When the â€œcivilized worldâ€ expostulated with Russia about Georgia in 1924, the Soviet regime was still weak. In Germany, Hitler was in jail. Only 16 years later, Britain stood virtually alone against a Nazi-Soviet axis. Is it not true today, as it was in the 1920s and â€™30s, that delay and irresolution on the part of the democracies simply invite future threats and graver dangers?
This is the classic Neo-Con game. Frighten us with spectres of the past that have little to do with the realities of today, and then offer no answers save the silent one, “Attack!”
Listen folks, Russia has grossly overreached by bombing the hell out of Georgia, but our hands are tied because Georgia struck first. We warned them repeatedly not to do anything because there’s no way we could make the case after they took action. And yet they did.
Add to that the facts that South Ossetia has been a de facto independent state since the early 90s and it’s obvious they want to rejoin Russia, and you have a situation where Georgia’s actions are even less credible.
If Georgia had simply given up South Ossetia and allowed them to become a sovereign nation, they could claim the moral high ground here. But just because they like us and just because they sent a bunch of troops into Iraq does not justify their actions.
So to answer Kristol’s question…I think a way to make the world a lot more dangerous a lot quicker is by fighting somebody’s fight for them when they hit first. Because it would result in a complete reversal of any progress we’ve made on numerous issues, not the least of which is nuclear non-proliferation. The only way we can achieve a true, worldwide nuclear weapon shutdown is if Russia and China are allies, not enemies. We’ve worked for decades on these relationships, and while they both have massive problems when it comes to democracy, starting Cold War 2 would be disastrous.
Simply put, we can’t risk our long term goals on a hot head, democratic startup, regardless of whether or not the bully they kicked in the shins has now smashed their nose in. Why Neo-Cons don’t get this is beyond me, but maybe they’re revealing themselves to be the one-trick policy pony many us suspected they were all along.