Friday, September 12, 2008

Vladimir Putin: 'Georgia? We couldn't just let Russia get a bloody nose'

As Sarah Palin uses her first interview during this election to claim that Russia's actions against Georgia were "unprovoked", Vladimir Putin has made clear just how much he disagrees with that version of events.

"They attacked South Ossetia with missiles, tanks, heavy artillery and ground troops. What were we supposed to do?"

If his country had not invaded, he said, it would have been like Russia "getting a bloody nose and hanging its head down", and there would be a "second blow" into the north Caucasus.

Reminding his guests that he had been at the Olympics in Beijing when the crisis broke out, Mr Putin said he was "astonished, astounded," by the world media silence on the Georgian aggression. "What did you expect us to do? Respond with a catapult? We punched the aggressor in the face, as all the military text books prescribe."

And, of course, Putin is completely correct and Palin is talking the kind of nonsense which has come to be the McCain camp position.

Now whilst McCain doesn't actually go as far as Palin did, by stating that this was "unprovoked", McCain prefers the defence of it doesn't matter how it started the Russian response was "disproportionate". However, this too got shot down by Putin yesterday:
Mr Putin responded angrily to accusations that Moscow had used disproportionate force in Georgia, saying Russian troops were not sent into South Ossetia for 36 hours after the initial attack. Russian forces then unleashed an aerial bombardment, tanks and ground troops but not before Georgia had captured the southern part of South Ossetia up to and including the suburbs of its capital, Tskhinvali, he said.
I've said enough about this in the past but it is very obvious to me that Russia has as much right to object to Nato interference in it's back yard as the Americans had to objecting to Soviet missiles 90 miles from the Florida coast in Cuba.

McCain is actually the one who is engaging in Cold War talk of the most irresponsible kind, pretending that he would go to war over Georgia, which is simply a nonsense. Nor is he being honest about the way other Nato members feel about the plans to include Georgia and Ukraine under it's umbrella. This is actually deeply unpopular with the other member states.

And that's before we get to McCain's insane plan to exclude Russia from the G8.

I would have thought that the last eight years might have shown Americans what happens when they elect a group of people who insist that reality is what they state it to be. McCain is, in this respect, simply offering more of the same.

The world is simply too dangerous for the US to continue down this path.

Although, from what the US opinion polls seem to be stating, many Americans appear to have forgotten that already.

McCain and Palin can continue to insist until their faces turn red that what took place in South Ossetia was Russia's fault, but they are talking to themselves. The rest of the world knows what happened. And that reality won't be changed just because McCain refuses to acknowledge it.

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