UPDATE: Now, as if the situation were not dangerous enough,‘Russian general threatens Poland with attack over US deal’
UPDATE: I received an email a little while ago that asked, “Joel, didn’t Georgia start this mess by attacking its neighbor?” My response: “To the contrary, the Russians have been provoking Georgia all year. They’ve been supplying arms, fuel and political support to the rebels in South Ossetia and Abkhazia who are trying to breakaway from Georgia. They’ve shot down a Georgian surveillance drone. They’ve flown fighter jets over Georgia to scare Tbilisi off of gravitating towards NATO. They’ve encouraged the separatists to take violent actions, and they finally pushed too far. Georgia pushed back, seeking to crush the increasingly violent rebels. Russia then used Georgia’s move as a pre-text to launch a war they’ve been preparing for all year. And keep in mind, this isn’t about two tracts of land controlled by rebels. This is all about Russia not wanting Georgia to become a NATO member.”
August 11: Russia ‘preparing to attack’ western Georgia
ORIGINAL POST: Russia and Georgia agreed to a cease fire on August 12th. Yet at this hour, Russian forces continue to seize more Georgian territory. The Bush administration, frankly, has done a lousy job defending our democratic ally against Putin’s aggression. The Europeans have done even worse. We are finally airlifting in humanitarian relief supplies. This is good. But shouldn’t we have been airlifting in weapons and ammunition around the clock, like we did to help Israel during the 1973 war? The Georgians feel alone. Because they are. The White House keeps warning Putin to back off or face “repercussions.” What kind? The administration refuses to be clear, so why should Putin take such bluster seriously? Some sobering lessons have been learned this week from the Georgia disaster. Among them:
1. Putin is a new Russian Czar who wants to rebuild the Russian empire and will use force to get his way.
2. Neither the U.S. nor NATO are willing to be firm in Europe in defending a key ally against violent aggression. No one wants a war with Russia. But we have to do better than this. Such impotence in the face of Russian imperialism bodes ill for Ukraine, Poland, Armenia, Azerbaijan and other Western allies increasingly being intimidated by the Kremlin.
3. Based on events this week, Israel should be wary about accepting American or European security guarantees in any future peace deal with her neighbors.
4. A Russian attack on a democratic ally can happen fast, and almost without warning. This has prophetic implications, when you think about the prophecies of Ezekiel 38-39 and a “last days” war by Russia, Iran and a Mideast alliance against Israel.
5. Russia and Iran want to control the production and flow oil and natural gas in the Caucases. Both want to dominate energy supplies in Turkey.