m not the only one questioning the intelligence of anyone who would believe the Smirking Schmuck in Chief.

    Guns don’t get people killed. Idiot leaders do.

  70. 70
    t jasper parnell says:

    God alone, or her near equivalent knows, if he is right but Gorby blames Georgia.

  71. 71
    jack fate says:

    Cheney has sputtered that the aggression can not stand, and we have issued some strongly worded statements, but other than that, bupkus.

    Aw, c’mon, John. We just gave them 250-large.

    The United States has made available 250,000 dollars in aid for ally Georgia aimed at providing emergency supplies for thousands of people affected by the Georgia-Russia conflict, the State Department said Monday.

    The United States began bringing the urgently needed humanitarian aid to Georgia, but “it is expected that supplies (distributed by the US embassy in Tbilisi) will be exhausted by the end of the day” Monday, State Department spokesman Robert Wood said.

    Shit, that’s like 15 minutes of the Iraq War! We’re taking care of our friends. . . [sigh]

    Seriously. John, excellent posts. I’m not sure I totally agree with your initial analysis, but then I’m not sure I can totally figure out what-the-fuck is going on. The more I read about it, the phrase “oh fuck” keeps popping up in my head.

    Hey, at least the President seems to be enjoying his Olympic vacation. We can be thankful for that. . .

    [I picked a lousy fucking day to quit drinking.]

  72. 72
    nightjar says:

    Now that’s some hot air! You have shot down any attempt at a solution -has anyone but me even offered one?

    A solution for what? The stupidity of the Georgian president for attacking Russian Peacekeepers that he (Georgia) had signed an international agreement for them to be in Ossetia with the express purpose of protecting the populace. You want sympathy for this behavour, start blogging at the Weekly Standard or National Review. Arguably, by international laws of war, Russia can conquer the country that attacked it’s soldiers/ That’s the solution and it was given to Putin by the Georgian government the minute they fired the first artillery shot into Ossetia. As to how far Russia goes now, we will have to wait and see.

  73. 73
    Wilfred says:

    I do admire John’s willingness to tolerate fucking idiots though.

    Well, that’s why you’re here, darling.

    Actually, Cole asked me to stay after I left. All he has to do is take back the invitation. No hard feelings on my part. Then all the drones like you who need the feel of cloth and feel threatened by someone who doesn’t can be happy.

  74. 74
    ThatLeftTurnInABQ says:

    We are suffering from a dearth of journalists well-versed in what’s going on outside the US who can put events in proper context. That was a problem in the lead-up to Iraq, and that will continue to be a problem. As long as the rest of the world is deemed too insignificant for careful study, lots of tactical and strategic mistakes will be made by the US. Saakashvili is suffering the consequences of this, unfortunately.

    What really sucks is that at times like this it would be really helpful to have somebody who is an expert on Russia at the helm in the US State Dept., seeing as how this whole episode was totally predictable from the point of view of anybody who has a college level education in Political Science or History and knows a thing or two about Russian history and how relations between them and the tribes and states in the Caucasus region have developed over the last couple of centuries, but sadly, no…

  75. 75
    Wilfred says:

    Arguably, by international laws of war, Russia can conquer the country that attacked it’s soldiers/

    Well, are you arguing this or not? If you are, does that mean that it should apply to whatever country acts as the aggressor, or is this just limited to Georgia?

  76. 76
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    What really sucks is that at times like this it would be really helpful to have somebody who is an expert on Russia at the helm in the US State Dept., seeing as how this whole episode was totally predictable from the point of view of anybody who has a college level education in Political Science or History and knows a thing or two about Russian history and how relations between them and the tribes and states in the Caucasus region have developed over the last couple of centuries, but sadly, no…

    I was all set to advise my boyfri- er- the President, but Cheney and McCain beat me to the Batphone.

  77. 77
    nightjar says:

    Actually, Cole asked me to stay after I left. All he has to do is take back the invitation. No hard feelings on my part.

    Let me get this straight Wilfred. You quit BJ and John Cole invited you back because he liked your voice, as I recall. Now you come back and punish Cole and now say you’ll leave again if only he takes back his invitation. Your either a sloppy mean spirited drunk or just a sick fuck naturally. And I do take back the nice things I said about you. Fuck off wanker.

  78. 78
    Doug H. (Fausto no more) says:

    Dammit, I used the wrong brackets. Throw a [Condi] up there.

  79. 79
    Paul L. says:

    Surprised to see that John’s red hot Bush hatred is letting him whitewash and excuse the Clinton legacy.

    This battle for Georgia – not South Ossetia – is a long time in coming. Bill Clinton laid the groundwork for it by altering the rules of the game in Serbia, in which it was made clear that a major power had the right to intervene on behalf of a breakaway republic if it cried “help, help, I’m being repressed” by the sovereign territory owner. The Russians rightly feel that they’re playing by our rules and they have every reason to believe they’re going to get away with it since there is zero sympathy for the anti-Russian US position in Europe.

    To say nothing of handing NATORussia an excuse for nobly defending the right to self-determination of the oppressed KosovarsSouth Ossetians, who are suffering at the genocidal hands of SerbiaGeorgia.

  80. 80
    PK says:

    Saakashvili thought he was a player in the game, when really he was just the ball. In fact, because of our possible behind the scenes antics, not only may we have falsely emboldened the foolish leader of Georgia, we may be responsible for a large part of the perception of him in Russia:

    One more sucker is about to find out just what a big asshole Bush is. If he really thought the good old USA was coming to his rescue while he took on the Russians, he deserves what is coming to him. Unlike Saddam, Russia actually does have nuclear weapons. We will have to wait for a bigger fool than Bush i.e. John McCain to start a war with Russia.

  81. 81
    binzinerator says:

    Well as it turns out a certain government agency has given me a pretty good contract to do some bridge repairing, metaphorically speaking, in a certain Middle Eastern country where the native language is not Hebrew and which is an extremely important strategic ally of the US.

    If you’re as judgmental, superior, obnoxious and foulmouthed in that Middle Eastern country as you are here then I suggest that you keep the motor running.

    Dennis that was masterful.

  82. 82
    John S. says:

    Sweet.

    Wilfred and Paul L. in the same thread. It’s one-trick pony night here at Balloon Juice.

    Now all we need is for someone to tie this business with Russia and Georgia all in with Duke lacrosse, Mike Nifong, AIPAC and Israel. Somehow.

    The floor is all yours, fellas.

  83. 83
    Wilfred says:

    Now you come back and punish Cole and now say you’ll leave again if only he takes back his invitation.

    You’re one of the worst little shits on this site. I treat Cole like a man – he tries to bulldoze me I push back, he insults me, I insult him, he shows respect to me, I give it back.

    You’re a little girl who thinks people care what he thinks, pompous ass. I punished Cole? I gave him back what he gave me. That’s how it used to me around here.

    I never complain when people call me names – only a child does that.

  84. 84
    Punchy says:

    I’m just guessing that we promised them NATO, or a burrito, or something, if they’d go play with us in Iraq.

    They played, and then we just gave ’em the PYSCHE! response. The next time there’s a terrorist attack on US soil, I’d check for Georgian roots. They BOUND to be pissed.

  85. 85
    jake says:

    Surprised to see that John’s red hot Bush hatred is letting him whitewash and excuse the Clinton legacy.

    And now we just need Darrell, scs and JWW for a Royal Flush of wankerdom.

  86. 86
    Tim (The Other One) says:

    Well this one went down the shitter !

  87. 87
    Dork says:

    I kinda wish the Ruskies woulda taken back the State of Georgia. Deny McCain a bunch of sure electoral votes. Plus, Valdosta is a shithole anyways. Riddens and all that.

  88. 88
    cleek says:

    the answer is: if Georgia was a member of NATO, it wouldn’t be our responsibility to save them, it would be the responsibility of all members to save them. and if the EU et al decided not to help, well then, we can’t be blamed for not wanting to overextend ourselves while the perfidious EU sits by, can we ?

    but, that’s assuming Russia would attack a NATO member – which they wouldn’t.

    so, the problem is: Georgia thought an endorsement of NATO membership was a statement of what Georgia meant to us. in fact, NATO endorsement was a statement of what NATO membership would mean to Georgia.

    Georgia jumped the gun

  89. 89
    4tehlulz says:

    You’re one of the worst little shits on this site. I treat Cole like a man – he tries to bulldoze me I push back, he insults me, I insult him, he shows respect to me, I give it back.

    Well, I guess we all now know that Wilfred’s into rough trade.

  90. 90
    Wilfred says:

    John S., you really are a ignorant shit. Here, it’s an Israeli newspaper, so don’t blame me:

    Foreign Ministry seeks lower profile for Israel in Georgia-Russia conflict
    By Barak Ravid and Amos Harel

    Israel is hoping to maintain a low profile with regard to the war in Georgia, government officials told Haaretz. One source noted that currently, neither side of the conflict is pleased with Israel’s position, since Russia has been irked by Israeli-Georgian weapons deals for some time, and Tbilisi is now frustrated by Israel’s decision to halt arms exports.

    In a move which drew heavy criticism from defense officials, Israel’s Foreign Ministry over the weekend recommended complete cessation of the sale of weapons and security-related equipment to Georgia in light of the fighting between its troops and the Russian Army.

    heaps more out there. And I know, I know – I’m an anti-Semite.

    Oh, and for Nightjar – the Russians – who in your eyes enjoy absolute moral authority must have a point here, no?

  91. 91
    nightjar says:

    You’re a little girl who thinks people care what he thinks, pompous ass. I punished Cole? I gave him back what he gave me.

    So what your in need of is punishment. I wish I had known then could have provided you with more. Although if you hang around I will try an oblige.

    And wilfred is accusing people of of pining to be taken seriously. That’s like wingnuts accusing liberals of being fascistic. Pure projection dear wilfy. pure projection.
    Now go and stew in your self righteous juices, or hang around for more fun. Your choice wanker.

  92. 92
    Wilfred says:

    Well, I guess we all now know that Wilfred’s into rough trade.

    My goodness, is that gay-baiting? Tut-tut, none of that now.

  93. 93
    jake says:

    Apparently all of our spy satellites are trained on the Olympic Beach Volleyball games.

    The US military was surprised by the timing and swiftness of the Russian military’s move into South Ossetia and is still trying to sort out what happened, a US defense official said Monday.

    “What are their future intentions, I don’t know. Obviously they could throw more troops at this if they wanted to,” he said.

    Jesus Synchronized Diving Christ, the hiring criteria for bAdministration must include the ability to stand around for days with your dick in your hand.

  94. 94
    nightjar says:

    Oh, and for Nightjar – the Russians – who in your eyes enjoy absolute moral authority must have a point here, no?

    Did you read your own link numnut. “Israel trains Georgian military” What does that have to do with Russia moral authority? You’re insane.

  95. 95
    Wilfred says:

    And wilfred is accusing people of of pining to be taken seriously.

    Only you. You harrumphed a bit, I asked you a serious question and you called me bad names. Now that’s wankery.

  96. 96
    The Moar You Know says:

    Jesus Synchronized Diving Christ, the hiring criteria for bAdministration must include the ability to stand around for days with your dick in your hand.

    Well, thanks to Jake, we at least we now know how Wilfred landed his OMG BIG-AZZ PIMPIN’ GUMMINT CONTRACT.

  97. 97
    binzinerator says:

    Say Hello To The Next Twenty Years

    Chirst sometimes I feel like Cassandra. I knew years ago in the wake of the yellowcake and the mushroom clouds and the anthrax vials and the greetings-as-liberators-with-candy and the jingoist “you’re either with us or you’re with them” stupidity that this shit would be flung back in our faces, and that the flinging would most likely involve Russia.

    Fuckin’ god christ. How I ranted 5 years ago about how we were pissing away any sort of lever to use against states that did the kind of shit we unilaterally decided to do in Iraq, including torture, kidnapping, secret prisons and military kangaroo courts. And god help me if I didn’t say we’re going to eat this shit for the next generation, that we would find ourselves in the same position the Germans have been whenever they raise a cry about human rights, war crimes and cynical pretexts for war. Because even when they’re right, they’re wrong because they lost any credibility they might have had. We simply don’t have a leg to stand on here. Bush and the neocons cut them out from under us. And Putin knows it.

    Say hello to the next 20 years, indeed. The bushies, who do not understand nor value diplomacy or moral high ground, eagerly pissed away such advantages. It was nothing more to them than passing water, something unwanted to be gotten rid of at the first opportunity.

  98. 98
    nightjar says:

    Only you. You harrumphed a bit, I asked you a serious question and you called me bad names. Now that’s wankery.

    So now your complaining about people calling you names. Whiner hypocrite. oops there’s another name I called you.

    And arguable only means if the reports hold true, at this point in time, Russia under laws of war have the right to attack it’s attacker. That’s a no brainer. And please , don’t start regurgitating about who attacked who 20 years ago or 50. Try and stay in the here and now. Or bring Israel/Palestine into it.

  99. 99
    John Cole says:

    I don’t want Wilfred going anywhere. I can handle anything he dishes out and vice versa. I wish there were more contentious people here at times.

    Additionally, if you put aside all the profanity and ad hominem, Wilfred and I are not too far apart on the issue. Both of us think something needs to be done, both of us have doubts anything will be done, both of us acknowledge that Saak was foolish to walk into this trap, but of us acknowledge the Russians have wanted to do this forever, both of us acknowledge that the Russians are now currently in the wrong.

    Cut through all the hostility, and we aren’t that far apart, I don’t think. I think his real sticking point is that he perceives that many folks on the left are just of the attitude that ‘Ah, they fucked up, so screw them.” I don’t think that, more accurately I think they are just fucked.

  100. 100
    Wilfred says:

    Did you read your own link numnut. “Israel trains Georgian military” What does that have to do with Russia moral authority? You’re insane.

    It was by Pravda. You know how we blame Iran for selling weapons to Iraq? Well now the Russians have the right to punish Israel for arming, training and instigating the Georgian army in their dastardly attack. That’s not me, saying that – that’s a thread started on Pravda.

    You really are too stupid to deal with. You can’t draw a conclusion or understand an allusion without every dot being connected. You’re not worth the effort and your insults are not even funny, let alone hurtful.

    Why do you bother? You’re just a tedious, self-important drip who can’t follow his own arguments to their logical conclusion. Drip, drip, drip.

  101. 101
    Liberal Masochist says:

    Re: Paul L.

    I never realized the mess in Georgia was Bill Clinton’s fault! Thanks for pointing that out for us. Nice substantive addition to the proceedings. There must be some parallel to Godwin’s Law that corresponds to blaming everything on the Clinton’s…

    Jeesh. Oh and Wilfred. Give it a rest already. Why must your default setting be “Asshole?”

  102. 102
    GSD says:

    Has Russia determined if the captured Georgians will be POW’s or called unlawful enemy combatants?

    -GSD

  103. 103
    tomjones says:

    @ Wilfred. Several threads ago, I had some sympathy for your POV. But you sound like a stark raving lunatic now, so I must discount any past seeming reasonableness. A pity.

  104. 104
    iluvsummr says:

    We are suffering from a dearth of journalists well-versed in what’s going on outside the US who can put events in proper context. That was a problem in the lead-up to Iraq, and that will continue to be a problem. As long as the rest of the world is deemed too insignificant for careful study, lots of tactical and strategic mistakes will be made by the US. Saakashvili is suffering the consequences of this, unfortunately.

    What really sucks is that at times like this it would be really helpful to have somebody who is an expert on Russia at the helm in the US State Dept., seeing as how this whole episode was totally predictable from the point of view of anybody who has a college level education in Political Science or History and knows a thing or two about Russian history and how relations between them and the tribes and states in the Caucasus region have developed over the last couple of centuries, but sadly, no…

    Hey, no fair! Condi has some serious shoe shopping to do and Spamalot is playing somewhere. Seriously, I think Bush and co. used Saakashvili as bait to see how far Russia would go, but why? I wish there were U.S. journalists who could call them on it and give objective analysis instead of parroting whoever’s talking points.

  105. 105
    nightjar says:

    It was by Pravda. You know how we blame Iran for selling weapons to Iraq? Well now the Russians have the right to punish Israel for arming, training and instigating the Georgian army in their dastardly attack. That’s not me, saying that – that’s a thread started on Pravda.

    I didn’t see anything in that post that say’s Russia is blaming Israel for “instigating” “their dastardly attack”. Like always wilfred, your taking the dots and connecting them according to your bias’s. Israel is not the only one doing this from the west for Georgia. So what if they want to re-evluate their dealings with Israel for training and equiping their enemy. Doubt they’ll change a damn thing though.

    But what I’m getting from your fever swamp thinking is It seems that somehow you think by siding in this PARTICULAR SITUATION with Russia, the fact that we Israel loving Mainlanders should be appalled at Russia criticizing Israel, or some nonsense to that affect. Let me clue you in wilfred, whatever allegiance I have for other countries is purely pragmatic, I don’t have any special love for Russia or Israel or any other than my own country. I don’t like war and other people suffering, but it happens and I do take the time to try and dispassionately understand what is really going on because we can’t be as all knowing and wordly as you think you are.

  106. 106
    jake says:

    I think his real sticking point is that he perceives that many folks on the left are just of the attitude that ‘Ah, they fucked up, so screw them.”

    And there’s your problem right there.

    Some quivering pile of indignation somehow perceives via the context-poor medium of a blog’s comment section that people AREN’T BEING SERIOUS ENOUGH AND JUST DON’T CARE and goes on a finger wagging rampage.

    When people respond with mockery and insults this proves that THEY AREN’T SERIOUS AND JUST DON’T CARE, and the cycle begins again.

  107. 107
    The Moar You Know says:

    You know how we blame Iran for selling weapons to Iraq?

    Well, this is an interesting statement in light of bizinerator’s post above. Like bizinerator, I feel very strongly that we as a nation have forfeited any claims to the moral high ground for at least a generation, given our horrific acts in Iraq. Now, bizinerator doesn’t really touch on this aspect of how we’ve handled ourselves, but I think we’re also out of business as far as being believed.

    Anyone who looks with an unclouded eye at US history, even recent, Vietnam-era history, knows damn well that the US has a great track record – we’ll lie when we feel like it. But I’m not sure that was adequately conveyed to the world until we started our party in Iraq. Now, to believe us is to commit an act of gross self-delusion – and as Shashkavilli is finding out, a possibly suicidal one.

    At any rate, when I hear “authoritative United States Government sources” solemnly announced that they have proof positive that the Iranians are supplying weapons to Iraq, well, I’ve heard that line of shit from those same sources too many times before. Yellowcake, WMD, nerve gas, mushroom clouds. Every fucking one of them a baldface lie – not a misunderstanding or a distortion, but a flat-out lie complete with planning aforethought and forgeries to back up the lie.

    Not only have we lost the moral high gorund, we’re liars to boot. As Cole says, get ready for the next twenty years. As bizinerator states, get ready for the German treatment; where out credibility on moral issues is so shot that the international media won’t even bother to report whatever our stance of the week is.

    Get ready to be ignored, the same way you ignore any compulsive liar.

  108. 108
    Wilfred says:

    Wilfred. Several threads ago, I had some sympathy for your POV. But you sound like a stark raving lunatic now, so I must discount any past seeming reasonableness.

    Is this an incipient Internet tradition that I’m not aware of? How on earth have I ever given anyone the impression that I actually give a shit about what they think about me? Are people supposed to feel bad when they read infantile dreck like this? It’s baffling.

    Oh, and John, go fu… just kidding. You’re wrong about the left, I think since it’s not the left, per se, it’s purely a political maneuver in which the Georgians need to remain fucked for political reasons here. It’s Rovian politics by the Democrats, and something to be ashamed of, imo.

    It’s the Caucasian Bay of Pigs with the political roles reversed.

  109. 109
    nightjar says:

    How on earth have I ever given anyone the impression that I actually give a shit about what they think about me?

    ROTHFLMAO!

  110. 110
    HRA says:

    How soon we all forget. The fall of the Iron Curtain led to Bosnia and later to Kosovo. There is a pattern here. It’s called envy or desire of territory after the protection is gone. Yes, that was the former Yugoslavia and this is the former Soviet Union. One side of the desire tweaks (putting it very mildly) the other side until it erupts into what is there today. The reasons will not be clear. Other reasons will be used. Take your pick.
    I see the real reason for the Georgian/Russian conflict as being the Georgia membership into NATO. NATO does not take as long to act as does the Useless Nations.
    BTW, think of how long there are peacekeepers in Bosnia and Kosovo.
    One more thought -wag the dog for Kosovo- worked well.

  111. 111
    Hemi says:

    So… Looking at the issue from the standard of international law’s traditions regarding self-determination:

    – South Ossetia would only have a right to self-determination in one of three cases. Either A) Mutual Agreement between the people of South Ossetia and the Georgian Government on the issue, B) If they were seperated by blue water (an ocean), which they are not, or C) if Georgia was committing ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia. Since A and B are flat out, and there has yet to be strong evidence offered for C, South Ossetia has no legal recourse to independence at this time.

    – Intervention in Kosovo was only considered legal because of clear proof that ethnic cleansing was occurring there.

    – NATO maintained peace keepers in Kosovo (and still does), but never attempted to bring Kosovar citizens into the citizenship of a NATO state.

    – Via this, it’s pretty clear that Russia has been crossing the line for a long time. Georgia may well have been stupid to take the bait, but Russia has been trying to pick a fight for a long time now.

    Now, why?

    Because Putin wants to make an example of Georgia, to quell other pro-western government he considers to be inside his sphere of influence and to ensure that his puppet rulers in Belarus and other nations understand what will happen if they make too nice with the U.S. From a purely Realist standpoint, Russia is defending itself as the top dog in its sphere of influence. Thus, it’s a safe bet that they will force regime change in Georgia, and seek to use this to bring Ukraine back into orbit as well.

    As to what we can do? Not a whole hell of a lot. Starting a shooting war with Russia, even a weakened Russia would be stupid, especially over this issue. We have no real recourse to slap Russia on the wrist in the UN. They sit on the Security Council. The best suggestion I’ve heard is the suggestion that we suspend them from the G8, where they really don’t belong anyway, any more.

  112. 112
    Wilfred says:

    Meanwhile:

    Russia Steps Up Its Push; West Faces Tough Choices

    By HELENE COOPER
    Published: August 11, 2008

    WASHINGTON — Russian troops stepped up their advance into Georgian territory on Monday, attempting to turn back the clock to the days when Moscow held uncontested sway over what it considers its “near abroad,” and arousing increasing alarm among Western leaders.

    Even as they prepared to convene an emergency meeting of NATO on Tuesday and President Bush denounced the Russian actions in the strongest terms to date, the United States and its European allies faced tough choices over how to push back. They seemed uncertain how to adjust to a new geopolitical game that threatened to undermine two decades of democratic gains in countries that once were part of the Soviet sphere.

    Even discounting the breathless editorializing in the lede this describes a far different scenario than the one made 2 days ago about Russia only wanting to help the beleaguered Ossetians.

    Some damn fool thing in the Caucasus. Maybe our government Executive, Senate and House should start behaving like adults and come up with a consensus on how the United States should proceed.

  113. 113
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I wish there were more contentious people here at times.

    I’ll be glad to pitch in wherever I can.

  114. 114
    Hemi says:

    Some damn fool thing in the Caucasus. Maybe our government Executive, Senate and House should start behaving like adults and come up with a consensus on how the United States should proceed.

    Not really much we can do. We can’t step in without setting off a shooting war with Russia, which is a really bad idea. We can and should provide non-military aid to the Georgians, but the best we can really do is make a futile gesture. Now, a futile gesture is better than none at all, but not by much.

  115. 115
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Not really much we can do

    About the only thing we CAN do is try to talk Wilfred outta strappin’ on the dynamite vest and blowing up some Jews Russians.

    Wilfred, don’t, stop. Don’t, stop.

    ;)

  116. 116
    Wilfred says:

    I see the real reason for the Georgian/Russian conflict as being the Georgia membership into NATO.

    Did Russia really believe that the other Nato countries would support a supposed US push for Georgia’s membership? That’s like Turkey becoming part of the EU – will never happen and everyone knows it.

    I think the Russians were greatly emboldened by Western disinterest in their re-annexation of Chechnya. Remember Chechyna – ethnically and religiously different from Russia and wanted to be its own State? Got crushed in the process?

    Flush with cash, with more motivated soldiers than the old time conscripts usually found chasing the dragon in Kabul bazaars and ethnically pure, Russia’s looking pretty tough. Thank heaven we have the guidance of noted Kremlinologist Condoleeza Rice. She speaks Russian, you know.

  117. 117
  118. 118
    nightjar says:

    About the only thing we CAN do is try to talk Wilfred outta strappin’ on the dynamite vest and blowing up some Jews Russians.

    He plans to talk ’em to death with blogeriffic expressions of disappointment and volleys of insults . It might work.

  119. 119
    Hemi says:

    Did Russia really believe that the other Nato countries would support a supposed US push for Georgia’s membership? That’s like Turkey becoming part of the EU – will never happen and everyone knows it.

    Yes, they did. From my study of him, Putin’s time in the KGB left him very paranoid. In terms of International Politics, he is quite convinced everyone is out to get him (now, to be fair, most IR scholars would agree with him). He’s been especially paranoid since we started trying to place ABM equipment next door (never mind that no existing ABM technology would even come close to stopping the Russians if they blew their nuclear wad).

    And insofar as NATO is largely the West aligned behind the US as unipolar superpower, if we had leaned hard enough, it would have happened. In the long run, it was our desire not to antagonize Putin that prevented Georgia from being accepted into NATO.

    I think the Russians were greatly emboldened by Western disinterest in their re-annexation of Chechnya. Remember Chechyna – ethnically and religiously different from Russia and wanted to be its own State? Got crushed in the process?

    Yup, and the truth is that there WAS ethnic cleansing going on there, and the Chechnyans actually had a reasonable claim to self determination. But the west wasn’t going to press the issue with a nuclear power. With Serbia/Kosovo, it was one thing, but Russia is a power, if not an equal to the US in terms of power.

  120. 120
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    I think Bush, Cheney, Rice and Gates should personally visit the region on horseback in an elaborate cemerony. Bush can ride a white horse. Rice can ride a Black horse. Gates can ride a red horse. Cheney can ride a pale horse. It’ll be to die for.

  121. 121
    Wilfred says:

    Greg’s take is valid but it seems based on maintaining the integrity of Tsibilisi:

    don’t enter Tbilisi

    If the Russians are the masters of the option they’ll do whatever they want whatever we ask of them. We have to trade something, and it’s not going to be Georgia since the Russians already have that.

    He plans to talk ‘em to death with blogeriffic expressions of disappointment and volleys of insults .

    Do you really need more attention. Ok then, fuck off.

  122. 122
    iluvsummr says:

    So… Looking at the issue from the standard of international law’s traditions regarding self-determination:

    – South Ossetia would only have a right to self-determination in one of three cases. Either A) Mutual Agreement between the people of South Ossetia and the Georgian Government on the issue, B) If they were seperated by blue water (an ocean), which they are not, or C) if Georgia was committing ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia. Since A and B are flat out, and there has yet to be strong evidence offered for C, South Ossetia has no legal recourse to independence at this time.
    – Intervention in Kosovo was only considered legal because of clear proof that ethnic cleansing was occurring there.

    Hemi,

    Thanks for this. Explains why Russia is pushing the genocide/ethnic cleansing angle, true or not.

  123. 123
    nightjar says:

    Do you really need more attention.

    Naw, just summing up the tenor of the last several wilfred war threads.

  124. 124
    Brachiator says:

    Saakashvili thought he was a player in the game, when really he was just the ball.

    Good stuff. Not only is Georgia a pawn in a larger game, but the Republicans are trying to make lemonade out of sour lemons by letting McCain give a bellicose foreign policy speech in order to puff up his “experience” bona fides. Of course, by not taking any questions after giving his speech, McCain can neatly bypass the obvious observation that his ruminations have no impact on current US policy.

    In fact, because of our possible behind the scenes antics, not only may we have falsely emboldened the foolish leader of Georgia, we may be responsible for a large part of the perception of him in Russia

    Sadly, this reminds me of the mixed signals that led Saddam Hussein to believe that he could invade Kuwait without fear of international action.

  125. 125
    Hemi says:

    Thanks for this. Explains why Russia is pushing the genocide/ethnic cleansing angle, true or not.

    Yeah, the Russians are playing the ethnic cleansing card so they can throw Kosovo in the face of the West if anyone protests. They’ve been pissed at us for interfering there for a very long time, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Putin’s vindictive side is hoping to get the chance to use it to shame us.

    This war has been coming for a long time, to be honest. Russia has felt, not entirely wrongly, that the West was undercutting it since Kosovo; and most of the high level Russian bureaucracy comes out of the KGB/FSB and the military, which tends to create an echo chamber in terms of paranoia.

  126. 126
    bizzle says:

    what was Saakashvili thinking by believing him?

    It is pretty hard to imagine a political leader who is in way over his head. One being advised by his powerful “friends” to provoke a foreign entity. Perhaps a provocation that isn’t in his constituents’ best interests. A course of action that leaves him in a terrible strategic situation…

    Hmm…Anyone…Hmmmmm?

  127. 127
    Marshall says:

    So… Looking at the issue from the standard of international law’s traditions regarding self-determination:

    – South Ossetia would only have a right to self-determination in one of three cases. Either A) Mutual Agreement between the people of South Ossetia and the Georgian Government on the issue, B) If they were seperated by blue water (an ocean), which they are not, or C) if Georgia was committing ethnic cleansing in South Ossetia. Since A and B are flat out, and there has yet to be strong evidence offered for C, South Ossetia has no legal recourse to independence at this time.
    – Intervention in Kosovo was only considered legal because of clear proof that ethnic cleansing was occurring there.
    – NATO maintained peace keepers in Kosovo (and still does), but never attempted to bring Kosovar citizens into the citizenship of a NATO state.
    – Via this, it’s pretty clear that Russia has been crossing the line for a long time. Georgia may well have been stupid to take the bait, but Russia has been trying to pick a fight for a long time now.

    I don’t think that you are correct here. First (and this is a minor point), as far as I know, the term “ethnic cleansing” was first used in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia; self-determination as a principal goes back to President Wilson. Second, what legalized intervention in Kosovo was the vote of the Security Council. Such votes have been given before on other grounds. Third, people may gain the “right” to self determination by fighting for it (which may lead, of course, to your case A). These are frequently, of course, all mixed together, with fighting leading to repression leading to international censure and finally to an agreement on self determination.

    In any case, the facts are that the South Ossetians voted at the 95% level for independence, have a long history as a separate people, and also have a great power patron. Their claim for self determination is thus very strong in practice, regardless of the “traditions” of international law.

    I definitely agree that the Russians have been pushing their weight around, and that the Georgians have been stupid in their decisions. It’s just that I also happen to think that the Ossetians have as much of a case for self determination as the Palestinians or the Kosovars.

    By the way, there is an active native Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Do you think that they qualify for self-determination under case “B” ?

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:

    bout the only thing we CAN do is try to talk Wilfred outta strappin’ on the dynamite vest and blowing up some Jews Russians.

    Wait, we’re trying to talk him *out* of it?

  129. 129
    Hemi says:

    don’t think that you are correct here. First (and this is a minor point), as far as I know, the term “ethnic cleansing” was first used in the breakup of the former Yugoslavia; self-determination as a principal goes back to President Wilson. Second, what legalized intervention in Kosovo was the vote of the Security Council. Such votes have been given before on other grounds. Third, people may gain the “right” to self determination by fighting for it (which may lead, of course, to your case A). These are frequently, of course, all mixed together, with fighting leading to repression leading to international censure and finally to an agreement on self determination.

    I’ll take the points in order:

    In regards to point 1, Wilson wasn’t necessarily the first person to espouse self determination, but it is certainly older than the modern view of ethnic cleansing. In fact, Kosovo was considered to be the first real granting of self determination due to ethnic cleansing.

    Second, weeeeelll… That’s making the iffy assumption that what the UN says means anything in regards to Int’l Law, but yes. The rationale for intervention in the conflict was ethnic cleansing, however, so the point stands.

    And as to point 3, yes. Indeed, that is the traditional model. It just isn’t de-facto legal. That doesn’t make it illegal, it just gets ignored because no one wants to offer justification for their own at-home seperatist movements.

    In any case, the facts are that the South Ossetians voted at the 95% level for independence, have a long history as a separate people, and also have a great power patron. Their claim for self determination is thus very strong in practice, regardless of the “traditions” of international law.

    Well… Again, it’s sorta fuzzy. International Law, which theoretically should govern the actions of all involved states, and the workings of the system say, no. Now, this wouldn’t be important if it weren’t for Russia’s involvement. There is no question of Ossetian cultural identity or desire to seperate from Georgia, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that they legally have a right to. If they were fighting on their own, it would be a different issue, but for another nation to become involved brings up a lot of questions about sovereignity. Where does Georgia’s sovereign right to deal with it’s own internal issues end? International Law says that it ends in one of those three cases.

    This, of course, has the side effect of producing behavior in Radical Seperatist movements that actively attempts to provoke genocide, because that would justify international intervention. It can quickly turn into a mess.

    By the way, there is an active native Hawaiian sovereignty movement. Do you think that they qualify for self-determination under case “B” ?

    That’s actually a case-study used in International Politics courses as an example of exactly why “International Law” is so very iffy. Yes, under the Blue Water clause, they qualify for self-determination, assuming they constitute a majority of citizens on the islands (they don’t, of course, but we shant mention that). However, there is no practical way that could happen for the same reason that Russia will get away with what they have done in Georgia. Power. Practically, who can really stop major powers from doing as they please?

  130. 130
    RH Potfry says:

    So, in summary, we’re led to conclude that it is yet again, the fault of the United States.

  131. 131
    Georgette Orwell says:

    “Mr Saakashvilli may also have banked on support from his closest ally, US president George W Bush, whose administration is said to have given tacit support for a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in the belief that the territory could be recaptured within 48 hours.”

    I’m deplorably ignorant about this part of the world and this situation. However, did this administration (notice I didn’t say “this country”) indeed give them a nod and a wink to start this debacle, and then betray them with a Charlie Brown, Lucy, and the football routine? Did Bushco *really* think this tiny country with a pretend army could kick Russia in the crotch and have anyone survive? Does he think this is a game? Does he think Pootie-Poot changed his KGB ways? (Don’t bother, I know the answers.)

    Will America be able to salvage even a tiny shred of credibility anywhere in the world under a new administration? Hell, will there even *be* a world?

    This is incredibly despicable, sickening, totally unnecessary–and beyond stupid. Perhaps because W did so well and has so much fun in Iraq that he thought others ought to share the same kind of happy experience?

    Stop the world, I want to get off.

  132. 132

    Here is a good background story on Saakashvili’s folly.

    Apparently, Saakashvili was getting money through the Freedom Support Act, one of those USAID thingies to funnel money to rising stars in the former communist countries.

    After WWII the U.S., mostly through CIA-backed programs, imported a lot of Nazis and fascists to the U.S. as part of their rollback plan. They weren’t all building rockets (see: von Spakovsky Family). Some of these guys had lots of blood on their hands: former members of groups like the Arrow Cross, the Ustashi, those fascists in the Ukraine who did a lot of the killing for Hitler. Remember the Republican Ethnic Heritage group in the 1988 elections? The same people. Paul Weyrich was running one of these programs, the Congress for Freedom Foundation, if I recall the name correctly. The FSA was a later program, begun in 1992.

    The point is, the US and its covert services didn’t groom these people to be free-thinking democrats. These were people who were going to be on the U.S.’s team, and a lot of them had fascist backgrounds.

    Undoubtedly, Saakashvili was sent to be our man in Georgia. After he shivved President Eduard Shevardnadze and took over, U.S. weapons and U.S. and Israeli “trainers” came in to make Georgia a burr under the Russians’ saddle. Saakashvili, our man in Georgia.

    Not a great man, though.

  133. 133
    cain says:

    I was listening to BBC: World have your say. They bought someone from South Ossetia and Georgia. I had a lot of sympathy for the Ossetia mayor who was describing the carnage that Georgian troops were doing. (eg throwing grenades into school basements where people were taking refuge from the shelling) When the Georgian guy came on, he was pretty much saying the same thing. When the Georgian woman confronted the Georgian man, he went ape shit. I couldn’t understand what the hell he was talking about..

    The thing that struck me was that neither side acknowledge the humanity of the other. They’ve demonized the other, if they had bothered to acknowledged and apologized for the death each side caused it would have helped. But hate was all they had. Sad

    That Alexander guy mentioned above was talking about how they had to deal with assasination attempts and theere was some military convoy that was coming and so forth. It was all blather. It was sad.

    I guess if I were to pick a side, I would choose South Ossetia. Not Russian, not Georgians. They were saved from some serious shit if what I was hearing from the woman was true. She spoke of rapes as well. Nothing pisses me off more than hearing shit like that.

    In terms of action, humanitarian aid is probably required and try to minimize the damage to both South Ossetia and Georgia. They need to do it for both sides though. i don’t think Russia is going to go “all the way”. I think they got more sense than George Bush.

    cain

  134. 134
    Partisan says:

    Hemi,

    there are no hard an fast rules other than:

    having a majority of UNSC members willing to acknowledge your independance,
    Look at Tiawan, Biafra, Somaliland, Kosovo

    or a willingness to go your seperate paths, like Czechoslovakia and Slovakia.

    It is either a Great Power Game, or a mutual agreement.

  135. 135

    Damn, catfight, catfight
    One mistake I see cropping up on all sides of this thing is that moral behavior is being called for on the parts of governments. The very second a government stops being pragmatic about foreign relations it is headed for trouble. Wilfred seems to have an empathy for the little guy and I see it also in many threads here. I’ll admit to a slice of it myself, but I hang onto my judgement.

    It certainly appears that Georgia was not pragmatic about S Ossetia, Russia is not a third rate power to be shot at willy-nilly, Georgia is not NATO, the US is bogged down in Iraq & Afghanistan, the US is fucking broke = Georgia was on its own as soon as it shot at Russian/their clients. It is not even clear who started shooting at whom first.

    The US is not going to do anything threatening to Russia over Georgia, it ain’t that important to us. Oil getting to the market is. The US is not going to piss off one of the biggest oil producers. It is not in our interest. Now why George II went about making Georgia think it was a big deal to us is beyond me.

    It is a Republican thing to try mashing morality and government into the same space, using “D” democracy as a justification for Iraq after WMDs evaporated. “We’re spreading democracy” is a neocon arguement and it is bullshit, sell it to the rubes – it is get what we want at the point of a rifle.

    Mindless governmental support of Israel is not in our interests, nor the area’s and frankly encourages Israeli actions that are contrary to their own interests. It should be noted that our interests are not the interests of our allies other than where they coincide with their own. This is why they’re called allies. Taking some “they’re a little democracy” tack with Georgia ignores realities – and if BushCo did that in the run up to this, they’re idiots. 2,000 Georgians in Iraq is meaningless – other than as propaganda.

    You do not make enemies except in absolute necessity and poking and poking at the Russians is foolish, whether Georgian poking or US poking. Russia is dangerous and pushing their nationalistic buttons passes stupid. We can accomplish that, and no more. All Wilfred’s solutions add up to not squat, nothing except more poking. At some point you’re supposed to get smart enough to leave the wasp nest alone – or dose it with pesticide – and we got none of that. Nasty notes and Congressional votes and trade sanctions all just poke at the nest and we lose in the exchange. We could take real diplomatic steps aimed at defusing the mess and probably Georgian interests would take the harder hit, and so what?

    If BushCo had been taking steps to calm things down, we might be in good odor, as it is; all they’ve done is their best to stir up trouble and now that they’ve got it we get to have a black eye. Nothing we can do at this point does any more than determing whether it’s one black eye or two and maybe a bloody nose. The bloody nose is economic – oil and trade in general. I don’t have any idea if George II told Georgia to do something military, he made sure the area stayed stirred up. Why the fuck BushCo thinks it is a good thing to keep the entire world in an uproar is beyond me, but it is their modus operendi.

    I give a flying rat’s patoot about the morality of the situation, and apparently neither do the participants, what I do care about is the interests of the United States and a shooting war in that neighborhood is not in our interest. If Georgia loses S Ossetia forever I could give a damn and I could give a damn if they don’t. I’d really prefer that Georgia wasn’t bombed flat, but if you think I’ve got two-bits to put toward that, you’re wrong. I’m really not going to get pissed off at anybody over this other than the incompetents who are running our show – and I’m doing my damnedest to see they never have a hand in it again.

  136. 136
    Bedlam UK says:

    Slightly OT but found this on Huffington, and thought I’d post the link as it gave me a chuckle – McCains speach about Georgia Copy & Pasted from Wikipedia ?

    Obviously this was not directly done by McCain as he wouldn’t have a clue what Wiki was, but I reckon a speech writers soon gonna be on the dole.

  137. 137
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    From what I have read, the Ossetians were pissed at Russia for waiting a few days before responding, and in the meantime the Georgians were committing atrocities and killing civilians. I am not taking sides with the limited information I have read, but if the Russians are correct in their assertions of Georgian atrocities and civilian killings then Russia comes out of this the ‘good guys’ and Georgia will be rightfully scorned.

    If that is the case, we lose yet again. Not only that, but Russia comes off looking better than us by actually having a reason to invade and not some trumped up charges to do so. If the rumors are true and Russia has stopped the attacks and is demanding the Georgians sign an agreement not to force the Ossetians (as they have been demanding for some time), then this is not ‘regime change’ move by Russia.

    If Pootie is smart, he would leave Georgia as is. An object lesson for anyone who thinks they can kick Russia around and get away with it. If the atrocities are true, this was gift wrapped for Russia, and we helped deliver the ‘gift’.

    It will be interesting to see this unfold if it is indeed winding down.

    On a side note, anyone who thinks bloviating on a blog changes anything in the world, think again. It’s a nice way to vent, but that is about it.

  138. 138
    slippy hussein toad says:

    This is where the U.S. Empire has ended. Our influence as the leader of the free world is over. Thanks, George W. Bush, for making it happen.

    What we’re seeing now is commonly referred to as a power vacuum.

  139. 139
    dslak says:

    I blame Clinton. Or maybe Carter. Damn you, Scott Beauchamp!

  140. 140
    Bedlam UK says:

    Power Vacuum? Cool maybe we can have another shot at Empire building?!

  141. 141
    Heshe says:

    Just another replay of George’s fathers empty promises to come to the aid of the Shiites at the end of the Gulf War.

  142. 142
    dbrown says:

    So far, the Rusians have told the truth – they did not take Gori like the Georgians claimed nor take any Georgian land except to clear military bases close to the South Ossetia lands. Most Georgian infrastructure was not destoried and they were unconcerned if outside reporters watched (no mass murders so far reported.)
    Looks like the Georgians are really murdering thugs and got what they asked for.

    So the truth is, Georgia decided that the worst type of ethic cleansing was a fair and good thing for them to do – in the long run, the South Ossetians would be better off if they were dead or driven away; that is, the land they had lived in was clean for Georgians to occupy by being thugs in the true sense (i.e. mass murder). In this area of the world, that is the rule (the group with more power rules.) For us to act as if the Georgians are ‘good’ guys and everyone else is evil is beyond simple. Not that the Abkhazians were better (they also drove out 200 K Georgians) but that is another story and has zero to do with the Ossetians.

    First, Georgia never should have been offered NATO membership – thugs are not and should never be part of NATO.

    Next, Georgia never was America’s ally (except in Bush’s mind). They aided us to get enough military aid to commit mass murder on a people that they should have been helping and by strong democratic and economic aid, convinced to stay part of Georgia.

    Russia, for all it did wrong (which was a lot) was still the one attacked first and considering our methods in Iraq, we have zero room to be critical of Russia’s response – it was far more limited and justified than our war of mass murder and choice in Iraq.

    Only our lack of knowledge and very poor reporting (with some notable exceptions) has given the American people a very incorrect idea of what caused, and started the war in Georgia. The lack of people bothering to even learn a tiny amount of truth is appalling. There really are no good guys for Americans to cheer on like children at a football game.

  143. 143
    searp says:

    Nobody seems to be discussing this much, but the Russians are claiming that the Georgians committed war crimes in their assault on South Ossetia.

    Personally, I would not be surprised.

  144. 144
    Krista says:

    A recent update.

    So it looks like the Russians are satisfied with having delivered a resounding spank — but the crying won’t be over for awhile.

  145. 145
    Conservatively Liberal says:

    In the past, our government was able to control the dissemination of information to the media so that it favored their world view. With the internet, that has all changed. Our government is spinning their lines and some of the public are buying it, but many others are not. We are able to get information from all over the world, and while accurate single source info on the net is impossible we are able to disseminate information from many outlets all over the world and thus inform ourselves better as to what is really up.

    Chimpy has all but neutered the United States as far as world affairs goes. If Russia comes out of this smelling like roses, we are going to smell like shit. While we like to pay lip service to supporting fledgling democracies, all we really care is that we are able to use these new ‘allies’ to our advantage. We don’t care how atrocious they are as long as they are useful to us. Our government will lie to us and tell us that they are defending people who love democracy yet in reality we are defending killers and oppressors.

    It’s something we have done for a long time now, but now the rest of the world gets to read about it as it happens. Our actions do not hold up well under close scrutiny, as Bush well knows. Thus his secrecy in operating our government as he sees fit.

    The best government money can buy. That’s what we got, and it ain’t worth a shit.

  146. 146
    Wilfred says:

    The first casualty in a war, etc.

    Human Rights Watch is the only reliable source for determining atrocities and other crimes made against civilians – not that anybody cares when the civilians are Muslims, but still.

    The Russians have a long history of indiscriminate killing of civilians, witness Afghanistan and Chechnya. If the Georgians did it, too, they should pay the same price as the Russians did.

    Question 3 is interesting.

  147. 147
    Wilfred says:

    Our government will lie to us and tell us that they are defending people who love democracy yet in reality we are defending killers and oppressors.

    That’s correct, nowhere more so than in the Middle East where the US has supported nothing but dictators and police states for the last 50 years. If any good comes out of this mess it can start with Homelanders examining the sacrosanct assumptions and corresponding hypocrisies that make up American foreign policy.

    Now that this crisis is (seemingly) resolved, however, any emerging debate will be crushed.

  148. 148
    vivelame says:

    last news: Russia orders halt to war

    I hope, when the US start bombing Iran, that the same morons clamoring “this is DIS PRO POR TIONATE!!11ONE” will torch the White House for good. This IS your country, after all.

  149. 149
    dbrown says:

    That’s correct, nowhere more so than in the Middle East where the US has supported nothing but dictators and police states for the last 50 years.

    Yeah, but that is were the oil is …

    Also, Georgia is not Afghanistan and Chechnya – Russians do not view Georgians like blackass Muslims. The Georgians are lucky in that respect.

    Georgia conflict on the world stage: Russia 3; US 0

  150. 150
    Wilfred says:

    I hope, when the US start bombing Iran, that the same morons clamoring “this is DIS PRO POR TIONATE!!11ONE” will torch the White House for good. This IS your country, after all.

    get real. Israel is constantly condemned for disproportionate use of force in the Occupied Territories and the only houses that get burned down are Palestinians’.

    Which reminds me. All of the South Ossetian supporters must have seen the eerie corollaries between South Ossetia and Gaza. Here, let me help.

    1) Ethnically different people seeking to break away – check.
    2) Invaded by a far more powerful adversary backed by the US – check.
    3) Stronger friend willing to help them in their distress – check.

    Hmm. So if Iran attacks Israel on behalf of the Gazans, that would be ok?

    Or if Israel attacks Iran and the Iranians retaliate the US should not help the Israelis because they would have only brought it upon themselves?

    The Georgian crisis is over, but others percolate. What lessons have we learned that we can apply to future crises?

  151. 151
    Ron Richardson says:

    Isn’t the fact that we need to keep talking about bombing Russia and keep an eye on their shady soviet asses a tacit admission that Reagan didn’t really win the cold war? OHNOES I JUST INSULTED REAGANMCCAINNEOCONINTEGRITY AAAAAAHHHHH!

  152. 152
    Tim H. says:

    Just another replay of George’s fathers empty promises to come to the aid of the Shiites at the end of the Gulf War.

    “You fucked up – you trusted us! Hey, make the best of it!”

    Saakashvili – Flounder
    Bush – Otter

  153. 153
    chopper says:

    Wilfred’s heart bleeds so much for so many

    everyone except for the civilians shelled by georgia. wilfred, defender of the oppressed!

  154. 154
    Wilfred says:

    everyone except for the civilians shelled by georgia.

    Well, I was on their side right up until the moment that the Russians entered to help them. Then they were no longer the little guy.

    You, on the other hand, always need to see the helpless get curb stomped – that’s what Israel does. Now look here Young Lieberman, you just be happy that the rights of the powerful to crush the weak have been so wonderfully upheld.

    A neat little precedent has been set here. I pointed it out above.

  155. 155
    chopper says:

    yeah, you sure were on the side of the bombed civilians all right. the reason wordpress has been such shit recently was because your rivers of tears flooded the server.

    and of course, once russia got involved, the bombed civilians (georgia is apparently still shelling them) don’t matter a fuck anymore.

    wilfred, defender of the oppressed! ISRAEL!!

  156. 156
    4tehlulz says:

    A neat little precedent has been set here.

    Not really; you’re more of a two-faced jackass than usual, but I wouldn’t call that a precedent.

  157. 157
    Legalize says:

    I like this deal better when it was called the Cold War. What? St. Ronnie single-handedly won that one?!

  158. 158
    Marshall says:

    It appears that the Georgian war is now over (as much as these things are ever over – look for a rerun in 2018, or maybe 2108). Russia has achieved all of its objectives, the US has been to shown to be powerless, has lost the Georgian troops in Iraq, who will not be coming back, have probably lost Georgia as an ally, and was basically humiliated all around, and yet somehow the New York Times thinks that all of this is good for McCain.

    By the way, I (and I suspect a bunch of Air Force guys) liked this quote from Col. Gen. Anatoly Nagovitsin, the deputy head of the Russian military’s general staff,

    “I can report on Russian supremacy in the airspace. Georgian aircraft stopped flying.”

    This was a conventional war fought by conventional means, and air supremacy counts for a lot.

  159. 159
    Wilfred says:

    Not really; you’re more of a two-faced jackass than usual, but I wouldn’t call that a precedent.

    Don’t get testy, Young Joe. It’s a fine precedent that asks why you defend one thing and attack the same thing when it’s done by your country.

  160. 160
    4tehlulz says:

    Don’t get testy, Young Joe.

    *YAWN* You’re boring. Try a little harder.

  161. 161
    Wilfred says:

    Try a little harder.

    How much attention do you boys need? Look, get your sister’s panties, wrap them around your head, lope your hank and take a nap. I mean, entertain yourself.

  162. 162
    chopper says:

    sorry wilfred, my sister’s jewish. her panties are stained with the blood of the oppressor.

  163. 163
    Wilfred says:

    I know it’s hard for you boys, and I know you love your country very, very much. But the truth is that Israel does to Gaza every day what Georgia did to South Ossetia and what Russia did to Georgia.

    Fortunately I’m American, and we Americans have a long history of questioning propaganda and recognizing that what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. If you stay in America long enough maybe you can learn that the founding fathers frowned on oppressing the weak, since they themselves were once weak. Heck, it’s the American way to stand up for the wretched of the earth.

    That’s tough for Israelis to understand, I know that. But deep down most Americans are not the scumbags you guys need to thrive.

    my sister’s jewish. her panties are stained with the blood of the oppressor

    Boy, blood in the semen is a dangerous sign. You should see a doctor.

  164. 164
    4tehlulz says:

    If you stay in America long enough maybe you can learn that the founding fathers frowned on oppressing the weak, since they themselves were once weak. Heck, it’s the American way to stand up for the wretched of the earth.

    Red State copypasta is pretty weak trolling. You’ve really lost your edge.

  165. 165
    Faux News says:

    Only ONE post from Paul L? I feel cheated. I was anxiously awaiting his second bombshell that Obama was responsible for this.

  166. 166
    Wilfred says:

    Red State copypasta is pretty weak trolling.

    That’s funny, I was banned from there years ago for sticking up for Palestinians – I thought I knew you from somewhere, the complete lack of wit and originality probably.

    Redstate had a banner of the Israeli flag flying when your countrymen were bombing Lebanese villages. Israel über alles they said.

  167. 167
    jake says:

    Human Rights Watch is the only reliable source for determining atrocities and other crimes made against civilians

    Right, everything we need to know without the screeches of YOU DON’T CARE, YOU JUST DON’T CARE! And frequent use of the N word.

    Now all we need is a special greasemonkey script that replaces the rants with “Check out Human Rights Watch & eat more pie!”

  168. 168
    4tehlulz says:

    I thought I knew you from somewhere…”

    Never been to Red State.

    when your countrymen

    Never been to Israel eit…oh that’s right, Jews have dual loyalties and reflexively defend every stupid thing Israel does.

    You really are a cartoon. I’m convinced you’re on Marty Peretz’s payroll, or are the Poderetzes paying for this material?

  169. 169
    Laura W says:

    Flame wars aside, this was a highly educational post/comment thread for me. I’ve read all the posts and many of the links. Been at it for four hours (in between other stuff, of course.) When I woke this morn I knew zip about any of this in terms of the details, history, geography, players, theories and thus the headlines and talking heads meant nothing. At 12:06pm, I feel slightly less retarded. No offense to the retarded.

    Thanks for a lot of thoughtful, provocative, and educational input.

  170. 170
    Hedley Lamarr says:

    “But where are our friends?”

    According to Peggy Nooner, Bush is the neighbor who would ask “Where’s Sally” and then rush into the burning house to save her.

    We’ve come a long way Pegs.

  171. 171
    Laura W says:

    McCain just spoke “for all of us” and assured the world that “Today, we are all Georgians.”

    I don’t know how to take that, but I sure would like him to say something once in public without having to read it.

  172. 172
    Rome Again says:

    phobos Says:

    What, our geopolitical interests aren’t clear enough?

    The recipe has been out there for a while.

    Awww, that was crude, man!

    I can’t believe anyone is still stupid enough to believe anything Bush says.

    If the Israelis were training the Georgians, does this mean Bush was trying to unleash WWIII before he left office, plotting a conflict between Russia and Israel by egging Shaak on? Hmmmm!!!

  173. 173
    binzinerator says:

    incertus:

    Seriously, I think Bush and co. used Saakashvili as bait to see how far Russia would go, but why?

    Butcher:

    Now why George II went about making Georgia think it was a big deal to us is beyond me.

    You do not make enemies except in absolute necessity and poking and poking at the Russians is foolish, whether Georgian poking or US poking.

    That’s the question that kept returning to me — why did the Bushies do something that on the face of it seems to be guaranteed to make a mess of the region.

    I think he did it for domestic political gain. And that fits with how the Bushies think. Do anything if they can get a political advantage out of it.

    I recall the same bafflement with New Orleans — sure there were incompetent fucks like Brownie, but that was a bonus if you look at a devastated evacuated city as the perfect opportunity to let Mother Nature do her own version of ethnic cleansing. Many people who were driven from their homes were african-americans or low-income. The demographic that Rove knew votes Dem, and was the core of the Dem lock on the city. Recall that Rove, the political strategist, was put in charge of the N.O. operations after Brownie slunk away. “Reconstruction” there was a political operation.

    Every thing the Bushies do is politically and ideologicall motivated. It has nothing to do with actually governing, let alone good governance. Proof is in the last 8 years, where every agency has become a political organ of the GOP. At the DOJ, prosecutions or the lack of them are for political gain. In every regulatory agency, science has been suppressed, obfuscated or rewritten for ideological and political gain. Voter ID card bullshit was ginned up for political gain. Districts were gerrymandered for political gain. That luser Lurita used her agency, even luncheons, for political gain.

    This is the filter that everything the Bushies do always always always passes through.

    And now we are 3 months away from a presidential election, and McSame is floundering and the goopers are a toxic brand and Bush is the most unpopular president in US history.

    What to do, what to do…?

    Recall that foreign policy and war always seems to help the goopers, and it plays on McSame’s supposed strengths. And McCain doesn’t have any issues he dares to talk about with Obama — that’s why we have all that stupid nonsense about Brittany and Paris.

    It’s simple. George Bush gave McCain an issue to talk about, the media something to chatter about that plays into McSame’s strong points (Looking like a dipshit in a shitty economy? Forget that, the soviets are back!)

    I think when we run in to the inexplicable for Bush and the Bushies, it means we are using the wrong set of assumptions. We just assume no one would ever consider instigating a war through a proxie in order to gain a few points in the election back home.

    But this is Bush and the bushies. These are the people who knew the invasion of Iraq would gain them another 4 years. And they were right.

    Yes it takes some real evil mother fucks to sucker a stooge into a war that will devastate his country and kill thousands — all to generate a boost for the right. But if you haven’t figured out Bush, Cheney, Addington, Condi et al aren’t an american example of the banality of evil, then you haven’t been paying attention to the torture programs and secret gulags.

    It was a win-win for the war criminal goopers: If Saakashvili was successful, all the more better. If not, whoop up the Ruskie threat, the talking heads will all echo it, smear and ridicule anyone with a commonsense and sane proposal, and expect a boost for the right.

    The right now gets to control the narrative, they get a boost, and it broke the Obama momentum while the Dems find themselves reacting and on the defensive. The only defense is to align with the right’s stupidity regard Georgia and Russia, which is exaclty what we’ve seen Obama have to do.

    So, why? Because it can help the goopers win the election, that’s why, and the Bushies are the kinds of sociopaths who would do it.

  174. 174
    chopper says:

    Boy, blood in the semen is a dangerous sign. You should see a doctor.

    i figured you’d make some crack about putting the blood in pastries. i guess you’re just sticking with the creepy ‘little boy’ talk instead.

  175. 175
    Hemi says:

    Hemi,

    there are no hard an fast rules other than:

    having a majority of UNSC members willing to acknowledge your independance,
    Look at Tiawan, Biafra, Somaliland, Kosovo

    or a willingness to go your seperate paths, like Czechoslovakia and Slovakia.

    It is either a Great Power Game, or a mutual agreement.

    Well, actually, acknowledging a state is actually not a UNSC vote, it’s one of the few things where the general body actually matters (indeed, Kosovo is not technically acknowledged because Russia leaned on a number of states to not acknowledge the Kosovar government). Nonetheless, that has little to do with the traditional rules by which the right to self determination is viewed. It is true that, in the end, nothing matters but balance of power and the assumption of rational action by states, but there are a set of situations that international law favors.

  176. 176
    searp says:

    I’d like to point out that the strong always stomp on the weak. If they don’t it is because they don’t want to bother. No sense getting anxious about that.

    Short term options:

    1) posture ourselves to death

    2) start a larger, more serious conflict with Russia, cold or hot, for no real good reason

    3) shut up and send Condi for some chitchat with all concerned, making sure to get enough publicity for the visit so that we can be seen to be concerned.

    Long term options:

    1) learn to live with a Russian version of the Monroe Doctrine

    2) Ineffectively but loudly support small countries far away from our shores because they are… well, you tell me.

    3) Have a big war with Russia while we’re fighting the Dar-al-Islam. While we’re at it, we could take on China also. The Navy would like that.

    Dunno about anyone else, but the choices seem pretty obvious to me.

  177. 177
    searp says:

    OK, a final comment:

    The Caucusus has been giving the Russians indigestion since the early 19th century. It is about as turbulent and useful as, say, Lebanon.

    Now we want it to be our bellyache? Someone ought to read about the Shamiil uprising. The Chechens will fight to the last Chechen. So will the Ingush, the Daghestanis, the Georgians, and the Armenians. Typically amongst themselves, but if someone, say the Russians, wants to join the party…

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] I’m not going to pretend to have any insider knowledge of the Georgian/Russian conflict over South Ossetia, which is why I’ve stayed mum about the topic. Balloon Juice has a good rundown of events today, and the Newshoggers have been tracking the story for almost a week now. Between reading them, Wikipedia, and a random Power Line post that was informative though maybe delusional in that “Let’s kick former commie ass!” rightwing kind of way, I’m left with a few questions… […]

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