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Tbilisi admits misjudging Russia
FT ^ | 21 Aug 2008 | Jan Cienski

Posted on 08/23/2008 8:44:45 AM PDT by BGHater

Georgia did not believe Russia would respond to its offensive in South Ossetia and was completely unprepared for the counter-attack, the deputy defence minister has admitted.

Batu Kutelia told the Financial Times that Georgia had made the decision to seize the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali despite the fact that its forces did not have enough anti-tank and air defences to protect themselves against the possibility of serious resistance.

“Unfortunately, we attached a low priority to this,” he said, sitting at a desk with the flags of Georgia and Nato (to which Georgia does not belong) crossed behind him. “We did not prepare for this kind of eventuality.”

The Georgian military felt there was only a low probability of a massive Russian counter-attack, despite the bloody way in which Russia destroyed Chechnya, on the other side of the Caucasus mountains, in two wars during the 1990s and the fact that separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia had Russian backing.

Georgian forces were unprepared when the Russian counter-strike came, Mr Kutelia said. “I didn’t think it likely that a member of the UN Security Council and the OSCE would react like this,” Mr Kutelia said.

His amazement that Russia would use force against a smaller neighbour was echoed by David Darchiashvili, head of the parliamentary European integration committee. “No one expected Russia would mobilise and invade,” he said

(Excerpt) Read more at ft.com ...


TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Russia
KEYWORDS: georgia; russia; southossetia; tbilisi; war
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1 posted on 08/23/2008 8:44:45 AM PDT by BGHater
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To: BGHater

Sorry, just... LOL.

Never AssUMe anything.


2 posted on 08/23/2008 8:46:27 AM PDT by TheZMan (Bitter backwoods east Texan Christian gun clinger with the AC at 72 degrees.)
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To: BGHater

These folks seem as dumb as an empty vodka bottle. Too bad people had to die because of it.


3 posted on 08/23/2008 8:53:48 AM PDT by webrover
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To: webrover

Not really so dumb. They sucked us into a new Sarajevo waiting to happen.


4 posted on 08/23/2008 8:56:17 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: BGHater
Georgia did not believe Russia would respond to its offensive in South Ossetia

According to all the computer-chair warriors here at FR, it was the evil Russians who started the war.

How can we provoke the commies into a war with us with idiots like this spouting off with the truth?

5 posted on 08/23/2008 8:57:25 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: Captain Kirk

So how smart are we for being sucked in?


6 posted on 08/23/2008 9:02:24 AM PDT by webrover
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE

The Russians goaded Georgia into attacking. Their ‘peacekeepers’ in South Ossetia were anything but. How would you react if the Mexican Army aided and abetted attacks by separatists in Texas?


7 posted on 08/23/2008 9:03:19 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: webrover

Not smart at all. We should have cut the Russians into that pipeline years ago and expanding Nato into the former Warsaw pact countries was a bone-headed move.


8 posted on 08/23/2008 9:04:24 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
According to all the computer-chair warriors here at FR, it was the evil Russians who started the war.How can we provoke the commies into a war with us with idiots like this spouting off with the truth?

The Georgian deputy defense minister DIDN'T say that Georgia started the war.

Read much?

9 posted on 08/23/2008 9:05:38 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: FreeReign
Georgia did not believe Russia would respond to its offensive...

Yea, and I comprehend the meaning of "its (georgia's) offensive" too.

10 posted on 08/23/2008 9:09:26 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: dirtboy; LIBERTARIAN JOE

Better analogy:

Mexican separatists in Coahuila along the Texas border are being issued US passports.

Mexico, with military equipment provided by Iran and Russia, starts shelling the separatists inside the Coahuila border.

US Army rolls from Ft Hood into Mexico to push the Mexican Army back out of shelling range, destroys the Russian equipment, and rolls far enough into Mexico to force retreat into Mexico City.

Kinda sounds like what’s actually happened before, except that it was a naval landing at Veracruz.


11 posted on 08/23/2008 9:09:32 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
According to all the computer-chair warriors here at FR, it was the evil Russians who started the war.

The Russians can be evil without having 'started' this particular incident. The two are not mutually exclusive. Besides, 'who started it' is a children's game; in the reality of geopolitics you can trace these things back forever and get nowhere (see also: Israelis/Arabs). Russia had troops in these regions, weaponry and tanks and invasion plans at the ready, but the Georgians 'started it'. Ok.

Who 'started it' is less important than what the respective sides are actually doing and what ends they seek. What ends does Russia seek here, by your estimation?

12 posted on 08/23/2008 9:11:34 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: sam_paine
In your scenario, the US is not defending its own territory. It is intervening in another country's internal affairs.

I find it absurd that posters think Georgia should have just ignored separatist attacks. Russia was working to provoke Georgia into attacking.

13 posted on 08/23/2008 9:13:12 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: sam_paine
That is a good analogy. In your analogy, the US would be doing these things (issuing US passports to Mexican separatists (!), having a 'peacekeeper' troop presence there (which you neglected to add), etc) because they wished to eventually take over and assimilate that part of Mexico for some strategic reason. At the very least, others could be forgiven for interpreting the hypothetical US motives as such.

Which is no different than how I and others interpret Russian motives here.

14 posted on 08/23/2008 9:16:35 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: dirtboy
Their ‘peacekeepers’ in South Ossetia were anything but

Since it's South Ossetia in question, how about we ask the South Ossetians if the Russians were protecting their peace?

How would you react if the Mexican Army aided and abetted attacks by separatists in Texas?

As long as they were aiding Confederate seperatists, it wouldn't bother me.

15 posted on 08/23/2008 9:17:29 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Georgia did not believe Russia would respond to its offensive... Yea, and I comprehend the meaning of "its (georgia's) offensive" too.

The Georgian defense minister didn't say that. That was the stupid writer of this report who said that.

As I said, The Georgian deputy defense minister DIDN'T say that Georgia started the war. Read much?

16 posted on 08/23/2008 9:17:42 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Since it's South Ossetia in question, how about we ask the South Ossetians if the Russians were protecting their peace?

South Ossetia is not and has never been a recognized country. This is still a diplomatically-recognized part of Georgia we are talking about.

So let's imagine that the Mexican Army sent 'peacekeepers' into Southern California. Would you ask the 'Southern Californians' whether they approved of this, or would you ask the Americans?

As long as they were aiding Confederate seperatists, it wouldn't bother me.

Which part of that would require or entail giving them U.S. passports and stationing U.S. soldiers there?

17 posted on 08/23/2008 9:23:25 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Since it's South Ossetia in question, how about we ask the South Ossetians if the Russians were protecting their peace?

South Ossetia is only slightly less wary Russian intentions than they are of Georgia trying to reclaim the sessionists. And Russian 'peacekeepers' were allowing South Ossetian thugs to attack Georgians outside of South Ossetia.

As long as they were aiding Confederate seperatists, it wouldn't bother me.

Posting guidelines prohibit me from saying what I think of you after that comment.

18 posted on 08/23/2008 9:24:28 AM PDT by dirtboy
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Since it's South Ossetia in question, how about we ask the South Ossetians if the Russians were protecting their peace?

30% of South Ossetia is ethnic Georgians. So why don't we start by asking them if the Russians were protecting their peace.

Oh wait we can't. Ethnic Georgians have been ethnically cleansed from their villages in South Ossetia.

In an AP Interview with, South Ossetian leader Eduard Kokoity spoke of the ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia. He said, "There is nothing left anymore".

19 posted on 08/23/2008 9:27:44 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Dr. Frank fan
What ends does Russia seek here, by your estimation?

I think the answer to your question is very simple... the Russians have had enough of US/NATO encroachment into their neighborhood. Additionally, I think that the Russians have a legitimate concern that this encroachment poses a direct military threat to their nation.

For the same reason that I would oppose a hostile military power putting forces on the mexican or Canadian borders, I agree and support the Russian efforts, up to and including military response, to keep both the Russian border and the "near abroad" free of foreign military forces.

20 posted on 08/23/2008 9:29:01 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: FreeReign
Ethnic Georgians have been ethnically cleansed from their villages in South Ossetia

Sorry, the nation (US) responsible for the near-total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of it's Christian population, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Christian population of Iraq does not have any moral or ethical authority to make judgments on this matter.

21 posted on 08/23/2008 9:34:46 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
...the Russians have had enough of US/NATO encroachment into their neighborhood.

Russia doesn't own their neighborhood. As a libertarian, you should know that.

I agree with the president.

22 posted on 08/23/2008 9:37:36 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
I think the answer to your question is very simple... the Russians have had enough of US/NATO encroachment into their neighborhood.

How/why is Georgia 'their neighborhood'? Georgia is a different country from Russia. Whether NATO expands to include Georgia is not Russia's business. It is not 'encroachment' for NATO to expand to include a country that is different from Russia. Russia does not own Georgia. And finally, NATO is a (not even very effective) defensive alliance; Russia does not and would not have anything to fear from NATO including Georgia as long as she didn't attack Georgia. All of these statements are obvious facts.

By sympathizing with the Russian contrary viewpoint you are conceding that Russia views Georgia as her property and that she has paranoid views about NATO 'encroachment'. In other words, you are conceding my point.

Finally, it is either terribly naive or disingenuous of you not to mention the role the pipeline that goes through Georgia may play in Russia's motives here.

Additionally, I think that the Russians have a legitimate concern that this encroachment poses a direct military threat to their nation.

I think that is a paranoid (albeit typically Russian) view. Pray tell, who in NATO wishes to use Georgia to attack Russia? And for what purpose? Russia is a backwater ("Mexico with nukes" as the saying goes).

For the same reason that I would oppose a hostile military power putting forces on the mexican or Canadian borders,

Neither NATO nor the US is a 'hostile military power' to Russia as long as Russia doesn't attack other countries. Why do you/they think it is? This Russian paranoia is the crux of the matter. Either that or Russia (as often seems) believes it is her God-given right to attack neighbors at will, and considers any impediment to this right to be 'hostile'.

For the same reason that I would oppose a hostile military power putting forces on the mexican or Canadian borders, I agree and support the Russian efforts, up to and including military response, to keep both the Russian border and the "near abroad" free of foreign military forces.

In other words you agree with Russia's imperial designs on the region. Clearly you don't have an actual disagreement with the critics of Russia's behavior. You just think it's ok for Russia to be imperial. Glad we cleared that up,

23 posted on 08/23/2008 9:37:48 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Sorry, the nation (US) responsible for the near-total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of it's Christian population, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Christian population of Iraq does not have any moral or ethical authority to make judgments on this matter.

Sure we do. Even if we were wrong then, that does not mean Russia is right now.

24 posted on 08/23/2008 9:38:57 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE

You’re right. It wasn’t the Russians or the Georgians that started this. It was the South Ossetian militias/separatists that attacked repeatedly until Georgia felt it necessary to do something.


25 posted on 08/23/2008 9:39:50 AM PDT by Rammer
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To: FreeReign
Batu Kutelia (Georgian deputy defense minister) told the Financial Times that Georgia had made the decision to seize the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali...

Unless you were actually at the interview and know for a fact that the quote in question is false, my (last) response to you is... read much?

26 posted on 08/23/2008 9:43:37 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
Ethnic Georgians have been ethnically cleansed from their villages in South Ossetia

Sorry, the nation (US) responsible for the near-total ethnic cleansing of Kosovo of it's Christian population, as well as the ethnic cleansing of the majority of the Christian population of Iraq does not have any moral or ethical authority to make judgments on this matter.

Sorry, the individual rights of ethnic Georgians in Georgia's South Ossetia are not forfeited by the actions of anybody but those individual ethnic Georgians. Those ethnic Georgians -- of course -- had nothing to do with Kosovo.

Again, as a libertarian, you SHOULD know that basic principle.

27 posted on 08/23/2008 9:43:51 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: dirtboy
I find it absurd that posters think Georgia should have just ignored separatist attacks. Russia was working to provoke Georgia into attacking.

Not sure I follow your connection in those two sentences.

I agree that Russia and the Ossetians were itching to provoke Georgia. And it even sounds like Georgia and the US knew that.

So why did the Georgians take the bait without any kind of preparation for the snapping trap? They didn't have to ignore it, but the Ossetians have been cut off by Georgia and "self governing" for how long now?

28 posted on 08/23/2008 9:44:23 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: Captain Kirk

The Russians were offered a piece of the BTC pipeline and turned it down. They don’t want a minority interest, they want to control the flow of oil and gas from N Africa, Iran, the Caspian and of course Gazprom’s vast holdings into Europe. They’re courting the Germans in this respect with Schroeder on the board of Gazprom and the proposed joint Germ/Rus Nord Stream natgas pipeline beneath the Baltic.

Those former Soviet satellites have shown to a great degree they’d rather die then end back under Russian occupation. They know what it’s like to have that Russian boot on your throat and apparently don’t much care to go back. They’ve been great allies and Russia is attempting to do the very same thing in our backyard via Cuba, Chavez and others although it’s questionable how successful they’ll be. When it comes to projecting power they’re not in the same league.


29 posted on 08/23/2008 9:45:26 AM PDT by bereanway
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To: sam_paine
So why did the Georgians take the bait without any kind of preparation for the snapping trap?

I would think we would all be able to agree that the Georgians were unwise to take the bait from a position of weakness without simultaneously approving of or excusing the Russian behavior that set the trap in the first place.

30 posted on 08/23/2008 9:46:48 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Dr. Frank fan
Sure we do. Even if we were wrong then, that does not mean Russia is right now.

My point is that, right or wrong, we have neither the moral authority or the legitimate national interest to be interfering in a conflict taking place on Russia's border, in a region that was, for most of the last century, part of Russia.

3 current wars, one of them global, and all three apparently never-ending, is three too many for me. If you have to have another one, how about all you keyboard warriors making this one a private one - as in get on a plane, fly over there and take on the Russians yourselves.

Leave me and my wallet out of it.

31 posted on 08/23/2008 9:53:10 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE

Batu Kutelia (Georgian deputy defense minister) told the Financial Times that Georgia had made the decision to seize the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali... Unless you were actually at the interview and know for a fact that the quote in question is false, my (last) response to you is... read much?

There is NO direct quote from the Georgian deputy defense minister saying that the Georgians started the war. The reporter of this article seems to have left that out.

Even more importantly the reporter never claims that the Georgian defense minister said that the Georgians started the war. The reporter did say that the Georgians attacked Tskhinvali.

The Georgians have claimed over and over again that their seizing of Tskhinvali was a defensive action to the Russian backed South Ossetian rebel shelling attacks on ethnic Georgian villages in both South Ossetia and in border villages outside of South Ossetia.

Read the plain English.

32 posted on 08/23/2008 9:57:36 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
My point is that, right or wrong, we have neither the moral authority or the legitimate national interest to be interfering in a conflict taking place on Russia's border, in a region that was, for most of the last century, part of Russia.

1. "right or wrong"? So rightness/wrongness has nothing to do with moral authority? Bizarre. What does 'morality' mean then?

2. This region was never "part of Russia". It was part of the USSR which was an empire controlled by Russia (and of course part of prior Russian empires led by czars). What relevance that has to whether it's ok for modern-day Russia to meddle and take over pieces of this region now is beyond me. One would think if anything it would go even more against Russia that she used to helm an empire which possessed this region - especially to a self-proclaimed libertarian.

3 current wars, one of them global, and all three apparently never-ending, is three too many for me.

What 3 "wars" are you talking about? Which one is "global"? And why is it "too many" for you - because of how much it's affecting you? How is that, precisely?

Also, what does that have to do with anything, with whether Russia is right or wrong here? Whether Russia is right or wrong is a separate matter from whether the U.S. should participate in warfare on the matter (if that's what you're fearing).

If you have to have another one [war],

Nobody even said this. What are you talking about?

Besides, whether there's a war re: Russia/Georgia isn't even open to debate. There is, whether we like it or not. Right? We can't make there not be a war there by nobly refusing to pass judgment on the participants. That's not how it works.

how about all you keyboard warriors making this one a private one - as in get on a plane, fly over there and take on the Russians yourselves.

What 'keyboard warriors'? I haven't seen anyone in this thread propose military action against Russia. Again, what are you talking about?

How about you 'keyboard complainers' consider whether you have standing to do your complaining in the first place.

Leave me and my wallet out of it.

Nobody was proposing otherwise. You're almost as paranoid as Russia.

33 posted on 08/23/2008 10:03:17 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: Rammer
South Ossetian militias/separatists that attacked repeatedly...

My understanding of the situation is that, after the dissolution of the USSR, both South Ossetia and the other autonomous region were never under control of the Georgian gov't, despite constant attempts to bring them under Georgian rule.

The people of both autonomous regions have made it very clear since 1991 that they want self-rule and Russian protection to back it up, and that's fine with me.

34 posted on 08/23/2008 10:07:55 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: BGHater

Well, I think they win the ‘moron overplaying its hand’ award.


35 posted on 08/23/2008 10:21:50 AM PDT by farlander (Try not to wear milk bone underwear - it's a dog eat dog financial world)
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To: Dr. Frank fan

That’s essentially my take on it.

Putin was wrong.
Saakashvilli was dumb.
Putting us in a tough spot.


36 posted on 08/23/2008 10:23:50 AM PDT by sam_paine (X .................................)
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To: FreeReign

ROFL. Just because someone (even the president of the US) says so it doesn’t make it true. As long as there’s those who believe in such things (spheres of influence) they will exist.

Here’s a question. If we believe those days are over, would WE allow, say, Chinese military presence in Cuba ? Or in Mexico ? For that matter would we allow Russian military presence in Mexico ?


37 posted on 08/23/2008 10:27:12 AM PDT by farlander (Try not to wear milk bone underwear - it's a dog eat dog financial world)
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To: farlander
Russia doesn't own their neighborhood. As a libertarian, you should know that. President Bush:The days of satellite states and spheres of influence are behind us. I agree with the president.

ROFL. Just because someone (even the president of the US) says so it doesn’t make it true. As long as there’s those who believe in such things (spheres of influence) they will exist.

Obviously the President was saying that he doesn't recognize the principle of "spheres of influence".

Here’s a question. If we believe those days are over, would WE allow, say, Chinese military presence in Cuba ? Or in Mexico ? For that matter would we allow Russian military presence in Mexico ?

Apparently you do recognize the principle of spheres of influence.

Looking at your above questions you apparently equate the democratically elected governments of Georgia and the United States with the totalitarian governments of Cuba, Russia and China.

BTW, the Soviets (the military included) were propping up the Cubans for years. Our military presence in Georgia was several hundred forces, and most of them were helping Russian by clearing out Chechnyan terrorists in the Pakisi(Sp.) Gorge.

38 posted on 08/23/2008 10:43:38 AM PDT by FreeReign
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To: Dr. Frank fan
South Ossetia is not and has never been a recognized country. This is still a diplomatically-recognized part of Georgia we are talking about.

That is something often overlooked in discussions of this situation - Georgia attacked Russian troops in Georgia, not in Russia or elsewhere but in Georgia.

39 posted on 08/23/2008 10:44:54 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: Dr. Frank fan
What does 'morality' mean then?

It means something different than "moral authority", which is the term I used.

This region was never "part of Russia"

OK - part of the Russian Empire, part of the Persian Empire and part of the Soviet Union... happy? Also, for very brief periods over the last thousand years or so, it's actually been an independent country.

What 3 "wars" are you talking about? Which one is "global"? And why is it "too many" for you - because of how much it's affecting you? How is that, precisely?

GWOT, Iraq, Afghanistan (duh)... because any war, even when it's necessary, is too many (duh)... because each one makes me poorer and less safe (duh)

Also, what does that have to do with anything, with whether Russia is right or wrong here? Whether Russia is right or wrong is a separate matter from whether the U.S. should participate in warfare on the matter (if that's what you're fearing).

The US is militarily involved in Georgia, that's what. Advisors, military aid and the idiotic notion of admitting Georgia into NATO. The three current wars might slightly impact a fourth one, if we get involved in one there.

Nobody even said this. What are you talking about?

You're right... having our military forces in an area (on Russia's border) where active fighting is taking place could never draw us into conflict, could it? I mean, wars never start accidentally, do they?

We can't make there not be a war there by nobly refusing to pass judgment on the participants. That's not how it works.

Must have really been putting in extra-credit hours at school (what grade?) to have missed the news, but yes - there's a war on and yes - the good old USofA has taken sides (wrong one) on a matter that's none of it's business and in an area outside our traditional sphere of interest.

What 'keyboard warriors'? I haven't seen anyone in this thread propose military action against Russia. Again, what are you talking about

Anyone advocating any US interference in this conflict is advocating potential conflict with Russia.

How about you 'keyboard complainers' consider whether you have standing to do your complaining in the first place

I've served in the armed forces of this nation, I'm a citizen of this nation, and I pay a very large amount of taxes... I say I have as much right to express my opinion on this matter as anyone else does.

You're almost as paranoid as Russia

Yep, just as I was paranoid about backing the wrong side in Kosovo, paranoid about Iraq not being a cakewalk that pays for itself, paranoid about the dangers of occupying Afghanistan instead of just going after terrorists there, etc.

40 posted on 08/23/2008 10:59:44 AM PDT by LIBERTARIAN JOE (Don't blame me - I voted for Ron Paul!)
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To: sam_paine
Putin was wrong. Saakashvilli was dumb. Putting us in a tough spot.

It puts us in a tough spot regarding what (if anything) our nation's diplomatic/military/economic reaction ought to be, sure.

But it doesn't and shouldn't put us in a tough spot when it comes to forming a personal judgment on the situation (which is what this thread has been about).

I see there's an inability or reluctance among some to separate the two.

41 posted on 08/23/2008 11:00:44 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
GWOT, Iraq, Afghanistan (duh)... because any war, even when it's necessary, is too many (duh)... because each one makes me poorer and less safe (duh)

1. Which offensives/battles are under way in the "GWOT", whatever that means as separate from Afghanistan and Iraq?

2. Which offensives/battles are under way in the Iraq "war"? (Which in reality has been over for years now; at present we have a military garrison that does training and some counterinsurgency, not a "war"...)

3. How exactly are any of these "wars" making you "less safe"? Less safe than what? How did you measure your "safety"? What unsafe things have happened to you since or as a result of any of these wars (or former wars, as in the case of i.e. Iraq)?

You're right... having our military forces in an area (on Russia's border) where active fighting is taking place could never draw us into conflict, could it? I mean, wars never start accidentally, do they?

Whether we get drawn into the conflict is a separate matter from making a judgment over who's right/wrong. Why are you unable to separate the two?

Must have really been putting in extra-credit hours at school (what grade?) to have missed the news, but yes - there's a war on and yes - the good old USofA has taken sides (wrong one) on a matter that's none of it's business and in an area outside our traditional sphere of interest.

Let's say you're right that it's none of our business and outside our sphere of interest. This doesn't make the Russians in the right or add up to an argument that we have taken the wrong side. I still await a coherent argument from you as to why the Russian side is in the right.

Anyone advocating any US interference in this conflict is advocating potential conflict with Russia.

Who advocated US interference in this conflict? Certainly not me in this thread. My point in this thread has been to dispute those who claim that Russia is in the right - no more, no less.

I've served in the armed forces of this nation, I'm a citizen of this nation, and I pay a very large amount of taxes... I say I have as much right to express my opinion on this matter as anyone else does.

You have every right to express your opinion (who ever questioned that?). That doesn't make you correct to posture (with your keyboard, from your home, over your internet connection) as somehow an injured party should this or that foreign policy action be adopted, when in reality you are not and have not been tangibly affected.

42 posted on 08/23/2008 11:12:41 AM PDT by Dr. Frank fan
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To: bereanway

Do you have a link on this? I had heard that the pipeline builders refused to build a spur to also include Russian oil.


43 posted on 08/23/2008 11:27:46 AM PDT by Captain Kirk
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
One: The Georgians didn't start the war. What this guy says is that he didn't expect Russia to intervene when they attack S Osettia. That doesn't mean the attack wasn't justified. Georgia was attacked with missiles, supplied by Russia, from S O. They responded, as was their right, and Russia, who set the whole thing up, came pouring into Georgia because they had tanks and troops waiting and poised in preparation of Georgia taking the bait and defending themselves.

I expect you know all this, in fact I would be money on it.

44 posted on 08/23/2008 11:35:31 AM PDT by calex59
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To: Captain Kirk

You’re correct in that they (present owners) didn’t want to tie into the Russian system. They (Russia) were offered a minority stake in the BTC but it was to remain strictly independent of existing Russian resources. My understanding is that BP owns 30%, along with ownership by Azerbaijan, Georgia, and Turkey along with Israel. Israel importing some of the oil for their use from Ceyhan on the Med then transporting to Ashkelon where they use some for domestic purposes and then trnasport some out of their Red Sea Port at Eilat further east.

The article I read describing this arrangement was here at FR when the invasion occurred. I’ve searched but can’t find the specific article.


45 posted on 08/23/2008 12:25:44 PM PDT by bereanway
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To: dirtboy
How would you react if the Mexican Army aided and abetted attacks by separatists in Texas?

Arrest our Border Patrol if they interfered!

46 posted on 08/23/2008 2:40:51 PM PDT by varon (Allegiance to the constitution, always. Allegiance to a political party, never.)
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To: LIBERTARIAN JOE
My point is that, right or wrong, we have neither the moral authority or the legitimate national interest to be interfering in a conflict taking place on Russia's border, in a region that was, for most of the last century, part of Russia. What are you talking about? At the end of WWII, we dismembered Japan and Germany, hacking off pieces that had been part of those countries for hundreds of years. Note that neither Japan nor Germany had much territory to spare, being less than a twentieth of Russia's *present* territory when you add their territories together. Russia is today 70% larger than the second largest country in the world (Canada). Imperial Russia isn't paranoid - it's got a superiority complex and an insatiable appetite for empire.
47 posted on 08/23/2008 3:20:13 PM PDT by Zhang Fei
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To: BGHater
Georgia 'did not expect' Russian counter offensive
IrishTimes.com

Georgian forces were unprepared when the counter-attack came, Mr Kutelia said. "I didn't think it likely that a member of the UN Security Council and the OSCE would react like this," he said.

His amazement that Russia would use force against a smaller neighbour was echoed by David Darchiashvili, head of the parliamentary European integration committee. "No one expected Russia would mobilise and invade," he said. Georgia's 20,000-strong army - built up at a cost of $2 billion with the help of US advisers and cast-off Warsaw Pact equipment - was organised to deal with wars with separatist enclaves on its borders, not to do battle with Russia.

Mr Kutelia still blames the Russians and their South Ossetian allies, saying that in early August Ossetian fighters began to shell Georgian positions and villages.

He said Russia had begun to move heavy armour through the Roki tunnel from North Ossetia before Mikheil Saakashvili, Georgia's president, unleashed his military against the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on August 7th, but offered no evidence to back this up.

48 posted on 08/23/2008 5:08:54 PM PDT by justa-hairyape
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To: FreeReign

I’m not equating anything, all that such matters *exist*. Furthermore, if the president says he doesn’t recognize such things as a matter of *policy* then GREAT! However, geopolitics show that they *do* own the neighborhood. For all our yelling and screaming the fact is they do. As they’ve painfully demostrated.


49 posted on 08/23/2008 7:29:21 PM PDT by farlander (Try not to wear milk bone underwear - it's a dog eat dog financial world)
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To: Dr. Frank fan; LIBERTARIAN JOE
What 'keyboard warriors'? I haven't seen anyone in this thread propose military action against Russia. Again, what are you talking about?

Maybe not on this thread, but when this nonsense started over in S.Ossetia there were a bunch of FReepers (including some I respected) who were talking about the need for the US military to rapidly dispatch A-10 Warthogs and B-2 Stealth Bombers into the region. That was within minutes of the start of the conflagration, before anyone really knew much of what was going on. Already calls for tank-busters and stealth bombers were up.

A couple of hours after that the real FReaks started coming out of the woodwork. It began with some calling for a naval group or two (meaning aircraft carriers) to head for the region, which was followed by a number of FReepers asking for nuclear missiles to be given to Georgia by the US. Then the craziest post of all came out, when a certain FReeper (name withheld, but if he is reading this it is still the most ridiculous post I've ever seen) started saying that we should give 'suit care nukes' to Chechen terrorists (the layers of stupidity in that post are too intricate to fully elaborate on, but let it suffice to say that the Chechen terrorists are part of the Al Queda umbrella, and any nuke given to them would more probably be used against the US than against Russia).

Thus, the FReaks may not be out on THIS thread, but they sure were out for over a week saying how they would tackle the situation if they were president. Fortunately, no matter what one may think of our president and how conservative or not he is, he is definitely magnitudes more intelligent than the sum total of those FReaks. Some posts (like the nukes to the Muslim queda-connected Chechens) were actually a level below typical DU stupidity.

Anyways, this thread may be free of calls to take the fight nuclear, but for over a week there were threads filled with 100-Star armchair Generals giving a step-by-step POV of how they would take the fight nuclear, and how Russia would just stand there and do nothing as Moscow gets nuked.

With that said, my thoughts: i) Georgia got played by the Russians. ii) Russia had no intention of saving the Ossetians .....simply wanted to punch the Georgians in the nose and show that NATO was nothing more than a paper tiger. iii) There is no 'good side' in this fight ....the Russians were in the wrong, but the Georgians are not the saints people were making them out to be. iv) Georgia has lost S.Oss and Akhz. Georgia's sovereignity is intact, but it's integrity is busted. v) It seems that Putin really is the KGB monster some always said he was. vi) People expecting the US to take an Iraq-style approach towards Russia will be sadly disappointed. We only attack weak nations ...if we cannot do jack against Iran and N.Korea, people expecting A-10s to riddle Russian tanks are going to be waiting a long while. vii) With that said, we need a president who can at least pretend very well and act tough. That is not BHO.

50 posted on 08/24/2008 4:33:59 AM PDT by spetznaz (Nuclear-tipped Ballistic Missiles: The Ultimate Phallic Symbol)
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