You might not have noticed, but the U.S. has a fairly shoddy history of choosing sides between warring countries/factions/etc. So when presidential hopeful John McCain says Russia should “immediately and unconditionally cease its military operations and withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory,” I have a hard time believing the situation is as he portrays it.
While McCain would have you believe that Russia is the aggressor hear, the Washington Post plainly states the true state of affairs in its coverage.
Georgian troops launched a major military offensive earlier Friday to regain control of the breakaway republic of South Ossetia, prompting a furious response from Russia.
So, the way I see it, Georgia launched an attack, gained control of “most of South Ossetia” and now wants a cease fire. That’s like stealing someone’s wallet and demanding clemency when their big brother comes to beat your ass and take it back. A ceasefire would presumably mean Georgia retains possession of South Ossetia while Russia stands idly by.
South Ossetia has been independent for 15 years; it declared its independence in the early 90s—an independence that hasn’t been recognized by the United Nations. In effect then and as far as the world is concerned, Russia, by entering South Ossetia, is entering Georgia.
Sorry, but that’s beside the point. If Georgia maintains its hold on South Ossetia, the Ossetian civilians are in for a hell of a time. A Russian official claims there is already evidence of “ethnic cleansing” in the province, and South Ossetia has already termed the actions “genocide.”
America doesn’t want to upset Georgia. The little country has 2,000 troops in Iraq, making them among the U.S.’ biggest supporters there. But half of them are headed back to their home country to join the battle to retake South Ossetia, and Georgia has asked the U.S. military to help them get there.
Georgia has done without South Ossetia for 15 years. In my expert opinion, they don’t need to go in there and take it back. South Ossetians don’t want any part of it, and Russia feels an obligation to take their side. There’s a fight for independence going on, and America seems poised to take the wrong side once again.