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The rape of Georgia, concluded, and its unintended consequences. - Wemyss's Appalling Hobby:
From the Party Guilty of Committing 'Gate of Ivory, Gate of Horn'
The rape of Georgia, concluded, and its unintended consequences.

Now what?


It is clear that Georgia has lost this engagement.  How badly, is now a political question.  Certainly, fighting continues: the Russians don’t cease fire just because there’s an agreement to enter a ceasefire, much less a mere offer. 


But what is going to be interesting is how much territory, if any, the Bear chooses to swallow.  It may well cease to pretend to agree with the rest of the world that Georgia’s borders should remain intact; it may push for actual statehood for Abkhazia and South Ossetia.  It is more likely to insist upon the Finlandisation of Georgia.


There are reasons why we do not know what Putain will do.  His regime is not quite as secure as it seems – all the less so now in the first flush of victory.  Who shall rule the Caucasian fiefdoms, and how, is a major point of dispute between his rival barons, notably Defence Minister Anatoliy Eduardovich Serdyukov and Putin’s Deputy Chief of Staff and chief ideologist Vladislav Yuryevich Surkov.


Moreover, the Russian victory was not as overwhelming as by rights it ought to have been given their pre-positioning, readiness, and guilty foreknowledge.  It is suspected that – without guilty foreknowledge and advance preparation – the 58th Combined Arms Army units might not have been able to move at all.  There is a reason, after all, why Anatoliy Eduardovich is so bent upon reforming and improving the rusting Russian forces.


Whom the gods would destroy, they first allow to taste hubris.  On the surface, the lesson of the past week is that Russia is no longer a military third-rater, and that it can project power and impose its will by force beyond its borders.  But this was a set-piece battle, arranged by tricking the Georgians into entering South Ossetia.  How the Russian forces would perform in a true emergency remains to be seen.  And because the Bear is currently acting more the blood-crazed ferret, it is quite likely that we shall see.  The Russians may come to wish they had left the djinn safely bottled up.


For there are huge problems that now confront them.  The Russians cynically used the Kosovar precedent to justify their ‘peacekeeping’ in their puppet separatist areas, their Sudetenland, and also to justify their invasion of what is legally Georgian territory.  When, say, Ingushetia and Dagestan – to take but two separatist areas in Russia that have similar pseudo-governments, and which happen to have a Moscow patron in the very dangerous Rashid Gumarovich Nurgaliyev, an Old Chekist who now heads the Russian Interior Ministry, decide to invoke the Abkhazian and South Ossetian precedent, well….


Russia decided on this show of strength in order to impress, not on the Georgians, but rather on the Ukrainians, the Poles, the Baltic States, and even Finland and the Czech Republic, the dire consequences of becoming involved with Nato.  Yet these countries may well take another lesson.  By now, even Frau Merkel and her willing collaborators of the Quai d’Orsay must realise that Russia took this window of opportunity precisely because Georgia had been promised future Nato membership but had yet to be given Nato protection.


Appeasement never works.


There are other unintended consequences at play here.  The EU has been revealed as a paper tiger.  Its vaunted ‘soft power’ failed in the Balkans; it has now failed in the Caucasus.  This does not bode well for the project as a whole, or its damned ‘constitution’: the Irish, for example, asked to vote yet again on the Brussels Folly, can now respond that they no more wish their territorial integrity to rest upon the Frogs and the Jerries than they wish their kidnapped children to be looked for by the Portuguese police.


It is also true that the US has been somewhat embarrassed by events.  Yes, I know some of you are cheering.  Morons.  It is also true that the Russians can cause much mischief if the US should try to restore the balances: they can, for example, flood Iran with weaponry.  Yet these things have a way of coming back to bite them.  It was in the interest – long-term – of the Russians (I mean, of course, of the neo-Stalinist Putin regime) to encourage the personal vilification of the American president and to undermine American policy at every turn.  It is likewise in their interest to have a malleable, incapable, and inexperienced president to succeed GW Bush.




One of the primary beneficiaries, although a very unintended and unwilling one, of the recrudescence of neo-Soviet Russian adventurism and sabre-rattling is of course Jno McCain.  As usual, when away from his teleprompt and his handlers, Mr Obama completely stuffed-up his response to the situation.  Mr McCain did not: experience tells.  And the prospect of a renewed Cold War is almost guaranteed to concentrate the American electoral mind wonderfully: bad news for Senator Messianic Vapourware.


I cannot say if Nato has learnt the chastening lesson of what happens when prospective members are treated with the cheapness and shabbiness of Gordon Brown’s suits.  But I suspect it has.  And this is also a further knife in the PM’s gut, just as it is to Mr Obama.  The Russians may already be pondering the costs of unintended consequences.


Yet they want to be made to pay more costs.  Yes, they can make mischief if challenged.  Yet challenged they must be, financially, diplomatically, and by removal from G-8 membership (why not India instead?).  And I suspect they may have lit a fuse that leads to their own magazine.


We shall see.


Now, as for me, the Glorious Twelfth impends, and I am called to the gunroom and thence to the moors (thank God the Bristol handles like its namesake aircraft).  I shall respond to comments after I’ve dealt with the birds.


Ad interim, may I say this, to Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and all who sail in him, including Mr Mamut and the SUP-spoons:


May God bless the Americans, may God protect liberty everywhere, and may God save the Queen and confound all her enemies, amongst whom you (and your days) are numbered, you damned, nekulturniy, Chekist sons of whores.

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4 comments or Leave a comment
absynthedrinker From: absynthedrinker Date: August 11th, 2008 04:18 pm (UTC) (Link)
Hear! Hear! Thank you so much for enlightening us all.

pathology_doc From: pathology_doc Date: August 11th, 2008 10:13 pm (UTC) (Link)

Putin (I like your misspelling BTW) should have waited until Obama was in the White House to do this.

Minor gripe: NATO is an acronym and should be all-caps. Though it seems these days it stands for Nothing Actually To Offer, and is undeserving of the respect offered by captalization...

Edited at 2008-08-11 10:14 pm (UTC)
banbury From: banbury Date: August 11th, 2008 10:47 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ok, I won't enter a contest (repeating I don't understand politics much), but it's easy to feel generous sitting somewhere safe and sound and listening only to one side (pretty much prejudiced side).
BTW, I was interested - do foreign journalists in Georgia know Georgian language or they have to use clipped translated version of the events. Just a thought :-)
froganon From: froganon Date: August 25th, 2008 04:33 pm (UTC) (Link)

oh yes

"It was in the interest – long-term – of the Russians (I mean, of course, of the neo-Stalinist Putin regime) to encourage the personal vilification of the American president and to undermine American policy at every turn. It is likewise in their interest to have a malleable, incapable, and inexperienced president to succeed GW Bush."

I believe you are correct in this. I have considered voting for my dog in the upcoming election.

Thanks again,
4 comments or Leave a comment