Monday, August 11, 2008
Vice President Cheney last night, and President Bush today layed it on the line, and left no question as to what had to happen. I'm watching intently, but I am greatly fearful the damage may have been done already.
I still believe as I did last night what needs to happen. Cease Fire, International Peace Keepers, and long term solution to this problem brokered and executed by and under a UN Mandate. But will this fix the larger problem now?
I don't know if Mr Ian Traylor from the Guardian article is correct on whether this was all part of a master plan by Putin.I think its possible, I know he is smart and savvy enough to do it. As a matter of fact if I could pick 10 people to have dinner with and talk about life and the world he would most definitely be one of them. But I don't even think that's important now to be honest.
The question I am left with, is how much damage has been done to the US and NATO's reputation amongst countries like Georgia. There are many countries around the world that have become democracies and are trying to become stronger and more successful. It is one of the very foundations of our National Security Strategy to foster democracy and human rights and help build up these new countries. But, now, we have one of these countries that considered themselves very close to us and NATO. They had even committed 2000 troops to the War in Iraq. That doesn't sound like much, but that is almost 5% of their entire active duty deployable force from a country the size of the states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia put together. That is a very formidable investment in assisting us and helping the Iraqi's.
Now, when for right or wrong, they are in dire straits, I question if we have done enough. I am by no means advocating attacking Russia. But, there are other things I feel we should have done. These things are called flexible deterrent options, and I wonder how many we could have used. How much of an impact would it have made if before Russia had crossed into Georgia United States Air Force planes brought in extra advisers, or planners from European Command Headquarters? What if certain other leaders within our command structure had travelled to Tbilisi days ago, just to talk with the Georgian President, at the same time Putin moved to North Ossetia to oversee the operations? What impact would this have had?
Sometimes force is not needed. Sometimes presence is more then enough. That physical showing of solidarity amongst friends and allies means a lot. Im very fearful we didn't do enough.
There is one interview today that has stuck in my mind all day. It was a Georgian Army Infantry Major, and I felt a great sympathy and empathy towards him. He was covered in blood, sweat, and mud, and from the look on his face I know what he was feeling, because I've been there myself. But his comments were what hit home. He said Ive lived in a democracy for the last ten years, and I have loved it. Now, we are in the fight of our lives. Where are our friends? Where is the US and NATO. They spit on us. I sat there reading it over and over again for about ten minutes, and to be honest I cant get it out of my head.
I hope its not too late. I hope we can stop this now, and I hope the cease fire goes into effect tonight. But, I hope we haven't damaged our relationships, and our reputation. That is my greatest fear right now.
God Bless America and may he be with our leaders right now.
Photo was taken by Uriel Sinai/Getty Images and part of the NY Times article here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/12/world/europe/12georgia.html?hp Sphere: Related Content