Monday, August 11, 2008

Old Habits Die Hard – Russian Empire in Georgia

Michael Phelps wins his second gold medal, the US and China continue to lead the medal count… and in page A14 news Russia invades some country.

In fact, that “some country” is Georgia.

Now before you Southerners lock and load your rifles in defense of your Southern Brothers, rest assured the Ruskies are not in the Peach Orchard…

Georgia is a country south of the Russian Chechnya region which is an ex-Soviet Republic. Georgia is also the United States’ biggest ally in the war in Iraq, second only to Great Britain.

Georgia is also a NATO Promissory – recently promised membership into the military defense treaty of NATO. Such promise of defense should guarantee instant reaction from the President of the United States:

Even after this attention, the Russians continue to attack regions of the Sovereign Georgia territory, in defiance of the United States’ call for cessation of violence.

Unfortunately for Georgia, this is not the limit of Russian involvement. In many regions of Georgia since the fall of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation has been aiding the separatist movement in Georgia, including an ethnic cleansing campaign in the early 1990’s in certain regions of the country. Georgia’s increasing reliance on Washington is cause for great concern from Moscow, who has made attempts in recent months to show greater influence in the ex-Soviet region – especially after missile defense platforms have been agreed upon for regions of Eastern Europe.

What should Washington’s response be when one of her most trusted and most reliable allies is invaded and pummeled by Russian bombs?

If we do nothing, our allies in the fledgling democracies will be increasingly hesitant to rely on the US for security in their separation from the Soviet Union (Now the Russian Federation… but led by the same groups of folks). If we do nothing, violence and murder will befall our most trusted friend in Iraq.

If we act, it may lead to war with Russia… the doomsday clock moves closer to midnight. The US has mended relations with Russia, but an act of aggression in defense of an ally could lead to a resurgence of the Cold War – this time, however, the Russians have the backing of a huge anti-US sentiment worldwide… something that was absent for so many years after the US helped lead the world to victory in WWII.

The ultimate question is this: does a country have the right to enforce rule of law within their own borders, assuming rule of law includes retention of sovereign lands from secessionist forces backed by a foreign country?

If this is the definition of a Civil War, then what role should the US take in defending an ally in their civil war if Russia becomes involved on the side of the antagonist separatists? What is the price of freedom and sovereignty?

The United States has begun assisting Georgian Soldiers back to their country from Iraq, to the cry of "foul" from Russia's Putin, who said that the US presence would hamper efforts for Russia to resolve the conflict. The resolution Russia is looking for is victory, and the claiming of the territory for their own. The presence of the US means that this outcome will likely not be the case... Yes... hampering their outcome.

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