The West’s response to the situation in Georgia evades acknowledgement of the damage Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili has done to the United States and NATO, and to Georgia itself, which for the foreseeable future will now be a nation of limited sovereignty, and an awkward embarrassment to its Western allies.
Russia has formally recognized the independence of the two separatist Georgian states, prompting jeers abroad and cheers in the regions in question. Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili rather theatrically compared the declaration to the conduct of Hitler and Stalin.
Upping the ante in Moscow-Washington tension over the border war between Russia and its former satellite state, Bush announced Wednesday that the U.S. military is flying humanitarian aid to Georgia, with his secretary of state to follow. Georgia’s president, however, is spinning this as the first step in a U.S. military intervention.
Georgia bombed separatists in the country’s South Ossetia region Tuesday evening, killing 25; Russia rolled an estimated 150 tanks into Georgia in retaliation, ostensibly to defend the region’s high Russian immigrant population. Georgia pleads its case as a “freedom-loving” nation to garner U.S. support; any semblance of logic retreats.