Saturday, August 09, 2008

From Bad to Worse

Edward Lucas, the author of The New Cold War, writes:

As things stand, Georgia will be fighting not to regain South Ossetia or even to deter aggression, but to survive. It is hard to see any good outcome...The fighting should be a deafening wake-up call to the West. Our fatal mistake was made at the Nato summit in Bucharest in April, when Georgia's attempt to get a clear path to membership of the alliance was rebuffed. Mr Saakashvili warned us then that Russia would take advantage of any display of Western weakness or indecision. And it has.
If Georgia falls, Europe's hopes of energy independence from Russia fall too.

While President Bush and both Presidential candidates condemned attacks on Georgian soil, the Russians have bombed several airfields, the city of Gori, and the key port of Poti, as well as the Kodori Gorge in Abkhazia. Putin is rumored to be in North Ossetia now. The U.S. will help Georgia airlift 2,000 of its troops from Iraq to Georgia. There are about 4,000 Americans in Georgia from what I heard on the news yesterday.

The NY Times reports that the Russians are possibly moving an invasion force toward to Georgian coast with their Black Sea Fleet. Thousands of soldiers are pouring in from the North, "Too many for South Ossetia," says NY Times reporter Ellen Barry. Cyberattacks are probably also underway as pretty much anything with a .GE web address has gone down. Rumors from Azerbaijan are that the Russians are violating an Armenian-Georgian treaty by launching attacks from Armenian air bases.

A British expat in Tbilisi keeps a blog on her and various other expats' activities and intentions to evacuate/stay.

Welcome to the new world of renewed Russian dominance and Western weakness. If you didn't see it coming, you haven't been paying attention.

In case you feel the blog is too biased in one direction, here's a link to the Russia Blog's take on the war, which seeks to put out a different (positive) image of Russia than what they feel is presented in the Western media:
"The politically correct, bipartisan American rule seems to be that, no matter what Russia does, it must always be in the wrong."

1 comment:

JSN said...

It's Russian "dominance" in a neighboring country with, according to reports, 90% of the South Ossetians having Russian passports.

Merkel said that countries with internal situations like Abkhazia or S. Ossetia couldn't join NATO. If those really are the rules, was NATO being "weak" in not breaking its own rules? Couldn't this have encouraged Saakashvili to resolve S. Ossetia?