Monday, August 11, 2008

Russian Invasion of Georgian Republic The Perfect Illustration of Difference Between Presidential Candidates

A Munich parallel as history repeats itself in Georgia!

Dick Morris reminds us that leading up to the Nazi invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1938 and ultimately to the horror of World War II was the fomenting of native German unrest in Czechoslovakia providing an excuse for the Germans to invade.

It is a formula that we are witnessing again today as Russia has fomented unrest among the Russian population in a border province of the former Soviet Republic of Georgia as a pretext to invade and vanquish the entire sovereign nation.


More maps here, here and here. Interactive map here.

Russia has a long history of trying to control Georgia. But it wasn't until the communist era when the republic was finally absorbed into the Soviet Union. The nation gave birth to Josef Stalin, the most infamous and deadly Soviet leader of the 20th Century.

Russia's desire to control Georgia did not die with the Soviet Union. Under current Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, the former President, pressure has continued to mount as Russian "peacekeepers" flooded into the areas of Georgia with large Russian populations.

U.S. Active in Countering Russian Malignancy

Under the leadership of President Bush, the U.S. has actively sought to strengthen ties with Georgia and help it maintain it's independence.

Thousands gather in Freedom Square to hear President George W. Bush speak in Tbilisi, Georgia, Tuesday, May 10, 2005. "When Georgians gathered here 16 years ago, this square had a different name. Under Lenin's steely gaze, thousands of Georgians prayed and sang, and demanded their independence, said President Bush. "The Soviet army crushed that day of protest, but they could not crush the spirit of the Georgian people."

The President's visit in 2005 was followed by repeated visits by U.S. leaders including a Senate delegation led by Senator John McCain in 2006. The focus of these visits is to preserve the independence of Georgia and offer it the assistance it needs.

Georgia has not been ungrateful. It sent 2,000 troops to aid coalition efforts in Iraq. Those troops are now being withdrawn to defend their homeland.

Russian Invasion Continues

Despite earlier hope of a ceasefire, Russian forces are now going beyond the original area of concern in South Ossetia and attacking targets throughout Georgia.


A Georgian woman is seen in her damaged apartment in Gori, Georgia, just outside the breakaway province of South Ossetia, Monday, Aug. 11, 2008. Russia warned Monday that its troops in Georgia's breakaway province of Abkhazia will cross into the Georgian-controlled territory if Georgian troops in the area refuse to disarm. ( AP Photo /Sergei Grits)

McCain Responds, Obama Flip Flops

While President Bush continues to press Russian leaders to stop their aggression (see here and here) and the U.N. Security Council meets to address this urgent issue, the response from the two presidential candidates is worth examining.

Curt noted that John McCain called the President of Georgia, whom he has meet on previous occasions, and issued this statement:

I again call on the Government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia. Given this threat to Euro-Atlantic security, I am pleased to see the United States, the European Union, and NATO acting together by sending a delegation to the region, in an effort to broker a cease fire. This is an important first step.

The United Nations has been prevented from taking any meaningful action by Russian objections. In view of this, I welcome the statements of democratic nations defending the sovereignty of Georgia and condemning Russian actions.

I strongly support the declaration issued by the Presidents of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and their commitment that ‘aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers.’
--John McCain

Obama's response was more of the same moral equivalence crapola that dictators have used throughout the 20th Century to excuse their actions.
I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war.
--Barack Hussein Obama
Only later did Obama issue a stronger statement which recognized Russia's impartiality as a "peacekeeper."

I'm not the only one who noticed that John McCain seems to have been awake when the 3 AM phone call came in:
  • The Washington Post's David Broder: "It's Particularly A Moment Where John McCain Can Claim To Have Been Prescient."
  • The Politico's Jonathan Martin: John McCain "Appears To Have Been Ahead Of The Curve In His Assessment That Moscow Was The Bad Actor Here."
  • Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman: "It's Not Just This Part Of The World, But Senator McCain Has Been To So Many Exotic Places Like Waziristan And South Ossetia, And He's Very Comfortable With These Issues. He Knows What He Thinks." ("Fox News Sunday," 8/10/08)
  • The Washington Post's George Will: "Certainly Their Initial Responses, They Were, As You Say, Different. Mr. Obama's Initial Response Was To Say That Both Should Show Restraint: The Invader And The Invaded. That's Not What's Going On Here." (video here)
  • The New York Times' Matt Bai: McCain "Does Understand What's Happening In That Region."

Georigans are now begging for help from the U.S. They deserve our support. They also deserve world leadership that recognizes who is at fault and doesn't simply provide cover for aggression under the false flag of moral equivalence.

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