As I have been talking about all day the US Coast Guard Cutter Dallas docked in the Georgian port of Batumi delivering 34 tons of Humanitarian Assistance supplies. The photo to the above left is of Captain John Moore, the Commander of the US Task Force delivering Aid. The picture to the right is of the Russian Naval Vessel Moskva. Here is a link to the NY Times Article and CNN Article about this:
The Russians have a serious problem with this though. I guess Naval Vessels bringing in Humanitarian Assistance to a country that you helped put in the Humanitarian Crisis in the first place is a bad thing to the Russians.
The NY Times Article had this to say:
Russian commanders said Wednesday they were growing alarmed at the number of NATO warships sailing into the Black Sea, conceding that NATO vessels now outnumbered the ships in their fleet anchored off the western coast of Georgia.
As attention turned to the balance of naval power in the sea, the leader of the separatist region of Abkhazia said he would invite Russia to establish a naval base at his territory’s deep-water port of Sukhumi.
And in a move certain to anger Russia, Ukraine’s president, Viktor A. Yushchenko, said he would open negotiations with authorities in Moscow to raise the rent on the Russian naval base at Sevastopol, which is in Ukraine’s predominantly Russian province of Crimea. The United States is pursuing a delicate policy of delivering humanitarian aid on military transport planes and ships, to illustrate to the Russians they do not fully control Georgia’s airspace or coastline.
The policy has left American and Russian naval vessels maneuvering in close proximity off the western coast of Georgia, with the Americans concentrated near the southern port of Batumi and the Russians around the central port of Poti. It has also left the Kremlin deeply suspicious of American motives.
"What the Americans call humanitarian cargoes — of course, they are bringing in weapons," the Russian president Dmitri Medvedev, told the BBC in an interview on Tuesday, adding: "We’re not trying to prevent it."
The White House dismissed all assertions that the Pentagon is shipping weapons under the “guise” of humanitarian aid, calling them “ridiculous.”
Apparently testing Russian assurances that their forces have opened the port of Poti for humanitarian aid, the United States Embassy in Tbilisi said a Coast Guard cutter, the Dallas, would attempt to dock there on Wednesday, well within a zone controlled by the Russian military during the war.
The Dallas, however, docked instead at Batumi, to the south. It was carrying 34 tons of humanitarian aid. Georgian military officials said the other port may have been mined, The A.P. reported.
During the conflict with Georgia, Russian soldiers occupied the port and sank Georgian ships in the harbor.
Hmmmm...interesting. So ships bringing in Humanitarian Assistance is a bad thing, and it concerns you. Well lets review the facts first. First off you sortied your Black Sea Fleet within 24 hours of this conflict erupting. We all know you can't do that unless your prepared to. Second, you immediately moved south, blockaded Poti and then took the port with Naval Infantry. Third, you sank Georgian Patrol Vessels, some at sea and some in their berths.
To top all of this off, the Dallas went to Batumi since you are still in and around Poti, in violation of the cease fire you signed. But, the best you can do, is complain about the number of ships that have entered the Black Sea bringing in Humanitarian Assistance, and claim they are actually bringing in weapons. That's the kind of action I expect out of my youngest child when he doesn't get what he wants, not a country's leader. We have been equipping the Georgians for awhile now, I'm quite sure when we send our weapons, and equipment shipments with trainers it will not be hidden.
But then again your record so far has been one of ignoring every element of the cease fire you signed, why should I be surprised by your acting this way now? To top all of this off, I am struck by the contrast between our two countries. Here is the US Coast Guard Cutter Dallas delivering Humanitarian Assistance, and then you have the Russian Ship Moskva. While the United States is trying to help, the Russians are sailing their entire Black Sea Fleet sinking Georgian Patrol Vessels. Wired Magazine had a very good article about this here:
While the US Forces in the region are delivering much needed assistance to civilians, the Russians are still illegally imprisoning Georgian Soldiers, illegally occupying terrain in a sovereign nation, and recognizing the break-away republics in direct violation of their cease fire they signed. I am forever reminded at this time of the compassion of our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines and why I am so proud to be one. We do not seek to intimidate the needy with force, we give them a hand up. We do not stand by and watch the oppressed languish in pain, we destroy the oppressor and ease the pain of the oppressed.
I completely believe that we are a beacon of hope to the oppressed, and it will always be that way. Just as I'm sure that the Dallas entering the harbor today looked like more than just a ship to the Georgian's.
God Bless America and may He be with the crew of the Dallas, McFaul, and all of our other Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines operating in that region right now and anywhere in the world.