Monday, August 11, 2008

Russia Bids To Rid Georgia of Its Folly

Evidently, commenter Alex was correct yesterday with the following assessment;

Its dishonest lie that georgian president said. Georgian troops make genocide, Saakashvili must be inprisoned like Karadjic.

In tomorrow's Asia Times we get the following assessment;
One word explains why the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the European Union have obliged themselves to sit on their hands, while Russia's defends its citizens, and national interests, in the Caucasus, and liberates Georgians from the folly of their unpopular president, Mikheil Saakashvili. That word is Kosovo.

For all Russians, not only those with relatives in Ossetia, the near-total destruction by Georgian guns of Tskhinvali is a war crime. The deaths of about 2,000 civilians in the Georgian attack, and the forced flight of about 35,000 survivors from the town - the last census of Tskhinvali's population reported 30,000 - has been described by Russian leaders, and is understood by Russian public opinion, as a form of genocide. Ninety percent of the town's population are Russian citizens.

To Russians, the Georgian attack of August 8 looks like the very same "ethnic cleansing", which the US and European powers have treated as a crime against humanity, when committed on the former territory of federal Yugoslavia.

But Russians view the international war that broke up Yugoslavia as a practice run for breaking up the Russian Caucasus, first by arming the Chechen secessionist Dzhokar Dudayev; then by financing anti-Russian terrorism in the Russian provinces of Chechnya and Ingushetia; and now by the Georgian military thrust against South Ossetia.

Since the US and the European Union have so recently compelled Serbia to accept the Albanian takeover of Serbia's Kosovo province, the overwhelming Russian view is that this will not be allowed to happen again. "Ossetia is not Kosovo" is a widespread refrain in Moscow today.

"If [former Yugoslav president] Slobodan Milosevic should be put on trial, the opinion here is - so too should Saakashvili," says a leading Moscow analyst.

But is it now a Russian war aim to drive Saakashvili from power? Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov reportedly told US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice over the weekend that Saakashvili "must go". Bernard Kouchner, the French foreign minister, on a mediation mission on Monday between the Georgian and Russian capitals, will hear the same view in Moscow.

The Russian argument is that, since coming to power in 2003, Saakashvili has militarized his country with US, NATO and Israeli arms, military training and money, for no purpose except to threaten Russia, and the minority nationalities of the region, who seek the protection of Moscow - the Abkhazians and the Ossetians.

Saakashvili, the Russian argument runs, has initiated military escalation over the past year because his political base has cracked and his domestic support is dwindling. The Georgian political opposition at home, and in exile abroad, agrees. They charge the president and his family, including the powerful Timur Alasaniya, Saakashvili's uncle, of growing corruptly rich off the arms trade and of seizing the country's resource, port and trading concessions for themselves and their supporters. Alasaniya, brother to Saakashvili's mother, holds the official position of Georgian representative to a United Nations Commission on Disarmament in New York (no relation to Irakly Alasaniya, Georgia's ambassador to the United Nations).
There is so little finesse in these bloody shenanigans. It's almost as it the current administration has learned absolutely NOTHING from the operational blunders by which it's international adventurism has been plagued here-to-date. Now the old wrinkly white-haired dood is running his senile mouth too;
"Russian President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin must understand the severe, long-term negative consequences that their government’s actions will have for Russia’s relationship with the U.S. and Europe," McCain said.

And, describing the Russian assaults that have gone beyond the disputed territory and into sovereign Georgia as "Moscow's path of violent aggression," the GOP nominee suggested that Putin's aim may be to overthrow the pro-U.S. government in Georgia.

"This should be unacceptable to all the democratic countries of the world, and should draw us together in universal condemnation of Russian aggression," McCain said.
Will incompetent busterism never cease???