Friday, August 15, 2008

Losing Abkhazia and S. Ossetia

People are reacting to the Russian president stating, in no uncertain terms, and Georgia will lose South Ossetia.

Even with my reliably pro-American bias, I could see that both Abkhazia and South Ossetia were very unlikely to return to the status quo (Georgian territory, de facto independences).

The Georgian attacks on Ossetia pushed those citizens farther into the Russian camp. Months of Russian provocations are irrelevant [to S. Ossetians]. I think there is little question that the people in the disputed territories would vote against being a part of Georgia.

Thus, the problem:

  • One should defend the principle of territorial integrity, especially when that principle is violated by armed aggression.
  • However, in this case, defending that principle implies forcing a people somewhere they do not wish to be.

The Russians did not and do not care a whit about the Ossetians. But defense of Georgian territorial integrity implies the US does not, either.

Catch 22.

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