On August 7th Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili (aka Sackash*ti) said he planned to offer South Ossetia “unlimited autonomy” within the Georgian state, with Russia to be a guarantor of the arrangement. Both sides said they were in discussions. Later in the day, however, the Saak ordered a massive artillery attack on Tskhinvali followed the next day by a ground assault. (1)
Zbigniew Brzezinski postulates that “Moscow was waiting for such an act to provide a pretext for the use of force.” (2) Even if this were true, the Saak didn’t have to provide the pretext. I suspect there has been manipulation on all sides. Given the close relationship between America and Georgia, I see the possibility the Administration was fully aware of and fully supported Saak’s plans. The Administration claims to have been blindsided but instead of criticizing Saak’s brash actions, they were instantly gushing with support.
Mr. Bush (our sack) continually emphasizes that Saak was democratically elected and paints Georgia as the offended party. Saak was the aggressor and should be condemned as such. Bush doesn’t recognize this aggression just as he doesn’t recognize his own aggression in Iraq.
Why do Bush and Saak recognize Georgian democracy and not South Ossetia’s democracy? South Ossetia has been a de-facto independent, autonomous region for sixteen years. In a 2006 referendum South Ossetians voted overwhelmingly for independence (3). Russia, of course, suffers similar hypocrisy in recognizing the right of secession in Abkhazia and South Ossetia but not in Kosovo and Chechnya.
How are South Ossetia and Russia to deter future aggression if not by punitive strikes? I would prefer they struck only military targets, but they are within their rights to punish Georgia.
Georgia, as an aggressor nation, should not be allowed to join NATO. If our sack unilaterally attacks Iran, America should be thrown out of NATO. Democracy is not always synonymous with truth and justice; there are just too many sacks in the world.
(1) 8/15/2008 San Diego Union Tribune p. B7, “Leaders Err on Ossetia and Georgia” by Thomas de Waal with the Institute of War and Peace.
(2) 8/14/2008 Time.com “Staring Down the Russians” by Zbigniew Brezinski
(3) 8/12/2008 Christian Science Monitor “Roots of Georgia-Russia clash run deep” by Fred Weird, Paul Rimple, and John Wendle