The BBC reports:
Georgia says its forces have withdrawn from the separatist enclave of South Ossetia, and that Russian troops are now in control of the regional capitalYeh, right. Georgia really cares about 'protecting civilians',- that's why they launched a brutal, murderous attack on the civilians of South Ossetia on Friday.
An interior ministry spokesman told the BBC it was not a military defeat but a necessary step to protect civilians from a "humanitarian catastrophe".
But the removal of Georgia's troops from South Ossetia is not only a defeat for Georgia- it's also a humiliating defeat for the country's neo-con backers. It's not only that in having to deal with the Russian response, Georgia has had to withdraw 1,000 of its troops from Iraq. In his brilliant article for Prison Planet, Paul Joseph Watson, outlines the level of neocon involvement in Georgia's aggression (The Exile has more on the US involvement). The plan was simple- while the rest of the world attention was focused on the Olympics opening ceremony, a massive assault would be made to reclaim the province of South Ossetia. But it's a neocon-instigated plan that has spectacularly backfired.
Russia is, quite correctly, ignoring US pleas for a ceasefire and, having liberated South Ossetia and saved its people from ethnic cleansing, is now focusing its attentions on reducing Georgia's military capabilities, to make sure that the country never again launches a war of aggression against the people of South Ossetia, or indeed against anyone else. Russia, and South Ossetia must make sure that peace comes on THEIR terms, and not the neo-cons and their puppets- who are at the moment in no position to dictate terms to anyone. And that not only means obtaining a written agreement that Georgia relinquishes all claims to South Ossetia and Abkhazia-but also that Georgia also pledges to drop its plans to join NATO, and becomes a neutral, non-aligned state, in the same way that the State Treaty- negotiated between East and West- ensured Austria's neutrality after World War Two.
The US would simply not allow Mexico or Canada to join a Russian-led military alliance, with missiles pointed at New York, so why should Russia accept US military bases on its doorstep?
UPDATE: James Jeffrey, US National Security advisor has made a valiant attempt to redefine the word 'chutzpah'.
The Guardian reports that Jeffrey:
condemned Russia for its "dangerous and disproportionate" action against Georgia and warned of long-term damage to relations between Washington and Moscow.
So there you have it. The country which just five years ago launched a brutal and unprovoked military assault on the sovereign state of Iraq, an assault which has led to the death of over 1m people- has the chutzpah to criticise other countries for taking 'dangerous and disproportionate' action. I don't know the Russian for that splendid old English expression 'go and eat coke', but it's the response to Jeffrey I would make if I were Russia's Foreign Minister.