Russia Invades Georgia

So it looks like Russia is on the march. It should hardly come as any surprise that such a bold and aggressive maneuver would come from Putin. On Thursday, Russian tanks and troops invaded the nation of Georgia in a bid to take over the contested breakaway province of South Ossetia. This is a war that's been slowly brewing in the area now since the fall of the old Soviet Union. South Ossetia has essentially been ruling itself since 1992 when it successfully held of Georgian control of the province. Russia has been courting them ever since and has even gone so far as to issue passports to the people there.

Georgia is a pro-democracy US ally in the region and has been providing on going military and logistical assistance in the Persian Gulf region for several years now. Including committing at least 2,000 troops to ground operations in the Iraq War. They have been slowly getting themselves in line to become a member of the NATO alliance. So we're in a pretty sticky spot now. Georgia is asking for US help, and we damn well better give it to them. This is no time for Bush to be playing the diplomatic dance with Putin. Russia has made its intentions perfectly clear and if we do nothing there may not be much of a Georgia left in a week. We don't have time for the usual bullshit from the Democrats. We don't have time for UN debates. If we are to prove that our word means something, then we must act and we must act now. NATO must send in troops to repel the Russian invasion and do so with authority. If NATO fails to act, then we need to go in alone and put a stop to this before it gets out of hand.

The Russians knew exactly what they were doing and the timing of this with the Beijing Olympics was no coincidence. They intended to try and pull this off with as little media attention as possible, and it apparently worked well since many of us here in the US didn't even know there was a problem until well into Friday. Russian air strikes have killed civilians in the streets, blown up their apartment buildings, and have left hundreds of bodies in the streets according to accounts from refugees fleeing the attack. So far all we've done in response is the posturing equivalent of dad shaking his finger at an unruly child and yelling "NO!" at the top of his lungs. Guess what? The child gave dad the finger. The longer we wait, the worse this is going to get.

President Bush, stop dicking around and call in the Air Force. Bomb the Russians back into the stone age. Fulfill the promise you made to the people of Georgia and answer their plea for help before it's too late.
"It is pointless to resist, my son." -- Darth Vader
"Resistance is futile." -- The Borg
"Mother's coming for me in the dragon ships. I don't like these itchy clothes, but I have to wear them or it frightens the fish." -- Thurindil

Well. I guess that's that then.

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Posted on Aug 9, 2008 11:59 pm by Samson in: | 14 comment(s) [Closed]
WTH, how can you bomb a nuclear power back into the stone age? Would they really stand by and let that happen without recourse to everything they have? War is very unpredictable.
I don't like to see this happen to a friend either, but I seriously don't know how much we can do without jeapordizing the existence of the planet. I just don't see military confrontation between nuclear powers as an option. What am I missing?

It's quite easy. You use stealth bombers. They're called stealth for a reason. Fly in, bomb the shit out of whatever is there, leave.

If that's not efficient enough for you, then deploy black ops teams. Go in and blow up key installations in Russia. Blame it on the Iranians or something.

And if that's not good enough, keep in mind that even though the Russians have nukes they're not going to use them against us if we intercede on behalf of an ally using conventional weapons. Remember mutually assured destruction? The principle still applies today. If the Russians respond with nukes, they know we'd burn them off the planet. They also know we have deployed weapon systems capable of intercepting their own missiles, so we'd probably come out ahead, although the entire concept of a winner in a nuclear war is debatable. Either way the Euros aren't likely to tolerate Russian use of nukes, even if they restrict it to tactical weapons on the battlefield. That's probably one of the few things that would wake the liberal wankers who run the continent up and convince them to deploy a full scale NATO response.

I miss Reagan. He wouldn't have stood for any of this and this war would be over by now. Instead we have weasel Bush who's too afraid of damaging whatever legacy he thinks he's got left by engaging in another war. Apparently our word to our allies means jack shit. So we shouldn't be too surprised if one day we need their help and they give us the finger in return.

Man, this is why I so rarely take real vacations.. I go away for a weekend, just a get away to take a break from everything for the first time in four years, and I come home to find I missed the starting maneuvers in World War III?? :(

Yep. That certainly seems like a possibility at this point. The Russians clearly are not responding to some supposed attack on their people. This has all the indicators of raw Russian imperialism at its best. This isn't about oil. It's not about "atrocities" it's about conquest. Pure and simple. The Russians have decided they have nothing to lose by risking hot war with the US. So far it's paying off in spades. The UN is about to stick their fingers into things at an emergency session of the Security Council. That should be good for some laughs if nothing else. I don't expect one shred of productive result from that. It took 14 years of inaction by the UN before Bush finally decided enough was enough and went after Saddam. We can't wait 14 years for the UN to wag their fingers at Putin and have the US send troops to Georgia. We need to act now or by next week there may not be a Georgia left.

Something to keep in mind as well. If the Russians were so aggrieved by something Georgia did, why not go to the UN and ask for help getting it resolved? Because the Russians know it never works. So they acted. I can respect them for that alone. If we did the same this world would be a lot better off.

...well, getting myself up to speed on this was an interesting exercise.

To be ever so slightly fair to the Russians, this whole thing started with the Georgians taking advantage of the Olympics to make an offensive in South Ossetia, which the Russians then crushed with a rather suspicious amount of speed. Which was pretty dumb on the part of the Georgians, but. Which made that whole "But we're just protecting the South Ossetians from aggression!" line believable for about 10 seconds until they kind of overstepped that and invaded Georgia proper.

And now we get to see if Russia wants to take over the whole country, just topple the government, or what, exactly. Bad news in whatever case.

On the "bomb them back to the stone age!" question, I wonder. On the one hand, yeah, Georgia's really stepped up and tried to be our friend, and time was when we tried to look out for our friends. Which time does not appear to be today, unfortunately, and that's pretty sad.

On the other hand, if we're going to fight a war with Russia, we've really got to be ready to fight a war with Russia, and I'm just not sure we can. Oh, we could fly some stealth bombers over, and do that whole thing, but that's stopped who exactly, ever? Sure didn't ever stop Saddam, for one, and it sure didn't ever stop Libya, and I'm sure I could go on with this list, but you get the idea. Any effective military response needs to involve boots and tanks, and most of ours are already busy with a couple other wars, never mind that trying to fight the Russians on the doorstep of Russia halfway around the world has all kinds of issues associated.

And never mind that Russia's one of a few countries in the world where escalation gets really problematic really fast.

I could be wrong, and hell, I'd really like to think we're going to kick some ass over this, but I suspect I'm not, which is sad.

I hate to leave a friend in the lurch, too, but that friend of ours badly miscalculated (I only wonder if we had the brains to at least discourage them but I doubt it). This is Russia's bad, but Georgia is NOT blameless.
The idea that the USA would go to war with Russia over this is not a good one. If Russia saw Stealth bombers coming their way (and they might) they would probably assume they were armed with nukes (we'd have to make the same assumption) and they would LOW. MAD worked (barely - remember Cuba) because we never got in a shooting war with the SU. As Dwip said, with Russia escalation gets really problematic really fast. Pick your battles.
As far as I know we never promised Georgia we'd stand behind 'em no matter how many ethnic Russians they killed in their territory. That was strictly at Georgia's own risk.
Like Russia would just let themselves be bombed back into the stone age. Do you really think so?

Right. I get you both. So we should just throw up our hands, run to the UN, and surrender because we're too chicken shit to back up our words with real action? I think you both have badly miscalculated how well the Russians are able to read us. It's not that we lack the troop strength to engage in the conflict. After all, as Dwip points out, many of them are already in the area. It's not a stretch to think we could mobilize them to Georgia in a heartbeat if Bush had the guts to pick on a real enemy. Saddam was a wimp. We won against him easily because of that. The US hasn't had a real hardcore shooting war with the Russians or China since Vietnam. Everything after that has been fish in a barrel.

None of this excuses the fact that we've now turned our back on an ally nation. One that was just about to be brought into NATO and become a European ally as well. Other nations in the future are going to be reluctant to seek our friendship and will be very hesitant to rely on our protection when we promise it and we'll be able to point to this incident as the reason why in 20 years. This will be remembered as they day when the US walked away from a friend in need.

The Russians knew we'd have nothing but a sissy response. Looks like they were right. It's in the hands of the UN now and we all know that means Georgia is toast. The Russians hold a veto vote on the Security Council. Getting them to go along with harsh action against them is impossible. They know this and they know it'll be 15 years before someone finally steps up and does something about it.

If I were living in a nation under the auspices of US protection that's waiting to become the next powder keg, I'd be fleeing that country fast. If ever there was a valid legal reason to impeach a President, violation of a treaty would be it.

I'm not so much saying we should run to the UN, because, well, we all know how useless they are, so much as I'm saying we have not so many options, and none of them are really fabulous. Our negotiating position sucks because our options suck. I...guess we could do the unilateral sanctions thing and/or try to kick them out of the G-8 and whatever else has been proposed, but unless all of Europe shows up for that (and they won't), how much is that going to fail? A lot.

And I guess I see something of a problem in trying to redeploy our Afghan and Iraq troops out of those theaters to go deal with this. Leaving two more of our friends, such as they are, in a lurch to go fight a third fire? We've sorta-kinda won in Iraq, that's true, but we sure as hell haven't in Afghanistan. You feel like giving both those up? I sure don't.

So any troops we send there will need to either be flown in from the US, or replaced by troops from the US. Either way, the logistics of actually getting people to Georgia is a pretty huge mess, and pretty much dependent on Turkey being ok with our doing the moving. Not to mention that we'd be put in the unenviable position of attempting to fight off what appears to be a Russian armor attack with probably light infantry, who had better hope that our Air Force can both get air superiority and take out a whole lot of tanks and APCs, or they're screwed too. And where we're going to base all the planes we need to do this, I don't really know.

And yeah, hopefully we don't get our fleets in a huge shooting war in any given or all oceans. We'd win that fight, we sure would, but none of that's good.

And...yes, let's send our nuclear-capable bombers into Russia. What could possibly go wrong? It's not like we've come close to the brink of war over such things in the past, now is it? And I guess, speaking as somebody in the fallout zone, I don't really feel like finding out.

Which further ignores the fact that to "win" any kind of land war, barring factors that I can't see right now, we'd pretty much need to change the Russian regime. Which means we'd need to drive in in our tanks and occupy the place. Which is so far-fetched I'm not even going to go there.

On the other hand, given occupation, and given any kind of Georgian resistance, I'd sure be up for supporting them. It's about what I can see us doing militarily.

Which really sucks, but. Just not seeing what we can do about it.

OTOH, maybe I'm wrong, and maybe if we dropped a few battalions of guys in Tiblisi and said to Putin "No, uh-uh, line stops here, go home, we'll set up a UN peacekeeping deal in the breakaways and that's it." it would work out, but I'd sure hate to be those people we sent in there if the Russians decided to not stop.

Also I wonder if we really do have a mutual defense treaty with Georgia, or just something lesser. I suppose the latter, but.

Established: The UN is a joke. Expecting them to act is like expecting flies not to land on shit.
Established: The Euros are too chicken hearted to do anything about this. So that leaves us.

This raises some serious concerns. If Georgia had been admitted to NATO, would the Russians have cared? I'm thinking no. So they would have invaded anyway. Given what NATO is supposed to be about, one would rightly expect a huge response from the Euros since they're right there. But everything I've seen from them lately tells me they'd play the appeasement card again just like in 1939. Remember 1939? Remember who finally had to come bail the entire continent out? Do we want to wait that long before we put a stop to this?

Now consider this. We have troops in Iraq. Troops in Afghanistan. Troops on bases in various other NATO allied countries. If you look at a map of it all, one might even conclude we saw this possibility coming one day. I don't think deployment into the battlefield would have been all that difficult. Plus with this information Dwip linked me to it leads me to believe the Russians are hurting far worse than we're being told by our own media. Some of what's been hinted at there suggests Israel has been arming the Georgians. We've been doing the same. So they've got the hardware and are capable of dealing serious damage. Plus, what are the Russians trying to hide from the Red Cross? If they're the victims they should have nothing to hide. That site simply strengthens my argument that the Russians have had this planned all along.

I don't think there's any question now that the Russians didn't invade Georgia as a response to some as yet unverified atrocity. It's also clear they're not there for the oil or they'd have either blown up the pipeline by now or stopped advancing once they reached the oil ports on the Black Sea. Since they've continued both their bombing campaigns and their ground invasion the only likely scenario left is that they're in there to topple the Georgian government. And with us doing nothing to put a stop to it, they'll succeed. Though if that blog site is any indication they'll pay dearly for it in the process.

You know, this is going to sound pretty cold but I'm going to say it anyway. I have ancestors from Russia, well what was Russia when they lived there, since then that portion of the country ceded and became Georgia. I'm not decended from Georgians but Russians, yet when I meet someone from Russia and tell them where my ancesters came from they happily tell me that I'm not of Russian decent but of Georgian decent. Would it really be so terrible to let Russia handle what by rights is an internal affair on their on?

Yes, I know, Georgia did cede and become their own country and we have treaties with them. I also know that most Americans could turn this "argument" around on me and point to the fact that the ancesters of most Americans were British so why would we want to argue if England came along to reclaim the U.S... Personally, I see that as a bit different. With Georgia, we're not talking about 200+ years later and, if we're honest, who'd be likely to come jump to our defense if England did decide to attack us (and had a snowball's chance in hell of success)? Honestly, our own government is not any better today than King George was 200+ years ago, all the things we fought England over we've re-enacted upon ourselves anyway, so would resorting to being British Colonies actually be all that bad?

Damn, I'm sounding pretty unpatriotic here, and that's totally not true.. how do I phrase this better? ...bah, screw it, I'm not anti-American, I just am not thrilled with our current government and don't see this Georgia thing as really being our problem. *shrug* And, yes, Samson, I do entirely see your point about other countries in the future being hesitant to rely upon our word and all that, but I also know that the whole world has known since moments after WWII that Russia was basically our one "equal" enemy that we couldn't afford to go all out against for the sake of the whole world and when our allies expect our defense, it's not really against Russia. *shrug*

Russia should stop here now and respect the cease fire. If they do, my estimation of that government's intelligence goes way, way up - in fact if they stop now I'd say they've about demonstrated they're the most intelligent player in the game even if they aren't the most powerful at this point. For one thing, they don't have to go in and change the government. If they stop here, the Georgian people are more than likely to change their own government. Nobody can be happy with Saakashvili's serious miscalculation in his power play. What was he thinking? "Putin's busy in Beijing, I'll just take this opportunity to go in and kill some Russians and get South Ossetia in order!" Even if he had the moral authority to do that, did he really not think that maybe Russia's not going to let him actually do that without beating him up?
So if Russia stops, Georgia now loses two of the breakaway provinces (are they provinces?) and the President of Georgia has to answer to his own people. The United States or EU isn't going to go to war or even likely impose sanctions if that's all there is to it. Probably even they feel Saakashvili will deserve what he gets for being a nincompoop and not understanding that The Bear's not going to sit and play with the mice while they pull and bite on his tail. Georgia gets to keep its democracy, but will now have second thoughts about quickly joining NATO. The USA doesn't win anything except maybe a little respect from the rest of the world for not going cowboy and proving this administration is the stupidest administration ever. Maybe Bush learned a thing or two after 8 years of failure.
If Russia's smart. If Russia stops now and takes victory for an answer. Then move along, nothing to see here. It's all over folks.
And frankly if our Allies are a LITTLE nervous about how much we can rely on, well that's not so bad. Frankly, we don't need any more pissant democracies who figure that since they're out buddies they can implement their own cowboy diplomacy. Let 'em pick their battles too. Hey, I don't want to send my kids over to die in Tbilisi so the Georgian government can show the world how tough they are by killing Russians in Russia's backyard.

All of this seems to be predicated on the assumption that Georgia killed 15 Russian soldiers. I've yet to see any sort of evidence to confirm this, there are no bodies to prove it, and the Russians refuse to allow the Red Cross in to render aid and report on what's really going on. It smacks of a Kremlin cover up. Something doesn't smell right. I can't seriously be the only person who sees this. Saakashvili may well be a blithering idiot. But let the Georgian people sort that out themselves. The Russians had no right to commit to a full scale ground invasion of a sovereign nation.

As far as Bush, I don't see him as a complete failure and you can't point to one thing to prove otherwise except his lack of action on the southern border with Mexico. Iraq is a victory and even our own biased left leaning media has been forced to admit it. He hasn't had anything else of any real importance to get stuck with. OPEC being who they are are the ones responsible for the gas crisis. Bush and Congress both have no power over that.

Our allies may not remain our allies for long if we continue to prove that we've gone soft and lack the balls to stand up to an aggressive enemy. Trust me when I tell you this, Putin knows the timing was perfect. That's why he waited for the Olympics to start because he knew that many world leaders would be there and unable to coordinate an immediate response. It's pretty clear he left orders with the military in Russia to commence operations once the games began.

Georgia had little choice but to defend themselves, and I've been seeing bits and pieces now popping up all over suggesting that we're not getting the whole picture. Even from bloggers who are keeping an eye on Russian news. It seems as though the Georgians were smart. Very smart. They've been stockpiling Israeli anti-tank weapons. Word has it that 3 entire Russian tank columns have been wiped out in the mountain passes because of it. But that information has been suppressed hardcore by the Russian government. There's also plenty of reports that Russian ground troops have taken casualties far higher than the international media is aware of. So it's looking like Georgia is either better equipped than we thought, or they're getting the help they need from somewhere. We probably won't know the real story for awhile.

All that said, it sickens me to see that we are doing nothing overt to help. Wagging a finger at Putin and saying "BAD RUSSIA!" isn't going to cut it. Punching him in the gut will.

Compare the two statements.

Obama was vague and practically useless, and looks like he read from a scripted release. His inexperience in foreign policy matters shines through clearly.

McCain at least went into some detail and gave us an idea of where he'd go with putting a stop to a crisis like this in the future. Though I don't think even he goes far enough, he at least demonstrates he understands Russia, Georgia, NATO and the UN well enough to know who needs to do what.

vetfromoklahoma said:
Comment #14 Sep 4, 2008 10:11 pm
Well here is my opinion the topics in all these have jumped around from topic to topic first as for Russia I dont think an all out war with a nuclear super power is a option, but at the same time we cant stand by and act as if we are some scared dog and allow the russians to do again what they started so many years ago after wwII. Second the United States needs to send a peace keeping force to the region and take as many news agencies with them russia will not fire a shot with the world watching. Third as for who will become or won't become president I think that before an American president can send US troops to fight and possibly die for this great country a president should have had the balls to lay the same sacrifice as so many young american have done and are doing in Iraq and Afghanastan. How can one man send soldiers to possibly die when they have not offered the same sacrifice, And last as a former US Army Ranger and have fought for this country and have servered under a US president that not only never servered his country but dodged the draft and the American turned a blind eye to this I lost many friends in Solmolia under that president. Im furious where this country is heading it seems that more action is needed, do not get me wrong war is not always the option but in times of aggresion flexing our muscle and showing we will not sit on the side line why an alliance country that has helped and supported the US will not go without our support. God bless america and god bless the men and woman that have servered and layed the ultimate sacrifice for this great country I salute you.

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