Russia Accepts Cease Fire Terms

Russia says it has punished Georgia enough:

President Dmitri A. Medvedev of Russia agreed on Tuesday to the terms of a cease-fire that could end the clashes in Georgia, saying Russia had “punished” Georgia enough for its aggression against the separatist enclave of South Ossetia.

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    I'm sure this will be "spun" as Russia (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by JoeA on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:15:15 PM EST
    bowing down to the threats from McCain/Bush.

    In fact the headline on the drudge report reads (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by samtaylor2 on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:18:19 PM EST
    "Bush warns Russia; Medvedev orders halt to action..." .  Thank god we have such a strong powerful, masculine president.

    When the fighting broke out the government owned press played the movie Red Dawn which I thought was just hillarious


    It has been spun by Tim Kaine (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by laurie on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:10:54 PM EST
    as Putin bowing to Obama. see youtube:


    Tim Kaine: Obama Ended The War Between Georgia and Russia

    VP slot anyone?


    Yeah, Obama (5.00 / 2) (#16)
    by Grace on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:14:17 PM EST
    can part the Red Sea too.  There is no end to Obama miracles.  

    Obama will fix you breakfast and fix your computer all in an hour, according to the Obamafans.  


    If he'd vacuum (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by nemo52 on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:37:19 PM EST
    my floors, I'd consider voting for him.

    Its lame for... (5.00 / 2) (#43)
    by Thanin on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:55:41 PM EST
    Obama or McSame to try and take credit for this.  There were far more important factors than what two guys who arent even president of America had to say about it.

    so obama puts on a borrowed (none / 0) (#65)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:19:56 AM EST
    jacket, mumbles some platitudes before the camera and putin breaks into a sweat and hurries off to obey? PLEASE!

    i don't want four years of this. i want to hear obama say something that shows he'll be a cic and not have to have spin 24/7 like bush has.


    Basically, it looks that (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:35:01 PM EST
    Russia's short action in Ossetia and in Georgia was in part Putin's way of saying to Bush and the US Foreign Policy establishment that we can wreck your plans any time we want to, so don't f*ck with us.

    Putins way of taking advantage of Bush's weakening of America's power on the world stage to give him a parting slap in the face while he reasserts Russia as a major power.

    Or Maybe (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by flashman on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:44:14 PM EST
    He saw how incompetent Bush's invasion of Iraq was carried out, and wanted to show how to properly invace a sovereign.

    Soul sense must have really changed (5.00 / 1) (#51)
    by MichaelGale on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 07:04:31 PM EST
    Bush met with Putin on June 16, 2001. After the meeting, Bush said that he "looked the man in the eye" and "was able to get a sense of his soul."



    Between this and (none / 0) (#9)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:50:48 PM EST
    his statements last year at the Caspian Summit after his meeting with Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, he's drawn a line in the sand:

    Putin and the Supreme Leader have agreed on a plan to nullify the George W Bush administration's relentless drive towards launching a preemptive attack, perhaps a tactical nuclear strike, against Iran. An American attack on Iran will be viewed by Moscow as an attack on Russia.

    The Democratic Controlled congress has been unable or unwilling to rein in Bush and the neocons. It looks like Russia and the rest of the world have decided to.


    I like Putin (5.00 / 1) (#13)
    by Grace on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:09:12 PM EST
    and I think he is perfect to run Russia.  

    Putin is extremely intelligent and is motivated by wanting to make Russia "the best that Russia can be."  

    He is no pushover.  

    He's no George Bush either.  

    Philosophically, I think he's closer to Bill Clinton:  Not afraid to use power when it's needed.  He's a very strategic player, like a chess player.  

    I fear both a McCain or Obama presidency next because I don't think either will help foreign relations.  Obama is a total pushover and a real mukluk.  McCain is not a pushover at all and he's a real steel-toed boot.  If McCain is smart (remains to be seen) that steel-toed boot posture would be good for us.  Obama is just soft and squishy.  Obama is Gumby.  Not good for a superpower.  


    Heh. Putin's line in the sand (5.00 / 3) (#18)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:14:50 PM EST
    is a signal to grade school morons like McCain and Bush that they have gone as far as the world is prepared to let them go, and no farther. The neocon adventure is over. McCain will only destroy what's left of America if by some miracle he manages to get himself appointed to or steal the oval office.

    It's not any signal (none / 0) (#36)
    by pie on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:36:17 PM EST
    to McCain.

    As far as Bush goes, like we were going to get involved in a skirmish there?

    Oh, we might have had moral authority, but it goes beyond that because of the events of the last seven years (well, a lot longer, but...).

    Everyone who's anyone has readjusted scope and perimeters.

    If only some country would figure out a cheaper and more environmentally-friendly form of energy.  But, of course, it wouldn't add to the coffers of the powerful.  Putin and Bush are just the face of that.



    Putin is an authoritarian bully (1.00 / 1) (#57)
    by shoephone on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 09:46:51 PM EST
    But apparently, BTD digs him too.

    Liars do not get to post in my threads (5.00 / 1) (#77)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:31:20 AM EST
    you are permanently suspended from commenting in my threads.

    Never show up in my threads again.

    All your comments in my threads will be deleted.


    Liking Putin? (none / 0) (#61)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 10:34:01 PM EST
    Sorry, but "liking" Putin is a stretch for me.  This son of the KGB and his various intrigues (jailing opponents, starting to shut down papers, apparently poisoning political opponents in other countries) might call to mind many things...but, "liking" is not one of them. The only question for me is how far will he push in the next few years.

    don't forget this does not bode well (5.00 / 1) (#66)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:20:57 AM EST
    for democrats in the election either.

    No it doesn't (none / 0) (#87)
    by Edger on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 05:06:19 PM EST
    At all... nor for anyone else.

    I disagree (none / 0) (#7)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:48:18 PM EST
    It is Putin putting the EU (via the energy pipeline through Georgia), Ukraine and Azerbiajan on notice.  

    Exactly, it's all about the energy pipeline (none / 0) (#17)
    by laurie on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:14:47 PM EST
    and Russia has all the aces.

    Which is part of the reason... (none / 0) (#19)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:20:43 PM EST
    ...that Poland is still waivering on the installation of the US missle defense system on their soil.  

    They may harbor a deep seated hatred of the Russians, but they know their growing economy is reliant on energy from Russia.


    Poland (none / 0) (#40)
    by Matt in Chicago on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:51:06 PM EST
    There are American troops in Poland.  I doubt Russia would start a conflict where they could wind up engaging or killing US soldiers.  

    The result is not WWIII, but they would likely find themselves facing American troops (and equipment) from Germany... not a prospect that they are likely to be excited about.

    But you're right, this could definitely effect Poland's resolve on the missile shield.


    Your point is somewhat undermined (none / 0) (#46)
    by JoeA on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:03:33 PM EST
    by the fact that there are around 150 US troops based in Georgia as trainers.

    Having 150 trainers (none / 0) (#50)
    by weltec2 on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:56:12 PM EST
    is one thing; having military installations and black sites is quite another.

    Poland is part (none / 0) (#52)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 07:14:10 PM EST
    of NATO.  Full member.  

    Hooray! (5.00 / 4) (#5)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:39:58 PM EST
    I knew we would win this one.

    Are you whacked? (none / 0) (#22)
    by Grace on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:30:47 PM EST
    We won nothing!

    In fact (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:00:15 PM EST
    The best kind of win is when no one realizes that you won.

    That way, they keep letting you win the same way again and again.

    By that measure, this was a flawless victory.


    I was admiring Russia? (none / 0) (#59)
    by Steve M on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 09:53:32 PM EST
    Stop lying.

    dang, that sounds like the type of win (none / 0) (#67)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:22:00 AM EST
    the wizard behind the curtain would claim. it isn't there. there is no there, there.

    Snark from the master, grace. (none / 0) (#25)
    by tree on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:33:19 PM EST
    check for the (none / 0) (#26)
    by eric on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:33:27 PM EST

    But do we get a gold medal? (none / 0) (#74)
    by oculus on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:37:49 AM EST
    This particular round was started by Georgia (5.00 / 2) (#11)
    by John Locke on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:57:21 PM EST
    South Ossetia fought a war of succession against Georgia in 1991/2.  They and Abkhazia have been separate self-governing de-facto states for almost 20 years.  The Ossetians are overwhelmingly of a different ethnicity and religion than the Georgians and have felt for centuries that ethnic Georgians have been discriminating against them. 95% of the Ossetians have Russian, not Georgian, citizenship and, in a recent referendum, 99% voted to remain an independent state.

    Georgia's President Mikheil Saakashvili, perhaps believing that as the third highest supplier of troops to the Iraq "coalition" he had the protection of an American umbrella that, I guess, he expected to convince Russia not to intervene to protect the Ossetians and the hundreds of millions of dollars of developmental money Russia has poured into Ossetia.  

    Perhaps he believed too strongly in Bush's doctrine that it is okay to invade any other country you want for any reason you want as long as you think you can get away with it.  For years he has been building up his military (with considerable help from Washington), and on August 7, Georgia initiated an unprovoked invasion of Ossetia and tried to surround and capture its capital.  The next day, August 8, Russia responded by sending in a massive counterforce.

    It is typical of the administration and its sockpuppet mainstream media to immediately portray this as a Russian invasion of Georgia, conveniently not mentioning that Georgia started the war by invading Ossetia and threatening Russian citizens who make up the great majority of its population.  

    It is also typical that, to get a more complete and accurate story about the war, stripped of administration spin, you have to go to outside sources, such as the British media, which are not virtually handmaidens of the government, as our own media have become.

    To get a more complete and accurate story (5.00 / 2) (#12)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:06:48 PM EST
    you can also go to The Real News:
    Georgia is a strategic client state of the US with close ties to the Bush administration

    Georgian troops launched an aerial bombardment and ground attack on its separatist province of South Ossetia on Thursday. South Ossetians want to join up with their ethnic brethren in North Ossetia, an autonomous republic within the Russian Federation. Seeing this as an act of aggression Russia launched bombing raids against Georgia, vowing to defend its citizens. More than half of South Ossetia's citizens are said to have taken up Moscow's offer of a Russian passport. Pepe Escobar believes that "the hypocrisy of the international community knows no bounds for if the West forced the issue of Kosovar independence then the independence of South Ossetia should also be on the cards."

    Video here: Who's To Blame For The Russian Georgian Conflict?


    Free Press (none / 0) (#15)
    by Grace on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:11:23 PM EST
    in the USA means you only get 1/2 the news.  The freeeeeeeeee half.    



    and the media blames russia. yawn! (none / 0) (#68)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:22:30 AM EST
    I have come to believe (5.00 / 3) (#33)
    by magisterludi on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:09:48 PM EST
    McCain is itching to show the world that he can win a war, his very own war, not just Bush leftovers. As the possibility that he could actually win this election has occurred to him, he has gotten more partisan and ideological (and belligerent,imo). I think he's combustible.

    Maybe just fried? ;-) (none / 0) (#35)
    by Edger on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:12:10 PM EST
    What a load of BS (none / 0) (#42)
    by Matt in Chicago on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:52:54 PM EST
    Go on, just call McCain a warmonger... you know you're dying to say it.

    If the shoe fits... (5.00 / 1) (#55)
    by CST on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 08:34:11 PM EST
    John McCain is a warmonger

    His idea of a joke is singing bomb bomb Iran.  Hilarious.


    and obama will do what in iran and (none / 0) (#70)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:24:00 AM EST
    pakistan. drink some more coffee.

    Say what you will (none / 0) (#75)
    by CST on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:23:54 AM EST
    about Obama, he's no John McCain.  I mean, the man's favorite president is Teddy Roosevelt.  If that doesn't tell you something about his presidential ambitions I don't know what will.  TR was a glorified conquerer.

    Obama's rhetoric doesn't come close to John McCain's in this regard.  And John McCain has a proven record of being a warmonger.  Obama at least seems to pick his battles.


    warmonger? i don't see it. (none / 0) (#78)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:15:16 PM EST
    mccain has pandered to the right wing of the party for the nomination. i see that for sure but your name calling doesn't make it so.

    Pre - election (none / 0) (#80)
    by CST on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:54:07 PM EST
    Did you click on the link?  That's from 2002.  Well before he was running for president.  He has had a hard line on Russia since the mid-nineties.  Not to mention his statement in 2000 at a republican debate:

    Q: "What area of American international policy would you change immediately as president?"

    A: "I'd institute a policy that I call 'rogue state rollback, I would arm, train, equip, both from without and from within, forces that would eventually overthrow the governments and install free and democratically- elected governments."

    This to me, makes him a war-monger...  And really, Teddy Rooosevelt??  That's not a recent development either.


    yeah really teddy roosevelt. he (none / 0) (#83)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:15:38 PM EST
    is on mount rushmore which is more than some others i could list. i am not voting for mccain but i don't suffer from hate everyone who isn't like me.

    by the way i like tr also and i am (none / 0) (#79)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 12:25:47 PM EST
    pretty much a peace loving soul. i can admire an historical figure without having to agree with everything they said and did. i recommend you give it a try.

    Big difference (2.00 / 1) (#81)
    by CST on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 01:55:27 PM EST
    Between admiring and favorite president.

    With all the others to choose from, I think that says a lot.


    go read the story of his life and (none / 0) (#82)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 02:37:22 PM EST
    set your political ideaology on the table for awhile. when you only like someone exactly like you or what you idolize, you have very limited choices. that is your loss!

    Heh (none / 0) (#84)
    by CST on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 03:32:17 PM EST
    I certainly don't idolize any politicians, past or present.  And I won't find one exactly like me until I run.

    That being said, I am more concerned with the part of his "life story" that voted not to ban torture, was cheerleader for the Iraq war, makes offensive statements about foreign countries, and idolizes the man whose foreign policy approach was "speak softly and carry a big stick".  Sounds like McCain, except without the "speak softly".


    out of respect to talk left i won't respond (none / 0) (#85)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:05:43 PM EST
    with like comments about senator obama. you be sweet now.

    bull! he is posturing just like all (none / 0) (#69)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:23:21 AM EST
    contenders including obama do. keep dreaming but you have to wake up sometime.

    Too Funny (5.00 / 2) (#39)
    by Matt in Chicago on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 05:46:32 PM EST
    The NYT states in authoritarian fashion that the world community should tell Putin and Russia that they have been very naughty and we are upset.  And more importantly, if they don't stop we will pass a watered down resolution in 6 months condemning their actions.

    The Russians stopped because they made their point... and the KNEW (not thought, KNEW) that the West would do nothing.

    Where the hell was Code Pink on this one?  Oh did I miss something?  Code Pink only cares when they are perfectly safe to protest in a democratic society that protects that right, but when it comes time to stop real an actual dangerous, authoritarian regime... nothing but silence.  Pathetic.

    I think the point was made (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:36:59 PM EST
    when Bush chose to watch a baseball game instead of respond to the attacks.  He's a weakened idiot.  I hope people will take time to consider what can happen when you elect completely inexperienced men to the White House who need on the job training.  Men who have never succeeded at anything besides getting themselves elected and are shiftless and inately lazy.  

    At this point, Russia has made a point and has given themselves a huge victory.  Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania are thanking their lucky stars that they are protected by NATO.  Ukraine and Georgia have no such protection and both are going to worry about having the yoke of Russian will reimposed on them.  Ukraine actually has a bigger problem due to its inherent population divide.  

    For us, I think this builds pressure to admit both Georgia and Ukraine to NATO (perhaps an agreement could be reached where Georgia ceded South Ossettia in exchange for NATO membership).  And it builds pressure on us to fund oil and gas pipelines that don't pass through Russia.  Another reminder of why we need to become energy indepedent as well.

    Actually (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by BrianJ on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:44:53 PM EST
    I wouldn't be too sure about that.

    Would you send people to die for the Baltic states?  I don't think there are many people willing to get killed for Vilnius, Riga, or Tallinn.


    Whether I would or not is irrelevant (none / 0) (#62)
    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 11:44:24 PM EST
    They are in the NATO alliance now.  It was created in the first place to prevent an attack from the Soviet Union and still remains in place.  If we were to stand by and allow any NATO allies to be attacked, we would lose all credibility (the exception to this rule was when two NATO nations, Greece and Turkey, went to war against each other).  If Russia were to invade any of the NATO allies, there would be serious consequences.  The Russians won't invade those countries as a result because they don't want to start World War III.  However, because Georgia is not in NATO, they feel perfectly free to invade whenever they feel.  

    While Georgia would like to be in NATO, I don't think the NATO nations are ready to admit them.  Ukraine is divided between the Russian east and the feircely non Russian west.  Part of this has to do with the fact that western Ukraine was never part of the Russian empire.  It was only annexed to the Soviet Union in 1945.  The country has two different languages and there are major disputes between the side that wants to be aligned with the Russians and the side that wants to be aligned with the west.  


    On Ukraine (none / 0) (#64)
    by Florida Resident on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 06:29:00 AM EST
    Let us be aware that the eastern part of Ukraine was settled by Russian citizens beginning  after the Ukrainian Famine Genocide (Holodomor) in the early 1930's.  This invasion of Ukraine by settlement in its eastern region falsify any use of the term pro-russian Ukraine those people are Russian invaders.  BTW the russian occupation of western Ukraine predates the Soviet Union.

    hades will freeze over before europe (none / 0) (#71)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:25:26 AM EST
    lets georgia into anything now. don't forget georiga started this and just who gave them permission. that's right, bush!

    I'm really surprised... (5.00 / 1) (#56)
    by OrangeFur on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 08:49:07 PM EST
    ... at how much people here seem to be supporting Russia and Putin in this. Putin is an autocrat who has basically dismantled Russian democracy and who is now ruling Russia through a puppet president. His ambitions for restoring Russian power are clear. Having ground Grozny into dust some years back, they've now flattened Georgia, including areas that are indisputably Georgian.

    Georgia may not be perfect. But even though Bush has done no end of mistakes in foreign policy, I still trust a mostly democratic country that's garnered the support of the US, Britain, France, and much of the EU.

    Saakashvili appeared with the presidents of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, and Ukraine today, all of whom were under Soviet domination until recently. Doesn't that give people a little bit of pause that we shouldn't be so vehement in cheering for Putin?

    I'm surprised (none / 0) (#63)
    by SoCalLiberal on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 11:45:33 PM EST
    that there are more here who are pro Putin.  After all, I thought this was a mostly pro Clinton blog (rational people).  

    I am no longer surprised (none / 0) (#76)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 11:29:27 AM EST
    that some of you are really bad at reading comprehension.

    But John McCain says... (4.40 / 5) (#3)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:26:32 PM EST
    ..."I think it's very clear that Russian ambitions are to restore the old Russian Empire. Not the Soviet Union, but the Russian Empire."

    Look out Alaska--you're next!

    Don't (5.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Wile ECoyote on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:49:23 PM EST
    forget Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, et al.  

    You forgot Poland! n/t (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 03:51:20 PM EST
    But wait! (none / 0) (#21)
    by trublueCO on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:27:07 PM EST
    Part of Poland used to be in the Holy Roman Empire. Surely McCain doesn't want them to end up in that sphere of influence. Unless...one of his advisors used to lobby on behalf Charlemagne.

    Poland (none / 0) (#60)
    by christinep on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 10:25:29 PM EST
    Well...about Poland. I had always wanted to visit Poland (being 1/2 Polish) and did so in June. Wonderful, surprisingly vibrant country! One semi-surprise was the still deep current of resentment and anger felt against Russia. As we walked among various historical markers, it is very easy to see why it is so palpable. Then, I remembered my years of studying Russia here and Russian history, etc., and then I began to look more at--what to many (my husband included) is some kind of Slavic dispute.  Might I suggest that we all look a bit deeper. Take a gander at some of the European reaction; consider the position of the former SSRs and, especially, the Ukraine. This may really be quite a bit bigger than Ossetia, Georgia, and Russia.  I make a habit of NOT supporting Republican positioning, as a matter or principle or somesuch.  But, on this one, step back and consider Russia's Putin and the endgame.
    Forget for a moment who baited whom (because we may never know) and look at where this is going.

    Power (1.00 / 0) (#54)
    by jarober on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 07:28:35 PM EST
    Being constrained by the owners of resources has always impacted the way nations interact.  You might onder why Imperial Japan felt compelled to fight WWII.

    More analysis and interpretation + good comments (none / 0) (#24)
    by jawbone on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:32:43 PM EST
    at The Agonist.

    Nelson Report pretty harsh on McCain's bellicose reaction.

    You like McCain & Putin? (none / 0) (#30)
    by JoeA on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 04:58:07 PM EST
    As politicians go I suppose I do see some parallels there,  none of them I would want in the leader of the free world though.

    tell you the truth, i don't see ANYONE on (none / 0) (#72)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:26:53 AM EST
    stage one that i want running the free world.

    No Moral Authority (none / 0) (#45)
    by jarober on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:03:07 PM EST
    Perhaps now TL can stop going on and on about "moral authority" and come to grips with the idea that we are returning to more of a late 19th/early 20th century model of intl relations.  Power politics and national interest are important, "soft power" is utterly irrelevant.

    Ah, the New World Order (5.00 / 3) (#48)
    by BrianJ on Tue Aug 12, 2008 at 06:43:12 PM EST
    I miss it already.

    The modern use of the phrase dates to the first Gulf War, in which the US and other nations took military action against a clear aggressor through the United Nations when all else failed.  I won't say President Clinton adhered perfectly to this idea (witness Kosovo, where the US intervention had no UN sanction), but by and large he held to that paradigm.

    The shrub introduced a different paradigm with Iraq-  them that has, gets.  Russia and China have been happy to adapt to this new paradigm to run roughshod over domestic and foreign opposition.

    Jarober, some kinds of "soft power" is in some senses more important than ever-  namely, economic power.  The US is constrained by its creditors, and the EU by its electricity/ oil suppliers.  You'll not be seeing either do anything that could actually hurt Russia.

    As the US has demonstrated, the "hard power" so many are enamored with tends to lose its effectiveness when actually used.  Hopefully, Putin/ Medvedev are a bit smarter than American leaders.


    we threw all the advantages both hard (none / 0) (#73)
    by hellothere on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 10:30:04 AM EST
    and soft we had under clinton away by having an untried unschooled and arrogant wannabe into power. and so we have sat and watched the current crop of democrats do what? why trash the clintons. so we are supposed to applaud this? no way!

    Two developments, according to NYT (none / 0) (#86)
    by Christy1947 on Wed Aug 13, 2008 at 04:29:45 PM EST
    this am.

    1. An article appears in which our State Department ducks. They claim that they told the President of Georgia specifically not to initiate a military confrontation with Russia, and he did it anyway without telling them until after it was done and the call came in that "The Russians are attacking us," apparently without mentioning that he had sent his troops to take back South Ossetia by force first. Who knows if it is true, but that is now the line from State.

    2. A ceasefire was negotiated rather quickly, although what is happening on the ground is not clear. The party who ran it around was Mr. Sarkozy from France. The ceasefire requires the parties to return to wherever they were before the shooting started, which means the Russians are still in Abkhazia and SO, and the Georgians are apparently not.
       the NYT also reports that the Russians have the port of Poti and towns on the major East-West Georgian road. I wonder if they did this to control access in case somebody decided to send a relief fleet by water.