Monday, August 18, 2008

So say you were a president of a very small country...

...and you had this very big neighbor with a huge army, and you were at war with this neighbor because you've done something that royally pissed them off. And say their troops were already controlling half of your territory, and had 100000% capacity to control the rest.

Would you be saying this?

“Unfortunately, today we are looking evil directly in the eye. And today this evil is very strong, very nasty and very dangerous, for everybody, not only for us.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/17/opinion/17dowd.html?em

3 comments:

Илья Казначеев said...

I think you overrate the size and power of the russian army.
Maybe not huge, just big, and not 100000%, just 1000%.

Still, you're expected not to mess with a steamroller if you're a worm.

Anonymous said...

http://boris-ivanov.livejournal.com/1151561.html
"... На мой взгляд, проблема тут не столько в демократии, сколько в том, что в результате цветных революций к власти приходят президенты, которые правозглашают себя националистами, но брезгуют девушками/женщинами из собственной страны, предпочитая жениться на иностранках. Сердцу, конечно, не прикажешь, но если у тебя такое сердце, то не надо идти на работу, которая требует ставить превыше всего интересы собственного народа, а не проамериканскую идеологию.

Если Грузия, находясь в сложном финансовом положении, тратит несусветные суммы на перевооружение армии, реально необходимой только для участия в американском миротворчестве и зачисток "мятежных республик", то разве это действия вменяемых националистов?"

Phil said...

This is really a more complicated situation. Both the Ossetians and the Abkhazians are quite different groups of people, not Georgians.

This mess has been going on for years. There was a civil war between S. Ossetia and Georgia in 1991-1992 that ended in a cease fire. There was also one in the 1918-1920 time frame. Fighting has broken out in this region several times in the past decade, including in July 2008.

Then Georgia moved military forces to the border.

The history is long and complex, and much of it in the days leading to the Russians crossing over from S. Ossetia into Georgia.

The problem for the US is that most people know nothing about this region. They may have heard of Chechnya, but are unlikely to know where it really is. To US residents, "Georgia" is a state in their own country and they never heard of Ossetia. They don't know Joseph Stalin was ethnically Ossetian and born in Georgia.

This complicates the situation for a US response since it has to react in the context of the understanding American people have (they think Russia is a big evil bully), as well as make the response relevant (Georgia was as much a culprit in this). Their true goal is to settle this down and hope people forget about it.

The response by the US would have been much different had Georgia entered an independent (South) Ossetia and destroyed its military facilities and equipment. It's still world politics and the complications of a US election year.

So what if you are Ossetian and speak the Russian language?