Friday, August 15, 2008

After watching Lance Armstrong win his seventh Tour de France, I was convinced that I would never live to see anyone match his accomplisment. I figured there was no way anything could compare. I was wrong. I just watched Michael Phelps win his seventh gold medal in Beijing, his 13th overall Olympic championship. Unbelievable. What Phelps is doing is unheard of and I can't even think of the words to describe it. There's no basis for comparison here. I'm just glad I was around to watch it happen.

Now, for more serious stuff. Russia is out of control. I'm wondering if we're witnessing the return of the Red Army. We haven't seen bullying like this since the Russians invaded Czechoslovakia. Not sure what they're doing, but it looks a lot like annexation. No doubt Ukraine and Belarus are more than a bit concerned. It appears that all Russia needs is an excuse and they will commence to rebuilding the old Soviet Union. It's simply unacceptable, brutal aggression.

But, even worse, is the silence from the UN headquarters in New York. Moments like this are exactly what the UN was established for, and they have - as always - been utterly inept in stopping the Soviet (yes, I used this word intentionally) aggression. Amazingly, it seems like the only thing between Georgia and its complete destruction is Condi Rice. Again, this is unacceptable. I've long advocated for the US withdrawing from the UN, and this only reinforces that notion.

Not to be outdone, the Europeans are equally silent. Yes, Sarkozy has pressured the Soviets, but that's about it. Why? I don't know. Maybe it's because the Soviets supply 30% of Europe's oil. Maybe it's because apathy is running rampant. Or maybe it's just typical European cowardice...they're not knocking on my back door so why should I care? Absolutely shameful.

And faced with a golden opportunity to show that his lack of experience is not an issue in foreign policy, Barack Obama decides to vacation in Hawaii while the people of Georgia get steamrolled. Yes, he climbed out of the swimming pool long enough to issue the obligatory condemnation, but that's pretty much it. Granted, he's only one Senator. But it seems to me that if he expects us to trust him as President he should at least postpone his vacation and take a more forward approach in leadership. After all, McCain doesn't have a problem with it. Very disappointing.

And finally, President Bush has gone too far with US involvement. He has dispatched military planes and units for humanitarian purposes. As always, I have a big problem with this. Bush, like many before him, forget that the US military is not a babysitter. These people are trained to kill people and destroy things, not to hand out toilet paper and bottled water. When you start sending US troops for these types of missions you're asking for trouble...period. We don't belong there. Our troops don't belong there. Soon, Naval warships will be rubbing elbows in the Black Sea with Russian ships, while our planes circle overhead to deliver supplies. How long before someone gets trigger happy? All it takes is one breakdown in communication and suddenly we have a major international incident, if not an all out war. Bush is dead wrong and he'd be wise to keep our troops out of it. I sympathize with the people of Georgia, and strongly condemn Russia, but this situation is not a matter of US national security and therefore our military has no role here.

I'm okay with sending the Sec State to help negotiate peace. But instead of sending troops to Georgia, Bush should be standing before the UN demanding international action against Russia. Humanitarian assistance is THE UN'S JOB! Hopefully, one day the UN will eventually take a leadership role in that regard.

Meanwhile, let's all pray that our involvement doesn't lead to disaster.


Anonymous said...

Just skimmed it, but I think I agree with all that.

Another show of UN ineptitude.

In any case, I'm surprised by your stand regarding us not getting involved. Not the one I expected from conservatives in general. I sincerely hope the Republican party will follow the lead of its constituency in terms of non-intervention.

Anonymous said...


Good points especially the one about how our presence could inadvertantly lead to a confrontation.

I do disagree about Ms. Rice being all that stands between Georgia and destruction. Sarkozy has done much more in that regard.

Ms. Rice is supposedly an expert on Russia. I can only suppose that she either failed to give George W. Bush good advice regarding Putin or that her words went unheeded. Mr. Bush looked into Putin's eyes and got a sense of his soul. Just another bad judgment on the part of the leader of the free world.

Can there be any doubt that former KGB agent Vlad the Impaler wishes to become Tsar Valdimir I, Tsar of all Russia and countries that were formerly the USSR? I think that all the "Stans" just became a little more nervous than they were two weeks ago.

Here is a more disheartening thought. China is on center stage hosting the Olympics. Russia is flexing its military and economic muscle. Both are authoritarian states.



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Are you a nobody too?
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(I've chosen anonymity here; my face is red.
Apologies to Emily Dickinson!) reb