Saturday, August 16, 2008

August 12, 2008

     So the big guy has finished beating up on the little guy, he says, though the little guy insists he's still feeling blows.  And there may be some lessons in this for the other little guys in that particular 'hood.
     Moscow started this one, according to New York Times op ed piece by Svante Cornell, the research director of an institute at Johns Hopkins which studies the region.  Russia, he writes, has been messing in the region for years, giving Russian passports to its citizens, and so on, building up forces along the border.  Russia can talk about support for separatists in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but that's pretty silly given the number of Checheans Russia has killed in recent decades.
     What this seems to be about is teaching the little guys in the region a lesson--don't mess with Moscow.  Georgia had been thinking about joining NATO.  Now other countries in the region, like Ukraine and Kazakhstan, will surely be saying to themselves, 'Gee, that's a really bad idea.'  I mean, if Georgia had been a NATO member, does anyone think tanks would now be rumbling through Germany, enroute to Russia?  Surely not.  The message here is, cozy up to the big guy and do what he says.
     Otherwise, just look at how many of your people might die.  It's power politics, pure and simple, an old-fashioned game played under old-fashioned rules.

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