The situation in the Caucuses just got a little grimmer. The Guardian reports of armed Cossacks pouring into the region to “take up arms and travel to defend their relatives across the border in
Another worrying tidbit of information is the AP story that
If one is not reaching for the Tums just yet the News released by the BBC will not only have one reaching for them but perhaps have one doubling-up on one’s usual dose. The sentences that will cause the gastric fires to go five alarm are “[e]arlier, Russian jets bombed a military airfield close to the Georgian capital.” and “[m]eanwhile Russian jets have bombed several towns, including the central Georgian city of
To go with the actual war on the ground there has also been a war of words. The BBC has also reported on this aspect too. Putin accusations of Georgians performing genocide against the
There has been some movement in the world community to come to grips with the situation especially by the Europeans. Unfortunately as the BBC points out “But emissaries from the US and Europe who are NATO members may not be seen as honest brokers by the Kremlin when it comes to Georgia, BBC's diplomatic correspondent Bridget Kendall says.” This is the bitter fruit of the Kosovo independence decision back in February of this year.
There is a real need to find some sort of mechanism to calm this situation down. Both
What is the most disturbing is how the present situation in the Caucuses repeats the events just before the outbreak of WWI. The “War to end all Wars” began in August. As in 1914 the world is distracted by other events. The Beijing Olympics are the main distraction in 2008, back in 1914 it was the Summer Social Season. Pre WWI Europe spiraled so quickly out of control because many of the critical national leaders literally went on Vacation during key events. In
Another parallel with the pre WWI situation is the lack of institutions that can broker a resolution. There is the U.N. and its blue-helmeted peacekeepers but it is a very blunt instrument. It is a long, drawn out process getting those blue-helmeted troops in place. What is required is an institution much more nimble than the U.N. What is also required is an institution with more authority than the U.N. Bush and company have done major damage to that authority. They ran rough-shod over the U.N. The war and occupation of
We can not be sure that said light-bulb has gone off in either Bush’s or Cheney’s head. This is yet another parallel with
The real question is what happens if Putin does attempt to achieve his maximalist goals. Once
Just like back in 1914 there is a way for this minor conflict to start drawing in larger players.