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Thread: Georgia's South Ossetia Conflict - Political Commentary

  1. #221
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    NATO and other alliances have been pushed by more than one leading politician - mutta, the leading political parties have not adopted that as a formal plarform item + about 2/3 of Finns are adverse.

    Or, have I missed something since Mar 2008 - which is quite possible.

    Georgia may change that - mutta, which way will that cut is another question. We shall see.

    Finland has helped Estonia - good to help cousins.

    Choke off Gulf of Finland sounds good in theory. Last time we were able to do that was before Charlie the Great screwed everything up in the Great Northern War - and we still remember the consequent Great Wrath.

    Sorry to be a little gloomy here.

    Kiitos paljon.
    JMM, Pole tänu väärt !
    I'll just say that more than a year following the Bronze Dude in Estonia, Finland got a good taste of Russian diplomacy along with her Baltic neighbors. Transit traffic came to an abrupt halt across all of Russia's western border. Finland may not depend on revenues from transit traffic as much as the Baltic States, but tractor trailers stacked up on the border for nearly 20 kilometers certainly sent a message.

    Finland's decision (and the timing of that decision ahead of Sweden) to contribute to the NATO Response Force is, in and of itself a strong signal. The Finns that I deal with (military and law enforcement) are openly very pro-NATO, and view(ed) Estonia's membership as a wise decision. Check out the smooth-tongued FM Lavrov's recent comments in Helsingin Sanomat regarding Finland and NATO. Not worried, Aye ? Heh

    I think Georgia will open the eyes of the Finnish public, and has served only to increase Finnish ties with the Baltic States.

    BTW, wasn't it Estonia's "Finnish Boys" who came to the aid of Finland

    Terv, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  2. #222
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Russia has sent out a signal to everyone -

    ‘don’t mess with us in our own backyard’. This is enough.

    The problem for the West is the hundreds of thousands of Russians who found themselves, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, trapped in countries that couldn’t stand them.

    Nadia the green-eyed Russian waitress whispered conspiratorially, ‘‘They don’t like us, you know. The Estonians, they think we are occupiers.’’ She glanced over at the other bar staff and continued, ‘‘but we are not. We were born here, this is our land, can’t you see the great Orthodox cathedral - if we came here with Stalin, who do they think built that?”

    In Georgia the issue is Ossetia and Abkhazia, but here in the Baltic the issue is the 40 per cent of the Estonian population who consider themselves Russian.

    There is a similar but not quite so large minority in Latvia, Lithuania and, of course, the big one - Ukraine. There are also significant numbers of Russians in the Muslim republics of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.

    These are all potential powder kegs, if Moscow chooses to light the flame.

    Whether the Kremlin wants to do this is anyone’s guess. However, here in Tallinn it is easy to see how a more expansive Kremlin might go about its business. Among the Estonians there is a tremendous amount of insecurity at the moment.

    The prospect of any aggressive Russian action is remote because at the moment our interests and Russia’s coincide in trade and a mutual financial conundrum in the face of Asian global competition.

    Furthermore, the people in power in Moscow, despite the naive caricatures peddled by the western press, are not idiots.

    It does not mean the Red Army will not roll again, but it implies that from now on, Europe and America have to deal with Russia as an equal. In the past 18 years, we have dismissed the Russians. This was not healthy. Today, after Georgia, the situation has changed.

    The Russians have spoken; the West has listened. The status quo is strengthened and Nadia can feel confident again without being threatening.

    www.davidmcwilliams.ie
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  3. #223
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    Stan mentioned.

    In Georgia the issue is Ossetia and Abkhazia, but here in the Baltic the issue is the 40 per cent of the Estonian population who consider themselves Russian.
    Estonian population is 1,4 million. Fact is that there are approx 93 000 Russian citizens, 110 000 persons wihtout citizenship. Rougly there are 25 percent Russian speaking persons. They are not all Russians. There are Ukrainians, Belorussians, Georgians, Chechens etc. Most of them don't share Russian official opinion.

    Oeh, I'm already tired to explain this question. Every kind of waitresses and hotel servants share such spam

  4. #224
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kaur View Post
    Stan mentioned.

    Estonian population is 1,4 million. Fact is that there are approx 93 000 Russian citizens, 110 000 persons wihtout citizenship. Rougly there are 25 percent Russian speaking persons. They are not all Russians. There are Ukrainians, Belorussians, Georgians, Chechens etc. Most of them don't share Russian official opinion.

    Oeh, I'm already tired to explain this question. Every kind of waitresses and hotel servants share such spam
    jõudu !
    While I wholeheartedly agree with you (and I am fairly sick of telling ethnic Russian here I have no need to learn Russian, as we are living in Estonia), as the author points out, it's definitely one of several sore points with the Kremlin and viewed by many as a potential powder keg.

    We should also point out to the uninitiated that these "stateless" people are not running across the border to obtain Russian citizenship, and Russia is not handing out passports either. Perhaps one of the singular reasons we had far less than the typical Russian 5 to 21-day incursions.

    Terv, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  5. #225
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    Georgians Doing Forced Labor in South Ossetia
    18 August 2008

    In a sign that Georgians are being abused in the Russian-controlled province, a Russian officer and armed Ossetians escorted forced laborers Saturday through the city.

    "They are cleaning up after themselves," said Mikhail Mindzayev, South Ossetia's interior minister.
    "Labor even turns monkeys into humans," the Russian officer said. He threatened to arrest an AP photographer if he took pictures and would not give his name.
    http://www.themoscowtimes.com/articl.../42/369851.htm

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    "Labor even turns monkeys into humans," the Russian officer said. He threatened to arrest an AP photographer if he took pictures and would not give his name.
    And Russians into swine, it seems. The old thuggish Russia was really a whole lot closer to the surface than I thought.
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

  7. #227
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question Like Humans do

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    And Russians into swine, it seems. The old thuggish Russia was really a whole lot closer to the surface than I thought.
    The mentality of a countries populace really is very much maintained by that which they and not those on the outside percieve as possible, doable, exceptable, and probable. With the way things have been being run there ever since Vlad really started back to the old games, is it really any surprise that many within the ranks would still carry the same "old days" mentality.

    People can change but generally only do if they think its gonna do them some good. Not much in current circumstances to make them feel like they should

    Especially considering the current fate of many of the more reformitory high profile individuals as of late.

    Of Note Though- Still think the old boy may not have gotten quite what he expected outta this. Yet to be seen
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

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    Default What ...

    from Stan
    BTW, wasn't it Estonia's "Finnish Boys" who came to the aid of Finland
    the Estonians learned how to swim ? Will wonders never cease.

    (Semi-)seriously, would not it be nice if Ingria were a province of Estonia, or of Finland, or an independent state - and that Ivan was land-locked from the Baltic ? Fairy tale, unfortunately.

    We'll just have to be patient on the NATO thing. Finns take a while to make up their minds. It's the mutta thing - put three Finns in a room and out comes 6 very different political parties.

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    IMINT & Analysis, 17 Aug 08: Russia, Georgia, & Disinformation
    ......misreporting and deliberate distortion of the facts by the worldwide media has led to a convoluted picture of the events that have taken place. The fact that so many of the most commonly reported news items can be disassembled piece by piece with a few minutes of research places doubts on the credibility and objectivity of these establishments. When dealing with Russia after the cessation of hostilities, it would be wise to remember that there is no evidence to suggest a preplanned and orchestrated campaign to allow Russia to invade South Ossetia and Georgia. Painting Russia as a resurgent Evil Empire is a sign of unsubstantiated bias and nothing more. After all, Russia did warn Georgia that escalation was possible, and Saakashvili chose to give them the excuse needed to ensure the integrity of South Ossetia, perhaps permanently. Arguing that Russia's methods were overkill is one thing, accusing them of trying to take over the Caucasus is another thing entirely.

  10. #230
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Cool Interesting piece

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    IMINT & Analysis, 17 Aug 08: Russia, Georgia, & Disinformation
    OK, Let's see if I got this right.

    Ralph Peter's baaad
    Information war (Liar,Liar,everybody)
    Georgia basically set Russia up by starting it then rolling over quickly and retreating so fast that the front Russian units ended up farther in then they were supposed to. And we know this because they didn't need to prep because they were already there and Georgia knew it so thats why
    Ralph Peter's baaad

    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  11. #231
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Sounds about right, Ron.

    Obviously he missed this gem; LINK. Seems to me about the only thing he got totally right was this; "Neither Georgia nor Russia are entirely without fault in the current conflict..."

    I'd further say that if he believes this;"...When dealing with Russia after the cessation of hostilities, it would be wise to remember that there is no evidence to suggest a preplanned and orchestrated campaign to allow Russia to invade South Ossetia and Georgia."

    I have a bridge for sale...

    "...Arguing that Russia's methods were overkill is one thing, accusing them of trying to take over the Caucasus is another thing entirely."

    Two bridges...

  12. #232
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey
    .....Georgia basically set Russia up by starting it then rolling over quickly and retreating so fast that the front Russian units ended up farther in then they were supposed to. And we know this because they didn't need to prep because they were already there and Georgia knew it so thats why.....
    I fail to see what part of that blog piece drove that conclusion.

    The author stated pretty clearly that The South Ossetian separatists do appear to have been the primary instigators of the conflict...., and simply states that Georgia escalated the conflict in response. The author of this blog post apparently agrees with the premise put out immediately prior to the conflict in an EDM article that drawing the Russians in was the intent of the Ossetian separatists. At no point does the author state or imply that it was a Georgian "set-up". Although he also discusses several tangetial military issues, the focus of the author is attempting to debunk the belief that the Russian counter-invasion was extensively pre-planned prior to the outbreak of hostilities. In building that case, the author does not resort to creating a counter-conspiracy of Georgian manipulation of events.


    As regards Ralph Peters, he long ago compromised integrity and credibility for by-lines and profit.

  13. #233
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Wink No disagreement there Jedburgh

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    I fail to see what part of that blog piece drove that conclusion.

    The author stated pretty clearly that The South Ossetian separatists do appear to have been the primary instigators of the conflict...., and simply states that Georgia escalated the conflict in response. The author of this blog post apparently agrees with the premise put out immediately prior to the conflict in an EDM article that drawing the Russians in was the intent of the Ossetian separatists. At no point does the author state or imply that it was a Georgian "set-up". Although he also discusses several tangetial military issues, the focus of the author is attempting to debunk the belief that the Russian counter-invasion was extensively pre-planned prior to the outbreak of hostilities. In building that case, the author does not resort to creating a counter-conspiracy of Georgian manipulation of events.


    As regards Ralph Peters, he long ago compromised integrity and credibility for by-lines and profit.
    Wasn't anything near what he said, just sort of the type of mental gymnastics I had in trying to accept his points about the lack of Russian overall planning in this thing. It is certain that there is plenty of blame to go around but just out of curiousity what other excuse for continuing all the way into Georgia would Russia have had if as the premise is provided there was no plan to do so up front.

    I leave the real analysis to those with much more info than I. Just trying to get the gist of it all for now
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  14. #234
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Question On the EDM Article

    After reading that I now am even more concerned about Russia's diplomacy.

    If you know whats happening, you see it coming, you are supposed to be helping to settle it down, Then BLAM you have to send a major force with all associated air, land, sea, and cyber support not only to that little area but just happen to continue on into Georgia, etc???????
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  15. #235
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I don't think he succeeded in doing that.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jedburgh View Post
    ...the focus of the author is attempting to debunk the belief that the Russian counter-invasion was extensively pre-planned prior to the outbreak of hostilities. In building that case, the author does not resort to creating a counter-conspiracy of Georgian manipulation of events.
    I agree with the latter statement but with regard to the first one, I'm inclined to say not proven. All things are possible but given the time sequence and the conduct that can be ascertained from open sources plus known Russian TTP, I'd be pretty hard put to not say what I said earlier -- A FSB operation long planned and using a rehearsed and prepared military force as the instrument...

    Still, too early to tell, really. We'll see.

  16. #236
    Council Member Uboat509's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    And Russians into swine, it seems. The old thuggish Russia was really a whole lot closer to the surface than I thought.
    Anybody know how to say Arbeit Macht Frei in Russian?

    SFC W

  17. #237
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmm99 View Post
    the Estonians learned how to swim ? Will wonders never cease.

    (Semi-)seriously, would not it be nice if Ingria were a province of Estonia, or of Finland, or an independent state - and that Ivan was land-locked from the Baltic ? Fairy tale, unfortunately.

    We'll just have to be patient on the NATO thing. Finns take a while to make up their minds. It's the mutta thing - put three Finns in a room and out comes 6 very different political parties.
    JMM, touché. Permit me to elaborate regarding your drunk sailors from the Frozen north.

    Although the Finns helped out Estonia to about 1919, Estonian participation in the Winter War (39 to 40) started by crossing the frozen Gulf of Finland braving cracks in the ice and Russian patrols (no, they did not swim ), more than 3,000 men fought to the autumn of 1943, and on 08 FEB 44 Marshal Mannerheim activated the 200th Infantry Regiment, JR 200 (nicknamed the Finnish Boys).

    All told, 3,352 Estonian men fought in the Finnish armed forces. 410 in the Navy, forming 10 percent of the Finnish Navy (but they couldn't swim) HEH !

    BTW, Santa does not come from Lapimaa, he originates, to this day in Alaska, and he's an Amurican

    Terv, Stan
    If you want to blend in, take the bus

  18. #238
    Council Member Render's Avatar
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    Default Not pre-planned?

    The Kashin class destroyer Smetlivy (edit for correction: shipspotting dot com has the Smetlivy in Sevestopol in May) and the Grisha class frigates Murumets and Aleksandrovets were in the Red Banner Northern fleet in May. In June those same three ships were in the Mediterranean. In August those same three ships joined the Slava class cruiser Moskva for naval operations off the Georgian coast.

    Am I to believe that those three ships were on an apparently aimless world tour?

    Am I expected to believe that the better part of two (Cossack) regiments of the 19th Motor Rifle Division were not in fact, the South Ossetian separatists themselves?

    PUH
    LEESE,
    R
    Last edited by Render; 08-18-2008 at 08:10 PM.

  19. #239
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    Default Finnish-Estonian co-operation & a slight poll shift on NATO

    Stan, please feel free to educate me more on things Finnish & Estonian. I learnt something new.

    For those interested in the Finnish-Estonian co-operation in the Winter-Continuation War, check this page:

    http://www.ww2f.com/russia-war/21967...39-1944-a.html

    Looks like we owe you a regiment or two (maybe more depending on the Estonian interest rate - 6 for 5 would be brutal - Estonia would own Suomi).

    ----------------------------------------
    There has been a slight poll shift from Dec 2007 to Mar 2008. Interesting shift if Sweden also joins NATO - somewhat surprising since the Swedes are sometimes called "lemmings". Didn't spy anything after Mar, but could have missed it.

    20.12.2007
    About one in four Finns feel that Finland should seek membership in NATO. Over two thirds remain opposed to joining the alliance.

    12.3.2008
    Only 21 per cent of Finns are in favour of joining NATO, whereas 54 per cent are opposed and 23 per cent would not give an opinion.
    .....
    A bigger difference emerged when respondents were asked if Finland should join NATO if Sweden does the same. In that hypothetical situation, 41 per cent would be in favour of NATO membership, significantly outnumbering opponents.
    http://www.hs.fi/english/archive/

    BTW: No Saami Santa in our family. Mom was born here (actually, Swedish was her first language; Finnish secondary) - so, standard North Pole (not Alaska) Santa. I was found under a log in Alaska as my dad was checking his trap lines - his alternative to the stork story.

  20. #240
    Council Member AmericanPride's Avatar
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    German Chancellor says Georgia will join NATO:

    http://www.spacewar.com/reports/Geor...erkel_999.html

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Sunday assured Georgia would join NATO as she strongly backed the ex-Soviet republic's President Mikheil Saakashvili in his conflict with Russia.

    "Georgia will become a member of NATO if it wants to -- and it does want to," she told reporters before talks with Saakashvili in Tbilisi.

    It was one of the strongest statements yet of support for Georgia's NATO membership bid, which is fiercely opposed by Russia.
    I think that's an interesting statement coming from the W. European country most closely aligned with Russia.
    When I am weaker than you, I ask you for freedom because that is according to your principles; when I am stronger than you, I take away your freedom because that is according to my principles. - Louis Veuillot

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