Tag Archive for ‘Putin’
“There have been times when they slip back into Cold War thinking,” said President Obama in his tutorial with Jay Leno. And to show the Russians that such Cold War thinking is antiquated, Obama canceled his September summit with Vladimir Putin. The reason: Putin’s grant of asylum to Edward Snowden, who showed up at the Moscow airport, his computers full of secrets that our National Security Agency has been thieving from every country on earth, including Russia.
It would be equally interesting to imagine the reaction of McCain et al. if Russia routinely resorted to the arrest of American citizens in third countries—Belarus or Kazakhstan, say—and their extradition to Moscow for trial on various charges. That is exactly what the U.S. is doing to Russians.
Last night’s shoot-out in Boston must have brought as much joy to the Kremlin as it has dampened the spirits of the White House. Thrilled with the announcement that the primary suspects in the Boston Marathon Massacre were white, anti-American leftists were hoping for the big score, another Tim McVeigh to prove that Tea Partiers and Militiamen are violent terrorists.
Had Georgia been in NATO when Mikheil Saakashvili invaded South Ossetia, we would be eyeball to eyeball with Russia, facing war in the Caucasus, where Moscow’s superiority is as great as U.S. superiority in the Caribbean during the Cuban missile crisis.
If the Russia-Georgia war proves nothing else, it is the insanity of giving erratic hotheads in volatile nations the power to drag the United States into war.
As of Saturday, 16 August, both the Russian and Georgian sides of the conflict over the “unrecognized republics” of South Ossetia and Abkhazia had signed a six-point cease-fire agreement stipulating that Georgian forces must move back to their bases, while Russian troops are supposed to draw back to pre-conflict positions. The agreement does, however, leave the Russians some room to take additional “security measures” and reports continue to come in of Russian troops moving closer to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. Russian forces have been destroying Georgian military installations and equipment as well.
A week after Georgia’s failed attempt to conquer the breakaway province of South Ossetia, the crisis is over. The only major issue still unresolved concerns Mikheil Saakashvili’s motivation. His order to attack on the night of August 7-8 was a breathtakingly risky move; but was it a calculated, or reckless gamble? That Saakashvili acted with the tacit approval (if not active encouragement) of the United States is reasonable to assume, considering the presence of over a hundred U.S. military advisors in Georgia. Actively involved at all levels of planning, training and equipping the Georgian army, they could not have not known what was coming. Had the Bush administration wanted to stop Saakashvili it could have done so.
The War on Terror and the Bush administration’s impending war on Iraq gave Moscow a chance to use its relationship with Baghdad to try to secure Russian influence there after the fall of Hussein and to reestablish itself as a force in the region.