10 August 2008

A Drink To Russia (from 1 sonofabitch to another : )

Jab a nail into a Bear's ass enough times and guess what happens?

a. if Saakashvili's intent was to sieze S.Ossetia (and it's bottlenecks to Russian ingress) so quickly as to thwart any significant Russian response, he/they have failed miserably

b. if Saakashvili hoped for a combination of Western support/Russian hesitance, same.

c. if Saakashvili hoped to compel the majority of S. Ossetia's population to flee northward into Russia, he has succeeded, but at a high price.

d. if Saakashvili's intent was "c" and he assumed that some combination of Russian hesitance/fear and Western support would limit damage to Georgian cities/installations/navy etc., he miscalculated.

e. if Saakashvili thought the conflict would not spread to Abkhazia (and the Black Sea), he miscalculated.

summary: it seems as though only Western powers can save Saakashvili's government, as of now. And that Russia will have to spend a lot of money to rebuild S. Ossetia in the hope that most of the tens of thousands of people who fled will return, along with a vastly increased military "peacekeeping" presence. Assuming that the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline is not attacked/destroyed in the coming days. I expect that Russia intends to inflict enough damage to Georgia as to destabilize the Saakashvili government, in the hopes that the Georgian people will replace it with a government that is not so Pro-Western/NATO. (as well as send a "message" to Ukraine, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc.) the response (non?), so far, by the West, largely favors Russian interests.

one can get in a lot of trouble by saying that a "war" will be short-lived, but i expect this one to cease in a week at most, with Saakashvili hanging on by a thread, for when you jab a nail into a Bear's ass, one should expect to get bitten.

stephenhsmith 10Aug2008 16:55