11
Aug
08

On air: Can anyone stand up to Russia?

 

The White House is increasing pressure on Russia to stop the escalating conflict with Georgia in South Ossetia. And as diplomats press for a ceasefire, Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that his country will never be a “passive observer” of developments in the Caucasus region. Here are a timeline of events.

Yesterday Jim Jeffrey, the US deputy National Security Advisor, told reporters “We have made it clear to the Russians that if the disproportionate and dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues, that this will have a significant long term impact on US-Russian relations”. Over the weekend the UN Security Council failed again to agree on a statement regarding the fighting.

Is this standing up to Russia?

In recent years the country has flexed it muscles by disrupting gas supplies to several European countries after a dispute over prices with Ukraine.

British government sources told the BBC that it believed that the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned in London in 2006, was carried out with the backing of the Russian state. Russia is refusing to extradite the main suspect to Britain….

So is this the start of a new world order? Is Russia now so powerful that no one dares to stand up to it? Is that why the UN and NATO isn’t coming to the aid of civilians being caught up in the fighting? Or is this a case of Russia taking over from the US as the new Superpower and there is nothing to fear?

Some Georgians feel let down by the west. But Georgia isn’t without blame. It launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on South Ossetia last Thursday, only hours after the sides agreed a ceasefire. So is it right for the world to stand back and let the region reach a deal by itself?


241 Responses to “On air: Can anyone stand up to Russia?”


  1. 1 Robert
    August 11, 2008 at 14:53

    At the moment no. The two most likely countries to provide the military support for peacekeeping operations in Georgia are the two most bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan. They are also have weak leadership with a soon to be over presidency and a prime minister who has never seemed to have any power to start with. There is no appetite in the west in general to be pulled into a conflict they don’t need to be in. As long as the oil and gas flow the west will just issue strong warning.

  2. August 11, 2008 at 15:01

    I’m with Robert, but wouldn’t exclude the US being dumb enough to at least try to stand up to Russia. Or at very least do more than issue another strong warning.

  3. August 11, 2008 at 15:07

    My advice to Georgia is to reciprocate to Russia’s belligerent aggression and provocation in equal measure by supporting anti-Russia militants in Chechnya. Yes, an eye for an eye, support my adversaries while I support the terrorists in your back yard. Waiting for the West to reigned Russia in, is synonymous to waiting in vain.

  4. August 11, 2008 at 15:07

    Hi WHYS,

    I’ve interacted with Russians both in Europe and here in Uganda where I live. All I can say is that Russians are extremely arrogant and feel they are better than the rest in virtually everything. They believed this even when they were relatively poor compared to most western countries. How about now that they are minting some dime from oil and gas?!

    Walter in Entebbe

  5. August 11, 2008 at 15:08

    Now would be a good time for the Georgians to ally with the Chetchians or Muslims to have them come in behind them and tear them a new butt. Then the Nato troops could smuggle in a bunch of stinggers. Russia has to decide if they want to be our allies against really bad Muslim radicals like most of the people who are not Muslim are or whether they want to continue with this empire building and holding thing. Russian troops would not do well in the mountains of Georgia just like they did not do well in Afghanistan. Bomb cities, well yah anybody can do that. Go up in the rocks as an infantry supported by a traditional military. Let the games begin. It would be a really great war for both sides to fight. The true character of man can continue to unfold and all the folks in Russia big towns and cities will eventually begin to complain about why all the kids are disappearing and not coming back.

    This is the story of mankind!!

    troop on the Oregon coast

  6. 6 Ana Milena, Colombia
    August 11, 2008 at 15:13

    Hi, there!
    Sadly, there’s no way to stop Russia, they’re so focused in the aim and they don’t really care about US’ words or even relationship. It seems they feel ready to cope with the situation their own way, appealing to violence in extreme forms and justifying it somehow, when their reasons are well-known.

    In my opinion, the US is wasting their time (if they’ve got no other intention behind). In addition, Georgia has reacted in spite of their intention to cease war.

    so, as we can see (and it’s too sad), it’s going to take longer, because their interests are so fixed they won’t give up easily. I also hope that this conflict be not fed by ‘international support’, which usually screws it up even more.

    Cheers!

  7. 7 steve
    August 11, 2008 at 15:14

    Russia is such a thug nation. Too bad Georgia doesn’t have a powerful military to punish them with.

  8. 8 Arnaud Ntirenganya Emmanuel
    August 11, 2008 at 15:21

    Hello Chloe,
    Who can stand up to Russia? No one of course. It’s been long after their last weapons test. Moscow is trying to enthrone one with different views to US and EU plans towards Georgia.

  9. 9 Anthony
    August 11, 2008 at 15:28

    Well, Rocky beat the Russian in “Rocky IV”.

    Russia has a bunch of oil and nukes, maybe we should invade them like we did with the Middle Eastern countries :)

    -Anthony, LA, CA

  10. August 11, 2008 at 15:30

    Russia has a bunch of oil and nukes, maybe we should invade them like we did with the Middle Eastern countries

    – DUBYA EM DEES!!!!!
    – Where?
    – In that thur trailer!!!
    – INVADE THE COUNTRY!!!!

  11. August 11, 2008 at 15:41

    I am against the all kinds of war. Because war is bloody and expensive. And also i am totally against the ‘Army’ interference by a big and powerful country to the small and the poor country. This time Russaia is doing exactly same. So Russia should hear the global voices and respect to the indepent of the other country. And only way of the solution of any problem is peaceful talks between stakeholders. War never be the solution of the any problems.

  12. 12 Mohammed Ali
    August 11, 2008 at 15:52

    So is this the start of a new world order? Is Russia now so powerful that no one dares to stand up to it? Is that why the UN and NATO isn’t coming to the aid of civilians being caught up in the fighting? Or is this a case of Russia taking over from the US as the new Superpower and there is nothing to fear?

    Chloe,
    No, this is not a start of any “New World Order”. Russia is simply following the examples of what the USA and Britain have done in other countries.
    When the US and Britain were warned against waging an unjustifiable war against Iraq by the UN, they went on with the war up till now are occupying the country. There are many more civilian deaths than the entire reign of Saddam.

    America and her allies can’t do anything simply because they do not have the moral credentials. How can America and her allies tell Russia to respect the sovereign integrity of Georgia when they never respect that of Serbia, Iraq? America supported Israel during invasion and indiscriminate bombings of Lebanon in 2006. What’s about the bombing of Syria by Israel with the support of America.

  13. 13 Virginia Davis
    August 11, 2008 at 15:55

    @Ana Milena:

    Welcome, another voice from the Americas.

    I don’t believe there is anything the US can or will do about Russia’s incursion on Georgia. It is “realipolitik” (sp?) – maybe someone should ask Kissinger what he advises?

    Virginia in Oregon

  14. 14 Katharina in Ghent
    August 11, 2008 at 15:58

    I wouldn’t expect the EU to take a big stand against Russia, we’re way to dependent on their oil and gas supplies. Besides, the EU also hasn’t done much during the Balkan conflict, until Nato stepped in. I expect some EU minister to make something like an “urgent call for cease fire”, that’s as strong as it will get.

    Ten years ago, when Russia was broke, they wouldn’t have dared to invade another sovereign country, but now, they show their true face (again).

  15. 15 Mohammed Ali
    August 11, 2008 at 16:02

    The Russian state was also involved in the murder of former Russian agent Alexander Litvinenko who was poisoned in London in 2006. Russia is refusing to extradite the main suspect to Britain….

    The question is how many times has Britain extradited any of her citizens for prosecution in other countries?

    I think the premise for the entire debate here is bias and the BBC which we trust so much should not be the one promoting one sided agenda.

  16. 16 Julie P
    August 11, 2008 at 16:02

    The US and the UK have done things in the past and in the present that may not be right, but it does not excuse the actions of others. Two wrongs do not make a right. Russia clearly in the wrong.

  17. 17 Moses Magoola
    August 11, 2008 at 16:06

    Russia has moved beyond the threshold and the rest of the world is watching. These kinds of inhuman and genocidal attacks are unacceptable in a modern world that has transcended the old cold war ideological wars. Russia is fighting to impose its leftist ideology on a country that has embraced democracry and enjoyed its positive results. Russia must stop the savagery acts and if not, the rest of the world should swing into action

    Magoola Moses- Kampala Uganda

  18. 18 CJ McAuley
    August 11, 2008 at 16:08

    As with all things either Russian or Soviet before that, this is all as clear as mud to us in the “West”. From what I have heard so far, by listening to BBC, NPR and others on the Internet, every side has their own “truths” that appear to be cemented by their own biases. It should neither surprise anyone that the UN is essentially powerless in circumstances like this, when one of the 5 permanent members of the Security Council is involved. Despite all the trite pronouncements of “the world coming together” during the Olympics; it is all smoke and mirrors.
    To quote Matthew:6, partially: “And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars… for these things must come to pass”. Such things are simply the way of this world and have been for a very, very long time!

  19. 19 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 16:16

    The Russians think that they have a free hand until the USA and allies pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan,not true .
    If NATO in Greece and Turkey decide to act they can do a lot of damage to Russian forces in the Black Sea and Georgia.NATO only has to destroy the Russian threat not get involved in Nation building.
    The Allies should grasp this opportunity to act.
    Ukraine has to kick the Russian Navy out of their territory.
    Where is the Russian oil and gas money going ,into defence spending ,doubt it.
    It would be really great if Russians in the Baltic States were repatriated by their newly rich country.

  20. 20 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 16:17

    Dear Mohammed Ali,

    Well said. You have put forth the issues eloquently.

    If anyone can be bothered to read the news carefully, it was Georgia who initiated the hostilities thinking that the West and NATO would come to its aid.

    Russia is a smaller bear now. But does not mean that if you try to pull one of its whiskers, it is not going to take a swing at you with a paw.

  21. 21 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 16:26

    Now would be good time to cut a deal with AlQueda,tell them thay can do what ever you want to Russia as long as you leave the West alone,hey NATO could even supply them with weapons.(has that been tried before?hmm)

  22. 22 Alex in Nairobi
    August 11, 2008 at 16:31

    The US and China obviously do have the capacity to stand up against the Russians but may not.

    China would by committing suicide by intefering with Russia-Georgia brawls yet its hosting the olympics. The fact that China voted with Russia against stupid sanctions against some senior govt officials suggests that relations between China and Russia are not bad.

    As for the americans,yes americans,I don’t think they have any moral authority to meddle with the Russian-Giorgian matters. If their track record in Afghanistan,Iraq and Somali are anything to go by, I don’t think I have really seen them fighting for peace.

    Kindly correct me if what I think is wrong.

  23. 23 Mohammed Ali
    August 11, 2008 at 16:37

    Julie P August 11, 2008 at 4:02 pm

    The US and the UK have done things in the past and in the present that may not be right, but it does not excuse the actions of others. Two wrongs do not make a right. Russia clearly in the wrong.

    How do we determine that Russia is clearly in the wrong? Was it Russia who initiated the fight? What’s about the destruction and killings the Georgians did in South Ossetia? Oh! I guess they are right simply because they are an ally of the west and in particular the US. Apparently the lives of the Georgians are better than that of the South Ossetians.

  24. 24 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 16:39

    If the Russians attack the Oil pipeline which supplies the West then NATO must attack Russian Oil and Gas pipelines.
    At the 75th Anniversary of the BBC World Service: WHYS special I met a couple of Georgians ,I asked one of them how his Russian (language)was, because pretty soon he would be speaking it again,he informed me he would go back to his country to fight ,I wonder what he is doing right now ,maybe you (WHYS)got his phone number and address.

  25. August 11, 2008 at 16:49

    Hi gang ! ;-)… Just an innocent and simple question to all of you guys : Why should South Ossetia be different from Kosovo ?! And why are international reactions to both issues so different like that ?! With my love… Yours forever, Lubna…

  26. August 11, 2008 at 16:51

    CJ, I hope you are right.

    @all,

    I have done much more listening and reading since yesterday. It seems this battle has been going on with casualties for a couple of years. Both sides taking shots at each other. I watched a you tube video that I think was produced buy aljazeria that claimed that the Georgians started a ground attack against the light Russian presence in South Ossetia and killed many of the Russian soldiers. Now with Georgia bordering Iran and a more probable population of Muslims, I would have expected them to take the Georgian side. It seems that the area where the fighting takes place is inside of regions that don’t wholly identify themselves as Russian or Gorgonian.

    While I am in little doubt that Russia is with out blame, I am not willing to wholesale absolve Georgia of any blame. The Americans would react the exact same way if say North Korea suddenly sent a force across the DMZ and took out a bunch of our soldiers.

    What does really matter to me is the question, “who is going to stand up and be a valid and unbiased mediator?”. Who in the international community has the angle that would let them stand down? Are there leaders in the UN who hold such prestige?

  27. 27 1430a
    August 11, 2008 at 16:56

    hello WHYS,
    seems like the third world war has begun.And guess what its Russia to start again.They have begun and seems like this time its gonna be big and very dangerous.
    I dont understand whats wrong with Russia.I hope the useless UN comes up this time and save more lives from dieing.
    Abhinav

  28. 28 klemesu laryea
    August 11, 2008 at 17:05

    All of you can go ahead and have your pity party.Why does Russia need standing up to ?Today the Serb part of Bosnia is not allowed to break from Bosnia because the west says so.Kosovo is no longer a part of Serbia because the west says so.All well and good.90% of the break away regions of Georgia do not wish to be part of Georgia.Must Russia succumb to the wishes of the west in his back yard too ?
    Wouldn’t Bush and Brown kill for a 90% approval rating ?they have done so for less.
    As poor as Georgia is it raised its military spending by a bunch in the last three years just to prepare for this moment.It is AGAIN Georgia who started this war hoping that a sneak attack would catch the bear in hibernation.It almost did.Now the bear is fully awake and Saakashvilli will rue his decision yet.Will people wake up and realize that Saakashvilli is playing a game to try to force NATO membership.This is not the first time he has used force against his own People.Remember the brutal crack down on opposition rallies ?This man is playing to the camera’s and if no one calls him on it,I bloody war will ensue that we will all not live to regret.By the way why is he flying the E.U flag when he is not a member of the E.U.How do we know then that some of the tanks and planes we see on T.V with Russian flags are really Russian.Be afraid,be very afraid of this man.You may be looking at a fascist

  29. 29 Julie P
    August 11, 2008 at 17:05

    @Mohamed,

    Evidently, it is okay to murder indicrementally because of what the US and the UK have done in the past and the present. That makes it okay. I’ve seen video tape of al Qeada using that same logic when it comes to what the UK did under Queen Victoria. Go ahead, endorse wholesale murder because you don’t like what’s happened in the past and who our allies are.

  30. 30 André
    August 11, 2008 at 17:06

    Not at the moment. First of all, no one is going to try to fight Russia on the Georgian front – too close to the Russian homeland to have any chance of success.

    The US and UK are mired in military campaigns that have all but exhausted their offensive military capabilities – there is no significant military capacity left with which to confront the Russians. In addition, the US and UK populations are war-weary and definitely not in the mood to take on a huge and highly capable Russian military on its doorstep.

    The European Union as a whole is too beholden to Russian energy and too pacifist in its outlook to risk any major form of confrontation with the Russians. The United Nations is every more useless (at conflict resolution), than usually because Russia has veto power in the Security Council.

    So, can anyone intervene to help the Georgians? Well, their are two countries who could do it but I doubt either will – Georgia is not of sufficient interest to them. The two countries are Turkey and China.

    Turkey’s Army is over 800,000 strong and could be shifted to confront the Russians should the Turks wish to do this (perhaps with US/UK air support). However, the likelihood is that the Turks would pay a high price to defend Georgia and receive little in return.

    The only other power that could significantly disrupt Russian plans is China – simply by moving a significant proportion of the Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) to the Russo-China border as a warning. However, given the fact the Chinese have little interest in Georgia and lots of commercial interests in Russia, I do not foresee this happening either. In fact, the Chinese too would probably vote against any UN resolution that attempted to condemn Russia.

    The West has to realize that our power relative to Russia, China and India is declining rapidly. This is not the 1960s, 70s or even 80s where western countries had global infleunce only matched by the then Soviet Union. We now live in a world where the US (and even more the UK), require many allies to do major things – like confront the Russians.

    Sorry Georgia, we should never have encouraged you to believe that you could join NATO or get into a serious diplomatic tiff with the Russians. We misled you and now you are paying the price. We will complain to the Russians, hold demonstrations and (perhaps), boycott some symbolic Russian goods but, really it is going to be business as usual – after all, it gets cold in Europe in winter …

  31. August 11, 2008 at 17:08

    @ Vijay:
    Now would be good time to cut a deal with AlQueda,tell them thay can do what ever you want to Russia as long as you leave the West alone,hey NATO could even supply them with weapons.(has that been tried before?hmm)

    Haha, great point!

  32. August 11, 2008 at 17:12

    After the US’s unjustifiable invasion of Iraq – with Tony Blair’s blessing – the West has neither the moral high-ground, nor the military resources to keep the Russian State in check. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, but as with the US invasion of Iraq, MIGHT becomes the criterion for what is right. Sadly, having exhausted both diplomatic and military capital for Iraqi oil, the West will have no choice but to abandon its Eastern friends to their fate, leaving them to the mercy of an invigorated and increasingly belligerent Russia.

  33. 33 John in Salem
    August 11, 2008 at 17:12

    The West will do nothing to jeopardize it’s access to Russian oil (the 8th largest reserves in the world) and Georgia needs to be realistic about that.
    There’s also the little matter of Russia still holding some 16,000 nuclear warheads. If they want to embark on a campaign of “Operation Georgia Freedom” no one is going to interfere.

  34. August 11, 2008 at 17:12

    Russia is a world power, like China and the USA, and what ever happens in their backyard that is not condusive to Russia they will wield their military strength to suit themselves. It is the same old story, like China occupied Tibet, and had no right to do so. Russia will not stay quiet when their interests are at stake, and they have the expertise in using force and blackmailing their neighbouring countries with oil and gas supplies.

  35. 35 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 17:17

    It seems to me that during the 90s, Russia was a very troubled and corrupt country. Now, 20-odd years after the fall of communism, ‘Ivan’ (no offense intended) has decided he has made enough progress to reinstate himself as a world power. Sadly, one of the ways of doing that is to project your power as a warning and example to others.

    Strategically speaking, Russia picked a pretty good time to do this. The US is overstretched in the Middle East, Russia has, recently concluded arrangements with China about the border, the EU is as militarily weak and powerless as ever, and Georgia is by comparison a militarily weak nation isolated from NATO. As long as the conflict doesn’t spill over sectarian lines (christians vs. muslims — as it always has been sadly), there’s very little anybody can do about it.

    The one wild card I can see is the American administration. Mr. Bush has everything to gain and nothing to lose politically if he intervenes. His actions over the last eight years lead me to believe that his administration cares very little for the American soldiers/citizens, so the temptation to go double or nothing on either Iran or Georgia must be strong. Let’s hope his advisors have a tighter reign on Mr. Bush than the media thinks.

    Here’s a story from the Economist about it.

  36. 36 Trent West
    August 11, 2008 at 17:19

    I think the Georgians over estimated their ties to the west and under-estimated the Russians. When the Georgians launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on South Ossetia last Thursday they broke the cease fire they had just signed. They thought the Russians will not get involved militarily but will try to diplomacy. Its funny to me that now their president wants to sign a cease fire.

    This whole thing reminds of an interview I saw after the Israeli Hezbollah war. A Hezbollah commander said they did not anticipate the Israelis’ response. They thought they will negotiate a prisoner exchange?

    The west will not get involved more than talking, because of many reasons one of which is the Russians have a powerful military. Talking of the west getting involved – who in the west? France, Belgium, Portugal, Spain, Ireland, Italy…..? Europeans, except the British, are pacifist. Remember their response to Bismack and Hilter? I am not saying Dmitry Medvedev and Vladimir Putin are like Bismack and Hilter. Medvedev and Putin are nationalists they are motivated with one thing – the return of Russia to superpower status. So if I was any of their neighbors I will not give them any reason to attack me.

  37. 37 Brian Larson
    August 11, 2008 at 17:29

    Three thoughts:
    1.) Russia is a massive, multiethnic, oil and resource power with by far the largest number of nukes in the world. It has well founded concerns about possible ethnic fracturing of its empire remnant state. The Georgia invasion of South Ossetia, if successful, could have incited ethnic warfare throughout the Caucasus from a Russian point of view. Can Russian leadership tolerate this endangerment of its remnant empire?
    2.) Russia will use this provocation to seize the oil pipeline to Europe from Central Asia thus increasing its influence and oil profits from Central and Western Europe as well as Central Asia.
    3.) Domestically, this is an excellent presentaion for the ruling elite. The Russians get Gori. The birthplace of the state’s greatest leader per a recent poll, Stalin.

  38. 38 CarlosK
    August 11, 2008 at 17:33

    Hi All,

    Just one question.

    Is it now an acceptable part of the “new world order” that any region of Europe with a predominant ethnic majority though they’re a minority in the country must seek “independence’ and if its not granted an established country (which sympathises with that enthnic minority and is related ethnically) will come to their assistance and bomb the hell out of the majority!?

    What a mess the worlds is in: might has become right! and what’s right is wrong! and what’s wrong is right!

    As we say in Jamaica, “dag nyam wi suppa!”

    Only God can help us now!

    Carlos, Kingston- Jamaica.

  39. 39 Nelson from Kampala
    August 11, 2008 at 17:35

    I do believe the US and China have the capacity to stand up to Russia but with China having close ties with them, I know they won’t. Plus with the US not wanting to ruin their reputation more, they won’t either. This leaves the EU and Sarkozy who should take the mantle and fix the problem and if Russia continue being stubborn then force should be used as the Russians feel they can bully anyone.

  40. 40 Asad_Babyl
    August 11, 2008 at 17:35

    Comparing the situation in Georgia with the situation in Chechnya by Western diplomats underscores the little they know, or admit they know, about what goes on in that country.

    Supporting independence for a people who have nothing to do with Georgia and have fought for independence since 1989 and even earlier is one thing. Defeating a fundamentalist Islamic gazavat in Chechnya led by a man who in order to take power threw the elected Parliament out of the windows of the parliament building itself, is another.

    Accusing Russia of provocing this war leads to ignorance of the way in which Georgia first established a ceasefire and offered terms of autonomy to South Osetia last Thursday and stormed their capital in an attempt to catch the freedom fighters and Russian peacekeepers by surprise.

    As usual the main stream media at work ladies and gentlemen.

  41. 41 Mohammed Ali
    August 11, 2008 at 17:36

    @Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India,

    I can tell you for free that Al Qaeda will more favor dealing with the Russians than the west. By the way I don’t think Russia’s for the west in fighting Al Qaeda is much.
    America did that before with Saddam against Iran, they did it with the Mujaheddin against the very Russia and in those instances you know what they turn out to be?
    America is bugged down in Afghanistan fighting the very Mujaheddin in the form of the Taliban. They are bugged down in Iraq fighting in the nightmare they created in Saddam. I wonder when they will learn lesson?

  42. 42 Count Iblis
    August 11, 2008 at 17:42

    No one could stand up to the US when they told Saddam that he and his two sons had to leave Iraq within 48 hours, because Saddam had just launched an attack on Kuwayt killing many people, including many US citizens.

    Oh no sorry, that didn’t happen, I mean, Saddam had stockpilies of WMD and he was about to give them to Bin Laden. Hmmm I guess I’m wrong again, I remember that the weapons inspectors didn’t find any WMD, so it wasn’t about that.

    I guess, I forgot why the US launched its attack on Iraq, bad memory perhaps. :(

  43. 43 dEVADAS, iNDIA
    August 11, 2008 at 17:47

    hello,
    this debate if its answered at microlevel with the present circumstances prevailing in international law and united nations weak implementation of charters no one can stand up to russia. reason? simple even if america raise this ossetia issue in united security counsil russia would veto it also they would ask the question of kosovo seperation and the stance of america?

    ALSO what about orange, pink, velvet revolutions that seperated geogia, ukraine, uzbekisthan from soviet union and the help provided by america for that separtist cause. now some want to join back russian union as they found out all so called flowery revolutions were useless making the day to day life of common man difficult.

    and at macro level how can united nations has the moral right to convene security counsil instantly when the same america has violated united nations charter article 2(4)and even 2(7) citing the reason of weapons of mass destruction which was later found wrong by the same united nation subsidiary bodies?

    also gergia has a army contingent in iraq too and they are withdrawing it for lending a helping attacking ossetia. can they stand up to russias question of happenings ?

    at macro level only the total revamping of unitednations particularly the security counsil can stop this kind of attrocities be it russia or america from indulging in war against small countries as they have no say in the world matters respect to veto power?

    its time to question revamping security counsil with india, germany, brazil, south africa which has over 250crores people has no say in the world matters in security counsil? how can it be said a world body when majority have no say in world mtters in the security counsil by not having veto powers? just like WHYS having a world or global perspective even that is not been seen in unitednation bodies setup?

    if only this anamoly is rectified world will be under war threat all the time as unsecurity counsil veto power holding nations can do whatever they want.
    so the answer for stopping war is whether the wholesome world is taken into by the united nations?

    this putting plaster to warcancerwounds has been going for years after the second world war leading to this kind of georgia, ossetia, iraq, kosova ,and whole african countries particularly darfur and zimbawe. whether united nations want to treat this warcancer wounds opened up by russia and america to continue or treat this cancer wounds from its roots by totally revamping united nations including countries like india, germany, south africa, brazil etc to have veto powers thus giving it a true world body looks and setup like ATLEAST WHYS HAVING A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE IN DEBATE ATLEAST WHICH EVEN IS MISSING IN UNITEDNATIONS?

  44. 44 Thomas Schultz
    August 11, 2008 at 17:47

    Can anyone stand up to Russia?
    Does anyone _want_ to stand up to Russia?
    Georgia and the western Powers seem to have miscalculated the Russian sensitivities concerning their backyard of former Soviet republics. To Russia, a Georgia in the NATO seems inacceptable and the Georgians just gave them a good excuse to do something about it.
    A peaceful Georgia in NATO did look realistic – once upon a time. A peaceful Georgia in NATO was definitely in the interest of the western world which is worrying about oil from Asia. But a NATO country in latent state of war with a military superpower is not in anybodies interest. Does anyone want to stand up to Russia? Definitely not.

  45. 45 Rob, Texas, USA
    August 11, 2008 at 17:49

    For a number of years it looked as if post-USSR Russia might like to become a part of the civilized world. But like the scorpion that stung to death the snake that gave him a ride across the river, fighting and repression are just what Russians do and there is no changing. Look at the situation now where Georgia has declared a cease fire and the Russians want no part of it.

    As for any US pressure to stop fighting with the threat of long term harm to international relations, the US under Bush has no moral bargaining power whatsoever. Additionally, “harm to long term relations” lasts only until economics dictate otherwise and that can change overnight.

    It’s a sad situation but Russians are Russians and kill out of fear, irrational and self harming as it often is.

  46. 46 Mason, USA
    August 11, 2008 at 17:50

    The only group that could possibly stand up to Russia is NATO, the problem is that NATO, and its primary military force, the US, is more aggressive than the Russians, and any attempt for the US to speak to the Russians will be undermined by the hypocritical actions and rhetoric of the United States and many of its allies.

    Mason
    Park City, Utah

  47. 47 Jocelyn, USA
    August 11, 2008 at 17:50

    Thank you for the fabulous program. On the assumption that today’s topic will be the Georgia Russia conflict, I have a question I have not had any news reports address. The Russians say that they are coming to the defense of a separatist portion of Georgia, has there been any Russian activity or advancement of troops anywhere in Georgia other than the separatist portion? I would appreciate it if you could answer that question on your program today.

    Jocelyn, Bend OR USA

  48. 48 Kofi Q
    August 11, 2008 at 17:51

    I don’t know if anyone can stand up to Russia.

    one thing I do know however is that Georgia will NEVER stand up to Russia again.

    I simply cannot understand that the Georgians didn’t anticipate this brutal force from Russia.

    Russia has merely been waiting for an opportunity like this to teach its recalcitrant neighbours

    That it has been a super-power before.

  49. 49 Andrew, Australia
    August 11, 2008 at 17:55

    On the one hand the west wants to keep Russia in its box, but European nations know all too well that with energy as a lever Russia can easily turn of the taps and leave Europe to shiver. One problem with Russia is its constant paranoia of outsiders and feelings of inferiority having lost its sphere of influence in the former eastern bloc of nations. It needs to flex its atrophied muscles to regain some sense of pride. A great deal of the intransigence and obstacle to any significant discussion with Russia is the continuing presence of Putin, were he no longer pulling the strings then maybe some constructive dialog could occur.

  50. 50 Asad_Babyl
    August 11, 2008 at 17:58

    @ Thomas Shultz,

    See my post above. I stood up for Russia.

  51. 51 Livia
    August 11, 2008 at 17:58

    When Poutine came to power, I began to fear for the future of the satellite countries of the USSR. After all, he is an ex-KGB man who said that the break-up of the USSR was a tragedy.

    The Russian bear, after a long hibernation, has gathered strength and is ready to begin devouring the small democratic country of Georgia.

    The best solution would be for the Russian nationals of South Ossetia to move to Russia, instead of trying to break up and destroy Georgia.

    Of course, Saakashvili would have done better to wait till his country’s membership in Nato, which would ensure its protection against foreign invasion.

    Livia Varju

  52. 52 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 18:01

    @ Kofi Q
    I agree with you in that why did Georgia not anticipate the brutal invasion and destruction is a mystery.
    How much more telling can it be that as a former Superpower but still a large country, Russia would try to prove its “manhood” by inflicting death and destruction on a small almost indefensible country when diplomacy would have easily worked.
    This is a wake up call for the civilized world.

  53. August 11, 2008 at 18:02

    One common theme I hope everybody takes from this event is how economics ties directly into state power these days. Domestic economic policies can one day leave even the most powerful country militarily in a tight predicament.

    How do you think the Chinese have risen to strength so fast over the past 15 years? Quick hint, try to go to the store and buy anything that is a “durable” good that is not “Made in China”. From kids toys to kitchen tools it all comes from China. The US has seemed to give up on its industry and encouraged a “service economy”. It wasn’t their development of the nuclear bomb that has given them the momentum. It was their development of industry.

    Then you have Russia who was all but counted for dead until the past 4 years. The problem for Russia was the fact that it was such a huge country with huge expenses. Relative to their sized and economic structure, oil was still selling too cheap to finance things. Enter the Bush/ Cheney years. Bad weather events, sustained unrest in the Middle East, the rise of new economies who were busy producing and not fighting wars, the loss of value in the dollar forcing traders to seek more predictable investment options such as oil, and opening of loopholes like the “rapid deduction clause” have sent oil prices skyrocketing. Russia can now afford to breath a little. They just got a 300% pay raise.

    If we don’t want this to start happening again, we had better get a handle on our economy.

  54. 54 Asad_Babyl
    August 11, 2008 at 18:03

    Watch the video below:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7554507.stm

    Run Mikhail Sakasjvili, run! hahahaha

    For years, he’s been commiting human rights violations in Abkhazia and South Osetia, now he and his troops run like rabbits. Serves him right.

  55. 55 Raphael
    August 11, 2008 at 18:04

    As if it is not bad enough to invade another man’s land, Russia think they can also claim to be standing in for peace. Pardon me, but i think it is the gratest level of inhuman treatment by them and must not go on without being checked. Two wrongs can not make a right.

  56. 56 Mohammed Ali
    August 11, 2008 at 18:05

    @Julie P August 11, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    “@Mohamed,

    Evidently, it is okay to murder indicrementally because of what the US and the UK have done in the past and the present. That makes it okay. I’ve seen video tape of al Qeada using that same logic when it comes to what the UK did under Queen Victoria. Go ahead, endorse wholesale murder because you don’t like what’s happened in the past and who our allies are.”

    No Julie, I don’t mean for a minute that a powerful nation should go on bombing and killing innocent civilians. That’s precisely why I’m blaming the Georgians for this senseless fracas. They had no right after signing a peace accord with South Ossetia to go about at night bombarding and killing innocent people in the quest of gaining territory. Oh Julie! I’m I making a mistake here? Are the lives of the Georgians better than those of the South Ossetians?

    Al Qaeda is as barbaric in their acts as those who did before them and those who will do after them.

  57. 57 Robert
    August 11, 2008 at 18:08

    Kofi Q

    The reports from the early days was that Georgia invaded the region to destroy the rebels/freedom fighters and didn’t directly go for the Russian. They seem to have assumed that the Russian would do what the west does in peacekeeping missions namely standby, watch and record.

  58. August 11, 2008 at 18:09

    Putin and Hitler same in behaviour. The Russian tanks took over a vital part of an independent country of the Republic of Georgia. Russia has no right to attack and to kill citizens of Georgia. The UN once again has failed as a world organization of peace. Once again another Hitler is doing evil and the nations of the world watching from afar. The Republic of Georgia had largely rejected Putin’s policies and has allied itself with the West. While the United nations sits and waits for what? Putin is having a Hitler day.
    Good going UN.

  59. 59 viola
    August 11, 2008 at 18:10

    Can anyone stand up to Russia? Of course. They’re just not guaranteed to win in the conflict that follows.

    Canada

  60. 60 Asad_Babyl
    August 11, 2008 at 18:10

    Look at the man who spoke so boldly against South Ossetia and their bid for independence, having sanctioned the deaths of thousands of civilians, run for his life:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/7554507.stm

    lol@ Mikhail Sakashvili. The EU can’t save you now huh?

  61. 61 Julie P
    August 11, 2008 at 18:12

    @Mohamed,

    You are entitled to your opinion as much as I am, but that moral equivalency comparison has gotten so old it’s lost its usefulness and perpetuates problems, inckluding the position of whose live has more value than another. You can read whatever you like into my position. I believe Russia is being far too aggressive.

  62. 62 Nathan
    August 11, 2008 at 18:13

    Does this sound like Sudatenland to anyone else? They (the Russians) are giving Ossetians unfetted access to Russian citizenships thus legitimizing their claim that they are defending their own people! And, frankly, I am extremely concerned when a politician (Western and Russian alike) comes on the air and merely says they will follow this through “to its logical conclusion.” That scares me and this seems almost exactly like what Germany was doing to Western Europe with the Sudatenland:

    “well why shouldn’t Germany (Russia) be allowed to invade the Sudatenland (South Ossetia) they’re all Germans (Russians) there..its their own people! ”

    Does anyone else remember this!?

  63. 63 viola
    August 11, 2008 at 18:15

    No big surprise that Russia is once more seeking to regain its former empire. It’s just more of their attempt to control the flow of oil to Europe. Remember how the government took control of their oil industry once it was up and running efficiently? Remember what happened in Ukraine?

    Canada

  64. August 11, 2008 at 18:16

    Russia is building empire. They are upset that Georgia is no longer fully under their control as it was during the days of the Soviet Union and they are using military force to re-asset their control. All the other assertions are made by people who support Russian supremacy. Who can stand up to Russia? Well NATO possibly could, but they won’t, will they; NATO can’t even defeat the Taliban right now, and Russia has a whole lot more troops and equipment than the Taliban does.

  65. 65 Per Carlsson
    August 11, 2008 at 18:18

    Saakashvili and his military advisors were naive and irresponsible to think that Russia would not respond aggressively to their attempt to retake South Ossetia by force. Obviously Russia is in the wrong, but they are reacting exactly the way one would expect them to, so responsibility for the situation really lies squarely with Saakashvili. I feel very sorry for the Georgians, and assume they, too, must be fuming with their president for blundering into a crisis that has put their lives at risk and all but ruined Georgia’s chances of retaining its territorial integrity.

  66. 66 John, U.S.A.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:19

    Dear World Have Your say,
    This is a letter I sent to the President, it is what I feel
    *******************************************************

    Dear President Bush,
    I am sure you are getting plenty of advice concerning the recent Russian advance into Georgia. Sir, You must back up the Georgian Government beyond mere words. Yes, I am aware that Russia is still a power nation, however if democracy is to stand for anything in nations were it does not exist, we must confront Russia now! What good is words when people are dying. People who believe in freedom. I am aware that your are in your last term. I am also aware that those nations who wish to break away are watching to see if America will stand with them when they decide to make a move towards the West and freedom. Russia chose to go into Georgia because she believe that American forces are bogged down in the Middle East, concerned about Iran, North Korea and unable to fight a three front war. The time to stand up is now Mr. President. You have nothing to lose. If war is to come let it be on our own terms.

    Sincerely Yours,
    John
    Minnesota

  67. 67 Kalypso, Austria
    August 11, 2008 at 18:20

    right now the west is dependent on russia, georgia and other countries for oil and gas…

    this is of course a problem ….

    well, i have a suggestion that would make things easier: what about developing sources of sustainable energy from renewable sources, namely: solar power, wind power, water power, bio diesel.

    things would be better if the west wouldn’t be so dependent on several countries, then they could press rusia and also georgia much more effectively to stop this war.

  68. 68 John, Washington DC, U.S.A.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:22

    The West may be demonizing Russia, but only because the country is behaving diabolically in bullying its smaller neighbor. There is a fundamental difference between the internal security matter of pacifying a rebellious region and Russia’s action in mounting an invasion. The Russians’ argument of protecting people with Russian passports (issued in the ’80s when the USSR owned the area) are merely a fig leaf for their renewed imperial ambitions. Russia has a pattern of perverting the rhetoric of the West to justify it’s unsavory actions, whether claiming “militant Islamic terrorism” as an excuse to oppress Chechnya, or alleging “genocide” in order to invade sovereign territory of Georgia.

    It is entirely possible that South Ossetia’s bid for independence is justified, however that has nothing to do with the Russian attack. How would Russia respond if a foreign power intervaded Russia to protect the Chechnyans and “stabilize the region?”

  69. 69 Richard, California, U.S.A.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:22

    Why invade Georgia? It’s a rush to see who gets to control the pipeline from the Caspian to the Gulf states and out to the Atlantic. The US was going to put the pipeline through Afghanistan, however that was deemed too mountainous, so… just follow the American military… they’re going to the best place to cross— Iran. In the meantime Russia wants to control at least ONE end of that pipeline, but to do so they have to counter the military super-bases the US is building right at their back door. So they foment an uprising in Ossetia and try to take over Georgia before it can become another Nato “ally”.

  70. 70 Marinovsky
    August 11, 2008 at 18:23

    International community must defend Georgia from Russian aggresion

  71. August 11, 2008 at 18:24

    Seventy years ago, at the beginning of October 1938, the Nazis marched into the Czech border regions, known as the Sudetenland.
    Hitler was responding to separatist demans fron the German Citizens living in Sudetenland. Putin and Hitler one and the same.

  72. August 11, 2008 at 18:26

    Please Georgia, don’t try to drag my country into another foreign conflict which we have no business in.

  73. 73 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 18:26

    haha. The guests can’t even get on the same page!

    There are other ways of winning besides military force. The use of force is ham-fisted and counter-productive at best, and economically disasterous at worst. I’m surprised countries still believe that fighting a war will help them economically. Can somebody tell me a country that has benefitted from having a war fought on its continent/soil, instead of from war profiteering? You’d think world leaders would study their history better…

    “For to win one hundred victories in one hundred battles is not the acme of skill. To subdue the enemy without fighting is the acme of skill.”

    “There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. “
    -Sun Tzu

  74. 74 steve
    August 11, 2008 at 18:30

    @ Brett

    Perhaps because the Soviet Heroes are involved here? We know how the left laments the loss of the Soviet Union. Russia is doing what they do best: being thugs. They are truly behaving in the most disgusting nature, and have europe by the horns due to their energy dependence. If Europe and the US could become energy self sufficient, Russia could just fade away into insignificance and the KGB monster and die a poor man.

  75. 75 Sulayman Dauda
    August 11, 2008 at 18:34

    Certainly no but, if any one argued then revisit US invention of Iraq and Afghanistan. 21st century is absolutely a reversal to pre- League of Nations and United Nation world system. a violation of the agreement by the co founders of the peace treaties. thanks to the super powers and thanks to civilization.

  76. 76 Banks, Amsterdam
    August 11, 2008 at 18:34

    S. Ossetia is Georgian territory. Period. Russia has mounted an invasion. Period. The West will do nothing. That’s it. Good luck.

  77. 77 Kiru in Jamaica
    August 11, 2008 at 18:34

    Georgia played chicken with Russia and got way more than they bargained for. You play with fire, you get burnt.

  78. 78 Shirley, NY, U.S.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:35

    When little countries do something wrong the biggies Beat them up into pulp. The power hungry are all ready for a little one to do something, anything wrong. If we were to use US standards, Bush should be congragulating Putin.
    Eg, Afghanistan, Iran, Haiti, Chechnya, Lebanon, Hamas in Palestine

  79. 79 W.N., U.S.A.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:38

    What we are seeing is a variant of blowback from the West’s (but especially the US) policy of supporting Kosovo’s secession from Serbia. Well, why not accept the breakaway regions within Georgia. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.

    In any case, Georgian President Saakhashvili has overplayed his hand and was overly optimistic of Western support. Frankly, this guy is dangerous. After the West humiliated Russia (on Kosovo), did the West and Saakhashvili think the Russian bear would keel over? Russia is going to teach him a lesson, and it is about time!

    I think I have heard it all on BBC. Your guest, the Georgian Minister is rabid and compared Putin with Hitler. How low has your program come to? He was disrespectful of the other guest too. Why do you have such guests?

    Do you really think that the West is going to stop Russia? The West, but especially the US-UK axis, has no standing to say anything about engaging in the immoral invasion and continuing occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan. Your guest from Yale University is perfectly correct that the West, including the US, needs Russia more than vice-versa.

    It is good that there is a changing of the guard!

  80. 80 Rick
    August 11, 2008 at 18:38

    This whole thing smells like a set-up by Russia to bully and intimidate Georgia into giving up their pro-West views and NATO aspirations. Unfortunately it seems Georgia played into Russia’s hands with their ill-advised and frankly stupid attack in South Ossetia.

  81. August 11, 2008 at 18:38

    @ Steve:
    That’s wonderful, but its NOT OUR PROBLEM.
    “Oh but that stance is so selfish!”
    Why are ‘we’ as the US expected to come to everyones aid, but then are the first to be criticised for our actions when they go awry? We have enough of our own problems and countries which dislike us. No need to fan the flames by trying to flex our military ‘supremacy’ and police the world.
    So why are we supposed to jump to the rescue of Georgia and beat the monster back with a stick? We’re not the worlds police department.

  82. 82 Rick
    August 11, 2008 at 18:41

    I live in the US and also wanted to add that Bush and Cheney’s rhetoric is just that….rhetoric. Dont expect the American paper tiger to step in militarily. If anything there will be half-hearted diplomatic pressure that will be promptly ignored by Russia.

  83. 83 Sadi, Sydney
    August 11, 2008 at 18:42

    Nato should help Georgia in everything. Russia has escalated this for a long time.

  84. 84 Blerim, Albania
    August 11, 2008 at 18:43

    Georgia is a democratic state and the ictim of an oligar-despotic state. The world should put some limitation to Russia.

  85. 85 John van Dokkumburg
    August 11, 2008 at 18:43

    Stop our better , remove the will to do because if not , no-one can win if there futures – always have each a nother meaning , then its time for a thirt meaning its has to be a way forward .

    It is no problem to put the finger to the wrong identity using war rights , this is not a defending of blackeyed Russian interest but a zero to 100 mph in 0 seconds headless – reasonless exspansion . People and rights isnt choosing to go for a bigger our smaler countrie as THE legitime reason .. but go for our accept a higher living standard !

    If “winning” changed his focus, then set the people free from babarian behavior in peace, and if you dont know what that is then drop in , in this warezone .. maker of fictums … and stay in bed to die ..

  86. 86 Chris, South India
    August 11, 2008 at 18:43

    I fully support Russia’s action concerning Georgia. Western countries should back Russia. I’m not listening to your programme.

  87. 87 Anonymous
    August 11, 2008 at 18:44

    Hi. Is this any different from what the USA did to Grenada and etc. Russia feels threatened by foreign encroachment into its sphere of influence. Missile defence shields etc. If we’re following modern precedents, the breakaway of South Ossetia from Georgia should be facilitated. Remember Kosovo?

  88. 88 Frederick in Canada
    August 11, 2008 at 18:44

    I watched the American President Cheering on Michael Phelps on a news clip last night and shuttered at how America has declined from any moral authority in 8 short years. How can America say anything about military aggression after the war in Iraq and the lies given to enter the war. The German foreign minister looked into Donald Rumsfeld eyes just before the war and said “I don’t believe you” and with pity now most say the same thing.

    It is time to fly home george bush and act like a president not a cheer leading team for USA. The Olympics is sport, the fighting in Georgia is real death games that need american real attention.

    To bad the moral authority is gone and your threats of missile defense has left Russia with little choices. Its time for george to leave…………….

  89. 89 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 18:45

    @ Brett
    Why are ‘we’ as the US expected to come to everyones aid, but then are the first to be criticised for our actions when they go awry?

    The answer is because your President, in a STATE OF THE UNION address, declared that the US military was a ‘global cop.’ And his actions thus far have more in common with a drunk, meathead bar bouncer than a global police force. If the police get criticized every time somebody gets hurt by a taser, perhaps your president should be criticized every time his air force drops a bomb on a civilian hospital. The saddest and most frustrating thing is that Mr. Bush will never be called to answer for what he has presided over. Now THAT is what I call ‘Executive Privilege.’

  90. August 11, 2008 at 18:48

    The answer is because your President, in a STATE OF THE UNION address, declared that the US military was a ‘global cop.’ And his actions thus far have more in common with a drunk, meathead bar bouncer than a global police force. If the police get criticized every time somebody gets hurt by a taser, perhaps your president should be criticized every time his air force drops a bomb on a civilian hospital. The saddest and most frustrating thing is that Mr. Bush will never be called to answer for what he has presided over. Now THAT is what I call ‘Executive Privilege.’

    EXACTLY lol

  91. 91 Christopher, California, U.S.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:50

    Hello, I am listening to your program, and I just heard the woman that was from the “town” that was first Attacked by Georgia, and she sounded like what she was saying was well rehearsed, and spoke too good of English to have been telling the Truth. I, being a 26 year old Male American, Against the war in Iraq, But Am willing to Fight for a Country that is Already Democratic. Buy me a plane ticket to Georgia, and allow me to bring my own gun, and I will fight for Georgia.

  92. 92 Dan, Washington DC, U.S.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:50

    How likely is it that this conflict will spill over into other regions and expand into a larger, perhaps more global, conflict?

  93. 93 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 18:51

    @ Brett
    Sorry, I only skimmed the rest of your post, didn’t read the whole thing. Just taking the p*ss out (though I’m mostly serious about that one).

  94. 94 Anna, Philadelphia, U.S.
    August 11, 2008 at 18:52

    A guy named Gerogy comes on one program as “a student” and claims to have nothing to do with Georgian government. Then only a few minutes later the same (?) Georgy comes on World Have Your Say refusing to listen to the other side, pushing some kind of an “appeal” onto the listeners, only now this Georgy says that he is a member of Georgian Foreign Relations Council, or something.

    So, who is this Georgy from Gori that keeps traveling from one BBC program to another? A student of foreign affairs, or a Georgian official who happens to be also studying foreign affairs, posing as a student to spread a particular point of view?

    What is happening is complex, and you are not doing your listeners any service by giving Georgian officials a platform, unless you provide the Russian side equal access.

    Anna
    Philadelphia, USA

  95. 95 Lee, Auckland
    August 11, 2008 at 18:52

    Was it not a BBC reporter who was filming a story in the past day where the Russian jet they filmed turned and flew low to target them and shoot misiles at them. Fortunately the reporter and crew were unharmed, but seems the Russians don’t want truth to make its way out if they target film crews.

    Lee in Auckland

  96. 96 Sam
    August 11, 2008 at 18:54

    Somebody tell me what is wrong with Russia! What is this, 1945? You can say what you want about the United States and Iraq but whether we were wrong or not there has absolutely zero bearing on the situation right now.

    I want all the post John Lennon “anti-war imaginers” to wake up and realize that although you think you’ve “progressed” into a higher mind state, there are governments out there that will continue to kill and cause havoc regardless of your dreaming. And sooner or later, when you’re out protesting in the street, tanks are going to run you over.

    We all live in the same world and there are many who wish that all countries would consider each other as brothers in the world family. In that case you have to admit that sometimes you’ll have a brother who goes crazy and needs an intervention. Otherwise, while we sit around and advocate peace and pacifism, people will continue to die.

    FLORIDA, USA

  97. 97 Gabriel
    August 11, 2008 at 18:54

    I.I. I know long years ago people from South Ossetia (living there and abroad) and they always told me that would prefer to join to Russia than to remain with Georgia. After the moves of Saakashvilli this situation is even more similar to that in Kosovo. USA and other states should recognise the right of people of Ossetia to taking a free decision. But of course, many Western governments are afraid of Russia growing power and would not accept it. This is the reality.

    III. Regarding to the gas topic, it is Ukraine the one delaying the payments to Russia. After all Russia still being extremely kind selling at lower price the energy resource to Ukraine. If Ukraine want to be free of Russian pressure then it has to buy the gas at international market prices and to stop corruption. Many of the cheap gas Ukrainian taycoons resell to other countries by international prices.

    II. The Litvinenko case is not yet clearified. But Mr. Litvinenko was a Russian spy and at the moment of his death he was working for the MF5, so he ought know the risks of his job. Everybody knows it from childhood’s tales and movies.

  98. 98 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 11, 2008 at 18:57

    @Andre the Giant and Mohd.Ali
    I am advocating NATO aircraft sink Russian ships in the Black Sea and knock out Russian tanks in Georgia(including south ossetia and abhazia).

  99. 99 riaz
    August 11, 2008 at 18:57

    the new world order is the old dictum,MIGT IS RIGHT.
    WHETHER IT IS RUSSIA,SERBIA.IRAQ,ISRAEL ,UK OR USA ;MIGHT IS NOT RIGHT.
    The common man suffers the arms traders are happy

  100. 100 Steaz
    August 11, 2008 at 18:59

    I’m sorry but reading a great deal of these comments is disturbing. Has anybody been following this outside of the western media, not to mention Mr Murdoch’s media empire, who happen to be best buddies with the Bush administration?

    Who started this conflict? Georgia. They advanced into South Ossetia
    Who destroyed civil buildings, hospitals, schools, housing? Georgia
    Who aimed directly at the Russian Peace Keeping Force HQ? Georgia
    Who were throwing grenades into basements killing innocent civilians? Georgia
    Who is committing crimes against humanity, Genocide? Georgia

    Georgia was given a permit by NATO Months ago to start military conflict in the region. How can a non member of NATO be given permission to start an unprovoked conflict?
    Georgia was the country to break the Cease Fire signed in 1994.
    Russia is protecting their boarders, not to mention the right to Human life, and their citizens. Russia, are not the side that are ethnic cleansing.

    Georgia is a puppet of the US, and is playing the victim card, after they provoked and started the conflict. As far as I can see it is another tactic by the US to gain dominance in the region, not to mention trying to gain the complete western worlds side, with complete media propaganda.

    Russia was the first to demand an emergency meeting with the UN and EU, not Georgia.
    No one should stand up to Russia; they have not done anything wrong.
    Why hasn’t the EU NATO or the UN stepped in…? Because legally, and morally Russia are not in any way wrong, and the EU will eventually conclude this after the hype has gone.
    South Ossetia has not been a part of Georgia since the fall of the Soviet Union. Why now do they launch an attack to gain control? This is a game being played by incompetent leaders.
    Russia has called for the international courts to bring the people accountable for these crimes to face court. It will be interesting to see how much NATO, EU, UN, and US get involved in this, when its clear the president of Georgia is guilty as he ordered the conflict, and his government committed the murders of 12 Peace keepers, and the destruction of a Peace Keeping HQ, which is internationally charted!
    It is definitely not right, or wise for people to be demonizing Russia, when they are not in the wrong.

    On the last note….who invaded Iraq without UN permission, over falsified claims, about WMD, how many civilians are dying there everyday!!!

    S. From Australia

  101. 101 Sam
    August 11, 2008 at 19:00

    @ riaz

    Great philosophy, so what should we do about it since people are being killed over there right now?

  102. 102 Keith
    August 11, 2008 at 19:01

    Neither party is without blame. These countries decide that they can attack their bordering countries as if we’re still in the middle ages. The US cannot be justified in supporting either country, and the only way to solve this is with a mediator. The US does not have that kind of influence. Two options: either we can ignore the situation and let it die down by itself, or the UN can impose sanctions on both countries, sending in UN peacekeepers. With Russia’s military and trade resources, it is unreasonable to ask any Western country to oppose them by itself.

  103. 103 John in Salem
    August 11, 2008 at 19:02

    Shaun in Halifax~

    “There has never been a protracted war from which a country has benefited. “
    -Sun Tzu

    No? Compare the Japan of 60 years ago with the Japan of today.

  104. 104 Will
    August 11, 2008 at 19:03

    Look at it this way, over the past 8 years the U.S. has indirectly helped to bolster the economic fortunes of Russia. It launched a war that it should not have and that resultantly caused the price of oil to shoot through the roof. Mr. Putin recognized the opportunity to cast himself in political concrete and consequently nationalized the Russian oil industry, which also provided billions of dollars to help shur up the Russian economy and rebuild its military. Now we are seeing a little manifestation of Russian military resurgence–largely due to its oil fortunes. Moreover, Europe and the U.S. are now tied up in dependency on Russian oil. What a situation! Yet, I suppose, however the painful the realization may be of Russian resurgence, that the U.S. does still have the military might to stand up to Russia.

  105. August 11, 2008 at 19:04

    Can anyone stand up to Russia?

    Basically not. Situations reveals situation after WW2, 56 in HU, 68 in CZ, 79 Afghanistan, 90′ Chechnya. Russia desperatelly wants to increase its power in region and regain world power as they see US/West is stuck in Iraq+Afghanistan.

    The only way is to:
    1. Have as common voice/reaction of West as possible, maybe even in UN to agree demostrative declaration withouth permanent member of Russia (+maybe China) – to declare interest.
    2. Negotiate the peace asap
    3. Use humanitarian help to Georgia to help them to recover
    4. Try to minimise dependency on RU asap (more oil from Africa, MEast
    5. Cool down relations with RU

    Jan

  106. 106 DEAN CAROTHERS
    August 11, 2008 at 19:09

    The real question is why an attack now and what is the reasoning of the attack – Look no farther than the oil pipelines going through South Ostia – If Georgia gets it, the Russians will have no right to that oil that travels through that area.

    With the recent oil issues, it is within Russia’s interest to make sure they keep the oil close to them as it is a money maker for them.

  107. 107 Jens
    August 11, 2008 at 19:15

    am i wrong in assuming the fact that the people in these troubled areas did vote to become part of russia? However, that does not justify russia’s brutal response.

    in many ways we should be glad that gerogia is not part of nato, since we would be at war with russia now. and i thought the cold war was over……

  108. 108 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 19:16

    @ John

    Yeah, because having a pair of nuclear weapons dropped on them has REALLY helped Nagasaki and Hiroshima. Because there’s NO birth defects or higher cancer rates in those two cities…..

  109. 109 Atsu in Ghana
    August 11, 2008 at 19:17

    The Georgian president made a silly move-he shd admit it and make genuine peace with the Russians. The west must stay out!

  110. 110 Susan in Nairobi
    August 11, 2008 at 19:17

    The russians have been not-so-discreetly amassing troops for months, so who fired the first shot immaterial, in truth georgia played into russian hands by their move.

  111. 111 Shaun in Halifax
    August 11, 2008 at 19:18

    P.S I’m actually a little appalled that you would credit Japan’s getting nuked with its success of today.

  112. 112 Anyii George, Kampala
    August 11, 2008 at 19:18

    Russia wants to prove it’s still a “super power” by pounding a small country. This will instead prove otherwise.

  113. 113 George, Kampala
    August 11, 2008 at 19:18

    Russia wants to prove it’s still a “super power” by pounding a small country. This will instead prove otherwise.

  114. 114 Atsu, ghana.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:19

    The Georgian president made a silly move-he shd admit it and make genuine peace with the Russians. The west must stay out!

  115. 115 atsu, ghana.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:20

    The Georgian president made a silly move-he should admit it and make genuine peace with the Russians. The west must stay out! Atsu, ghana.

  116. 116 text
    August 11, 2008 at 19:21

    The russians have been not so descreetly amassing troops 4 months, so who fired 1st shot imeterial, in truth georgia playd in2 russian hands by their move.

  117. 117 Leke Olajide, Lagos
    August 11, 2008 at 19:21

    If Russia is right over Chechnya, then Georgia must be right to move against the rebellion in its territory. Russia is the bully. from: Leke Olajide, Lagos

  118. 118 Gavin in South Africa
    August 11, 2008 at 19:21

    DONT FORGET WHERE THE MASS MURDERER STALIN CAME FROM WHO WITH HIS JEWISH BOLSHEVIC OLIGARCHS MURDERED THE RUSSIAN TZAR ! GEORGIA ! TOGETHER THEY SYSTEMATICALLY MURDERED 18 + MILLION RUSSIAN FARMERS + MILLIONS MORE RUSSIANS SINCE ! DO YR HOME WORK BEFORE U CRITICISE RUSSIA !

  119. 119 text
    August 11, 2008 at 19:23

    Georgia should bear full responsibility for their soldiers indiscipline.russia response is right and in order.

  120. 120 Suleman, Nigeria
    August 11, 2008 at 19:24

    Georgia should bear full responsibility for their soldiers indiscipline.russia response is right and in order.suleman,nigeria

  121. 121 Nana Yaw in Accra
    August 11, 2008 at 19:25

    Nana Yaw in Accra, Ghana-I think Georgia is in the process of being paid back in their own coins.They should not mess with anything of Russian interest.

  122. 122 Tania
    August 11, 2008 at 19:29

    People! Can’t you see that our politicians are just making the money and lying to both the west and Russia! The Mass media is such a powerful tool, don’t you see they are using us brainwashing us and making us agressive towards each other? I am Russian, but my heart is bleeding for the Georgians who are suffering there! And i hate my government amd my friends post the same in their live journals every second hour! We try to protest, we are a different generation and we believe we can make our authorities behave the way it should be! But how can you call all the Russians thug?! This way we’ll never find mutual understanding! Come on, it’s time to be free from the opinions imposed by the politicians!
    It’s only us who can change our stereotipes about each other and learn to estimate things in impartial way.
    Please please don’t start the mutual accusations, better let’s find the solution together!

  123. 123 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 19:30

    What is the point of this program? All I heard over the last hour was yelling and needless opining. The hosts routinely let the guests run the show making speeches. Take control and some real discussion might be possible.

    Nice to see some reasoned comments on this blog as well. General characterizations about the Russian people certainly add to understanding. This is useless. WHYS is not any different than any other social network site; people just use it to sound off without any thought as to what impact their comments might make. This doesn’t go for everyone, and there have been some good shows WHYS has put on. But today’s show, on such an important topic, was a farce. I realize that very often the opinions of many people aren’t sought out and WHYS is an attempt to rectify this; all too often, though, some important discussion is sacrificed to give everyone their say (and on some very bad phone lines, too).

  124. August 11, 2008 at 19:30

    What do you mean in your heading? Like anyone could stand up to America when it supported and supplied and urged Israel to bomb Lebanon in its name? When that action was disproportionate and brutal? The only difference might be that Russia won’t drop clusterbombs everywhere that might kill civilians for the longest time after the conflict ends. Why is that? Well because Russia might have to wade through them and there was no way that the Americans were going to have to suffer Lebanese cluster bomb aftermath? What you do in the name of ‘fairness’ comes back to bite you in the name of ‘fairness’. Poland and Georgia just better get some idea of what aligning with America actually amounts to in the way of true support. Like anti missile defence in Poland was going to go down as wonderfully, in Russia, as Cuban missiles did with JFK. Go Figure?

  125. 125 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 19:33

    @ Garvin in South Africa
    “DONT FORGET WHERE THE MASS MURDERER STALIN CAME FROM WHO WITH HIS JEWISH BOLSHEVIC OLIGARCHS MURDERED THE RUSSIAN TZAR ! GEORGIA ! TOGETHER THEY SYSTEMATICALLY MURDERED 18 + MILLION RUSSIAN FARMERS + MILLIONS MORE RUSSIANS SINCE ! DO YR HOME WORK BEFORE U CRITICISE RUSSIA”

    Well there is a nice healthy dose of anti-Semitism.

    WHYS how can this stupidity get through and which group or peoples will be next to persecuted?

  126. 126 TEXT
    August 11, 2008 at 19:34

    THE WEST IS ONCE AGAIN QUICK TO GANG UP AGAINST RUSSIA. THEY WERE VERY SILENT WHEN GEORGIA STARTED ALL THIS. THEY ARE NOW TRYING TO PUT THE BLAME FOR THIS ON RUSSIA.

  127. August 11, 2008 at 19:34

    “Was it not a BBC reporter who was filming a story in the past day where the Russian jet they filmed turned and flew low to target them and shoot misiles at them. Fortunately the reporter and crew were unharmed, but seems the Russians don’t want truth to make its way out if they target film crews.

    Lee in Auckland”

    A little like the Lebanese deal then. Stop using the veto to support your brutal friends. Whomever thay are?

  128. 128 TEXT
    August 11, 2008 at 19:34

    The only credential President Shakasvili of Georgia has is the use of English. What he lacks is the tact of the English man. He is responsible for the woe -missing Fragment-

  129. 129 Aliyu Bukuru Nigeria
    August 11, 2008 at 19:34

    The Georgeans are living in an outdated fantasy. The US is too guilty after Iraq therefore can only blush. Aliyu Bukuru Nigeria.

  130. 130 Dr.Hunter S, Clinical Psychologist
    August 11, 2008 at 19:36

    Your correspondents are being very weak and servile when interviewing Russian officeals! Why don’t they ask this question: You felt free to invade and assault your break-away province of Chechnia, killing far more civilians than Georgia has done, so what can be your excuse for your current behavior? Do you have a special right to recapture a breakaway province that Georgia does not have? Dr.Hunter Shirley,Clinical Psychologist

  131. 131 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 19:37

    @ Shaun in Halifax
    Had the two nuclear devices not been dropped on Japan the Japanese people, culture and Islaands would have disappeared.
    America would have lost millions more young men exhausing ourselves and the Soviet Union would have come to dominate the world and the discussion we are having right now would not be possible.

  132. 132 HovellingHermit
    August 11, 2008 at 19:42

    I simply can’t understand the points made by some of the people on this board. What on earth has Al Qaeda or Muslims got to do with the Russia/Georgia situation. Some think that Russia should be helping the West, well, the USA in it’s so called “War on Terror”, which has so far attacked 2 nations, Iraq and Afghanistan, invaded and gone for a US approved pattern of democracy.

    Then there are those who think NATO should be attacking Russia as if the threat of NATO is going to somehow make Russia quiver in fright, even if we forget for a moment that number of people who would die as a result.

    What are you people thinking? Do you really want a world war 3? Have you any concept of how such an attack would progress? Lets say NATO attacks Russia, while thats going on, Israel drops a nuke on Iran and Pakistan, Pakistan retaliates againt India, with the possibility of Billions dead, not a few thousand.

    Sure, even a single death of an innocent is too many, the 2000 people reported to have been killed in South Ossetia is a disgrace, but lets remember, Georgia started the indiscriminate shelling of the South Ossetia capital and Russian peacekeepers under a UN mandate were killed. If you go a poke a bear a with a stick, then don’t be surprised when it gets mad and tries to rip your face off. Suddenly Georgia is demanding that the “West” some to its rescue. Why should British Soldiers die to prop up a man who thought he could kill innocents and then expect others to come and back him up with their might?

  133. 133 d
    August 11, 2008 at 19:44

    What russia is doing is very inhuman, they should stay out of the business of S. Ossetia and Georgia

  134. 134 Yambeta Mbale, Malawi.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:44

    Bush and Brown if you ’re real big guys, send troops now to avoid Russia aggresion. Yambeta Mbale, Malawi.

  135. 135 Biswas from Kathmandu
    August 11, 2008 at 19:44

    WHEN THE RICH WAGE WAR, IT’S THE POOR WHO DIE! Nothing more to say!

  136. 136 Kwame . Accra
    August 11, 2008 at 19:45

    Does USA have the morale right to critizise Russia over Georgia. Bush’s hypocrisy must stop. Kwame . Accra

  137. 137 Frank
    August 11, 2008 at 19:45

    First, Russia had the high-ground here but undermined themselves when they went into Georgia. Now, they look like part of the problem instead of the solution — BAD MOVE!

    Second, if going into Georgia was some pathetic attempt at sending a message to its neighbors, the US, EU and NATO, again — BAD MOVE!

    Russia could defeat all of them by simply joining NATO and EU. No need for bloodshed.

    When is the Russian going to learn that this is the destiny they need to embrace to save themselves from CHINA.

    Russia needs to start thinking long term because CHINA is, and they’re on their way to RUSSIA

  138. 138 Elly from kenya.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:45

    Let’s Russia do what they think is good,but God is there and He will pay.i’m Elly from kenya.

  139. 139 cyrus zaway.monrovia.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:45

    I hope we are not leading to worldwar 3,because, i know,the west must intervene to stop the russians barbarism.god save our planet.cyrus zaway.monrovia.

  140. 140 Thomas Riisager
    August 11, 2008 at 19:45

    I find it very interesting that Russia is supporting a country’s right to secede. Does this mean that they will reconsider their position in Chechnya?

  141. 141 A . K. T. D.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:46

    What Russian did is against human rights A . K. T. D.

  142. 142 texts
    August 11, 2008 at 19:46

    Geogia misfired. They followed the US gunboat diplomacy in a wrong environment. Russia is right.

  143. 143 texts
    August 11, 2008 at 19:47

    Please let the world do somthing about this. Poor people ar deadin down there. Russur pls keep the peace.

  144. 144 Mukisa Van Niekerk. Kampala, Uganda
    August 11, 2008 at 19:47

    Russia should agree to ceasefire, after all most Georgians are ethnic Russians. War must stop and yield to diplomacy. Mukisa Van Niekerk. Kampala, Uganda

  145. 145 Sira
    August 11, 2008 at 19:49

    Russia’s lies about saving its citizens in Georgia reminds me of the american lies when they invaded Grenada to protect the 30 american student who were there in the 80’s! Sira

  146. 146 Yego in Somalia
    August 11, 2008 at 19:50

    Yego in Somalia: I believe that all super powers agreed to leave each alone in dealling such situatins and Rusia is one of them. Georgia can be wrong but Rusia is correcting a mistake with a mistake by using its huge power against vulnarable Georgia and no super power blames Rusia.

  147. 147 KOKULO FRANKLIN, LIBERIA.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:50

    THE WEST IS ONCE AGAIN QUICK TO GANG UP AGAINST RUSSIA. THEY WERE VERY SILENT WHEN GEORGIA STARTED ALL THIS. THEY ARE NOW TRYING TO PUT THE BLAME FOR THIS SAGA SQUARELY AT THE FEET OF RUSSIA, AND THAT IS UNFAIR. KOKULO FRANKLIN, LIBERIA.

  148. 148 Sheka in Freetown Sierra Leone.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:50

    Pls! Mr. Bush, this is the time for you to get up and takes action against Russia{but you are going to be defeated). From Sheka in Freetown Sierra Leone.

  149. 149 ABA, Uganda.
    August 11, 2008 at 19:51

    America and the West through NATO should stop pushing Russia to the wall. ABA, Uganda.

  150. 150 text
    August 11, 2008 at 19:51

    IF D U.S FAILS TU DEFEND GEORGIANS NOW IT WIL BE NOTHIN BT MOTHER OF ALL BETRAYAL.

  151. 151 text
    August 11, 2008 at 19:52

    THE U S A SHOULD DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS WAR IN GEORGIA, BECAUSE IT MAY LEAD TO A GREATER WAR IN THE AREA.I THINK THE RUSSIANS ARE UP TO SOMETHING. IFEAN -missing Fragment-

  152. 152 John in Salem
    August 11, 2008 at 19:52

    Shaun~
    In addition to the loss of two cities (three if you count the firebombing of Tokyo) Japan lost it’s imperial monarchy and was forced to accept democracy.
    It then received billions of dollars in reconstruction aid which helped form it into a world economic powerhouse in 20 years.
    Sun Tzu was talking about the victors of a protracted war and, no doubt, a couple thousand years ago that was true and it probably still is. But even if Hiroshima and Nagasaki had not been bombed the outcome would have been the same, the aid would still have come and they still would have benefited from that protracted war (in this case, as the losers).
    Germany didn’t do too bad either, come to think of it.

  153. 153 Roberto
    August 11, 2008 at 19:55

    Yesterday Jim Jeffrey, the US deputy National Security Advisor, told reporters “We have made it clear to the Russians that if the disproportionate and dangerous escalation on the Russian side continues, that this will have a significant long term impact on US-Russian relations”.
    —————————————————————————————————-

    —— Hah, a tiny teaspoon of pabulum for the untutored masses.

    US is punch drunk from two wars, three if we count the ashification of Serbia, dozens of stock market frauds on top of more national debt than the entire history of the world combined. So the Russians took care of a little business they’ve been wanting. It’s all about timing and nobody would argue that Putin is quite a bit more astute than Cheney/GDub. He doesn’t run the wheels off of his country.

    Of course people die, widows and orphans made, property blown up and burnt, but ain’t that the point of human history? Build something at great cost and then blow it up at great cost? The only thing missing is the religious angle so all the loony atheists can come forth screaming for the abolishment of religion.

    This too shall pass. It’s just a little brinkmanship as the power brokers shift their ground and their holds. It didn’t have to come to this, but it always does eventually, doesn’t it?

    The Human Condition.

  154. 154 Dan
    August 11, 2008 at 19:56

    @ HovellingHermit
    Some very clear thinking there. You understand the escalation but what do we do with naked Russian aggression no well beyond punishing Georgia for shelling South Ossetia?

  155. 155 Saturday Thomas. Liberia
    August 11, 2008 at 19:58

    The west is using Georgia to test the Russian military capability.Saturday Thomas. Liberia

  156. 156 george, ghana
    August 11, 2008 at 19:58

    The world is quick to use words like disproportionate, heavy handed etc when nations retaliate to provocations. they say that to israel now they are saying that to russia. what was Georgia thinking? that russia will wait for the sluggish UN sec. council? Georgia shut up and suffer! george, ghana

  157. 157 george, ghana
    August 11, 2008 at 19:59

    “Two wrongs don’t make a right”. Even if there could be anyone who really could, everyone should keep off in order to avoid a III world war! Salomao from Maputo

  158. August 11, 2008 at 20:01

    Steaz, guess you missed the news that over 500 tons of yellowcake were found in Iraq and shipped to Canada several weeks ago. But, what would Iraq need with yellowcake? Maybe they were going to use it to make pancakes! Hmmmm
    You know, if the USA went into Iraq for oil, boy did we get a bad deal. We got no oil and we have taken no oil!

  159. 159 caydaruus cilmi
    August 11, 2008 at 20:07

    it is time for the UN to play a great role in the conflict between Goargia and Russia, if not response in the right time, the United Nation will not do any thing in the wrong time. THIS IS ONE OF THE WEAKNESES OF THE PREVIUS FAILED UNO!!!!!!!!!!!
    please, respond before the situation is going out of hand.

    from Aidarous Elmi

  160. 160 Keith
    August 11, 2008 at 20:17

    “Now is the time for the US to intervene!” Hey guys, sorry, but we don’t have unlimited resources to save the world. Our economy is not doing well, basically because our president spent it on a half-baked crusade in Iraq. It was a noble idea to police the world, but we can’t do it…that’s what the UN was created for, and it needs to shape up and its power needs to be increased, so the responsibility of policing the world is not expected of the United States.

  161. 161 Evan Adams
    August 11, 2008 at 20:38

    Russia needs to stop being a bully. Georgia is too small of a country to bully. Please take a look the map and compare the size of Russia to Georgia. It’s a shame Russian officals cannot handle the situation diplomatically. After acquiring such a vast territory, Russia is still not satisfied so they decide to damage a developing county that seeks its own independence. Greed!!

  162. 162 Des Currie
    August 11, 2008 at 20:41

    Standing up against the Russians and getting your behind blown off while you are standing may not be such a good idea. Or are there a few witless people out there who think that Russia is not a super power? A very quiet super power perhaps, not nearly as bumptious as the Americans, but no less brutal in their ability to make war. Rhetoric will probably be the outside input, and neither rhetoric nor threat will prevent Russia from defending any real breach to her national security. Or say goodbye to planet E.
    Des Currie

  163. 163 Biswas from Kathmandu
    August 11, 2008 at 21:04

    I want to see the Russian Migs and the American Raptors dogfighting, and NOT the innocent people dying in-between! After all, the war is between the two Bigs ONLY.

  164. 164 John LaGrua/New York
    August 11, 2008 at 21:16

    Putin is telling the West that it is again a serious force to be reckond with and has areas of stategic interests around its borders.The Russians have always been very sensitive to foreign meddling in those places. Bush ,with the missile placement plan aroused Putin’s ire and he is showing his intention to show strength.to gain respect which appears to want from the EU and the US.Putin demonstrated his displeasure of US insensitivity when the US secretary of state and secretary of defense were kept cooling there heels in Moscow for over an hour waitng to meet with Putin.last spring .The US and UK have lost credibility and influence after the Mid East debacle and Putin full well understands the nuances of geo-politics.The new US President must show the sophistication and understanding of real -politic by acknowledging the interests of other countries and dealing through artful diplomacy to resolve problems which arise..The US must regain its flexibility by a foreign policy that is based on our national interest and not on so-called special relationships which have benn often detrimental to the peace and security of the American people.

  165. 165 Alexander, Russia
    August 11, 2008 at 21:18

    The first strike hase been done by Georgia. Read it again and again. Georgian’s military killed more then 1600 peace people. Georgian’s strike was first. Where have your mass media been when Georgian’s military kill all these peace people? What are you tallking about here?

  166. 166 Honza
    August 11, 2008 at 21:21

    Can anyone stand up Russia? Sure, NATO can. Let us have them Russians on board, they will be just part of it. And a very capable part, I must admit.

    Btw, I’ve been to Georgia last fall. You call it a democratic country? What a joke. To me, it’s a typical autocratic regime.

  167. August 11, 2008 at 21:22

    What is most striking is that President Saashkavilli is unlikley to have sent troops into South Ossettia unless he has had a nod from US and/or NATO (?). After all, The US Secretary of State was in Georgia about that time. Combined with the missile defence scheme in europe this conflict was not all together unforeseeable. The timing was particarly unfortunate by overlapping with the Olympics in China. One might have expected Leaders to be at the Olympics, not witness war. That there has been gross human rights violations against civilians is also clear. It is particularly distressing to see return of Cold War syndrome which will nobody any good especially given the precarious economic and environmental state of the world.

  168. 168 Daisy
    August 11, 2008 at 21:39

    I just don’t understand have you forgotten guys who started this mess out there? Or there weren’t Georgians who killed thousands and thousands of innocent civilians by that barbarian bombardment at night on Thursday, who completely destroyed the city of Tshinvali? Is it the right way to unite territories or it’s nothing but genocide? Hey stop demonizing Russia, just have an unprejudiced look!

  169. 169 Alexander, Russia
    August 11, 2008 at 21:44

    You should all close your eyes guys… Because you are all in Matrix. Russia has her own interests in Georgian, it’s qiute clear. But where did Geargian get their arms? Who gave them money for it? Saashkavilli broke up demonstrations by nightsticks. Is this a democracy? Why are Geargian’s military still bombing Tskhinvali by heavy artillery? We want peace here in Russia. But Bush and his friends don’t want it.

  170. 170 Alexander, Russia
    August 11, 2008 at 21:51

    http://edition.cnn.com/2008/WORLD/europe/08/11/georgia.russia.oakley/index.html

    Look at photo at this link. Where did they get this weapon? Isn’t it from NATO? You should wake up. We are the part of Europe. And we don’t want war.

  171. 171 Alexander, Russia
    August 11, 2008 at 21:58

    We are the part of Europe. And we don’t want war.

  172. 172 Steaz
    August 11, 2008 at 22:30

    >>>Aldinsgirl<<<
    Yellowcake uranium is a commonly traded commodity used for nuclear power generation.
    It is not enriched and cannot be used without first going through a complicated enrichment process, due to the unstable nature of Iraq, the United States and the Iraqi government decided it should be moved out of that country.
    Iraq has no nuclear power generating plants. Or Enrichment facilities and never did…What’s your point???
    Maybe you should look into the news a little harder before believing everything at face value…and then misusing a story to form an invalid point!
    I’m Sorry but I have to ask but are you from the US? Now what did I say about mass Media, get your news from some where other the Fox.
    Like I said Mr Murdoch is best buds with the Bush administration…if you don’t know who Mr Murdoch is then please please do some reading and wake up! He owns most of the US media and news. Mass US Media, dumbing the world…

    S. Australia

  173. 173 Pangolin- California
    August 11, 2008 at 22:36

    Russia isn’t going to take back Georgia. Modern warfare is more about getting the support of the local populace and having the right distributed small arms than lobbing missiles and artillery.

    If the Georgians try to win a slugfest with the Russians they will lose. If they absorb the Russian forces and play Iraqi resistance the under-trained, underpaid, and under-equipped Russian Army will fold. Georgia’s only hope in this game is to play Hezbollah to Russia’s Israel.

    Lest you count the US out remember that the US army is sitting of vast supplies of the one weapon every Russian general truly fears: Afghan heroin. Oh, all you euro-weenies had better prepare for a cold winter because your natural gas supply from Russia is about to go pop.

  174. 174 Phil
    August 11, 2008 at 22:45

    Standing up to Russia is impossible unless european countries agree to give more power to the Union in Brussels, which is contrary to what UK citizens want of Europe. Building a sort of federal power, ie a shared, not centralized power, means coordinating policies and agreeing to compromize on various subjects, and the rejection of the constitutional treaty mean that these position of president and external affair ministry are not in the mind of the citizens
    So it is useless to complain now of the inability of Europe to have an external policy.
    I would stress that the ridiculous position of sarkozy and other leaders to please at all costs the russians and the chinese is short-sighted.
    The belief that these countries will be inevitably superpowers may not be reasonable : do you remember when Japan could buy all of America ?

  175. 175 Kristine, UK
    August 11, 2008 at 22:58

    It is interesting how mass media tend to present the current conflict from one angle – Russia (ex-enemy or maybe a present enemy) against Georgia (our friend). But how about South Ossetians, a fully formed nation, who want nothing in common with Georgia, and who have pledged themselves independent of it, though was not recognized by the world? Why do we give independence to Kosovo but not to South Ossetians? Why do we break-up Serbia but not Georgia which violated its own agreement with South Ossetians and sent troops into the region when signed the agreement not to do it? It seems like this one force, who runs the world,want to impose its own view of a situation, just like in Iraq.

    Why is there a need to stand up against Russia? It is protecting its own citizens which it promised to defend and which were promised by Georgia to be left in peace. Now Georgia sent troops to the territory and what did Russia have to do? Wait and see its own people dead?

  176. 176 Natasha
    August 11, 2008 at 23:12

    Georgia itself is not a strategic target. Russia wants this war in order to check western reaction. Starting this war, Russia wants both to try its own forces and examine what other countries will do. Keep silent? Continue to speak about strategic partnership and how important Russian role as a mediator in negotiations with Middle Asia leaders? Think about oil supply? Will you dare do anything to stop the aggressor?
    Russian massage is this question and the answer appears to be predictable.
    Blah-blah-blah. As always – blah-blah-blah. Kremlin laughs out loudly. For ten years Russian government has experimented with own nation and proved that it could do everything – everything almost without exception – and did not receive any negative reaction.Now it’d like to examine what it can do with other part of mankind. My thought is very unpleasant, but I suppose that the experiment will be successful next time.
    Nobody can stand up this government, not because such actions are impossible, but because there are lack political willings.

  177. 177 Honza
    August 11, 2008 at 23:13

    @ Pangolin- California

    “under-trained, underpaid, and under-equipped Russian Army”

    I don’t know if their soldiers need a raise in pay but as a former military officer I admire what they did.

    According to the press they used only two batallions with additional artillery and air support and it was enough to make at least two Georgian brigades trained by us ran for their life. And it was quick, and it was in the mountains, and it was at night. I may not like the Russians but they are very, and I really mean it, smart tactically, very well trained and obviously superbly equipped.

  178. 178 Jelena
    August 11, 2008 at 23:21

    Why is Georgia a victim?

  179. 179 Marty Lee
    August 11, 2008 at 23:33

    @ Kristine

    We could be witnessing the onset of the cold-war being played out again.

    I am extremely concern about the implications and the aftermath of this episode, which will come to haunt us all in the future. Perhaps this would usher in new era of suspicion and as suspicion goes, the arms race will be spurred and the fans of nationalism will be notch up to full blast from all conflicting sides.

    I do hope hostilities ends soon and diplomats from all sides should stop trying to make a quick political buck out of their mere rhetoric and not to squeeze Russia into a corner. I wonder about the popular sentiments in Russia. If they are for war, then there is little the leaders of Russia is likely to back down. That is the crux of the issues.

    So all the demonisation of Russia would only spur the hostilities on.

  180. 180 Pangolin- California
    August 11, 2008 at 23:57

    I was poking around and saw that the independent nation of ‘South Ossetia’ has a smaller land area and about a third of the population of several rural California counties. This claim is like Tehema County California declaring independence from the US because the state and federal governments imprison a disproportionate percentage of the population. (they do)

    As to the human rights violations, heck California keeps more people than the entire population of South Ossetia in prison for drug violations, most of them nonwhite minorities.

    Russia is trying to nibble away at Georgia and get a southern port back so as to better finance the excesses of the Moscow elite. The people of South Ossetia got suckered and now they will pay. They are NOT viable as a nation. This war is Russia playing the deck Bush put on the table.

  181. 181 Pangolin- California
    August 12, 2008 at 00:13

    @ Honza~

    What? The Georgians were supposed to stand up to a Russian armored assault with no air support? Why should they? They can fade back, distribute those “Iranian-made” explosively-formed-projectile weapons that crack US armor in Iraq and start popping the Russian armor like walnuts at a dinner table. In the mountains armor has to stay on the roads and can only dominate when given a concentrated target.

    Those same weapons will handily punch holes in Russian assets all the way north to Latvia. Lots of little nations with people living in Russia need Georgia to win ugly on this one.

    Oh, there has been lots of speculation that the Iraqi resistance was getting weapons from somewhere other than Iran. All’s fair in love and war……

  182. 182 Syed Hasan Turab
    August 12, 2008 at 01:11

    If we can faught the war against Saddam Hussain for libration of Iraq why not we start supporting Georgians to dispose off body of a dead Elephant.
    As a trailor we may show Putton a picture of Bin Ladin along with a informative note in regard to presance of Alqida in Bosnia & Kosovo, hope it might work as Georgian Army sound like a Siekick case while faceing to old masters.
    Prevailing aggressive Russia is an alarming sitution to Europe & US intrest in the region, under these circumstances Cuba & Iran may not be ignored, at least we try to understand there motive & future planning to join free world.

  183. 183 Tom
    August 12, 2008 at 01:29

    Russia still has thousands of operational nuclear warheads trained on western targets. It will take someone equally mad/brave to seriously take on the Russians. The threats of a new energy crisis and a global war (one that will make the Iraq war look like a skirmish) will mean that the only punishments the Russians are likely to face will be sanctions and more tough talks.

  184. 184 Vijay Srao in Chattarnagar India
    August 12, 2008 at 04:25

    @”HovellingHermit”The sooner Ukraine and Georgia are in NATO the better.
    Israel,Iran,Pakistan and India are unlikely to be drawn into any Georgian conflict.
    British soldiers would not play a part,US and UK airmen and sailors would fire missiles and bombs at the Russians.
    What Russian bear, you are joking, old machinery, poorly trained and armed soldiers, paper tiger more like.
    How far is Chechnya from Georgia?The Taliban AlQueda could play a role in “liberating” territory from Russian control ,they could build their Caliphate out of former Russian colonies,then everyone would be happy.

  185. 185 Abdul
    August 12, 2008 at 06:21

    this is really sad that fighting started between kurjistan ans Russia,, the world should try to negotiate among them not only US, for sure Russia will not listen and take serious to US words because Russia itself is a superpower. i hope they will negotiate in order to stop killing innocent people

    Abdul

  186. 186 silver
    August 12, 2008 at 07:13

    why talk about “standing up to russia” as if it is a just and moral act ?

    the current situation is an exact copy of what happened with kosovo, where the US for the first time in recent history supported the breakup of a country and militarily enforced the breakaway region. why do the majority of you think that is acceptable but complain when russia does the same with South Ossetia.

    the majority of people in South Ossetia do not want to be a part of georgia, many even have russian pasports, and the region has functioned as an autonomous region since the ussr broke up.

    now georgia tried by force to impose its control over parts of South Ossetia, as it tried a number of times in recent years, and found it has poke the bear with a stick. this time russia is reacting strongly and has declared it intends to destroy georgia’s army so it cant be an aggressor again (same logic nato applied to destroying the serbian army)

    whats good for the goose is good for the gander. bush juniors incompetence will have a trail of problems in its wake for decades to come.

  187. 187 Marty Lee
    August 12, 2008 at 07:36

    Just heard over the News that Sarkozy is going to try and broker a cease fire between Georgia and Russia.

    What are the chances ?

  188. 188 daisy
    August 12, 2008 at 07:37

    Why is the topic called this ? I don’t understand ? Should it perhaps not be Can Anyone Stand Up To The US ?
    The US invaded Iraq and look at what that country has become !! And the reason was a lie, so why should people criticize Russia so vehemently when Georgia started it with their 7th and 8th August raids and 2000 deaths in South Ossetia !
    The severe comments and warnings to Russia are overdone. And Bush is the last one to say something of that sort repeatedly. Is his invasion of Iraq 21st century ? I beg to differ.
    We should be glad and thankful for counterbalance of super powers in the world today.

  189. 189 OSSETIA
    August 12, 2008 at 08:25

    People of the world, the information, provided by the international mass media is no true. Russia DID NOT ATTACK Georgia! 07.08.2008 at 22:00 Georgia attacked South Ossetia, the troops rolled in. At 3:30 08.08.2008 tanks of the Georgian armies have entered the city of Tskhinvali, the capital of the South Ossetian Republic. Whole city was shelling by heavy artillery all day long, there were fights with use of tanks and heavy munition, which were used against both ossetic militia and non-combatants. More than 2000 civillians were killed during Georgian attack. Russian peacemakers have arrived to South Ossetia in the evening of 08.08.2008 for settlement of the conflict and peace conduction in republic and protection of Russian citizens, living on territory of South Ossetia (approx. 80% of South Ossetian population). Georgia has attacked South Ossetia on the opening day of 2008 Olympiad, it is top of cruelty and cynicism.

  190. 190 OSSETIA
    August 12, 2008 at 08:50

    USA is a stupid, false country. They do what they want. Now they want to make Russia weaker, they want to take away Russia from the Black sea, they see that russian economic is growing and it is dangerous for their prevalence in the world. They do it through Georgia. Georgia, like most countries in Europe is in Amerian care. Saakashvili, like Yuschenko from Ukraine and Vike-Freiberga from Latvia, is a spy from USA. His object is to help USA in killing Russia like a country, to destroy them. I think you all have heard his English speech. All Europa has close eyes on Georgian attack, because of american order. Bush wants to break off russian contacts with West
    They are so stupid. Now they don’t suspect that Russia will live absolutely normaly without West. Russia has got partners, they will deliver oil products to Asia. They don’t need East, but East will not survive without Russia. For Bush the main object is to save his prevalence, and all the Europe go behind him, but Europe don’t understand that they are going to a total-lot death. USA, of course, will survive. They have resource. Bush is emboding his plane killing Europe. Europe should go behind Russia, they will grow up, USA will have crisis, but Europe will be dominating. But they want to be americans. OK, it’s their choice.

  191. 191 Bryan
    August 12, 2008 at 09:37

    Can anyone stand up to Russia?

    Leave out the “up to” and I’ll answer that I definitely can’t.

    Russia is the country that:-

    *Implemented communism – one of the world’s most evil systems – and used it to justify slaughtering, imprisoning and impoverishing millions of its people.

    *Clamps down on Its own Islamic terrorism problem brutally and with little or no concern for civilians while arming and training Muslims, including Islamic terrorists, who attack Israel, and welcomes Hamas terrorists for “talks” in Moscow.

    For decades denied Russian Jews the right to immigrate to Israel.

    Pays lip service to democracy while its government is authoritarian and oppressive.

  192. 192 European Georgia
    August 12, 2008 at 09:57

    Next steps of Russia are heavily dependent on Western reaction. If this reaction is not strong enough, Russia will continue attempts to swallow Georgia.

    Russia bombs residential neighborhoods in no proximity of military installations. It bombs homes of our families, relatives and friends. Hundreds of civilians are dead and thousands are injured.

    Russia continues air strikes despite the unilateral cease-fire from Georgian side. It sent 100s of tanks, heavy artillery equipments and military aircrafts, and tens of thousand troops to Georgia with the intent of its annihilation, as Russian leaders say.

    Russia did so because of Georgian aspirations to NATO and Western world. Recall that Russian leaders have repeatedly asserted that they will put every effort to prevent Georgia from joining NATO, while more than 75% of Georgians voted for NATO accession last January. Russia intends to terminate independence of the country that achieved the biggest progress toward democratization in recent years.

    It’s a nonsense that Georgians started this war. Georgian attack on Tskhinvali was a counterstrike after repeated attacks from the Russian-subordinated South-Osetian separatist militants at Georgian villages and peacekeepers. Georgia had no other choice than engaging in a war to protect its citizens. Going backwards, Russia sent without Georgian consent its paratroopers and heavy weaponry in Abkhazia this Spring, after Kosovan independence and Bukharest NATO summit, where Georgia was given a promise that it would be accepted to NATO. Russian aggression was avoided that time due to an active diplomatic pressure from Western countries. In such a situation, when all the attention was put to the Abkhazian conflict, Ossetian separatists started active military operations.

    If it’s still unclear who started this war and someone is inclined to think that Russian version that Georgia started it is correct, please recall what Russia was saying when invading into Finland, Hungary, Poland, Chekhoslovakia, Afghanistan and many other countries. Also, look at the timing – before US elections, when major attention of all Americans are arrested to this event. Recall that Russia traditionally undertakes its most aggressive actions immediately before US presidential elections – Hungary in March 1956, Checkhoslovakia in the spring of 1968, Afghanistan in December 1979.

  193. 193 European Georgia
    August 12, 2008 at 09:59

    West is obliged to defend Georgia given that the current Russian aggression is an immediate consequence of the recognition of Kosovo independence by Western countries.

    If the West, particularly USA, does not defend Georgia, it will damage their prestige because they could not or did not defend their friend (Georgia sent 2000 troops to Iraq, the third largest military contingent in the coalition forces). On the other hand, Russia will feel that its future aggression toward other countries will go unpunished as well. As a consequence, other countries neighboring with Russia will be discouraged or prevented from maintaining close ties with the West.

    Russian aggression, if tolerated, will not stop on Georgia. Next targets will be Ukraine and other former Soviet states, including Baltic countries. For sure, Russia will take control over oil supplies of Azerbaijan and Central Asian states.

  194. August 12, 2008 at 11:04

    i think Russia especially Puttin is provocking the US and Bush in particular,knowing that european countries are tied down since they cann’t afford to play dirty games wuth their oil source.

  195. 195 shaikh Atif
    August 12, 2008 at 11:24

    As far as i see its Georgia who is commiting a genocide in South Osscetia and if the west happens to get involved then they will expose their Hypocracy.We know the Genocide and killing of the Civilians by Georgian Forces where as what we are shown by the west as ‘Russian Interfearence’ is very much a ‘Russian Rescue’.

  196. August 12, 2008 at 12:48

    I am keeping Georgia in my prayers

  197. 197 Jude
    August 12, 2008 at 12:50

    I’m amazed at how biased the western media can be in reporting an issue of such magnitude, but I take solace in the fact that the reasonable and realistic leaders from Europe and the west have either spoken in a more civil manner or made no comment at all. All the rhetoric from U.K. and U.S will only continue to fan the embers of hostility between Russia and the Georgian president. Is it fair to blame Russia for using disproportionate force while making no comment whatsoever about the senseless aggression ordered by the Georgian president? Do the leaders of U.S and U.K think the world is so foolish as not to understand the motive behind the actions of Georgia? Why has the U.S. been actively campaigning for the quick admission of Georgia into NATO? Is it right for a nation that shares borders with Russia and has brazenly been anti-Russia, to have a military alliance with the U.S? If the U.S. is sincere in saying that the cold-war is over, why is she so much interested in extending her sphere of military influence next to Russia’s borders? Make no mistake about it, the world will not know peace if such belligerent attitude of the U.S. and some of her western allies (particularly U.K.) continues. If the U.S. and the west truly want to promote peaceful co-existence between Russia and rest of Eastern Europe, they must stop all anti-Russia actions part of which is the U.S. intention to install parts of her missile shield equipment next to Russia’s borders.

  198. August 12, 2008 at 12:50

    no one would have stood before a nuclear north korea if not russia.the only thing that NATO and allies could do is just be mean towards the koreans.
    I also suggest that if your neighbour is the one and only russia,you need not have an army coz you will be wasting the funds….only militants can try something like is the case they do to America and its allies.

    THE LAST DON
    uthiru,kenya

  199. August 12, 2008 at 13:01

    if the war were to continue,i would suggest to russians that they hide in russian cellars,not austrian cellars……sharapova in particular.

    THE LAST DON
    uthiru,kenya

  200. August 12, 2008 at 13:11

    Georgians could use their defence ministries budget for something else good.coz am sure russians would rampage on them and still give them oil and gas.

    THE LAST DON
    uthiru,kenya

  201. 201 jesse basse
    August 12, 2008 at 13:47

    i have not met a russian befor but my God they seem extreemly arrogant of which i don’t understand why.may be theannoyance at the fall of the ussr.any way the russians should know that the whole world is standing against them on this.leave georgia now.

  202. 202 Dennis Yusupoff, Russia
    August 12, 2008 at 15:11

    Oh my god… Are you seriously thinking that Saakashvili is angel and Putin is devil? Saakashvili begun this war FIRST, attacked S.O. suddenly without any warning.
    Yes, I agree that russian force in Georgia may was exceess, but don’t forget, Georgia kill about 18 russian peacekeepers and almost 1600 russian citizens in Tshkinvali. Just imagine, that it was AMERICAN soldiers and AMERICAN citizens. What would have do USA in this situation, ah?

    At the end, remember – russian and georgian people are hostages of their government and their business. And common people don’t support war at all.

    Stop thinking by cold-war time, guys, seriously…

    “Make love, not war” (c)

  203. 203 Dennis
    August 12, 2008 at 16:08

    I think that no one can stand up to Russia right now!

  204. 204 Mr. Liberty
    August 12, 2008 at 18:17

    The Georgian President is the problem he is a megalomania and a war monger he is responsible for all the needless deaths.

  205. 205 Brian Larson
    August 12, 2008 at 19:01

    Dennis Yusupoff: While the situation is very confusing, it is simply too coincidental that an invasion of South Ossetia occurs during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. It appears that the Georgian leadership was trying to pull a fast one. Nevertheless, SOME western media will seek to enhance TV audience ratings by feeding the western fear of Soviet tanks and nukes. In actuality, the Russian government and military may be justified. The West should be skeptical of the Georgians as to why they HAD TO invade and kill hundreds if not thousands, and it should be skeptical in granting NATO membership and military training to states that want to use that membership to even old ethnic disputes. Basically, the US got conned by the Georgians. The US needs to listen to the Germans, French and other allies inlcuding Russia.

  206. 206 Spirit, Smolensk, Russia
    August 12, 2008 at 19:20

    Hey, guys.

    European people have not even have little reliable information. And you know why? because you live through chur well and observe all occurring in the world through TV. may be Russia wish to attack such a nourishing Europe… Heh, you are cowardly as Saakashvili (watch video, as Saakashvili flees from the flying airplain). If you are really want to show me the contrary, I expect any of you at Smolensk, sq. Smirnova, 30 aug. Don’t be afraid, i will be without my hand bear and without uniforms major GRU…

  207. 207 Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 20:23

    I recently submitted a comment calling for some reasoned debate on this forum instead of vitriol and racism. WHYS, in your infinite wisdom, censored it. It seems that comments of anti-semitic and other racist sentiments are okay, but something calling into question the efficacy of this forum or the BBC and WHYS themselves are out.

  208. 208 Dan
    August 12, 2008 at 20:53

    I’m glad you posted my comment. Thank you WHYS. Now…

    Does anyone have any better understanding of this issue now than they did before the discussion began? There is so much naked emotion expressed here that its difficult to move through it all to get to some real debate. The issue at hand, as stated, is one-sided. I’m not sure “Can anyone stand up to Russia?” is the right question to ask. But we all have a chance here to connect in a way that’s better than the question that’s been posed. We could discuss the morality on both sides, but mostly this discussion has devolved into statements of Russians being arrogant, or linking Georgians eternally to Stalin and by extention to anti-semitic fervour.

    My original post asked everyone to think before they wrote or called into the show. None of us have a right to an opinion. We all have a right to an informed opinion. None of us are entitled to sound off without thinking. Very often it’s those thoughtless opinions, when stated strongly enough and by enough people, that push the fearmongering that create the circumstances of conflict. We are expected to be reasonable to control the vitriol that’s common to all of us. I’m not surprised to see those comments on this forum, but I’m disappointed that they are not better moderated.

  209. August 12, 2008 at 21:23

    Just in case there has been US involvement, one must really wonder with only 3 months to go for the next Presidential election the reason WHY? Is’nt there enough turmoil and killing fields?

    When will humans grow up? Are we yet in the 21st century or in some distinctly dark period of the historical past?

  210. 210 CARLOS DAVID PELISSARI FRANÇA
    August 12, 2008 at 21:30

    I BELIEVE THAT RUSSIA IS DOING WHAT ANY CONTRY WOULD DO. IT’S ENOUGH THAT GEORGIA HAS ALREADY FALLEN OUT FROM THE ANCIENT SSRU. GEORGIA BELIEVES THAT, FOR SURE, THE US AND NATO ARE GOING TO SUPPORT IT.

  211. 211 Shakhoor Rehman
    August 12, 2008 at 22:08

    Tricky Dicky Nixon he say: ” Stand up to Russians before you sit down with them”.

  212. 212 Honza
    August 13, 2008 at 02:47

    @ Pangolin- California

    Georgia put 6 years and 5 billion US$ to train and equip their 35 000 strong ground army. It took two days for 7 000 Russians to spank them. One might think that the Reds are still very good soldiers, it’s a simple fact.

  213. 213 John van Dokkumburg
    August 13, 2008 at 08:06

    I am glad the parties have a agreement , i praise Russia for a constructive cohesion with France and the New World platform , we can win hearts and minds if – a higher and deeper project starts – .

  214. 214 Des
    August 13, 2008 at 08:08

    The Europeans have no balls in dealing with Russia. USA is the one should stand up against Russia. However, i am doubtful about it if OBAMA wins the US presidency. Obama just like the Europeans, has no guts to take Putin’s Russia

  215. 215 sujal
    August 13, 2008 at 12:29

    I THINK AS AN INDEPENDENT COUNTRY RUSSIA HAS A RIGHT TO FOLLOW ITS FOREIGN POLICY AND ITS GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS IN THE CAUSCASAN REGION.NO COUNTRY WOULD LIKE TO SEE ITS GEOPOLITICAL INTERESTS AT STAKE AND WOULD LIKE RUSSIA WOULD TAKE MILITARY ACTION.

  216. 216 Paul
    August 13, 2008 at 16:05

    History is repeating itself once again. And behind polite smiled and handshakes a superpower nation is murdering a small country. USA, UK, E, NATO is a joke. An agressor has a week to do whatever he wants before anything is done, just like a poor promotion campaign with loopholes in your local mall. Russia has been given a conformation that nothing will be done if it continues to do such actions.

    There is evidence that these manouvers where rehearsed for a year now. And every country that has agreed to close their eyes on this matter, will eventualy be reared by Russians in the end.

    Every citizen in the world can once again feel like in highschool. Where nobody can stand up to the bully.

    HA….lets wait for WWIII

  217. 217 Syed Hasan Turab
    August 13, 2008 at 17:49

    The invasion of Georgia is very much resamble with invasion of Afghanistan, only differance is this neighbouring European countries have no intrest in Georgia.
    To face this invasion Europe need some guide line & stratigic partnership with Pakistan.
    With in a short period of time Pakistan faught with former USSR under command & controll of General Zia Ul Haq with strong intellagance ( ISP ) & proud Pakistan Army (mountain division) along with fully motivated public support in shape of Talaban & Alquida. Now Central asia is enjoying the freedom.
    So this is very clear that to achieve the Win Win status Georgian’s free world supportors have no stratic plan to defend there terorities & stratigic boundries even in the presance of NATO allience.
    No doubt EU dont have capability to face any trouble shooting strategy like Pakistan performed by the time of Afghan invasion, or EU is fully dependant in US stratigies & dont want to spend a single penny in this regard.
    European dreem need some spending in Intellangence, public relation’s, militry force & stratigic planning, as we dont want our tax dollore’s spending in upgrading EU status in the International Lobbies.

  218. 218 Daisy
    August 13, 2008 at 21:10

    I have totally disappointed of the way that the BBC’s been covering this conflict. Even though they were the most reliable source for me yet, this time around they look more like a distorting mirror with nothing to convey. Extremely tendentious, they remind me of the worst Soviet media acting under some order from above. Never took Russian media as a source but this time around I have to go there for the information, they look way more objective.

  219. 219 steve
    August 13, 2008 at 21:15

    @ Daisy, by objective you mean, making Russia look good, and not like the nation of thugs that it actually is. You are ruled by a thug. Putin is a Thug. His new puppet President is a thug. They are proving their thuggery right now in Georgia. I just hope the west has the cahoneys to stand up to Russia.

  220. August 13, 2008 at 21:30

    The West got this one wrong. How exactly is it that Bush’s puppet, Saakashvili, can invade Abkhazia and South Ossetia – during the Olympics, no less – bomb them with impunity and everyone in the West finds a way to blame it all on the Russian peacekeepers? The BBC and other news organizations lied to the world, and it took days for those of us willing to read between the lines of anti-Russian propaganda to find out that it was Saakashvili – not Medvedev – who murdered innocent civilians. The BBC has traded its integrity for favor with an imperial kleptocracy: America.

    I hope it’s worth it.

  221. 221 steve
    August 13, 2008 at 21:35

    @ Jack

    Nice try. How do you invade your own country. S. Ossetia is in Georgia. Keep your propaganda on Pravda where it belongs. Go worship your KGB leader there.

  222. 222 Daisy
    August 13, 2008 at 21:48

    Steve don’t you please lecture at me. I’m ruled by no one. But how this sublect is reflected in the world media – it really concerns me. And so far I am disappointed. Think I’m not the only one.

  223. August 14, 2008 at 00:24

    Russias’s main objective by their intervention into Georgia is to make the point that they will not accept US missiles to be based in Georgia, by using aggressive force they are simply stateing that they will use their military might if Georgia ever agrees to accept the US offer and in order for European Union to abstain politically, they will stop supplies of oil and gas.
    This is the old Russian way, ‘Might is Right”.

  224. 224 Inga
    August 14, 2008 at 02:50

    I think it is better to listen to an expert in the conflict assesment. Let’s see what has Human Rights Watch documanted in South Ossetia so far click here:

    http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/08/13/georgi19607.htm

    ot just visit Human Rights Watch website and see what’s independent investigation has uncovered so far.

  225. 225 howard scott
    August 14, 2008 at 05:37

    I have said for several years now that Russia is no friend of the West.

    Perhaps this reality is clearer now as the world watches as Georgia has its deocratic values attacked by Russia.

    It is past the time for Western Europe and America to re-evaluate their relationship with Russia and how they respond in future to a hostile Russia that has no interest in deocratic values or the open society.

    Howard Scott
    Currently travelling

  226. 226 Daisy
    August 14, 2008 at 08:10

    Hey Steve, honestly, I expected to find a bunch of apologies as soon as I’m back but still haven’t got a single one. Maybe you think it’s normal, or maybe you think your noble discourse (like one above) has been neglected by the person to whom it was addressed (i.e. me)? Kindly remind you, if you still didn’t get it right yourself, that your tirade was/is extremely offensive. Personally offensive, ok? Free sharing of opinions, whether you like it or not, and not personal offenses, what this blog is running for, isn’t it? So let’s be polite, it’s like a good habit you know. Between such a kind folks like us. All the best, man.

  227. 227 Sergey
    August 14, 2008 at 08:13

    I have just several remarks about coverage of the latest Georgia’s events. I think that western information agencies deliberately distort the real facts. Take for example BBC (yes, even BBC). The Russian version of the day-by-day history of events differs significantly from the English language verison. In the Russian version all siginificant events of the Friday (the most crucial day in the conflict) are discribed in many details, in accordance with the official view of Russian media, and in proper order. In the English version there are only few remarks and the invasion of the Georgian tanks into Tzhinval is dicribed very vaguely. I must admit I haven’t find any blutant lies. But the whole message is significantly different. On the background of the Friday’s coverage of the Georgian operation in Tzhinval there is the interesting photo – Georgian old woman is crying in Gori. As if on Friday Russia bombed Gori. According to Russian version of the BBC day-to-day history, Russian bombing of Gori took place in Saturday. The same photo appears even in Wednesday paragraph, as if Russia is bombing Gori on Wednesday, after the ceasefire. Of course it’s not a lie, but it’s the distortion of the facts. In the materials of other western agencies I found even more cinical distortion. For example, after the photo with Osetian women mourning on the coffins of their children there is a comment about Russian aggression against Georgian civilians. Read BBC’s day-by-day history of the conflict (in Russian language).
    I’m very disappointed about BBC. I always considered this agency as an unbiased media. But I see sometimes professionalism of journalists is nothing. Why didn’t BBC use the same version of the day-by-day history of the conflict in Russian and in English? Not because BBC is under pressure of Putin’s power. Not because BBC is loyal to Russia. But because the Enlish version translated into Russian will be considered as a foolish lie and will undermine the BBC’s authority as a respected source of information. BBC just have to agree with the viewpoint of all Russian information agencies and otherwise it would be too unprofessional. But why they allow this unprofessionalism in English language version of the same materials.
    I ask BBC professionals to translate Russian day-to-day version of the conflict into English and English into Russian, and then organize HaveYouSay discussion in English and in Russsian. Only this can improve the already broken image of the British Broadcasting Company.

  228. 228 John van Dokkumburg
    August 14, 2008 at 11:05

    Russia is to rich but still to young to know to use future ideas , was it yesterday the ideology that makes troubles and pain, keeping the selfside blind, today money makes this fooling a pride and it happend in the old way of yesterday as a turbo for the Kremlin, fools they are, and Georgia are not the better politicians ..

    And the regions of Yoegoslavia separate because serviers had (still) a selfisch parlement thinking about how it was and how they are mighty (not).. but never what they realistical are as human :

    ..Nothing learned from leaders ? .. blind to kill for proofing we ( the leader ) can be beastly pride ? it is old our Kremlin thinking , central for selling freedom to the people … because change and thinking free freedom isnt allowed to make highest love. They are not defend globle rights , they make the rights to live a life – stealing the natural rights , like us .

    Spiritualy the good nature still have the right to have live , happy and proud but only to praise God for the freedom and to be humble, not as the devil to be proud with the machines we using ! Killing always is a long term sin, even whatever the God want you to do our like you to think .. please change your goals for the love of your life and empthy proud and killing shall natural be a shame and disappears .

  229. 229 Paul Shitote
    August 14, 2008 at 11:22

    Russia is still a puppet of the former president. He is very well known for his hard stance.
    Currently there is no country in the World that can stand up to Russia. The only country that would have done that is the United States, but it is limping from the war in Iraq thus doesn’t have the capacity and sufficient might to stand up to Russia. Alternatively it is seemingly thought that the Europen Union combined with the United States would have receiprocated Russia’s use of force against Georgia, but my worst fear was confirmed when this did not happen. Currently no one can stand up against Russia. The Best the rest of the world can do is to express their concen against Georgia because its the least we can do.

  230. 230 Mihai - Canada
    August 14, 2008 at 16:41

    Hi,

    A few years ago, the Albanian majority in Kosovo, which at the time was still part of Serbia as a republic of Yugoslavia, fought for independence. The Yugoslavian army in Kosovo responded, civilians got hurt and the whole country including Belgrade got bombed by NATO for 76 days in a row.

    These days, the Russian majority in Ossetia, a province of Georgia, fights for their independence from Georgia. The Georgian army fights back, Russia responds and the West, the same west that bombed Serbia, seems to take sides with Georgia.

    Can you please comment on what is, in you opinion different today, how come that now, the West seems to take sides with the “aggressor” Georgia, and not the minority…

    Was Kosovo a mistake, or the fact the USA invaded Iraq without UNs approval, opened the door for Russia to do the same, invade a sovereign state without fear of any consequences.

    Is it possible that what happens today in Georgia has something to do with Mr. Bush promising Georgia and Ukraine to be invited to be part of NATO and in doing so, upsetting Russia?

    In my opinion, the West/Europe cannot afford to go against Russia today, half the essential resources, so much needed by the West, natural gas among them, originate from Russia.

    Respectfully,
    Mihai Stanomir

  231. 231 Franklyn Anyanwu
    August 14, 2008 at 16:44

    Russia and Russians are the most world radicals.
    So I think every country of the world should stand up and condemn there actions in Geogia. This will bring pressure and possibly make them a little more sensitive to agreeing for a peace deal.

  232. 232 John LaGrua/New York
    August 14, 2008 at 20:25

    The Russians are a proud people with a great spiritual devotion to their country.Putin is following an authoritarian path to assert its role in the world .The Georgians poked them in the eye and he is demonstrating the cost of that folly.Humiliating Bush is also a goal as his false promises led the Georgians up the garden path with no intention or ability to counter Russian action .Bush 41 did the same to the Kurds and the marsh Arabs in Iraq.in 1991.Bush 43 has consistently offended the Russians using that pugnacious incompetent Rice and in his usual ignorance failing to understand lessons of history.Russia has been invaded over the centuries by Sweden,France ,Britain and lastly by Germany which accounts in great part for its xenophobia.It was a major in the 19th centry competetion ;”The Great Game “where the major powers jockeyed for position and influence in the Caucausis and elsewhere in the Near East. Putin has employed the imperial past to restore natiomal pride, the West would be wise to understand the challenge and not exacerbate the problem by belligerent talk and foolish actions .Let us pray that we can get to Jan 19 2009 without that dangerous idiot Bush 43 stumbling into a catastrophic war.

  233. 233 Sir Richard
    August 14, 2008 at 21:32

    The biggest problem we have in the world today is having politicians who are not politicians enough in their own backyards. For this reason, I would say thumbs up for Russia and down for Britain. I hate the British and others who behave like them for following Americans just because they are Americans.

    First I am not sure whether Saakashville is normal. I have watched his speeches but I really doubt whether he is. why would a president wake up one evening to order such an attack to a small city in South ossetia? what was the motive? was it not wiping out the whole population? that is not the firepower you can apply in the city. At least he should have even advised the civilians to vacate the city before he could attack. Now what annoys is the fact that the Americans, British and co. wanted Russia to watch that type of genocide happen in south Ossetia. I do not need to like Russians to appreciate what they did. What was wrong with Russia rescuing the power south Osseterians? probably the osseterians are not as important as Israelites. And why is America not condemning Saakashvile for doing that? may be because he has the license to kill just like Britain and America are doing in Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine. The solution for Georgia can be achieved by France and may be Germany (who have not disappointed in their response) but not America and the likes of Britain.

  234. 234 Manifest Destiny
    August 15, 2008 at 04:32

    RUssia should be treated like what it is. A 3rd world country with oil and nukes. Nukes do not matter because Putin is not that stupid. I think we have lulled a lot of people into a false sense of secuirty because we have been bugged down in Iraq by suicide bombers (including women). May be Russia needs a reminder of what the 82nd airborne can really do when these people (?) are not using innocent women and children as shields. Knowing Putin, he might.

  235. 235 alfonso
    August 15, 2008 at 08:32

    When NATO bombed Serbia “for moral reasons”, who cared? Now the boot is on the other foot, Who cares? America cant (dare not) intervene. Ask who started this latest spatt.
    It takes longer than 24hrs to mount even a limited attack.
    Ask who knew what was going on.
    Surely MI6 CIA and Russian SIS whould all be aware what was going on. Or else someone in those serveces needs a good firm kick in the sit upon. I think the Russians knew and simply prepared the counter, the American (with the brit poodle)(aka bulldog) hoped that thier lacky in tibisi would somehow prevail. Here endeth the first lesson.

  236. 236 Jack
    August 15, 2008 at 23:17

    @ Steve

    Nice try. Disagreeing with your mindless worship of Bush and his constitution rapers doesn’t mean I worship the KGB. I can think for myself. You might try it some time.

    And as for Georgia invading their own country? South Ossetia and Askabia are part of Georgia like Canada and Australia are part of the UK. Try investigating things before you make claims you can’t back up.

  237. 237 Jack
    August 15, 2008 at 23:26

    @Sergey

    Some of us went out of our way to find the truth. Some of us swallowed the lies with the same ghusto that the U.S. Congress swallowed Bush’s arguments for invading Iraq (e.g. Steve). Please understand that there will always be small-minded people who will hate the East, as there are small-minded people who hate us in the West. Likewise, as long as there are people like you, Daisy and myself, willing to stand up for the truth – even when it means being derided by your own countrymen and women (e.g. Steve) – there is a chance for us to have – po Russkiy, Mir.

  238. 238 Jack
    August 15, 2008 at 23:58

    @ Dr.Hunter S, Clinical Psychologist

    I don’t think someone whose profession overwhelmingly voted it ETHICAL to aid Bush and his henchmen in torturing people in Gitmo has any right to talk about the cruelty of anyone else.

  239. 239 Michael Robles
    August 16, 2008 at 06:17

    I see both of your sides. Yes Georgia definitely should not have started this conflict. If a guy on the street punches you in the face, will you feel sorry for him if you are kicking his a** pretty good? NO. At the same time i do think Russia is being a bully, but it is hard to say that because us Americans are no better. Instead of getting into so much bs why don’t we ever help our own citizens? Or send aid to Africa to help with their genocide’s or poverty?? Seems only time we help is where there is oil or money or power to be gained. Part of me wants to war with the bastard Russian’s but part of me realizes, if you pick a fight and get your a** kicked that’s your own problem.

  240. 240 Bulentzhane
    August 30, 2008 at 19:19

    Do you believe self determination? If you are civilized human you should say “YES”. So let the Abkhazians and Ossetians determine their future themselves.And let them choose whom to live with.


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