Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Georgia on my mind

Welcome to cyberwar. The Republic of Georgia (not the state) is using Google's Blogger to get its message out:

Cyber Attacks Disable Georgian Websites
Monday, August 11 • 12:00 Tbilisi, Georgia

Cyber Warfare Attacks by Russia Disable Georgian Websites; Government of Georgia Established Alternative Websites

A cyber warfare campaign by Russia is seriously disrupting many Georgian websites, including that of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If you cannnot access official Georgian government websites, please go to the following sites for the latest official Government of Georgia news.

* http://georgiamfa.blogspot.com/ (this site)

* The website of the President of the Republic of Poland Lech KaczyƄski: www.president.pl (go to the link: "information about the latest developments in Georgia.")

This one doesn't work: http://www.government.gov.ge/

(Oil) Power Politics

President George Bush is dithering, John McCain favors a more bellicose stance and Barack Obama seems to be falling into Bush's hand-wringing posture. Meanwhile, Russia's troops have cut the country in half. Realistically, there is nothing we can do to oppose the power play.

Bush has been pushing NATO to accept Georgia as a member, but was rebuffed because its democratic institutions have a long way to go. Not-so-incidentally, our European allies are dependent on Russian oil and gas. McCain and Obama also favor NATO membership.

Russia, newly rich, nationalistic and confident, is playing power politics. They have helplessly watched as the former Soviet Republics turned to the West. To former KGB Cold Warriors like Vladimir Putin, our actions must look like a remix of the old George Kennan containment policy. The pipelines through Georgia were intended to reduce Russian influence.

This pot has been simmering for 15 years. Residents of the breakaway South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions have been given Russian passports, giving Putin the pretext of protecting his citizens. Constant border tensions were the bait and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili bit, leading to the Russian invasion.

He may have counted on more Western support, particularly from his old friend Bush. There's a George Bush street in the capital and Georgia may be the only country where he was popular with the majority.

I wouldn't suggest taking a poll now, even if the Russians would let you do it. NATO membership is a lot further away.


yobro said...

something from the memory hole...

oh, yes

joint US military exercises with Georgia, US trainers. Double carrier battlefleet sailing for the Persian Gulf, 2nd fleet moved from the Medeterrainian. Something about a doctrine of anticipatory warfare.

somebody got the message.

yobro said...

oh yes,

us military surprised by speed, timing of Russian military action

KAP said...

Just trying to synthesize what I've been reading & it's hard to spot the good guys.

Ossetians view Georgians as Georgians view Russians.

Russians warned Kosovo was a precedent for something like this.

We needed willing for the Iraq coalition so happily trained and equipped Georgian troops.

Georgians wanted the troops trained for some housekeeping at home later.


KAP said...

Bloomberg has a nice summary, esp. "virtually no leverage on Russia" and the "credibility and value of American relationships".

Lil' Hammerhead said...

I disagree.. there is something we can do. We can defend a fellow democracy and insist that our allies help in the effort. That means with military force. If there's ever a time to show that we will indeed stand up and come to the immediate aid of democracies.. it is now.

KAP said...

With what troops?

It's just growling if you're on a leash.

Lil' Hammerhead said...

The troops that need to be drafted.. that's part of the reason Iraq is going on so long with little rebuke.. no draft. You start a draft and you'll see an end to that waste of a police action real quick.