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KimyReizeger

Georgia

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Saakashvili:

The Russians want the whole of Georgia. The Russians need control over energy routes from central Asia and the Caspian Sea. In addition, they want to get rid of us, they want regime change. Every democratic movement in this neighbouring region must be got rid of

Regardless of Russia's next move, aren't Georgia pretty much asking for it by invading a break-away state with an inclination towards Moscow? Given the fact that the president can make statements like the above - in other words, recognise Russia's ambition 'they want to get rid of us' - it doesn't seem very wise to risk provoking volatile superpowers.

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I suspect the georgians expected nato or at least the US to back them up. Sadly it's pretty clear to everyone that russia is just going to pound them into submission. It's interesting to see how it's being reported by most news agencies in the US, i.e that Russia is the aggressor.

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Regardless of Russia's next move, aren't Georgia pretty much asking for it by invading a break-away state with an inclination towards Moscow? Given the fact that the president can make statements like the above - in other words, recognise Russia's ambition 'they want to get rid of us' - it doesn't seem very wise to risk provoking volatile superpowers.

Russia probably can't believe their luck to be honest. They are now within 60-odd miles of getting to the BTC oil pipeline that runs though Georgia and is the West's only oil export route from the Caspian Sea that bypasses Russia. It's not a simple conflict by any means with plenty of blame on both parities, but as much as the US and fellow NATO allies may protest, I don't think any of them will risk getting involved. I suspect South Ossetia will just become part of Russia ultimately. I don't think Russia would risk trying to invade the whole of Georgia.

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As far as I can make out South Ossetia recognised itself as an independent state, but the ties with Russia are obviously strong and surely Georgia could have scripted the outcome. I can't imagine a 'peace-keeping' body entering war with Russia on the basis of Georgia's interest.

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As far as I can make out South Ossetia recognised itself as an independent state, but the ties with Russia are obviously strong and surely Georgia could have scripted the outcome. I can't imagine a 'peace-keeping' body entering war with Russia on the basis of Georgia's interest.

Georgia has always refused to recognise South Ossetia as an independent state (ala Kosovo) and the peacekeepers there have been Russian soliders, not Georgian. The Russian government gave 80,000 of South Ossentian's citizens Russian passports not so long ago and they very much consider themselves more Russian than Georgian. I believe what triggered this conflict was Georgia "invading" South Ossentia a few days ago and killing a number of Russian peacekeepers. It's hard to tell what's true and what's not though at this stage. Either way, Russia are definitely making a play for taking the region.

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Either way, Russia are definitely making a play for taking the region.

Given the seemingly pro-Russian nature of the place it's possibly the best outcome for them. Therefore, Georgia have created an unnecessary pile of corpses and given spark to more problems in other parts of the country.

"You can see, nobody wanted to help us. The UN and the Americans, they all sat there while we got bombed. It was the Russians who saved us. One more day and this whole place would no longer exist, and nor would any of us."

- South Ossetian soldier on Georgian attacks

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Back on topic, I think the issue with Russia's retaliation is their utterly disproportionate use of force. Of course Georgia were the original aggressor, and blame must lie with them. But the Russians have been bombing TBILISI, for fuck's sake. Georgia's capital is nowhere near South Ossetia.

Comparisons can be drawn between this and Israel bombing the shit out of Lebanon two years ago. Again, the initial transgression was made by the smaller nation, but the retaliatory attack (again on civilians) was ludicrously disproportionate. It seems as long as one of the Nuclear powers is rattling its sabre, most of the world is content to stay out of it.

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But the Russians have been bombing TBILISI, for fuck's sake. Georgia's capital is nowhere near South Ossetia.

They haven't actually bombed Tbilisi. They have hit military targets outside Tbilisi (I think there was a radar base and an airbase) but they haven't intentionally targeted any cities as far as I'm aware.

Comparisons can be drawn between this and Israel bombing the shit out of Lebanon two years ago. Again, the initial transgression was made by the smaller nation, but the retaliatory attack (again on civilians) was ludicrously disproportionate. It seems as long as one of the Nuclear powers is rattling its sabre, most of the world is content to stay out of it.

Comparisons can't be drawn with that conflict at all. That's absurd. The Russians aren't targeting civilians (at least not intentionally) as Israel arguably did in that conflict. Israel intentionally destroyed civilian infrastructure and buildings in that war and that was over a couple of their soldiers getting kidnapped (who of course they never saw alive again - their military action was a complete failure). It was completely disproportionate.

However, this is a very different conflict. I agree Russia are using much more force than Georgia, but that is because they have a much more military might and they want to make sure Georgia are not going to have the military capability to try and strike South Ossetia again. The West (especially the UK and US) are making the most noise about this "disproportionate" action because they realise this conflict will probably end up unseating pro-NATO, Western-friendly, Saakashvili. Or at the very least, leave Georgia in a much weaker and insecure position (remember BP have oil and gas pipelines running through this country supplying the West). Saakashvili took a gamble with invading South Ossetia and it has back-fired spectacularly. It's his fault this conflict started and no-one can argue with that.

Russia are pulling back now and will be able to dictate the terms of the cease-fire, as they still hold the moral high ground (at least in their eyes). Georgia have probably lost the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for good now.

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The West (especially the UK and US) are making the most noise about this "disproportionate" action because they realise this conflict will probably end up unseating pro-NATO, Western-friendly, Saakashvili. .

And because it's pretty much the only complaint anyone can actually make against Russia. As far as I've read, the Russians bombed a few villages outside of South Ossetia and some military / communications targets near Tbilisi. In comparison the Georgians were being accused of civilian butchery / 'genocide' the other day, (by Putin, I should add), and were obviously first to strike.

Surely it's Saakashvili who has the questions to answer, and not this chap:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/gallery/2008/aug/12/georgia.russia?picture=336483197

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Ok, now the Georgian president is vowing to 'punish' Russia for attacks of the past few days. But get this:

Over the last few days Georgia's main TV station has shown movies depicting small armies relying on courage and heroism to fight bigger forces - including the film 300, which shows a band of Spartans fighting a huge Persian invading army.

So I guess this is how Georgia plan to deal with the baddies:

300_lg_thumb.jpg

(click)

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Saakashvili took a gamble with invading South Ossetia and it has back-fired spectacularly. It's his fault this conflict started and no-one can argue with that.

You could argue that Russia goaded him into the action in South Ossetia by arming the Ossetians and encouraging them to launch the attacks over the last few weeks that prompted the action. The fact that russia had a thousand tanks and countless troops in the area certainly looks like they expected to need them. Or is it just a coincidence that they were on excercise nearby?

Much the same way that the only reason there are Russian citizens there is because Russia happened to swan in and hand out passports to everyone, not because they're actually Russian.

But yes it was a mistake for Georgia to do what it did in the first place.

Has anyone else noticed that Saakashvili makes all his press conferences in front of a European flag btw?

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Ok, now the Georgian president is vowing to 'punish' Russia for attacks of the past few days. But get this:

So I guess this is how Georgia plan to deal with the baddies:

300_lg_thumb.jpg

(click)

Do they not realise that the spartans lose in the end? :p

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Well, Georgia just beat Russia at the ladies beach volleyball.

I was watching to see if any relevant parallels could be drawn between the current political situation between the two nations, and the, erm conflict between the, um, something about battle lines drawn in the sand... erm... the struggle for possession, er... it was important to compare the...

*cough*

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They haven't actually bombed Tbilisi. They have hit military targets outside Tbilisi (I think there was a radar base and an airbase) but they haven't intentionally targeted any cities as far as I'm aware.

That's still a much further encroachment into the country than was necessary. It's understandable that such an action could be seen as disproportionate.

Comparisons can't be drawn with that conflict at all. That's absurd. The Russians aren't targeting civilians (at least not intentionally) as Israel arguably did in that conflict. Israel intentionally destroyed civilian infrastructure and buildings in that war and that was over a couple of their soldiers getting kidnapped (who of course they never saw alive again - their military action was a complete failure). It was completely disproportionate.

However, this is a very different conflict. I agree Russia are using much more force than Georgia, but that is because they have a much more military might and they want to make sure Georgia are not going to have the military capability to try and strike South Ossetia again. The West (especially the UK and US) are making the most noise about this "disproportionate" action because they realise this conflict will probably end up unseating pro-NATO, Western-friendly, Saakashvili. Or at the very least, leave Georgia in a much weaker and insecure position (remember BP have oil and gas pipelines running through this country supplying the West). Saakashvili took a gamble with invading South Ossetia and it has back-fired spectacularly. It's his fault this conflict started and no-one can argue with that.

Russia are pulling back now and will be able to dictate the terms of the cease-fire, as they still hold the moral high ground (at least in their eyes). Georgia have probably lost the territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia for good now.

Whilst I admit that it seems Russian have not been deliberately targeting civilians, greater military "might" is still not a good enough excuse for such an over-enthusiastic response. The main comparison I was attempting to draw between the two conflicts was the reluctance of the rest of the world to openly condemn said disproportionate use of force.

Apart from Bush's demand for an end to the Russian bombing. But then he probably thinks they're still all members of the Communist Party.

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Much the same way that the only reason there are Russian citizens there is because Russia happened to swan in and hand out passports to everyone, not because they're actually Russian.

It's a hugely controversial point to make that they're not Russians - the vast majority of Ossetians live in Russia, the South-Ossetians want to be part of Russia and they definitely don't want to be part of Georgia. So while they're not ethnically Russian - they would likely be far better off as part of North Ossetia than the current status quo.

The sensible thing in all of this would be to actually hand South Ossetia over to the Russians in exchange for a decent payment.

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