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CATEGORY: Caucasus

I am not an expert on the Caucasus but I play one on my blog.

Actually, even though the above is true, I am blessed with two gifts that allow me to comment on just about any earth shaking crisis that blows up. First, I can read. This allows me the luxury of being able to write intelligently on just about anything that piques my curiosity. Secondly – a and more importantly – I can read a map. This is really cool because in any military confrontation like this, both sides are looking at pretty much the same map you are. No need to guess what sources they are using for information. Hence, both Vladamir Putin and President Saakashvili of Georgia are looking at the map, looking at troop deployments, looking at the Russian advance, and are making their decisions based on how those little flags are being maneuvered around.

And in Saakashvili’s case, he is starting to realize that using his military to affect the re-unification with South Ossetia and Abkhazia – the two breakaway Georgian provinces at the heart of the conflict – was a huge mistake.

Did Saakashvili believe that by provoking Russia in South Ossetia that NATO would come to his aid and solve his reunification problems for him? At the very least, he miscalculated Putin’s overwhelming response. As I write this, Russian troops are moving out of South Ossetia into Georgia proper in what can only be called an invasion. Their strategic goals are several and complex but elegantly constructed.

Follow along with the map and look inside the mind of Putin: (HT: Belmont Club)

(Click to enlarge)

Russian troops seem to be aiming for the town of Gori which sits astride vital highway and rail links to the capitol Tiblisi. If the Russians can take Gori, they essentially have split Georgia in two with both break away provinces safe and secure in Moscow’s hands. The Georgians know this which is why they will likely defend Gori with everything they have.

Meanwhile, the Russians have also begun an attack out of Abkhazia apparently aimed at Georgia’s vital back door – seaports on the Black Sea where the country receives about 85% of its wheat and also is the hub of its lucrative oil and gas industry.

The Georgians have evidently completely evacuated South Ossetia, suffering a humiliating defeat in Tskhinvali. Richard Fernandez explains the significance:

The most important development is that the Georgians have been driven from Tskhinvali, though it is not clear whether they have given up all positions on the surrounding high ground. Tskhinvali is the “cork in the bottle” leading from the Caucasus passes to the long plain that runs west to east across Georgia. Sky News now says the Georgians are falling back on Gori, which is the key to keeping Georgia intact. If Gori falls, Georgia will be cut in half with Tbilisi to the east and the Black Sea ports to the West. On the map at least, the battle for Gori will be the battle for Georgia.

Whether or not the Russians move on Gori depends on Moscow and international power politics. In my opinion, while it may take a while for the Russians to bring up enough force through their tenuous road link back across the Caucasus, they will eventually be able to marshal enough force to take the Georgian positions. The clock is ticking. Reuters reports the Georgians saying they will fight for positions around Gori.

Gori then is not only the key to Georgia, it will be a signpost as to just what Russian intentions in this conflict are. The New York Times is reporting that Russia is seeking nothing less than regime change in Georgia:
Russia expanded its attacks on Georgia on Sunday, moving tanks and troops through the separatist enclave of South Ossetia and advancing toward the city of Gori in central Georgia, in its first direct assault on a Georgian city with ground forces during three days of heavy fighting, Georgian officials said.

The maneuver — along with bombing of the Georgian capital, Tbilisi — seemed to suggest that Russia’s aims in the conflict had gone beyond securing the pro-Russian enclaves of South Ossetia and Abkhazia to weakening the armed forces of Georgia, a former Soviet republic and an ally of the United States whose Western leanings have long irritated the Kremlin.

Russia’s moves, which came after Georgia offered a cease-fire and said it had pulled its troops out of South Ossetia, caused widespread international alarm and anger and set the stage for an intense diplomatic confrontation with the United States.

Two senior Western officials said that it was unclear whether Russia intended a full invasion of Georgia, but that its aims could go as far as destroying its armed forces or overthrowing Georgia’s pro-Western president, Mikheil Saakashvili.

“They seem to have gone beyond the logical stopping point,” one senior Western diplomat said, speaking anonymously under normal diplomatic protocol.

And yes children, we are powerless to stop it.

Russia has Georgia by the short hairs and can thumb its nose at the international community. Putin will prove the impotence of the United Nations once again (as if it matters to the legions of idiot enablers who still think the UN a place where grown ups solve the world’s problems) and, if he really wants to stick it to us, will engineer the overthrow of the pro western, pro-American Saakashvili and replace him with a toady. That would be as big a humiliation for the United States as was ever planned by the American left in Iraq.

Think of it; our closest and most valued ally in a region of the world that not only is strategically vital due to its oil and gas reserves but also serves as the backdoor to the Persian Gulf and Iran being summarily dismissed by Putin as if he were a grocery store clerk caught stealing a candy bar. What enormous satisfaction for Putin who has been chafing at the bit to assert Russian dominance in the region once again. Watching our impotent response to events in Georgia are other states in the Caucasus as well including the Ukraine which has its own issues with Moscow and could very well be next on Putin’s list.

Are we making too much of this incursion by the Russians?

Robert Kagan:

This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time. The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century” has reestablished a virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore the country to its once-dominant role in Eurasia and the world. Armed with wealth from oil and gas; holding a near-monopoly over the energy supply to Europe; with a million soldiers, thousands of nuclear warheads and the world’s third-largest military budget, Vladimir Putin believes that now is the time to make his move.

Georgia’s unhappy fate is that it borders a new geopolitical fault line that runs along the western and southwestern frontiers of Russia. From the Baltics in the north through Central Europe and the Balkans to the Caucasus and Central Asia, a geopolitical power struggle has emerged between a resurgent and revanchist Russia on one side and the European Union and the United States on the other.

Putin’s aggression against Georgia should not be traced only to its NATO aspirations or his pique at Kosovo’s independence. It is primarily a response to the “color revolutions” in Ukraine and Georgia in 2003 and 2004, when pro-Western governments replaced pro-Russian ones. What the West celebrated as a flowering of democracy the autocratic Putin saw as geopolitical and ideological encirclement.


Historians will come to view Aug. 8, 2008, as a turning point no less significant than Nov. 9, 1989, when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia’s attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th-century style of great-power competition, complete with virulent nationalisms, battles for resources, struggles over spheres of influence and territory, and even—though it shocks our 21st-century sensibilities—the use of military power to obtain geopolitical objectives. Yes, we will continue to have globalization, economic interdependence, the European Union and other efforts to build a more perfect international order. But these will compete with and at times be overwhelmed by the harsh realities of international life that have endured since time immemorial. The next president had better be ready.

That’s from the neo-con right – a not unexpected analysis and perhaps Kagan is being overly dramatic by comparing August 8 with the fall of the Berlin Wall. But there is absolutely no doubt that a fundamental change has been wrought by this Russian action – especially if they keep up the attack on Georgia and affect regime change.

From the center-left, Zbigniew Brzezinski from an interview at Huffpo:

Fundamentally at stake is what kind of role Russia will play in the new international system. Unfortunately, Putin is putting Russia on a course that is ominously similar to Stalin’s and Hitler’s in the late 1930s. Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has correctly drawn an analogy between Putin’s “justification” for dismembering Georgia—because of the Russians in South Ossetia—to Hitler’s tactics vis a vis Czechoslovakia to “free” the Sudeten Deutsch.

Even more ominous is the analogy of what Putin is doing vis-a-vis Georgia to what Stalin did vis-a-vis Finland: subverting by use of force the sovereignty of a small democratic neighbor. In effect, morally and strategically, Georgia is the Finland of our day

The question the international community now confronts is how to respond to a Russia that engages in the blatant use of force with larger imperial designs in mind: to reintegrate the former Soviet space under the Kremlin’s control and to cut Western access to the Caspian Sea and Central Asia by gaining control over the Baku/ Ceyhan pipeline that runs through Georgia.

In brief, the stakes are very significant. At stake is access to oil as that resource grows ever more scarce and expensive and how a major power conducts itself in our newly interdependent world, conduct that should be based on accommodation and consensus, not on brute force.

If Georgia is subverted, not only will the West be cut off from the Caspian Sea and Central Asia. We can logically anticipate that Putin, if not resisted, will use the same tactics toward the Ukraine. Putin has already made public threats against Ukraine.

Bush can publicly jawbone and try and embarrass Putin but that is the extent of what the US is capable of doing in stopping Russia from doing whatever it wishes. The Russian strongman (who has made the presidency of Dmitri Medvedev a joke by assuming control of the military and foreign policy of Russia – portfolios that are supposed to belong to the president) cares little for international opinion although foreign investment in Russia could be drastically curtailed if he goes to far and the US and Western Europe get their way. Kicking Russia out of the G-8 would be another “punishment” that Putin would sneer at.

What we need to do is elect Barack Obama president. He can go to Moscow and sing his song of hope and change, thus soothing the savage heart that beats in Putin’s chest. No doubt Putin will take one look at Obama and realize the error of his ways and become a good citizen of the world – just like Obama. At least, this will be the line from the left. Liberals are already telling us that this is all George Bush’s fault, that we never should have recognized the independence of Kosovo, that we never should have supported Saakashvili in his efforts to remain independent of Moscow, that we never should have trained the Georgian military so that they could deploy to Iraq and resist possible aggression from Russia, that we shouldn’t have 1000 advisors in Georgia helping with everything from democracy building to re-ordering the Georgian military establishment.

In short, when it comes to helping an ally, the left’s response is “Let ‘em hang.”

We were in Georgia for reasons so painfully obvious that even the romper room set on the left should be able to understand it. And we weren’t “going it alone” either. The effort to help Georgia was multi-lateral with advisors from NATO in country as well. If we can’t aid countries that ask for our assistance, that support our foreign policy objectives, and whose leadership and people reach out to us in friendship and comity then who the hell are we supposed to help?

Pardon me for my detour into liberal bashing but I am sick and tired of these vultures emerging when anything untoward happens in the world and blaming the crisis and/or the result on Bush. It is madness. The president may have proved his incompetence and stupidity in any number of areas but to blame all the evil of the world on him and America is ludicrous and shows a decided unseriousness by those on the left who insist on engaging in this ridiculous parlor game.

Bush could sneeze in Beijing and a typhoon that hits Bangladesh is his fault according to this kind of “logic.” Our support and assistance to Georgia and other nations in the Caucasus is ordered by itself and self-evidently in our vital interest. We should make no apologies for our Georgian policy. Anyone who thinks Putin needed our closeness to Saakashvili as an excuse to carry out the kind of aggression he is engaged in now – aggression which has gone far beyond any reasonable response to Georgian attacks on South Ossetia – hasn’t been following Putin’s career or the Russian prime minister’s single minded lust for power and prestige.

All we can do is pick up the pieces after this is over. The only sure thing is that Moscow will be in a much stronger position and we, a much weaker one.

By: Rick Moran at 8:18 am
47 Responses to “GEORGIA ON MY MIND”
  1. 1
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    8:57 am 

    I found your analysis interesting and informative. That is, until the divergence into left bashing.

    So, by the end, all I got was, because you’ve painted democrats as pussies, and Obama might be the next president, “All we can do is pick up the pieces after this is over.”

    Your piece read like this: interesting… interesting… nice map… informative… I agree… that’s true…. OBAMA AND TEH DEMOCRAPS ARE PUSSIES AND THEY’VE RUIENED THE UNIVERSE BY HOPING THAT AMERICA LOSES AN OBAMA REALLY SUX AND DEMOCRATS ARE NOT AS SMART AS ME1!11

    well done.

  2. 2
    baldilocks Trackbacked With:
    10:01 am 

    Russia and Georgia: Regaining What Was Lost…

    Georgia backs down but Russia doesn’t; Georgia wants America and NATO to step in. The Russians want regime change—Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin compares Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to Saddam Hussein and is angry that the US is fer…

  3. 3
    NationRight Said:
    10:18 am 

    Well written! I, too, am no expert on the Caucasus, so I won’t try to match wits with anyone there, but I have been wondering where the UN is in this thing. I see this as another opportunity for someone to prove how meaningless the UN is in 2008. I am certain that Putin is lying awake in a hotel room in Beijing right now worrying about how the UN is going to respond!

  4. 4
    Michael B. Said:
    10:47 am 

    I agree with Chuck’s first and last sentence.

  5. 5
    Nikolay Said:
    11:10 am 

    In short, when it comes to helping an ally, the left’s response is “Let ‘em hang.”

    Do you consider George Soros a leftist? Because it’s a well known fact that Saakashvili wouldn’t be a president without his support.

  6. 6
    Deepthought Said:
    11:13 am 

    Considering Russia has a veto in the Security Council the UN will do nothing, but that’s not the UN’s fault. The UN is not a separate entity unto itself, it is only effective to the extent its member governments allow it. And for the most part its member governments (including the US) don’t want it to be effective.

  7. 7
    Ed T Said:
    11:14 am 

    While Bush is not to blame for Putin’s actions regarding Georgia, he is to blame for how few our options are at this point by getting embroiled in Iraq. Without that mess going on we might have been able to send in the 82nd Airborne and a few wings of F-15’s and dared Putin to continue invading.

    Oh don’t be an idiot. We could have a military ten times bigger than we do now and we never would have sent a single soldier to take on the Russians.


  8. 8
    IanY77 Said:
    12:03 pm 

    OK, so you say that Obama is a ginormous pussy faggot bitch who will get sodomized by all of the big bad men out there. Tell us then, what McCain will do. Realistically.

    The military isn’t an option. You said yourself that Putin will sneer at any economic sanctions that the West throws their way. So what will Big Bad John do that the limp-writed faggot Obama won’t?

    Bill Kristol made the same mistake you did in the NYT (damn liberal media). “The sky is falling! The sky is falling! I have nothing to offer as a solution to this crisis, but liberals suck”. Gee, thanks. I’m sure glad the blogosphere offers such a great alternative to the MSM.

    Obama, like McCain, would take the matter before the UN - exactly what we’re doing now – which would yeild exactly the same results; nothing.

    Are you really serious when you posit that Obama’s pussyfooting statement on Friday – a statement he had to hastily revise because he GOT IT WRONG by being too passive and didn’t condemn Russian aggression – would cause Putin to do anything except snort in derision? And while there is nothing that can be done now, I would expect McCain’s after invasion response to be more telling than any weasel words Obama would come up with. He’s already proven he doesn’t have the stomach to call Putin a aggressor. What other nuggets of rhetoric can we expect from The One as he seeks to placate and appease rather than confront Putin?

    Besides, my main gripe was with idiots like you who blame the whole thing on Bush – which is a big reason why Obama is only 3 points ahead instead of 20. The American people don’t trust liberals on foreign policy and defense – period. When you stop coddling the Castros and Chavez’s of the world, that may change. Until then, you and your buddy Obama are going to be suspect in the eyes of anyone with half a brain and is concerned with American interests.


  9. 9
    gregdn Said:
    12:28 pm 

    Imagine if the Warsaw pact still existed, and imagine further that they invited Mexico to join. We’d blow a gasket, and you know it. Russia’s need of a ‘sphere of influence’ is no less vital than ours.

    The problem is your example is idiotic because Russia would have never, ever, ever, ever asked Mexico to join the Warsaw pact. Not in a million years. Not in a gazillion years – which makes your alternative history ridiculous.

    Now let’s suppose the Soviet Union collapses and nations formerly captive to them (Mexico was never part of the US) don’t want to be recaptured at a later date. The seek out the protection of some powerful friends to prevent that from happening.

    Putin and Russia have got to understand that the Soviet empire is dead and that we will never allow a revanchist Russian state to reacquire nations that do not want to be reintegrated into a new Russian superstate. Hence, our support for Georgia and the Ukraine. I doubt very much if the Russians will be able to duplicate this feat anywhere else in the former Soviet Empire. Watch for a couple of new NATO members in the next few months.


  10. 10
    Michael B. Said:
    1:18 pm 

    Imagine if Bill Gates retired, and the board of directors at Microsoft voted on a replacement CEO, and elected a young poet (lets call him “Barry”) to execute the strategic business plan for Microsoft. Now Barry can read poetry better than anybody has ever read it, but doesn’t know a goddamn thing about software, computers, or business in general.

    A big company like Microsoft pretty much runs itself at this point- Barry’s incompetence pretty much stays under the radar, unless… unless something really BIG and BAD happens. Then all of the beautiful poetry that Barry reads doesn’t counter the hostile takeover. In fact, the hostile takeover people just laugh at Barry.

    I don’t think Obama is an idiot- on the contrary, he seems to be pretty smart (but I’ve also come to the conclusion that he is pretty far from brilliant). However, I can’t believe that anybody can seriously want this inexperienced, empty suit to lead our country. On a daily basis, I am amazed that he has a lead at all.

    My first objection to his candidacy is his poor judgment, second is his inexperience (possibly, but not necessarily a causal relationship), and only third are his positions, almost all of which have changed from his pre-nomination status.

    The scenario playing out in Georgia, and Obama’s response to it is a perfect example of poor judgment, inexperience, and holding positions that are diametrically opposed to America’s interests.

  11. 11
    Continuum Said:
    1:22 pm 

    One is naive to believe that the neocons under Bush-Cheney did not have a role in egging on our so-called allies in Georgia.

    Clearly, when oil is flowing Bush-Cheney smell a buck and throw common sense to the wind.

    Kagan’s comparison of the Georgia crisis to the Nazi moves in the Sudetenland demonstrates a serious distoration of historical facts. To rely on his conclusions, ignores Kagan’s lack of historical accuracy.

    1. We don’t get a drop of Georgian oil or a whiff of natural gas. So much for your idiotic conspiracy theory – the argument of the weak minded.

    2. Frankly, we don’t know if Kagan is correct yet because, unless you have some insight into Putin’s thinking, we don’t know what he’s going to do, do we? That makes your “critique” of “serious distoration (sic)” by Kagan a juvenile exercise in sophistry. Kagan was giving his opinion based on a projection of what Putin might do. You gave an opinion based on the itch that was tickling your ass.


  12. 12
    Delta Whiskey Papa Said:
    1:34 pm 

    “Did Saakashvili believe that by provoking Russia in South Ossetia that NATO would come to his aid and solve his reunification problems for him? At the very least, he miscalculated Putin’s overwhelming response.”

    Saakashvili did not provoke Russia, because Saakashvili already had reason to expect the Russian invasion of Georgia no matter what Georgia did or did not do. The Georgian army’s advance into South Ossetia was made for the purpose of setting up a temporary defensive blocking position in the foothills of the mountains where the Russian 58th Army could not so easily and quickly maneuver where there were no raods and flank the Georgian positions. This bought the Georgian army a couple of extra days of delay before the the Russian blitzkrieg reached the open plains and advanced around the falnks of the Georgian defenses towards Gori and Tblisi.

    Russia rehearsed this invasion in February 2006 with the massing of the 58th Army on Georgia’s border and a number of provocative attacks with their Ossetian surrogates. This time, however, the 58th Army deployed its mortuary unit to the pre-invasion assembly area and fully supplied the advance ammunition supply points. Russian authorities also evacuated the children of South Ossetia to Russia during the wekk prior to the Russian invasion under the pretext of summer camps for the children. These preparations like many others indicated the 58th Army was being deployed for combat with Georgia as early as late July.

    The Russian invasion of Georgia was meticulously rehearsed in prior years, heavily supplied at forward supply dumps along the border in the past few weeks, supported by a Black Sea Fleet prepared for the operation in recent months, and executed to coincide with the Olympics in China. In addition to deposing the elected governement of Georgia, Putin seeks to influence the presidential election in the United States, and intimidate other governments from Europe through Asia.

  13. 13
    Nikolay Said:
    1:36 pm 

    Damn. According to the Russian sources, they are likely to seize Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, by the morning (your evening). I was too young to have moral qualms about living in the Communist country, but now it looks like I’m gonna find out what it felt like being a German under the Nazi rule.

  14. 14
    IanY77 Said:
    1:36 pm 

    See Rick, your Liberal Derangement Syndrome is really showing. Not once in my comment did the word “Bush” ever show up. At all. But keep hitting that strawman. What I asked was: You said that a hypothetical president Obama would get beaten down like a little bitch by the world’s bad guys. What could a hypothetical McCain credibly do differently? You ignored the question completely, and fell back on your only competency: Liberal bashing. Typical. You guys can barely stomach McCain, so you just try to tear down the other guy. Maybe McCain tell the Russians and Georgians to “Sit down and cut the *****That was his Middle East plan. Why couldn’t it work now?

    Jesus, watching conservative bloggers play political commentator is like watching a five year old sitting on his dad’s Harley yelling “Vroom! Vroom!”.

    I tear down Obama because he is a neophyte – an empty suit whose sensibilities and instincts scream appeasement.

    And when you start making as much as I do for political commentary, you can belittle me all you want. Until then, I’m smiling all the way to the bank. Which grocery store are you bagging for these days?


  15. 15
    Nikolay Said:
    2:05 pm 

    In addition to deposing the elected governement of Georgia, Putin seeks to influence the presidential election in the United States, and intimidate other governments from Europe through Asia.

    You mean he wants McCain to be a president? I don’t see his adventure helping Obama in any way.

  16. 16
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    2:09 pm 

    “Besides, my main gripe was with idiots like you who blame the whole thing on Bush – which is a big reason why Obama is only 3 points ahead instead of 20.”

    Nonsense. Obama is only 3 points ahead because voters have one or two old hot button issues that they even come close to caring about. Abortion, Gay Marriage, etc… Everything else exists outside their sphere of giving a shit. So, which guy eats babies and fornicates with the gays? Well, I certainly won’t be voting for him… and so on.

    It still baffles me that you call yourself a republican Rick.

  17. 17
    funny man Said:
    2:11 pm 

    The world does not revolve around the Obama/McCain race. Russia’s expansion into the Caucasus began under the Czar in the 19th century. Have fun reading Tolstoy, Dostoevsky etc. I’m not saying Russia is right here, all I’m saying is that you should try to understand Russians. Russia always felt they had a special place in the world and that is a line that goes from at least as far back as the Napoleonic Wars (more recent just read some comments of Solzhenitsyn). Anyway, they surely feel humiliated by the West and that’s a dangerous place to be (for all of us). The problem is: how much do we want to antagonize Russia? I think every sensible mind would see that there should not be a military conflict with Russia (and that has nothing to do with Iraq) because that clearly is not in our interest. Of course Russia doesn’t really care about South Ossetia but there were waiting for Georgia to make the wrong move which they did. Now what? I don’t think Russia wants to occupy Georgia but Yes, they wanted to send a message to the Ukraine and others that they no longer fool around. Anyway, to repeat myself whether Obama makes a ‘weak’ statement or McCain ‘strongly’ condemns, Putin will give a rat’s ass (and the majority of Russians).

  18. 18
    gregdn Said:
    2:27 pm 

    “The problem is your example is idiotic because Russia would have never, ever, ever, ever asked Mexico to join the Warsaw pact. Not in a million years. Not in a gazillion years – which makes your alternative history ridiculous.”

    That doesn’t negate my point- that we would not have allowed a Warsaw Pact nation on our borders and Russia shouldn’t be expected to jump for joy at the prospect of NATO on it’s doorstep either.

  19. 19
    Delta Whiskey Papa Said:
    2:54 pm 

    9gregdn Said:
    12:28 pm

    “Imagine if the Warsaw pact still existed, and imagine further that they invited Mexico to join. We’d blow a gasket, and you know it. Russia’s need of a ‘sphere of influence’ is no less vital than ours.”

    We don’t have to imagine it. It has already occurred, and the United States did not blow a gasket.

    Imperial Germany tried to lease Magdalena Bay in Baja California from Mexico to use as a German naval base against the United States in an proposed German invasion. Germany sent agents into the American Southwest, where they conducted military mapping in places like Arizona and New Mexico. A U.S. Army cavalry patrol found an abandoned Telefunken radio set on the rim of a canyon left behind by one of these agents.

    Germany promised to supply Mexico with arms, ammunition, and military advisors; if Mexico would agree to declare war upon the United States to keep U.S troops out of WWI in Europe. Germany promised to support Mexico’s annexation of the re-conquered American territories. After the failure of the Plan de San Francisco plan for genocide and the public embarassment of the Zimmerman Telegram, the Mexican governement declined Germany’s offer and accepted one from Japan instead.

    The U.S. Governement learned about the secret agreement between Mexico and Japan when Kaiser Wilhelm in revenge informed the U.S. Ambassador about it and the Japanese lease of Magdalena Bay for use as a Japanese naval base and coaling station. When the U.S. Ambassador rushed back from Germany to Washington D.C. to inform the President in confidence, the President ordered the U.S. Navy to immediately establish a destroyer naval station at San Diego. This was the beginning of the U.S. Navy’s extensive naval basing at San Diego.

    In 1916, U.S. Army conducted secret patrols along the U.S. border with Mexico to intercept Japanese Army reconnaisance patrols reported by Apache observers to be operating long distances across the border into U.S. territory. It is reported that one of these patrols succeeded in finding an invading Japanese patrol, but the Japanese refused to surrender and fought to the death in an engagement with the U.S. Cavalry patrol.

    In the days before the Japanese naval attack upon Pearl Harbor, the famous film director John Ford and his wife took their yacht to Magdalena Bay, where they observed and reported the Japanese naval and commercial activities to the U.S. Naval intelligence operations. Magdalena Bay is still leased by the governement of Japan to this day, and the Government of Mexico still cites Japan’s controlling lease as justification for being unable to exercise sovereign authority to abate water pollution at Magdalena bay as demanded by United Nations authorities.

  20. 20
    Michael B. Said:
    3:23 pm 

    Rick, is there some “liberal master plan” to monitor conservative web sites and post ridiculous comments? From the look of things, I’d say you have more liberal readers than conservative.

    To back up your statement about Obama’s instincts on appeasement, I would point to his quote that ‘I think it would be a profound mistake for us to use nuclear weapons in any circumstance’ then after a pause, ‘involving civilians’ Then he quickly added, ‘Let me scratch that’.

    As horrifying as MAD is, make no mistake: without it, ALL of Europe would be speaking Russian right now. It is essential to a free world that the POTUS be willing to live up to our end of the word “mutual”. Putin will live up to his end of the bargain.

    I’m the only one who won’t delete their tripe.


  21. 21
    Kathy P. Said:
    3:53 pm 

    Why does anyone listen to Neocons? Why?

    Does anyone think we’ll get the truth from people like Kagan or Kristol?

    Ugh. These guys are traitors.

    see here:,7340,L-3580136,00.html

    “The military cooperation between the countries developed swiftly. The fact that Georgia’s defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.”

    NO WONDER this is suddenly a BIG ISSUE for America. I can see how this will affect the suburban worker who lives outside of Chicago. Or the US farmer, or the US family-man who works, etc.

    As predictable, we get this nonsense response from Neocon-lackey Dick Cheney:

    ” U.S. Vice-President Dick Cheney said late Sunday that Russia’s military action against Georgia “must not go unanswered,” as the conflict over the disputed territory continued to escalate.”

    Is anyones sick of these RINO’s? Ship the Neocons back to the Left where they belong.

  22. 22
    Delta Whiskey Papa Said:
    4:00 pm 

    15Nikolay Said:
    2:05 pm
    “You mean he wants McCain to be a president? I don’t see his adventure helping Obama in any way.”

    That’s right, you don’t see. You don’t see what you don’t want to see. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have past and present associations with organizations and individuals whose funding were and are traceable all the way back to the former Soviet Union and present day beneficiaries of Russian governemental and political monies.

  23. 23
    Mel Gibson, right again Said:
    4:04 pm 

    “Israel began selling arms to Georgia about seven years ago following an initiative by Georgian citizens who immigrated to Israel and became businesspeople.”

    War in Georgia: The Israeli connection,7340,L-3580136,00.html

  24. 24
    Critical Thinker Said:
    4:20 pm 

    First mistake.

    “OK, so you say that Obama is a ginormous pussy faggot bitch who will get sodomized by all of the big bad men out there. Tell us then, what McCain will do. Realistically.”

    This is not about whether Big Bad Jon or Obama, the limp wristed pussy, will deal with it better. The damage is already done. Their reactions right now are nothing more than lip service. Neither camp has fielded a solution that is even worth mentioning. In addition, neither one is President yet, so other than election rhetoric their responses are insignificant. So, get over the partisan bull$hit, get some therapy for being too sensitive, and get realistic. The Russians are making a grab at international power through their old tactics. If that does not concern you then you are at best myopic.

    Second mistake.

    “The military isn’t an option.”

    Military action my not be an option, but military presence is. A huge naval presence with a MEU landing in one of the port cities for “humanitarian” assistance would make the Russians balk. Set up a safe zone with in the city for anyone, including South Osettians and Georgians alike. The Russians are in no position to risk all out warfare with the United States and it is about time we call their bluff. Remember it was Nikita who had to calm down Kennedy with Cuba, not the other way around. The Russians get nervous about an aggressive America, they do not like to be challenged by a country that has equal or superior firepower and they know that even if we are “bogged down” in Iraq, we can redeploy our forces quicker than or as quick as they can. They do not want another Chechnya in their backyard with the United States involved in it, just like we don’t want another Iraq. Plain and simple we need to let the Russians know that they will not have carte blanche in the Caucasus.

  25. 25
    Mel Gibson, right again Said:
    4:21 pm 

    Georgian minister: Israel should be proud

    “The Israelis should be proud of themselves for the Israeli training and education received by the Georgian soldiers,” Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili said Saturday.

    Yakobashvili is a Jew and is fluent in Hebrew. “We are now in a fight against the great Russia,” he said, “and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House, because Georgia cannot survive on its own.

  26. 26
    Jimmy Haberkorn Said:
    4:42 pm 

    “Georgian” Minister Temur Yakobashvili
    and “Georgian” Defense” Minister Davit
    Kezerashvili are both Israeli citizens.

    Israeli sold the Georgians guns and weapons.

    I think this is a proxy war between the Israel/US axis and Russia.

    This kind of thing is not in the interests of America nor American citizens.

  27. 27
    Neo Said:
    4:48 pm 

    And, of course, this war would have to happen in August .. when most of Europe is on vacation.

    Notice all the (lack of) “jawboning” coming from the EU. I’m sure they will “deal with it” come September.

  28. 28
    funny man Said:
    5:12 pm 

    Is it really in America’s interest do get drawn into this. I’m a conservative who has had it with the crazy neocons. I blame them most for our current perceived weakness and I’m worried about McCain’s shoot from the hip style. This is a good piece that already had John’s trip to South Ossetia in it.

    I appreciate the concerns of those who wish this would just go away or that it is not our concern. But the Caucasus – even without the oil and gas which all goes to Europe by the way, none here – is next to the Middle East, the most strategically important area on the planet. It is, as I say in the article, the back door to the Persian Gulf – a door the Kremlin has been trying to pry open for 150 years. The Black Sea is hugely important to central Europe and those ports in Georgia handle a lot of tonnage destined for us as well as our European friends.

    As a side note, there does appear to be genuine attempts to bring democracy to states that previously were held under Russia’s thumb – or one of their stooges. I don’t see how we can just turn our back on that aspect of the regions importance.


  29. 29
    Chuck Tucson Said:
    5:16 pm 

    “I’m the only one who won’t delete their tripe.”

    As a contributor of said tripe, I really appreciate this.

  30. 30
    Drewsmom Said:
    8:03 pm 

    My God, there are alot of Jew haters posting tonight.
    Jan, Ed and Kathy, calm down, get a grip.
    We might not be thrilled with McCain but in times like these with this happening in Georgia, God help us if we have obama trying to figure this out. HE AIN’T GOT THE EXPERIENCE, I’M SORRY THEMS THE FACTS.

  31. 31
    Russia Invades Georgia | Pinged With:
    8:15 pm 

    [...] MORE: Hot Air; Right Wing Nuthouse [...]

  32. 32
    ajacksonian Said:
    9:01 pm 

    Perhaps we think too much on John Quincy Adams: “America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.”

    Yes we do give well-wishes to the freedom and independence of all… but ask us for help? Seek us as a friend?

    Oh, no! That might require that we do a bit of work and worry about our lovely and vast ideals. When a Nation comes to commit 20% of its armed forces to a conflict to help us, and then is besieged at home by a tyrant, what do we do?



    ‘Oh, it isn’t in our strategic interest…’

    Remember, it isn’t in our strategic interest to defend those that seek to befriend us and keep their liberty by helping us and demonstrating they will sacrifice out of proportion with their size as a Nation.

    Mind you, no one is paying attention to the Mexicans who came over our border to hold our border patrolmen at gunpoint.

    Unable to help liberty abroad nor defend ours at home, we soon shall have none.
    JQA would at least have stood up for the local vindication… those who mouth those words and seek the weak way out will no longer do even that and demonstrate their lack of supporting those ideals. Soon we shall remember the cost of purchasing liberty is not dollars, not economy, not materials, but blood. Afghanistan should have reminded us of that, and Iraq, too. Now we will let a Nation that sought us out to go down with not even a harsh diplomatic demarche.

    Thanks for the lack of political willpower, Left and Right.

    When we ask ‘why didn’t the French stop the Germans from taking the Ruhr over?’ or the Czechs, now we know. They would have to do something. Far easier to sit at home and let tyrants do as they will until it comes to a large-scale unhappiness of millions slaughtered.

  33. 33
    Ken P. Said:
    9:19 pm 


    These are the poorest sad-sack leaders Conservatives could ever look to. Please let us take our party back from Neocon traitors.

    “The harder line toward the Kremlin comes as President Bush and, even more, Vice-President Cheney similarly ratchet up their criticism and as key Neoconservative thinkers and McCain allies Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol take to the op-ed pages to urge action.”

  34. 34
    Ken P. Said:
    9:21 pm 

    The “Georgian” defense minister is an Israeli JEW!!

    No wonder the Neocon Jews are high-tailing it into action.

    The USA needs to focus on American interests, not those of Neocon dual-citizens and Israeli/Georgian arms dealers.


    Rick Moran, what kind of person supports these Israel/US axis gangsters and ideologues? What kind of Midwestern Catholic American are you? A fool it seems.

    See above – and it goes double for you, Jew hater.


  35. 35
    Ken P. Said:
    9:36 pm 

    Here is some interesting information about the Georgian Intelligence Minister, the spymaster, Gela Bezhuashvili. When Bezhuashvili was Foreign Minister he said he was “inspired by Israel” and below is a picture of him wearing a yamaka and laying a wreath at a holocaust memorial. The wreath says, “From the Government of Georgia.” His brother David Bezhuashvili co-owns the television stations Mze TV and Rustavi 2 which are registered in the Marshall Islands and is a member of the Georgian parliament.

    sorry Neocon-brainwashed Rick, but more facts that deniers cannot deny:

    And your anti-Semitic point? Spit it out, Jew hater. Are you saying that Israel controls Georgia? Or is your Jew hatred directed against America because we are assisting them?

    The article you link gives an overview of the partnership between Georgia and Israel – Israel has sold Georgia an extremely limited amount of arms and spare parts. Is this your big conspiracy, Jew hater? Is this the best your warped mind can posit when it comes to conspiracy theories?

    OOOOOH I get it. Your diseased mind thinks that because there are a couple of Jews in the Georgian cabinet, that this is why the US is supporting Georgia. Congratulations, on making the wackiest point about this war to date. But that sort of thing happens when childish minds are involved.

    Hard to tell with you anti-Semites just who you hate more; Israeli Jews or American Jew lovers. I’d hate to die with the difference.

    Crawl back in your fetid hole, Jew hater.


  36. 36
    B.Poster Said:
    9:42 pm 

    “And yes children we are powerless to stop it.” I disagree. We are not powerless to stop it, however, any attempt to do so would be extremely risky and there is the risk of failure. Any thing that is difficult carries with it the risk of failur. Halting Russia’s advance would be extremely difficult but it can be done. Ultimately the better question would be do we want to try and stop Russia;s advances?

    “All we cam do it pick up the pieces when this is over. The only sure thing is Moscow will be in a much stronger position and we a much weaker one.” Perhaps not. If the Russian military can be deal a decisive defeat here, it will be us who will be much stronger and Russia who will be much weaker. It seems unlikely that Georgia could do this alone. Further more it seems unlikely that the US could spare the ground forces to be of much assistance. NATO has bases in Europe and probably near the area of the fighting. They may have some planes that could be of assistance in supplying air support to the Georgians. Also, I heard that Russia is using its Navy as part of the fight. The US might be able to move some battleships and perhaps some carrier groups into the Black Sea to counter the Russian forces. Also, these carriers could possibly be used to stike at Russian targets and to assist the Georgain forces. I’m not a military expert but I think this is doable. As stated earlier, any such action would be very risky. What does seem clear it that the early 21st century is fraught with extreme dangers as well as fabulous opportunities. It also seems clear that the US may not survive if it continues to play it safe. The US definitely will not be able to reamin a major power for much lonter, if it continues to play things safe.

    While the notion that there is nothing we can do about this seems to be incorrect, as stated previously the greater question is do we want to. If we do not want to remain a major power, then this action by Russia can probably go unanswered. Let the EU and Russia’s former Soviet colonies worry about this. If we want to remain a major power, we will have to mount some type of aggressive response. It may not be a military response but some type of response will need to be mounted.

    A major question Americans will need to ask themselves in the coming years is “do we want to be amjor power?” If the answer to this question is no, then there may be no need to confront countries like Russia, Iran, and others. If we are no longer a major power, they may not see us a threat and as a conseuqence may not bother with us.

    Russia could have changed the Georgian government from within. They could have used their intellegence operatives to bring about some type of bloodless coup. Also, it seems the use of force is way beyond what would be neccessary to get Georgia to capitulate. Might this be part of a military rehearsal for a much large operation. Perhaps they are rehearsing for the a planned invasion of America.

    The bottom line is we have been to focused on the so called “axis of evil.” This is Iran, Syria, North Korea, and the former Iraqi government. Unfortunately we seem to have lost sight of the far greater threats of Russia and China. We are paying a steep prive for this strategic oversight now. Again, if we don’t want to be a major power, we may not need to confront these nations. Americans and their leaders will need to make a decision on this very quickly. Do we want to be a major power?

    If we want to be a major power, we cannot afford to retreat every time Russia or others flex their muscles. While it is risky, we can do something about this but do we want to. If we act decisively and soon, it could be Russia who ends up in a much weaker position and we could end the situation much stronger.

  37. 37
    Delta Whiskey Papa Said:
    11:14 pm 

    “All we can do is pick up the pieces after this is over. The only sure thing is that Moscow will be in a much stronger position and we, a much weaker one.”

    All it would take to block the Russian attainment of its ultimate goals in Georgia is for the foreign ministries of the world to promptly demonstrate some courage and put their own into harm’s way. Each state should immediately send a deputy foreign minister and appropriate diplomatic staff to Tbilisi in preparation for an emergency international diplomatic peace conference to be attended by their foreign ministrs and the overnement of Georgia. A very small international peacekeeping contingent with representatives from many nations can then secure the venue for the international diplomatic conference. The peacekeepers may then be subsequently expanded from the airport in Tbilisi to increasingly relieve Russian forces of the responsibility for maintaining peace in the other areas beyond the immdeiate vicinity of Tbilisi, until normal order has been restored.

    If Russia fails to respect the inviobility of the international peacekeeping efforts and international tripwire at Tbilisi, there will then be other measures which may be and should be pursued….

  38. 38
    michael reynolds Said:
    2:56 am 

    We aren’t going to do anything. We can’t realistically do anything. Which is why Obama wants to take it to the UN: the UN is where you go when you know damned well nothing will be done.

    McCain’s bellicosity is ridiculous. Putin knows we won’t do anything. So all McCain is doing is blustering. He’s acting like a loudmouth blog commenter while wrapping himself in presidential stagecraft.

    If anyone has disqualified himself in this 3 am situation, it’s McCain.

  39. 39
    Nikolay Said:
    5:18 am 

    That’s right, you don’t see. You don’t see what you don’t want to see. Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have past and present associations with organizations and individuals whose funding were and are traceable all the way back to the former Soviet Union and present day beneficiaries of Russian governemental and political monies.

    Well, actually, the Democratic money man Republicans most like to hate, George Soros, is the guy who sponsored Rose Revolution that put Saakashvili into power (unfortunately, that seems not to be such a big credit).
    But anyway, what is the casual link between world going into the Kinda Frozen War state and American electorate wishing to vote for Obama?
    Oh, you are talking about behind-the-scene nefarious influence, about some secret schemes and the old leftist loyalty to the Russia, even though it’s a right-wing quasi-fascist state now? I’d like to know how the Knights Templars, International Jewish Cabal, Illuminati and Reptilian humanoids fit into the scheme, and how the Communistic influence forced Bill Clinton to humiliate Russia in Serbia.

  40. 40
    Michael B. Said:
    7:05 am 

    Rick, allowing tripe is one thing, racist jew-bashing another. I’m not Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, or any other religion, but I’m pretty offended by that bullshit, and it reflects poorly on your site. If I had a vote, I’d vote for an IP ban for racism.

    Unfortunately, at the moment I am unable to ban anyone since I can’t get into my WP C-Panel. But I have banned their comments and only allowed those above to set an example for any other Jew hater who shows up.


  41. 41
    The Lasso of Truth Trackbacked With:
    7:43 am 

    Old enemies and new war…

    More often than not, regional conflicts between old enemies involve so many menial complexities and subjective cultural influences that it makes them difficult to understand and follow. For this reason, I’d rather defer the analysis to those who have …

  42. 42
    funny man Said:
    1:52 pm 

    Rick, with the war now winding down, here is my take on this. However, I surely do not have a silver bullet on how to handle situations like this. So here it goes: this conflict had been simmering for a while and Russia did (does) not like Mikheil Saakashvili. However, here is where I disagree with Kagan: the Georgian side totally miscalculated this adventure and was hoping the West would back them when they attacked (and they first attacked). Russia saw their chance went in and will now be open for ‘negotiations’. You will see Saakashvili is finished cause Russia will demand talks only without him. BTW, we need Russia for our dealings with Teheran so nobody ever considered military actions against them (except some posters). In my opinion the West was outmaneuvered and all that Georgia joining NATO talk will have to wait until the very distant future. Do I have some sympathy for those little democracies? Sure, but they have to be realistic about their surroundings and don’t expect a Pax Americana for the whole world. Lastly, I agree with some posters that sometimes you have to stand up for your beliefs. This conflict wasn’t that occasion and please don’t constantly see ‘appeasement’ written on every wall. We didn’t have to fight the Soviet Union fortunately and we were able to ‘wait’ them out, remember?

    I’m afraid I agree with much of what you say. I think this is a case where everyone overreacted – including the Georgians who miscalculated the Russian response. This is not to blame them for the invasion but it showed poor statecraft on Shaashvili’s part.

    I am not so sure that the NATO membership isn’t going to be hurried along – especially in the case of the Ukraine who is really under the gun now. But we’ll see how bold NATO wants to play it with Putin. Could be they’ll just pack it in and let the whole region fall back into the Russian orbit.


  43. 43
    B.Poster Said:
    3:59 pm 

    I suppose if we let the whole region fall back into Russian dominance the Cold War was fought for nothing. I guess NATO is finished. Oh well, if there is a small plus to this, our troops that are in Europe will be coming home soon. I guess if small countries who are allied with us are pushed by larger countries to the point that they feel a need to respond and they can’t count on us to assist them they may conclude that it is pointless to be allied with the US at all. I guess if we are going to run scared every time Russia flexes its muscles we are finished as a major power. Maybe that is not so bad. The Russians and the Chinese may leave us alone if they don’t see us a threat to them. It appears we will soon know what the world with Russia and China as the dominant powers without the US to act as a counterweight will be like.

  44. 44
    michael reynolds Said:
    4:29 pm 


    Relax, dude. This is a black eye, not a severed artery.

  45. 45
    Mike O'Malley Said:
    6:46 pm 

    This issue is MEANINGLESS to North America and the USA and our citzenry. Totally and utterly meaningless.

    Sure, we backed Georgia and their leader screwed us by attacking first, but really this is of little importance. We have much bigger issues to focus on as a nation.

    Right-wingers and conservatives should listen to Pat Buchanan on this issue, not the Neocons who are tied to Israel which just so happened to have $1 billion invested with Georgia.

    Let Russia have their own Monroe Doctrine just like we do. Now that Russia is no longer Communist, but run by White Christians, it doesn’t make sense that we should be enemies. We should work on forging ties to another First World nation and make them an ally. I see that Neocons are hell bent on making Russia an enemy, I think Neocons fear that the USA and Russia and Europe might come together and screw up the Neocon dream to see us all disintegrate via immigration.

  46. 46
    B.Poster Said:
    8:22 pm 


    With all due respect I think you may be being overly optimistic. If the US and NATO choose to withdraw and allow the former Soviet Republics to fall back under Russain control what I wrote above is spot on. NATO is finished and, at best, the US is finished as a major power. At worst, the very survival of the country is in grave danger, however, we may be able to minimize the damage and limit this to a “black eye.” The only way to do this would be to fast track membership into NATO for Ukraine and other former Soviet Republics. At this point, we would have to convince them that we are serious and will not betray them. With these new NATO allies we might be able to establish a defensible perimeter against Russia. Of course Russia will not like this. Doing any thing that makes Russia unhappy is a very risky proposition.

    I think a better option would be to provide assistance to the Georgian resistance. If they are successful, we may just be able to give the Russians a black eye and turn this into a strategic defeat for them and a strategic victory for us. This is even more risky than fast tracking NATO membership for for former Soviet Republics. Of course virtually anything that is worth doing will entail a degree of risk. Generally the more worth while something is the more risks there are involved with it. The flip side is there are more opportunities with a risky propositon.

    IF NATO and the US are going to establish a defensible perimeter or if we are going to assist Georgian resistance fighters, the US and other NATO countries are going to have to vastly improve their military capabilities.

    If we fail here, this means we fought the Cold War for nothing. Of course maybe we no longer want to be a major power. If this is the case, perhaps Russia and China will not see us as a threat and they will leave us alone.

    I marvel at the timing of this. Russia picked a perfect opportunity to provoke Georgia and Georgia picked a very challenging time to respond to the provocation. With the US in the midst of an election season Mr. Putin knew that any kind of US response would be very difficult for them to muster. Had the US chosen to assist the Georgian military in a meaningful way other than with the occasional tough rhetoric the media would have been hysterical with rage against the United States for “escalating the conflict” or something to this effect. Such a situation would make the election prospects for politicians who supported tangible help for Georgian extremely problematic.

    Finally, we are not powerless to thwart Russian advances, however, it will be extremely difficult. Do nothing and we wasted everyone’s time by fighting the Cold War. The Cold War is back on. Will we rise to the challenge? Do we want to? Right now it seems like we don’t want to? If this remains the case, get ready for a world that is dominated by Russia and China. Is this desireable? I don’t think so but we will not know for sure unless it actually happens.

  47. 47
    Delta Whiskey Papa Said:
    10:21 pm 

    45Mike O’Malley Said:
    6:46 pm

    “This issue is MEANINGLESS to North America and the USA and our citzenry. Totally and utterly meaningless.”

    “Sure, we backed Georgia and their leader screwed us by attacking first, but really this is of little importance. We have much bigger issues to focus on as a nation.”

    Anyone who believes the issue of Liberty for our friends and allies around the world is “MEANINGLESS to North America and the USA” has failed to earn and maintain the right of liberty and freedom for themselves. All other issues of major concern are always dependent upon the prior existence and maintenance of peace, liberty, and freedom.

    Let’s put to rest once and for all this monstrous lie which claims “Georgia and their leader screwed us by attacking first.”

    The South Ossetian armed forces, who Russia claims as their own citizens, and the Russian armed forces attacked Georgia first. In fact, advance units of the Russian 58th Army had already begun covert operatiosn with the South Ossetian forces and killed Georgian civilians before Georgia’s advance into South Ossetia, Georgia’s secessionist district. Georgia reported the impending Russian invasion preparatons more than a week before it began, and Georgia appealed for help as the early covert Russian invasion operatiosn began days before the Georgian counteroffensive sent Georgian force into Sotuh Ossetia.

    Georgia responded to the invasion of the 58th Russian Army by advancing into South Ossetia for at least two reasons.

    First, it was well known that the South Ossetia seperatists would use the cover of the Russian invasion and consequent fog of war to “liquidate” or perform and “ethnic cleansing” of the remaining Georgian communities in South Ossetia. The South Ossetians have made no secret of their intentions to eliminate the Georgian communities in South Ossetia. The Georgian forces hoped to shield the Georgian communities from ethnic cleansing by the South Ossetians long enough to either gain protection from the international community or long enough for at least some of them to evacuate out of South Ossetia.

    Secondly, the only place a small force like Georgia’s could hope to temporarily block a major Russian ground invasion across the Caucasus Mountains and into the central plains of Georgia was the road junction for the only major road leading across those mountains to Russia. This road junction was in South Ossetia, so Georgia’s only hope of delaying the Russian invasion forces was to move into South Ossetia to the junction of the road networks at Tskhinvali.

    The Russian invason planners knew the Georgians would be forced to either stay south of the South Ossetian border, where its smaller forces would be quickly flanked, surrounded, and captured by the Russian 58th Army before they could withdraw behind the protections afforded by the Lesser Caucasus Mountains, or the Georgians would have to advance into South Ossetia to block the road exits from the Northern Caucasus Mountains. If the Russian invasion could be delayed long enough at Tskhinvali, Georgia stood some chance of denying the Russian invaders an opportunity to flank, surround, and capture the bulk of the Georgian army in the valley and plains around Gori before it could withdraw to stronger defensive positions in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains in defense of Tbilisi. The Russian invasion planners used this knowledge to plan their media propaganda campaign and diplomatic campaign for discrediting any Georgian defensive responses to the Russian invasion.

    Russia’s current propaganda is the same propaganda technique used by the Soviet Union/Russia for the invasions of Czechoslovakia 1968, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and Poland.

    So, please stop disseminating the lies which further victimize Georgia for attempting to defend itself against this premeditated and pre-planned invasion and despoilation of Georgia by Russia. Remember, the Russian 58th Army were able to arrive in major force at Tskhinvali within one day of the arrival of Georgian forces only because they had already massed in assembly areas along the border and crossed the Georgian border before the first Georgian soldier could cross into South Ossetia on the road to Tskhinvali. The Russians invaded first, and the Georgian advance into South Ossetia was a necessary and vital defensive response to that Russian invasion of Georgia.

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