A summary of blogging reaction to the war in South Ossetia.
Nosemonkey reports that Russia is bombing Georgia itself, not just South Ossetia. And Russian president Medvedev is calling the Russian invasion a “peace enforcement operation”.
Also based in Tbilisi, Doug Merrill thinks Georgia’s capital was very normal as he drove around this morning.
Edward Lucas thinks Georgia has seriously overplayed its hand:
When is a victory not a victory? When it dents your country’s image, scares your allies and gets you into an unwinnable war with a hugely stronger opponent.
That is the bleak outlook for Georgia this weekend, after what initially looked like a quick military win against the separatist regime in South Ossetia. Georgia’s attack followed weeks of escalating provocations, including hours of heavy shelling by the Russian-backed breakaway province and signs of large-scale Russian reinforcement.
Political Betting notes the geopolitical issues:
This conflict could be significant for a number of reasons. Georgia is extremely keen to become a member of NATO – a position supported in principle by the US, with France and Germany the staunchest advocates against her admission. Russia is understandably opposed, seeing this as evidence that NATO is still strategically a means of chaining the Great Bear. Continental Europe lives in fear that angering Putin or Medvedev could have a detrimental effect on oil and gas supplies from the East. Russia is concerned that a broader alliance of NATO and former Soviet-bloc countries would threaten its growing presence on the global stage. It is worth noting that had Georgia already been admitted to NATO, then that organisation (including the US and UK) would be forced to help Georgia repel the Russian incursion into South Ossetia.
Had I been Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, I would have waited until I was in NATO before provoking the bear.
Matthew Sinclair agrees with me that Western nations have “perilously little spine”.
I plan to do regular updates on the South Ossetian war as developments come in. If you have any blogs or blog entries you’d like me to include, let me know, either in the comments section to this article, or by email to cabalamat (at) googlemail (dot) com.