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U.S., Allies ‘Stand With People of Georgia,’ Bush Says
American Forces Press Service ^ | Gerry J. Gilmore

Posted on 08/15/2008 5:30:31 PM PDT by SandRat

WASHINGTON, Aug. 15, 2008 – President Bush today pledged the United States will support the former Soviet republic of Georgia in its time of need, as Russian troops still occupy parts of the country. Video

“The United States and our allies stand with the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government,” Bush said at the White House.

“Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected. Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory,” Bush declared, noting the United States is working closely with its European allies and other members of the G-7 world economic organization to bring resolution to the crisis.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is now conferring with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in Tbilisi, the country’s capital city, Bush said. Rice is in Georgia to express “America’s wholehearted support for Georgia’s democracy,” Bush said.

Bush said Rice later will travel to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to update him on the situation in Georgia. Bush said Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates is keeping him briefed on the ongoing humanitarian mission in Georgia.

On Aug. 8, Russian forces crossed the border into the contested northern Georgian provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after Georgian military forces had clashed with separatists in South Ossetia the day before. Georgia was part of the former Soviet Union before declaring its independence in 1991. However, South Ossetia and Abkhazia often have expressed their displeasure at being under Georgian rule and have sought to ally themselves with Russia, to the north.

Georgia, and Ukraine, another former Soviet satellite state in Eastern Europe that also left Moscow’s orbit after the Soviet Union’s collapse in 1991, both have expressed their desire to join NATO. Russia’s political leaders often have voiced their displeasure at the thought of such an event occurring.

Americans may wonder why events taking place in far-away Georgia may matter to the United States, Bush noted.

“In the years since it gained independence after the Soviet Union’s collapse, Georgia has become a courageous democracy, with people making the tough choices that are required of free societies,” Bush said.

Since 2003, he noted, the Georgian people have held free elections, opened up their economy and built the foundations that support a successful democracy. Georgia also has deployed its military forces for duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, Bush said, “to help others achieve the liberty that they’ve struggled so hard to obtain.”

To further strengthen its democracy, Georgia has sought to join the free institutions of the West, such as NATO, Bush said.

“The people of Georgia have cast their lot with the free world, and we will not cast them aside,” Bush vowed. Georgia’s aspiring new democracy, he said, represents an inspiring new chapter in Europe’s history.

Europe has moved beyond World War I, World War II and the Cold War tensions that existed between the Soviet Union and the rest of the world during the middle-to-late 2Oth century, Bush said.

“And now, for the first time in memory, Europe is becoming a continent that is whole, free and at peace,” he said. “Unfortunately, Russia has tended to view the expansion of freedom and democracy as a threat to its interests.”

However, “free and prosperous societies on Russia’s borders will advance Russia’s interests by serving as sources of stability and economic opportunity,” Bush said.

Bush said he hopes Russia’s leaders will recognize that a future of cooperation and peace will benefit all parties. “The Cold War is over,” Bush declared. “The days of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us. A contentious relationship with Russia is not in America’s interest, and a contentious relationship with America is not in Russia’s interest.”

Through its military actions in Georgia, Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with other nations, Bush said.

“Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century,” Bush said. “Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations, or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation.

“Russia must respect the freedom of its neighbors,” Bush said, to restore its world standing and credibility.

Russia’s air, land and sea assaults on Georgia over the past few days represent its attempt “to punish Georgia for daring to try to integrate with the West economically and politically and in security arrangements,” Gates said yesterday at a Pentagon news conference.

He added that the invasion of Georgia is causing many Western nations to reexamine their relations with Russia. “My guess is that everyone is going to be looking at Russia through a different set of lenses as … we look ahead,” the defense 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.

Biographies:
Transcript

Related Articles:
Georgian Invasion Sends Message to World, Gates Says



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Government; Russia
KEYWORDS: ally; bush; geopolitics; georgia; saakashvili; solidarity

1 posted on 08/15/2008 5:30:32 PM PDT by SandRat
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To: SandRat

I am sick of hearing this. Words mean diddly squat !


2 posted on 08/15/2008 5:32:25 PM PDT by libh8er
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To: SandRat

Hey Senor’ Bush At least give them some stinger missiles


3 posted on 08/15/2008 5:42:16 PM PDT by Luigi Vasellini (What do you call 2 toddlers and some duct tape??........muslim body armor!!!!!!!)
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To: libh8er

Agreed. Imagine the effect of 8-10 Hellfires from out of (ahem) “nowhere”, cracking open some Russian tanks engaged in looting in Georgia.

Imagine the sputtering from the rat-like Putin.


4 posted on 08/15/2008 5:42:54 PM PDT by SnuffaBolshevik
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To: SandRat

We are up to our ying-yang in the Middle East and the Russians know it, otherwise this would never have happened. Opportunity missed is an opportunity lost. ;-)


5 posted on 08/15/2008 5:45:42 PM PDT by doc1019 (I was taught to respect my elders, but it's getting harder to find one.)
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To: libh8er
Bush said Rice later will travel to his ranch in Crawford, Texas, to update him on the situation in Georgia.

I guess you could consider his "ranch" his home office. A great leader does not lead from his "ranch".

6 posted on 08/15/2008 5:48:13 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: SandRat
Moscow must honor its commitment to withdraw its invading forces from all Georgian territory,

This is an escalation. The ante has been upped from a return to August 6th status quo to Russian departure form ALL Georgian territory.

In a week or two, we'll probably be seeing fleet units moving into more aggressive positions and overflights of Russian airspace by U.S. aircraft a week or two after that... if the Russians don't get the hint.

As for those who want more action faster, this isn't a video game. The Russians share a land border with Georgia, so invading and departing for them is easy. For us, it's a world away. We can respond quickly by launching missiles at Russian targets, but without air support, supplies, and materials on the ground or nearby, doing so would only escalate the local fighting and slaughter before we could even begin to put a meaningful number of boots on the ground to defend the Georgians from the Russian response.

I'm guessing that pieces are in motion. If you have specifics on movements, please keep them to yourself. You can dazzle us later with your knowledge after everything hits the fan.

7 posted on 08/15/2008 6:03:49 PM PDT by coconutt2000 (NO MORE PEACE FOR OIL!!! DOWN WITH TYRANTS, TERRORISTS, AND TIMIDCRATS!!!! (3-T's For World Peace))
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To: Orange1998
I guess you could consider his "ranch" his home office. A great leader does not lead from his "ranch".

BS, in this day he can lead from where ever he is located. There is nothing he can do in Washington(well not much anyway)that he can't do from Crawford. He has phones, computers and, I bet, a situation room at this ranch. He deserves time off as much as anyone but he never actually gets it(time off).

8 posted on 08/15/2008 6:05:46 PM PDT by calex59
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To: calex59

Don’t you just love the adolescent bravado from the keyboard commandos at FR?!


9 posted on 08/15/2008 6:10:20 PM PDT by DrDeb
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To: Orange1998

He can run the country just as well from his ranch as he could from the White House. Everything he needs to do his job is replicated on his ranch and he is only a few hours away from the White House if he needs to return. Although perception in the public eye might get the knickers of MSM all in a bunch.

Many modern Presidents have managed various world conflicts from their “retreats”. Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, Reagan and, yes, even Clinton.

Location does not a White House make … ability to communicate does.


10 posted on 08/15/2008 6:10:51 PM PDT by doc1019 (I was taught to respect my elders, but it's getting harder to find one.)
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To: libh8er

We stand with them! Well, not really WITH them. We’re standing behind them... and a bit to the side. Actually, we’re not really facing them either, kind of looking to the side trying to pretend we don’t actually know them so we don’t have to get involved.

Pretty pathetic, isn’t it?


11 posted on 08/15/2008 6:25:13 PM PDT by kenth (Will Rogers never met Barack Obama.)
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To: SandRat

Words mean nothing at this point.

The bear has to be smacked down—now—or it will continue to create problems. This is 1936 all over again, and a stupefied Europe will guarantee the same results.

What should we do?

At this point, all the words that need to be spoken have been said, The Russians are daring us to act.

So, we should airlift troops from South Korea(they are not needed there any longer—pthe ROK can defend Korea—we’ve only been there 58 years now) and we should secure the oil pipeline. Russia should be told Georgia is our ally, and if they interfere, deadly force will be used against Russian troops. Then, we once again need to kick the European leaders in the ass and get them to get their troops there to provide ongoing security for the pipeline and to push the Russians back.

And they will back down when met with force. The Russians cannot sustain nor supply this operation for a long time, especially with winter approaching.

We should also freeze Russian economic assets and turn them over to Georgia for damages.

If the bear is not smacked down, we will repeat the years 1936-1939. Russia, Iran, and China will be linking up if we don’t derail their plans.

Most of my life was lived in fear of the Russians and their weapons. The Cold War—WW3—1946-1991-—cost us 45 years, 110,000 American lives, and trillions and trillions of dollars that could have been spent here at home. Then we spent hundreds of billions cleaning their crappy weapons and chemical messes, and absorbing the lifeless Eastern Bloc countries the Russians stripped bare of any economic value, leaving an environmental disaster behind.

Screw them and the horse they rode in on.

We’re done with words. Russia is flashing the sword. Nothing but a swift kick in the groin is going to make them put it back in the sheath.


12 posted on 08/15/2008 6:41:13 PM PDT by exit82 (People get the government they deserve--and they are about to get it --in spades.)
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To: SandRat

“Moscow must,” or what? The democratic West has been snookered, and our Democrats have seen to it that our options are severely constrained by our reliance on oil from overseas sources.
Buying oil from “foreign” sources is condemned in blanket fashion, but I believe Canada is predominantly our principal “foreign” source, and should not be lumped with such as Saudi Arabia, Cesar Chavez and other actual or potential adversaries.


13 posted on 08/15/2008 6:44:25 PM PDT by Elsiejay
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To: SandRat

Pres. Bush is saying the right thing if he will back it up. If he doesn’t intend to back it up it is immoral. It would be better to walk away and tell the Caucausus and the Balkans to “sink or swim.”


14 posted on 08/15/2008 6:44:28 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: exit82

15 posted on 08/15/2008 6:46:54 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: Luigi Vasellini
“The United States and our allies stand with the people of Georgia and their democratically elected government,” Bush said

I can't believe he said this.

16 posted on 08/15/2008 6:48:32 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: TigersEye
Pres. Bush is saying the right thing if he will back it up.

Uh, you think the dead can hear him?

17 posted on 08/15/2008 6:50:32 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: coconutt2000
The Russians share a land border with Georgia, so invading and departing for them is easy.

It wouldn't be so easy if we closed that tunnel at Roki and trashed the rail lines in Abkhazia. I don't know what the implications are of overflying Armenia but air sorties could be staged from Iraq if we did. We could burn all that Russian armor and let Georgian troops engage on the ground. I suppose Iraq would have to approve of flying from their airspace now that they're a sovereign country again.

18 posted on 08/15/2008 6:51:07 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: dragnet2

What?


19 posted on 08/15/2008 6:51:49 PM PDT by TigersEye (Berlin '36 ... Olympics for murdering regimes. ... Beijing '08)
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To: Elsiejay
“Moscow must,” or what?

I keep hearing Rice and Bush say this...It's become utterly embarrassing. I wish they just shut up.

20 posted on 08/15/2008 6:52:01 PM PDT by dragnet2
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To: dragnet2

I bet Isreal is miffed if this is what “Stand with the People” means.


21 posted on 08/15/2008 7:01:23 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: doc1019
We are up to our ying-yang in the Middle East and the Russians know it, otherwise this would never have happened. Opportunity missed is an opportunity lost. ;-)

Not quite true the Air Force is not being used that much.We may have a squadron or two flying in Iraq and Afghanastan but thats not the total capability of the Air Combat command.

All we have to do is fly a wing of F-22’s ,F15’s and F-16’s in there and the Russians will get the Idea really quick that theirs a new game in town.

Right Now all the Russians may have to fear is losing their membership in the G-8 which I would be happy to see.Putins not going to be worried about that.He fears U.S. Air Power and he knows that he could get his head handed to him if he's not careful.

22 posted on 08/15/2008 7:07:40 PM PDT by puppypusher (The world is going to the dogs.)
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To: puppypusher

Some A-10’s too, target rich environment over there, just now.


23 posted on 08/15/2008 8:47:08 PM PDT by ODC-GIRL (Proudly serving our Nation's Homeland Defense)
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To: libh8er

Oh come on...don’t think for one minute Bush is JUST saying words. There is so much going on you don’t have a clue that’s taking place. You think for one minute a word will be spoken of the action we’re taking....


24 posted on 08/15/2008 8:52:29 PM PDT by shield (A wise man's heart is at his RIGHT hand;but a fool's heart at his LEFT. Ecc 10:2)
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To: shield

Agreed!!


25 posted on 08/15/2008 9:04:49 PM PDT by MarMema (Tavisuplebas dideba!)
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To: coconutt2000
I'm guessing that pieces are in motion

Very much so, I believe.

26 posted on 08/15/2008 9:06:48 PM PDT by MarMema (Tavisuplebas dideba!)
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To: MarMema

President Bush has proven to be a very able leader in times of international crisis. I don’t think the situation in Georgia will be an exception.


27 posted on 08/15/2008 11:12:54 PM PDT by karnage
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To: exit82

You’re right, but our numb nut leaders don’t have the balls to deal with Iran, which is actively killing our troops and we don’t do a Goddamned thing. Do you really think we will forcefully deal with Russia?


28 posted on 08/16/2008 1:06:07 AM PDT by Levante
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To: Levante

You’re right about Iran.

The first evidence of their complicity in killing our troops in Iraq, their one and only gasoline refinery would be a smoking ruin.

Guess why that’s why I am not the President!

I can only hope the President will put military forces in play.

It is the ONLY thing the Russians fear.

Vlad is gambling that Western testicular fortitude is a myth. And he is right—so far.


29 posted on 08/16/2008 7:20:55 AM PDT by exit82 (People get the government they deserve--and they are about to get it --in spades.)
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