Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Reality Check

Russia started the Russian-Georgian War of 2008, plain and simple.

I find it absurd that anybody is focused on the details of Georgian telephone intercepts that the Georgians claim are proof that Russia started the war:

Georgia also provided audio files of the intercepts along with English translations to the New York Times, which made its own independent translation from the original Ossetian into Russian and then into English.

Russia, already facing deep criticism and the coolest audience in European capitals since the cold war, is arguing vigorously against Georgia’s claims. Last week, Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin expressed bafflement at what he saw as the West’s propensity to believe Georgia’s version of events.

The ramshackle Russian military, rusting away for two decades now, miraculously put together an invasion of Georgia, flying in paratroopers even from distant bases, within hours of being attacked by Georgia? You seriously believe that version of events?

Russia got their South Ossetian goon allies to shoot at the Georgians and the Gerogians obliged by shooting back--which triggered the overt Russian invasion of Georgia. That is the reality of the situation.

Georgia fell for the provocation and gave Russia the excuse to invade. Although to be fair to Georgia, the Russians may have invaded anyway even if Georgia had held fire initially. Russia just would have needed to lie just a little more in that case to make up the Georgian provocation.

Of course, all Russia got for their effort is a NATO commitment to embrace Georgia:

In a strong message of support after Georgia's debilitating war with Russia, NATO Secretary-General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer said Georgia's "road to NATO is still wide open."

"The process of NATO enlargement will continue, with due caution but also with a clear purpose — to help create a stable, undivided Europe," he said in a speech at Tbilisi State University.

If checked in Georgia, where else will Russia try to expand?