WEDNESDAY AUGUST 13 CONTENTS
(1) EDITORIAL: Psycho Russia, Qu’est-ce que c’est?
(2) Golts on the Georgia Atrocities
(3) The Kremlin’s Slavemaster Mentality
(4) Photographs from Russia’s Murderous Rampage in Gori
(5) Russia has Caused a Refugee Crisis
(6) We Must Stop Russia
(7) Cyber Attacks on Georgia Preceded the Conflict
NOTE: It is reported that President Bush intends to make a Rose Garden speech on the Georgia conflict at 5 pm EST today.
NOTE: Russia is not exactly setting the world on fire at the Olympiad. A pathetic two gold and nine total medals leaves it a lowly 6th place in the medal count so far. The U.S. leads all nations in the medal count and host China leads in gold medals. Both are leaving Russia in their dust, each with twice as many total medals as Russia.
Psycho Russia, Qu’est-ce que c’est?
There is no imaginable excuse for Russia’s invasion of Georgia. After pounding both civilian and military targets with strategic bombers and missiles, Russian armored vehicles rolled into Georgia on Monday, raising fears of an all-out assault on the capital and Mr. Saakashvili’s democratically elected government. Moscow claims it is merely defending the rights of ethnic minorities in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which have been trying to break from Georgia since the early 1990s. But its ambitions go far beyond that. Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (who has shouldered aside Russia’s new president, Dmitri Medvedev, to run the war) appears determined to reimpose by force and intimidation as much of the old Soviet sphere of influence as he can get away with. The United States and Europe also need to take a hard look at their relationship with Russia going forward. Neither has protested loudly or persuasively enough as Mr. Putin has used Russia’s oil and gas wealth to blackmail its neighbors, throttled Russia’s free press and harassed and imprisoned opponents. There can be no business as usual until Russian troops are out of Georgia, fighting has ended and all sides have agreed on a plan for calming the tensions in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. At a minimum, that means international mediation, more autonomy for both regions and the stationing of truly neutral international peacekeepers — not Russian troops.
— Editorial, New York Times, August 12th
Yet another major American newspaper has weighed in against Russia, showing the utter failure of the Putin administration in the eyes of the entire world, but there is both great truth and great irony in the words of the New York Times. Every word the paper has written is perfectly true, and yet the paper itself played a not insignificant role in helping the West to underestimate the dangers posed by Vladimir Putin’s KGB government and inducing its limp response from the moment he first took power.
Writing in the Moscow Times defense expert (and Yezhedevny Zhurnal deputy editor) Alexander Golts explains how Russia’s government is obsessed with the past:
The thinking in the Kremlin matches the realpolitik of the 19th century. Moscow’s leaders view the relationships between states as an endless conflict in which a few weaker “pawns” can unite to stand up to a stronger opponent and in turn place the enemy’s “king” in a difficult position. According to the rules of realpolitik, tiny Georgia with its separatist regions provided a perfect way for Moscow to carry out a series of manipulations aimed at the United States and the West.
Writing in the Moscow Times Jonathan Kulick, director of studies at the Georgian Foundation for Strategic and International Studies in Tbilisi, explains that mighty Russia is terrified of tiny Georgia having any real identity or freedom apart from Russia:
After a weekend of heavy fighting in South Ossetia, accusations have been flying as to who did what to whom and when. The exact details still remain opaque. Probity aside, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s wisdom in seeking to restore Georgian control over South Ossetia awaits judgment, but Russia surprised few in responding in force to the escalation of the conflict. It should be little consolation to the people of South Ossetia that this war is not about them. For all intents and purposes, Russia had already annexed South Ossetia — not out of brotherly love for a small Caucasus nation, but as an instrument to control Georgia. The invasion is not a rescue mission or a restoration of a chimerical South Ossetian sovereignty.
By e-mail a Georgian reader transmits the following photographs of the brutal carnage inflicted on innocent civilians by Russia’s barbarous thugs in the city of Gori, far outside the killing zone in Ossetia. Make no mistake; these Georgian civilians have been intentionally targeted by the KGB regime of Vladimir Putin, punished for daring to desire to live in a free and independent Georgia. Our source reports that there are still casualties today, that bombing is still underway in Gori.
The Age reports:
RUSSIAN forces divided Georgia into two yesterday before halting the military incursion – leaving George Bush head to head with Vladimir Putin, who has asserted his control over Russia and his own President. Last night Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that the military operation had ceased, just as French President Nicolas Sarkozy flew to Moscow for peace talks and the United Nations estimated that there were more than 100,000 refugees as a result of the conflict.
Writing in the News & Observer David S. Siroky, a Ph.D. candidate in political science at Duke University who left Georgia at the end of July after researching the secessionist conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, says “we must thwart Russia.”
Levan, a gregarious Georgian wrestling champion cum grocery security guard, always asked me the same questions, although he knew the answers: “First time in Georgia? How long will you stay?” Before I could reply, he would interrupt — “That’s too long … Russia will invade any day.”