Monday, August 11, 2008

Territorial Integrity

Rather than listen to any American talk about the current events in Georgia and the notion of Georgia's territorial integrity, whether the bellicose Rs, the always careful "D"s, or any talking head from any media outlet, it seems wise to actually listen to someone who actually might know something about the situation.

In this case, here is a small piece from Dmitri Orlov from his Club Orlov blog:

"And this brings us to the current conflict, which he started. It is unclear why he (Mikhail Saakashvili) decided to start it, but then his American education might offer a clue: the US doesn't seem to need good reasons to start wars either.

It may be difficult for some people to grasp why it is that the Abkhaz or the Ossetians do not much fancy suddenly becoming Georgian, so let me offer you a precise analogy. Suppose Los Angeles, California, were to collapse as the USSR once did, and East L.A. quickly moved to declare its independence.

Suppose, further, that the 88% of its population that is Hispanic/Latino voted that the other 12% were free to stay on as "guests," provided they only spoke Spanish. The teaching of English were to be forbidden.

After some bloody skirmishes, East L.A. split up into ethnic enclaves. Then some foreign government (say, Russian, or Chinese) stepped in and started shipping in weapons and providing training to the Latino faction, in support of their efforts to restore East L.A.'s "territorial integrity."

As a non-Hispanic resident of East L.A., would you then (1) run and hide, (2) stay and fight, or (3) pick up a copy of "Spanish for Dummies" and start cramming?

The Abkhaz and the South Ossetians have made their preference very clear by applying for and being issued with a Russian passport. That's right, the majority of the present native population of these two "separatist enclaves" are bona fide citizens of the Russian Federation with all the privileges appertaining thereto.

Lacking any other options, they are happy to accept protection from Russia, use Russian as their lingua franca, and fight for their right to be rid of Georgians once and for all. One of the privileges of being a Russian citizen at this stage, when Russia has recovered from its political and economic woes following the Soviet collapse, is that if some foreign entity comes and shells a settlement full of Russian citizens, you can be sure that Russia will open one amazingly huge can of whoop-ass on whoever it feels is responsible.

Add to that the atrocities allegedly perpetrated by the Georgian forces, such as finishing off wounded Russian peacekeepers, and you can see why the normally shy and reticent Russian army might get behind the idea of making sure Georgia no longer poses a military threat to anyone.

The Georgians have really done it to themselves this time, and we should all feel very sorry for them. They are not evil people, just incredibly misguided by their horrible national politicians. The West, and the US in particular, bear responsibility for enabling this bloodbath by providing them with arms, training, and encouraging them to fight for their "territorial integrity."

Oh yes, and there is that big pipeline that moves oil to the West.

Did we forget to mention that?

It seems it's always about the oil.

Whether it's Iraq, Darfur, or climate change,
It's certainly not about Territorial Integrity.

Besides, to paraphrase the poet,

Territorial and Integrity never agreed to sit together.

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Blogger Charlie Loving said...

As Oz told me years ago follow the money.

Mr "W" is angry with the Russians, and Cheney and McCain are making warlike statements. Our military couldn't respond even if they wanted to, except perhaps with nuclear missiles. so the U.S. is reduced to a roaring mouse.

6:32 AM  

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