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Georgia/Russia: So now I’m in a fight and Sarko is seriously not helping. I feel Saakashviliesque.


 

So much has happened. Let me catch you up.

In addition to umpty-dump blog postings on the current unpleasantness in South Ossetia and points west, south and east, I have today published a column in our print edition saying, more clearly than the blog posts do, that I think Georgia must be left, with regret, more or less to its fate.

Now Andrew Coyne rebuts.

And there it will have to stay until this evening, when I will have much to say.

UPDATE: Let me briefly, while the rest of my flight boards ahead of me, outline what can only be called the villainy of Nicolas Sarkozy, who spent the weekend “negotiating” a “peace” on behalf of half a billion Europeans. We have already seen that Sarko gave away the farm to the hard-nosed Russians. But it’s worse than that. The language of the deal gave the Russians a pretext for pushing their action after the nominal ceasefire hour. And it turns out that when in Moscow, Sarko told Medvedev that there was no point demanding the ouster of Saakashvili because the Georgian president had already “cooked” himself.

You stay classy, Nicolas.


 

Georgia/Russia: So now I’m in a fight and Sarko is seriously not helping. I feel Saakashviliesque.

  1. Sonic Blaster : No Way!!! Very cool this is the first I have heard of this and the Republicans used it at their convention – bizarre. Maybe that is what the QPP need what with the strange things happening there the last little while! Better yet line a few hundred up along the Afghan -> Pakistan border and let em wail.

  2. I wrote my response on Andrew Coyne’s blog before I read your column. I agree with your column, and as I said there, I agree with AC’s view of NATO’s options. If they want to send a clear aggressive message to Russia, it’s time to accelerate the membership process for (at least) Ukraine. Otherwise, they are making the clear statement that NATO is not going to swoop in to contain Russia just for the sake of containing Russia.

    So the question becomes, will NATO evolve beyond its Cold War raison d’etre? Can the West handle something like the South Ossetia conflict without reverting to old modes of thinking?

    Wouldn’t it be an interesting statement for NATO to avoid rushing Georgia and Ukraine into its fold? It would be saying that NATO is for mutual defence of stable democraces, and not merely as a foil for the Red Menace.

  3. Mike: was the Cyprus problem solved while I was on holiday?

  4. perambulator: Hmm, I admit that I forgot about Cyprus. Do you suppose NATO has an excuse to keep Georgia out because of the precedent of keeping Cyprus out?

  5. I think it’s pretty unlikely NATO will enlist Gerogia any time soon.

    The bigger worry is that the humanitarian support promised by the US seems to contradict the Sarkozy agreement.

  6. “Wouldn’t it be an interesting statement for NATO to avoid rushing Georgia and Ukraine into its fold?”

    I suppose “interesting” is one way to look at it.

    Of course, I also wonder, wouldn’t it be interesting for Russia to suddenly start issuing passports to thousands of people in the Crimea, so they’ll have an excuse to come protect them, say, right around 2017?

  7. perambulator,

    You wrote that “The bigger worry is that the humanitarian support promised by the US seems to contradict the Sarkozy agreement.”

    I haven’t actually looked at the agreement closely. Was there really something in the cease fire agreement that stipulated what can and cannot be shipped by third parties into the sovereign nation of Georgia? Why would Georgia agree to limits on what can be shipped into their own country? I guess I don’t see how shipments of ANYTHING, let alone humanitarian supplies, could possibly “contradict the Sarkozy agreement”; but as I said, I haven’t looked at it closely.

  8. I’m on Team Wells here. Georgia is like the nerdy scrawny kid who we let hang around with us for some reason, except he decides that we have his back, and then picks a fight with the baddest bully on the playground. I’m still trying to think of a way that Sarkozy fits into the analogy …

  9. Sarkozy’s the red-haired kid in Dead Poets Society. He just is, whether he fits the analogy or not.

  10. LKO: the Sarkozy agreement allows for Russian peacekeepers to remain in Georgia, whose stated intention is to remove any munitions that would make the area unsafe for civilians. See http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5jowJP391EIdGVVMP3QEZI_vQ8ovwD92I9MU80

    George Bush announced that humanitarian aid would be provided by US forces, in the same areas, but what these guys say and what they do are two completely different things. It’s one thing to allow humanitarian aid, but it’s not necessarily what the Marines do best. Whether the guys on the ground do as they’re told is another completely different thing.

    Using NATO as an organization to isolate Russia seems anachronistic to me, but maybe fighting the Cold War again gives some geriatrics a comfortable feeling. I personally think there are bigger problems in the world than Russian aggression.

    Their efforts to expand their territory is no doubt murderous and destabilizing, but they are acting rationally and in their own interests. I wonder if Russian and Western leaders actually talked about this when they had a perfect chance to sort it out (say at a major sporting event that they all happened to attend).

  11. OK

    let me get this straight. France is making deals with Russia, Russia thinks it owns the Balkans, the Balkans think otherwise and we’re calling a crisis?

    I realize the Poles have a voice of their own right now, but Coynes not German, is he?

  12. “Georgia is like the nerdy scrawny kid who we let hang around with us for some reason”

    No. Actually, Georgia is like the nerdy scrawny kid being picked on day after day by the big bully, while we all stand around and ignore it. Then, one day, he finally gets his nerve up and fights, whereupon he is severely beaten. And then we all stand around and say “see, he started it”, so that we can try to feel better about ourselves.

  13. Oh, and Sarkozy? He fits in perfectly well. He is the teacher who tries to give both kids a detention for fighting. But then the bully skips school.

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