Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brave Little Georgia

The Russian Bear is on the move. Since the collapse of the Soviet Empire beginning in 1989, Russia has been looking to regain her status as one of the world’s preeminent superpowers. Russia had to look on in disgust as various former Republics and puppet states have moved into or towards the American/European Axis.

In 1999, the former Soviet vassals and the now pro-Western states of Poland, the Czech Republic, and Hungary entered NATO. NATO continued to move eastward into the former Warsaw Pact when in 2004, Slovakia, Slovenia, Romania and Bulgaria joined NATO. That same year the former Soviet Republics (and regions traditionally ruled by Russia) of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania joined NATO. This eastward movement of NATO stung Russian pride.

The election of pro-Western governments that preached independence from the Russian sphere of influence in Ukraine (Orange Revolution) and Georgia (Rose Revolution) further injured Russian pride. Both the Ukraine and Georgia have also made inquiries into joining the Atlantic Alliance. Russia declared that situation unacceptable. Russia cannot countenance former vassals declaring their independence and embracing the West - thus the Russian saber rattling against Ukraine’s Orange Revolution and other acts of intimidation.

Russia has always had a strained relationship with the West. Culturally and religiously they are quite distinct, with a Russian Orthodoxy that is quite wary of Western influence. Even Tsar Peter the Great ran into stiff opposition when he attempted to westernize Russia. The Tsars’ campaigns to extend their control toward Constantinople (now Istanbul) were often opposed not only by their hated enemy, the Turks, but by the Western European powers as well. Russia has a history steeped in struggles with the West that have left her with an extreme distrust of Western motives.

In order to undermine Georgian authority and hopefully bring about a pro-Russian regime, Russia began to undermine Georgian authority in the provinces of Abkhazi and South Ossetia and fuel a rebel movement there. Ethnic Georgians were systematically removed much as Kosovars were by the Serbs and Russian passports issued to the remaining citizens. Russia further undermined Georgian authority in the region by deploying troops to act as “peacekeepers”. The Cold War between Russia and Georgia became hot on 8 August 2008. Russia invaded Georgia and has inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Georgian military. Russia, despite promises to the contrary, shows little inclination to withdraw from Georgian territory.

Russia’s actions are unacceptable and must be responded to with the strongest possible means. It would appear that a Russia-NATO collaboration is going to come to an end as a result. This should only be the beginning. Chancellor Merkl of Germany indicated in a recent show of support for Georgia, that Georgia would be welcomed into NATO. The US and Europe should review Russia’s role in the G8 and participation in the 2014 Olympic games in Sochi, Russia. As long as the United States and Europe convey the appearance of weakness, Russia will continue its march. Russia’s next stop will be the Crimea and the vital port of Sevastopol. Vladimir Putin has the capability to become a new Tsar in Russia, accomplishing great feats in modernizing Russia at the expense and destruction of her neighbors. The Bear is on the move.


Dad29 said...

Russia had controlled Georgia since about 1800 AD.

Georgia started shelling Ossetia on August 6th. So who, exactly, started the troubles?

Chancellor Merkl of Germany indicated in a recent show of support for Georgia, that Georgia would be welcomed into NATO

It would be a damn nice thing for Germany, France, (et. al.) to actually fund NATO proportionately--as well as actually putting THEIR militaries to use there.

I have another suggestion: let Europe solve their own problems. Toss the Russkis from G-8, fine. Stay out of the Olympics, fine.

But don't count on the US military to save your a***es every time The Bear roars.

CatholicSoldier said...

I agree that it would be nice if the Europeans footed more of a bill as opposed to relying on us. Who knows, maybe a moving bear is enough to get them going (unlikely, but one can hope).

The Ossetians (who are puppets of the Russians) started shooting across the border at Georgia, that is what resulted in the Georgian movement into South Ossetia which brought about the Russian response.

In reality, Russia baited Georgia and Georgia took the bait.

Dad29 said...

...and I realize, as do you, that much of what we 'know' is propaganda from either/both side(s).

But that doesn't change the fact that Russia controlled Georgia for roughly 200 years.

And, by the way, it should teach some others that being a snot-nose to The Bear does NOT entitle you to immediate military assistance from the USA.