Thursday, August 14, 2008

"One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity."

Back when James Bond got taken out of retirement in 1996's Goldeneye, he slyly said to his boss, M, that when it came to Russia: 'Governments change. The lies stay the same.'

Yesterday, the Russian government angrily refuted claims that tanks and soldiers were occupying the Georgian city of Gori. This morning, they admitted that the troops were there - and that they were sending even more of them in.

"One can forget about any talk about Georgia's territorial integrity," Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told the world - Russpeak for 'watch while we annex South Ossetia and Abkhazia like we'd intended to do from the very beginning.'

For years, the Russians have been funnelling funding and weapons to the two disputed provinces to stir up a separatist movement. Russians have handed out Russian passports to 90% of the population, preparing them for the inevitable. South Ossetia and Abkhazia will surrender autonomy for autocracy - and be swallowed up by their neighbour.

Accusations of war crimes and an angry refusal to speak with Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili were the first steps of Russia's second objective - to topple the democratically elected and pro-western government of Georgia and replace it with one more sympathetic to their former Soviet masters.

Fortunately, America has stepped up to the plate. By sending humanitarian supplies into the Georgian capital of Tbilisi - soon to be joined by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice - they've given Russia a very clear message that the government's staying exactly as the voters wanted it.

Condoleezza declared: "This is not 1968 and the invasion of Czechoslovakia where Russia can threaten a neighbor, occupy a capital, overthrow a government and get away with it. Things have changed."

But have they really changed that much?

With up to 100,000 Georgians ethnically cleansed from the disputed provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, there's little to stop the Russians redrawing the map and enveloping the two regions into their own country. America and the United Nations certainly aren't in much of a position to stop them.

Nobody's quite sure how this will all end - but one thing is certain. The bleating of the pro-Russian apologists is getting increasingly less convincing as this diplomatic crisis continues.


Anonymous said...

Roland!! How are ya, man? how's the ole Facebook? Mine is a total dick!! it won't let me post jack squat!

Oh well! Happy Thursday to ya, Roland!

quantum_flux said...

Putin is such a shithead!

Anonymous said...

"For years, the Russians have been funnelling funding and weapons to the two disputed provinces to stir up a separatist movement."

And the US would never ever do such a terrible thing, eh?

What do you think would happen if the Russkies or someone else we don't like 100% started militarily supporting someone like Hugo Chavez in the same way we support -- I suppose I should say supported -- Georgia? That is, supported not just by selling a few rifles but by sending lots of $$ and military 'advisors'. Note also Venezuela is not even in the same continent as the US whereas Georgia is adjacent to Russia.

Just because you live in the US doesn't mean you have to be a double standard spewing fool. Try to see reality for what it is and not some childish fantasy where us good guys fight them bad guys.

The reality is that American wanted a nice little client state right up against Russia. We would have had a useful thorn stuck in the big bad bear's bottom we could twist and turn at will. It woulda been wonderful, but the bear isn't stupid. Now the bear is in the process of pulling the thorn out.

Sadly, people die because of such geopolitical maneuverings. Just like they die in Iraq and Afganistan and Palestine and Kashmir and a million other places.

Roland Hulme said...

Hey Anonymous!

This is the bit that really troubles me... when Kosovo wanted it's independence from Serbia, Russia rattled the sabre, going on about territorial integrity and other such bullshit.

Yet, when it suits their own ends, they couldn't care less about territorial integrity. their actions are TOTALLY hypocritical.

I'm not justifying any of America's actions - I'm just pointing out that Russia can't claim the higher moral ground when, at the very least, they're just as guilty as America of political meddling.

same anonymous as above said...

Roland wrote: ...they're just as guilty as America of political meddling.

Agreed. The world would be a better place if everyone took these wise words from Matthew 7:3 seriously...

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?