I had thought that the U.S. was sort of out of options as far as confronting the resurgent Russian Bear as it mauled Joe Stalin’s old stomping grounds. But I had not thought of this: Sending U.S. troops in with humanitarian aid, a sort of latter-day Berlin Airlift, if you will.
This accomplishes a couple of things: It applies soft power in a way that also puts the U.S. military smack in the middle of the confrontation, thereby drawing a line in the sand. It’s an approach that combines subtlety with bravado. With statements such as this from Bush:
We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit…
The U.S. both establishes itself as the nice guy, but also, in the words of Huck Finn, "dares them to come on."
I don’t know, but this may be the right approach. What do you make of it?
I call it a very smart way of getting US troops on the ground and USN ships in the Black Sea.
And it provides credible witnesses if/when Russia breaks her word again.
How many American troops are you willing to sacrifice to protect Georgia?
If conditions escalate, which current front are you willing to pull troops from?
How many “democracies in diapers” do you think the United States is obligated to defend?
I’m all for humanitarian aid. Why don’t we send aid to the folks who were disrupted by the initial Georgian crackdown on the people of the breakaway provinces. You’re either for humanitarian aid or you’re against it.
Nice move, bud. Why is Vlad your man? (Gotta love Peters, “A CZAR IS BORN” is inspired.)
I understand that you’re a moral-equivalence kind of guy, but even the Washington Post sees a difference and finds the blame-the-victim argument odious.
Georgia knew it was screwed two years ago. EU High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy Javier Solana told them so, that that was too bad, but that the Europeans were not going to help them. At least Sarkozy is lending some moral support, along with the next in line: Poland, Ukraine, and the Baltic states.
So go ahead, back the strong horse. Principles are overrated and your principal is proving it.
The bigger concern here is one of lost opportunity. With the U.S. occupying the moral high ground after 9-11 we could have led the world in searching for solutions to land disputes throughout the world. Instead we embarked on this vigilante style approach to foreign policy (Iraq) and, worse, a push for an in-your-face expansion of NATO. The Soviets, a paranoid sort thanks to multiple invasions by foreigners, began to view the imperialistic Americans with alarm. Did we try anything to ease their fears? No. Instead we pushed hard for expanding NATO and basing missiles in Eastern Europe.
It’s a shame that those who support imperialism by the overbearing Bush company cannot grasp the fact that the world has changed since the Cold War era and that folks who happen to look or speak a bit differently than us are not our enemy. Now it appears the Russians are embarking on an ambitious plan to build aircraft carriers and upgrade their submarine fleet.
Had we been less belicose in words and deeds the Russians may have felt less threatened. As it is they feel cornered. Just like the various empires of the past the American empire is struggling to accept the changing world. With oil at the center of the ongoing power struggles throughout the world America can no longer count on military bravado to make everything all right. Oil is the new power player on the block and the U.S. is running short on that. Too bad the Clinton era of diplomatic solutions is past. Hopefully President Obama can turn the situation around. And it can’t come soon enough.
I can’t believe how dumb some of you people are. Russia is a bully, has always been a bully, and will always be a bully. And there’s only one way to treat a bully, you do to him what he does to you, or your friends.
I don’t know the exact count, but if the USA wanted to rule and control the world; as of a few years ago the USA had over 12,000 nuclear weapons that could lay waist to the entire planet. And anybody that feels threatened or thinks anyone in the USA would want to do that is an idiot.
Russia is run by the KGB. What do you expect from them?
Yes, bud, the world certainly is different than it was during the Cold War Era. Now, those people who “look and speak a little differently than us” fly planes into our skyscrapers and call us “the Great Satan,” just like they did during the Cold War Era (without flying the planes into our buildings).
Still, the world is divided into nation states, some nations remain aggressive, some nations are newly aggressive, and the UN remains a useless welfare state.
“We are the world” and “I am a citizen of the world” are fantasies. We have much to protect, and others would steal it, not matter how many babies Brad and Angelina have elsewhere.
I think it’s worth noting at this juncture that the guy in charge of national security and foreign affairs, one George W. Bush, the man on whose watch all this newfound beligerance has erupted. We had runup to the 9-11 fiasco while W played cowboy on his ranch. Then he read My Pet Goat while the WTC burned. The Iranians are in development of nuclear weapons. The whole Iraq debacle came about while W lied to us about WMD. Now the lights have gone out in Georgia. Sad state of affairs.
To suggest this man is anything but the worst president in history is simply to ignore the facts. George W. Bush is simply not fit to run a dog pound let alone the United States government. Thanks to the fawning idiots in the MSM we’ve had to suffer for 8 long years with his incompetence. Bring me the guy who invented the internet any day.
The 9/11 attacks were put in place while Clinton was in office, to finish the 1993 bombing, for which Osama Bin Laden was indicted, but Clinton refused to arrest him or kill him when offered the chances to do so.
Bin Laden and other Al Qaeda leaders said that they were emboldened by the cowardice of Clinton in Somalia and after the bombing of the USS Cole.