Russia And Georgia Hostilities Escalate Dramatically

Cheney being Cheney (left) & Russian and Georgian athletes embrace after winning Olympic medals Sunday in Beijing (right). [media id=6032] [me

Cheney being Cheney (left) & Russian and Georgian athletes embrace after winning Olympic medals Sunday in Beijing (right).

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On Sunday the situation in Georgia went from bad to worse. Russia rejected Georgia's call for a ceasefire, and instead demanded Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili step down. Russian troops pushed past South Ossetia into central Georgia and bombers struck targets in the capital, Tbilisi. To help with the fighting, Georgia has begun a full withdrawal of the 2,000 troops it had stationed in Iraq. The implications of that withdrawal don't bode well for the situation in Iraq.

Meanwhile, on our side of the pond, both presidential candidates have called for an end to the hostilities, but John McCain has ceded any moral authority to even weigh in on the issue as long as his top foreign policy adviser with lobbying ties to the Georgian government, Randy Scheunemann, remains with his campaign. U.S. "diplomats have conceded that there are few options for dealing what President George W Bush has branded a 'dangerous escalation'" but of course that didn't stop warhawk Cheney from talking tough:

"Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community,"

If any of this has left anyone confused, thankfully the NYT's James Traub has a very good rundown on how this all managed to unfold so far.


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