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Aug 11, 2008

Bush Has Georgia's Back

Saakashvili Bush 2

Saakashvili-Rubble

Thinking about the hostilities in Georgia, it's instructive to return to the NATO Summit in Bucharest in April.

If you recall, Bush, along with his Russian-expert Secretary of State, descended on the member heads-of-state driving hard for the alliance to offer membership to both Georgia and Ukraine.  In the top image, you can see Bush yukking it up with pre-conference sidekick, Georgian President Saakashvili.

Thankfully the Europeans, led by Germany and France, pushed back and rebuffed Bush.  Otherwise, we could well be looking at the U.S. being forced to go to war with Russia this week in defense of a NATO ally -- not to mention interjecting ourselves in an ethnic and separatist conflict that is arguably far beyond our scope of interest.

What Bush's Georgian cheerleading and advocacy (not to mention, McCain's even more aggressive, compromised and meddling version) can be credited with, however, is emboldening Mikheil Saakashvili to provoke Russia in the first place, accounting for this contrast, between giggles in Bucharest, and Saakashvili hitting the dirt in Gori during a Russian airstrike.

slide show: Troops, Rubble and Grief in Georgia (NYT)

(image 1: Gerald Herbert/AP.  April 3, 2008.  Bucharest, Romania. image 2: Joao Silva for The New York Times.  Gori, Georgia)

Comments

There would have been one argument, to integrate Georgia into NATO: simply the fact that commando-structures whithin NATO would have been a hindrance to Mr. Saakashwili, to start his suicidal attack on South Ossetia. On the other hand, a Georgia as a NATO-member-state would have been a much too great provocation to Russia and a good reason for Putin/Medvedev to intensify the permanent small-scale attacks from S-Ossetia on Georgian Border-posts, which lastet since beginning of this year.
It is absolutely not understandable, why the US has not given better intelligence-information to Georgia, as the Russian military built-up went on since weeks (a formidable Russian tank-regiment with all needed support in artillery, air-defence, egineers ... was right down in Tshinvali to stop the Georgian attack whithin 12 hrs only!). So Mr. Saakashvili was left in the belief, his troops - a well trained (by US marines) and fairly well equipped (by Israely technology) army - only had to wipe out those 500 Russian "peacekeeping" men and to close the Roki-tunnel - the only road crossing the Caucasus ridge.
From this popint onward anyone is free to draw his/hers conclusions, f.e. about the role of the Bush administration.

When western corp. media interviews Georgian govmt characters, such as the Pres. and head of the parliament, they give these jokers a chance to repeat again and again the neocon line on what is happening, Defenseless Doe-Eyed Democracy at the mercy of Totalitarian Dictatorship like when the Soviets invaded Chez. Hungary, etc. and the West stood by and did nothing. Notice that McCain was primed and ready with the same line. Unfortunately, the pressure to toe the line is too strong for even Obama to sound like a Cold Warrior, too. It's really something to watch and be worried about.

Also, we've noticed that CNN journalists (just to mention one) in Tbilisi are constantly citing Georgian govmt sources for information. CNN and others should point out that press freedom in Georgia is heavily restricted and "freedom of the press" such as you'd expect in a Doe-Eyed Democracy does not exist there, so how can ANY news be trusted? (Go to Reporters sans frontières web site for the 2008 report on Georgia press freedom. It puts a lot into perspective, news wise).

Anyway, A-plus to the BAGnewsNotes team for the best reporting on this to be found on the web. We're with ya.

Pinky'n'duhBrain

If the story, as presented by the American media, seems to make no sense and portray the Russians as unreasonable, check the non-American media [always a good idea for a reality check and to calibrate one's internal crap detector]. Here's a cut and a link from Asia Times Online:

"For all Russians, not only those with relatives in Ossetia, the near-total destruction by Georgian guns of Tskhinvali is a war crime. The deaths of about 2,000 civilians in the Georgian attack, and the forced flight of about 35,000 survivors from the town - the last census of Tskhinvali's population reported 30,000 - has been described by Russian leaders, and is understood by Russian public opinion, as a form of genocide. Ninety percent of the town's population are Russian citizens."

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Central_Asia/JH12Ag02.html

So Georgia is Mexico and a just south of the Border city of US expats has just been cleansed by Mexican Federal troops sent in by Russia's favorite U.S. neighbor whom Putin in negotiating with to have join the Russian Federation.

Have I missed a parallel?

Back to the pictures..

If GWB is the "guy to have a beer with" and yuck it up with smiles and jokes.. then the bottom picture is the fallout. From what I've read, GWB has his hands in this story in two ways - he emboldened the Georgian leader by no doubt making some broad and uncontemplated statements - "I've got your back, Saaki. You're an ally in the GWOT, and we'll stick together!" On the other hand, he's weakened the international standards of fair play for superpowers.. giving Russia the open door to over-react and crush whole cities in the name of "fighting terrorists".

The Devil himself couldn't do a better job of creating mayhem. GWB is the kiss of death. His legacy is wreckage in all directions.

I can see him at breakfast with Cheney, " Now, how can we kill off the rest of those Polar Bears?.."

These two photos seem to sum up Bush's foreign policy. Bush becomes your buddy and the next thing you know you are diving for cover.

That's it KansasKowboy. Loud words, a few millions of dollars for military training and equipment, but without any capability to be at hand if needed.
Seriously it is to be seen that the Russians are acting on their "inner line" of interest, while the US is acting on the "outer line" - far off the country's vicinity. And unfortunately the US-policy and military power is bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan and incapable to support a country like Georgia - and in the aftermath Ukrainia. To threat Iran? If the US-military isn't even capable to support an ally like Georgia, how can it be a threat to Iran?
The Russians must have a good laugh. Thanks to Bushism and Neocon's ideas.

Perhaps just because of recent stories in the 'sub-news.' but it is difficult for me to look at the photo of The W without thinking that he is drunk as a skunk.

The bottom photo, all those dignitaries and reporters and sycophants and guns etc., etc., and right in the middle is a proudly growing weed. Only a gardener could appreciate that.

I know too little of the politics of Russia/Georgia/Ossetia et al., to comment about the political situation. But suffice it to say that press censorship is not limited to Georgia. However, the foreign leaders dependent upon the largesse of The W and his cohorts know well the language they must use.

Gasho is right, Bush is a psychopath who apparently enjoys setting disasters in motion then stepping back to enjoy the fall out. Over a stein of beer.

And yet, he dares to drag even more warships into the waters off Iran. Who does he think he's kidding? Certainly not Russia and Putin who have already determined that the US is, indeed nothing but a paper tiger, after all.

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