Theoretically, Russia has halted forward movement in order to give Georgia a chance to surrender. Or rather because they were done “punishing” Georgia for their genocide on Russian citizens in South Ossetia.
“The security of our peacekeepers and civilians has been restored,” Medvedev said, referring to Russian arguments that the incursion was needed to repel a Georgian offensive in South Ossetia. Russian officials have claimed that a Georgian push into the province last week claimed some 2,000 lives, including those of more than a dozen Russian peacekeepers stationed there.
Interestingly enough, if you go to the UN website [which I really don’t like and so I have a hard time with it] there is no Russian complaint about Georgian genocide. Maybe I just can’t find it, but it seems like before attacking Georgia for it’s supposed genocide, Russia, in accordance with all the rules, should have filed a complaint with the UN.
Or, if the rules are going to change maybe we should sit back now and wring our hands so that Pakistan can have an incursion into India. [New news: India shoots dead at least 7 Muslim protesters in disputed Kashmir.]
In the WSJ today, Gary Schmitt and Mauro de Lorenzo write of how the West can stand up to Russia. Things have changed since it was written but it’s worth a read for the history and because it’s the only other place I’ve seen even a suggestion that Russia should have turned towards international institutions first if they had a problem with Georgia.
Next, the West should make use of Russia’s claim that its role in South Ossetia and Abkhazia is driven by the need to protect the populations there. If so, Moscow should have no objections to U.N.-sanctioned peacekeepers and observers moving into those two regions to replace the jerry-rigged system of “peacekeepers” that, until the war broke out, consisted of Russian troops, local separatist militaries and Georgian forces.
McCain, who has called upon Russia “to immediately and unconditionally . . . withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory,” favors expelling Russia from the Group of Eight, and organizing a league of democracies to act where the United Nations is impotent, which is whenever the subject is important.
And Ralph Peters is over the top ticked off about this.