Sunday, 10 August 2008

Georgian President Loses Gamble

There have been many claims and counter-claims about who is to blame in South Ossettia with Georgia accusing Russia of invading their territory while Russia accused Georgia of attacking Russian civilians and peace-keepers in the breakaway region.
Independent observers say that Georgian troops did attack first with truck launched missiles on the South Ossettians which is very reminiscent of KLA tactics in Kosovo.
At the request of Russia, the UN Security Council held an emergency session in New York the day before the fighting broke out but the U.S. and Britain among others sided with the Georgians in rejecting a statement that required both sides "to renounce the use of force."
Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, seems to have gambled that like in Kosovo dealings with Serbia, a small nation that picked a fight with a more powerful country, the world would turn its gaze in their direction and only see the Russian retaliation.
His gamble failed because all he got was some mumbled words from his 'friends' in the West and a painful reminder of the Henry Kissinger quote that "Rational states do not base their strategy on a pledge to commit suicide to protect another states' security."
A 3-day battle has proven to the Georgian President that he seriously miscalculated his allies reaction and nobody had the stomach to take on Russia like they did Serbia.
Now he has a devastated country, pushed South Ossettia even closer to independence and as many as 2000 dead civilians but not that Russia come out of the last few days events with any credit, bombing civilian areas negates any argument they may have held as merely defending the South Ossettians from Georgian aggression.
Kosovo has shown that sometimes you can win by tweaking the tigers tail and running to your powerful friends when it bites back but as Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili has learnt, your powerful friends are also perfectly capable of turning a blind eye when it is one of the big boys you are tangling with.


David G said...

Recently I was amused to see Bush lecturing Russia about respecting the territorial sovereignty of Georgia. Georgia of course recently invaded Ossettia and Russia responded to protect its citizens who live there.

But Bush, The Decider, as you will recall is the man who invaded and occupied the sovereign country of Iraq and is still there.

Then blatant hypocrisy has never worried Americans, has it?

Lucy said...

That did tickle me also david. Worrying thing is that the next potential superpowers (Russia, China) are just as bad as everyone else who has gone before so doesn't bode well for the future.