Georgia and Russia going to war?

While the world’s watching the Olympics…

[quote=“Independent”][b]Georgia launched a major military offensive today to retake the breakaway province of South Ossetia, prompting Moscow to send tanks into the region in a furious response that threatens to engulf Georgia, a staunch US ally, and Russia in all-out war.

Hundreds were reported dead in the worst outbreak of hostilities since the province won de-facto independence in a war against Georgia that ended in 1992. Witnesses said the South Ossetian capital Tskhinvali was devastated.[/b]

“I saw bodies lying on the streets, around ruined buildings, in cars,” said Lyudmila Ostayeva, 50, who had fled with her family to Dzhava, a village near the border with Russia. “It’s impossible to count them now. There is hardly a single building left undamaged.”

The fighting broke out as much of the world’s attention was focused on the start of the Olympic Games and many leaders, including Russia’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and US President George Bush, were on their way to Beijing.

[b]The timing suggests Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili may have been counting on surprise to fulfill his longtime pledge to wrest back control of South Ossetia — a key to his hold on power.

Saakashvili agreed the timing was not coincidental, but accused Russia of being the aggressor. “Most decision makers have gone for the holidays,” he said in an interview with CNN. “Brilliant moment to attack a small country.”[/b]

South Ossetian separatist leader Eduard Kokoity claimed hundreds of civilians had been killed.

Ten Russian peacekeepers were killed and 30 wounded when their barracks were hit in Georgian shelling, said Russian Ground Forces spokesman Col. Igor Konashenkov. [/quote]

Georgia’s internally divided over its future orientation: towards Moscow or the West; and the Russians extended citizenship to the South Ossetia region a few years ago, provided maybe 60% of gov’t revenues, and unilaterally sent in “peacekeepers”.

Methinks Saakashvili’s overplayed his hand and Georgia’s about to have it’s ass kicked. I doubt Russian security forces will bother poisoning him this time. Europe’s going to make noise and do nothing. And Bush???

[quote=“Der Spiegel”]It’s a standoff with little hope for an easy solution. And it is one that, in the past, has repeatedly shone the spotlight on differences between Russia and the US. Russia does not want to lose its influence on the former Soviet Republic of Georgia wheras Washington – which sees the country as a vital regional bridgehead and as an important transit country for gas and oil – would like to see the country join NATO and has provided political and economic support.
[…]
There is little hope for support from Europe. Faced with isolation, both Abkhazia and South Ossetia see no alternative but to turn to Russia as the only reliable partner available.

Indeed, the two regions’ so far unsuccessful efforts to wring diplomatic recognition from the international community plays into Moscow’s hands. As long as Abkhazia and South Ossetia remain isolated, Russia can keep on strengthening its influence in the area. And if Georgia proves unable to re-establish territorial integrity, it won’t be invited to join NATO any time soon – also a development that would be to Moscow’s liking.
[…]If the situation deteriorates further, Georgia will soon face a war on two fronts. Abkhazia has signed a solidarity pact with South Ossetia. According to Sergey Shamba, troops from Abkhazia started moving toward the Georgian border on Friday morning. Help for both provinces is on the way from volunteers streaming into the region from the northern Caucasus.[/quote]

Yeh, well I always said, if Taiwan wants to declare Independence, now is the time.

I don’t know of many Taiwanese that wants war like Georgia…
Not to mention the KMT is reducing tension, not increasing them.

Who really wants to be a bombing target for Russia v. USA, let alone a bombing target for PRC v. USA?

[quote=“ac_dropout”]I don’t know of many Taiwanese that wants war like Georgia…
Not to mention the KMT is reducing tension, not increasing them.

Who really wants to be a bombing target for Russia v. USA, let alone a bombing target for PRC v. USA?[/quote]

Rather than speculate on what people may or may not want:

Do you think the Olympics would continue whilst China declares war on Taiwan?

So we get 16 days before the missiles hit us and then?

nah. bad move. Just be as patient as ever and eventually China will change from within.

The chinese that visit taiwan will go home with thoughts like “why can taiwanese say what they want and we cant??”

What we have here is a conflict with the people of South Ossetia (and Abkhazia) on one hand, who hate the Georgians and wish to be free of them; and on the other, the principal of international politics (much violated of late) that national borders are sacrosanct, and separatist movements ultimately illegitimate (unless they succeed).

The conflict also pits Europe–which wants access to oil and gas from the Caspian Sea (yeah, I realize this still wouldn’t quite put them there), and has broached the idea of bringing Georgia and Ukraine into NATO–with Russia, which considers that it has some sort of rights over these regions despite their fractious independence. Oh yeah, and the Europeans also want to keep getting Russia’s oil and gas too, so they can’t afford to piss them off too much.

Most insidious of all are the vested interests of Lonely Planet and Insight Guides, which want to sell us twice as many books.

Trivia: In the late 19th century, Christian pacifists in Georgia (three different places) burned the weapons in bonfires in order to signal their refusal to carry arms or wage war.

Georgia should just let Ossetia go. -_- If majority of the people there want to rejoin with the northern part of Ossetia, why hold them back? Georgia’s only trying to create more strife than trying to understand the voices of a lot of Ossetian people. If it wasn’t for Georgia, there wouldn’t be anyone dying in both sides.

The Georgian president made a bold and wrong move.

If only, but highly unlikely in my (not tiny, if I may say so myself) experience of mainlanders. Even education overseas (let alone a weekend / week-long trip to TWN) does not seem to expand into a desire to have the same rights and freedoms “back home”. There seems to be very much a “that’s the way things work in other places, but it’s not the right approach in CHN” way of thinking. The Chinese have had relatively free access to international perspectives / viewpoints on democracy and individual rights for several years now (at least 10) through the internet, availability of pirated versions of western movies etc (alhough there have been clear exceptions with censorship of some hand-picked websites). The reality though, is that most (even university-educated) people see no need to even look at foreign media or investigate new ways of thinking. The usual accompaniment of economic prosperity with deisres for study of and implementation of political freedoms has been completely lacking. Even with the “new generation” of leaders like Hu Jin Tao, where there once was a spark of hope, there is now the cold realisation that change is not on the agenda.

As for the Chinese being “persuaded” by seeing TWN’s democracy in action…One major sign of a healthy democracy is that change-overs of government occur regularly. TWN has achieved this with its changeover in power this March / May (which may have been good or bad news - that’s not really the point). However, TWN’s take on democracy is generally seen as a joke internationally (See references in movies, you-tube clips galore of fighting in the LY etc). In addition, the near complete loss of faith in the democratic process by the under-40’s does not bode well. They will certainly not convince the mainlanders that TWN’s system works. And the over-40’s have a fanatical faith in their party of preference (blue or green) that rivals mainland super-nationalism in its ferocity and absence of reasoning.

In fact, comparing the stability most mainlanders perceive their country to have (with little awareness of the social unrest brewing in the western hinterland) to the topsy-turvy nature of TWN’s political and even socio-cultural milieu, mainlanders’ feelings may well be the opposite: “TWN is an interesting / different place to visit for a break, but I’m thankful to be back in China where our government has clarity of purpose, and the people respect the law”.

Might have been a good idea to get “the whole world” onside before sending in the tanks to drive out the Russians.

Want a Taiwanese equivalent? What if the residents of Kinmen decided to rejoin China, and the mainland stationed troops on the island. Then, while everyone was looking elsewhere, Taiwan attacked. :ponder: What would happen?

What do you think Bush should/could do?


Notice who is missed by this pipeline?
Its all about oil. Oil dropped US$4.82 a barrel on the international market.


Look at the legend. Notice how many non-yellow pipelines there are?
Its about oil.

from Stratfor.com:
Situation Reports
Georgia: U.S. Prepares Evacuation Plans
August 9, 2008 0149 GMT
The United States is completing plans to evacuate the 2,000 U.S. citizens from Georgia if the need arises, RIA Novosti reported Aug. 9. The plans are being formed by the Defense Department and U.S. Armed Forces European Command in Germany. So far, no details have been given on the evacuation routes.

Red Alert Intelligence Guidance: The Conflict in South Ossetia

What do you think Bush should/could do?[/quote]I’m not sure. Nor do I have a good idea what he will do.

Best guess: Denounce Russia’s involvement, make some noise at the UN Security Council – along with France and Britain – where such protests can be safely tapped down by Russia and China, and watch these provinces be peeled off by Russia. If that’s what happens, the follow-up will be very interesting.

Given that these provinces seem to want to go, and that it appears that Georgia’s started the shooting, it’s hardly a rerun of the Sudetenland; but I expect to hear something along those lines from McCain: he’s been beating the drum against Russia pretty heavily.

Not to mention McCain’s top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, was a paid lobbyist for the Republic of Georgia while working for the McCain campaign.

[quote]John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser lobbied the Arizona senator’s staff on behalf of the republic of Georgia while he was working for the campaign, public records show.

Randy Scheunemann, founder of Orion Strategies, represented the governments of Macedonia, Georgia and Taiwan between 2003 and March 1, according to the firm’s filings with the Justice Department. In its latest semiannual report, the firm disclosed that Scheunemann had a phone conversation in November about Georgia with Richard Fontaine, an aide in McCain’s Senate office.[/quote]

usatoday.com/news/politics/election2008/

‘WAS’…is a key word in this insinuation.

Scratch a campaign…find a lobbyist…I’m shocked!..Shocked I say!

Its called making a living. Using your network and skills.

The 2006 referendum on independence, which resulted in 99 % in favor, was boycotted by ethnic Georgians. Indeed, several tens of thousands of them have been exiled to Georgia proper. Georgia’s government argues that any referendum held under such conditions should be assumed to be unrepresentative of the region’s “true” population.

So, is the world better off with a strong Russia, or cheaper oil and gas for Europe?

bomb iran.

Can’t help but feel this is Putin swinging his big slong around the neighborhood showing 'em who’s boss

He’s been busy building right wing nationalism in Russia. You gotta give the fans something to keep them interested

Attack!!!

erp

[quote=“Globe and Mail”]Georgia called for a ceasefire on Saturday after Russian bombers widened an offensive to force back Georgian troops seeking control over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.
[…]
“I call for an immediate ceasefire,” Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili said in Tbilisi. “Russia has launched a full scale military invasion of Georgia.”

Russia’s military response to the crisis dramatically intensified a long-running stand-off between Russia and the pro-Western Georgian leadership that has sparked alarm in the West and led to angry exchanges at the United Nations reminiscent of the Cold War.

Abkhazia, another pro-Russian enclave in Georgia, said its forces had begun an operation to drive out Georgian forces. One report from a pro-Georgian spokesman said Russian planes had carried out bombing raids, but the Abkhaz separatists said it was their aircraft that were involved.[/quote]

Run away!!!

The US and Israel are definitely involved in this.

According to this the Georgians started it:

reuters.com/article/latestCr … USL8187260

[quote]Over 10 Russian peacekeepers killed in S.Ossetia-agencies
MOSCOW, August 8 (Reuters) - More than 10 Russian peacekeepers have been killed during fighting in Tskhinvali, the capital of Georgia’s breakaway region of South Ossetia, news agencies quoted a top Russian military commander as saying on Friday.

“As a result of Georgian shelling more than 10 of our peacekeepers were killed and nearly 30 were wounded,” deputy commander of ground forces Igor Konashenkov said. (Writing by Oleg Shchedrov)
[/quote]

I wonder how many US and Israeli advisers are there right now?

msnbc.msn.com/id/25684774/

[quote]U.S.-Georgia training begins amid Russia strain
VAZIANI, Georgia - One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia.

Officials said the exercise, called “Immediate Response 2008,” had been planned for months and was not linked to a stand-off between Moscow and Tbilisi over two Russian-backed separatists regions of Georgia.

The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance.

“The main purpose of these exercises is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces,” Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military’s Southern European Task Force, told reporters.

The war games involve 600 Georgian troops and smaller numbers from ex-Soviet Armenia, Azerbaijan and Ukraine.

The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital Tbilisi, which was a Russian air force base until Russian forces withdrew at the start of this decade under a European arms reduction agreement.

Close cooperation
Georgia and the Pentagon cooperate closely. Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military.

Georgia last week recalled its ambassador in Moscow in protest at Russia sending fighter jets into Georgian airspace. Tbilisi urged the West to condemn Russia’s actions.

Russia said the flights were to prevent Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili from launching a military operation against the separatist South Ossetia region.

Moscow accuses Saakashvili of preparing to restore Tbilisi’s control over South Ossetia and the second breakaway region of Abkhazia by force. Tbilisi says that is a pretext for Russia to effectively annex large chunks of Georgian territory.[/quote]

debka.com/article.php?aid=1358

[quote]Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.

These advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the Georgian army’s preparations to conquer the South Ossetian capital Friday.
[/quote]

schneiderhome.blogspot.com/2008/ … -rose.html

[quote]From early 2002 onwards the CIA had been operating in Georgia, supposedly to combat Al Qaeda. And yes, Georgia is an odd place to fight the war on terror against OBL. One of the main groups that took to the streets and stormed the Parliament house was Kmer (meaning “enough”) was almost certainly CIA funded.
[/quote]

And what are the odds most Americans think it’s ‘Georgia’ in the US being attacked?

[quote=“cake”]
According to this the Georgians started it:

And what are the odds most Americans think it’s ‘Georgia’ in the US being attacked?[/quote]
Ever since the news broke out, I thought it was plain and clear that Georgia started it. They stated it several times in a lot of different news sources, yeah? It makes sense that a small country/territory, who unofficially declares independence from a bigger land mass (with territory ego), would get attacked by that same bigger land mass. Of course, with Georgia’s case, it took the president over a decade to decide that South Ossetia and its oil belongs to him.

I’m guessing some other people, regardless of where you live, thought otherwise that it was Russia’s doing because of its past. It’s also amusing to see the two different P.O.Vs of a Georgian and a Russian in one forum.