Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Georgia crisis

I doubt that this is the start of World War III, but the war that has broken out between Russia and Georgia over the status of South Ossetia is not going to make things easy for the West. Georgia says it is withdrawing its troops from South Ossetia -- at least, that's what they're telling us. Georgia, about the size of South Carolina, has not had an easy history since the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991; and being at a major crossroads at the intersection of Europe and Asia both Russia and NATO want to have influence over the country.

I find it peculiar that the war broke out just as the Olympics were starting. So much for the so-called "Olympic truce," which dating back to ancient times called for the laying down of arms during the games and the athletes going to and from them as a sign of goodwill and peace. In the end, it's always the innocent that gets hurt the most and that's not going to do anyone any good.

Suffice it to say that were it not for the reckless campaign in Iraq, the outgoing US President might have had some influence in his lame duck year. We hear the phrase "territorial integrity" over and over, but it's sort of meaningless when people in the disputed territories don't want to be ruled by their current overlords; on the other hand, upsetting the apple cart doesn't do any good either.

Either way one considers it, this is a public relations disaster for both Putin and Saakashvili. The world needs to act fast before the violence really gets out of hand and we have a regional war on our hands -- which we need as much as the current worldwide recession.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is closser to the real story in Ossetia: