Russia sticks around

Well, despite its announcement, Russia is still in Georgia, with reports of looting, rape, and other atrocities (apparently by Chechen and Ossetian militias that accompanied the army). The Russians have occupied the Georgian (not Ossentian) city of Gori, cutting the country in two. Charles Krauthammer has some excellent analysis:

His objectives are clear. They go beyond detaching South Ossetia and Abkhazia from Georgia and absorbing them into Russia. They go beyond destroying the Georgian army, leaving the country at Russia’s mercy.

The real objective is the Finlandization of Georgia through the removal of President Mikheil Saakashvili and his replacement by a Russian puppet.

Which explains Putin stopping the Russian army (for now) short of Tbilisi [the Georgian capital]. What everyone overlooks in the cease-fire terms is that all future steps — troop withdrawals, territorial arrangements, peacekeeping forces — will have to be negotiated between Russia and Georgia. But Russia says it will not talk to Saakashvili. Thus regime change becomes the first requirement for any movement on any front. This will be Putin’s refrain in the coming days. He is counting on Europe to pressure Saakashvili to resign and/or flee to “give peace a chance.”

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Anon

    While Georgia ‘asked for it’, I still think that the Russian’s real war aim is the pipeline and the ability to manipulate Europe by controlling it.

  • Anon

    While Georgia ‘asked for it’, I still think that the Russian’s real war aim is the pipeline and the ability to manipulate Europe by controlling it.

  • Carl Vehse

    “While Georgia ‘asked for it…”

    Perhaps according to Pravda or some 5th column MSM person, or in the sense that Georgia’s efforts as a recognized nation to join NATO and to democratically elect their own leaders, and to improve their economic independence, tweaked the noses of the Russians.

    But not as far as using their military in an attempt to quell a separatist movement in a territory that has not been diplomatically recognized as an independent country by any member of the United Nations, which continues to regard South Ossetia as part of Georgia.

  • Carl Vehse

    “While Georgia ‘asked for it…”

    Perhaps according to Pravda or some 5th column MSM person, or in the sense that Georgia’s efforts as a recognized nation to join NATO and to democratically elect their own leaders, and to improve their economic independence, tweaked the noses of the Russians.

    But not as far as using their military in an attempt to quell a separatist movement in a territory that has not been diplomatically recognized as an independent country by any member of the United Nations, which continues to regard South Ossetia as part of Georgia.

  • Khammer

    What were we doing offering Georgia NATO membership (which was bound to cause needless regional friction), thereby giving their stupid president the false impression that we would defend him if he attacks a disputed territory?

    Didn’t the US/NATO politicians read a map before offering Georgia NATO membership? Just how were we and our feckless European allies going to rush troops, heavy armor, artillery and supplies thousands of miles to defend Georgia from threats, knowing full well that Georgia’s main enemy was no less than their neighbor Russia (and not some little 3rd world push-over)?

    What idiocy is this that would place us in the position of forcing us to war with Russia to honor a NATO treaty, or failing that, cause us embarrassment when we’re forced to desert yet another ally to his fate? Haven’t we had enough of this kind of strategy in the last 50+ where we’ve either fought protracted wars as if we had no intention of winning, and/or left our friends in the lurch to be slaughtered? How can anyone trust us anymore?

    As usual, it’s us that has egg on our face. The Russians sure knew how to use our and the Georgian’s president stupidity against us both.

    And, by the way, we were there for the oil lines, too. There has to be a better way to play “The Great Game” than this.

  • Khammer

    What were we doing offering Georgia NATO membership (which was bound to cause needless regional friction), thereby giving their stupid president the false impression that we would defend him if he attacks a disputed territory?

    Didn’t the US/NATO politicians read a map before offering Georgia NATO membership? Just how were we and our feckless European allies going to rush troops, heavy armor, artillery and supplies thousands of miles to defend Georgia from threats, knowing full well that Georgia’s main enemy was no less than their neighbor Russia (and not some little 3rd world push-over)?

    What idiocy is this that would place us in the position of forcing us to war with Russia to honor a NATO treaty, or failing that, cause us embarrassment when we’re forced to desert yet another ally to his fate? Haven’t we had enough of this kind of strategy in the last 50+ where we’ve either fought protracted wars as if we had no intention of winning, and/or left our friends in the lurch to be slaughtered? How can anyone trust us anymore?

    As usual, it’s us that has egg on our face. The Russians sure knew how to use our and the Georgian’s president stupidity against us both.

    And, by the way, we were there for the oil lines, too. There has to be a better way to play “The Great Game” than this.

  • Anon

    Carl,
    “asked for it” in the sense of attacking Ossetian civilians.

    Anyway, after signing a truce with Georgia, a Russian tank column is now in the suburbs of the Georgian capital, headed in.

    Khammer,
    What is your nationality? What is your allegiance? BTW, before calling the democratically-elected president of Georgia stupid, consider that you don’t know the difference between an ICBM and an anti-missile missile.

    Or that you think that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were disputed territory: they were not. Less so than the Sudetenland or Silesia, in fact.

    I wonder what your evidence is that we were allied with Georgia, not because it was democratically-elected and allied with us, but because we wanted to be able to manipulate the EU by controlling the oil pipeline. How could we have done that? The Russians control the other pipelines. -Why- would we want to do this?

  • Anon

    Carl,
    “asked for it” in the sense of attacking Ossetian civilians.

    Anyway, after signing a truce with Georgia, a Russian tank column is now in the suburbs of the Georgian capital, headed in.

    Khammer,
    What is your nationality? What is your allegiance? BTW, before calling the democratically-elected president of Georgia stupid, consider that you don’t know the difference between an ICBM and an anti-missile missile.

    Or that you think that South Ossetia and Abkhazia were disputed territory: they were not. Less so than the Sudetenland or Silesia, in fact.

    I wonder what your evidence is that we were allied with Georgia, not because it was democratically-elected and allied with us, but because we wanted to be able to manipulate the EU by controlling the oil pipeline. How could we have done that? The Russians control the other pipelines. -Why- would we want to do this?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@4) “What is your nationality? What is your allegiance?” Is there some national or ethnic test for ideas here? Regardless, scanning his comment for pronouns should answer some of your (pointless) questions.

    Also, South Ossetia was an autonomous region that was de facto independent since it declared itself so in the 1992. Similar story with Abkhazia. Can you honestly say that the Sudetenland was more independent or autonomous than that?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Anon (@4) “What is your nationality? What is your allegiance?” Is there some national or ethnic test for ideas here? Regardless, scanning his comment for pronouns should answer some of your (pointless) questions.

    Also, South Ossetia was an autonomous region that was de facto independent since it declared itself so in the 1992. Similar story with Abkhazia. Can you honestly say that the Sudetenland was more independent or autonomous than that?


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