Thursday, August 14, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

Apologies for two political entries in a single week, but I need a forum to sort through my confusion in regards to the Georgia / Russia conflict.

Maybe I'm not following the timeline properly, but I'm pretty sure last week Georgia tried to deny South Ossetia (by force) the independence it's been vying for since the breakup of the Soviet Union, and Russia (by force) told Georgia to leave South Ossetia alone.

And then President Bush steps in to tell Russia to end its Georgian aggression, asserting our allegiance with Georgia and calling Russia all sorts of dirty names.

Seriously, Bush? Seriously?

Is it just me, or wasn't Georgia the initial aggressor here? Or to rephrase the pop-lingo: "Georgia shouldn't write checks its military brass can't cash."

Essentially, the skinny kid punched the much-bigger-kid's little friend, and now the skinny kid is crying foul.

I mean, I'm as concerned about Russia as the next person. After all, the new Russian president was essentially appointed by the former Russian president, and the former Russian president is the new prime minister.

If that doesn't wig you out, allow me to rephrase:

Something is rotten in the state of the Kremlin, and it ain't the old potatoes outside the vodka distillery.

Even still: does that give the United States the right to tell Russia to leave Georgia alone when, in fact, Georgia "started it"?

Or is this all a microcosm for what we've done in Iraq?

Yeah, Bush, that's just what we want. As though our military isn't spread too thin already, let's add Russia to the playing field. And once this whole Olympics thing is over (oh, what ironic timing!), surely we can continue the international competition by inviting China to join in.

And, oh — oh! I hope North Korea wants to play too.

Now here's an idea: let's do the democratic thing and take a vote: all in favor of using our words to diplomatically (rather than offensively) tell both sides to chill, say "I."

And if that doesn't work — and Bush continues with the heated name-calling — here's a tip for Russia.

Say it with me.

I'm rubber, and you're glue...


Anonymous said...

Actually the compelling argument here is for US state-building --and the problems we get into when we do it half ways and half-assed. We’ve set up a friend in the orbit of Russia, one that we are pushing for alignment with and ultimately induction into NATO. Russia wants to demonstrate that they can still wield power there—as a warning to Poland and Czech Republic to stop putting in the missile defense system that Uncle George wants; a general up-yours to Ukraine (we’re coming after you next if you get out of line); and as a rebuff to the Europe Union, NATO, and the West for using the exact same argument to bomb Serbia for its Kosovo break away region.

I’d argue that Serbia/ Georgia conceit is not exactly analogous—Milosevic was a know quantity (more than 30,000 in the regions of the former Yugoslavia by that time), but it is a bit of the case of the U.S. wanting to eats its cake and have it as well. I’m very thankful that Georgia is not yet a member of NATO—or otherwise we’d be, uh hum, “obligated” to come to their aid militarily. I think it is worth noting that Bush wants things to go back to “status quo” that is simmering ethnic tension punctuated by occasional armed skirmishes that only harm a few residents of each of these areas.

We are so emasculated by the intractable conflicts we’ve started we can’t respond. Another nice piece of this is that it ratchets up fuel prices because of crimped pipelines and threats to the oil security going forward. That’s just what I need is more expensive fuel. Plus all those Osetians and Georgians dead.

If they burn Atlanta this time, won’t that really mess things up in the South?

Oregon (nee Washington)

disgruntled world citizen said...

they were talking about this on npr this morning. i couldn't make heads or tales of it. one needs a score card to keep up.

michele said...

I find it telling that your schoolyard analogy seems absolutely spot on. How about along with "chill" we add "grow up"?

david said...

No apologies necessary. The wide range of subject and tone of your posts assures us that you are posting exactly what you feel.

thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy said...

OR/WA - I couldn't have said it better myself. I don't think there's any clean way to come out of this conflict, for any party. Even the proposed treaty will tick off both sides and, as you mention, keep the antagonistic status quo. It is funny to me that we couldn't really do anything if we wanted too given our, uh, "prior obligations."