Monday, August 11, 2008

Russia, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and - Iraq?!

There's an even closer connection between Russian planes bombing a neighbor's capital and the War on Terror than I suggested in yesterday's post. Georgia is pulling the 2,000 troops it has in Iraq back home ("Georgia begins pulling forces out of Iraq: US military" AFP (August 10, 2008)).

It doesn't seem likely that Russia would invade Georgia, just to get 2,000 troops pulled out of Iraq. On the other hand, it isn't wildly unreasonable to think that Iran's Ayatollahs prefer less military strength in Iraq: and Russia has been quite helpful with Iran's nuclear program. On the other hand, Russia's 'peacekeeping' efforts in Georgia look more like an old fashioned land grab, than a Byzantine effort to weaken Iraq's defenses.

Georgia vs. Russia: Putting Proportion in Perspective

Something I don't think is obvious from many news articles is how big a threat Georgia is facing.

Americans might find this comparison helpful: Georgia's population is about the same as Chihuahua, the Mexican state.

Now, a very hypothetical situation: Imagine Chihuahua as an independent country, with American forces occupying Juárez, bombs dropping on the city of Chihuahua, and more American troops and tanks massing in Texas and New Mexico. How much of a chance would Chihuahua have?

That's a wild flight of the imagination.

The bombs falling on Tbilisi are very real. So are the Russian tanks and troops already in Georgia.

I'm glad to see that there's something of a fuss being made at the United Nations. I hope that this isn't going to be a sort of replay of the 1968 "Prague Spring," that ended with Soviet tanks, troops, and bullets.

Russia, Georgia, Abkhazia, South Ossetia: Where Are These Places?!

Most Americans, I hope, know where Russia is: at least in general terms.

Georgia, the one on the Black Sea, not the east coast American state, probably isn't as well-known.

As for Abkhazia and South Ossetia: I'm pretty sure that most people outside Georgia don't know any more about them, than they do about Todd County and Douglas County, in Minnesota.

This map may help:

(From FOXNews, used without permission.)

Background on Georgia: "GEORGIA" (Encyclopedia of the Nations: Europe).

More, in the news:


The Mad Dog said...

We're headed for the eve of destruction.

Winter Patriot said...

Please get a grip - fast!

Georgia invaded, not Russia.

Georgia has rejected a UN-sponsored cease-fire attempt, because it was unwilling to "renounce the use of force". The Russians were ok with that draft agreement.

Can you please stop spewing corporate talking points for a moment and find out what actually happened?

Reading real journalism rather than the CNN would be a good start.

Brian H. Gill said...

The Mad Celt,

You could be right, but I've been hearing that for over forty years now.

The American fundamentalists generally have the end of the world happening about three to eight years from 'now' - at least from what I remember.

And, of course, each day we're closer to the time when the sun uses up its hydrogen.

As for whether the Georgia-Russia fiasco will grow: maybe it will.

Or, maybe not.

Brian H. Gill said...


Please: as I commented before, this blog is in English.

My guess is that your megacomment is in Persian: which quite a few readers here don't understand.

You may have something to say, but very few people here are likely to understand you.

Brian H. Gill said...

Winter Patriot,

I have gotten a grip.

I do use more than CNN as a source - which should be obvious by the citations at the bottom of the post.

And, although Georgia certainly is not angelically perfect, Russia's efforts to bring 'peace' to Georgia and those two northern provinces are of debatable virtue.

Would you be as swift to defend those bringing 'peace,' if it was America bringing peace to Chihuahua?

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Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.