The Russia-Georgian War

1,500 Reported Killed in Georgia Battle

1,500 Reported Killed in Georgia Battle

Robert Farley has some excellent coverage and analysis of the Georgia-Russian war here and then here.

So what gives?  We have an American Ally, being groomed for NATO membership, at war with Russia.  Russia and the USA of course still retain the ability to annihilate humanity if they got sucked into a total war.  And nobody is freaking; the olypics carryon serenely, the UNSC isn’t in session recalled; the duct tape remain on the shelves.

And of course this is an entirely rational response.  What was entirely irrational was the schemes to expand NATO right up onto the Russian border.  The much commented-on discussion between Fukuyama and Kagan included some revealing exchanges that shed much light on this.  Fukuyama tried to explain the absurdity of the current US position of demanding to have everything from Russia: accepting missile defence in eastern Europe, NATO expansion (while excluding Russia), that Russia sabotage their lucrative relationship with Iran, accepting the NATO settlement on Kosovo, return to internal democratisation, be nice to their West-facing neighbours, and, no doubt the moon on a stick.  Kagan resisted but later on made a revealing comment: that the the hubris didn’t start in 2001, but the Clinton administration (or, I would say, Bush I).  Right!  The neocons could not have been so successful in pushing their agenda, and remain so influential, if they weren’t pushing at an open door.  To some extent we have all become neocons and they are really a pathological examples of a much wider movement based on hubris and delusion: how else to explain HR362 and the absurd Iran policies.

What we are seeing now is a tragic ‘correction’ where the Russians and the Georgians are exposing our priorities for us.

Update: via Robert Farley it seems that the Washington Post doesn’t get it and is still very much in delusional neo-con land.

Update II: has some deatailed reports on the war and these reports suggest that the Georgians very much started it.

5 responses to “The Russia-Georgian War

  1. Apparently the desires of the countries wishing to get into NATO makes no difference whatsoever.

    You post has a real ring of amorality about it.

  2. We inhabit such different mental universes that it is very difficult to explain what I am driving at. Let us say that my choice of image was deliberate. the tone is ironic as I know no other way of writing about this kind of idiocy.

    The nutty and totally unreal policies that encouraged Georgia to try and join NATO (while excluding Russia) are at the root of this war. The rest was inevitable. So no I don’t think people should be allowed to join defensive alliances if they lead to wars. A war that was actually triggered by Georgia you will note, choosing the start of the Olympics to assault a city with artillery.

    As Farley says the situation is messy and complicated with no ‘good guy’s’ and ‘bad guys’. That mess was created by NATO. And the results are tragic.

    To begin to understand what is going on here you might like to think about the following question. Was it right for the Kennedy administration risk a war with the USSR over the stationing of a nuclear arsenal in Cuba?

    If it was right for the US to go to war if necessary to stop that happening then how can you condemn the Russians for their actions to undermine the Georgian entry to NATO.

    Quite apart from all of that there is the whole Kosovan issue. If Kosovo can be given independence because a majority of Kosovars want it then why can’t the same be true of the Ossetians and why shouldn’t we consider the Georgian action in exactly the same way we viewed the Serbian mauling of the Kosovars?

    Every which way I look I can only see double standards, and we have much to answer for. Sometimes there just aren’t nice and simple answers to moral questions.

    Some things are clear. (i) We are so sure of our own morality and virtue in whatever we do. (ii) There is no peoples anywhere whose affairs we can’t order. (iii) In many cases where we do so the situation explodes with immense suffering to local people.

    Maybe we should learn to value humility a bit more and not be so quick to judge. I will continue to emphasize our contribution to these messes and leave it mainly to Russians and Georgians to consider the ethics of their own actions.

  3. Anthony Baynham

    HELPStop the current conflict in South Ossetia

    Click on the link above and sign the petition

  4. To begin to understand what is going on here you might like to think about the following question. Was it right for the Kennedy administration risk a war with the USSR over the stationing of a nuclear arsenal in Cuba?

    You should carefully consider the precept underlying this question, and its disregard of an equally important question.

    First, the precept. You are assigning all moral agency to the Kennedy administration, and none to the USSR. Why did you not ask if it was right for the USSR to risk war with the US over the stationing of its missiles in Cuba?

    Second, in posing the question as you did, you completely fail to consider the alternative: What if the US had acquiesced? What would have been the consequence of stationing nuclear missiles with such a short flight time to the US?

    Without coming to terms with your precept or the consequences of the alternative, then the follow on question has no meaning.

    In particular, your precept permeates everything you have written. NATO expansion is a consequence of US demands, not Russian threats. Stationing missile defense systems in eastern Europe is a consequence of US demands, not Iranian actions.

    Quite apart from all of that there is the whole Kosovan issue. If Kosovo can be given independence because a majority of Kosovars want it then why can’t the same be true of the Ossetians …

    On the face of it, no reason.

    … and why shouldn’t we consider the Georgian action in exactly the same way we viewed the Serbian mauling of the Kosovars?

    First, ask yourself what role Russia had in Ossetia. Then, ask yourself what Russia’s aims are with respect to Georgia. Next, ask yourself if Georgia has behaved towards the Ossetians in anything like the same way the Serbians behaved towards Kosove.

    Having done that, then ask yourself if there are sufficient parallels remaining to leave your question with any relevance whatsoever.

    Georgia, in attempting to gain NATO membership was acting completely within its rights as a sovereign nation. Russia’s actions in response underlined, and bolded, the reasons Georgia do desired to join NATO.

    If one is going to consider ethics, I will place my bets every time on NATO, and any member country, instead of Russia.

  5. For Russia that has occured in South Ossetia on August, 8th when Georgia has attacked Ossetia, the same, that for the USA towers-twins on September, 11th. Quantity of victims respective. Saakashvili the rockets has killed more than 1500 peace inhabitants, and CITIZENS of the Russian Federation! That I see now is there would be the same as though after tragedy on September, 11th 2001, any country has supported Аль-Каиду and in support Ben Ladanu has sent 18 military ships in the help to terrorists. Be on a place of the Russian Federation the USA, for a long time Saakashvili would be hung up. And the USA supported all this time ” Caucasian Ben Ladana “.

    I.e. that now I see me in mass-media of the Europe horrifies – Russia has attacked small Georgia… That would be if Russian tanks have not entered into Ossetia, that, not having protected the peace population, probably, defenders of human rights does not interest any more, only as Russian kill everything, bears fat… Well it in fact, you see, is immoral also it so awfully. Has still seen a photo with the signature ” Russian attack to Georgia ” – why do not publish a photo as the Georgian militarians have alive burnt the house with children and old men about whom Putin and as they killed peacemakers spoke.

    Georgia has attacked Ossetia, instead of the Russian Federation to Georgia – in mass-media is even huge quantity links to references of the European editions which refer to ” information war “. Western mass-media are not absolutely pure, give not the true information, in particular the Air Forces, therefore it is not necessary to accuse the Russian Federation of all sins at once. The picture which was drawn with the western mass-media, essentially differed from the validity.

    I do not work to the Kremlin, or on Putin as many European mass-media can think. I the simple inhabitant, and this my opinion. Sorry for my English.

    Для России то, что произошло в Южной Осетии 8 августа, когда Грузия напала на Осетию, то же самое, что для США башни-близнецы 11 сентября. Количество жертв соответственные. Саакашвили своими ракетами убил более 1500 мирных жителей, причем ГРАЖДАН РФ! Что я вижу сейчас – это было бы то же самое, как если бы после трагедии 11 сентября 2001, какая-либо страна поддержала Аль-Каиду и в поддержку Бен Ладану отправила 18 военных кораблей в помощь террористам. Будь на месте РФ США, давно бы Саакашвили был повешен. А США всё это время поддерживали “Кавказского Бен Ладана”.

    Т.е. то, что сейчас я вижу в масс-медия европы меня ужасает – Россия напала на маленькую Грузию… что бы было если бы русские танки не вошли в Осетию, тем самым, не защитив мирное население, видимо, защитников прав человека уже не интересует, только как русские убивают всех, медведи жирные… Ну это ведь, согласитесь, аморально и это так ужасно.

    Ещё увидел фотографию с подписью “Русская атака на Грузию” – почему же не публикуют фотографии, как грузинские военные заживо спалили дом с детьми и стариками, о которых говорил Путин, и как они убивали миротворцев.

    Именно Грузия напала на Осетию, а не РФ на Грузию – в масс-медия есть даже огромное кол-во ссылок на ссылки европейских изданий, которые называются “информационная война”. Западные масс-медия не совсем чисты, дают не верную информацию, в особенности ВВС, поэтому не стоит сразу обвинять РФ во всех грехах. Картина, которую нарисовали западные СМИ, существенно отличалась от действительности.

    Я не работаю на Кремль, или на Путина, как многие европейские масс-медия могут подумать. Я простой обыватель, и это моё мнение.

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