Friday, August 15, 2008

Georgia (updated...)

Georgians rally in support of President Saakashvili. Photo credit: AFP

The delusional:
President Bush Discusses Situation in Georgia
Perhaps they miscalculated
Someone got taught a lesson
Bush, Rice demand Russia quit Georgia

On the money:
Intellectual Dishonesty and the Culpability of All
Russia-Georgia Conflict Fueled by Rush to Control Caspian Energy Resources
Georgia: A Blow to U.S. Energy
Illarionov: Thirteen Conclusions about the War
Conflict Exposes Obsolete Hardware
Russia's big Caucasus win
This is a tale of US expansion not Russian aggression
'We Are All Georgians'? Not So Fast.

Misc:
Georgia - Wikipedia
South Ossetia - Wikipdia

War photos:
Photos - milkavkaz.net
Photo Gallery - Spiegel Online


What the U.S. should do... a) Stop the blathering and unhelpful sabre-rattling, everyone knows there is not much we can do right now, all that the yakking from the administration is doing is reminding everyone of this fact! b) Work, quietly, to defuse the situation... that is reduce the confrontation and possibility of flare ups... c) Get both sides to pull back - initially partial pullbacks are OK, don't insist on the (unachievable) maximum... d) Deploy the humanitarian aid... e) Georgians have rallied around their President, but once things calm down they are going to start questioning his tactics and effectiveness... When that happens, don't prop him up, in fact a slight shove might be a good idea (we want allies but not hotheads who can't control themselves in sticky situations)! f) Later move cautiously towards recognizing the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The South Ossetians have voted for independence in 1992 and 2006 in referenda as democratic as the Georgian elections (that the administration is trumpeting). Short-term some will perceive this as a Russian victory, long-term it will be their worst nightmare (giving ideas to the North Ossetians, Chechens, and a whole host of host of other "Russian" provinces... )

Updated August 18th: Examples of bluster: On her way to an emergency meeting of NATO foreign ministers, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said that Russia is playing a very dangerous game... warned that NATO would not allow Moscow to win in Georgia... that the alliance would punish Russia for its invasion of Georgia... "We are not going to allow Russia to draw a new line..."... that the French would be seeking "an explanation from the Russians for why the Russian president either won't or can't keep his word."... and so on.

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