Daily Archives: August 10, 2008

Special Extra — EDITORIAL: A New Low For Neo-Soviet Russia

EDITORIAL

A New Low for Neo-Soviet Russia

The Voice of America reports that “at the rare Sunday session of the [U.N. Security] council, called jointly by the United States and Georgia, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad questioned Russia’s motives in sending some 10,000 troops into South Ossetia in recent days to prevent Georgia from reasserting control over the Russian-backed breakaway region.”  VOA quotes Khalilzad:  “Russia has claimed that its military operations were intended to protect its peacekeepers and the civilian population in South Ossetia. Yet, its reaction goes far beyond any reasonable measures required to do so. Indeed, its escalation of the conflict has been the immediate cause of increased loss of innocent life and humanitarian suffering.” 

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Special Extra — Socor Explains the Georgia Outrage

Writing in the Jamestown Foundation’s Eurasia Daily Monitor (EDM), the brilliant Vladimir Socor explains how Russia provoked the Georgian military crisis, and why:

As anticipated (see EDM, July 11, August 4) Moscow has initiated an offensive military operation by proxy against Georgia in South Ossetia. Although the blow had been expected in upper Abkhazia and may yet materialize there, Russia shifted the direction of attack to the South Ossetian front.The brazen attacks during the night of August 7 to 8 in South Ossetia left Tbilisi with no choice but to respond. Continuing Georgian restraint would have resulted in irreparable human, territorial, and political losses. Moscow’s military and propaganda operation bears the hallmarks of its blitzkriegs in Transnistria in 1992 and Abkhazia in 1993. Georgia’s defensive response in South Ossetia since August 8 is legally within the country’s rights under international law and militarily commensurate with the attacks.

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August 11, 2008 — Contents

MONDAY AUGUST 11 CONTENTS

(1)  EDITORIAL: The Russian Carcinogen, Spreading

(2)  Russia Destroys its Relationship with the United States

(3)  Russia Bombs Civilians in Georgia Proper

(4)  A Clarion Call on Russia

(5)  The Russian Olympic Cheating Scandal Widens

(6)  Nazism and Sovietism were Just the Same

NOTE:  Russian forces have crossed the border from South Ossetia and invaded Georgia, seeking to conquer the city of Gori and “cut Georgia in half.” The New York Times reports: “The advance appeared to answer the question on which the conflict had been pivoting: Would Russia simply occupy the two separatist territories of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, or would it push into Georgia, raising the possibility of a full-scale invasion?”  As we report below, Russia has also bombed the outskirts of Tbilisi, the Georgian capital.  Vladimir Socor of the Jamestown Foundation explains how Russia provoked this conflict and what it hopes to gain from it.

NOTE:  La Russophobe is now publishing on WordPress and using Blogger as backup, reversing the prior status quo. Please update your bookmarks accordingly.  All new content on LR will appear here first.

EDITORIAL: The Russian Carcinogen, Spreading

EDITORIAL

THE Russian Carcinogen, Spreading

Two weeks ago Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez visited Russia and held a joint news conference with “president” Dmitri Medvedev, a transcript of which the Kremlin proudly posted on its website. The pair discussed a deal in which Venezulea would spend billions of dollars buying Russian weapons, and Chavez then promptly took delivery on a shipment of Russian-made warplanes. Soon after that he began issuing statements about using them to sink “gringo” ships from the United States. In Moscow, Chavez had stated that “if Russian military forces ever visited Venezuelan territory, they would be greeted ‘by flying colors, drum beats and songs, as this means the arrival of our allies with whom we share the same view on the world.'”

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Russia Destroys its Relations with the United States

Reuters reports that both U.S. presidential candidates have condemned Russia’s action in Georgia in the strongest terms, after the White House declared:  “If the disproportionate and dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues, this will have a significant long-term impact on U.S.-Russian relations.”

U.S. presidential candidates Barack Obama and John McCain stepped up their criticism of Russia’s military activity in Georgia on Saturday, calling for Moscow to withdraw its forces and the international community to facilitate peace talks. McCain, a Republican senator from Arizona who has made foreign policy and national security the centerpiece of his campaign, said he spoke to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili on Saturday, their second conversation since the crisis erupted. Obama, on vacation in Hawaii, said he had also spoken to Saakashvili and U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Russia and Georgia came into direct conflict after Tbilisi launched an offensive to regain control over the breakaway region of South Ossetia.

McCain, an outspoken critic of Moscow, said it was clear the situation in Georgia was dire. “Tensions and hostilities between Georgians and Ossetians are in no way justification for Russian troops crossing an internationally recognized border,” he said in a statement. “I again call on the government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.”

Obama called for direct talks among all sides and said the United States, the U.N. Security Council and other parties should try to help bring about a peaceful resolution. “I condemn Russia’s aggressive actions and reiterate my call for an immediate ceasefire,” Obama said in a statement. “Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia.”‘

 

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Russia Bombs Apartment Buildings in Georgia Proper

Russia Bombs Civilians in Gori

Russia Bombs Civilians in Gori

The New York Timesreports that Russian aircraft have bombed civilian targets, two apartment buildings, outside the breakaway region of South Ossetia, in Georgia proper.  Even the Russian side admits that at least 1,500 civilians have been killed, and Georgia claims to have shot down 10 Russian war planes flying over Georgian territory.

A Georgian man mourned a dead relative in the town of Gori

A Georgian man mourned a dead relative in the town of Gori

This act of barbarism by Russia must not stand. It is no different than Hitler or Stalin invading Eastern Europe. If we do not stand against it now today, we will face it again tomorrow, this time much closer to home.

Gori, Under Siege

Gori, Under Siege

Do you dare to imagine how Russia would have reacted if a foreign country had marched tanks and troops into Chechnya on the side of the rebels and then launched sorties against Russian cities like Krasnodar and Sochi in support of ousting the Russians?  Russia now deserves exactly that response.

Make no mistake, this is Vladmir Putin’s Waterloo, no differently than the incursions by Stalin and Hitler outside their borders were theirs.  Any moral ascendancy Russia had to demand a free hand in Chechnya was lost in Gori, Georgia, and the barbaric KGB regime in Moscow was finally, utterly exposed.

UPDATE #1:  President Bush has spoken out loud and clear:  “Georgia is a sovereign nation, and its territorial integrity must be respected. We have urged an immediate halt to the violence and a stand-down by all troops. We call for the end of the Russian bombings.”  Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin has left the Olympics and is taking charge of the assault on Georgia, clearing making a mockery of the so-called “Medvedev presidency.”  Putin is going to do in Georgia exactly what he condemned the U.S. for doing in Iraq, with the main difference being that the president of Georgia is a democratically elected leader who hasn’t been condemned by the world as the Iraqi dictator had been. Russia is utterly exposed by its actions, laid bare before they eyes of the world.

UPDATE #2: As if the Putin regime specifically wanted to make fools out of those Russophile idiots who claimed it was limiting its assault to the Ossetia region, the Associated Press now reports that Russia is bombing  the Georgian capital of Tbilisi and moving against Abkhazia, another breakaway republic which is totally uninvolved in the Ossetia action.  Reuters says a civilian airport was also hit outside Tbilisi.  This kind of crazy, self-destructive action is what you get when you have a government run by proud KGB spies with no opposition of any kind.  It’s what you got in the USSR.

NOTE:  For information about Georgia and its struggles with Russia, check out Georgia Daily and Georgia Times newspapers.

A Clarion Call on Russia

A brilliant editorial in the Washington Post:

THE OUTBREAK of fighting between Russia and the former Soviet republic of Georgia was sudden but not surprising. Conflict has been brewing between Moscow and its tiny, pro-Western neighbor for months. The flashpoints are two breakaway Georgian provinces, Abkhazia and South Ossetia — the latter being the scene of the latest fighting. The skirmishing and shelling around Georgian villages that prompted Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to launch an offensive against the South Ossetian capital, Tskhinvali, may or may not have been a deliberate Russian provocation, to which Russia’s tank and air assault was the inevitable follow-up.

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