Georgia/Russia: Here’s a thought — could we please not give psychopaths an express ticket into NATO?


Today Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk will receive a report from Polish intelligence about Sunday’s incident near a checkpoint between South Ossetia and Georgia proper, at which gunshots were apparently fired at (or near) vehicles containing the presidents of Georgia and Poland.

As some of the commenters here noted when I wrote about it on Sunday, this could not be more serious. Poland is a NATO member country. A strict reading (unrealistically strict, but still) of Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty would regard an armed attack against Poland’s president as an act of war requiring collective — including Canadian — response.

Here’s where things get interesting. The Polish intelligence report asserts that the gunshots were fired by Georgian troops and the whole thing was a Georgian put-up job.

The ABW intelligence report states that when the first round of machine gun fire went off, the Georgian security forces with the two presidents made no response and showed no panic. Additionally, President Saakashvili was reportedly smiling and relaxed throughout the incident.

The ABW report stresses that a bus carrying journalists was allowed to the front of the motorcade before the incident so reporters could capture the events.

Well then. Let’s go back to our strict reading of Article 5. Mikheil Saakashvili appears to have organized an armed assault against a NATO member’s head of state for the purpose of pursuing some sort of weird, twisted, pedagogical exercise. If the words of our treaties meant anything, NATO should now declare war against Georgia.

Like most readers, I think this would probably be going too far. But could we agree on a middle course? Could we agree that NATO should not hurry into any obligation to make war on Georgia’s behalf, as long as this Saakashvili freak is running the joint? What do you say, Andrew?

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Georgia/Russia: Here’s a thought — could we please not give psychopaths an express ticket into NATO?

  1. PW,

    Like most readers, I think this would probably be going too far.


  2. I don’t want to be pushy or anything.

  3. Your deft diplomatic touch is admirable, good sir.

  4. Very interesting. I thought the attack was a message by the Russians to Saakashvili (to tell him to stay far from South Ossetia).

    We will see how it plays out in the mainstream media in the US, but I do not think the story will get much mileage since it does not fit into the bad-Russia good-Georgia narrative favored by the MSM.

  5. Paul, don’t you remember what John McCain said? We’re all Georgians now.

    We should declare war on ourselves.

  6. Whatever. Just someone start a fresh war already. All the ones we have now are stale.

  7. Damn Serbian anarchists. They’re everywhere dontcha know.

  8. When I first read your Sunday post about “the incident” it made me think it might have been a missed attempt similar to the downing of the plane that was carrying the Presidents of Rwanda and Burundi but this seems more a case of, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.”

  9. Here’s an interesting question:

    Do you think Saakashvili would actually oppose us declaring war on Georgia?

    I mean, if it meant an invasion (and, dare I say, annexation) of Georgia by NATO, wouldn’t that be pretty much Saakashvili’s end by a different means? If you can’t be brought into the NATO fold by virtue of membership, become part of the fold by virtue of losing a war to them. Presumably, Saakashvili would love to have NATO troops in Georgia. Well, getting NATO to invade you is one sure way to get NATO troops into your country.

    Sure, it sounds crazy, but I know this guy who wrote on his blog today that NATO should now declare war against Georgia. So, anything goes.

    Of course, that might have been facetious.

  10. LKO, I don’t recall the country or the circumstance, but your words make me recall this: A while back (measured in decades, I believe), some world leader lamented that, for the good of that country’s population, it should declare war on the USA. The USA would swoop in, win the war, breaking a few windows in the process, but it would then stick around to make a decent improvement to the joint, à la Japan & Germany.

    Picking a fight with NATO would be the surest way to get NATO (or at least the USA) there in a hurry. No doubt faster (and easier!) than being a sucking-up friend to NATO. No doubt Putin and his gang o’ goons would have something to say about it, though.

    But then, like most bloggers, I think this would probably be going too far.

  11. MYL, I can’t decide whether you’re describing the plot of The Mouse That Roared on purpose or by accident.

  12. LKO, I don’t recall the country or the circumstance,

    The country was the Duchy of Grand Fenwick, and the circumstance was the movie called The Mouse that Roared.

    I love history.

  13. PW, accident, I guess.

    Never saw “The Mouse that Roared” nor read “The Day New York was Invaded.” My recollection, faulty it may be, was that some world leader mockingly suggested they’d be better off to pick a fight because look how well the Americans treat their defeated enemies. It may well be that wherever I read that, it was indeed fiction inspired by your movie. I brought it up, so I will do a little online research and get back to you if I can find anything.

  14. Fact …… fiction ……. both are useful.

  15. Nothing found so far after admittedly feeble googling. Read the concept somewhere, and remembered it as an actual country’s leader’s quote. Guess it wasn’t. Memory came back thanks to LKO. Case closed.

  16. No worries, MYL. I once interviewed a renowned criminologist with an office at Scotland Yard who had to stop reading crime fiction because he found himself “remembering” case precedents he’d read in novels.

  17. Historically speaking, I think it’s better to be a defeated enemy of the US than one of its allies. Right, Saddam?

  18. Russia’s Northern Osetia’s governmental press attache Irina Gagloyeva admitted the fact that gunshots were fired by osetian militia because the cars were trying to cross “the border”. What happened to polish intelligence?

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