Monday, August 11, 2008

Why Russia? Why?

So Russia has gone to war with Georgia. Already three days of intense fighting have gone by with the threat of it spreading, meanwhile Bush and Putin are enjoying the Olympics – this irony makes me want to vomit. Russia has been building up troops along the Georgian border for months and the reaction in the West has been that of complacency. "Oh, this is just is Russia and Georgia up to their normal Spring thaw" routine of irritating each other they have quite the history of doing this. Remember the diplomatic row where Georgia arrested Russian peacekeepers for spying or Russia banning Georgian water and wine -- however this time the situation has completely melted and there has been no real international reaction. There have been UN Security Council statements, NATO statements, OSCE statements, etc. But have we learned nothing about making statements? They hold no weight without some pressure behind them. What pressure could the UNSC, NATO or the OSCE have to put on Russia?

I wish I could answer this question. I would like to think that global isolation would work but Russia has plenty of oil money to buy friends. Negotiation to give independence to Abkhazia and South Ossetia might be an option but I don't think that is why Russia would go to war (though it might be a side effect). There is something more they want. The word on the street is that Russia is pushing to be the empire it has always wanted to be in Eastern Europe but will war with Georgia accomplish this goal?


Anonymous said...

check this commentary from the National Review:

Moscow’s Sinister Brilliance
Who wants to die for Tbilisi?

By Victor Davis Hanson

and this article from the Christian Science Monitor:

Russian military triumph leaves pro-West Georgia uncertain
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili's failed attempt to retake South Ossetia may cost him dearly in Georgia, one of the strongest US allies in Russia's backyard.

By Fred Weir