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Thread: U.S. mistakes don't excuse Russia's attack

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Default U.S. mistakes don't excuse Russia's attack

    I've received a lot of angry e-mail about my last column, which harshly criticized Russia for invading Georgia.

    Many of the writers argue the Bush administration has no "moral authority" to condemn Russia because we invaded Iraq. One wrote: "We lost our moral high ground and set a precedent that invites any country on Earth to do exactly the same thing." Some also ask why we don't support South Ossetia's independence when we did support Kosovo's.

    Some writers also believe that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili "started" the crisis by "invading" South Ossetia. Or they contend that the White House put the Georgian leader up to his attack.

    I want to respond to these e-mails, which reflect a widespread and understandable confusion about the Georgian crisis. This crisis represents a turning point in U.S. and European relations with Russia, and it's important for Americans to understand the issues at stake.

    First, the moral issue. No matter what mistakes Bush made in Iraq, they don't excuse Russia's brutal behavior in Georgia or toward its other neighbors, behavior that began long before Bush took office. America's "moral standing" is irrelevant in judging Russia's actions.

    I opposed Bush's broad doctrine of preemption - the right to invade another nation on the assumption that it might threaten us sometime in the future, even if it poses no threat in the short term. I also criticized Bush policy on Iraq. But there is no parallel between the cases of Iraq and Georgia.

    Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant under U.N. sanction for invading Kuwait and using weapons of mass destruction against his own people (not to mention against neighboring Iran). He was a continuing threat to his neighbors. Saakashvili may have acted rashly, and he may have flaws as a leader, but he's the elected president of a tiny nation next to a giant nuclear power.

    As for Kosovo, I believe it was a mistake, in principle, for the United States and Europe to recognize the independence of this breakaway region of Serbia. Given the number of ethnic ink spots within European and other states, I thought this endorsement was an invitation to more civil wars. This move infuriated Vladimir Putin, an ally of the Serbs, who made clear he would retaliate.

    Now, however, Russia presents itself as a champion of Ossetian self-determination. That's absurd. Russia has brutally repressed separatist movements inside its territory, particularly in Chechnya, where Russian artillery and bombs have killed untold thousands of civilians.

    Equally off-base are Russian charges that Georgia indulged in "ethnic cleansing" of South Ossetia. (No evidence has emerged to back up Moscow's claim that Georgian troops killed 2,000 Ossetians; a Human Rights Watch report indicated the number is probably under 100.)

    Yes, Saakashvili sent troops into South Ossetia, but this followed a decade of Russian provocations and military occupation of the enclave. Moscow used the enclave as a weapon against Georgia.

    Putin has been clear about wanting to restore the Kremlin's former empire, calling the Soviet breakup the "greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century."

    Given what has happened to Georgia, other former Soviet Republics now have good reason to worry. Putin has threatened to target Russia's nuclear weapons against Ukraine if that country continues efforts to join NATO (and a Russian general just warned that Poland could face attack over a missile-defense deal with Washington).

    Russia has cut gasoline supplies to Ukraine and waged cyberwar against Baltic states. Ukraine's President Viktor Yushchenko believes Moscow was behind an assassination attempt by poison that nearly killed him. Etc. Etc.

    So it doesn't matter who "started" the crisis in Georgia. It has little to do with Ossetian rights and everything to do with Putin's drive to restore Russian power. Had Saakashvili not sent troops into Ossetia, Russia would have found another excuse to attack.

    Despite a cease-fire, and despite the Russians' denials, their troops remain in force outside South Ossetia, dividing Georgia in half. The Kremlin will no doubt try to force Saakashvili to resign in favor of a pro-Moscow puppet.

    The West is in no position to, nor should it, wage war over Georgia or invite Tbilisi to join NATO. But it is crucial for Western republics to understand whom they are dealing with in Moscow. Iraq angst should not blur the picture.

    Russia is entitled to a sphere of influence built by diplomacy and economic ties, but Putin is aiming at something more sinister. The next U.S. president will need to devise a united policy with Europe to confront a Russia indifferent to European norms.

    RealClearPolitics - Articles - There's No Excusing Russia's Attack
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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant under U.N. sanction for invading Kuwait and using weapons of mass destruction against his own people (not to mention against neighboring Iran). He was a continuing threat to his neighbors. Saakashvili may have acted rashly, and he may have flaws as a leader, but he's the elected president of a tiny nation next to a giant nuclear power.
    Erroneous.

    He gassed the Kurds to the north with US supplied chemical weapons, and then launched a war against Iran using US supplied armaments. The US was Saddam's best buddy in the 80's and used him as a check against fiercely anti-american Iran (thanks to the revolution).

    So the whitewashing of that is utter bullshit. The US created Saddam. SO much for being "real clear" politics.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    He was under the UN sanctions from 1990 until 2003, so the statement is not erroneous. The chemical weapons came from West German companies (this is very well documented).

    The Iraqi's were also supplied with armaments during the Iran/Iraq war by Great Britain, France, The Soviet Union, and West Germany again- not just the US- a reality so many America haters forget. The US also supplied the Iranians with arms and satellite intelligence during the war.

    You're right that the US helped create Saddam...His party was placed in power by JFK's government.

    Yes, the US used him against Iran...but that's world politics. The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It's always been that way, and it's hardly a technique only used by the US.

    And as the article is an explanation that despite the US being wrong in the current Iraq war, that still does not justify Russia's actions.

    I get the impression from some Bush haters that this Russia/Georgia war is ok because Bush is an asshole, and I just don't get the logic. Two wrongs make a right? WTF? I'm sure it's a comfort to the people being killed.

    Should the world do nothing in any future conflicts because Bush was wrong in 2003? Did all world involvement in conflict stop because Japan illegaly invaded China in 1937?
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; August 18th, 2008 at 03:01 PM. Reason: spelling
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    Elite Member kingcap72's Avatar
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    Bush doesn't have the moral authority to blast Russia when he illegally invaded Iraq to steal their oil. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't condemn Russia, since he is still unfortunately the lame duck President, but that doesn't mean his words will have any weight.

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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    No, it's not ok that Russia invaded Georgia.

    It's also NOT OK for Bush to condemn Russia for something he did himself. Hypocrisy is wrong.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    No, it's not ok that Russia invaded Georgia.

    It's also NOT OK for Bush to condemn Russia for something he did himself. Hypocrisy is wrong.

    of course it's not ok for Bush to condemn this...But Bush is not all of America, and he's not all of the world either.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    Who said he was? I just said HE was wrong. He's also a practical illiterate, legacy failure, daddy's boy, boozer cokehead fratboy retard.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    Bush is currently The President of The United States of America; and he sort of speaks for Americans and I would like to see him shut the fuck up.
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grimmlok View Post
    Who said he was? I just said HE was wrong. He's also a practical illiterate, legacy failure, daddy's boy, boozer cokehead fratboy retard.
    Yeah yeah, he's an idiot, but for the last 8 years he has gotten everything he wanted.......

    So what does that say about the Democrats in congress......
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


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  10. #10
    Elite Member Grimmlok's Avatar
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    They have no spine. That doesn''t excuse Bush. They have no bearing on how much of an idiot he is.
    I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.

  11. #11
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    No they just give in..... it's called 'Enabling'...

    Because without their permission he couldn't have done these things.....Like the war, you need Congress for those little things

    They're to blame as well...even more so because if he's an idiot he has an excuse...what's theirs?
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

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