Saturday, November 14, 2009

Urgenty Furyski

Russia's invasion of Georgia in August 2008 was troubling. And not just because our ally the Georgians got knocked about. Georgia really lost nothing that they already hadn't lost to Russia. The invasion just solidified the loss.

I'm troubled by the wider implications. Oh, not because I think that this means Russia will start conquering countries formerly part of the old Soviet Union--thought it is surely more likely now should an opportunity arise.

But I am troubled because it may represent a change in how Russia's leaders sees the former Soviet republics. Russia before the invasion of Georgia may have been the low tide of post-Soviet Russia, angry at their loss of empire but unwilling to do anything about it. And with the invasion, we may be at the starting point of a new Russia built on picking up as much of their loss lands as possible.

Remember that our invasion of Grenada in 1983 under President Reagan was hardly the signal that a miltiary rollback against Soviet communism was kicking off. But taking that small island from the communists was a signal that we no longer accepted that a country gone communist was forever lost to the West--we would take them back if we could.

And knowing that new American view, were anti-communists in Eastern Europe encouraged just a bit that their nightmare could end?

So now, pro-Russian minorities in the former Soviet Union may think that yes, they could rejoin mother Russia under the right circumstances.

So what bit of Mother Russia will be the next to rejoin Moscow?