If you haven’t read the Op-Ed by by Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman in today’s Wall Street Journal you should. I don’t agree with Graham or Lieberman often but they’re spot-on here.
Russia’s Aggression Is a Challenge to World Order
By Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman, Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2008; Page A21
In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Georgia, the United States and its trans-Atlantic allies have rightly focused on two urgent and immediate tasks: getting Russian soldiers out, and humanitarian aid in.
But having just returned from Georgia, Ukraine and Poland, where we met with leaders of these countries, we believe it is imperative for the West to look beyond the day-to-day management of this crisis. The longer-term strategic consequences, some of which are already being felt far beyond the Caucasus, have to be addressed.
Russia’s aggression is not just a threat to a tiny democracy on the edge of Europe. It is a challenge to the political order and values at the heart of the continent. Read the rest…
A couple of other must reads:
First is Bret Stephens Global View column also in today’s Wall Street Journal:
Russia Is Dangerous But Weak
By Bret Stephens, Wall Street Journal, August 26, 2008; Page A19
‘In Russia,” wrote the great scholar of Russian imperialism Dietrich Geyer many years ago, “expansion was an expression of economic weakness, not exuberant strength.”
Keep this observation in mind as Vladimir Putin and his minions bask in the glow of Western magazine cover stories about Russia’s “resurgence” following its splendid little war against plucky little Georgia. The Kremlin is certainly confident these days, buoyed by years of rising commodity prices and a bullying foreign policy that mistakes fear for respect — the very combination that made the Soviet Union seem invincible in the 1970s.
But the Soviet Union wasn’t invincible. And here’s a crazy thought: The same laws of social, economic and geopolitical gravity that applied in Brezhnev’s U.S.S.R. apply equally in Mr. Putin’s KGB state. Read the rest…
The Second is J.R. Dunn’s “Rollback Russian Expansionism” at Americanthinker.com
Rollback Russian Expansionism
By J.R. Dunn, American Thinker.com, August 26, 2008
The only thing novel about the humiliation of Georgia is that the entity that carried it out is called “Russia” instead of the “Soviet Union”.
It has happened many times before. In Czechoslovakia in 1948. In Berlin the same year. In Poland and East Germany in 1953. In Hungary in 1956. In Czechoslovakia again in 1968. In Afghanistan in 1979.
We have a lot of experience in dealing with this kind of outlaw behavior. We know what works and what does not. There is no mystery here, and no secrets. To learn how to deal with a newly belligerent Russia, we need only look at the Cold War. Read the rest…
Update: Don’t miss the must read of all must reads… Michael Totten’s “The Truth About Russia in Georgia”.
TBILISI, GEORGIA – Virtually everyone believes Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili foolishly provoked a Russian invasion on August 7, 2008, when he sent troops into the breakaway district of South Ossetia. “The warfare began Aug. 7 when Georgia launched a barrage targeting South Ossetia,” the Associated Press reported over the weekend in typical fashion.
Virtually everyone is wrong. Georgia didn’t start it on August 7, nor on any other date. The South Ossetian militia started it on August 6 when its fighters fired on Georgian peacekeepers and Georgian villages with weapons banned by the agreement hammered out between the two sides in 1994. At the same time, the Russian military sent its invasion force bearing down on Georgia from the north side of the Caucasus Mountains on the Russian side of the border through the Roki tunnel and into Georgia. This happened before Saakashvili sent additional troops to South Ossetia and allegedly started the war. Read the rest…