Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Georgia - where’s the rest of the West?

There’s lots of finger pointing but one thing is clear, dictator Vladimir Putin’s powerful Russia is ruthlessly attacking its tiny democratic neighbor, Georgia. As Glenn Beck put it, "it’s like the US military attacking Martha’s Vinyard". Given the enormity of the situation the MSM , with some exceptions, is giving it relatively light coverage. CTV’s Lloyd Robertson skimmed the story last night ending with an observation that "the Bear’s back" and a smiley-faced "fascinating". OK, I know the Beijing Olympics are on but - good grief!

Georgia has been an enthusiastic ally of the USA even contributing some 2000 combat troops in Iraq. The USA has been a strong sponsor of Georgia’s entry into NATO. With its democratic transformation, the cleanup of its corrupt police and civil service, its strongly free market economy ... Georgia is a natural for admission to the European Union and NATO.

So, in rough order of significance: Where’s GWB’s America? Where’s NATO? Where’s Europe? Where’s the UN? Where’s the "peace" movement?

Of this list only the last two are truly measuring up to expectations. The useless UN remains useless and the "peace" movement’s only anti-war stance is anti-American.

But when will America, NATO and Europe step up and smack Putin down? Military backing for Georgia and the immediate expulsion of Russia from the G8 along with other trade sanctions might be a good start. Maybe today.


Anonymous said...

The rest of the west is in the same place as they are on Afghanistan...let the U.S., Canada, and the Brits take the casualties while we hold back our troops and equipment. These clowns in NATO will back you all the way...or until your nose bleeds. Then they'll gladly hand you back your coat that they have been holding for you while you do the fighting.

Wally Keeler said...

What value does Georgia have, that I should risk the life of my Canadian son to defend it?

JR said...

Wally, Two things:

(1)The resurgence of Russia as a hostile, ruthless aggressor threatens not only the liberty of Georgians but all of post-Soviet Eastern Europe and in the longer run the security of the entire free world.

(2)I don't think anyone is asking you to risk your son's life since, for one thing, his life isn't yours to risk.

Wally Keeler said...

Contrary to your assertion that my son's life isn't mine to risk, I do have influence in the circumstances that may manifest a greater risk to his life as well as the lives of other Canadian youths.

Is Canada under imminent threat? If it is, then I have no problem supporting military action.

The liberty of Georgians is of no concern to me insofar as defending them with the military force of Canada (such as it is) or NATO.

Furthermore, I oppose Georgia joining NATO because it would dilute NATO's power. Georgia is not an entrenched democracy and appears to have a democratically elected leadershit that is reckless. NATO and/or the West does not need such hair-trigger members.

JR said...

You’re entitled to your opinion and to whatever influence you can bring to bear. It’s a free country. Your son and other Canadians are likewise free to disagree with you and make their own decisions about what risks are worth taking.

Anyone who values liberty should be concerned when others’ liberty is directly attacked by aggressive autocrats. Maybe you’ve noticed that Putin and his puppet Medvedev have also threatened to “crush” their other neighbours if they don’t behave.

As for the Georgian President being trigger happy it seems you might be buying into Russian propaganda. Attempting to defend your own territory from Russian backed separatists and insurgents is legitimate. Though the Georgians obviously misread the Russians’ propensity for ruthless brutality.

Perhaps if Georgia had already been admitted to NATO, Putin would have behaved less barbarically. This whole episode underlines the necessity for the West, especially the Western Europeans, to find some spine and get strongly behind their Eastern European cousins’ newfound liberty. A good start would be the immediate admission of all Eastern European countries to NATO.

You seem to prefer to blame the victim here. Where’s your condemnation for Russia’s ruthlessly uncivilized behaviour?