Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Brinkmanship in 2008

Russia certainly overstepped its bounds in Russia. It's one thing to put down nationalistic uprisings within you own country, but going into Georgia claiming defense for the down-trodden South Ossetians and Abkazians is to far.

What is not clear from the media is the case from the South Ossetians and Abkazians against their treatment from Georgia.

This is not saying the Georgians are without blemish with the Ossetians and Abkazians but Russia has invaded a sovereign nation. They have lied repeatedly to the the world about it intentions and it commitment to retreat.

However, their stance and action, as aggressive as they are, are not abnormal for the Russians. We expect this behavior. They are behaving as the old Soviet regimes -- they do whatever they want in their part of the world.

The Russians seem to think the ex-republics (SSRs) are subservient to them. They have animosity toward Georgia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia because of their friendship with the West.

Sarkosy did his best Neville Chamberlain impression. Condi Rice offered little more, until today.

The U.S. signed a deal with Poland allowing it to install missiles at a base on the Baltic Sea. It already has an agreement to build a radar station in the Czech Republic.

Not surprisingly, Russia is opposed to this. Today, Russia threatened to go beyond diplomatic protests in response to the signing of a U.S.-Polish deal to base part of an American missile defense system in Poland.

So what are the US and its European counterparts going to do? They'll pass resolutions for sure. They'll make speeches describing their opposition to it. But Russia does not seem the least frightened.

I wish the West took action against them. I wish they'd give Russia an ultimatum to get out of Georgia or risk military strikes on those units within Georgia including South Ossetia and Abkazia. But the West will not do this.

It is interesting to read the words of the LDS Prophet David O. McKay said in April 1942 (Conference Report): "There are...two conditions which may justify a truly Christian man to enter -- mind you, I say enter, not begin -- a war: 1) an attempt to dominate and to deprive another of his free agency, and, 2) loyalty to his country. Possibly there is a third, [namely], defense of a weak nation that is being unjustly crushed by a strong, ruthless one."

Are NATO and the US justified in attacking Russia's position within Georgia? Will they be justified when Russia does this to the Ukraine? One prophet says yes.

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