Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Standard Operating Procedures

The Soviet Union never planned to invade NATO. Moscow always planned to blunt the NATO invasion of the Warsaw Pact and begin the counter-offensive all the way to the Rhine about 1 minute after the NATO offensive kicked off.

So when I first heard of the Russian invasion of Georgia, I never suspected the Georgians of starting the war. Repeated newspaper articles said Georgia initiated the war, but I knew that was silly. The war started at the beginning of the Olympics. The Russian "counter-offensive" kicked off less than a day after the so-called Georgian offensive. And I knew my Soviet history on this score.

So when the Russians read from the old Soviet play book, my blood pressure goes up:

Vitaly Churkin said Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili's attack on South Ossetia created a "new reality" that negated U.N. resolutions guaranteeing the territorial integrity of Georgia.

Nearly three weeks later, the Russians still maintain the lie that they just happened to be capable of responding in hours to rescue their noble allies in South Ossetia.

Sadly, our press hasn't caught on.

Michael Totten sets the record straight:

Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. “The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.

Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn't start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war.

The Russians have been seriously torquing me off for several years now. Their stupidity is matched only by their nuclear arsenal in lethality.

They could have been our friend after the Cold War. We even allowed them the fiction that Russia was separate from the communists who ran the Soviet Union, letting the Russians off the hook for the decades of murder and repression that Moscow conducted.

NATO cut its defenses so much that it can barely support a minor war in Afghanistan let alone pull off an invasion of Russia. Yet Russia pretends the West is a military threat looming over them.

Just as Russia pretended Georgia was a threat to Russia.

Russia isn't strong enough to justify becoming our main enemy once again. Which will probably annoy the Russians, actually. But we can't let the Russians get away with this attempted regime change in Georgia. If we fail to contain the Russians today over Georgia, they'll test our will power somewhere else tomorrow.

No war. But no peace.

And for God's sake, understand what Russia has done and don't blame this war on Georgia (or Bush).