The Georgia Crisis Turns Dangerous
PARIS – Pipsqueak Georgia’s harebrained and disastrous attack on tiny South Ossetia has produced a full-blown crisis pitting the US and NATO against Russia.
In an act fraught with danger, US and NATO warships are delivering supplies to Georgia, watched by Russian men of war. The US Congress may soon vote $1 billion for America’s embattled Georgian satellite.
The western powers have resorted to fierce Cold War rhetoric. They are playing with fire. Russia has some 6,600 strategic nuclear weapons, mostly aimed at North America and Europe. Besides, the US, which invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, and whose air force just killed 90 Afghan civilians, 60 of them children, is in no position to lecture Moscow about aggression.
France’s conservative president, Nicholas Sarkozy, blasted Russia and will shortly hold a European summit over Georgia in Brussels. As usual, the Harper government faithfully echoed Washington’s words.
Poland agreed to emplace a US antiballistic missile system only 184 km from Russia’s border, provoking Moscow’s fury. Ukraine and Poland are loudly backing Georgia.
Russia’s chief of staff, Gen. Yuri Baluyevsky, warns his nation has the right to launch a “preemptive nuclear strike” against enemies, in line, he tartly noted, with the Bush administration’s own policies.