Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Board Is Set: South Ossetia and Abkhazia In Place

August 27, 2008

The nation sits distracted with our Changing Of The Guard ceremonies in Denver, just as the world sat distracted with Beijing a few weeks ago for the beginning of the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. During both times, we saw the worm turn. What was a decade-plus of new friendship with Russia turned quickly into a geopolitical shift in concern and priorities. Our State department is suddenly changing plans and making emergency trips to Eastern Europe a lot. We are suddenly having to draw lines in the sand for the same foe that butchered tens of millions of people and said that the problem was really with us.

Russian President Dmitri Medvedev announced that Russia is recognizing the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia in Georgia. Clever ploy the Russians deployed years ago: Instal clusters of Russians in the satellite republic of Georgia when your federation is falling apart. Consider these players as "pawns" in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Instruct them to agitate their parent nation, Georgia, and even spark low-level assaults on the Georgian military and police force. Have them do this for years in order to demonstrate the justification for rushing in to "recognize their grievances".

"We are not afraid of anything, including the prospect of a Cold War," Medvedev said yesterday. (source)

He ordered Russian Foreign Ministry to start establishing diplomatic ties with the secessionist regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Who can't see what's next: Russia will consider the recognized breakaway regions as "part of Russia now", and declare these Georgian regions fair game for the picking.

Yes, we condemned the act. Yes, so did the rest of Western Europe (Eastern Europe is bracing for more, and silent). Still yet, Russia dares to "flip the script" on us, saying that even though Russia killed Georgian civilians needlessly, the keys to stopping the madness is up to us: "everything depends on the position of our partners".

Eight years went by before Putin pulled this move on us. Is it possible that he did this, knowing that a lame duck President Bush will not be able to commit a response to effectively face down this annexation of Georgia? And what does that say for how much they fear whoever is next? Is this anytime to elect a weak judge of character into office?

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