Sunday, July 26, 2009

Russia vs. Georgia

VP Biden spent some time in Georgia recently telling the Georgians (this is the Eurasian country, not the state) that we would back them up. This was utterly stupid in my opinion, especially given the restraint that Obama had originally shown on the issue. The problem I have with this is that had we been in Russia's shoes, we would have attacked Georgia too.

Georgia is a conglomeration of ethnic states that was left in ruins of civil war after the break-up of the Soviet Union. The Abkhaz and the South Ossetians among others had been fighting for independence and found help in Russia-due in part to Georgia's seeking more assistance from the West. Well, good for us, bad for the Russians, it is another sphere of influence battle, no big deal, right? Well, it is not that simple.

Georgia lost control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. The current president came to power vowing to get them back and bring Georgia closer to the US and Europe. This violates some major principles of the Russians, mainly, why does NATO-an alliance built to fight Russia-still have to expand on their borders? The US and Europe are taking a very cold-war based mentality in their deals with the Russians. Honestly, we are restarting the rivalry as much as they are. When the Georgian army began to shell South Ossetia, the Russians who were peace keepers there to prevent just such an eventuality, struck back. We all cried foul since the Russians hit with such unnecessary force. Why did we not tell the Georgians to stop being idiots? I do not know.

My point is this: Georgia is our ally, I understand, but get them to stop forcing us into confrontation with Russia. Also, try to recognize that Russia has some very legitimate claims there that the world ignored. This will never work diplomatically since it proves that we are still into the Cold War as much as Putin is.

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