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Posted on 2008.08.11 at 14:04

russia waited till now to invade a strategically-valuable post-USSR satellite state because everyone is watching the olympics.


i care about it.



Jonathan Ben Ari
jonathanbenari at 2008-08-12 00:35 (UTC) (Link)
What I'm hearing, in NYTimes and from Russian friends reading Russian media, is that Georgia actually started this whole fracas by attempting to take the capital of South Ossetia. Given that, then, Russia's actions seem to be the only logical path; of course they're taking advantage of the distraction provided by the Olympics, but more importantly, I think, they're taking advantage of the opening provided by Georgia's foolish aggression. Who wouldn't take this opportunity to disarm a long-time opponent?
Things Gone and Things Still Here
jette at 2008-08-12 02:22 (UTC) (Link)

I was raised to not trust Russians, ever, but as an American citizen, I can't really blame Russia here - in light of recent history it seems like the US would have done the same or more in that position.

Or rather, it's not like I think Russia has high moral ground here, but I am wondering what the hell Georgia expected.

(Edited for clarification.)

Edited at 2008-08-12 03:44 am (UTC)
Jonathan Ben Ari
jonathanbenari at 2008-08-12 09:16 (UTC) (Link)
Exactly. There is no moral high ground here, and Russia most certainly controls the strategic high ground. They have their hands around Europe's petro lifeline, and the only serious military competition tied up in Iraq and Afghanistan. Georgia is a serious thorn in their side, and they provoked an act of warfare. Even not accounting for just how unsavory a character Mr. Putin really is, it's not difficult to see that Russia will at least "free" South Ossetia and Abkhazia, if not return Georgia to a Kremlin vassal state outright. We talk about this Saakashvili character as if he's some Caucus Ghandi, but all the evidence suggests that in fact he's just as willing to plumb the depths of evil in order to advance his strategic objectives. How else would you explain the blatantly provocative act of invading the breakaway republic's capital during the Olympic opening ceremonies?
betternewthings at 2008-08-12 02:55 (UTC) (Link)
It's not nearly that simple.

Georgia was not 'taking' S. Ossetia. That region was agreed to be Georgian after the breakup of the USSR. This was by agreement of both Georgia and Russia at that time. So by law at least Georgia was merely asserting sovereignty over settled territory.

However the people of the region are ethnically and culturally Russian and want autonomy. By the principle of self determination they have every right to break away from Georgia.

But if we step back more, the only reason that region is Russian is because Russia forcibly resettled the region to maintain colonize over it. One could argue that this region is not legitimately Russian.

Even so, this generation is not accountable for the resettling done by their ancestors and one could convincingly argue that these people have the right to control their own land.

Slavs are a limitless source of thorny moral issues and hot psycho ex girlfriend.
Colonel Angus
scosol at 2008-08-12 04:41 (UTC) (Link)
i wrote a thing in jette's blog so i'm not going to repeat it here-

but Georgia didn't try to "take" anything-
an analogy would be California "taking" Fresno from the Mexicans-

One-sentence summary:
Georgia tries to quash internal secessionist rebelions, Russia sees value in such and gives tacit approval to said rebellions via presense, force, and statement-
Things Gone and Things Still Here
jette at 2008-08-12 02:20 (UTC) (Link)
Uhm, didn't Georgia hit her first?
Jonathan Ben Ari
jonathanbenari at 2008-08-12 09:18 (UTC) (Link)
gotta hand it to you dk ... this is the best LJ thread i've followed in a few months.
Generation Y's Howard Beale
dk at 2008-08-12 16:35 (UTC) (Link)
seeing as i'm part of the aforementioned tied-up military force, i don't really have a dog in the fight- tried to display a lack of bias, but a desire for brevity won out.
osby at 2008-08-12 10:44 (UTC) (Link)
I still kinda don't know what to think of it other than the fact that it just makes me kinda sad :(
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