Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Now Georgian president and Bush protege Mikheil Saakashvili is engaged in a public relations campaign to prove to the world that the Russians attacked first on the night of August 7th.

C. J. Chivers reports in today's The New York Times:

"Georgia has released intercepted telephone calls purporting to show that part of a Russian armored regiment crossed into the separatist enclave of South Ossetia nearly a full day before Georgia’s attack on the capital, Tskhinvali, late on Aug. 7.

"Georgia is trying to counter accusations that the long-simmering standoff over South Ossetia, which borders Russia, tilted to war only after it attacked Tskhinvali. Georgia regards the enclave as its sovereign territory."

But the intercepted phone calls are ambiguous at best. Russia did have troops in South Ossetia before the attack, and the phone calls could easily be interpreted as moving units in and out. So the Georgian claim that Russia was moving in vast quantities of men and arms is without hard evidence.

Even with the presence of Russian troops approved by the EU as peace-keepers, Saakashvili was wrong in ordering the Georgian army to begin shelling the civilian population of South Ossetia and its capital Tskhinvali.

Georgia claims South Ossetia as its own territory but for hundreds of years, the Georgians never got along with or accepted the Ossetians and vice versa. In fact, they despised one another. No wonder that most of the Ossetians rejected Georgian sovereignty.

Saakashvili thought he could bomb the Ossetians enough so that they would capitulate. It reminds me of the U.S. strategy in Vietnam. Destroy this town in order to "save" it. Saakashvili and the Georgians would rather destroy Ossetia than lose it to Russia.

Now Saakashvili is trying to claim the Russians started it all. Little evidence of that in today's NY Times.

No comments:

Post a Comment