Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia On My Mind

My initial reactions are pretty much in line with Dan Froomkin:
Back in 2005, speaking before a crowd of more than 150,000 exuberant Georgians cheering "Bushi! Bushi!", President Bush made a promise to the people of that former Soviet republic: "The path of freedom you have chosen is not easy, but you will not travel it alone. Americans respect your courageous choice for liberty. And as you build a free and democratic Georgia, the American people will stand with you."

So where was Bush as Russia launched a major military attack against Georgia? Monkeying around with the U.S. women's volleyball players - and otherwise amusing himself at the Beijing Olympics.

This is not to suggest that Bush should have sent in the Marines. But his impotence in the face of such a gravely destabilizing move highlights not only his personal loss of stature, but how deeply he has diminished American authority on the world stage generally and, particularly, in the eyes of Russia.
and Josh Marshall, including the thought that those who essentially want us to go to war with Russia are insane. I am still wondering, did Saakashvili truly believe that the U.S. would back him up militarily? Because if he didn't, it's hard to make any sense of his decisions and tactics.

For more detailed perspectives on this conflict, check in with Eunomia or LGM. (Even if you don't agree with all the conclusions, you'll learn something.) Via, there's also this excited analysis of the conflict in the voice of a fictional "war-nerd". And there's this news roundup from more traditional sources.

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