I've got this book at home about the Crimean War, and based on the events of the last week, I pulled it out and took a look at how that conflict started. In 1853, the Tsar wanted to snatch some territory from the Ottoman Empire-namely its possessions in what is now Romania. The Tsar approached the Brits in secret and offered to divide up Ottoman lands between them. The Brits said no. So the Tsar put the word out that he demanded protective control over all the lands under Ottoman control containing Eastern Orthodox Christians. The Turks told the Tsar to pound sand. The Tsar invaded, and the Brits and French joined the Ottoman Turks in the Crimean War to teach the Tsar a lesson. The Russkies get tossed out.
In the late summer of 1939, Stalin couldn't get the world domination deal he wanted with Britain and France, so he went with Hitler. In September, the Soviet Union invaded Poland right behind the Nazis under the pretext that a collapsing Polish nation could not protect the security of ethnic Ukranians and Belarussians living in the eastern part of the country. Those Poles who protested too much were executed or shipped off to Siberian death camps. The Soviet Politburo called the operation a "the liberation campaign."
In the winter of 1939, Stalin wanted to add to Soviet territory along the Finland/USSR border. He also wanted Finnish beachfront property to build a major naval depot. He offered the Finns some barren wasteland in return. The Finns told Stalin to pound sand. Stalin got Soviet artillery to shell a little Russian town, and blamed the provocation on the Finns. He then invaded and got the territory he wanted.
In the fall of 1956, a student-led revolt in Hungary gained momentum and eventually led to the Soviet puppet government agreeing to reforms and a withdrawl from membership in the Warsaw Pact. The Soviets would have none of that and sent in the Red Army to crush the uprising.
In the spring of 1968, the Soviets weren't happy with some reform momentum in Prague, so they sent in 200,000 troops from several Warsaw Pact nations to put an end to this democratization silliness. They threw out the existing puppet government and replaced it with one that more easily bent to Soviet will.
Jump ahead to 1979, when the Soviets were not happy with Communistness of their puppet Afghan regime. Seems they hadn't carpet bombed, tortured and executed well enough to keep this forever lawless land quiet, so they sent special forces to kill their puppet dictator and took over the country. Enter Charlie Wilson and the Mujahideen.
Now Putin, Pravda et al are telling the Russian people and a cowardly political opportunists all over the globe that the Georgians started this whole thing. Yeah, those nasty Georgians were mean to the poor newly minted Russian citizens living within Georgia, so it is Russia's Divine duty to lay waste to Georgia. And they're doing just that.
So you moral equivalence types just shut up. The U.S. invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan to depose evil and give oppressed people the chance to be free is not the same as Russia's move into Georgia. Our men and women in uniform are busy rebuilding, teaching, empowering and eliminating the terrorists who want to fill the void left by the old boss. Russians on the other hand are back in the business of crushing and subjugating. If "world opinion" sees events differently, screw world opinion. It won't the first time world opinion was dead wrong. World opinion should never serve as the moral compass for a nation of free people.
Mr. President, what do you see when you look into your pal Vladimir's eyes today? Wishing the old days were over forever is no longer possible. Willing the old KGB agent to be your bestus buddy never had a chance,and deep down you knew it.
This new Russian bear has added energy dominance and cyber warfare to its arsenal of weapons. Time to drop the hammer on the People's Republic of Putinia. (Now channeling John Belushi in Animal House) Who's with me? Let's do it!! ARRRRrrrrguh, sigh. Nobody, eh? Nice working with you there Georgia. Let us know how things work out.