Skip to comments.Georgian Invasion Sends Message to World, Gates Says
Posted on 08/14/2008 4:54:40 PM PDT by SandRat
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2008 With their invasion of Georgia, the Russians are sending a message not only to neighbors, but also to the world, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.
Georgia, a nation of 5 million in the Caucasus region, has allied itself with the West and is seeking membership in NATO. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are provinces that are seeking to break away from Georgia and ally with Russia.
Gates noted that, like clockwork, there have been exchanges of gunfire between Georgian and South Ossetian troops every August. And this year, it escalated very quickly, he said. The Russians were prepared to take advantage of an opportunity.
The Russian air, land and sea attacks against Georgia went far beyond asserting the Russian view of the autonomy of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The Russians, Gates said, wanted to punish Georgia for daring to try to integrate with the West economically and politically and in security arrangements.
The Russian military action was directed against Georgia, but Kremlin leaders wanted nations in all parts of the former Soviet Union to understand the dangers of integrating with the West, Gates said. I think that they had an opportunity to make some very broad points [to these nations] and, I think, [the Russians] seized that opportunity, he said. Gates holds a doctorate in Russian and Soviet history from Georgetown University.
The message has been received by the nations of the world, Gates said.
My guess is that everyone is going to be looking at Russia through a different set of lenses as we look ahead, the secretary said. I think Russia's got some serious work to do to try and work its way back into the family of nations that are trying to work together and build democracy and build their economies, working together.
Gates said he does not want to repeat the Cold War, and that he certainly does not want to see U.S. and Russian troops in a hot war.
The United States spent 45 years working very hard to avoid a military confrontation with Russia, he said. I see no reason to change that approach today.
Gates' words are wimpy.
Question is, what is the world going to do about it? Oh, right, nothing. 99% of Americans that saw this headline first thought that Atlanta was being invaded. Rush hit on this topic a lot today. IT IS ABOUT THE OIL PIPE LINE, and the Russians controlling it. And the Georgians wanting to be in NATO. The Soviets fell because basically they went broke. Now, these Russians are flush with oil cash and the KGB types that are now the Russian Mafia making loads of cash. They have the money now to fund what they might. Wonder how big Putin's Swiss bank account is?
What would you say?
IMO his speech made it worse. Why let Russia know that we definitely intend to to nothing?
Gates needs to shake off that Cold War mentality.
It looks like Poland, Lithuania, Estonia and Lativia made a brave stand, but you could hear a pin drop waiting for a sound from the rest of the world.
What would you say?
Okay. FreeReign: I think Russia has had an opportunity over the last few years to show the civilized nations of the world that they were one of them. I think Russian has failed to do that.
If Gates was around in 2001, would he have said this.
What would be the difference between the two statements?
Okay Gates, who starts the exchange of gunfire between the two every August? Who started the gunfire this year? Was it Georgia? Was it the Russian backed South Ossetians rebels?
Gates makes no direct comment about this important point. Yet he calls it a Russian opportunity.
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