Wednesday, August 13, 2008

More on Georgia

The Russian strategy of 'regime change' in Georgia - which they deny pursuing - is for Russian citizens to sue Georgian President Saakashvili in European human rights courts for war crimes. Russians see their invasion of Georgia as a mirror image of NATO's intervention in Kosovo; if one was justified, the other must be too. After all, Yugoslavia never threatened NATO, but Georgia actually attacked South Ossetia. They propose to get rid of Saakashvili in the same manner that the West deposed Yugoslav President Milosevic. See here.

Nor are the Russians likely to be swayed by accusations that they have used 'disproportionate force' (the charge Europeans levied against Israel in its war against Hezbollah), since they always use it, especially if they think it will work. And, to continue the comparison, they can argue that the West used disproportionate force in the Kosovo war, bombing Belgrade civilian targets. (See Wayne's analysis here.)

Are the Russians also interested in gaining control of the pipeline that runs through Georgia? Probably.

What will the West do? NATO should start dusting off its territorial defense plans. As for the EU, the Russian invasion has probably put a proposed EU-Russia agreement on ice. Watch to see if the G-8 (club of the rich and powerful) shrinks to the G-7, as Russia is excluded. Or if the United States opposes Russia's long-sought entry into the World Trade Organization.

And let's hope the Congress votes to allow offshore drilling and exploitation of the oil shales, because the sooner the United States reduces its dependence on foreign energy sources, the better.

No comments: