Saturday, August 09, 2008

Russia v Georgia "The First Casualty"

As far as wars are concerned, it usually pays to be pretty sceptical, as American Senator Hiram Johnson said in 1917 : "The first casualty when war comes is truth".

However, with regard to the Russian-Georgian conflict that has turned hot over the past few days, the truth is actually quite clear. Russian troops are fighting inside territory that Russia, along with the international community, recognises as Georgia. The attack by Russian planes, now confirmed, against the Georgian city of Poti, is an attack by the Russian Air Force against Georgia directly.

Russia has attacked Georgia- not the other way round.

This is simply the latest act from the Kremlin that defies international law.

I have noted in the past the massive strategic significance of Georgia to the energy pipelines from Central Asia to the West, and while the West may be unclear about how important such a small country is, Russia has never forgotten and finds the Euro-Atlantic stance of the Tbilisi government intensely annoying.

However the fact is that Russia has simply gone too far.

Moscow must be told that they have crossed the limits of international patience. The international community must now act to contain the Kremlin and stop the belief that it may continue to choose to act beyond Russia's borders with impunity

Incidentally, Mary Dejevsky has certainly crossed the limits of my patience this morning in the The Independent- the idea of Russian military weakness looks pretty stupid to the people of Poti who witnessed this mornings attack, and the civil servants in Tbilisi who have been asked to evacuate their ministry buildings. Dejevsky's latest parroting of the Kremlin line is frankly contemptible.


Anonymous said...

But isn't it the case the Georgia has invaded South Ossetia which wishes to be independent of Georgia? It may not be an internationally recognised state but Russia must surely be able to refer to NATO's action in Kosovo as a precendent?

Cicero said...

In 1939, Germany claimed tht Polish troops had attacked Germans in Gliwice. These so-called attacks are not exactly to Georgian advantage, so I think we should reserve judgement as whether they took place or not. In any event, the Rusian attacks on Poi and Gori are a clear act of war, way beyond what is going on in South Ossetia (Alania).

Catalinus said...

From the BBC:
"...But the secretary of the Georgian National Security Council, Khakha Lomaia, insisted that the city remained "under the complete control of our troops".

Tskhinvali, where inhabitants are said to be sheltering in basements without electricity or phone lines, is reported to be devastated. The International Red Cross (ICRC) said it had received reports that hospitals in the city were "overflowing" with casualties. "

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