August 12, 2008

Update: CNN is reporting that the truce has been broken. Not that Russia honored the first one anyway. Tanks are on the move. The Russia-Georgia conflict is getting worse.

Russia responded angrily to President Bush's harsh words this morning about their handling of the situation in the former Soviet republic of Georgia, where Russian and Georgian troops have been fighting since last week. "We understand that this current Georgian leadership is a special project of the United States, but one day the United States will have to choose between defending its prestige over a virtual project or real partnership which requires joint action," Lavrov said.

While the Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, was meeting at Meiendorf Castle with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, Lavrov minced no words in his criticism of Bush's remarks, calling it the work of "bad speech writers."

It looks like Bush has sent Condi Rice to play piano for Putin and look into his soul.

He announced that he will send Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Paris and then Tblisi to help negotiate the peace plan and to show the administration's "unwavering support" for the Georgian government.

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia and insists that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected," Bush said.

The pre-emptive doctrine via Bush and Cheney sure has been expanded in this instance.

Johanna Neuman takes a look at Condi also:

Russia is pounding Georgia, a small democratic country that depends on the United States for moral support. But Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a former Stanford professor specializing on the Soviet Union, is oddly absent from public view.

Rice went to Tbilisi, Georgia, in July, trying to calm the situation, seen here with President Mikheil Saakashvili at a press conference after their talks. Publicly, she talked about Georgia's "territorial integrity." State Department officials said she privately warned the Georgians not to provoke Russia.

But critics told the Wall Street Journal that Rice may not have responded quickly to Russia's muscle-flexing on Georgia's border because she has been focused elsewhere -- preoccupied with Iraq, Iran and the Arab-Israeli conflict -- and delegated the Soviet account to more junior on

McCain is getting a lot of face time on CNN---trying to milk this for all it's worth. And where is Obama?

And Marcy Wheeler notes:

Me, I agree with Jeff Stein, this is spin, presumably designed to excuse American impotence in the face of Russia's aggression.

A "surprise." My, oh, my.Except I don't believe it. As easy as it is to believe that the CIA, etc., blew another huge event, I find it impossible to accept that not one of the 127 Pentagon advisors in Georgia, including Special Forces and intelligence contractors, were clueless about Tblisi's intent -- and preparations -- to move into South Ossetia.That just doesn't pass the laugh test.On July 15, for starters, amid rising tension between Moscow and Tblisi over South Ossetia, some 1,200 U.S. troops launched a three-week long joint military exercise with Georgian troops. Three weeks later, on the night of Aug. 7, "coinciding with the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Georgian President Saakashvili ordered an all-out military attack on Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia."It is simply inconceivable that the Pentagon wasn't wired to the helmets of Georgian troops, despite the denials of U.S. military officials.

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