11 August 2008

Russia Invades Georgia

Russian troops have now moved through South Ossetia into Georgia proper. That is, they can no longer claim to just be defending a region that has declared independence and that has many Russian citizens; they have moved into territory that is indisputably Georgian, and that has no interest in either independence from Georgia or being a part of Russia. And Russia continues to reject Georgian requests for a ceasefire. Apparently Bush's "firm" talking to Putin didn't take. (Does Bush recognize that Putin was in the KGB, and as such surely considers himself a real badass compared to Vietnam-avoider Bush?)

And while a U.S. ally is invaded and Russia takes the opportunity to reassert its military strength in the world, Bush is sending obvious signals that he doesn't care to much, by continuing to place watching the Olympics above getting personally involved in resolving this crisis. His public statements that "we strongly condemn bombing outside of South Ossetia" implicitly approves bombing inside South Ossetia, and in any case is a very weak response. "Strongly condemn" is strong diplomatic language when applied to weak vassal states, but means "we're going to stand aside and wag our fingers disapprovingly" when applied to more powerful countries.

Bush's performance so far is a disgrace, and it appears he doesn't understand the dangers of a militaristically resurgant Russia. He continues to say that he and Putin "have got a good relationship." Bush is playing the fool while the fires of Cold War II are being lit.


James K said...

The thing is that he doesn't have much choice. He as no troops to commit to the region, and he can't risk getting into a war with Russia anyway.

At the moment nuclear weapons + oil = untouchable. No wonder that Iran is enriching uranium.

Scott Hanley said...

Regarding naivete about Russia, Richard Perle is now comparing George Bush to Jimmy Carter.

Now that's gotta hurt.