War in South Ossetia

Georgia declares state of war yet calls for cease-fire. Is this due to muddled reports from the fog of war or someone bit off more than they can chew?

By all accounts, Georgia started it by shelling South Ossetia. But Russia tossed a match on gasoline by invading. Some on the Left say the US was behind it all, somehow forgetting that Russia is basically a thugocracy now. Most of all, for it to explode into such sickening violence so quickly means both sides knew it was coming and wanted it to happen (or figured it was unavoidable.)

The theory this was done on the opening day of the Olympics so people wouldn’t notice is silly. It’s headline news worldwide.


  1. CNN started reporting only when Russia moved troops to support their peacekeepers (those were attacked by their georgian “colleagues”).

    And started the news with “Russia invades Georgia”

    so really simply, just to understand the timeline:
    070808 – evening – Georgia starts invading and bombing South Ossetia
    080808 – mid-day – Russia moves troops into South Ossetia

    now it’s been around 3 days, there are more than 20000 people that already moved to North Ossetia (that is part of Russia)

    Also one question that everybody has to ask him or herself, why did Georgia escalated the situation now, it’s been around for more than 15 years [conflict]. So why did on 070808 Georgia attacked people living in North Ossetia?

  2. Maybe there’s more than we know, and something triggered Georgia to attack a region that is nominally part of itself.

    It makes no sense to me that they thought no one would notice because the Olympics are going on.

  3. There’s for sure a lot that we don’t know and we’ll never know all of the details.

    But it’s always beneficial to get as much viewpoints as possible. German/ French view on the events, British/ US/ Georgian and Russian are all quite different.

    The region of South Ossetia was almost never a part of Georgia, only formally. That’s why there were peacekeepers in the region. In 1992 (I may be mistaking about exact dates +-1year) there were ethnical cleansings in South Ossetia by Georgia, that was the reason for the peacekeepers.

    btw there are many peculiar details, please notice that there’s a EU flag behind Saakashvili when he did his speech about the attack. Unfortunately Georgia is not yet a member of EU.

    I suggest you look up the latest interview on CNN with Vitaly Churkin (russian ambassador to UN)

  4. I don’t have any answers, but it helps if you ask different questions: who benefits and how? Georgia, which AP calls “a staunch U.S. ally,” has been lobbying unsuccessfully to join NATO and has eyes on joining the EU. So far, it’s been rebuffed. Now it’s in a war with Russia for attacking its own province (which may have been operating as an independent nation but was never recognized) and getting invaded by the regional bully. When the dust settles, this may bolster Georgia’s case for membership in both NATO and EU. Especially since EU has an interest in the oil pipeline…

    Also, I don’t follow Georgian politics, but one thing is certain: when you get invaded by Russia, no matter how badly you get your tail kicked, you can pretty much count on a nationalist reaction within Georgia, giving the current administration a political boost.

    I’m guessing they didn’t expect Russia to bomb Georgian cities. If all Georgia lost in the war was a province it didn’t have anyway, that could have been considered a reasonable price. But I’d guess this backfired.

  5. Most observers say this kills Georgia’s chances for entry into NATO because they started the war by bombing their own province (even if it is a province in name only.)

    I doubt Georgia will have anything but nominal control (if that) over the pipeline when this is over.

  6. “Most observers say this kills Georgia’s chances for entry into NATO because they started the war by bombing their own province…”

    The lessons of WWI suggest otherwise. In the long run, it doesn’t matter who started it. A staunch U.S. ally got invaded by Russia. In a few months, that’s what the West will remember.

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