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.
Did Gates also add, that the U.S. has spent "x" number of years pledging the support of fellow NATO members and that he hopes to add both Ukraine and Georgia to that membership?
I don't see that comment.
Gates talks up appeasement. Gates is terrible.
One referred to a (terribly successful) terrorist attack against the US by a semi-coherent terrorist organization run out of a cave or two, and the other to a russian invasion of a former SSR.
Believe it or not, it is a big difference, and it is unlikely gates would have said the words you offer regarding 2001.
In fact, I see no equivalence between the two situations in terms of this comment he made.
why would russia care about how westerners feel about their civilizedness? Russia didn’t do this with this in mind, but with their former SSR’s very much in mind, as gates said.
Both the attack against the US (by OBL) and the attack against the sovereign democratic country of Georgia (by Putin) were wrong.
...and it is unlikely gates would have said the words you offer regarding 2001....
Yes of course it is unlikely Gates would have said such words in 2001 and Gates should not have made such a similar comment about Russian's attack on Georgia, today.
You and Gates...
“You and Gates...
Gates and I what? Spell it out, or at least try to reply to my comments with something other than 3-word non-sentences.
Can you do better than the above reply?
“Both the attack against the US (by OBL) and the attack against the sovereign democratic country of Georgia (by Putin) were wrong. “
Life is wrong, history is wrong, and most examples of the use of force in history are wrong. This is how it is though. 2001 attacks were exceptionally bad and alarming for a number of reasons, aside from attacking my country directly. The georgian invasion is something rather more conventiontal in that context.
“Yes of course it is unlikely Gates would have said such words in 2001 and Gates should not have made such a similar comment about Russian’s attack on Georgia, today. “
What he said was true. If he had talked about russia’s concern for western feelings and perceptions, he would have made a fool of himself. Everyone involved knows there is a message to the former SSR’s and he would make himself look like a twit to their eyes to pretend otherwise. It is Rice’s job to spout platitudes, something she seems to have forgotten (not 1968 comment) in this case, for the first time in her tenure.
Why is this even a subject of dispute? What I care about is the eventual disposition of the black sea ports and pipeline, and also the outcome of the ukranian restrictions on the russian black sea fleet.
Sorry. I thought is was obvious. Both you and Gates think that the following comment is appropriate.
...why would russia care about how westerners feel about their civilizedness?
I would also add that Russia should care about being civilized.
“I would also add that Russia should care about being civilized. “
Is there any public official for whom it would be appropriate to discuss political and realpolitikal considerations rather than mouth vague platitudes that they themselves may not believe?
As I said, let DoState mouth the platitudes and vague say-nothing wordy comments.