Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
August 12, 2008

War Nerdism

A bit of war nerdism from my side.


Map courtesy of BBC

On the evening of August 7 the Georgian President Saakashvili went on TV and announced a cease-fire. This came after some small tit for tat fire exchanges on the border between Georgia and South Ossetia. A few hours later Georgia launched a massive artillery barrage against the South Ossetian city of Tskhinvali. It used Grad multiple-launch rocket systems. Such weapons are effective against area targets, like large infantry clusters, not against pinpoint aims. To use such weapons against civilian areas leads to mass casualties and is in itself a war crime.

The attack hit people at sleep in their homes. It was followed by bombings from SU-25 ground attack airplanes in and around Tskhinvali.

The Russian peacekeepers in South Osssetia had less than a battalion of mechanized infantry between the border and Tskhinvali. This batallion was attacked by a multi battalion Georgian tank and armored infantry forces. The Russians retreated through and around Tskhinvali but held the line within the city limits.

According to Russian sources the Georgian assault killed some 1,500 to 2,000 civilians.

South Ossetia is connected with North Ossetia in Russia by only one road which leads up to the Caucasus mountain range and through the Roki tunnel. It was obvious that any Russian reinforcements would have to come through that tunnel. Georgia seems to have made no attempt to close the road and the tunnel.

Why was this attack done this way and why was the tunnel not closed down?

The only explanation I can come up with is planed ethnic cleansing.

The Georgian attack was planed and prepared for some time and followed a bigger strategic plan. Hitting the civilians in their sleep guaranteed panic and would obviously push them to look for refuge. The only place these Ossetians had to go was north to their compatriots. If the tunnel would have been closed, Georgia would have been stuck with these people after taking their land. That would have led to a messy guerrilla war. It was better, so the plan, to let them flee and therefore leave the outlet open. Indeed some 30,000 of 70,000 Ossetians fled through the tunnel.

Maybe the Georgian plan was to close the tunnel later, like after some 24 or 48 hours after the initial assault. That then was a gamble that Russia would not intervene or would need too long to reinforce. The gamble was lost.

Russia reacted quite fast and only six hours after the initial attack a combined arms force of tanks, artillery and armored personal carriers in the size of one battalion (some 600 soldiers) was on its way through the Roki tunnel. By late noon these forces had reached Tskhinvali and immediately began to push the Georgian forces back.

At the same time the Russian air force started to bomb Georgian air fields. At least four Georgian planes were destroyed on the ground. Two Russian planes were shot down by SA-5 anti air missiles which Georgia was not known to have. These weapons were possibly manned by Ukrainian mercenaries.

While the Russian troops were still on their march, Russia asked the UN security council to condemn the Georgian attack and to call for a cease-fire. The 'western' powers at the security council declined to do so.

Only after that did Russia start to get really serious. It activated paratrooper and special forces to reinforce in South Ossetia. A marine battalion was send from the Crimea and on the 11th landed in Abkhasia. Further reinforcements there came by rail. The Russian Air force launched a classic 'effect based operation' and took out military airports, radars, barracks and communication points.

A few of these attacks hit, as is inevitable, civilian places but Georgian civilian casualties seem to have been light. Russia did not attack economic or civilian installations like electricity plants, pipelines, or major traffic points. A Russian reconnaissance force only briefly moved to Senaki and the only place outside of South Ossetia and Abkhasia Russian forces now hold is a central highway crossing north of Gori.

The last Georgian attack attempt yesterday (after Saak signed Kouchner's cease-fire paper) was by six helicopters that again hit Tskhinvali. They were later destroyed by Russian air power. Yesterday night Georgian troops in Gori panicked and headed for the capital Tiblisi.

The Russian president Medvedev has stopped ground operations but the Russian forces will continue air operations against any Georgian troop concentrations until a cease-fire is signed that fits Russian demands.

The Georgian forces have lost quite a bunch of their tanks and other equipment. The Georgian air force does not exist any more. The Georgian navy lost the only two missile boats it had. Military infrastructure was hit badly. The military budget that Saak had increased from $30 million to $1 billion over a few years was wasted. The training Georgian forces received by U.S. troops and Israeli mercenaries seems to have been completely useless. Well, they learned how to bike quads.

There are now in total still only some 10,000+ Russian troops in South Ossetia and Abkhazi. Georgia has 27,000 men under arms. These did not even achieve their first objective and folded against a smaller force.

From a military standpoint the Georgian forces deserve an F. The Russian ground force deserves an A for the early holding of the ground, a B for the quick first reaction unit and a C for the reinforcement thereafter which seems to have not been very effective. The Russian air force for losing two planes only gets a D.

From a strategic political point Saak gambled badly and lost. It was obvious that he would lose this one from the beginning. Four days ago when Saak started his splendid little war I headlined Saakashvili Wants War - He Will Get It and wrote:

Saakashvili may hope for physical help from 'the west', but neither NATO nor the EU has any appetite to support his escapades. What has led him to this miscalculation?

That question is still unanswered. Saakashvili should answer it when he gets his deserved process at The Hague.

Posted by b on August 12, 2008 at 15:59 UTC | Permalink


I just came across this at Emptywheel. Has this joint exercise, which seems to have ended August 5, been mentioned hereabouts? I don't recall seeing it ...

July 15, 2008
Georgia, US start military exercises despite tensions with Russia

TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgian and U.S. troops started a joint military exercise Tuesday [July 15] amid growing tensions between the ex-Soviet republic and Russia, a Georgian defense ministry official said.

About 1,200 U.S. servicemen and 800 Georgians will train for three weeks at the Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, ministry spokesman Mindiya Arabuli said. He said the drills were planned months ago and are not related to recent tensions over two separatist Georgian regions that are backed by Moscow.

Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has courted the United States and sent a large contingent of troops to Iraq. His efforts to move Georgia from under Russia’s shadow and into NATO have angered Moscow, which has stepped up support for the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

Also Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry started a military exercise in the nearby North Caucasus region. Ministry spokesman Yuri Ivanov said the drill had “nothing to do” with the Georgian-U.S. maneuvers.

Georgia claims a string of recent explosions and border skirmishes in Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of a Russian plan to annex the regions, while Russia claims Georgia is gearing up for a mid to take control of the regions by force.

So did those 1200 US servicemen get outta town August 5, or what?

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 12 2008 16:32 utc | 1

@Hamburger - There were several such exercises. I saw a list somewhere and will post it here when I find it again.

Gregory Djerejian on the U.S. strategic blunder:

Meantime, a Georgian soldier tells a U.S. reporter in the same piece: "Write exactly what I say. Over the past few years, I lived in a democratic society. I was happy. And now America and the European Union are spitting on us." They are, aren't they? They had no business making the cheap promises and representations that were made. No business on practical policy grounds. No business on strategic grounds (though I guess it got Rummy another flag, near the Salvadorans, say, for the Mesopotamian "coalition of the willing"). And now our promises are unraveling and nakedly revealed for the sorry lies and crap policy they are, with the emperor revealed to have no clothes, yet again. This is what our foreign policy mandarins masquerade about as they play policy-making, in their Washington work-stations. It's, yes, worse than a crime, rather a sad, pitiable blunder.

Posted by: b | Aug 12 2008 16:39 utc | 2

A+ for you b.

Posted by: beq | Aug 12 2008 16:51 utc | 3

there was an operation 'immediate response' with the americans which was very recent

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 12 2008 16:52 utc | 4

Interesting post b.

Was Saak led to his miscalculation by the just-completed exercise? And did those 1200 US servicemen (and how many others?) stick around in the area after August 5? I've seen some mention that a few what sound like US contractors were killed.

What base would US troops have come from for the exercise in the first place?

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 12 2008 16:52 utc | 5


i wish saak would take your suggestion & shut the fuck up because his hollow hallucinations are fetting on my nerves

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 12 2008 16:58 utc | 6

such a small world - saak was in a law firm with the attorney general mukasey

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 12 2008 17:01 utc | 7

@Hamburger - picked form a comment at Washington Note:

Some recent (July) military news from various sources:

July 12: Marines from 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Regiment, left Cleveland July 10, for the Country of Georgia to continue training and assist in Operation Immediate Response in which American forces will help train the Georgian Armed Forces.

“Our primary hope,” said Lt. Col. Minter Ralston IV, Inspector-Instructor, 3/25, “is to establish a strong bond with the Georgian army, train them proficiently and work in a safe training environment all while having a good cultural exchange.”

July 15 (AP) — Georgian and U.S. troops started a joint military exercise Tuesday amid growing tensions between the ex-Soviet republic and Russia, a Georgian defense ministry official said.

About 1,200 U.S. servicemen and 800 Georgians will train for three weeks at the Vaziani military base near the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, ministry spokesman Mindiya Arabuli said. He said the drills were planned months ago and are not related to recent tensions over two separatist Georgian regions that are backed by Moscow.

Also Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry started a military exercise in the nearby North Caucasus region. Ministry spokesman Yuri Ivanov said the drill had “nothing to do” with the Georgian-U.S. maneuvers.

The U.S. European Command Office of Defense Cooperation, Tbilisi, Georgia provides the Georgian Ministry of Defense with events that familiarize, train, educate, equip and modernize the Georgian Armed Forces so to create military units, staffs and command organizations that are more capable to work with U.S. and NATO forces.

Since the end of the Cold War, the United States and the Republic of Georgia have developed a solid partnership dedicated to the promotion of peace and stability in the Caucasus Region. In 2002, to help Georgia provide better internal security and to promote a more secure region, U.S. European Command developed and ran the Georgia Training and Equip Program. The program enhanced the capability of select Georgian military units to provide security and stability to the citizens of Georgia and the region.

Operation Immediate Response 08 has been planned since 2006 and is training troops in the spirit of the Partnership for Peace. Operation Immediate Response is an annual, bilateral security cooperation exercise conducted between U.S. and NATO and coalition partners. It is a longstanding Joint Chiefs of Staff directed exercise focused on interoperability training and theater security cooperation, and is designed to promote understanding and cooperation between military forces of the United States and our allies.

From the USA, 1,000 military servicemen took part in the exercise including the United States Army Europe, 3rd Battalion, 25th Marine Expeditionary Unit, 1st Battalion 121 Infantry Regiment Georgian National Guard (Atlanta, Georgia) and 5045th General Support Unit.

On July 28, a demonstration day for media representatives was held in the framework of the international training “Immediate Response”. The event was attended by the Chief of Joint Staff of GAF Brigadier General Zaza Gogava, his deputies LTC Grigol Tatishvili and LTC Alexander Osepaishvili and Head of the US South European Forces Brigadier General William B. Garrett.

The Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the USA H.E. John Tefft also attended the exercise. After the demonstrative training he outlined the importance of the training, saying: “It is in a spirit of Partnership for Peace, part of the NATO program.

The SETAF Brigadier General William B. Garrett commanded the exercise from American side: "We are conducting this exercise to enhance interoperability with a key coalition partner. Georgia has provided consistent support to ongoing operations in Iraq. Georgia is the third largest force contributor to Operation Iraqi Freedom and that means a lot to the United States."

Posted by: b | Aug 12 2008 17:07 utc | 8

Looks like you found the complete article dated July 15 I posted part of above. Thanks.

If the 3 week exercise began July 15 and the show-for-the-media-day was July 28, that would leave another 7-8 days for the "immediate response" joint practice to continue, ending just 2 days before Georgia's incursion July 7, no?

Pretty tight timing.

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 12 2008 17:22 utc | 9

as i sd whatever they touch turns to shit & then we have to listen to their jackals donkeys in the media bray all night long

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 12 2008 17:28 utc | 10

Have the neocons put Saakashvili on intravenous feeding?

(He's playing the "human rights" card.)

Posted by: alabama | Aug 12 2008 17:31 utc | 11

the whiners in the white house need to shut the fuck up also

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 12 2008 17:33 utc | 12

Some ramblings on the politics of the Russian demand of a non aggression pact, to add to b's excellent summation of recent military events. Please excuse its length.

President Saakashvili will have a hard time putting pen to paper on a non aggression pact with Abhkazia and S. Ossetia, let alone one guaranteed by Russia. A demillitarized border would ice the tea cake. He won't do it.

Otherwise, what would be the point of impoverishing his nation by lavishing bucks on his crack American trained, Israeli advised army? What would be the point of lavishing bucks on fancy American weapons, and fancy Israeli weapons, and fancy American advisors, and fancy Israeli advisors, if not to use his crack soldiers and crack weapons on S.Ossetia first, and then Abhkazia? What, exactly, would be the point of President Saakashvili himself, who came to power promising to reintegrate the breakaway regions?

These are questions that will be asked of President Saakashvili by the Georgians themselves, once the penny drops.

The Russians were never going to take Tbilisi, no matter what the madison avenue victimology experts manufactured for their overly fevered, reality challenged client. Senaki proves that the Russians meant exactly what they said: they will destroy President Saakashvili's crack American trained army's capability to launch attacks inside Abhkazia and S. Ossetia like the war crime in Tshinvali perpetrated by his crack American trained, Israeli advised army, and demilitarize the borders.

A non aggression pact has dire consequences for President Saakashvili's political future. The Georgian people are not known for runaway stupidity, unlike their American trained, Israeli advised President, who is now organizing morale boosting colour revolution type demos and shutting down television stations, precisely because he fears for his political life.

The curious headlong rush of Saakashvili's crack army from Gori has never been adequately explained, other than the lie, still being transmitted by, eg., the apparatchiks of the googoo Guardian, that the Russians had taken Gori, or advancing, blah, blah. Looks like President Saakashvili has better need of his crack American trained, Israeli advised army between himself and irate Georgians, now and in the future.

Once the light bulb sheds some light, I don't fancy the feral cretin's chances with the Georgian people. And forget NATO. France and Germany will never sign on to hopeful neocon projects in the Caucasus and the Ukraine.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 12 2008 17:46 utc | 13

Georgian military budget went up like 10 times since Saakashvili came to power. And what has he to show for such a brilliant expense? Tbilisi airport bombed?
His people will be rightfully pissed off that some crazy laissez-faire capitalism apologist got them in such a bad situation.
And I wouldn't bet on the army protecting him for too long from his people. They might like to have a sizable budget and nice tools, but when they're sent in the meat grinder and then are more or less left there to dry, because their dear leader's promises of help from the West didn't concretize, I suspect there'll be soon a lot of disgruntled military in Georgia.
Then of course, were he to fall, we can't be sure that any successor to their current leader would be better.

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 12 2008 18:13 utc | 14

You will note that there is a question of exactly what type of supplies America is shipping to 'war-torn' Georgia. From

U.S. to fly supplies into war-torn Georgia
By Michael Hoffman - Staff writer
Posted : Tuesday Aug 12, 2008 11:58:28 EDT

Air Force officials are putting plans together to fly supplies into Georgia following Russian President Dmitri Medvedev’s order to end all military operations in the former Soviet state.

Air Force C-17s flew all of Georgia’s 2,000 troops deployed in Iraq to the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, on Sunday and Monday after the Georgian government recalled the troops and asked the U.S. to do so.

Pentagon officials are not releasing when or where the cargo aircraft will disembark or whether the supplies are humanitarian or military at this time due to security issues, according to Lt. Col. Elizabeth Hibner, a Defense Department spokeswoman.

“We will hopefully be able to say more this afternoon,” she said.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin criticized the U.S. for flying Georgia’s troops home from Iraq while Russia’s troops advanced into the country after fighting broke out over the disputed regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

“It’s a pity that some of our partners, instead of helping, are in fact trying to get in the way,” said Putin at a Russian Cabinet meeting. “I mean, among other things, the United States airlifting Georgia’s military contingent from Iraq effectively into the conflict zone.”

Despite Medvedev’s call for a halt to military operations, the Georgian government has reported more attacks including air strikes against two Georgian villages.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 12 2008 18:24 utc | 15

& i wonder what documents the russians will be asked to sign by the gang of criminals sent to moscow by their bosses in the white house

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 12 2008 18:32 utc | 16

The Americans seem to be allergic to war crimes music.

For now, the Bush administration decided to boycott a third meeting at NATO on Tuesday at which the alliance's governing board, the North Atlantic Council, was preparing for a meeting with a Russian delegation that has been called at Moscow's request, officials said.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 12 2008 18:36 utc | 17

@ cj #14
And what has he to show for such a brilliant expense? Tbilisi airport bombed?

I am sceptical of any claims by Georgia of damages. In the US Air Force article in #15, it is mentioned that the 2000 Georgian troops were dropped off by the air force at Tbilisi airport on both Sunday and Monday. I doubt America would risk landing there with their planes if it were under attack.

Then again, maybe they were landing between the raindrops, so to speak.

Do you have any confirmation that Tbilisi airport was actually damaged? Not saying it wasn't, just that I haven't read any credible source yet.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 12 2008 18:43 utc | 18

Here you go, r'giap. Note the first of the six. I think this plan is doa in Tbilisi and Washington.

Moscow, 12 August - Russian president Dmitry Medvedev, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy, agreed on a 6 point plan to resolve the conflict in Caucasus. The plan to put an end to the crisis provided the end of the use of force, a ceasefire for all military actions, access to humanitarian workers, and the return of the Georgian armed forces to their local placements. Furthermore, Russian troops will withdraw to their pre-existing lines before the conflict and will give the green light on an international debate to decide the future status on the separatist provinces of Abkhazia and Southern Ossetia.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 12 2008 18:44 utc | 19

The key item on that map is the Baku-Tblisi-Ceyhan pipeline, bypassing Russia. There's no understanding Caucasus & Middle Eastern politics without taking pipelines & potential pipeline routes into account.

Posted by: ralphieboy | Aug 12 2008 18:45 utc | 20

@Ensley - thanks. So the U.S. is doubling down? Sure sounds like Bush.

That might get interesting. U.S. supplies of anti-air assets and anti tank assets a plane each day for a few month, the Russians main force leaving South Ossetia with the Roki-tunnel road blocked during winter snowfall ... hmmm ...

Posted by: b | Aug 12 2008 18:47 utc | 21

@Ensley - 18 - there are three airports in Tiblisi: google maps

One is the civil airport (upper left) which has never been attacked. That is where the U.S.planes with those useless troops and all the celebrities landed after(!) informing Russia.

The one on the right down is obviously an old USSR air base with more plane shelters available than Georgia had planes a week ago. I guess that one got some hits. The third on the left down seems to be the one where the Russians bombed a factory in which Israeli engineers updated old SU-25 attack planes to some standard. That production facility was hit a bit a few days ago.

Posted by: b | Aug 12 2008 18:59 utc | 22

Thank you, Bernhard. I wasn't aware of three airports, two military and one civilian. Has anyone commented that Russia bombed the civilian one? The other two are legitimate military targets and can't be criticized no matter how much the neocons and the media want to.

Of course, when it comes to civilian airports, the fact that they were civilian didn't stop the US and Israel in Iraq and Lebanon, respectively.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 12 2008 19:13 utc | 23

Looks like Operation Immediate Response 09's American trainers & Israeli advisers are going to have a lot on their plate. Someone call Blackwater.

Posted by: Pvt. Keepout | Aug 12 2008 19:39 utc | 24

I'd like to see Merkel and Sarkozy put Bush into some kind of deep-freeze, right away, and not for any specific reason, either. Just not answer his calls or mention his name for the next six months. Let Brown and Berlusconi help him lick his wounds.

Maybe Bernard Kouchner could offer him some medical attention in the latter weeks of January.

Posted by: alabama | Aug 12 2008 20:14 utc | 25

Excellent basic observation there, B, exploring the question 'Why the Georgians didn't close the tunnel.' Like the dog that didn't bark in the night... The 'ethnic cleansing' answer certainly seems very plausible, and could easily fit with the kind of advice they'd have been getting from their Israeli advisers. (Lebanon 2006 and numerous previous campaigns... )

Another explanation might have been a desire to lure the Russians in, which in Saak's fevered imagination might have increased the motivation for the US to send massive support in to him. Another might be sheer strategic ineptitude.

These are not mutually exclusive.

Posted by: Helena | Aug 12 2008 20:15 utc | 26


Italy has declared support for Russia. I read this the last couple of hours, but don't have the link. Looks like Berlusconi has learned a bit of a lesson the last couple of years. There's also those energy!

Also, from a somewhat bitter Guardian piece.

Surrender or else, Russia tells Georgia
Kremlin calls halt to offensive and dictates humiliating terms

Russian leaders declared today that the Georgians would not return to South Ossetia, which would be under Russian control.

"They shot their brother Russian peacekeepers, then they finished them off with bayonets, so we are not going to see them there any more," said Dmitri Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to Nato in Brussels.


For several months, said European officials, Saakashvili has rejected pressure to commit to forgoing the use of force in the territorial disputes. But Lavrov said the Georgian army would have to be returned to bases and that any peace deal would "require the signing of a legally binding treaty on the non-use of force."


Why are people waving flags? It's not as if we won," Lasha Darkveldze, 23, said as supporters thronged the centre of Tbilisi and marched on its freedom square. "Saakashvili should now resign."

"We hope he is going to disappear from Georgia," Bacha Janashia, a 24-year-old student said. "I really wonder why he did it. He has only 10,000 soldiers and he takes on Russia."

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 12 2008 20:27 utc | 27

Another plausible reason why the Georgians did not attempt to close the tunnel is that it occurred to someone that it would be genocidal to rain grad missiles non-stop on a town of 30,000 with nowhere to flee.

Regardless, any mobster or gang-member knows that when a screw-up of this magnitude occurs, its because someone got played i.e. Saak was led to believe that the Russians would not react i.e. there was a deal in it for them & that they would take it.

GWB 2001 on Putin
I looked the man in the eye, ... I was able to get a sense of his soul

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 12 2008 20:49 utc | 28


i don't think they are mutually exclusive

what is most marked in the discourses of this tiny little tamerlan in tbilisi is that he expected (expects) much more than his master in washington are capable of giving

the more i reflect, the more i see that the russians are almost entirely blameless in this affair. that they are what they appear reasonable. & whatever way the west wants to demonise the leadership in russia - they have shown both reasonableness & moderation

everything i hear that comes out of washington is hysteric, quite hysteric. these shameless little hustlers after destroying iraq & destroying a large part of lebanon show no sense of irony when they speak of disproportionate force, invasion, regime change - on & on etc etc with their syntax of stupidy, thier grotesque grammar - their never completed sentences.

for them all is threat. or menace. even when the weakest amongst us can see that u s imperialism is a paper tiger but by christ it fills the air with their barking & breying

i say what i say - being quite aware of the critique of copeland whom i respect fully but he is inside the beast & perhaps cannot see what i see, feel what i feel

i have known this empire since i was a child, active & direct in my opposition to their war on vietnam - the 21st century has made those feelings much stronger, more concrete & in every way it informs my work

what is precious in this world is the opposite of what that tyrant culture represents. the very opposite. & when the world has to put up with clowns, absolute clowns - be they netanhayu, or a saakashvili who permit their own people to suffer directly from their positions. positions that are written on a scroll somewhere in washington

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 12 2008 21:16 utc | 29

I have heard rumors that Blackwater Security and other US owned kill for pay mercenaries were involved with Georgia's attack. Any news from your end? Just curious and curiouser!

Posted by: Diogenes | Aug 12 2008 21:35 utc | 30

j b cool

i will call that the fredo argument

saakashvili as fredo corleone

"there was something in it for me, michael for me , you're my kid brother, i'm not stupid like they say i am, i'm smart & i want respect"

& yes it true saak looks like a an overfed fredo with a harvard law degree. elementally he is as stupid as the creation of fiction

& perhaps he will go out on a boat with al neri, saying his hail mary's in defence of christian civilisation against the russian "barbarians" - his people willl suffer no longer.

it must be said that u s imperialism while crushing & i mean crushing the russian people in concert with criminals like berezovsky & fools like yeltsin - that amongst then newly created elites depend absolutely on the suffering of their people whether it is in the ukraine latvia, or georgia & the neocons like their bloodbrothers the evangalists of the gospel of prosperity have infected whole cultures. they have homogenised beautiful & complex cultures

when i see a leader like evo morales - i wonder if people are able to see the rare nobility of that man. it is a nobility i come across every day in my work with the poor & the marginalised - but amongst the elites, never. it is too easy to raise nelson mandela to the skies - after the fact(the fact for example that the u s regarded him as a terrorist) & few people amongst the leadership of this world are so deserving - but the real facts are that he & his people were oppossed to the very last second of the last hour, as the palestinian people are - they dignified him only when he could only hurt them with his decency

still cheney jacking off in his cupboard in the oval room uses his other hand to throw darts at the image of this man

because a morales or a mandela make noble almost everything they touch even an old hood like jacob zuma & as i have often sd all the u s touches turns into shit - but also turns into blood

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 12 2008 21:37 utc | 31

R'Giap: Actually, I think the Russians have known for a long time that if Tbilisi tried the military option, they would lose. And they prepared a bit for it, just in case Georgian leadership went insane. I won't say they're totally blameless, no one really is, and they had some kind of trick set up a long time ago.
But the sheer idiocy of the guys who decided this assault is just astounding.

Thrasyboulos: Well, Italian Foreign Minister clearly stated that Georgia started it and it was Saakashvili's responsibility, not Moscow's, at the end of the day. I never expected to ever be that much in agreement with a goon like Franco Frattini...

Ensley: There were reports that a few bombs at least hit an airport, and some civilian building got trashed close to it. But all in all, I said this mostly as an example, not as pinpointing a detailed fact. Saakashvili and his buddies wasted hundreds of millions of precious dollars on their military and they just managed to get bits of their country bombed out of it. That's a hell of an achievement and the Georgian citizens surely are happy and proud...

B: "U.S. supplies of anti-air assets and anti tank assets a plane each day for a few month, the Russians main force leaving South Ossetia with the Roki-tunnel road blocked during winter snowfall ..."
They could try it, and it could work. If the Russian leadership is made of of complete morons.
Right now, I assume a good deal of the advanced Georgian military hi-tech is toast, their army got nastily beaten down and not really ready to go now for round two.
And then, of course, there's the fact that if Tbilisi goes on for round two, the Russians will be really pissed off. There's a far easier and quicker way to go from Russia to Georgia, it's by the Black Sea coast, through Abkhazia. This way can't be as easily blocked, and in fact I don't think Georgia could stop any serious Russian invasion.
Of course, it would mean going through half the country before reaching Ossetia. But frankly, I wouldn't expect the Russian army to stop before being on the steps of Tbilisi parliament, if Georgia tries once again to get back Ossetia or Abkhazia by force. If there is a next time, they won't play nice and will probably go for full-scale assault and invasion.
(in fact, it could well be what Medvedev meant by "we'll cease-fire in one or two days when we're sure they'll agree to our conditions", as in "we'll make sure their military will be so devastated that they will be in a non-aggression situation, whether they want it or not" - making sure the Georgian military understands that there can't be a next time)

Posted by: CluelessJoe | Aug 12 2008 21:47 utc | 32

Well, maybe theres no shortage of fredo corleone wannabe's. Saddam likewise thought he had the green light from US Amb. April Glasppee to invade Kuwait

Posted by: jony_b_cool | Aug 12 2008 21:49 utc | 33

the white house must really be like a 18th century asylum like bedlam. it is a grotesquerie even trying to imagine what goes on, really, within their walls walls . a whole host of psychiatric disorders for a new dsm iv

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 12 2008 22:10 utc | 34

That would leave Brown, Thrasyboulos... Wouldn't it be fun if there were a G7 meeting of sorts, to which the US was not invited? At least initially? So that Bush and his Condi would raise some kind of hell, and then the G7 would slowly, reluctantly, and charmlessly let it attend. Everyone speaking all the while--who knows?--in demotike, perhaps.....

Posted by: alabama | Aug 12 2008 23:31 utc | 35

& the future administration

listen closely to the words of yet another war criminal who was not in the least offended by the bombardment of serbian people, infrastructure, cities - far from the battle - is all over the place as obama's hard men just giving us yet more cold war rhetoric

decade after decade we have had to listen to the holbrookes of this world of creating a peculiarly american jurisprudence where the victim has to pay the perpetrator for committing crimes against them - the grander the crime - the more that has to be paid

it is as if i am being beaten around the head with a baseballbat & on my last breath i am asked to pay for what has been done

the russians need to be hard, very hard before such menace

b wrote on social democrats some time ago but here in europe you have this species of social democrat who love to serve right wing masters - ralph millibands sorry excuse for a son, bernard kouchner & the many socialists who serve at the behest of the mafiosi berlusconi & make it seem as if they are bathed in the purest of waters - they do nothing but make the water dirtier

again in this butchershop of a world men or women of the calibre of evo morales are rare, extremely rare. i remember when he spoke to the united nations i have never been so moved by a man speaking - (i wonder if that archive exists somewhere)

i hope there are more like morales because i know there are masses of richard holbrooke

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 12 2008 23:42 utc | 36

I wonder if this little folly will now change the equation on other countries supplying Iraq opposition forces with surface to air missiles. A few months ago when I asked why the resistance wasn't using those against U.S. air power in Iraq, several comments were to the effect that the neighbors knew these type of weapons can be traced to their suppliers and they didn't necessarily want to piss off the U.S. to that degree....

Posted by: Maxcrat | Aug 12 2008 23:52 utc | 37

evo morales u n

Posted by: remembereringgiapr | Aug 13 2008 0:28 utc | 38


it's already happened, in a way. Bush's neocon America has never looked more isolated. See (German Foreign Policy -- on Germany's role in the Caucasus. While the article notes Germany's interest in the three pro Western states in the Caucasus (Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaizan) and particularly it's military training support of Georgia, it also includes the following:

At the NATO summit in early April, the German Chancellor prevented, against US insistence, Georgia's further rapprochement to the war alliance [3] and not solely out of fear that NATO's eastward expansion could seriously jeopardize German-Russian cooperation. The Konrad-Adenauer Foundation (CDU) warned already at the end of 2006 that the USA seeks "to include more pro-American oriented countries into the Alliance" to strengthen its own domination.[4]

Georgia's military intervention, that was repelled by Russia, corresponds to Washington's offensive course.

[Et tu, Konrad-Adenauer Foundation? Lol!]

The above goes double for France, and of course, Italy. And while the neocons and their media handwring and gnash over "Old Europe", the process of isolating the AngloAmericans and their baggage was, and is, well under way. In both demotike and katharevousa.

It's amusing to see articles in the Google dump exploring ways to, in the droll term of the eternal hacks, "punish" Russia. The minimum they request is the expulsion of Russia from the G8, but I don't think that'll happen, and I don't think America will try it, since it knows which side of the bread the butter lies.

I noticed that Richard Holbrooke has even more of a shellshocked, haunted look than that dead man walking, the US trained President of all Georgia (minus a few chunks) Mikheil Nik'olozis dze Saakashvili. Holbrooke seemed especially concerned about the fate of the Caucasus drama queen.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 0:39 utc | 39

men like holbrooke are not men but holes where all the venality of our species spills, in & out

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 1:05 utc | 41

Just to say thank you. Excellent article. Helps very much.

Posted by: mimi | Aug 13 2008 1:55 utc | 42

Thank you all much for your posts. You have given me some education on eastern Europe/Asia which I never knew. I'm also glad to be one US citizen with some understanding of the current events which doesn't quite dovetail with the bullshit I hear about in major media outlets.

Posted by: JimT | Aug 13 2008 2:13 utc | 43

saak's stain in washington

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 2:24 utc | 44

Why was this attack done this way and why was the tunnel not closed down?

As attack on Tshinvali began Ossetian forces moved north to the city of Dzhava. They ambushed Georgian forces near that city and were blocking Georgian advancement till Russian came to the resque.

Russia reacted quite fast and only six hours after the initial attack a combined arms force of tanks, artillery and armored personal carriers in the size of one battalion (some 600 soldiers) was on its way through the Roki tunnel. By late noon these forces had reached Tskhinvali and immediately began to push the Georgian forces back.

This sounds like they passed Roki tunnel before UN Council. Russian troops entered Ossetian territory only after the Council.

Posted by: CTAC | Aug 13 2008 2:45 utc | 45

Did anyone catch the BBC follies in the past 24 hours? When I watched at about 1600 GMT the news ran a story that Saakashvili called the BBC into the presidential palace at 3.00am Tbilisi time. Then the Beeb ran some footage of Saakashvili ranting about Russians from one end of Georgia to the other, flecks of foam in the corners of his mouth to BBC's Nic Gowing.

Gowing finally grew a pair and said "Why did you tell your fellow citizens at the the rally that the Russians were barbarians?" Saakashvili jerked his head back, gobsmacked.
There is some edited footage here. The accompanying story talks about an early morning visit to the bunker but the bliarised bbc has edited out the talk of a an unexpected 3.00am summons to the bunker and the insinuations of presidential paranoia that go with that. They have also cut in a few shots of a pen on a map and cut aways of Saakashvili so his visage appears more reasonable. Even so it appeared his old ally the BBC has turned on him. It is only a matter of time before someone digs up the 'Downfall' footage and "Saakashvilis" it.

Lol I will laugh at the fate that Saakashvili has bought on himself but there isn't much other humour in the last week. Too many people have died awful deaths. Saakashvili has driven too many Ossetians from their homes which have been destroyed.

We know that a sizeable percentage will never return no matter how safe the towns are made and how much has been rebuilt. Ask the first people in amerika, Maori people here, Bosnian people of Sarajevo or the millions of Iraqis eking out an existence in Syria or Jordan. For some the horror becomes too much to "just put it behind them".

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 13 2008 3:01 utc | 46

"just put it behind them"

It’s not just for those displaced, debs. Isn’t that what we all are doing as we seek out an existence in this hierarchal world of hubris and avarice and eat shit to just survive and then "just put it behind us" . We’re all probably so pissed off with this but we don’t know what to do except just.... blog on. Aagghh!!

Posted by: Juannie | Aug 13 2008 4:15 utc | 47

We're all victims of the more elite. It’s just a matter of degree but I sometimes question if I’m not just an elite on the mid range of the scale and thus a dominator to the lower in the hierarchy.

Posted by: Juannie | Aug 13 2008 4:29 utc | 48

Holbrooke was on the News Hour today. It was gut-wrenching to listen to him twist reality. The rat actually said that he doubted the truth of reports of what was done to South Ossetia's civilians by the Georgian artillery barrage and rocket attacks. He even claimed there was a chance the Russians had "sucker-punched" the Georgian leader, suggesting that the Russians had tricked the Georgians into launching the attack. It was a crude and preposterous claim, a shameless lie.

How frightful it is, to consider that in a Democratic administration we will likely have a certain percentage of policymakers like Holbrooke.

Posted by: Copeland | Aug 13 2008 5:52 utc | 49

One new item:

Georgia withdrew its remaining forces from the Kodori Gorge after four days of attacks by Abkhaz and Russian forces, said Shota Utiashvili, a spokesman for Georgia’s Interior Ministry.
That is big point for Abkhazia ...

Posted by: b | Aug 13 2008 6:23 utc | 50

What are these guys smoking?

Russia's move suggested that tough talk from Western leaders in recent days had succeeded in making Moscow fear a rupture of political and economic relations with their countries.
Bwaahhhhhh ...

Posted by: b | Aug 13 2008 7:46 utc | 51

Why would the Russians bomb the University of Gori?

The city's central square, dominated by a statue of Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, who was born in Gori, was shredded with shrapnel from a bombing Tuesday afternoon. There were at least two other strikes on the city Tuesday afternoon, and no strikes were near military facilities in the city.

Gori's university and post office were burning Tuesday afternoon.

Maybe because of this?

Outside Tskhinvali, Georgian soldiers huddled beneath trees and bridges, trying to stay out of the line of sight of passing Russian jets. In addition to military trucks, troops were being moved around in civilian buses and vans. In Gori, soldiers worked out of a university building.

Posted by: b | Aug 13 2008 7:56 utc | 52

@Juannie Yep sometimes it seems that the only thing one can do is remain absolutely still breathing carefullly so as not to instigate some sort of butterfly effect that brings a shit storm crashing down on a cluster of consciousness on the other side of the planet. Of course that is the dilemma that many of the arguments we propose in here are accused of causing in the world.

All to often I cop the rejoinder of "what you have us do? Nothing, every move we suggest, you allege is wrong."

Truth be told, in many cases the best thing humans, especially those with any power can do, is precisely nothing.
Perhaps that is one of the advantages of a king or other absolute ruler appointed for life. The typical 'western democracy' has too many politicians who want to 'earn their keep' (actually get their picture in the paper) by passing a law or interfering in the community in some way when really they are forever playing catch-up with random vagaries that are best left to happen according to chance.

I hate it every time a politician of any stripe opens his/her mouth nowadays. I cringe because I know that we are about to be subjected to lowest common denominator dross. The sort of low grade thinking that makes one feel embarrassed for the person expounding it.

But since we know that few of these main-chancers are really that stupid, what they are doing is in fact offensive because their words must assume that we are that stupid.
Of course we aren't. Whatever else one can say about the crude and cruel society we inhabit, it is populated with the most over educated, over informed, mob of self obsessed hedonists the world has seen. The leaders must know that and probably figure why even bother trying too hard to fool that bunch. We'll just offer up simplistic claptrap and stick to our guns. voila George W Bush.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Aug 13 2008 8:01 utc | 53

Someone should tell McCain:

Russia's Novolipetsk Steel to buy U.S. John Maneely for $3.5 bln

MOSCOW, August 13 (RIA Novosti) - Novolipetsk Steel [LSE: NLMK], one of Russia's largest steel producers, said on Wednesday it had signed a final agreement to acquire the U.S.-based pipe manufacturer John Maneely Company (JMC) for $3.53 billion.

Under the deal, Novolipetsk Steel will acquire the U.S. steel pipe and tube producer from a group of shareholders, including global private equity firm Carlyle Group and the Zekelman family, on a debt free, cash free basis. The deal is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be closed in the fourth quarter.

"The acquisition of JMC fits with NLMK's stated strategy of portfolio diversification and downstream integration in the core markets of the company. It strengthens NLMK's position in North America and provides an entry point into an important and high-margin end market," Novolipetsk Steel said in a statement.

Established through the merger of John Maneely Company and Atlas Tube in 2006 and headquartered in Ohio, JMC operates eleven plants in five U.S. states and one Canadian province. The company has annual production capacity of over 3 million metric tons of steel pipe and tube, Novolipetsk Steel said.

Posted by: b | Aug 13 2008 9:11 utc | 54

And then whisper into Sark's ear:

Chinese buying up French assets

Signs o' the times...

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 13 2008 10:48 utc | 55

What are these guys smoking?

Not only the WaPo.

Faced with strong western denunciation, President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia called a halt to the Russian offensive yesterday and negotiated terms for a truce and a broader settlement with President Nicolas Sarkozy....

The WaPo/Guardian hacks are sucking on a consolation lollipop to try to soothe their jangling nerves.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 11:23 utc | 56

The propaganda counter-offensive, which has come on strong today, will also have to be treated as part of the war.

Russia-Georgia reaction: world leaders condemn Moscow

(actually only the US, UK, and the Coalition of the Billing)

Strutting Russia is heading for a fall: Opinion is hardening against the Kremlin. For all its bluster, it is weak and vulnerable

Astounding piece, really

On the BBC, it is a rule that in the 0600 news, you get the truth; but by the 0800 news, the propaganda line has been sorted and will be pushed out. So it was today. At 0600, the commentator described the US as "flailing about" trying to find a means of punishing Russia, without much success, as virtually any sanction will hurt the US more than Russia. Now, we are being told that the world condemns Russia, after an interview with that poor figure of a foreign secretary, Miliband. (thanks to r'giap for his expression: "ralph millibands sorry excuse for a son").

But I do think that the "propaganda counter-offensive" is going to get a lot stronger. We certainly haven't seen the peak yet.

Posted by: Alex | Aug 13 2008 12:16 utc | 57

If it is to believe CNN and Australian TV Russians are heading toward Tbilisi as we speak and Georgian Special Forces are going to meet no piece

Posted by: vbo | Aug 13 2008 12:50 utc | 58

I thought so...they are spreading panic...
Early fears that it was headed for the capital, Tbilisi, were allayed when the convoy turned down a side road.

Chance said CNN had been told by Georgian officials that the convoy was heading for an abandoned Georgian military base.

Posted by: vbo | Aug 13 2008 12:58 utc | 59

WaPo's Dan Froomkin Who Poked the Bear?

There doesn't seem to be much President Bush can do about the Russian invasion of Georgia at this point. Except maybe feel guilty about his role in provoking it.

Russia's response to Georgia's military push last week into the Russian-allied separatist province of South Ossetia has been, in the eyes of the Western world, shockingly brutal and wildly disproportionate. But hindsight suggests Bush has been playing with fire in that region for years now, and that an overpowering Russian response was a predictable outcome to continued provocation.

Excerpts from newspaper articles and editorials critical of Bush follow, ending with:

"But administration officials said the list of measures actually under consideration -- such as sending humanitarian aid and rebuilding the Georgian military once fighting ends -- is far narrower.

"'The regular tool kit does not really work here,' said a U.S. government analyst who specializes in Russia's relations with its former republics. 'The Russians have plenty of money now, and we need their oil more than they need our credits.'"

But who reads Froomkin? Clearly not WaPo's Harold Meyerson, whose talk of "Russia's invasion" makes no mention of the Georgian move against South Ossetia.

Posted by: Hamburger | Aug 13 2008 13:06 utc | 60

The Times has a witness

Witness: Russian forces head to Tbilisi in breach of ceasefire agreement

But they're also saying their journalist has seen Russian troops in Gori. That is the issue: is a Times journalist a reliable witness?

Posted by: Alex | Aug 13 2008 13:11 utc | 61

I believe that you have scripted a very accurate account of the Ossetian fighting but I disagree when you surmise the Russian air force gets poor performance marks. The soviet air force completely demoralized the Georgian forces from the start and allowed the smaller Russian armored troops to rout a larger force. They also apparently broke the c&c of the Georgian military which in turn they lost contact with their troops on the front lines which made them believe that they were checking the advance when in effect they were in disarray retreat and cut off in pockets. In the end they were free to smash the retreating troops and the larger weaponry.

Posted by: whisker | Aug 13 2008 13:11 utc | 62

is a Times journalist a reliable witness?
Do not ask me.I don't believe my own eyes and ears any more...

Posted by: vbo | Aug 13 2008 13:23 utc | 63


the sort answer to that is : no

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 13:33 utc | 64

An Al-Jazeera reporter is following just behind the Russian convoy. So here is one eyewitness account.
Link to Al-Jazeera article

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 13 2008 13:46 utc | 65

Video of today: but they don't know where the troops are going

Russian military on the move

Posted by: Alex | Aug 13 2008 13:51 utc | 66

when the reporter is not sayin ; "maybe", "perhaps", "it could be" - the stock-in-trade of 'reporters everywhere (what a well paying job to be that speculative) - he says that these are not agressive movement, not in the least

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 13:52 utc | 67

me, i don't know why the russians have been taking advanced regions - this far they have been reasoanble in a way enexpected of them by a world that constantly demonises them - it is clear enough that a political objective of saak being sacked is really only a question of time

but then there are two press conferences today by both rice & bush - so i do not know what the empire is planning

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 13:58 utc | 68

the fact remains - no one is shooting, today

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 14:05 utc | 69

I read similar reports this morning from that hack of hacks, Luke Harding of the Guardian. The long and the short of it, Harding is hysterical. He quotes "eye witnesses", etc, etc. and observes "smoke". In fact, in the same story, but obviously filed by the others in the same byline, and compiled by Guardian editors, the Russians are moving in Gori to destroy and/or occupy Georgian army base(s).

The Russians are going to demilitarize the borders, come hell or high water. In the process, AngloAmerican media apparatchiks will channel the ever excitable President of All Georgia (minus a few chunks), the American educated, waiter in training, Michel Shaakasvili.

I'd put it all together, the bits and pieces, but I'm busy this morning. I take great satisfaction that AngloAmerican media hacks have totally lost their composure, with minor exceptions.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 14:06 utc | 70

What has been brought up repeatedly in the news is that the truce has not been signed yet. However, I am not hearing of any real confrontations between Russian and Georgian troops, just that Russia is on the move.

As for the Bush and Rice and other hypocritcal 'strong' speeches that have been made, I allow that these have had an effect on the war and have contributed to its ending so quickly. After all, it is very difficult to conduct a serious war when you are rolling on the floor laughing your ass off.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 13 2008 14:09 utc | 71

& there seems some barking going on in the bedlam of the white house - they have had cheney's attack do stephen hadley give a press conference & then no & then there was going to be a press conference with ms rice & then no & finally the psychopath-in-chief will give us some vaudeville

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 14:09 utc | 72

Furthermore, the Russians will take positions to make sure the President of All Georgia, etc, etc, will put pen to paper and comply with the six conditions, no ifs, ands, or buts.

It's the height of silliness to think the Russians will occupy Tbilisi. The Russians are not silly. For example, you won't see Putin patting young women on the rump in front of the whole world..and you can take it from there.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 14:12 utc | 73


the hacks are dibbling so much spit & bile, an innocent could drown in it

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 14:13 utc | 74

the tanks going into tbilisi are in fact going into a south ossetian town - & even the babbling bbc has to acknowledge that

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 14:16 utc | 75

According to, US Marines based in Tbilisi are being moved to an undisclosed location and may be taken out of the country entirely.

Posted by: Ensley | Aug 13 2008 14:35 utc | 76

rememberinggiap, the reports of Russian troop movement might or might not be true. But the idea that Russians could be moving on Tbilisi curiously makes you highly upset. You could debunk the wild speculation about Russian movement without getting so hysterical, but you don't. Why are you so disturbed by the possibility of Russia being anything just slightly different from this noble ideal you've been insisting on; how would you react if one of these stories turn out to be true?

Thras, I suppose you won't see Putin flaunt his bare chest either...

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Aug 13 2008 14:50 utc | 77

hardly hysterical, in this case i believe what the russians say & there is every reson to do that with the facts on the ground while the georgian foreign ministry has told so many proven lies even they are getiing caught up in it

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 14:56 utc | 78

& when even the georgian foreign ministry is telling you the russians have gone back into south ossettia - there is no need to be hysterical

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 15:06 utc | 79

fuck me dead. you say i am hysterical. watch the bush press conference. free world. fuck le

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 15:14 utc | 80

The only way to listen to a Bush press conference is to cry out load Blah! Blah! Blah!, Blah! Blah! Blah! Blah!... during the entire event.

thanks r'giap #80 !

Posted by: gus | Aug 13 2008 15:25 utc | 81

for george bush - cluster bombs are a humanitarian supply

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 17:06 utc | 82

McCain: We are all Georgians now

The second Western campaign for Caucasian oil fields thwarted. The war is pointless unless the Russians get their cut from the BP pipeline. Will McCain let that stand? No way!

God helps us all. Led by a frat boy bully and serial aged war mongers, America's future is never ending central Asian resource wars.

Posted by: VietnamVet | Aug 13 2008 17:11 utc | 83

Sarko to Saaka: better luck next time!

Part of the story, imho, is that Saak with his long planned (as I see it) propulsion up culminating in the color revolution, which should have been tulip and not rose, as his wife is Dutch and not to be ignored (see here for ex.>link, very short), changed nothing, offered nothing, to the Georgian ppl.

If anything, the circles of corruption worsened, authoritarian and strange ideological BS grew apace, as did official control of the judiciary (constitutional amendments, this is fact), arbitrary arrests (see human rights sites), and media control, very tight.

Nothing moved forward, to put it mildly. Or so I have heard.

What is left then is only waving the nationalist card and creating mischief, an obligatory rendez-vous with death, bombing, refugees, cries for help, TV images, horror, international exposure, etc. It actually doesn’t matter how exactly things turn out. (Except for those who suffer.)

See Saak. 06 speech at the UN, summary, a prime pandering exercise:>link

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 13 2008 17:19 utc | 84

saak's stain in washington part 2

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Aug 13 2008 17:41 utc | 85


If you had two brain cells to rub together, you'd understand that the Russians would gain nothing at this point by moving on Tbilisi. The comments are directed to the neocon apparatchiks in the AngloAmerican media, who, having propagandized the gullible fish into supporting the invasion of Iraq, repeating on Iran, submerging the Palestinian holocaust, are now at it again in Georgia.

It's a mild reaction, to say the least, against barefaced lies that even a blind cat could see through.

As for Puti's bare chest, hey, if you've got it, flaunt it. Besides, it pissed off the neocon hacks in the media, and it showed. Why, did it bother you? As for Bush, the goofy frat boy, doing frat boy stuff. He'd light his farts and put on a lamp shade if they'd let him.

Posted by: | Aug 13 2008 18:47 utc | 86

Me above.

Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 18:48 utc | 87

And Inkan,

Should the Lion of Georgia not sign on the dotted line, I should think the Russians would move to Tbilsi. At least I would hope so. And put his genocidal, ethnic cleansing ass on trial.


Posted by: Thrasyboulos | Aug 13 2008 18:54 utc | 88

Does anybody know if Russia uses depleted uranium? did the Georgians use any? does Israel?

Posted by: gepay | Aug 13 2008 20:23 utc | 89

maybe this is the 5th generation warfare that col. pat lang was talking other day
Before the Gunfire, Cyberattacks

As it turns out, the July attack may have been a dress rehearsal for an all-out cyberwar once the shooting started between Georgia and Russia. According to Internet technical experts, it was the first time a known cyberattack had coincided with a shooting war.

But it will likely not be the last, said Bill Woodcock, the research director of the Packet Clearing House, a nonprofit organization that tracks Internet traffic. He said cyberattacks are so inexpensive and easy to mount, with few fingerprints, they will almost certainly remain a feature of modern warfare.

“It costs about 4 cents per machine,” Mr. Woodcock said. “You could fund an entire cyberwarfare campaign for the cost of replacing a tank tread, so you would be foolish not to.”

and, to say so, russian cyber underground is impressive

Posted by: rudolf | Aug 13 2008 20:28 utc | 90

Surely another point to consider is, how does one actually take over some territory? Smallish in this case...

That involves, afaik, going into ministries, shutting them down temporarily; controlling the seat of power; flying a new flag or whatever and having bigwigs pontificate; taking over the media, grabbing control of radio, TV, etc., to quickly have them broadcast under the new regime; setting up peaceful road blocks for control; making a pointed show of holding the seat of power - Gvmt house, main town square, local castle, loved cathedral, airfield, more, etc., this can be done with minimal forces.

To reassure everyone that there is nothing to fear, nobody will be killed; food will enter, but a strict curfew is imposed, best to just obey for now. (Shut down the cell phone circuit and jam the radio waves.) Lots of menacing soldiers in the streets. Order: Stay home and wait for directives. The radio will inform. Imprison trouble makers in regular prisons.

This is not what Saak did, nor what the US did in Iraq or Afgh, nor what Israel did in Lebanon or does in Palestine.

Posted by: Tangerine | Aug 14 2008 17:24 utc | 91

this one is for our good friend r'giap. I suspect he and the writer of this article would get along famously.

There is nothing more appalling, more disgusting than our media, our pundits, our and European, so called experts, who know nothing, feel nothing, understand nothing and just drool that they can earn some money on the dead. It is the most malicious theatrics we witness and as Ben Franklin said once, “If those people do not belong to Hell we should not have come out with the Satan concept.”

Posted by: dan of steele | Aug 17 2008 12:48 utc | 92

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