Looks like the general consensus about the war in Ossetia is that Georgia did commit some atrocities, and Russians did invite Georgian's into a trap (paying with Ossetian lives for it), and all that is now part of the "business as usual" convention. I am pretty sure M. Saakashvili's standing at home will eventually erode, but he never be indicted by the West. Who cares?
These days nobody has the moral standing to judge any of the sides in a conflict. Look what's been happening in the East Congo and the EU reactions. France proposes to send EU troops, Germany says no and the plan stalls: France looks good (even without sending troops) because it "cares", Germany doesn't look good, but it "doesn't care" anyway. Meanwhile the FT publishes well-made, staged portraits of Laurent Nkunda posing on a chair with his spectacles and a cane, looking like a well-educated British colonial officer. I mean if France really wanted to end atrocities, they would send some troops without waiting for the Germans. And perhaps the FT would think twice before legitimizing a warlord as a "rebel leader". You know, things may turn out quite well for someone if they start with an FT editorial supplied with a good portrait. You suddenly start raising more money and may even run an election.
Let's be realists, Georgia sucks not because it committed atrocities, but because its invasion has failed. Russia sucks not because it invaded Georgia (or because it invited it into a carefully devised trap), but because it's trying to pose as global power while its economic and military capability are paper tigers not quite commensurate with that stance. The US sucks a bit less these days thanks to its decision to elect Obama, but it still sucks because the mission of regaining the high moral ground ("beacon of hope", or something?), if it ever existed, is surely doomed to fail at least in its technical aspect: you can't maintain two slow-burn armed conflicts and be a Beacon of Hope for the others at the same time. And we are yet to see why China sucks. It's quite intriguing. . .
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Russian Jotman reader Sanjuro compares the Russia-Georgia conflict to the moral dimensions of the situation in the Congo -- and elsewhere. He writes:
Posted by Jotman on Wednesday, November 19, 2008