Saturday, August 9, 2008

Russia, Georgia Clash Over Breakaway Province

One of W Bush's bold moves is being challenged: he has called Georgia a beacon of freedom, and it, in turn, has sought to join NATO.

Sandwiched between Russia and Georgia, South Ossetia has a population of just 70,000. The pro-Russian region first sought to break from Georgia in the early 1990s in the tumult that followed the dissolution of the Soviet Union.

What will Bush do in response?

Russia and U.S. ally Georgia were on the brink of war Friday after Moscow sent troops and tanks into Georgia's breakaway province of South Ossetia, in a dangerous escalation of a long-simmering conflict in the strategically important Caucasus.

Georgia is right under Russia's southern border; to encourage it to join NATO is absurd, part of the Bush-Cheney arrogance.

In Tbilisi, the Georgian capital, President Mikhail Saakashvili said he was preparing to declare marshal law and that his country was under attack. "We have Russian tanks moving in," he told national television, ordering troops to mobilize. In a series of international TV interviews, he said the conflict was a struggle between the Western values he espouses and Russian aggression.

Marshal law? Is that General Marshal, or another marshal? Oy.

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