August 15, 2008
Riddle Me This: Russia Edition
I was listening to Bill Richardson on "This Week" say that it's basically Bush's fault that fighting was continuing in Georgia, because if only he had a better relationship with Russia, we could put pressure on them to stop, and Obama would do just that.
Riddle me this: when has any nation anywhere, ever in modern history, put such pressure on Russia to stop doing something like this?
Cross-posted on <pudge/*>.
Posted by pudge at August 15, 2008
07:33 PM | Email This
We americans only like Russia when they're completely destitute, run by corrupt gangster-politicians and their only export is mediocre blond women with broken dreams and a lifeless stare to star in our pornography.
This new Russia, man, this is some COLD WAR right here.
2. Jstar, Your post is amazingly insightful. The next phase is to ship all of the U.S. inventory of U.S. sport utes to rich Russians. While good news for U.S. inventory, it's bad news for Russian hookers who have to turn more tricks because of the higher price of gasoline.
3. C'mon Pudge, where ya been the last 7 years. Everything bad is Bush's fault.
Barak would part the Atlantic with a wave of his staff, walk over and shake Mad Vlad's hand. All will be good as the mind numbed masses roam the wilderness eating fallen manna from the government cheese program.
Even Richardson is star struck, geez.
Bush has been the true cowboy. He is "talking" but is also taking maneuvering strategically. He flies the Georgian troops in Iraq back home by US military escort. He demands Putin back off, and then sends in humanitarian aid in American planes. Condi goes to Paris, and then to the heart of the conflict, Tblisi.
If Russia proceeds, while US assets are in country, they look like naked aggressors, and contradict all their diplomatic stories. If any harm comes to a US asset, like a rocket hitting near the hotel that Condi is staying in, it gives the US a reason to defend their humanitarian and diplomatic personnel. Again, a US win.
This is the most passive aggressive response I've seen in a long time. The US is reacting offensively. It puts Russia on the defensive. They are backed into a corner.
What I find fascinating is that the left doesn't care one whit about the Georgians, or their quest for freedom. They honestly believe that the Russians have the right to enslave whoever they want in order to maintain their sphere of influence.
5. Bush is doing exactly what he should. This is the beginning of World War III. Russia is out of control. Our only response should be immediate aggression against their rogue troops. At the same time, it would be a good time to take down the remains of the USSR and its current thug government.
Bush has been the true cowboy.
7. Bill Richardson is the same guy who advised Bush to " just write another check" to the North Koreans. Bush wisely ignored his advice and the rest is history. A very positive outcome that seems to only draw yawns from the media. Since Bush has also been accused of being to chummy with Putin I fail to see how relations could be much better. We did stop the Russians in Berlin and Cuba. Tank on tank in Berlin and a naval blockade in Cuba. No checkbook diplomacy back then.
Richardson is clueless on foreign policy. Bush did not do the right thing initially, but McCain said the right thing and set the tone for Bush's response. The missile defense system sold to Poland was a shrewd move.
Obama would have taken the Jimmy Carter approach and negotiated a settlement with Russia and Georgia which would not have been worth the paper it is written on. McCain looked much more presidential in how he would deal with this situation than Obama, who had to resort to agreeing with McCain's stand, even though he'd never admit he was initially exercised questionable judgment. They loved Obambam in Europe like a rock-star, who is a paper tiger when it comes to dealing with rogue nations.
9. I hope I'm not misunderstanding your question, but we definitely put pressure on Russia when Reagan was in office.
The Real Mark:
The kind of pressure we are told Obama can bring, and McCain can't. To be more specific, Lefty Eleanor Clift last week echoed Richardson's sentiments when she said that McCain would "beat the war drum" over Russia, whereas Obama would use "diplomacy."
Reagan beat the war drum with the USSR *as part of* his diplomacy.
I am not saying McCain should do likewise. I am just saying simply having a "relationship" with Russia won't do diddly-squat.
I agree with KS that Obamination would have pulled a Jimmy Carter/Neville Chamberlain sell-out of Georgian autonomy. The American left secretly admires the hard line, USSR commie Putin, who would like nothing more than to re-conquer a few oil rich former-Soviet satellites.
And where is toothless Europe in this? They cheer Obamination like Mick Jagger, but are keeping their fingers crossed for McCain. Europe realizes that in a crisis, McCain would have his finger on the button, while Obamination would be hiding under the bed with the French and Germans.
12. Apparently the diplomacy Obama likes best is UN sanctions. Doesn't he realize Russia has veto power in the UN?
13. No, he doesn't. And his utter ignorance of foreign policy is just one of the things that make him such an empty-suited, clueless moron.
14. 12, 13--STOP THAT! "that's not the Obama I knew!" (insert swoon)
You all got this wrong, the U.S. and Bush behind closed doors are telling the Russians that we support them in their efforts and if we were in their place we would have done the exact same thing for the S. Ossetians. In public we are talking one way but behind the scenes we are saying the Georgians had this coming.
That Georgian President has to go, what a moron.
So exactly how would Obama do a worse job than Bush? If a Democrat was doing as little as Bush is doing now -- diplomatic efforts, airlifting in a few tons of humanitarian supplies -- you would call that Democrat a pussy, and yearn for the days of Ronald Reagan again.
The United States is actually a helluva lot stronger military-wise vis-a-vis Russia today, than it was against the USSR during the days of Reagan. We have more than twice the population of Russia, and more than twice the military forces. And the quality of our military forces, on a per capita and per equipment basis, is considerably better than Russia's.
So if we really wanted to do something military-wise, we could. In reality, Bush probably is doing nothing because he wants to do nothing. Bush is a personal friend of Putin, and they have spent time in each other's private residences. The economic relationships of the United States with Russia are a lot more significant than those with Georgia. Halliburton has a lot of operations in Russia. Bush will talk tough, but in the end, he will not jeopardize the financial interests of his supporters.
I dropped my baloney sandwich.
It was Bush's fault.
18. This is a long ways from being resolved. Barry is playing it smart by catching a few zzzzs, rays and doing body surfing. He will give us all his blessing on the stratergery once the grownups figure out the best respnse. Oh, I forgot, he is aiditioning to be the leader of the grownups. Barry, you lose; you are fired.
Just because you invite someone to your house doesn't mean you are bestest friends.
So if you invite me to your home, am I expected to VOTE for YOU?
Save the stamp.....
So exactly how would Obama do a worse job than Bush?
Wow, I am shocked that Richard Pope would come in here and try to change the topic of the discussion. Shocked, shocked, I say!
not only do the Russians lead the Iranians and friends in this war, but the West stays on the sidelines saying "oh my!"
Is this step 1 ???
For a smart guy, Richardson actually made one of the dumbest remarks yet about the situation in Georgia.
On ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos" last Sunday, as reported by National Journal's Hotline, Richardson said:
"We should immediately go to the United Nations Security Council, condemn Russia's action, and then get the Security Council to pass a strong resolution getting the Russians to show some restraint, and possibly at the same time generate some U.N. peacekeeping troops."
Ah yes. The UN Security Council. Quite the effective track record on such matters. And Russia as an anchor member - with veto power...
Doug - how could it possibly be in the interest of the US to have the Russians take over Georgia? Are you saying that we want to have the Russians retake all their old enslavements, or are you saying that the US wants to keep open the option to do the same?
I'm wondering if the left has in mind that we should just send troops to Mexico City and overthrow the government there, or maybe just invade Baja. We can always use the excuse that all those Americans who have relocated there are oppressed by the Mexican street peddlers.
Even at the height of illegal border crossings, I never heard the suggestion that we just occupy the territory south of the border. If we had, it would have brought condemnation from around the world, as would be appropriate.
So we just give Russia a pass, and all the Dems think Bush is in cahoots? Pathetic.
I did not say it was in the best interest of the U.S. to have the Russians take over Georgia (though I could argue it is). However, it is in the best interest of the U.S. not to have allies that act in a reckless and idiotic way (the way the Georgians have acted in South Ossetia).
Much like the U.S. will publicly call for Israel to withdraw troops after military action in Gaza, the Golan Heights or even Lebanon, we still would behind closed doors tell them that they have the right to protect their citizens and that would include a temporary invasion of Lebanon or disputed areas in order to secure the peace.
Similarily, we would publicly denounce Turkey for invasions into northern Iraq to conduct military action to protect their people, yet behind closed doors would just work to make sure they don't stay there.
In Georgia, it is the same thing, in order for Russia to protect it's people (remember about 99% of the S. Ossetian's - of the 95% turnout -voted to be independent of Georgia, while close to 80% of it's citizens are Russian) they put a hurt to the Georgians who idioticly violated an old cease fire while Putin was away thinking they could get away with it. I would hope that Condi and Bush, in their discussions with the Russians, have told them to get their job done quickly then exit Georgia. At the same time I would expect the U.S. and Nato to insist that the Russians be allowed to keep a force in S. Ossetia to protect it's people.
Having spent time in Russia while in grad school in the 1990's, I found the Russian people proud and stoic as they went through some rather rough times.
They understand and honor our patriotism, but feel that we dishonor theirs. I believe this is a valid criticism of Americans.
During WWII the Russians faced 10 times as many Germans as our forces did and yet Americans to this day believe the US won that war single-handedly. They also lost 10 to 100 times more people and fought the war on their land.
That bit aside, I think we need to look a little closer at what exactly went down in South Ossetia.
1. Georgia did attack first,
2. The Ossetians had voted over 80% to secede from Georgia after Georgia declared independence from the USSR, and
3. The Russians long ago declared that they would repel a Georgian invasion of South Ossetia.
Granted, the Russians (and their irregulars) have gone a village too far in their counter-attack, but what they have done was not unforeseen - they have long announced they would do exactly what they have done.
I personally favor a free and independent Georgia, but the Georgians started this and deserved to be taken down a peg.
The Russians have now had their "Grenada" moment. Let wait and see what their "Panama" one is (or perhaps their Kuwait moment).
Pudge@20 attacks, "I am shocked that Richard Pope would come in here and try to change the topic of the discussion."
Precisely one of the 25 comments in this discussion addresses your question. Some others (such as Pope's) address the general topic and others (such as yours) consist of sniping and ad hominem attacks.
I have yet to see evidence, other than Russian sources, that Georgia did anything to provoke this incident by attacking Ossetians or firing on anyone. Wanting to be free and join NATO is not a provocation, it is the act of a sovreign country.
The Russians relocated many of its citizens to Ossetian territory when this was still the Soviet. Doesn't it strike you as odd that the ethnic minority identifies itself as Russian, not Ossetian?
Georgia had free elections. In the modern civilized world, things are settled at the ballot box, not with guns and invasions. If Russia doesn't like how things are going, they can defend their own homeland, or take its case to the UN. If the Ossetians have a human rights complaint, they have more than ample means to get out their message. So far there is no independent evidence of genocide or any other abuse being made. There is lots of evidence that the Ossetians and Russians are looting and terrorizing the Georgians in the territory.
Like I said, the left and some on the right believe more in tyrants and old world colonization than independence and the right of self determination.
Precisely one of the 25 comments in this discussion addresses your question.
Incorrect. MANY of them are discussing how the U.S. and other nations can, or cannot, influence Russia.
Some others (such as Pope's) address the general topic
Part of his did, yes. But the part I quoted was just a non sequitur.
... and others (such as yours) consist of sniping and ad hominem attacks.
Incorrect: mine was not an ad hominem attack. An "ad hominem attack" is not merely an attack on someone (which mine was, as it was well-deserved), but an attacking someone AS an argument. But I was not attacking him to make a point in the argument, so it was not an ad hominem attack, it was simply a (again, well-deserved) personal attack.
In any event, Georgia was part of the Russian Empire and later the Soviet Union for approximately two centuries before becoming independent in 1991. (There was also a couple years of independence around 1918 to 1921 or so, when the Red-White civil war took place in Russia.) Russia initially gave Christian Georgia protection from the Muslim Persian empire in the late 18th century, then annexed Georgia.
South Ossetia and Abkhazia were never really part of Georgia, in many respects. The USSR arbitrarily assigned those regions to the Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic. However, Abkhazia was an Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic and South Ossetia an Autonomous Oblast. (Not sure exactly how "autonomous" you can get in a one-party state, but most areas of the U.S.S.R. were not "autonomous".) Georgians were never a majority in either South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
When Georgia became independent, the people of South Ossetia and Abkhazia were mostly in favor of becoming part of Russia, instead of being part of Georgia, and the folks favoring Russia took up arms. The independent Georgian state established in 1991 has never really controlled South Ossetia and Abkhazia.
I am sure that you can easily come up with counterarguments to everything I have said above. But most of the folks in South Ossetia and Abkhazia (except for the Georgian minorities in both areas), and most of the folks in Russia, think they are right and basically view things as I have set them forth above.
I guess all that money that the Georgians poured into the McCain lobbyists hands didn't keep Russia off their backs. Bad investment! I loved it when their president asked Moron McCain to show "action not words". I guess he just was trying to get his money's worth..... Sorry sucker. Hope you have a good bunker.
I sure feel good knowing our military is depleted, and bogged down in 2 wars because of un-imaginable , horrifying, incompetence. We don't have one single division ready for deployment if "something" happens, and we need to protect our national interest. Good thing we have to Boy Scouts to send!
Blame Bush? Name one thing Bush has touched that has not turned to sh*t. I dare you. Oh, I forgot. The wealth of the top 1%. I'm sorry.
George Bush. Bush couldn't even turn a profit drilling for Texas oil in the 70's, even with the help of all his daddy's friends. If it wasn't for insider trading, and the Saudis, he would have been homeless....
George Bush. The only president to be losing 3 wars at the same time. All for just 3 trillion dollars!
Richard - If the Ossetians don't want to be part of Georgia, they need to make the case diplomatically. That is what we should stand for, and demand of other countries and ethnic minorities. The former Yugoslavia has finally gotten itself divided up, and did it peacefully after the US got involved and showed that force was no longer the rule of the day.
We shouldn't be sending in troops to Georgia, regardless of our military strength. Europe should send in defensive troops, they are the ones who won't have gas to heat their homes this winter. The Europeans have chosen to take the dependent route, and rely on the questionable Russians to provide them their lifeblood. Dumb on their part. That's why we need to develop our own oil resources - stop relying on those who would rather destroy us than prosper.
Hey, Facts, who are those 2 million contributors to Obama? I've suspected that they aren't all legit, but who has the time to investigate $100 donations? They don't even rate full disclosure! Seems, though, that someone is finally looking into them.
Wow man- there are still retards on the left running around saying the war is lost.
Get therapy you sorry sack of laundry. Bush not only won- but he made your entire democrat controlled congress look like the idiots they are in the process of winning.
...and Pope- yeah and all this history happened to unfold right now around a big bit of oil infrastructure and Russia is all about helping countries pursue their own independent destiny. just ask the chechians. All those troops and tanks just happened to be lined up along a border that would have otherwise taken weeks or a month to align.
33. Hey Facts - you need to get back on your meds. McCain does not want war in Russia - liar. Only a moonbat would believe something like that. You are severely challenged in reading comprehension.
"Facts" is the most poorly named person on this site. He basically just makes everything up.
Janet, they have made the case diplomatically. They were somewhat successful a couple years ago, gaining autonomous region status from the Georgian Govt. itself (which is one reason why the Russians went in after the Georgian attack on S. Ossetia - the Georgian govt. decided to forceably re-annex the 'autonomous' region).
Of course their diplomatic requests to the UN, NATO, and European Union fell on deaf ears, there was no way that the Western Powers were going to let Russia get a few hundred square miles bigger. So we are in a situation where the people of the region of S. Ossetia are fiercely independent, and you have a country of Georgia who would rather than grant them more autonomy within the Georgian country, do whatever they can militarily to bring the people of S. Ossetia to their knees. The Soviet Republic of Georgia, since the '90s have acted like a Soviet Republic in regards to S. Ossetia.
Doug, please address this situation similar to how you would with Miami- Cubans- or LA- Mexicans.
The Mexicans already run LA. Should they be allowed to secede from the USA and annex to Mexico?