Friday, August 08, 2008

Russia, Georgia initate war, rest of the world is distracted

Times Online: "One hundred and fifty Russian tanks, armored personnel carriers and other vehicles have entered South Ossetia," President Saakashvili of Georgia told reporters in Tbilisi. "This is a clear intrusion on another country’s territory. We have Russian tanks on our territory, jets on our territory in broad daylight."

Mr Saakashvili added that Georgian forces had downed two Russian jet fighters over Georgian territory.

Georgia mobilised its reservists yesterday and launched a massive offensive overnight. Fighting raged today around the city of Tskhinvali, the regional capital, as Georgian troops backed by tanks and warplanes pounded separatist forces,

South Ossetian officials said that much of Tskhinvali had been destroyed in the Georgian offensive. A Reuters correspondent some two miles from the city said that the roar of warplanes and the explosions of heavy shells was deafening and many houses were ablaze.

The area is of strategic importance, largely because of the BTC oil pipeline, which runs through central Georgia just south of the breakaway region.

Georgia, a staunch U.S. ally, has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain. But Saakashvili told CNN that the troops would be called home Saturday in the face of the South Ossetia fighting.

More than 1,000 U.S. Marines and soldiers were at the base last month to teach combat skills to Georgian troops. Georgia has about 2,000 troops in Iraq, making it the third-largest contributor to coalition forces after the U.S. and Britain.

South Ossetia officials said Georgia attacked with aircraft, armor and heavy artillery. Georgian troops"

A small regional scrap this is not. Georgia has been pushing to join NATO and is leading the charge of the former Soviet Bloc to ally with the US. Russia, seeking to regain its status as a world power, cannot allow this to continue.

This is a good excuse to do a beat down on a much, much smaller country, and demonstrate to the rest of the nations in the region that when the Russian bear chooses to flex it’s muscle, even militarily in the most blatant of forms, no one can stop them. If nation that has backed the US at every turn is subject to it’s control, then no one is exempt from Russian domination.

Alternately, the US trained Georgian army punks the reds on the open field, maybe with US assistance. That would alter the situation here considerably, and shift the field for the other countries as well. If the bear is indeed toothless, then what have we to fear?

Either way, I think this will be a pivotal moment in the coming years for the Caucus, and we’re going to follow this story to its relative conclusion. The real imporant stuff will happen in Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Nagorno-Karabakh and the Balts, not the NATO Nations.

The immediate effect? A full 1% of the worlds oil flows through here, so fill up on gas before it spikes over the weekend.

The rest of the world now turns its attention to the Olympic games in the Peoples Republic of China, a farce of epic proportions.
A series of games to celebrate the undying flame of the human spirit, hosted in a tyrannical regime who's only accomplishment to date is the slaughter of untold millions, stripping billions of their basic rights, destruction of freedom, dismantling of liberty, and the theft of US military equipment.

Where the Olympics are to represent the finest of humanity, we sink to the lowest depths of the communist pit, where the largest collective number of people on earth are repressed and denied the right to life.

Where the Olympics are to celebrate life, we swim in the morass of a one child per family state.
Where the Olympics are to celebrate competition, we visit the worlds shinning example of a mercantile system, where corruption is destined to control the path of commerce.

As I sit and watch this opening ceremony, there is little I can celebrate. This spectacle of unparalleled scope was built off the backs of millions of laborers, wreaked the lives of thousands, and only enriched the wealthy caste of china.

The Olympics have lost their luster once again, and for what?
The chance to enjoy some Moo Goo Guy Pan?


Celestial Fundie said...

I am not going to watch any of the Olympics.

Gino said...

i'll have the almond duck.

as for the orympics: i may watch the womans' beach volleyball.
and for all the obvious reasons,too.

Solameanie said...

Hear, hear! Good post.

This certainly concerns me as the Christian mission where I work is deeply involved in supporting Russian evangelical churches. We don't have any church planters or workers in Georgia per se, but there is a small evangelical population there. When tensions with the West increase, it's always possible that the trickle-down hurts the churches.

You have it exactly right, Robert. Russia's been waiting for an opportunity to re-assert its authority in the region, and you can bet the other former Soviet republics are sitting up and taking notice. There is also a bit of a link with the Kosovo situation in the Balkans. Russia couldn't do much about NATO hitting Serbia and preventing Kosovo's independence, which Russia opposed. This is one way they have of striking back.

Palm boy said...

Matt, I'm watching it still. The US is doing to well to skip out. :D

Gino, Thats the only reason they have beach volleyball. It's really quite dull.

Thanks Joel. I hadn't thought of the retaliation angle, but I think it's definetly part of the equation.