We Are All Georgian (Aggressors) Now - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
We Are All Georgian (Aggressors) Now

Last year the impulsive authoritarian Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili presented the meme that his was a heroic government victimized by the evil Russians.  American politicians like Sen. John McCain rushed to the Georgian standard, declaring that “We’re all Georgians now.”

Make that “We’re all Georgian (aggressors) now.”

Yesterday the European Union provided additional evidence that Georgia actually started the war.  Reports the BBC:

As a European Union report into last year’s conflict between Georgia and Russia puts a large part of the blame on Georgia, the BBC’s Tom Esslemont in Tbilisi asks where this leaves the small Caucasian nation.

Even before the EU-sponsored report was published, Georgia was pushing the line that it does not matter who fired the first shot. The main issue, it said, is Russia’s ongoing “occupation” of its sovereign territory and years of stoking tensions between Georgia and its rebel regions.

Now the independent inquiry into the conflict has concluded. But it is not entirely the conclusion Georgia wanted to hear.

It said Georgia’s use of force on the night of 7 August 2008 was not justifiable in the context of international law.

It also said that it could not substantiate “Georgian claims of a large-scale presence of Russian armed forces in South Ossetia prior to the Georgian offensive on 7/8 August”.

The Georgian government’s response – as expected – has been to dismiss those comments.

There’s much to blame on Russia, particularly its brutal, disproportionate response to Georgia’s attack.  But for the West, which attacked Serbia in 1989 in order to detach Kosovo from Belgrade’s control, to complain about Moscow’s support for South Ossetian and Abkhazian independence is rather rich in hypocrisy.  Washington cares about the territorial integrity of nations only when it’s convenient.  The U.S. can hardly complain about Russia not behaving in a more principled fashion.

But the most important lesson of the Russia-Georgia war is how foolish it would be to extend NATO membership to a country which is not only irrelevant to American security but prone to start wars with nuclear-armed powers.  It was one thing for America to risk all to protect Europe from the Evil Empire.  But to contemplate a nuclear confrontation on behalf of a country prepared to foolishly initiate hostilities against Moscow?  Such a step would make America less, not more, secure.

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