Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Choose: Russia or Georgia

Sergey Lavrov, Russia's Foreign Minister, writes in the Opinion page of today's WSJ. Here is a glimpse into our thoughts as we read his "opinion" piece:

In some Western nations an utterly one-sided picture has been painted of the recent crisis in the Georgia-South Ossetia conflict. The statements of American officials would lead one to conclude that the crisis began when Russia sent in its troops to support its peacekeepers there.


Meticulously avoided in those statements: The decision of Tbilisi to use crude military force against South Ossetia in the early hours of Aug. 8. The Georgian army used multiple rocket launchers, artillery and air force to attack the sleeping city of Tskhinvali.

Some honest independent observers acknowledge that a surprised Russia didn't respond immediately. We started moving our troops in support of peacekeepers only on the second day of Georgia's ruthless military assault. Yes, our military struck sites outside of South Ossetia. When the positions of your peacekeepers and the civilian population they have been mandated to protect are shelled, the sources of such attacks are legitimate targets.

Luckily the "surprised Russia" had staged two mechanized infantry divisions just North of the border. Did the Georgian army strike at Russian forces from the pipeline and bridges outside S. Ossetia - those parts of Georgian infrastructure targeted by Russian aircraft?

Our military acted efficiently and professionally. It was an able ground operation that quickly achieved its very clear and legitimate objectives. It was very different, for example, from the U.S./NATO operation against Serbia over Kosovo in 1999, when an air bombardment campaign ran out of military targets and degenerated into attacks on bridges, TV towers, passenger trains and other civilian sites, even hitting an embassy.

How about some caviar with that whine, eh comrade? Bet you didn't see the Polish-US missile defense agreement coming either. Did ya? The G8 conversion to the G7 is next. No thugs allowed.

In this instance, Russia used force in full conformity with international law, its right of self-defense, and its obligations under the agreements with regard to this particular conflict. Russia could not allow its peacekeepers to watch acts of genocide committed in front of their eyes, as happened in the Bosnian city of Srebrenica in 1995.

International law is what those with tanks say it is. Always has been. Always will be. This means, however, if the US has tanks, its opinion is important here too...

ut what of the U.S.'s role leading up to this conflict? U.S. involvement with the Tbilisi regime—past and future—must be addressed to fully understand the conflict. When the mantra of the "Georgian democratic government" is repeated time and time again, does it mean that by U.S. standards, a democratic government is allowed to act in brutal fashion against a civilian population it claims to be its own, simply because it is "democratic"?

Another real issue is U.S. military involvement with the government of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. Did Washington purposely encourage an irresponsible and unpredictable regime in this misadventure? If the U.S. couldn't control Tbilisi's behavior before, why do some in the U.S. seek to rush to rearm the Georgian military now?

Russia, by contrast, remains committed to a peaceful resolution in the Caucasus.

Ok comrade. We're going to stop reading here. If you promised, yet again, in this 'opinion' piece to remove your forces from Georgia, our missing it won't matter. Will it?

So Sergey, you want a choice? Ok.

We choose a peaceful democracy.
We choose Georgia.
We choose an environment where journalists don't fear for their lives if they openly criticize their government.
We choose Georgia.
We choose those who are willing to fight a superpower for their freedom.
We choose Georgia.
We choose those who do not invade sovereign neighbors with 2 divisions and a weak claim of victimhood.
We choose Georgia.

In other "news", Pravda publishes a DailyKos-like opinion article about Secretary Rice: Condoleeza Rice and the insult to international diplomacy. This is hard-hitting journalism one should expect from the remaining Russian journalists... and their comrades in the US media!

In the equation which makes up the odious, criminal and murderous Bush regime and its murderous, criminal and odious foreign policy, the constant factor is constituted by a teacher, promoted to positions way above her personal and intellectual station by a gullible fool of a President. This teacher, whose sheer incompetence as National Security Advisor and as Secretary of State is today so blatantly apparent, goes by the name of Condoleeza Rice.
The constant arrogance and hypocrisy of this failed female makes it that much more apparent that here is a person way out of her depth. Instead of regarding sensitive issues from a balanced viewpoint as she is supposed to do, this incompetent loud-mouthed, bad-mannered, bullshit-mongering bimbo takes one side, ignores the other and then speaks down from a holier-than-thou platform as if she were on a lecture dias.
This is not a classroom, Condoleeza Rice, and you are not a diplomat. You are a liar, a cheap, shallow, failed, wannabe actress on the diplomatic stage. This is the real world and out here, you have to be prepared to face up to your responsibilities.

Can we assume the Kremlin is behind this language? Could we also assume that Secretary Rice may be applying the proper pressure in the appropriate places? In other words, can we say she is using a little more hammer than sickle?

U/T: James Taranto for the Pravda link.

No comments: