Support Georgia

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Jason, Aug 11, 2008.

  1. Jason

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    I don't know how the US media is reporting this story. Here in the UK there is wall-to-wall coverage. Whatever the original rights and wrongs of the issues in South Ossetia might have been we are now seeing the invasion of a free, pro-western, democratic country by Russia.

    I've heard on the BBC the parallel made with Adolf Hitler's invasion of Czechoslovakia's Sudetenland in 1938 on the pretence of safeguarding the interests of Germans in this part of the world. If Medvedev/Putin get away with this invasion of Georgia then the whole world becomes a far more dangerous place. The loss will not just be for the people of Georgia but for every one of us.

    The internet has power, and we can all do our bit to support freedom worldwide by showing support for Georgia.
     
  2. Flashy

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    I agree.

    Putin is a thug.

    Frankly, IMO, US warplanes from Incirlik, Turkey, should be protecting sovereign GEorgian air space right now. Russia has no right being inside of Georgian territory whatsoever.
     
  3. Hotrocker

    Hotrocker Well-Known Member

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    I totally agree. The U.S. has allied itself with Georgia via NATO and its time we lived up to our part of that deal. Georgia itself has called for aid from the U.S. yet the most we do is talk about brokering cease fires. The U.S. government AND people need to show support for Georgia's cause... whether that be through the internet or by sending money, logistics, materiel, etc. Russia is definitely out of line here.
     
  4. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    I'll say it again. The South Ossetians are welcoming the presence of the Russian military. South Ossetia was a Russian republic until Stalin gave it to his homeland of Georgia. The people of South Ossetia do not want to be Georgians and many have fled to Russia. About 1/3 of South Ossetia are actually Georgians and many South Ossetians feel they are treated as second class citizens within Georgia.

    I argue that the desires of the people of South Ossetia to determine where they shall live and under which government is more important than the territorial ambitions of Georgia's president. South Ossetia does not want to be, and is historically not, part of Georgia. To support Georgia in this conflict is support the subjugation of a people who are simply looking for the right of self-determination.

    Prior to this conflict South Ossetia had an autonomous government within Georgia. When president Saakashvili was elected, he ran on a platform of reigning-in the autonomous provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. This he has tried to do and it has created far more suffering than if he had just let both provinces keep the status quo. Georgia caused the 3,000+ deaths as its army retreated from the Russian invasion, firing on the South Ossetians in punishment for welcoming the Russians.

    President Saakashvili has spent a lot of time brown nosing the US to get our support for his crackdown on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. He was hoping that US support would prevent Putin from invading and, as Russia and the South Ossetians see it, protecting Russian interests in the region.
     
  5. Flashy

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    Frankly, I think NATO should go on an immediate war footing...to send a VERY clear message to Russia.

    We should immediately begin supplying the Georgian military with as many anti- aircraft missiles and anti-tank missiles as possible.

    Georgia can clearly not win any head to head military conflict. But they have more than enough troops to fight using guerilla tactics. Given enough anti-tank weapons and anti-aircraft missiles, they can really do some damage to the Russians...and if the Ukraine can be convinced to close their ports to the Russians, this could send a very clear signal.

    A small battalion of US troops should be sent in to the capitol, Tbilisi. That will prevent the Russians from attacking the capitol and U.S. fighters should close Georgian airspace, at the "request" of the Georgian President.

    Putin is a thug, but he absolutely would not push further and risk involving NATO in the conflict.

    On the positive side, this will immediately push Ukraine closer to NATO, and should fast track their acceptance.

    Although Russia has "won" this "little war", this is a MASSIVE mistake on their part. They have lost a ton of prestige, harkening people's memories back to the time of the old Soviet years.
     
  6. Flashy

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    none of that gives Russia the right to invade Georgia proper, which they have now done.
     
  7. lucky8

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    The US cant really say anything, we're still in Iraq and Afghanistanimation...
     
  8. B_Artful Dodger

    B_Artful Dodger New Member

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    That strikes me as a bit of an irrelevance really when innocent people are dying in Georgia
     
  9. lucky8

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    Ok, then why doesn't your country do something? It's only a few hundred miles away...
     
  10. lucky8

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    And don't think I'm condoning Russia's actions in any way. I just think there are PLENTY of other countries in Europe who could collectively handle this situation. It's a little irritating having the entire world seeing America as the sole babysitter of sovereign nations
     
  11. B_Artful Dodger

    B_Artful Dodger New Member

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    Because we are a tiny country stretched to our limits supporting Americas war with terror in the Middle East
     
  12. Jason

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  13. jason_els

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    Depends who you ask about what is, "Georgia proper." The South Ossetians don't believe their country is Georgia and they live there. Russia doesn't believe South Ossetia is Georgian either. Only Georgia thinks South Ossetia is Georgia. Russia is moving to prevent Georgia from being able to retake South Ossetia once Russia withdraws. Saakashvili was warned and warned and warned not to do this. He did it anyway.

    You can either see this as Hitler invading the Sudeten or you can see it as NATO invading Kosovo to protect Kosovars from a vindictive Serbia.

    You can also see this as Putin proving to the US that he owns his backyard, not the US, and he will take advantage of any weakening of American power to prove it.
     
  14. lucky8

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    Last time I checked, it's your war too, being that they attack your country more frequently than they do us...but that's besides the point. England has tons of power, and a strong military. It wouldn't be too hard for you guys to actually step up for once, on your own. THEN, if you really need help, rest assured we will have your back, like always.

    Why is it always "the U.S. should get involved?" when NATO was created for situations just like this?
     
  15. Jason

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    I do love American views on geography.

    UK to Georgia is ball-park 2,500 miles. Georgia's sea coast is on the inaccessible Black Sea and the shortest air routes over-fly Russia.
     
  16. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Very true.

    Doesn't depend on who you ask, but on what factually does constitute "Georgia proper."
    The borders are clear, recognized on all maps.
    If there is some injustice in the current territorial arrangement, then there are legal ways of attempting to rectify that injustice.
    But invasion by an outside force is patently illegal and intolerable.
     
  17. lucky8

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    You missed my point, but that's ok
     
  18. Jason

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    In this war it shouldn't. That would be a war between the USA and Russia, and I can't see Russia signing a gentleman's agreement to play rough only in Georgia. Escalation could be all too quick.

    For that matter UK cannot get involved, both because of the above and because this would inevitably drag the USA in.

    The reality is that this war will be decided on diplomacy. If the world sings from the same hymn sheet and protests loudly enough Russia will pull back. Alternatively Russia will destabilise Georgia and install a puppet government with Russian support.
     
  19. jason_els

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    Liechtenstein does very well as an independent state with one of the highest standards of living in the world with half the people of South Ossetia. Bermuda, also autonomous for all practical purposes, does just as well with about 40,000. There are even smaller Caribbean and South Pacific states.

    No. In 1989 when the Soviet Union began to crumble, South Ossetia tried to reunite with North Ossetia but were blocked by Tiblisi. In 1991, Tiblisi invaded South Ossetia after South Ossetia declared itself part of Russia, reportedly killing 2,000 people in an attempt to quash the reunion movement. The only thing that stopped that was a deal between then-Georgian president Shevardnadze and then-Russian president Yeltsin to allow the region autonomy.

    Once again, most South Ossetians, who number 2/3 of the ethnic population of the territory by the latest census, have Russian passports given to them by Russia when the Soviet Union collapsed. Russia is protecting her citizens abroad by refusing to allow the Milosevic-like Saakashvili to make South Ossetia into another Kosovo.
     
  20. Guy-jin

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    I'm fixing this for you with that bolded statement.

    I do have to say that while I usually find your opinions on these issues make sense, your position on this one really doesn't. If Russia feels that Ossetians are being ethnically cleansed in Georgia, unilateral invasion is not the proper solution.

    And while you may want to frame this in the light of Putin proving that the US doesn't have influence over him, what it really says is that Putin has, at best, the same regard for international laws as George W. Bush. And, if you're like me, that's not something you ought to be defending. Especially considering their democracy is even less functional than ours.

    And I'll add that the idea that this is some sort of charity on Russia's part is laughable. That's like saying America's war in Iraq was charity to free the Iraqis from oppression. Is anyone truly that naive these days?
     
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