Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Don't Get It

It’s awful what’s happening in the so-called “breakaway republic” of Georgia. Innocent people are dying, a sovereign state is being attacked, and, apparently, even cyberspace isn’t safe. Violent action of this sort is rarely, if ever, justified, and certainly not in this case, which seems like a particularly naked act of aggression on the part of the Russian government.

And yet, I have to say that I don’t entirely understand all the sanctimonious hand-wringing on the part of US government officials as they decry Vladimir Putin’s invasion, especially when seeing it as an attempt to gain control over a territory with strategic value in the global petrochemical marketplace, in part due, as I understand it, to the The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline.

Because, after all, isn’t this pretty much what the US did when invading Iraq?

Sure, it was all about spreading freedom and eliminating weapons of mass destruction, but Russia has similarly justified their military action in the name of protecting Russian citizens and ensuring against genocide.

Of course, disinterested observers know that the rhetoric is all a bunch of hooey and what’s really at stake are resources—and perhaps revenge or maybe a kind of geopolitical chest-pumping—which again, strikes me as one of the more likely interpretations of Bush’s decision to bomb and occupy Baghdad.

Now, I’m not saying in this case that two wrongs make a right (although I do think in some instances—like maybe when a batter storms the mound after a brushback pitch); I just think it’s ironic to hear Dubya (and even moreso, McCain) going on about how unjustified Russia’s actions are—(and I’m not saying they’re not; they’re completely wrong)—when, as far as I can tell, they’re no different (except way smaller in terms of death and destruction) than what the US did in Iraq.

But then again, with this administration we’ve seem time and again that while consistency may be the hobgoblin of little minds, inconsistency is the hallmark of tiny brains.


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