Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The First Casualty of War

So what the hell happened in Georgia this weekend?

Is this the opening move in Russia's gambit to re-establish the Eastern Bloc? Is it a justified response to Georgian aggression? Or was the root cause false promises made by diplomatic genius George W. Bush?

However you look at it, when one powerful nation invades the sovereign territory of another, it's disturbing. And since we've done that twice so far during Bush's term, we lack both the moral and military capability to respond to Russia. Not that the U.S. should play world policeman, but a viable threat of action would do wonders to keep Putin in check. He's well aware that we have no choice but to let him romp through the Caucuses, justified or not.

The EU's record as a useless mouthpiece remains unbroken. Since they get all their natural gas from Russia, and Putin can (and has) shut down the pipeline at any time for political purposes, whatever meek armies they might muster are hostage to Russia's whims. (Tell me again why we have a defense treaty with these posers, please.)

China, meanwhile, a huge country that sits right on the border of this war and has a history of fighting with Russia, has remained strangely silent. I'm severely worried about a nudge-nudge wink-wink agreement between these two giants that I'll look the other way while you trample Georgia, as long as you look the other way when I invade Taiwan.

Also disturbing is the lack of media attention this crisis has garnered. Thousands dead, cities bombed, and a humanitarian nightmare for the survivors has taken a back seat to John Edwards and Michael Phelps.

So what's the proper response? Hard to say, since the truth is so elusive. But I do know that better diplomacy would have left our options open. We need to engage the Russian authoritarian regime diplomatically, and be prepared to make some concessions. For starters, we could stop pushing the useless missile defense shield that Bush has been rubbing under Putin's nose for years. If we're not prepared to play nice with the big kid on the block, even if it annoys us because they aren't a true democracy, then we need to get ready for the biggest war the world has ever seen.

Maybe it's just me, but I like the first option.


Post a Comment

<< Home