« Previous Post | Next Post »

Guest Voice

Georgia's Risky Move

By Dmitri Trenin

For months, Russia's tactic was to prove to the west that Georgia was too irresponsible to be considered for admission to NATO. Georgia, for its part, sought to impress on the western publics and governments that Russia, in both Abkhazia and South Ossetia, was an aggressor and occupier. All parties to the conflicts in the two breakaway regions tried to provoke the other side into "showing its true colors".

Acting under time pressure, Georgia has dramatically upped the ante by mounting a large-scale military operation to recover the separatist enclave in South Ossetia. As expected, its now well-trained and well-equipped forces overran the Ossetian formations and took over their capital town, causing a massive loss of life. This spectacular Act I of the unfolding drama received only muted reaction in the international media.

Not so the following Act. President Saakashvili has succeeded in causing Russia to move in with heavy forces. Immediately, the nature of the conflict has been transformed. It is no longer about an obscure ethnic group tucked in somewhere in the Caucasus mountains. The image reverberating around the world is that of Russia's recidivist invasion against one of its tiny neighbors. Moscow stepped right into the trap Tbilisi had laid for it.

Almost inevitably, Act II leads to Act III, for which Saakashvili is already calling. The conflict is no longer about Russia and Georgia, he says, it is about American/Western values. Georgia is a frontline state in the emerging new confrontation: a democratic David fighting the Russian Goliath. This is serious. Much has been prophesized recently about the advent of a new Cold War, and the recent developments in the Caucasus, at least in their superficial and very partial interpretation, seem to corroborate the story.

Yet, the United States and Europe need to pause and think. Standing up for Georgia is one thing, but following Saakashvili's script is another. So far, each step in the Caucasus drama has put the conflict on a yet higher plane. The next step will no longer be just about the Caucasus, or even Europe. Remember the Guns of August.

Dmitri Trenin is a Senior Associate of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and Deputy Director of its Moscow center.

Email This Post | Del.icio.us | Digg | Facebook

Please e-mail PostGlobal if you'd like to receive an email notification when PostGlobal sends out a new question.

Comments (143)

Hans:

So small Georgia, which has over 2000 troops in Iraq , supporting a war of Bush's choosing is being invaded and the President of the United States does little more than frolicking with the women's Beach Volleyball Team in Bejing. If the US foreign policy under the Republicans would not had lost all credibility years ago it would all be gone by now.

Anonymous:

Since 1917, Russia has been a thorn to the world. Their RPGs (Rocket Propelled Grenade launchers) are in the hands of many destructive rebel groups around the world today and in the past. They support dictators like Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, etc. Any country like Georgia who wants to have no business with Russia is always a good thing. BREAKING OUT WITH THE DEVIL IS ALWAYS A GOOD THING. The problem is the devil wants to force himself on that small country.

It's not surprising if Iran is on Russian side with their press releases.

call:

All of you who are advocating to confront Russia on this, I would suggest you be the first in line to enlist. I am sure the U.S. Army would be happy to have you. Anyone?

Suleko:

I wonder, does NATO really needs Georgia's "strategic location" when Turkey is right down there as well.
Anyway, this "US educated president" has failed his people and hiding in the bunker (Berlin 1945, anybody)? Interesting, which school he went to; and if they teach world history there?

Oleg:

Well, let me start with the following: I can't but feel embarrassed at the fact that when I tried to post a comment under the article in he TIMES Newspaper (which is considered to be the most independent one - or at least one of the most...) I was redirected by a script probably reading my IP and identifying that I'm from RF. That's absolutely unbearable and unacceptable!!! if you claim to be an independent press!!!
Thus, I found it surprising that in this site people are free (seems like that at least) to express themselves...
That was the preface. Now to the core.
Firstly, Georgia attacked S. Ossetia and that's a fact. When RF called for an urgent UN meeting while Saakhashvilli was bombing Tshinvali the chairing Belgium guy said that it was simply late hour and everybody was tired. Do we, the people of Earth, can really feel protected by a bunch of politicians who simply want to sleep when a madman kills a nation? Obviously, not! Therefore UN is nothing but a puppet in the hands of the US (and on their territory as well).
Secondly, the attack was fierce and aimed at killing civilians. I have good friends living in Ossetia who were lucky enough to escape and who described how Georgian troops and snipers in particular shot innocent people including children and women to death. That’s absolutely barbaric and smells of genocide!
Thirdly, I am not backing up RF when it bombs Georgian territory – the troops should stop at the borders of S. Ossetia.
And the last but not the least is that Mr. Saakhashvilli is a mere puppet in the hands of the US and its long-lasting plan to knee Russia. Why do they (Bush & Co.) think that they have the right to dictate what’s wrong or right? Who has to decide that? Definitely neither US nor Russia, nor any other country. We should simply try to live altogether not bothering about crazy politicians obsessed with the world dominance!
I have friends in the US, France, UK, Georgia, Ossetia (both North and South) and I can’t possibly think of quarrelling with them just on the grounds of some political stupidity.

Mickey:

Russia sends a love poem to Ukraine via the war in Georgia: don't run away from me or this could happen to you too.

The world is watching how the U.S. betrayed its ally Georgia as the Georgian troops retreat from the Russian Tanks. Now no countries will ever trust the U.S. after this betrayal.

The U.S. bend over when faced with threat from the commie KGB Putin. The U.S. weakness before the Russians is on display to the world. This is a total humiliation for the Americans.

It's like the old western gunslinger movie where Putin says to Bush: "Do you feel lucky" "Go ahead, make my day". And Bush blinks!

This proves to the world Bush is a bully to small kids(e.g. Iraq) but a coward to someone(e.g. Russia) of his own age.

John-Michael:

Mihail

Georgia is not a dictatorship. It is a democracy. The last election may have had flaws, but it has been considered legitimate by the EU and the US.

Russia has fomented this conflict for some time. South Ossetian forces (supplied and controlled by Russia) began shelling Georgian villages in mid July. Georgia responded in kind and sent offers for a cease fire. The South Ossetians failed to respond again and again. On 8/06 the Ossettians intensified their shelling considerably. At 7:00pm on 8/07 Georgia instituted a unilateral cease fire and pleaded for the South Ossetians to do the same. The shelling only intensified. After having exhausted all reasonable measures to protect its citizens Georgia was forced to invade to cease the attacks. On 10:30pm they did just that.

So Russia encouraged the South Ossettians to attack Georgia and ignore all peace entreaties. They gave them the means, and the Russian "peacemakers" did nothing to stop the attacks.

Tell us again how this is Georgia and the US' fault. Russia wanted this fight and relentlessly baited Georgia.

KFritz:

@Val fr/ Moscow & TT

TT's characterization of the Georgian as 'unstable' is more apt than my 'harebrained.' By most standards, it's difficult to see a rational calculus underlying his plans.

This reader believes that the long-term Russian goal is a puppet government or outright control of Georgia. Their long-term thinking looks beyond this phase of history. Time will tell if they're correct.

Solzhenitsyn's moral outrage always contained an underlying assmption that the oppression he and his fellow sufferers experienced was caused by the atheist, socialist underpinnings of the Soviet Empire. My quibble is that he was much more forgiving of a dictatorship that reaches out to Russia's dominant Christian religion. His religious and national identity trumped his capacity to recognize oppression.

Anonymous:

Go Russia, Go....Occupy Georgia like Berlin and keep it occupied for at least 50 years, like Gaza and the West Bank. Georgia overplayed its reliance on America, NATO and their newly found arms supplier friend, Israel. Now, it must pay and be stripped naked to show the world that it must be responsible or else.

John-Michael:

Mihail

Georgia is not a dictatorship. It is a democracy. The last election may have had flaws, but it has been considered legitimate by the EU and the US.

Russia has fomented this conflict for some time. South Ossetian forces (supplied and controlled by Russia) began shelling Georgian villages in mid July. Georgia responded in kind and sent offers for a cease fire. The South Ossetians failed to respond again and again. On 8/06 the Ossettians intensified their shelling considerably. At 7:00pm on 8/07 Georgia instituted a unilateral cease fire and pleaded for the South Ossetians to do the same. The shelling only intensified. After having exhausted all reasonable measures to protect its citizens Georgia was forced to invade to cease the attacks. On 10:30pm they did just that.

So Russia encouraged the South Ossettians to attack Georgia and ignore all peace entreaties. They gave them the means, and the Russian "peacemakers" did nothing to stop the attacks.

Tell us again how this is Georgia and the US' fault. Russia wanted this fight and relentlessly baited Georgia.

Roism007:

Another highlight of George W Bush's failed Foreign Policy...god only knows whats left to come.

On the plantation:

Compared to any other major event cycling through the media, here there are record high levels of partial, unconfirmed, and contradictory accounts about this fight.

I am pretty well informed on Russia, stayed there just a month in the East, have an adult child who is fluent in the language and living there now.

With all that I suppose I ought to know, I still find the whole setup and situation terribly confusing.

On the plantation:

Compared to any other major event cycling through the media, here there are record high levels of partial, unconfirmed, and contradictory accounts about this fight.

I am pretty well informed on Russia, stayed there just a month in the East, have an adult child who is fluent in the language and living there now.

With all that I suppose I ought to know, I still find the whole setup and situation terribly confusing.

Roism007:

Another feather in the so called "Legacy of Bush Administration"

Unfortunately, all these feathers represents failure in both domestic and international arena

God save us akk from George Bush's next 4-5 months

candide:

The Georgians will have learned like the Iraqis that you cannot trust neoconservative American do-gooders.

Alan Browne:


This is a brilliant move by Russia if you look at it from their perspective.

All issues regarding sovereignty aside, the Russians are (legitimately perhaps) concerned with US and NATO encroachment on their back yard.

Georgians have been trying, unsuccessfully, to secure S. Ossetia for years.

With the distraction of the Olympics the timing could not be worse for Georgia and it was the perfect gift to Russia to step in to "protect Russians".

I can only imagine the underwear staining effect on Dubya and his boss (Cheney) as they struggle to come to terms with this.

Darth Rice probably fainted.

This preemptive invasion of S. Ossetia was just what Russia needed to make the west think 7 more times before letting Georgia into NATO.

Brilliant. At least from Russia's POV.

John-Michael:

Mihail

Georgia is not a dictatorship. It is a democracy. The last election may have had flaws, but it has been considered legitimate by the EU and the US.

Russia has fomented this conflict for some time. South Ossetian forces (supplied and controlled by Russia) began shelling Georgian villages in mid July. Georgia responded in kind and sent offers for a cease fire. The South Ossetians failed to respond again and again. On 8/06 the Ossettians intensified their shelling considerably. At 7:00pm on 8/07 Georgia instituted a unilateral cease fire and pleaded for the South Ossetians to do the same. The shelling only intensified. After having exhausted all reasonable measures to protect its citizens Georgia was forced to invade to cease the attacks. On 10:30pm they did just that.

So Russia encouraged the South Ossettians to attack Georgia and ignore all peace entreaties. They gave them the means, and the Russian "peacemakers" did nothing to stop the attacks.

Tell us again how this is Georgia and the US' fault. Russia wanted this fight and relentlessly baited Georgia.

Alan Browne:


This is a brilliant move by Russia if you look at it from their perspective.

All issues regarding sovereignty aside, the Russians are (legitimately perhaps) concerned with US and NATO encroachment on their back yard.

Georgians have been trying, unsuccessfully, to secure S. Ossetia for years.

With the distraction of the Olympics the timing could not be worse for Georgia and it was the perfect gift to Russia to step in to "protect Russians".

I can only imagine the underwear staining effect on Dubya and his boss (Cheney) as they struggle to come to terms with this.

Darth Rice probably fainted.

This preemptive invasion of S. Ossetia was just what Russia needed to make the west think 7 more times before letting Georgia into NATO.

Brilliant. At least from Russia's POV.

Mike:

1) Georgia and the USA are guilty of the conflict and it is the fact (the USA supplied with the weapon Georgia, trained military men, trade in another's raw materials (pipeline) and have not passed the resolution from the Russian Federation)

2) Russia too indirectly in it is interested and it is the fact, to it are not necessary strong Georgia near the borders, the pipeline and the more so the American bases and the ABM, but actions of the similar USA by the Russian Federation did not undertake.


Only Americans appreciate a life of the citizens much more, than the Russian citizens. Americans are ready to kill in tens and in hundreds civilians for one American, an interesting proportion, as at the time of fascists.

Statistics - in Southern Osetitii was lost more than 2000 civilians, in Georgia 20. Probably, Americans suggest to consider for 1 Georgian 100 Ossetin.

NB! Yes, in the CIS countries not all is smooth in internal policy, I from Belarus and it understand (practically in all CIS countries dictatorship or autocracy, Georgia not an exception), but foreign policy against EU and the USA at us are 10 times better and more fair. Though certainly everyone either says lies, or does not finish speaking. Do not follow another's example and have own and a common opinion if wish to avoid 3 world wars.

Czechoslavakia Charlie:

Thank goodness, the Fueher established the accepted practice of major countries invading small countries to protect their 'citizens'.

Now, if The Idiot gets off a plane in the next few days, waving a piece of paper and claiming peace-in-our-time it truly will be an electric eight years.

God save us all.

Mike:

1) Georgia and the USA are guilty of the conflict and it is the fact (the USA supplied with the weapon Georgia, trained military men, trade in another's raw materials (pipeline) and have not passed the resolution from the Russian Federation)

2) Russia too indirectly in it is interested and it is the fact, to it are not necessary strong Georgia near the borders, the pipeline and the more so the American bases and the ABM, but actions of the similar USA by the Russian Federation did not undertake.


Only Americans appreciate a life of the citizens much more, than the Russian citizens. Americans are ready to kill in tens and in hundreds civilians for one American, an interesting proportion, as at the time of fascists.

Statistics - in Southern Osetitii was lost more than 2000 civilians, in Georgia 20. Probably, Americans suggest to consider for 1 Georgian 100 Ossetin.

NB! Yes, in the CIS countries not all is smooth in internal policy, I from Belarus and it understand (practically in all CIS countries dictatorship or autocracy, Georgia not an exception), but foreign policy against EU and the USA at us are 10 times better and more fair. Though certainly everyone either says lies, or does not finish speaking. Do not follow another's example and have own and a common opinion if wish to avoid 3 world wars.

Mital Panara:

If what happened in Iraq during Saddam's regime was Genocide then in the same way what happened in South Ossetia if reports are to be beleived is also a Genoside and if Saddam was brought to justice then in the same way Saakashvili's should also be brought to justice. Western nations cannot have two standards one for the East and another for West.

In the first place what were Georgia's defence forced doing by spraying South Ossetia with Rockets when it fully knew that they were targetting the civilian population. I am not in any way defending Russia or its actions but the dis-proportionate use of force on the part of Georgia and the muted responce it received from the western nations is deplorable. This was not the way in which you deal with the sepratist forces by using force against the civilian population. What was the urgency for Saakashvili's to order military intervention just a day after declaring cease fire?. It appears a well thought of plan in which the western nations were hand in gloves with Georgia otherwise they would have deplored the action of Georgia in the very first place.

Russian counteraction is also not acceptable as if was dis-proportionate. Who is going to trust the cease fire declared by Saakashvili's government. Earlier they broke it the very second day?. Are they trying to buy time?. This conflict should end and make way for peace efforts.

Mital Panara:

If what happened in Iraq during Saddam's regime was Genocide then in the same way what happened in South Ossetia if reports are to be beleived is also a Genoside and if Saddam was brought to justice then in the same way Saakashvili's should also be brought to justice. Western nations cannot have two standards one for the East and another for West.

In the first place what were Georgia's defence forced doing by spraying South Ossetia with Rockets when it fully knew that they were targetting the civilian population. I am not in any way defending Russia or its actions but the dis-proportionate use of force on the part of Georgia and the muted responce it received from the western nations is deplorable. This was not the way in which you deal with the sepratist forces by using force against the civilian population. What was the urgency for Saakashvili's to order military intervention just a day after declaring cease fire?. It appears a well thought of plan in which the western nations were hand in gloves with Georgia otherwise they would have deplored the action of Georgia in the very first place.

Russian counteraction is also not acceptable as if was dis-proportionate. Who is going to trust the cease fire declared by Saakashvili's government. Earlier they broke it the very second day?. Are they trying to buy time?. This conflict should end and make way for peace efforts.

Mihail:

1) Georgia and the USA are guilty of the conflict and it is the fact (the USA supplied with the weapon Georgia, trained military men, trade in another's raw materials (pipeline) and have not passed the resolution from the Russian Federation)

2) Russia too indirectly in it is interested and it is the fact, to it are not necessary strong Georgia near the borders, the pipeline and the more so the American bases and the ABM, but actions of the similar USA by the Russian Federation did not undertake.


Only Americans appreciate a life of the citizens much more, than the Russian citizens. Americans are ready to kill in tens and in hundreds civilians for one American, an interesting proportion, as at the time of fascists.

Statistics - in Southern Osetitii was lost more than 2000 civilians, in Georgia 20. Probably, Americans suggest to consider for 1 Georgian 100 Ossetin.

NB! Yes, in the CIS countries not all is smooth in internal policy, I from Belarus and it understand (practically in all CIS countries dictatorship or autocracy, Georgia not an exception), but foreign policy against EU and the USA at us are 10 times better and more fair. Though certainly everyone either says lies, or does not finish speaking. Do not follow another's example and have own and a common opinion if wish to avoid 3 world wars.

Misha (Belarus):

1) Georgia and the USA are guilty of the conflict and it is the fact (the USA supplied with the weapon Georgia, trained military men, trade in another's raw materials (pipeline) and have not passed the resolution from the Russian Federation)

2) Russia too indirectly in it is interested and it is the fact, to it are not necessary strong Georgia near the borders, the pipeline and the more so the American bases and the ABM, but actions of the similar USA by the Russian Federation did not undertake.


Only Americans appreciate a life of the citizens much more, than the Russian citizens. Americans are ready to kill in tens and in hundreds civilians for one American, an interesting proportion, as at the time of fascists.

Statistics - in Southern Osetitii was lost more than 2000 civilians, in Georgia 20. Probably, Americans suggest to consider for 1 Georgian 100 Ossetin.

NB! Yes, in the CIS countries not all is smooth in internal policy, I from Belarus and it understand (practically in all CIS countries dictatorship or autocracy, Georgia not an exception), but foreign policy against EU and the USA at us are 10 times better and more fair. Though certainly everyone either says lies, or does not finish speaking. Do not follow another's example and have own and a common opinion if wish to avoid 3 world wars.

Diego:

How come the US is always stuck in the middle? Right now Georgia is an ally of the USA, but Russia still moderate because they have allies that are our enemies. The point is that if Russia makes a bad decision the USA will get really mad and also scared in which it will lead to a war. I am positive the USA will try to get involve in this one way or the other.

Diego:

How come the US is always stuck in the middle? Right now Georgia is an ally of the USA, but Russia still moderate because they have allies that are our enemies. The point is that if Russia makes a bad decision the USA will get really mad and also scared in which it will lead to a war. I am positive the USA will try to get involve in this one way or the other.

Druvas:

NHOJ,

From what I gather, there has been an ongoing artillery battle between the South Ossetian seperatists and the Georgian military for quite some time. Georgia stopped its shelling and declared a unilateral cease-fire a couple of days before they "invaded" (is it really an invasion if it is part of your country?). The seperatists (rebels) did not stop their shelling so the Georgian military moved in in force to stop them. Can you blame them? The only reason the Russians inserted their "peacekeepers" in the first place was to give them an excuse to "protect" South Ossetia in the event the Georgians attacked.

Facts on the ground:
-South Ossetia consist of about 70,000 people
-They are landlocked inside of Georgia
-They are ethnically Russian/Cossak

It is pretty obvious that the Russians (they did issue the Ossetians passports afterall...) orchestrated this for annexation puposes as a way to hurt Georgia, with which they have a had a long running feud. 70,000 people is hardly enough to make a viable State, especially when completely surrounded by people hostile to you. It seems to me that Russia is planning to annex S. Ossetia (and maybe Abkhazia as well, since they are now occupying it as well...) Unfortunately, Georgia has pretty much a 0% chance of winning this one. NATO will not come to Georgia's aid. About the best we can hope for, after it is all over, if Georgia is still democratic and unoccupied by Russia, that they be granted admission into NATO. This will allow NATO to thumb their nose at Russia, for what it's worth.

BeowulfthePolitican:

If the EU can't handle this, it's time to dissolve that weak and pathetic union. Must the US always do everything?

Dick:

This seems like 1956 and Hungary all over again.
Give the "little country" like Hungary or Georgia some "verbal" backing to put a "burr under the saddle" of the big bad Soviet Union/Russia and the U.S. or its client/allies will back you.
When the time comes to help out, no U.S. backing.
Way to go U.S!
I've seen this movie before.

Cherkessian:

To NHOJ
RESPECT.
There are still some smart people in the US.

Nhoj:

Let's start with the basics. This conflict began when Georgian tanks, heavy artillery and Grad rocket launchers surrounded the town of Tskhinvali (20,000 pop) in the middle of the night and proceeded to flatten it along with a big chunk of its population (Ossetian government claims 2000 or so). They (the Georgians) also then proceeded to surround and start blasting to bits a battalion of Russian soldiers stationed in Ossetia.

How, pray tell, did we expect Putin and Medvedev to react? Sit there and do nothing? While Russian TV pipes in direct video feeds from the now practically-destroyed Tskhinvali, complete with numerous interviews from fleeing Ossetian refugees? What would WE have done if we were in Russia's place?

And why, exactly, is it a bad thing when Bosnian Serbs start bombing civilians in Sarajevo but not such a bad thing when Georgians start bombing Tskhinvali and surrounding villages?

Even if one thought that Russia is a Big Bad Evil Empire, the fact that a) its tanks are still in Ossetia (not in Georgia) and b) Georgian troops are guilty, at the least, of some if not substantial ethnic cleansing, begs the question: why are WE supporting Georgia and blasting Russia on THIS issue? Why do we even want Saakashvili as an ally (would we not want someone more stable, at least)? And why are we even getting involved, using American planes to ferry Georgian troops from Iraq to Tbilisi?

Passerby:

Georgia's attack on S. Ossetia would not have been possible without knowledge and cooperation from its American and Israeli advisers.

It would not have proceeded without a green light from it's friends in Washington and Tel-Aviv.

It doesn't look like Israel's savage destruction of Lebanon, but it does look as if Russia may destroy Georgia's military to the greatest possible extent (as Israel-Hezbollah...).

And they are not looking that great, no precision bombing, no heavy bombing; for Putin's boasts they would have vaporized the Georgian military by now, as it is they are having to fight for every meter.

And what's with the double, triple and quadruple posts? Can't the WaPo delete duplicates? And how about running the posts oldest-newest so one doesn't have to read from the back to the front to make sense of the threads.

TT:

A good analysis.

Sakashvili is an unstable person that has started this all, the Act I as the article correctly states. The problem in Washington is that they listen to every Tom, Dick and Harry and their superficial story without thinking things thru and a Georgian opportunist-come-used car salesman starts a war....

But the shoe is on the other foot. America looked the other way as Israel pounded Lebanon for 33 days --two years ago to the week-- and ignored UNSC resolution attempts and vetoed it. Now it must watch the Russians do the exact same thing.

DCMike:

I was waiting for some left wing lunatic to blame Bush for the invasion...and BOOM right out of the shoot, 5 posts in, some donkey blames it on Bush. Reason #456 by liberals can't be trusted to run this country, they are irrational knuckleheads who are not intellectually sophisticated enough to be trusted with grown up decisions.

With this latest news, McCain will go up 3 points in the polls...the American people will be reminded that the worlds problems are serious and can't be trusted in the hands of community activist.

Mary Lou :

What about the collateral damage? Lives of innocent men, women and children because of two chest thumping, macho men with "P" envy. How do these bad/evil men make it to positions of power??

Cherkessian:

To americans.
Why did not you say anything when the US army were bombing Yougoslavia. You were protecting the small amount of albanians who lived in Kosova among the Serbians. Now, Hitler-Saakashvili is bombing the South Ossetia, independent country for more than 15 years, where none georgean live, 0 of them. He needs only the land, without the people whom he tries to illuminate. Russia bombs the Georgeans in reply, to save the people of South Ossetia. Almost the same what you did in Yougoslavia. So what is the problem.
And by the way, it is Russia who won the 2nd world war, but not Americans

Georgia:

In response to Aleks.
Speaking about conflict having no clue about the real status of it - is really very weird of one. If NATO admitted Georgia (it is acknowledged that G does not have full readiness for NATO membership) this conflict would not take place. Russia knows that it's holding the good control of energy sources upon Europe and giving MAP to G was rejected by the countries having "Energetic Marriage" with Russia.

Whoever is to be blamed for this conflict one just should think if the fight will ever be considered fair when 250 mln. country (Russia) is vs. 4 mln. Georgia? and when the reason of fight is moving inside its borders?
Be logical while analyzing others' misfortune...

Sergey:

In settlement Tsinagar 5-6 summer innocent children to whom it became interesting have run up to the Georgian tank which has called in there. The Georgian military men have caught all six and killed knifes. The man's population which is coming into the hands of an aggressor, is exterminated is universal irrespective of age, beginning from chest children, finishing very old men. It is a genocide.

OIL PIPELINE: That's All Folks!:

US interests are the million barrels of oil a day that pass thru a pipeline that runs thru Georgia.

Bush = oil = stupidity

Anonymous:

We need to send in American troops to fight Russian aggression. Georgia is a democratic state fighting another democratic state--Russia. We must preserve democracy around the world. Georgia is following our western value while Russia does not. We must destroy those who do not value western values.
But I'm not joining the Marines. I'm just keyboard warrior like the rest of you people and some reporters. hahahaaaa

Anonymous:


Send in the Marines.

We can take on the Ruski any times.

Remember, there is only one super power and that is US, THE USA!

It is time, the Russian understands who call the shot in the world.

Val from Moscow:

Kfritz wrote...

This Georgian is not a hare brain to that extent, I guess. He knew what he was doing. As far 'the one day's besiege and occupation of Tskhinvali' are concerned, this was an old plan developed and announced two years ago by his former defense minister Okruashvili, who is now in Paris in exile :)) following a huge corruption deal (?). Besides, someone has already mentioned here that there might be a bigger gamble involving persons who are interested in an 'October suprise'. It seems a good chance to prop up one of the candidates. Eh?

Solzhenitsyn wrote about the forthcoming problems with the Ossetians and Abkhazes as far back as... 1990 in his 'Как нам обустроить Россию' (not sure it's available in English), and predicted that Georgia will break her backbone with this many-centuries-old nationalistic problem.

As to Russia's annexation. Do you really think that it IS possible nowadays, when Georgia is a UN member-state and a US most reliable ally in the Caucasus? With the strong economic and political bonds between EU and Russia?

IMHO, what Russia wants is to unite the Ossetian people separated by Stalin (another handsome Georgian:))in 1924, have access to the Rock Tunnel in the Caucasus Mountain Ridge, and have access to the Black Sea via Abkhasia. Heh, once NATO comes to Georgia - it will be too late. Another Saakashvili will come about... or will be appointed :))

Garry:

The sooner we dissociate ourselves from this madman Saakashvili the more credibility we can salvage.

Gene:

Will it be all-out war with Russia?

maximilian:

Russia uses its ("russian"/ossetian) population of another country as a reason for attacking that country?


Hmm...What happened in Europe before Adolf started his journey eastwards in the 1930s? Anschluss ?

History repeating

kfritz:

The Georgian PM may have an MBA but is still a hare brain. Is he surprised the Russians reacted with a full-bore offensive? Did he stop to think that an attack during the Olympics would allow Russia to launch its attack and absurd rationalization while the media focus is on Beijing? Did he consult with NATO leaders before launching his attack? Does he know that a proper response by NATO, for instance an air attack on Russian naval formations off Georgia might just start an atomic confligration? Does he realize that Western Europe's armed forces are mostly for show, WE's leaders lacking the stomach for even a justifiable conflict? Does he realize America's forces are tied down by the Iraq debacle?

Putin knows all this or most of it. This pustule in human form wants Georgia back for a new Russian Empire. He has unlimited chutzpah and he's pitching his war perfectly to the paranoiac,isolated, self-pitying aspect of the Russian consciousness. (The same observation can be made regarding the US consciousness, though at a lesser level.) He's calculated the lack of resolution on the part of his prospective enemies perfectly. THIS is the event that will let us know if Bush/Cheney more closely resemble Neville Chamberlain or Winston Churchill. My bet's on Chamberlain. In addition, Putin must have hesitated at least half a second before letting the world and Medvedev know exactly who's the boss in Russia.

This reader predicts that Russia will end the war after inflicting significant damage that will hamstring Georgia for years but not yet try for annexation. And get away with it. If this is a manifestation of the spirit of Russia, it doesn't speak well. Pity that Mr. Solzhenitsyn died before this war. It's instructive that his sense of decency and humanity didn't extend to Chechens. It wouldn't have extended to the Georgia, either. Along with Mother Teresa, one of the most overrated 'humanitarians' of the 20th century.

We all live in interesting times.

Val from Moscow:

Three more Russian peacekeepers were killed, 18 wounded, 6 civilians wounded this night in another Georgian attack by MRLS (GRAD)missles. And again, this happened after ceasefire promises from Saakashvili. I just wonder, is he really the President of Georgia???

LZ:

Saakasvili needs to be indicted for war crime and murder for planning and timing this war on the 1st of Olympics w/o any regards to human lives.

Mike:

Mr. Saakashvili miscalculated the situation. He picked up a fight that he couldn’t win. Nobody, including U.S. wants to be dragged into the fight, except oral condemnation. He’s either insane or smoking wrong stuff. Now he got to figure out where he would go next, perhaps a visiting scholar at a university somewhere in Europe.

Val from Moscow:

Mr Trenin presented a good article. And it's a good discussion. But it's long, and take me another day to read it thru. :))

To Niki from Tbilisi: You mentioned bombing 'even the capital'... Did you mean Tbilisi, the capital of Georgia?!... Niki, daragoi:)), you remind me of the Georgian Ministry of Interior repesentative Utiashvili, an official, who said two hour ago that a Russian aircraft had bombed military airfield in Kodjori last night. You know what supprised me most? He himself refuted it an hour later. More thant that, this happened for the first time in all Mr Saakashvili presidency... :)) All the rest were lies, lies and lies. Do want examples, daragoi :)), just in these 3-4 days? On Aug 7 night, in an official TV address to Russia Saakashvili proposed a ceasefire and negotations in any format (1x1, 2x2), an hour later he confirmed this proposal again over TV, and then.... another hour later shells flew to Tskhinvali at midnight and the city was demolished to the ground (our American friends could see it in SkyNews, CNN and other TV broadcasts, but they thought it was a Russian assualt...heh......). Then, do you remember Mr Saakashvili saying that 10 Russian military aircraft had been shot down? And 40 tanks? And 300 Ossetians were taken prisoner? What else, really, I don't remember right away...

So, please, don't say any more about Russians' bombing Tblilisi. It's a beautiful city, I've been there many times. And love it :)))

Only Power talks:

Only power talks while the reason is not important. This is the rule of life.

Some stupid idiot like George's president will make this bad war happen sooner than later.

Professor Arkham:

Mr. Trenin: I have read similar reports and I must concur with your analysis. I also conclude that hasty reactions from the West could cause great damage to future relations with Russia.

I am not so sure that their (Russia's) intention is reclaiming 'runaway satellite states' as others have mentioned.

It seems Georgia did what it thought was best in an effort to retain the region in question. I'm not saying I agree with the method; it seems like a risky gambit to say the least.

Mickey:

Russia sends a love poem to Ukraine via the war in Georgia: don't run away from me or this could happen to you too.

The world is watching how the U.S. betrayed its ally Georgia as the Georgian troops retreat from the Russian Tanks. Now no countries will ever trust the U.S. after this betrayal.

The U.S. bend over when faced with threat from the commie KGB Putin. The U.S. weakness before the Russians is on display to the world. This is a total humiliation for the Americans.

It's like the old western gunslinger movie where Putin says to Bush: "Do you feel lucky" + "Go ahead, make my day". And Bush blinks!

This proves to the world Bush is a bully to small kids(e.g. Iraq) but a coward to someone(e.g. Russia) of his own age.

bozo clown :

when will dich cheney and his buddy realize they wont be able to start world war 3 and it is just a few days before dick either gets the handcuffs or the heart attack

artistkvip:

conflicts are not solved by milatary means they are merely deepened....after the killing and destruction the two sides will have to again confront the same problems or maybe there will be nothing left to fight over and they will simply walk away leaving the real human being to clean up and carry on....when will dick cheny realize he cannot start world war 3 and when will the hand cuffs be put on him.

NewYorker:

Sakashili’s reference to freedom and democracy is absolutely ludicrous. Just a couple month this, now democracy lover, ordered use of live ammunition on unarmed opposition meeting. He conveniently forgot to explain why thousands of Osetians were killed in Tsinvali? Because they were not freedom loving? America must distance from this monster. The sooner Georgian people oust this criminal regime, the better.

russ:

bush has caused problem by missile defense in poland and czech russia warning neighbors don't put too much faith in bush or you could be next

MikeB:

You get into these sorts of situations when you get over extended. Our military either stands for our genuine national security, against foreign aggression, or it stands for Wall Street and business interests or the nutty beliefs of some NeoCon nutcases. In the present situation, Cheney and the other Wall Street traitors got control of our military and invaded Iraq, are on the verge of invading Iran - all for cheap oil and to create and fight some the Islamic people that would deny them access to cheap oil. They took their eye off our real enemies and the Soviet Union is once again about to storm across Europe. China will likewise make moves in the Far East. Our genuine security interests do not involve some ragtag bands of Islamist extremists. They cannot do much of anything beyond delivering a few pin pricks. No, The real enemy are nations with the enormous armies and economies that can utterly destroy us and that is Russia and China and India. We have a clear choice in the upcoming election: surrender to Wall Street and the NeoCon fanatics as represented by McCain or revitalize our country and our military and standing in the world.

Tony:

Let's be clear georgia attack first so let them pay for the mistake the Rusians are to close to them Putin is not so stupid to let that hapens Bush lost.

Anonymous:


As bad and unfortunate as this event is, one great image came from the Olympics. After both Russia and Georgia won medal in an event, both athletes embraced one and other. I am sure they are aware of the events.

This is truly what the Olympics should be about. We must take our differences and throw politics aside and be nice to each other. I still read trash talks about China. Listen people, China is innocent, so are the people. It's the politicians that make a country look bad. There is no country in the WORLD that is SIN FREE....

David J Feiger:

South Ossetia put in some prospective. The absolute propagandistic disinformation rivals that of the Middle East. According to International Law S. Ossetia a province of the Sovereign Territory of Georgia. In the early 90's a civil war was fought and eventually a treaty was signed in Moscow between Georgia and Russian creating an autonomous region with peace keepers from Russia, Georgia and the UN.
In August 2001 S. Ossetia held elections on increasing the power of it's President which passed. The EU refused to recognize this election result. This year a number of events occurred that provoked Putin to act. Remember Putin has replaced Russia's attempt at democracy with a fascist totalitarian dictatorship. Putin played the naive Bush right were he wanted him. The US tied down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now with a strong possibility of a Pres. greener then JFK. Remembered after meeting with JFK, Khrushchev challenged him in Berlin and Cuba. Putin has begun to threaten military action. He has warned Poland and Lithuania that any ground based anti missile interceptor sites will be destroyed. He has also threated to deploy Nuclear Bombers in Cuba if deployed. He has again threated to bomb the Czech Republic if the anti missile radar is installed on it's soil after it signed the treaty to accept it. Before this the recognition of Kosovo's independence by the West, disputed by Serbia and it's Russia ally. Then Georgia was offered a future membership in NATO once it resolved it's internal disputes.
That was to much for Putin. Russia with huge territory and a population of a 150,000,000 is threatened by Georgia a nation of 5,000,000 over a Russian Settlement that it created by distributing Russian Passports in the Sovereign Territory of Georgia.
Over the past two weeks Putin orchestrated internal provocations between it's peace keepers, S. Osettia rebels and Georgian peace keepers knowing the inflammatory Saakasvili would over react.
No one is questioning the fact that Russian forces were deployed and equipped to invade Georgia within hours of the breakout of hostilities. Russia which has not been attacked is bombing civilian and military targets throughout Georgia including apartment buildings and civilian aircraft. It has blockaded the Black Sea Ports of Georgia. All of this in violation of international law.
Saakasvili is called worse then Hitler by killing 1,500 in a few hours. At a death camp 2000 could be gassed in 20 min. The death toll in Georgia is over 3,000 in three days and the world's silence is deafening. In the 06 2nd Lebanon war that lasted two months 1,600 Lebanese died and Israel was and is libeled as a ruthless racist killer of Arabs which could be further from the truth.
China is investing in Arab Sudan which is engaged in genocide against the native African population of Dafur.In fact the Arab League condemns any action against Sudan. It has occupied and established Chinese settlements in Tibet and the world barely notices.
This war has exposed the degeneration of democracy in the West,the expansionist ambitions of Putin's New Russia, China's non expansionist expertise at market development, and the use of Israel as the modern Jew. In the past Jews were persecuted and killed for using gentile babies to bake their bread, today Israel is condemned for poisoning the water of West Bank Arabs and injecting them with AIDS. At the Olympics with their nations at war the Russian Silver Medalist hugs the Georgian Bronze Medalist and they kiss. The previous day an Iranian swimmer was forced to withdraw from his competition because his opponent would be an Israeli. Who are the racists and how twisted this world of NeoCons and NeoLibs.

Michael [rus]:

I shall give an example! You live in the house, you call Russia. Suddenly you hear as neighbours swear, leave to look in what business and see as yours the neighbour (грузия) beats the wife (ossetia) .вы start to separate them. The neighbour starts to beat and you, you strike back... The Person (U.S.A.) absolutely from other end of city Suddenly resorts and declares: What do you do, Why you beat the neighbour? So it is not good, so it is bad... Leave from here I in all I shall understand! - here it is the most children's example action U.S.A.

You open eyes you does by fools your government means of TV. That the soldier in Iraq, that the present conflict. Conclusions do.

Gregory Boone:

Russia is a communist country again. And Putin is still in charge. Putin will always be the President of Russia. As long as he is alive you can count on that. Russia wants Georgia under it rule again. Russia will distroy the country to have control of it again. You can count on that. Russia is in the long run trying to provoke us. The United States. You wait and see. It's coming. I said it before and I'll say it again. Russia is our enemy once again. We just don't know it and see it yet. But they are.. My grandmother was right. YOU CAN NEVER TRUST RUSSIA.. NEVER.. AND WE AS A COUNTRY WILL FIND OUT THE HARD WAY... GREG

Dr. MBJ:


Just as Russians are quick to blame the US for things whenever they can, the times that Russia makes it in the Western (US) news, they tends to always be presented as aggressive and itching to restore their Superpower status. This shouldn't be a surprise... all countries wish to raise their global, it is natural that Russia would want.

Georgia is (was) an Ally to the US, and it is natural that the US would sell arms and provide training to their troops.

But at the moment, the facts seem to suggest that Georgia was the aggressor in this situation. IF it is shown (and the UN will need to do this inde-pendently) that Georgia was committing ethnic cleansing again Ossetians, then the US should have nothing to do with the Georgian President.

POLITICALLY, the best thing the US can do is use evidence of ethnic cleansing by Georgia (if it is confirmed by the UN) as a justification for distancing itself from Georgia's actions. The US can support Georgia as a country, support its independence, etc., but condemn the actions against innocent people is Ossetia. The US should negotiate with Russia to have it withdraw its troops and promise to provide some public understanding for Russia's actions in Ossetia. Recall that Russia's response against Ossetia is the same as the NATO response against Kosovo (i.e., in response to ethnic cleansing), albeit a bit more abrupt.

US needs to stop supporting presidents simply because they are pro-US if they are going to do crazy and destructive things. The US can see that Georgia gets another pro-West leaning President, although not one so openly hostile to Russia, if they want.

The Big 5 need to meet and develop a careful, uniform policy on dealing with separatist movements, ethnic cleansing, etc.



Broadbrush:


So much for " star wars " & NATO expansion.Putin forecast this situation after Kosovo.He also asked if America would like " star wars "in Cuba? We have Chavez from Venezuela reaching out to Russia & Iran emboldened by the estrangement. This is a dangerous situation and a direct result of George W Bush 's foreign policy bravado.

CPTKILLER:

This attack by Russia comes from the Stain text of diplomacy. This a book Putin knows well since he started in the KGB. Russia has a history of attacking weaker smaller countries. Ask the people of Estonia, Lithuania, and Latvia how much they trust the Russians. If that doesn't convince you, ask the Finns and the Ukraine.

As a former American Army Officer, the only diplomacy that Russia understands is armed force. Russia's invasion of Georgia is an excuse for another old fashioned Russian land grab. Look at history and look at the events when Russian was stopped cold. This occurred during the Berlin Airlift, the Korean War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and with moving mobile nuclear tipped missiles into Western Europe by Reagan. The Russians are thugs and gutless wonders when they run into a real military.

For those who condemn the control of national territory, ask the Brits about Northern Ireland, the Yankees during the American Civil War, the wars with the Plains Indians and etc. Georgia has a right to control their national territory.

Those of you who are in love with Russia are sadly mislead, The American Army trained for a war in Western Europe from about 1947 to 1995. The Russians never crossed the line because NATO was too tough a nut to cut,

If the Russians are not stopped, this is the first quarter of a long decade with more Russian expansion. Don't agree with me, than read the Washington Post.

Zenhead:

This tableaux extends past the rounds mentioned above, taken in the last year or so, by George v. Russia.
Go back to the Bush drive to invade Iraq.
Putin resisted and still resists, the American intervention in Iraq. Bush, crestfallen, surely must have given orders to the CIA: topple Putin.
What has followed is a templated CIA coup d'etat machine. Georgia; Ukraine, twice; Belurusse; Lebanon; one of the former "stans" of Russia; the proposed anti-missile shield in former Soviet sphere of influence. Splitting, wherever possible, former Soviet "states" away from Russia, and encouraging membership in NATO. Surrounding Russia, which has always been paranoid over such encirclement tactics.
All because Bush was tweaked by Putin's refusal to go along with his "soul mate" in geopolitical manuvers. Russia has responded, more and more aggressively, in a number of ways. It is clear that were in not for Russia and China, Iran would have been bombed by either Israel or the U.S., or both, working together.
It is accurate to state that now, Bush has stepped into the crack. Perhaps the Russians did step into a Georgian Trap ... perhaps Bush and Georgia stepped into a Russian Trap. No, Russia will not agree to a cease fire until it has shown the Georgians a lesson. Don't mess with Mother Russian military might. Is the United States, deeply and heavily engaged in a "war against Terror," -- i.e., a global endeavour to crush al-Qaeda and other such entities; the war in Afghanistan; the war in Iraq; threatening comments against Pakistan; and now, we are going to get into a war with Russian forces?
Not likely. Georgia was doing Bush's bidding, but now, he cannot do much other than to watch his client smashed by Russian power. In the act of crushing this "revolt," Georgia will suffer humiliation and defeat, militarily. A significant lesson for any other upstarts who have edged towards the U.S. and NATO. Because no one is about to repeat the "Guns Of August," or, an alliance which demands retaliation against, say, a 1939 Poland, when Germany invaded.
No one really has the forces left to fight such a war, without mass call ups of draftees, reserves, militias, etc. The world of 2008 finds most Western men and women too soft and detached from such sacrifices to see a rush towards throngs enlisting to fight the "russkies."
The media hasn't put together the "colored" revolutions in these various countries, over the past five years. But they all fit in a templated, "contracted out" CIA coup d'etat machine/capability. And that all goes back to new tactics -- peaceful coup d'etats led by energetic young people who are inspired by the promise of democratic reform. Yes, it may come, but they've been used as pawns by George Bush and Dick Cheney to strike back at Vladimir Putin.
Putin, a former KGB colonel, is a master intelligence operative. He knows how to find the clues to these actions, and to put them together, and demonstrate, through effective but quiet counter actions, that he understands what Bush has been up to. He has chosen the Olympics, when Bush is in Beijing, and trying to negotiate his way out of Iraq, to launch this attack against Georgia. It demonstrates that he is a brinksman, and is ready to see what Bush will do next.
It is certain Bush will NOT start a new war. Bush, the shallowest thinker to ever inhabit the White House, thought he was cleverer than Putin. He's not. The man is vain, arrogant, and messianic.

Mary:

With this naked aggression that Georgia has caused against Ossetia, their chances of gaining entry into NATO are slim and none, now.

Georgia's president acted foolishly.

He has jeopardized his country's credibility.

WeeFree:

I find the response of the Russian UN Ambassador interesting and on the mark when the American UN Ambassador implied Russia is terrorising Georgia and killing innocent civilians.

The representative of a state that invaded Iraq without provocation with countless thousands dead should find it difficult to level accusations under almost identical circumstances.

And when you talk of over reaction I remember very well what the Israeli reaction to the abduction of a couple of soldiers in Lebanon was. America worked actively at the UN to prevent a cease fire resolution giving the Israelis time to teach hezbolah a lesson and weaken their appeal within the populace of Southen Lebanon.

Russia watched all that happen without consequencies for the aggressors and the heavy handed armies. Now you ask it to mind the way it responds to violent provocation - what sort of double dealing is that?!

Does America Britain and France think the world is blind, deaf and dumb and we don't know you are all birds of the same feather roosting on the same cloths line with Russia?

Mate:

Maybe someone says that Georgian Authority was not right, but think about it. There is a very smal, old, historical territory of Georgia. Georgia controlling half of its territory and Russia another one. In the Georgian controling part lives Georgians (majority) and Osetians (minority) too. In russian controling Territory lives about 30 000 ossetians and they has its oun "government" "elected" (pointed) and ledid by russian officials (Generals). This government supported by Russian militaries during the last 15 years, bombing and shooting to Georgian wiligies very open, with in the region controling by Georgian authority. It is Georgian territory it very difficult lives with it. Every normal country will do something. Georgia does nothing during 18 years.... Everything has its own (real) name. Lat see what will be…

Not only Ossetian’s died, Georgian’s died too. They climes Georgians bombs Tskinvali, but when Georgians inter in Tskinvali Russia bombs and city was in ruins after Russia’s (air) attacks. During the last years Russia use Osetians (Abkhazians too) as its weapon agienst Georgia. It is brake for Georgia and Georgia can not stand this situation any more.

Russia made genocide of Chechen population in its territory. This is Russia’s real face. They are Fascists. They do not concerns about Chechens (There real citizens) in territory of Russian Federation and why they concern about Ossetian’s. It does not metter for Russia, who will be kild: Georgians, Osetian’s, Chechens or Abkhaz. Russia has only its own imperialistic (Velico Rossiiskii), geopolitical and merchant interest.

Russia is real Aggressor. South Ossetia and Abkhazia only reason, they are instruments to hold Georgia in its hand. Russia occupied these historical territories of Georgia about 18 years ago. West and other world did not “believe” it. Now they have to believe reality, now everybody can see this fact.

Today evening, I saw and heard bombs noise on the Tbilisi lend. They bomb Georgian cities. It is Fact and it is very big mistake of Russia...

American in Moscow:

We Americans have a long tradition of supporting our right to an opinion and we're damn proud of it! Unfortunately, we also have a long tradition of being ill-prepared to support it, especially in on-line forums.

Consider this: It's about (strategic) real estate, not people …or principles.

Georgia has two strategic assets: two corridors that form a cross. The vertical one is the only access through the Caucasus Mountain Range in the north and stretching south to Armenia and beyond. The second is the combined crude oil and natural gas pipeline from the Baku on the Caspian Sea to east to its ports on the Black Sea to the west. A similar St. George’s cross on Georgia’s flag is purely a coincidence.

Something to ponder:
1) Bush tells Georgia he wants them in NATO.
2) NATO tells Georgia to sort out their territorial issues first.
3) North Ossetia (in Russia) and South Ossetia (in Georgia) control the Trans Caucasian (Military) Highway (look it up). It’s the newest of only three through the mountains, the other two being the Georgian Military Road and the Ossetian Military Road. The Ossetians have been guarding these passes for centuries.
4) George Bush’s term is over in December (thank God!)
5) The next round of NATO discussions on expansion is in December….

Saakashvili gambled, hoping for reinforcements.

The reports of atrocities committed by Georgian troops on the night they destroyed the city of Tskhinvali will be investigated and made public. The refugee accounts turned my stomach, as did the subsequent flag-waving English-language speeches of Saakashvili on the US airwaves. References to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938, the sacred words: American values, freedom-loving people, democracy, the unearned EU flag in the background – Cynical Theater! Incidentally, news channels abandoned all sense of responsibility thereafter. It was like watching an obituary an hour after a celebrity has died. The script was already in the filing cabinet. Sky News reported on the “invasion” by Russia of “Georgian territory (meaning bloodied South Ossetia)” against night-time footage of the rocket-shelling of Tskhinvali by the Georgian forces. There’s got to be a legal remedy for this kind of irresponsibility!

Let’s set a few more things straight: South Ossetians are not so much “separatists” as they are “non-secessionists”. When the Soviet administrative territory called the Georgian SSR seceded from the Soviet Union during the break-up of the USSR in the early 90s, South Ossetians chose not to follow, but were forced to. Legally, Georgia, as a territory that had two Autonomous Republics within its boundaries, was obligated to first hold a referendum in each on the subject of secession. They did not. The “international community” hastily recognized the sovereignty of Georgia and ignored the local referendum that South Ossetia held. In essence, the newborn country of Georgia denied Abkhazia and South Ossetia the independence it had just won. The South Ossetians applied for Russian passports to remain connected with North Ossetia …and Russia.

Russia granted Russian passports to South Ossetians who sought them. Naturally, it is interested in keeping the Trans-Caucasian Highway under its control, especially in face of potential NATO expansion into Georgia. It is also interested in

The Georgian bombardment of Tskhinvali betrays the fact that the land is dearer to them than the people on it. Saakashvili is being openly cynical and playing the media. He wants into NATO and needs to deliver the mountain passes this territory controls.

He miscalculated. Had he studied history a little more carefully, he would have remembered that the 1956 uprising in Budapest was also egged on by the Voice of America, only to fall victim to Soviet tanks.

Cynicism bites both ways, Saak!

!!!!!!!!:

Why so much lies? George - An aggressor. You rascal all return. All lear and murderer before end of the lifes will appear in the dreams moderating children south Ossetia

Maria:

Saakasvili is a big liar! He kills thousangs of people and in the same time cries that Russia is descending on his country! People from the west don't even know the real situration.
There is a genocide against South Ossetia by Georgian army. They killed women, children, old people. It's not an army - it's a gang of murderers! They didn't let to save injured men from the town. They fired even on the journalists. All of already saved people from Tskhinvali relate about horrible acts of violence from Georian militaries. It's very sad and painfull that so many people don't see all that true! It so strange that news come only from one side? from Saakasvili? is't it? Show to all world the pictures from bombed South Ossetia! Let them see and hear the interviews of the victims of that tragedy!
All actions from Russian side are justified, and its peacekeepers are risking their own lifes to protect Ossetin people. Saakasvili began that war, and Russian army just responsed.

Sasha :

I would like to saz few words to those people who actually have no idea about what they are speaking!They watch their channels full of Bush propoganda and think they've got the point!!!If you guys don't know the history,don't know anything about the real cituation, please don't speak of it!!!!!Georgia is doing what Amerika tells, but doesn't think that this country will never help directly!!!Because it's like a puppy in compare with Russia!!!Georgia and Ossetia are fighting since no one knows when(Columb did't find Amerika by that time yet)and they would never stop if Russia didn't keep them!!!So guys,please(especially US citizens who still thinks that Amerika won in second world war)better keep your mouths shut!Hey?Ion!!!Moldovian guy,ask better those who live in Moldova now what do they really want and what really happened there!!!

Anonymous:

The mron is gonna lose Abhasia too

Andrei:

You are not whrite! usa want war this Russia! do you really a war in all world???

Jesús:

I think the offense of russian invaders must not
be forgotten. The military empowerment of Georgia
must continue. In the other hand, a country which
is not a NATO member cannot be supported as it is.

Andrew:

I can't stand it anymore: the US citizens and some European countries' citizens are getting wrong coverage of the events in the South Ossetia by the so called impartial and free mass-media!!!!It is a well-planned information war!!!What is more ridiculous-the price for that pay thousands of civil Ossetian people who die and suffer under the attacks of Georgian troops!!!The well-known western mass-media kept silence when Georgia started it well-planned genocide and aggression against Ossetia-more than 2000 Ossetians are dead, about 30000 of refugees-but there are only quotations of georgian president and officials in western mass-media...

Cold Warrior:

Have we no Sixth Fleet? Have we no Carrier Strike Groups? Perhaps now would be a good time for a Black Sea visit, particularly since the Russian fleet is supposedly engaged neither in a blockade nor an invasion.

As for the Guns of August, let us also not forget Munich.

Jack Jarvis:

That Georgia moved to retake South Ossetia at this time and and the U.S. is assisting them raises the question of our role in this. Is it beyond the realm of possibility that Bush and his fools supported this move to impact the Presidential campaign? Is this the subtle version of the October surprise that has been predicted by many? If not, you have to ask yourself why they did move now and what did they really think the Russians, with Putin still a major player, would do?

G:

First, Russia is not defending its citizens. Since 2004, Russia has been giving passports to South Ossetian residents in order to have excuse to intervene in Georgia's domestic problem. It has done the same thing in Abkhazia. Second, Russia has been performing military exercises across the border since the beginning of June in preparation for such an invasion. Third, the real issue at hand is NATO. Georgia was on track to get a MAP in December and Russia wanted to derail that process.

Yes, Saakashvili miscalculated and responded to separatist attacks with far too much force. However, Russia's reaction, which is ongoing in spite of ceasefire requests from Georgia, is way over the line.

I fear that Russia is on the brink of becoming a fascist state. 2008 Georgia has echoes of 1938 Czechoslovakia. Just read some of the pro-Russian comments in this discussion and the nationalist vitriol is pretty frightening.

ChuckB:

Let me see: the majority of Ossetians are allied with Russia, they carry Russian passports, crack Georgian troops overran Ossetian formations, causing a terrible loss of life, and the refugees from this conflict are steaming into Russia, not Georgia. What am I missing? All of this doesn't square with Georgia being a stalwart champion of democracy. The answer seems to be: A client of the U.S. and a proxy to secure the flow of oil to the West, yes: a enlightened preserver of human dignity and freedom, no. Many of the posts assume Saakashvili acted autonomously and is the architect of a Machiavellian plan to put Russia behind the eight ball. Seriously? He is on our payroll; would he have initiated this conflict without passing it by his handlers? I am prone to assume he and whoever miscalculated Russia's response.

Jerry Spiegler:

As a reasonably well educated American citizen, I'm shocked, saddened, and embarassed by my total lack of awareness and understanding of this very serious issue which has been going on for many years without much notice in the USA.

Many Thanks to all the brave people who posted to this website in order to correct my ignorance and help me understand what's really going on. It is clear to me that my government and national media have no interest in informing me of the truth.

I must rely on you for the truth because powerful forces here in America keep the truth from me and my fellow citizens. They pretend surprise and write splashy headlines for business and political reasons but do not feel obligated to keep me well informed.

Johny:

Have you paid attention to President Saakashvili's claims? Georgia is an European country! Yes you see that is the basis of the whole trick. Saakashvili is trying to manipulate the west to accept it into European Union. Who else would benefit? Western military-industrial complex. What a trick, Do you think US and Europe will fall into that trap?

Ramon:

Dear friends! We are watching the Great Lie from Internet! The reality is that Saakashvili FIRST bombed Tskhinvali on the Day of the Olympian Games! Georgian soldiers SHOT Russian Peace-making armies, peaceful population FIRST and only AFTER this Russian troops came to prevent further destruction. Remember Kosovo, and the US position in that case!
If you understand the reality, that means your have a free mind.
P.S. Please, send this message to all your friends. Thank you!

antirASSia:

Bloody rASSians:

I will explain you what will happen:

1. The actions of Georgia will be critisized but the same time confrimed by the world (exept rASSia of course) that they were legal, as it was against criminal regime. Everybody knows the criminal past of Kokoity and his regime and that this region was used for selling armes, drugs, people... where even kids had arms. Also it is no mystery that the Ossetian people and this region in general was used by Kremlyn only for political purposes against west and NATO. If Putin would ever care about Ossetian people and kids the tragedy of Beslan would never ever happen. It was shame to see how he was met with plowers by North_ossetian people.

2. It will be confirmed that rASSias actiond were illagal, using escalated force and unappropriate for a peacekeeper with militar intervension in little country.

3. It will be demonstrated that 2.000 ethnicaly civil victims is a very exagarated figure in order to proove sime genocide by part of Tbilisi.

4. Russia will be recognised by international comunity as a part of the conflict that can not make a "peace" in the region any more.

5. Georgia can forget about NATO for one year.

6. Russia can forget about G-8.

antirASSia:

Bloody rASSians:

I will explain you what will happen:

1. The actions of Georgia will be critisized but the same time confrimed by the world (exept rASSia of course) that they were legal, as it was against criminal regime. Everybody knows the criminal past of Kokoity and his regime and that this region was used for selling armes, drugs, people... where even kids had arms. Also it is no mystery that the Ossetian people and this region in general was used by Kremlyn only for political purposes against west and NATO. If Putin would ever care about Ossetian people and kids the tragedy of Beslan would never ever happen. It was shame to see how he was met with plowers by North_ossetian people.

2. It will be confirmed that rASSias actiond were illagal, using escalated force and unappropriate for a peacekeeper with militar intervension in little country.

3. It will be demonstrated that 2.000 ethnicaly civil victims is a very exagarated figure in order to proove sime genocide by part of Tbilisi.

4. Russia will be recognised by international comunity as a part of the conflict that can not make a "peace" in the region any more.

5. Georgia can forget about NATO for one year.

6. Russia can forget about G-8.

alance:

Be aware of Vladimir the Impaler!

The Russians are coming
The Russians are coming
The Cold War has begun again.

Yesterday - Chechnya
Today - Georgia
Tomorrow - Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, etc. etc.

candide:

Let Russia be Russia!

ric:

Eggy wrote:
America must do whatever it takes to help Georgia expel the Russian invaders. Georgia has been a courageous and loyal American ally, a much better ally than either France or Canada. Georgia has more troops on our side in Iraq than any other nation besides Britain.

So Eggy, More than 80 Canadian soldiers have died in Afghanistan so far fighting the Taliban in Khandahar (by far the worse province there), but we're not a loyal ally?!?!?! Thanks man, I'm sure if 9/11 had happened in Toronto instead of NY you would also run to help us Canadians, right? HOW YOU DARE ???!!!!

Alexey Braguine:


When you sit next to the sleeping bear don't poke him with a stick. Against all common sense, instead of developing good relations, Mr. Saakashvili has been provoking his northern neighbor ever since he assumed power.

It is difficult to understand why anyone would be so reckless with one's country's security. The only explanation that comes to mind: IT'S THE OIL, STUPID!

When we look at who Mr. Saakashvili is, how he came into power and where he comes from the picture becomes clearer.

Educated in the U.S. and I believe an American citizen, Mr. Saakashvili came to power supported by Rumsfelt's Pentagon and has been promoting Vice President Chenney's oil pipe agenda (NABUKO pipeline) and aggressively trying to undermine Russia's security and economic interests on its southern border. In short, Mr. Saakashvili has been acting like an agent of a foreign power and not the head of state working for the benefit of his people.

Mr. Saakashvili would make an excellent villain in a geopolitical thriller.

Alexey Braguine is the author of KINGMAKER, a tale of international betrayal.

Mickey:

News just in, the U.S. betrayed its ally Georgia and Georgian troops retreat on the way. Now no countries will ever trust the U.S.

The U.S. backed down when faced with threat from the commie KGB Putin. This is a total humiliation for the Americans.

This proves Bush is a bully to small kids but a coward to someone of his own age.

Tony:

Goergia is a "friend" of the west? With irresponsible and selfish friends like this, who needs enemies? Mikhail Saakashvili has shown to be a coldblooded and ruthless man, causing thousands of innocent civilians to die for nothing.

Ardavaszt:

I am an Armenian. Even though not deeply religious,I do consider & see my Orthodox Christianity as part of my identity,part of my very being that never leaves.I have always heard from Eastern Armenians that Georgians cannot be trusted, that they are & always have been two-faced & deceitful.It was rather
a shock what I read in the Armenian Community newspaper several years ago. Georgians attacked an Armenian Church somewheres within Georgia, destroying 12th century hand-crafted artifacts within the church.I recall my thought about it:Throughout centuries the survivability of Christians has been extremely difficult in that region.Now you have Georgians attacking our church.Time to extend your hands & say we are Christian friends,isn't it?
By the way....Any lunatic who thinks that I'm worshiping the material object itself when I see & pray in front of a painting displaying Jesus within the church. I am praying for what the image represents,not What material the object is made of!Get it some of the Genius's who attack our ways all in the name of true Christianity?!....

Observer:

Instead of following NATO lead and stop genocide in Osetia by bombing all Georgian cities to submission, Russia sends their servicemen to the battle ground.

Stupid

Nika from Tbilisi:

I would say that my opinion is wery close to many Deogrian citizen's:

Yes, our president Saakashvili is bad leader, and criminal as well. But we didn't elect him: he rised after revolution (destroying even worse dictator - Shevarnadze) and now just doesn't seem to ever leave the president's chair. Elections have been falsified (and "thanks a lot" to Matthew Braiza for helping Saakashvili with it!).Saakashvili's career has been payed by US sources, and he always been a doll in their hands. Government enforced by other country can never be good for us, even if US is meaning well.

As for Russia - they always "wanted" Georgia, they need this territory. S.Ossetia, Abkhazia and so on - it has always been just an occasion to establish Russian authority here. Yes, Saakashvili made lots of stupid things, maybe even he was the one who started it (though nobody knows), but Russia moved much forward - they immediately started bombing all over the country, even in the capital, now hey are intesifying the fire and lot's of Georgian civilians are dead/injured.

Both are manipulating whith facts, as some people have mentioned it here.

You have to understand one thing - lives of Ossetian civilans, Georgian and Russian troops - all together about 2,500 dead - they are just pawns in somebody's dirty hands. It's NOT about Ossetia, it's about Russia and Georgia... or USA?

So what is the cure? Why we, common citizens of Georgia and Ossetia should suffer from war?

Value of life is the same, whoever it is - Georgian troops, Osetian Women or Russian soldiers. Nobody has to pay this price!

Vladimir:

I agree with much of what Mr.Trenin has written. Indeed, Dr.Goebbels would be green with envy if he could witness brilliant manipulation with facts by Mr.Saakashvili. And he seems to have succeeded in convincing Western blindfolded media that 2000 innocent people of South Ossetia who have died as a result of shelling and bombing Tskhinvali by Georgian troops on irresponsible orders by the adventurist leader of Georgia, have actually perished of Russian hands! The USA should stop for a moment and ponder over what new surprizes Saakashvili could produce for Washington once he becomes a NATO member.

Eggy:

America must do whatever it takes to help Georgia expel the Russian invaders. Georgia has been a courageous and loyal American ally, a much better ally than either France or Canada. Georgia has more troops on our side in Iraq than any other nation besides Britain. Georgia is a democracy. Russian is Fascist scum.

It is true that this is not a good time for a confrontation with Russia. That's why Russia chose it. But this is not a war of choice. If we leave Georgia to its fate, Russia will move in somewhere else. And then somewhere else. Sooner or later, we will have to stand up for freedom and democracy and not allow Russian Fascism to continue to invade sovereign nations, steal territory and murder civilians. The longer we wait, the more difficult it will be.


Nick:

Gogi your country made great mistake - I can say that you have already done about 2000 mistakes.

JHS:

If US and Western Europe do not move their fingers (military), they will lose Iran and N.Korea quickly. The western power will dwindle and finally the world will fall under complete grip of communism. Russian will not respect ANY WORD, the only solution is MILITARY ACTION.

Gogi:

Russian tanks ALREADY go to Tbilisi!!
Russian military ships have established BLOCKADE! Probably murders of ossetic women and children in villages near Tskhinvali also was a mistake. EVERYONE make mistakes. Alas the army of the USA too sometimes kills peace inhabitants. It is necessary to forget about the perfect mistakes.

Today the USA should protect the unique ally in region.
The UNIQUE faithful ally.
If to not stop Russian they will crush young pro-American democracy.

David from Tbilisi:

We are under occupation again! History is repeated, we were left alone in 19th century and hope for support now. The whole Russian military power is turned against us! The first bombs were thrown on Tbilisi this morning I heard myself... Civilian casualties are very high. Please HELP before it is not too late.

Nick:

The most comments are stupid!!!! What you really know about war in S. Osetia?! If you think that war was started by Russia how you can explain that - "...thousand refugees run from war to Russia, instead of to Georgia..." ?!

Liz:

United States and NATO set the precedent with Kosovo by bombing a sovereign Serbia, and then exerting their influence in that region. Now the dominoe effect has begun. USA meddles in other sovereign countries, and then tries to tell other countries (in this case, Russia) to not do the same. There is a huge lesson here for USA, i.e. mind your own business. But, that will be a difficult pill to swallow. What business do USA and NATO have in poking Russia in the eye, by non-stop meddling in Russia's neck of the woods?

So, don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you. Stay in your own backyard, because there is a lot to fix there.

Gerald:

The US may have one reason to go in here, in one way or another, which is our policy of weakening Russia. The Post's editorial seems to be on that line.

Russia is not the Soviet Union however. The latter had a population of 300 million, Russia only half of that. That can make the country a regional power, but hardly a world power. With China next to its vast, and almost empty, eastern part, weakening Russia even further, may not be the wisest thing to do.

dnjake:

It appears evident that US is not going to intervene in Georgia. There appears to a reasonable argument that Georgia miscalculated the consequences of asserting too much independence from Russia. But Russian actions in Georgia are just another step in an ongoing correction to the optimism that Russia was ready to share Western political and economic values. Hopefully, we are not headed all the way back to the cold war. But we do seem headed towards a more hostile relationship with Russia than we have had for the last fifteen years.

Sid:

The Georgian demolition men are caught: among them the citizen of the USA
10.08.2008//14:13

Under messages from Цхинвала around settlement Zar which is on "life road" - Zarsky road, have been captured group of the Georgian demolition men. One of them as the citizen of the USA the Afro-American has appeared, is . Most likely it is one of instructors of NATO. At present it is forwarded to Vladikavkaz for finding-out of all circumstances of its finding in Republic South Ossetia territory.

Greg:

Russia should evacuate their "citizens" from Georgia, and pull their troops from that country that they've been keeping under various presences for 16 years, including an excuse to protect their "citizens". It is nothing but creeping annexation.

They are not peace keepers - never have been.

While brutally crushing independence moves in Chechnya and other parts of Russia, they support separatists in Georgia. Chechen rebel and terrorist Shamil Basaev became famous by leading bandits who with the help from Russian troops expelled 250 thousand Georgians, as well as Greeks, Armenians, from Abkhazia in 1992. Later he fought Russian forces in Chechnya and eventually got killed. How ironic.


Timofey:

US is very cowardly - because do this war on the quiet. 2000 South Ossetians allready is dead - WHAT DO YOU WHANT ???? Saakasvili is a real madman - and his place in Gaagas law-court.

http://www.rbcnews.com/free/20080809195301.shtml

Sid:

Hot News from S Ossetia!
The Georgian demolition men are caught: among them the citizen of the USA
10.08.2008//14:13

Under messages from Tshinvali around settlement Zar which is on "life road" - Zarsky road, have been captured group of the Georgian demolition men. One of them as the citizen of the USA the Afro-American has appeared, is . Most likely it is one of instructors of NATO. At present it is forwarded to Vladikavkaz for finding-out of all circumstances of its finding in Republic South Ossetia territory.

Timofey:

US is very cowardly - because do this war on the quiet. 2000 South Ossetians allready is dead - WHAT DO YOU WHANT ???? Saakasvili is a real madman - and his place in Gaagas law-court.

RVERBIST:

This is a very bad situation for all involved and for NATO. NATO should have expedited Georgias' NATO membership once it became clear that the Russian rhetoric was going to be matched by military actions. It is now time to act. NATO must support Georgia in the UN and stop the Russian incursion now. It may be too late to retake the south and in a week or two too late for
Abkhazia. Entry in NATO promptly is essential to save what will be left of Georgia!!!

Bob:

The West started with creating the "state" of Kosovo, aimed to win the hearts of Middle East. Now watch what happens across the world, this war in Georgia is just begining. Once USA broken international laws how everyone ca expect other big nations to abide the international laws. If you want to lead by example, this is a great lesson for the US.

Aslan:

In South Ossetia Saarashvili kill more then 2000
people. That my people, and they were not a soldiers, that people was children, women,old people. Saakashvili was the first, who begin war.
All Saakashvili"s information about war is LIE.
Saakashvili want to be in NATO. He attacks my country at night, when people are sleep. Russia helps us. Saakashvili is killer, like a Gitler.
Why U.S. and EUROUPE asked Saakashvili about situation in Region South Ossetia? Ask from people
of South Ossetia about situation in region, they are tell truth!!!!!!!!!!!1

Homunculus:

In response to Vanitskys earlier post: You hit the nail right on the head bud. You couldn't be more on target, the Wests railroading of Kosovo's poor precedent should have us all worried for things to come. It would be childish to not see reciprocity in competing interests of a similar nature.

WORLD GUARDIAN:

"Whoever initiated the clashes, planned it to coincide with the colorful fireworks in the opening of the Beijing Olympics", writes Adam Primor in Haaretz.

Says Primor: "Perhaps Saakashvili believes that a Democratic president in the White House may not accord him as much support as Bush and thus decided that now is the right time for him to act. Others maintain that Saakashvili chose the operation's timing to send a message to Russia that he can imperil the Sochi Games if no solution to his liking is reached".

Whatever is the reason, the attack that Georgia launched came as NO SURPRISE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

So, when we can establish which forces encouraged Saakashvili to launch his adventure, we will know who must share the blame.

* Those who wanted to weaken Russia, on its southern borders.

* Weapon merchants and manufacturers who saw in Saakashvili's pro-American Georgia a great client. Most of the modern weapons were supplied to Georgia by the U.S., France and Israel.

* The private contactors are American and Israeli.

So far the names of some famous Israeli generals who trained the Georgian Special Forces were published in Israel. General Yoram Yair (nicknamed YaYa), General Israel Ziv, Major-General Gal Hirsch, who commanded the Galil Army in the last Lebanon War. The Israelis represent the cr?me of the IDF-reservists, as well as those of the Police Green Berets, and the Shin Bet.

Haaretz' Yosi Melman says that the military relations between Israel and Georgia started in 1991, when Georgia became independent. The large Georgian Jewish community in Israel aided the pro-western government. The Georgian Minister of Defence, David Kazarshvili, is a Hebrew-speaking Jew who spent t some years in Israel.

Following the worsening of relations between Georgia and Russia, Israel's MoD licensed the export of modern arms to Georgia. The weapons were sold by Israeli State and Private corporations: RAFAEL - The Israeli Authority for Developing new Weapons, IMI - The Israeli Military Industry, IAI - Israel Aircraft Industry, Elbit and others.

The Israeli paper Maariv, estimates the value of these sales at 300.000.000 $.

Now, the Israeli Foreign Ministry asked the country's Ministry of Defence to show restraint in its arm sales to Georgia. Haaretz report today "a decision was made to recommend to the Defence Ministry that Israel would avoid the sale of any military equipment to Georgia because the country was now a "combat zone.". . . As if they did not know what weapons are for. . .

Haaretz comments: "About six months ago, the Defence Ministry imposed significant limitations on the arms transfers from Israel to Georgia, in view of the growing friction between Tbilisi and Moscow". . . but "defensive equipment and advisers were allowed to continue".

Are Elbit-made drones offensive or defensive? A Russian Mig shot down an Israeli-made drone in Georgian service. 4 other Hermes drones were also downed.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009946.html
The Melman piece is only available in Hebrew
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=1010102&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0
A detailed report on Israeli arms exports to Georgia - in Hebrew
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/770/090.html

WORLD GUARDIAN:

"Whoever initiated the clashes, planned it to coincide with the colorful fireworks in the opening of the Beijing Olympics", writes Adam Primor in Haaretz.

Says Primor: "Perhaps Saakashvili believes that a Democratic president in the White House may not accord him as much support as Bush and thus decided that now is the right time for him to act. Others maintain that Saakashvili chose the operation's timing to send a message to Russia that he can imperil the Sochi Games if no solution to his liking is reached".

Whatever is the reason, the attack that Georgia launched came as NO SURPRISE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

So, when we can establish which forces encouraged Saakashvili to launch his adventure, we will know who must share the blame.

* Those who wanted to weaken Russia, on its southern borders.

* Weapon merchants and manufacturers who saw in Saakashvili's pro-American Georgia a great client. Most of the modern weapons were supplied to Georgia by the U.S., France and Israel.

* The private contactors are American and Israeli.

So far the names of some famous Israeli generals who trained the Georgian Special Forces were published in Israel. General Yoram Yair (nicknamed YaYa), General Israel Ziv, Major-General Gal Hirsch, who commanded the Galil Army in the last Lebanon War. The Israelis represent the cr?me of the IDF-reservists, as well as those of the Police Green Berets, and the Shin Bet.

Haaretz' Yosi Melman says that the military relations between Israel and Georgia started in 1991, when Georgia became independent. The large Georgian Jewish community in Israel aided the pro-western government. The Georgian Minister of Defence, David Kazarshvili, is a Hebrew-speaking Jew who spent t some years in Israel.

Following the worsening of relations between Georgia and Russia, Israel's MoD licensed the export of modern arms to Georgia. The weapons were sold by Israeli State and Private corporations: RAFAEL - The Israeli Authority for Developing new Weapons, IMI - The Israeli Military Industry, IAI - Israel Aircraft Industry, Elbit and others.

The Israeli paper Maariv, estimates the value of these sales at 300.000.000 $.

Now, the Israeli Foreign Ministry asked the country's Ministry of Defence to show restraint in its arm sales to Georgia. Haaretz report today "a decision was made to recommend to the Defence Ministry that Israel would avoid the sale of any military equipment to Georgia because the country was now a "combat zone.". . . As if they did not know what weapons are for. . .

Haaretz comments: "About six months ago, the Defence Ministry imposed significant limitations on the arms transfers from Israel to Georgia, in view of the growing friction between Tbilisi and Moscow". . . but "defensive equipment and advisers were allowed to continue".

Are Elbit-made drones offensive or defensive? A Russian Mig shot down an Israeli-made drone in Georgian service. 4 other Hermes drones were also downed.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009946.html
The Melman piece is only available in Hebrew
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=1010102&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0
A detailed report on Israeli arms exports to Georgia - in Hebrew
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/770/090.html

Homunculus:

In response to Vanitskys earlier post: You hit the nail right on the head bud. You couldn't be more on target, the Wests railroading of Kosovo's poor precedent should have us all worried for things to come. It would be childish to not see reciprocity in competing interests of a similar nature.

WORLD GUARDIAN:

"Whoever initiated the clashes, planned it to coincide with the colorful fireworks in the opening of the Beijing Olympics", writes Adam Primor in Haaretz.

Says Primor: "Perhaps Saakashvili believes that a Democratic president in the White House may not accord him as much support as Bush and thus decided that now is the right time for him to act. Others maintain that Saakashvili chose the operation's timing to send a message to Russia that he can imperil the Sochi Games if no solution to his liking is reached".

Whatever is the reason, the attack that Georgia launched came as NO SURPRISE TO THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION!

So, when we can establish which forces encouraged Saakashvili to launch his adventure, we will know who must share the blame.

* Those who wanted to weaken Russia, on its southern borders.

* Weapon merchants and manufacturers who saw in Saakashvili's pro-American Georgia a great client. Most of the modern weapons were supplied to Georgia by the U.S., France and Israel.

* The private contactors are American and Israeli.

So far the names of some famous Israeli generals who trained the Georgian Special Forces were published in Israel. General Yoram Yair (nicknamed YaYa), General Israel Ziv, Major-General Gal Hirsch, who commanded the Galil Army in the last Lebanon War. The Israelis represent the cr?me of the IDF-reservists, as well as those of the Police Green Berets, and the Shin Bet.

Haaretz' Yosi Melman says that the military relations between Israel and Georgia started in 1991, when Georgia became independent. The large Georgian Jewish community in Israel aided the pro-western government. The Georgian Minister of Defence, David Kazarshvili, is a Hebrew-speaking Jew who spent t some years in Israel.

Following the worsening of relations between Georgia and Russia, Israel's MoD licensed the export of modern arms to Georgia. The weapons were sold by Israeli State and Private corporations: RAFAEL - The Israeli Authority for Developing new Weapons, IMI - The Israeli Military Industry, IAI - Israel Aircraft Industry, Elbit and others.

The Israeli paper Maariv, estimates the value of these sales at 300.000.000 $.

Now, the Israeli Foreign Ministry asked the country's Ministry of Defence to show restraint in its arm sales to Georgia. Haaretz report today "a decision was made to recommend to the Defence Ministry that Israel would avoid the sale of any military equipment to Georgia because the country was now a "combat zone.". . . As if they did not know what weapons are for. . .

Haaretz comments: "About six months ago, the Defence Ministry imposed significant limitations on the arms transfers from Israel to Georgia, in view of the growing friction between Tbilisi and Moscow". . . but "defensive equipment and advisers were allowed to continue".

Are Elbit-made drones offensive or defensive? A Russian Mig shot down an Israeli-made drone in Georgian service. 4 other Hermes drones were also downed.

http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1009946.html
The Melman piece is only available in Hebrew
http://www.haaretz.co.il/hasite/pages/ShArtPE.jhtml?itemNo=1010102&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0
A detailed report on Israeli arms exports to Georgia - in Hebrew
http://www.nrg.co.il/online/1/ART1/770/090.html

George:

From the news:
1. South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia in 1992 but nobody cared.
2. In 08.08., at the begining of Olympic Games in Beijing, Georgia started an attack in South Ossetia where 2000 people within what…
two hours…plus 12 russian peace keepers died.
3. Russia marched into South Ossetia and started an military retaliation against Georgia.
4. Now Georgian president Saakashvili cries fool & expects the West to stand behind him.
The West should deny to him any help because as they killed their own people they also killed the reason for us to help them.

Although Russia denied the violation of the International Law by recognizing Kosovo’s independence and was against Border Changes (for first time after WW2), now has every moral and legal right to support S.Ossetian and Abhazian independence. The precendent was set few months earlier by the US and EU.
Now Russians just do the same as US & EU did with Kosovo.
Unfortunately after Iraq and Yugoslavia-
UN MEANS NOTHING and US (more), EU (less) have the MAIN responsibility for that!!
And World without UN is a very dangerous place to live!!
World without UN means the supremacy of jungle’s laws where the big fish eats the small fish and nobody cares….
Do we want a world like this????

george:

From the news:
1. South Ossetia declared its independence from Georgia in 1992 but nobody cared.
2. In 08.08., at the begining of Olympic Games in Beijing, Georgia started an attack in South Ossetia where 2000 people within what…
two hours…plus 12 russian peace keepers died.
3. Russia marched into South Ossetia and started an military retaliation against Georgia.
4. Now Georgian president Saakashvili cries fool & expects the West to stand behind him.
The West should deny to him any help because as they killed their own people they also killed the reason for us to help them.

Although Russia denied the violation of the International Law by recognizing Kosovo’s independence and was against Border Changes (for first time after WW2), now has every moral and legal right to support S.Ossetian and Abhazian independence. The precendent was set few months earlier by the US and EU.
Now Russians just do the same as US & EU did with Kosovo.
Unfortunately after Iraq and Yugoslavia-
UN MEANS NOTHING and US (more), EU (less) have the MAIN responsibility for that!!
And World without UN is a very dangerous place to live!!
World without UN means the supremacy of jungle’s laws where the big fish eats the small fish and nobody cares….
Do we want a world like this????

TS:

Saakashvili's victims in South Ossetia. Just look...
http://osinform.ru/foto/7343-zhertvy-obstrela-juzhnojj-osetii.html

Aleksandr:

adequate response Russian side.

Alex:

But Saakashvilly is concerned about Osetia's future?-NO. Georgia solders kill Osetia people ALL people including old people and kids

Anonymous:

Georgia made a very big mistake.

Miscalculating that Russia will not respond swiftly to the bombing of Ossestia.

Many countries have made that mistake in the past with Russia. Many thought this time around Russia will just talk but do nothing. They got it wrong!!!

I hope both sides think carefully about the consequences of their actions.

No more foolish killings.

RUSSIA IS NEVER AS WEAK AS SHE SEEMS AND NEVER AS STRONG AS SHE SEEMS.

vanitsky:

The only result the Western MSM has got in bashing anything related to Russia - they made us Russians not interested in what the rest of the world talks about Russia.

The so-called world opinion is formulated by small groups of interests - and most of them are anti-Russian, or sceptical about Russia in the best case.

Anyway it had some positive effect: Russia realized its national intersts. We, Russians, understood that it would be senseless to try to be liked by anybody.

As a result a 3 level politics was established:
1st level - mass media and respective attitude: "Let then talk whatever they wish".
2nd level - business relations :"Let's talk real things".
3rd level - relations between leaders: "Don't pay attention to the buzz out there - we need work to do".

Well, searious people both here in Russian and in the West perfectly realize: What's in Russia's intersts is always in the intersts of the West.

The rest is just propaganda and cheap manipulations.

bush5:

very funny ,no body seems to think right now adays? georgia believes that the USA can help it invades other countries simply because it've helped the USA invading iraq ?? sory, game is over .

MM:

You in US dont know absolutley nothing about Georgia-Russia relations. Russia did everything to make Georgia make the move. Before that Russia so called "peace soldiers" killed georgians in S-Ossethia. why nobody talks about that?? Why Russia dose that? to show to Europe and to US that nobody can play in any way with Russia if they want... this is a big truth!This is a longer story but Russian activitys in Georgia is called agression!
Russians did everything to attack Estonia aswell...remember?? How much do you know about that?
dont belive too much into Russia

notarzt:

The Russian bear once again shows its true colors and smell. Clumsy, ill-tempered, and still nursing imperial ambitions it has extended citizenship to residents of another country, and then invaded that country to protect its "citizens", as well as the pack of organized criminals that run it. Then again, that sounds like the current Russian government. Sorry that Russia has failed to use the opportunity provided by the collapse of the USSR to develop into a region where the rule of law counts for anything, but to export that dysfunction is unacceptable. Sabre rattling, exterminating democracy domestically as well as abroad, international assasinations, subtrifuge, seizure of private assets, and extortional use of natural resources do not seem to have been enough. Putin, yob tvaya mat.

vanitsky:

For a long time Russia had been warning US & EU that establishment of the Kosovo precedent would have long term consequences.

As far as the principle of not changing after WW2 borders is not applicable any longer, South Ossetia, Abkhasia (declared independence from Georgia in 1992!!!) have full right to demand independence and refer to the Kosovo precedent.

The wave of nations/ethnic groups seeking independence is coming.

The Kurdish problem is the first coming into my mind: an 60+ million nation torn between Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Azerbajan has its right to get independence.

Great that WaPo looks deeper into the issue, the editorial related was a complete BS.

Maverick:

Ant Georgia let lose by Americans, tried to fight siberian tiger.Funny.

Some idiots in the west to much believe in theirs war chariots. Some commies comisars moved to USA and now instead of communisum they spread a wars in the false democracy. A lot of those trockis work now for FOX news. Funny too.


Lets bomb those Goergian to stone age.

Rubiconski:

U.S. Media does their best to paint Russia as the aggressors.

Its too bad stupidity isn't painfull......

Why would Russia want to invade Georgia....Georgians killed 2000 ppl in South Osetia, how messed up is that?

RUssian forces just wanna protect its own citizens. Russia didnt start the war, Georgians were accumulating forces at South Osetia for months now and finally decide to strike during the Olympic games opener. Russia didnt even get to South Osetia, when already 1000 ppl were killed by Georgians.

Just talk to the ppl in South Osetia. Most of the ones killed are children and women. 2000 ppl are dead already. Look at the city, its ruined now, Georgians aim at the apartment buildings and hospitals. Russia is not gonna let it happen.....2000 Russians are killed, that's enough.


Michael:

The president of Georgia the mad fascist! 00:06 AM Georgia has begun intensive bombardment of Tskhinvali. Shortly before 12:00 AM Moscow time from the Georgian villages Nikozi and Ergneti bombardment from large-caliber instruments of capital of South Ossetia Tskhinvali, and also South Ossetia villages has begun. Representatives of not recognized republic have declared that the Georgian armies have actually begun war and storm Tskhinvali. While Russian Tskhinvalis have entered was already destroyed by Georgians, and city dwellers sat in cellars under bombardment. Thus thousand refugees run from war to Russia, instead of to Georgia, to an ohm that Georgians instead of Russian have killed thousand Osset. And on the account of oil: Representatives of press-service BP, the company-operator of an oil pipeline of Bacu-tbilisi-ceyhan , have declared, that cannot confirm the message on the bombardment, made by the Georgian authorities. " We did not receive any information on bombardment ", - representatives of press-service BP have declared.

Lucky Barker:


Save the little nation from the annihilation!
Stop the genocide of the Ossetians!
The nationalistic and fascist government of Georgia from the year 1989 support the policy of the annihilation and the impression of the aboriginal Ossetian population from the territory that they occupy. From 1991 as a consequence of repeated military actions that were undertaken by the criminal authorities of Georgia against the small nations and the national purge murdered thousands of people –Ossetians, Abkhazians, Armenians, Russians. At the same time the scale of the genocide passed over the silence by mass media. The atrocity of the Georgian fascists, the tortures surpassed the one of the German fascists during the World War II.
The Georgian nation is sick, the ideas of the national oneness, justifying the territorial claims are warmed up by the Georgian mass media. The government of Georgia is financed by the USA, having it's own geopolitical interests in the region. Now the tragedy is developed, the Ossetian people are systematically shot in own houses, perish under blockages of the destroyed houses. The Georgian fascists have destroyed, have wiped about Ossetian villages, the city of Tskhinval is in ruins. It's impossible to count up the quantity of victims, that were buried under blockages of the houses destroyed by fire of the Georgian aggressors, the account goes on thousand. Groans of people from under blockages are audible. The Republic hospital where had helped to the wounded man was destroyed by the Georgian artillery, under blockages were wounded men and medical workers who could not be released under heavy fire of the opponent. Thus the Georgian party cynically declares the constitutional order prompting, one for another offers insinuations to accuse the Russian or Ossetian parts in the conflict. The people of Abkhazia will be the following victims of the Georgian extremism. We ask for the help, solidarity, and if it is possible with an exit on the international sites. Let the world knows the truth, instead of presented by the Georgian masters of falsifications lie.

LuckyBarker:

Save the little nation from the annihilation!
Stop the genocide of the Ossetians!
The nationalistic and fascist government of Georgia from the year 1989 support the policy of the annihilation and the impression of the aboriginal Ossetian population from the territory that they occupy. From 1991 as a consequence of repeated military actions that were undertaken by the criminal authorities of Georgia against the small nations and the national purge murdered thousands of people –Ossetians, Abkhazians, Armenians, Russians. At the same time the scale of the genocide passed over the silence by mass media. The atrocity of the Georgian fascists, the tortures surpassed the one of the German fascists during the World War II.
The Georgian nation is sick, the ideas of the national oneness, justifying the territorial claims are warmed up by the Georgian mass media. The government of Georgia is financed by the USA, having it's own geopolitical interests in the region. Now the tragedy is developed, the Ossetian people are systematically shot in own houses, perish under blockages of the destroyed houses. The Georgian fascists have destroyed, have wiped about Ossetian villages, the city of Tskhinval is in ruins. It's impossible to count up the quantity of victims, that were buried under blockages of the houses destroyed by fire of the Georgian aggressors, the account goes on thousand. Groans of people from under blockages are audible. The Republic hospital where had helped to the wounded man was destroyed by the Georgian artillery, under blockages were wounded men and medical workers who could not be released under heavy fire of the opponent. Thus the Georgian party cynically declares the constitutional order prompting, one for another offers insinuations to accuse the Russian or Ossetian parts in the conflict. The people of Abkhazia will be the following victims of the Georgian extremism. We ask for the help, solidarity, and if it is possible with an exit on the international sites. Let the world knows the truth, instead of presented by the Georgian masters of falsifications lie.

Steve Rose:

Two things stand out as surprising to me:

1. Saakashvili, the US-educated president, decided to start a war knowing how Russia will respond. He is not considering his own people's lives too valuable, is he?

2. How fast the west is abandoning Saakashvili.

aleks:

What a foolish leader. Thank God Georgia's NATO membership was rejected or we would be at war with Russia now.

Anatoly:

Position of Georgia and Ossetia-it as family attitudes. If one party does not wish to live with another under all laws except for wild and barbarous it is necessary to break off attitudes and to live independently. When one party starts to beat another to force to live with it - look in your legislation..... I think there this situation is correctly formulated.

Maverik:

With US stuck in Iraq and European countries unwilling to risk lives, not sure why Georgia went to for this adventure. After Georgia gets routed they will have even less leverage in reclaiming its territory. The auther says "Moscow stepped right into the trap Tbilisi had laid for it. " I think if this was Saakashvili's trap then the rout of his country will prove what an idiot he is.

ion:

russians must step down. putin is making money only on blood and oil, he is not concerned about ossetia's future, his only concern is the bacu-tbilisi-ceyhan oil pipe, he wants to prove that russia is the only oil seller/transporter in the region.

hey john-are you russian? i'm from moldova-another country that has a separatist territory occupied by so called russian peacekeepers, that are making money on drugs and weapons. not saakashvili, but any georgian knows who wants to occupy their country, who wants a revenge for loosing control over post-sovietic country.

Jack:

If South Ossetia were Chechnya or Kosovo, would John be cheering Saakashvili's actions?

John:

Saakasvili is really a monster, he must be compared with Adolf Hitler, and of cource pay for his crimes and genocide against South Ossetia

PostGlobal is an interactive conversation on global issues moderated by Newsweek International Editor Fareed Zakaria and David Ignatius of The Washington Post. It is produced jointly by Newsweek and washingtonpost.com, as is On Faith, a conversation on religion. Please send us your comments, questions and suggestions.