Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia on my Mind

One region of a country rebels against the central government, and establishes its own independent rule. They manage to maintain their independence from the central government for ten or fifteen years, and they argue that if the central government tries to reassert control the people in the breakaway region will be subjected to reprisals and oppression. Is a bigger, more powerful country with ties to the breakaway region entitled to invade to protect the regional inhabitants?

Does it make a difference if the country is Iraq and the region is Kurdistan, or the country is Georgia and the region is Ossetia?

Apparently. Georgia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity must be respected.

I don't know enough about the situation in Georgia to pick sides. It's always natural to side with the little guy, especially when it's a democratic country. Still, from what little I know about it, it seems that the "breakaway" status of Ossetia was well-established, and that the government of Georgia was acting precipitously by invading. On the other hand, if Russia was justified in invading Georgia, would they be any less justified in invading other neighboring countries with Russian minorities who are ready and willing to make the same claims of oppression?

One thing is clear, though. The United States, and George Bush in particular, have forfeited the moral high ground. There is no way the community of nations will take what we say seriously after the invasion of Iraq.

One more reason that Bush has weakened our ability to defend our national interest. What's more important, though, is what it means for our future. In 2006 McCain cosponsored legislation that passed the Senate endorsing an expansion of NATO to include Georgia and Macedonia as well as Albania and Croatia. If this had taken place, we would now be legally required to commit American troops to go to war against Russia. At a minimum, doesn't this demonstrate the recklessness and danger that McCain presents?

2 Comments:

Blogger Stevem said...

This whole thing led me to think about our own civil war. I wonder what would have happened if the North had just let the South secede from the Union - other than the sparing of many lives that were lost in the war, and the continued enslavement of many innocent people. Any thoughts about the long-term rammifications for our country/countries?

August 12, 2008 11:10 AM  
Blogger Mariamariacuchita said...

Hi, just wandered in. What a wonderful blog. Daily Kos was reporting some of this. It is very hard for Bush to take a moral high ground regarding Putin when he is guilty of starting an even larger war of aggression.

August 12, 2008 4:18 PM  

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