Monday, September 15, 2008

palin on foreign policy

both mccain and palin are of the opinion that georgia be allowed into nato and that should russia invade georgia again, the united states should be prepared to go to war. what? this shows a complete lack of understanding when it comes to that part of the world as well as foreign policy in general. let's have a history lesson shall we? this is what the mainstream media won't tell you and what the republican ticket apparantly does not know. here are the players: 1) south ossetia which broke away from georgia. 2) georgia, which broke away from russia. 3) russia. here we go. after the collapse of the ussr, georgia broke with russia, under the leadership of zviad gamsakhurdia. i wonder if palin living so close to russia can pronounce these names? anyway, good old zviad pronounced all ethnic georgians to be true patriots. south ossetians are not ethnic georgians. they are iranians that migrated to the caucuses in the 13th century as a result of the mongolian invasions. if all ethnic georgians are true patriots, what does that leave south ossetians? you can see how this was going to lead to trouble. on december 10th, 1990, the georgia supreme council ruled that the south ossetian autonomous region of oblast be disbanded. they then established georgian as the official language. south ossetians first two languages are russian and ossetian, not georgian. now at this point, if you are a south ossetian, you might have been feeling a little edgy about how things were progressing. ethnic tensions began to escalate. in january of 1991, georgian forces entered tskhinvali and it is estimated that 2,ooo people were killed, although some groups put that number at around 44.who knows, it depends on who you ask. this war resulted with south ossetia(out of which one fifth of the population is georgian)breaking away from georgia and gaining de facto independence. de facto independence is independence in practice but not recognized by other nations. there were accounts and rumors of atrocities against south ossetians. georgia then accused russia of annexing their internationally recognised territory because of russia's involvement in the war. now that we have the past out of the way, we can talk about the more recent events. georgia does not recognise the independence of south ossetia. south ossetia has allied itself with russia. russia wants to bring south ossetia back into the fold. russia would rather not recognise the independence of georgia, who may very well be on the verge on becoming a member of nato. so how did this whole thing go to shit? and is russia to bear the sole burden? on august 8th of this year, georgia launched an artillery barrage on tskhinvali, followed by an incursion(you can't say invasion because south ossetian independence is de facto but really, it was an invasion and russia saw it as an invasion). play tchaikovsky's 1812 overture because all hell just broke loose. here's the thing: georgia consideres south ossetia to be their territory. south ossetia consideres itself to be independent with strong ties to russia. russia wants to annex south ossetia, georgia, and any other break away states. why does russia want to do that? because they consider those states to be a buffer between them and the west. now hopefully everyone can see what a complicated mess this region of the world is and how putting the blame on russia and russia alone is dangerously simple and bound to lead to war. i am all for recognising a country's right to independence but we should stop and take a minute to reflect on the long and complicated history of the region before we go rushing into nato acceptance and talk of war with a former nuclear power. we need a little diplomacy and not the tired cowboy kind. it is no longer in our best interest to simply stop communicating with our enemies, a la cuba. look where communication and diplomacy has gotten us with Libya. this is why voting for hotheaded mccain and his in the dark vp choice is more than dumb, it is frightening.

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