An Admittedly Impressionistic Description of the Left’s Response to the Russian Invasion of Georgia

After President Bush announces at West Point in 2002 that American strategy will evolve beyond containment in response to new threats, the left responds
What!?!? The United States is abandoning containment? Containment is how we all worked together to win the Cold War. Our strategy must be based on containment!
Containment!
Containment!
Containment!
After the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008, the left responds
What!?!? You mean containment means that we actually sometimes have to take an active role is resisting aggression and supporting allies? That makes containment too dangerous and provocative. Aggressors can be trusted to stop when they’ve taken enough to feel secure.
Appeasement!
Appeasement!
Appeasement!

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PDM
PDM
13 years ago
George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

PDM,
Great link. Nobody says it better than Pat.

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Andrew,
Buchanan doesn’t suggest we let the Ruskies set up shop on our door step.
Just the opposite.
He suggests that we give each other “space”.
He is exactly right when he suggests that we’d have a bad reaction to the Ruskies setting up shop in close proximity to the US, no different than the Ruskies getting anxious about the US attempting to expand it’s sphere of influence in thier region.
When the Ruskies were doing their thing in Cuba back in the 50s & 60s, we objected. Granted, Cuba may be a bit closer than Poland is to the Ruskies, but the concept is the same.
Like it or not, right or wrong, Poland was once part of the Soviet block, so a negative reaction to the US setting up shop in Poland can be and should be expected.
The US can not and should not control the world. Yes, it would be nice if every “nation” could choose their own course. But the reality is that that has never been, nor ever will be, the case.
And as Buchanan noted, who is the US to object to Russia invading a sovereign country when we did exactly that 5 years ago? We still remain in that sovereign country?
And it should be noted that the 10 year Russian / Afgahn war did as much to destroy the old Soviet Union as Reagan and his “take down this wall” rhetoric did.

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“And as Buchanan noted, who is the US to object to Russia invading a sovereign country when we did exactly that 5 years ago? We still remain in that sovereign country?”
Specific to the above point, how about:
We went into Iraq to dump a dictator, set up a democracy and allow that country to control its own natural resources.
Russia wants to do just the reverse in Georgia.
Is there not some difference between the two?
Going back, Germany invaded France. Several years later, the US and allied forces invaded Germany.
Would you not say, George E, that one was bad and one was good? Or are you lumping all invasions together into the same condemnatory pile?

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Monique, We could spend the rest of the summer discussing the issues raised in your comment. But the answer to the core issue that I commented on can be provided by asking the following simple question(s): 1) Did we (the US) or did we not invade a Sovereign nation when we invaded Iraq (and continue to occupy it)? Answer: YES. 2) Did the Ruskies invade a Sovereign nation when they invaded Georgia? Answer: YES. You are trying to ascribe reasons and rationales to the actions. But the central point remains unchanged …who are we to lecture people about invading sovereign nations when we do it ourselves? Clearly, in both cases, there are some people that want the invaders in their country and some that don’t want the invaders in their country, else there’d be no conflict or bloodshed. In other words, if either the US or the Ruskies were welcomed guests in these countries, there would be no issue. Agree? But clearly we are not welcome (by all), as evidenced by the violence. You are trying to find gray spots in a black and white issue. You are ascribing good intentions and reasons in your attempt to rationalize US actions, while ascribing bad intentions and reasons to the Ruskie’s actions. I know you know that the folks in Russia are saying exactly the opposite of what you are saying. In fact, the Ruskies are saying they invaded Georgia for the same reasons you are saying we invaded Iraq. It is like me and Tom “Giving Selflessly” Kenney. My world view will never accept or justify the Entitlement-minded actions of the Unions (especially the actions of no-show employees), whereas Tom’s world view results in just the opposite. His perspective causes him to defend “no show” employees and expect Entitlements. With respect… Read more »

Monique
Editor
13 years ago

“if our military is to be used to “dump a dictator, set up a democracy and allow [the people] to control its own natural resources”, do you think there is any chance we could have the US Army invade RI to depose the the dictatorship that is the Public Employee Unions & their wholly owned subsidiary (the GA), set up a democracy in which the Taxpayers have a vote in Labor contracts and allow the Taxpayers to control their limited resources??”
Damn! Where do we sign??

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

This is NOT a simple moral equivalency argument. When, on the one hand, a nation such as the US invades another sovereign nation, it can not criticize another nation for doing the same (the “same” being defined as invasion, regardless of real or perceived motives). Now, move to the motives (i.e. the moral justifications) of the invasions. Putting aside the fact that the reasons given for our invasion of Iraq change like the wind (they were an eminent threat with weapons of mass destruction; they were linked to 9/11; it was to bring democracy to an oppressed people, blah, blah, blah…), I would argue the reasons are irrelevant because, one’s perspective depends on what side they are on. For every American that says we rightfully invaded Iraq to free a people from a dictator and to impose democracy, there is someone at the other end that feels completely different due to their world view and perspective. How do I know this? Simple …Americans continue to die over there, and it ain’t the folks that think like us that are killing them. Trying to apply “morals” to the analysis is when you get yourself in trouble. 19 pieces of crap, from their f’d up perspective, thought they were morally right to fly planes into buildings. There are Mexicans that would think they are “morally right” to “take back” their ancestural lands in Texas and California. We might feel differently. Who is right? Who is wrong? Does it matter? I think in the end the only thing that would matter is that we’d crush & destroy Mexico if they tried. But people would die on both sides think their cause was morally right. I assure you that from the Ruskie’s perspective, our presence / influence in Georgia, Poland and other areas is… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

“Saddam was presented with a set of reasonable conditions…” Who the F are we to give someone in a sovereign nation 6,000 miles away a “set of reasonable conditions”, else we bomb them to smithereens? Is that the old “might make right” argument? We beat you up in 1991, so you will be our trained monkey. I have no problem objecting to Russia’s agression. But, it is a fact that it becomes much harder to object when you are seen as an agresssor your self (oh that’s right, we gave someone an ultimatum before we became agressive). It also becomes very hard to object in a meaningful way when you are seen as being bogged down and stretched too thin. Make no mistake, Russia has absolutely been emboldened in its agressive behaviour as a result of our little excursion into Iraq. And the proof is in the pudding …how have we objected, even with a war-dodging, Mission Accomplished, chicken hawk as Commander in Chief? Buchannan is correct when he says the “chickens are coming home to roost”. And don’t suggest that invading Iraq was somehow smart in comparison to Clinton’s reluctance to respond to a direct attack on the US or it’s forces (as well as others such as Reagan not responding to the Lebanon bombing in the early 80s). 9/11 absolutely required a hard-nosed response. Unfortunately, we went after a Iraq instead of Osama. And Rome and GB indeed had wonderful models that have served us well. And we can learn from their flaws, the biggest being that they spread themselves too thin …for a variety of reasons, none of which matter since it ultimately was the greatest contributor to their down fall. It’s real simple. If you want to object in a meaningful manner, as opposed to the… Read more »

George Elbow
George Elbow
13 years ago

Andrew –
If you haven’t already, check out today’s (Aug 20) Op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal by Russian Foreign Minister, Sergey Lavrov entitled “America must choose between Georgia and Russia”.
It is worth reading. You will not agree with all of it (or perhaps, most), but it provides two important things:
1) Insight to the Ruskie perspective
2) It highlights the point that I attempted, but failed to articulate, which is that life is about the allocation of LIMITED resources and you have to be smart about how and where you allocate those LIMITED resources …hence, I believe, the title of the op-ed.

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