Georgia

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Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 3:33 pm UTC

Well, the Russians are advancing out of the breakaway regions into Georgia itself. Military they have no chance at all, and all the west is offering to help amounts to finger wagging.

Is this just an isolated incident, or part of a bigger and even more dangerous expansionist trend in Russian politics? Can we expect them to 'protect' ethnic Russian populations in other former Soviet republics in this way in the future?

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Re: Georgia

Postby sebas » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:48 pm UTC

Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Russia is just making a statement now. That and maybe hoping for an oil price increase? (since their oil pipes run through Georgia)
Also Georgia isn't a NATO member so their only hope for help comes in the form of political pressures the west might make on Russia. That's unlikely to scare anyone so Georgia might just end up with having to endure the red army bombing their infrastructure for a while now, setting their development efforts 30 years back.
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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 4:57 pm UTC

It seems clear to me that Russia's actions go beyond making a statement. They have advanced beyond the two breakaway regions and have been bombing the Georgian capital Tblisi. They have also done this at a moments notice, which seems to indicate this was planned.

Their rational for advancing into Georgia itself is to stop attacks by Georgian forces on Russia forces in South Ossetia - but Georgia is not a big country and they have some fairly long rang missiles. I am not certain, but I would imagine this rational is good for annexing the whole damn country. Is anyone going to stop them? Unlikely.

I think another big issue in this is the amount of oil that goes through Georgia. Russia clearly wants to establish a hegemony over the oil that flows east and west out of central Asia, and Georgia is a good place to do it. They can attack with the pretense of protecting against ethnic cleansing and grab a nexus of pipelines.

It's also abundantly unclear who the real aggressor is, since I can't seem to get different news organizations to agree.

Georgia's certainly been on my mind lately.


Georgia has been mistreating South Ossetia, but I think its a stretch to argue they are the aggressor - the military situation is so unbalanced that this is more like an execution than a war. I really don't consider the Russian pretext for invading Georgia is any more valid than the Nazi pretext for annexing the Sudetenland (the Czechs were mistreating ethnic Germans...). Let us just hope the analogy ends there.

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Re: Georgia

Postby superglucose » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:30 pm UTC

This is where I grow tired of international politics. The UN, by charter, is supposed to send in forces NAO to make Russia stop, but do you see them doing it? No. In the meantime, NATO means that America and GB and Canada, the only other nations really capable of making Russia stop, have to twiddle their thumbs saying, "Oh, gee wiz Russia, I wish you wouldn't do that!" Well, China could do it, but China just doesn't care.

And of course, the ugly sentence rears its head again: "That's mine!" says Russia, "That's mine!" says Georgia... so the solution is to kill people until only one person is saying "That's mine!" Cool. Russia, Georgia, way to collectively have the intellectual maturity of a two year old.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Algernon » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:34 pm UTC

I would very much like our country to NOT go to war with Russia if they can help it.

I also feel like there's a lot of assumptions being taken as fact, in terms of who provoked who... Some say Georgia had troops in Russian territory, and others say that Russia just decided to attack for no good reason. The details seem to depend on people's opinion of Russia more than actual fact.

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Re: Georgia

Postby superglucose » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:43 pm UTC

Algernon wrote:I would very much like our country to NOT go to war with Russia if they can help it.


We really wouldn't need to. "Hey russia, get out of Georgia or we stop shipping (XYZ) to you. We aren't going to put up with killing."

Of course, then America would need some integrity to back that up... i.e. DONT DO STUPID SHIT LIKE INVADE RANDOM THIRD WORLD COUNTRIES.

But as long as America could finally grow up itself and start standing up to violence...
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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:50 pm UTC

I would very much like our country to NOT go to war with Russia if they can help it.


How much are we supposed to let them get away with then?

I also feel like there's a lot of assumptions being taken as fact, in terms of who provoked who... Some say Georgia had troops in Russian territory, and others say that Russia just decided to attack for no good reason. The details seem to depend on people's opinion of Russia more than actual fact.


I don't think even Russia is claiming that. They claim that Georgia was oppressing people in South Ossetia, which is a breakaway region of Georgia not Russia. Russia then went and used this as an excuse to bomb Tblisi.

We really wouldn't need to. "Hey russia, get out of Georgia or we stop shipping (XYZ) to you. We aren't going to put up with killing."


You are kidding right? If we threatened Russia with sanctions they would threaten us with gas prices. Also, they can get most of what they need from their good friends China, who aren't about to slap an embargo on them just because we would like them to.

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Re: Georgia

Postby Scaredcrow » Mon Aug 11, 2008 7:58 pm UTC

The UN, by charter, is supposed to send in forces NAO to make Russia stop, but do you see them doing it?


Here's the problem with the UN: When the Soviet Union collapsed Russia took it's permanent spot on the Security Council. This pretty much ties the UN's hands. Of the 15 spots on the Security Council, you could arguably get 13 of the members to say "okay, lets put a stop to this", but you need an unanimous vote to pass anything. Russia and China both have permanent spots and there is no way they are going to vote in favor.

Also, there's not much NATO can do. If anything happens from NATO it's going to be a force made up of armies from the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada. Even when you combine them, there's not really a chance they can match up man to man with Russia. Sure they may have some technological advantages but when you out man them and cut off their oil supply they're pretty easy to stop. The only state that could possibly stop them is China and I sincerely doubt they are going to do more than remain entertained spectators.
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Re: Georgia

Postby EstLladon » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:13 pm UTC

From Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Geor ... 0420080811 :

A senior Georgian official later claimed that Russian troops had seized the Georgian town of Gori, some 40 km (25 miles) from South Ossetia. Moscow denied that report and a Reuters correspondent said no troops were visible in Gori's streets.
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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:15 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:From Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-Geor ... 0420080811 :

A senior Georgian official later claimed that Russian troops had seized the Georgian town of Gori, some 40 km (25 miles) from South Ossetia. Moscow denied that report and a Reuters correspondent said no troops were visible in Gori's streets.


The Georgian government themselves have admitted their command and control have already been obliterated. They probably don't know any better than Reuters where troops are at the moment, so essentially they've lost already. Hardly an unexpected result given the forces on each side.

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Re: Georgia

Postby EstLladon » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

I think it was really stupid of Georgia to start this. They probably thought that somebody will help them. Well... nobody helped.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Freakish » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:40 pm UTC

EstLladon wrote:I think it was really stupid of Georgia to start this. They probably thought that somebody will help them. Well... nobody helped.


We don't know if Georgia actually started this.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Scaredcrow » Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:52 pm UTC

I don't think you can say with any certainty who actually "started" this. If you really want to place blame I say we blame the Soviet Union. They seem as good as anybody.

In 1991 the Soviet Union fell apart and was forced to grant Georgia autonomy. Ever since then there have been border disputes over Abkhazia and South Ossetia, both in Georgia. So lets say Russia is the bad guy for wanting their land back. Or Georgia can be the bully for not giving Russia what is rightfully theirs. Either way who looks better: Russia with the ability to build an armed force over over 36 million people, or Georgia, who has less than 1 million of the population fit for service.

What really has to happen is have a compelling argument for Russia to stay in Russia and Georgia to stop antagonizing them. No blame, just a solution.
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Re: Georgia

Postby space_raptor » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:26 pm UTC

http://www.transatlanticpolitics.com/2008/08/11/russia-close-to-conquer-entire-georgia-tbilisi-under-attack/

My views on Russia are that I trust Putin about half as far as I can throw him. It seems he's used the South Ossetians as a handy excuse.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Freakish » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:39 pm UTC

He also called on the population to gather outside the Parliament at 3pm on August 12 “to show the enemy that we are united and strong."


Human shields... That's nice.
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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Mon Aug 11, 2008 9:51 pm UTC

space_raptor wrote:My views on Russia are that I trust Putin about half as far as I can throw him. It seems he's used the South Ossetians as a handy excuse.


And appropriately, as he is a 6th dan in Judo, you probably couldn't throw him at all...

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Re: Georgia

Postby TheStranger » Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

I find the reaction of other former Soviet client states to be an important part of this. The Ukraine has already said that the ships used to blockade Georgia can not return to their home ports (Russia has lost it Black Sea access).

This, it seems to me, is largely an attempt to bring these states 'to heel'... and how they respond to this will be telling.
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Re: Georgia

Postby sebas » Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:30 am UTC

Russia would have no reason to occupy Georgia. Making pressures to maybe change the Georgian administration could be a goal though.
And, myeah, NATO isn't going to do anything unless the USA will push. And they woun't since a war against Russia would be of a scale not seen since the second world war. And if you think that the first WW also started from a small country (Serbia) it's easy to come up with a very grim scenario.

As for the aggressor, both Georgia and Russia are. Georgia for attacking the separatist region of Ossetia, and Russia for retaliating even though that was not their territory to begin with. When they made their move, Georgia were probably hoping for support to arise from the west. Or maybe they had some promised, support that then failed to show when Russia had such a blunt response. Either way, the georgian people are the ones who suffer.

How much are we supposed to let them get away with then?

You don't "let" them do anything. This isn't a third world, toe nail sized country. It's a military, energetical and, more so, nuclear power.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Okita » Tue Aug 12, 2008 2:39 pm UTC

Is it me or is this the first military action take between two groups in which one group wasn't like a third world nation in a long time?

Anyway, some parts of this conflict are actually kind of intriguing given the cyberwarfare going on supposedly against the Georgian websites. Apparently cyberwarfare is going to a big thing in future military battles and I think this is the first situation where it has been seriously undertaken by a military force for a certain goal.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Yakk » Tue Aug 12, 2008 3:28 pm UTC

Georgia is not a member of NATO. It was working up to becoming a member, admittedly.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Asleep or Wrong » Tue Aug 12, 2008 5:17 pm UTC

Medvedev says they are done.

SpiderMonkey wrote:It seems clear to me that Russia's actions go beyond making a statement. They have advanced beyond the two breakaway regions and have been bombing the Georgian capital Tblisi. They have also done this at a moments notice, which seems to indicate this was planned.

Militaries plan things. Otherwise they would, as you have so keenly observed, be caught off guard. Which would be an extremely bad situation for said militaries. I'm quite sure Russia has battle plans for every neighbouring country. This isn't a measure of imperialistic ambitions, just preparedness.
SpiderMonkey wrote:Their rational for advancing into Georgia itself is to stop attacks by Georgian forces on Russia forces in South Ossetia - but Georgia is not a big country and they have some fairly long rang missiles. I am not certain, but I would imagine this rational is good for annexing the whole damn country. Is anyone going to stop them? Unlikely.

Hello, and welcome to the 21st century. In today's world of politics and economies, one country does not "annex" another. Such an action would result in the severing of diplomatic relations with every country that matters. Rather, they take less direct actions like destroying the other party's military capacity, agreeing to peace, and then interfering in the other party's internal affairs to safeguard their interests.
SpiderMonkey wrote:Georgia has been mistreating South Ossetia, but I think its a stretch to argue they are the aggressor - the military situation is so unbalanced that this is more like an execution than a war. I really don't consider the Russian pretext for invading Georgia is any more valid than the Nazi pretext for annexing the Sudetenland (the Czechs were mistreating ethnic Germans...). Let us just hope the analogy ends there.

Key difference here being that German claims that Germans in Czechoslovakia were in danger was wholly unfounded whereas Russian claims that Ossetians in Georgia were in danger is quite factual.
Also Russia was a party to the 1996 agreement, they've an obligation to enforce it.

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Re: Georgia

Postby zealo » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:30 pm UTC

what exactly has georgia been doing to 'oppress' the ossetians? and why were they doing it? assuming the 'incursion' last week really was a result of chasing 'rebels' (who were rebelling against what?)

would making ossetia (both north and south) a nation be unfair on anyone?
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Re: Georgia

Postby Asleep or Wrong » Tue Aug 12, 2008 6:55 pm UTC

zealo wrote:what exactly has georgia been doing to 'oppress' the ossetians? and why were they doing it? assuming the 'incursion' last week really was a result of chasing 'rebels' (who were rebelling against what?)

MLRS fire into a populated city, to regain territorial integrity.
zealo wrote:would making ossetia (both north and south) a nation be unfair on anyone?

No, but neither the Georgians nor the Russians would agree to that.

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Re: Georgia

Postby frezik » Tue Aug 12, 2008 10:23 pm UTC

Okita wrote:Is it me or is this the first military action take between two groups in which one group wasn't like a third world nation in a long time?


The NATO attack on Yugoslavia under Slobodan Milosevic wasn't all that long ago.

Anyway, some parts of this conflict are actually kind of intriguing given the cyberwarfare going on supposedly against the Georgian websites. Apparently cyberwarfare is going to a big thing in future military battles and I think this is the first situation where it has been seriously undertaken by a military force for a certain goal.


I hesitate to blame the Russian government. The trouble with "cyberwarefare" is that organized militaries are unlikely to have tools and techniques significantly better than what's available to civilians. For instance, the DDoS against Estonia a while back (also initially blamed on Russia) appears to have been done by just some Russian citizen living in Estonia. Bruce Schneier has an interesting post on this.

Maybe this one really is the Russian government, but it's just as likely to be an overzealous citizen.
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Re: Georgia

Postby superglucose » Tue Aug 12, 2008 11:05 pm UTC

Scaredcrow wrote:Also, there's not much NATO can do. If anything happens from NATO it's going to be a force made up of armies from the U.S., Great Britain, and Canada. Even when you combine them, there's not really a chance they can match up man to man with Russia. Sure they may have some technological advantages but when you out man them and cut off their oil supply they're pretty easy to stop. The only state that could possibly stop them is China and I sincerely doubt they are going to do more than remain entertained spectators.


o.O

Since when have wars been about meeting people man for man? That hasn't been true since... the 1800s.

Secondly, the US has over twice the population of Russia, so I'm not sure why America alone couldn't man-for-man Russia if it really came down to it... except that the political backlash would be huge.

Also, we can still field a military with a massive oil embargo. It would be the civilian oil that would disappear entirely.
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Re: Georgia

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 6:40 am UTC

The Idea that NATO would get involved in this, or indeed should seems crazy. Not one of the involved or as yet uninvolved countries would want such a large conflict and the benfit would be negligble when compared to the destruction and loss of life it would bring. Hopefully WWI taught us something.

So far Russia seems to have legitimate reasons to get involved and without any interference, the conflict should not expand out of the region, which would be a good thing.

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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:04 am UTC

Asleep or Wrong wrote:Medvedev says they are done.


CNN says they are not. If Medvedev is being honest, it might be simply that the Russian military is responding to a Georgian action (he did say the ceasefire was conditional. As usual, both sides will blame each other for breaking it) or he is simply being overruled by Putin who I believe is still in the region directing things. Assuming the Russians aren't just cynically bullshitting us to keep us off guard whilst they flatten their neighbour, it might be a sign of an internal discord.

SpiderMonkey wrote:Militaries plan things. Otherwise they would, as you have so keenly observed, be caught off guard. Which would be an extremely bad situation for said militaries. I'm quite sure Russia has battle plans for every neighbouring country. This isn't a measure of imperialistic ambitions, just preparedness.


There is planning things, and there is having the physical preparations for something in place. The pentagon might well have a plan to invade Mexico; but they do not have a few thousand tanks at the Texas border ready to go.

Hello, and welcome to the 21st century. In today's world of politics and economies, one country does not "annex" another. Such an action would result in the severing of diplomatic relations with every country that matters. Rather, they take less direct actions like destroying the other party's military capacity, agreeing to peace, and then interfering in the other party's internal affairs to safeguard their interests.


The US does it. The whole international order that was supposed to make this kind of thing sooo last century was pushed aside when America wanted to go after Iraq, and now that the idea of international law has been ridiculued, the UN has gone the way of the League of Nations, its become impossible to impose such order on Russia. The west has truly by hoist by its own petard on this one.

Key difference here being that German claims that Germans in Czechoslovakia were in danger was wholly unfounded whereas Russian claims that Ossetians in Georgia were in danger is quite factual.
Also Russia was a party to the 1996 agreement, they've an obligation to enforce it.


Entering Georgian territory is beyond the scope of their mission in South Ossetia. Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.

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Re: Georgia

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 12:45 pm UTC

Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.


You do know that the independance of Belgium and Luxembourg are guaranteed by military force by just about every European Nation. (Before Nato and United Nations, even before League of Nations) Good luck trying to argue that the gurantee of independence of either of these two nations is simply an excuse for aggression

You can also include any military alliance as well, wherein "countries are obligated to defend people in other countries with force."

This was probably not what you meant, but is what you wrote.

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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:29 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:
Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.


You do know that the independance of Belgium and Luxembourg are guaranteed by military force by just about every European Nation. (Before Nato and United Nations, even before League of Nations) Good luck trying to argue that the gurantee of independence of either of these two nations is simply an excuse for aggression

You can also include any military alliance as well, wherein "countries are obligated to defend people in other countries with force."

This was probably not what you meant, but is what you wrote.


Firstly, you are totally wrong. Agreeing to protect another nation with that nations consent is not at all the same as deciding to protect a subset of people within a nation regardless of what the host nation says.

Secondly, military alliances are dangerous. They started the first world war.

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Re: Georgia

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:40 pm UTC

SpiderMonkey wrote:
BattleMoose wrote:
Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.


You do know that the independance of Belgium and Luxembourg are guaranteed by military force by just about every European Nation. (Before Nato and United Nations, even before League of Nations) Good luck trying to argue that the gurantee of independence of either of these two nations is simply an excuse for aggression

You can also include any military alliance as well, wherein "countries are obligated to defend people in other countries with force."

This was probably not what you meant, but is what you wrote.


Firstly, you are totally wrong. Agreeing to protect another nation with that nations consent is not at all the same as deciding to protect a subset of people within a nation regardless of what the host nation says.

Secondly, military alliances are dangerous. They started the first world war.


I was expanding your comment which, is applicable to these other situations. The comment which I am specifically referring to this one,
Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.


Perhaps you would like to reword it to what you really mean or explain how the similiarties of this comment are not relevant to Belgium or Luxembourg. I am open to discussion, but not erh, statements such as, YOUR WRONG!

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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:46 pm UTC

BattleMoose wrote:I was expanding your comment which, is applicable to these other situations. The comment which I am specifically referring to this one,


And I was explaining why it was in fact a different situation. If, for example, Britain decided it ought to 'defend' the Dutch minority in Belgium then an invasion of Belgium, even if it was welcome by the Dutch there, would still be an act of aggression.

Perhaps you would like to reword it to what you really mean or explain how the similiarties of this comment are not relevant to Belgium or Luxembourg. I am open to discussion, but not erh, statements such as, YOUR WRONG!


I said plenty more than just 'YOU'RE WRONG' but you apparently didn't read any of it.

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Re: Georgia

Postby BattleMoose » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:20 pm UTC

Creating a situation where you are obligated to 'defend' people in other country with force is simply an excuse for aggression, as it was for the US in Iraq.


I just don't agree with this statement at all. Promising to defend a people within another country can have perfectly legitimate and sincere motives and by no means is simply an excuse for aggression.

NATO interfered in Yugoslavian politics and fighting to defend Albanians who were fighting Serbs, and now Kosovo is an independent state.

And I wish some countries would stand up and promise to defend MDC supporters in Zimbabwe. Promising to defend a minority people is not a bad thing, especially if they are being persecuted, indeed promising to defend the weak is a virtue.

And ofc I realise it can be used as a pretext for war, but I object to the allegation that it can only be.

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Re: Georgia

Postby SpiderMonkey » Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:50 pm UTC

I think its a bit naive to think NATOs motives in Kosovo were entirely altruistic. Nation states historically don't launch military operations for such high minded reasons no matter how much they may claim to.

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Re: Georgia

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

How can anyone take the USA seriously when they have an incredibly dirty history of intervention in their 'back yard' - Latin America. I recall Mr. Bush's own father invaded Panama to get rid of a leader he didn't like because he was looking to the East... hmm. Wikipedia mentions one of the main motives was "Safeguarding the lives of U.S. citizens in Panama".

More from Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Sta ... _of_Panama :
"At the UN Security Council, after discussing the issue over several days, a draft resolution demanding the immediate withdrawal of United States forces from Panama[24] was vetoed on 23 December by three of the permanent members of the Security Council,[25] France, United Kingdom, and the United States who cited its right of self-defense of 35,000 Americans present on the Panama Canal.[26] On 29 December, the General Assembly of the United Nations voted 75–20 with 40 abstentions to condemn the invasion as a "flagrant violation of international law."[27]"


Sound familiar? Why can't Russia defend its citizens?

It's funny reading comments by Americans about "letting" Russia get away with things. It's not a matter of "letting", because Russia will do what it wants and the USA is not in a position to stop them. Russia is not an incapacitated 3rd world country like Iraq. I doubt anyone would be stupid enough to accept massive losses on their own side over a few more or less "insignificant" Georgians (because what do they care about the people of Georgia?) and they are more likely to lose their access to oil by standing up to Russia than by keeping out.

Russia also can rely on China not to get involved so there wont be any extreme UN sanctions or anything.


And what's this about Georgia being a "bastion of democracy"? I recall violent suppression of opposition protesters and claims of unfair elections. I guess it is a bastion of "Democracy" <<insert Bush voice>>, not a bastion of real democracy.

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Re: Georgia

Postby ACU-LP » Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:47 am UTC

In my view (I may not know the full story, but from what I know); South Ossetia is an independant state (splitting from Georgia) which it wants to stay. Georgia decided it wanted it back as part of its own. Russia had peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Georgia fired the first shot, and Russia (who have weighty support from the South Ossetians) ran in and stopped them.
It is unlcear, but it seems as though Georgia (at least according to Aussie news) chose this time due to the distractions of the Bejing Olympics (how they thought that would work...?)
Russia then apparently overreacted and almost took a chunck of Georgia with it.

Please inform me and / or forgive me if I'm wrong about the above.

However, as has been pointed out previously, this is not unlike other countries reactions to similar situations. No offence, but mainly America.
Personally, I think the big keffuffle was made over it all due to the fact that Russia has more than....well...it depends on your sources but numbers of 5000 upwards of nuclear warheads.

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Re: Georgia

Postby sebas » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:27 pm UTC

@ACU-LP
It is unlcear, but it seems as though Georgia (at least according to Aussie news) chose this time due to the distractions of the Bejing Olympics (how they thought that would work...?)

Image

And it worked. :) At least if we're regarding your average Joe.

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I'm sorry, mate, but modern warfare is only based on pretexts. Not much we can do there as politicians want to be (re)elected.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Willis888 » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:37 pm UTC

The media war has been interesting to watch. All sides seem to be trying to stir up trouble among the citizenry of the other side(s) (your government is evil! you should rebel!), and boogeyman nationalism within their own borders (their government is evil! we should bomb them!). There has been a lot of talk about "Russian imperialism" and desire to rebuild the Soviet Empire and how this should be stopped. If Russia responds to the installation of NATO interceptor missiles in Poland, this point of view will be accepted by a broader audience. But the Georgian President has been humiliated in a way that showcases Russian military might to make Polish and Ukrainian peoples wary of cooperation with NATO (the cease-fire agreement was signed with Russian tanks minutes away from Tbilisi).

I've read that the Georgian military has chased off a FOX News reporter (with bullets), and a Georgian politician has accused Israel and Europe of abandoning them. I suspect it was American artillery that flattened Tskhinvali, without Georgian consent, knowing that the aftermath would provide an excuse for flying in lots of military hardware and personnel and calling it "Humanitarian Aid" or "Disaster Relief". The specter of war with Russia will also justify massive government spending on weapons systems that are unsuitable for counterinsurgency (high tech navy missile destroyers and air force dogfighters), and highlight the "need" for Europe to cooperate with the US to create a missile shield.

The Georgians and South Ossetians have been shooting at each other across the border for months, if not years, and without an outside force interfering would likely have continued to take pot shots for years to come. If that outside force was Russian bombers, the Russians have done an amazing job of influencing Western news outlets to obscure the fact (too good a job for me to believe this is the case). It seems like most networks agree that it was artillery inside Georgia that destroyed the South Ossetian capital, but disagree over who started shooting first (but in reality both sides have been "shooting first" and "shooting back" for a long time).


Okita wrote:Is it me or is this the first military action take between two groups in which one group wasn't like a third world nation in a long time?

Anyway, some parts of this conflict are actually kind of intriguing given the cyberwarfare going on supposedly against the Georgian websites. Apparently cyberwarfare is going to a big thing in future military battles and I think this is the first situation where it has been seriously undertaken by a military force for a certain goal.



There have been no shortages of conflict in recent times, but how often have two air forces gone head to head? There is going to be an eternity of debriefing to go through and war planners around the world will refine their simulations and write a new textbook for military pilots.

Some of the hacking might be government sponsored, but there's a good chance that some of it is just pissed off nationalists randomly deciding to retaliate the only way they can.
Last edited by Willis888 on Sat Aug 16, 2008 11:33 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Roland the Headless » Sat Aug 16, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

ACU-LP wrote:In my view (I may not know the full story, but from what I know); South Ossetia is an independant state (splitting from Georgia) which it wants to stay. Georgia decided it wanted it back as part of its own. Russia had peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Georgia fired the first shot, and Russia (who have weighty support from the South Ossetians) ran in and stopped them.
It is unlcear, but it seems as though Georgia (at least according to Aussie news) chose this time due to the distractions of the Bejing Olympics (how they thought that would work...?)
Russia then apparently overreacted and almost took a chunck of Georgia with it.

Please inform me and / or forgive me if I'm wrong about the above.


Your right, but as I understand it, it's a bit more complicated than that. Georgia is a country that has really been reaching out to the US and Western Europe. A lot of people there want to join NATO. This is a threat to Russia's control over the region, so there has been significant tension between Georgia for a while. Russia has cut off Georgia's gas supply and stuff like that. So, really the conflict between Georgia and Ossetia is just a piece of the conflict betwen Georgia and Russia, which is just a piece of the conflict between Russia and the West.

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Re: Georgia

Postby Silas » Sun Aug 17, 2008 5:59 am UTC

ACU-LP wrote:In my view (I may not know the full story, but from what I know); South Ossetia is an independant state (splitting from Georgia) which it wants to stay. Georgia decided it wanted it back as part of its own. Russia had peacekeepers in South Ossetia. Georgia fired the first shot, and Russia (who have weighty support from the South Ossetians) ran in and stopped them.
It is unlcear, but it seems as though Georgia (at least according to Aussie news) chose this time due to the distractions of the Bejing Olympics (how they thought that would work...?)
Russia then apparently overreacted and almost took a chunck of Georgia with it.

Please inform me and / or forgive me if I'm wrong about the above.


It's less than clear what events on the ground really precipitated the crisis. The Georgians say the Ossetians lobbed some shells across the border, and the Ossetians deny it, and neither side's claims are particularly convincing. But there'll probably never be any way to know for sure, unless written orders from the Georgian (or Ossetian or Russian) military command surface, which I think is unlikely.

Some have suggested that the speed and coordination of the Russian counter-attack suggests that they knew in advance about the crisis: it takes a lot of planning and preparation to bring an entire division (probably the 19th Motor Rifle) into play. But I'm not convinced. As a matter of course, Russia would have had invasion plans for striking into Georgia, and there was a week of escalating violence before Russian forces crossed the border. And the timing (Russia invades following the bombardment of Tskhinvali) seemed to follow cues from the Georgians, which the Russians couldn't easily have controlled or predicted (though they may have exaggerated the scale of the bombardment to turn a restrained attack into an occasion for urgent intervention; all we have is their own reports).

Also part of the strategic consideration that hasn't been discussed: there's a pass through the Caucuses (the Roki Tunnel), which the Georgians must control if they're to have any hope of resisting a future Russian invasion. It's the only choke-point- if a Russian invasion were to pass it, their superior numbers would be able to brush aside local resistance (as they have in the current conflict). If South Ossetia becomes formally independent, or is annexed by Russia, it'll take control of Roki with it.
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Re: Georgia

Postby Silas » Sun Aug 17, 2008 1:56 pm UTC

Apologies on a double post:

The Washington Post has a new article that gives a readable and comprehensive rundown on the known facts of the crisis.
Felstaff wrote:Serves you goddamned right. I hope you're happy, Cake Ruiner


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