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Reassessing the Russia-Georgia war
Why it’s important to figure out which country started the fighting
 

Remember the potentially catastrophic war between Russia and Georiga in August? said Jason Bush in BusinessWeek online. The BBC, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and Human Rights Watch do, and their research paints a “strikingly different interpretation of events” than the version widely accepted in the West—that Russia invaded Georgia. The “far more nuanced” story makes Georgia look far shadier, and maybe even criminal.

“There is no reason to doubt the competence or honesty of the OSCE monitors” on the scene when the fighting started, said The Boston Globe in an editorial. And their report leads to the “inescapable conclusion” that Georgia “started the war and lied about it.” This is important, because Barack Obama has to know which country’s leaders he can trust.

Obama also needs to know whom he can trust in the U.S., said Tom Hayden in Talking Points Memo, and it looks like some U.S. neoconservatives—notably Randy Scheunemann—don’t make the cut. But Obama’s national security advisers went along with the Russian-as-aggressor story, and Obama needs to be wary of them, too, if he is to avoid a Bay of Pigs.

Obama won’t be so foolish as to side with Russia, said Melik Kaylan in Forbes online. Sure, the Georgians “radically upped the confrontation,” or even attacked first, but only because they knew “a Russian invasion was in progress,” with tanks on the way. So ignore the “sudden uptick in media noise”—Georgia acted in self defense.

 

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