TBILISI, Georgia — Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.Folks, shelling is never a precise operation. Yes, artillery has advanced somewhat from cannonballs, but nevertheless, what you have is an explosion in a tube hurling a hunk of metal waaay into the air, where wind and gravity and air density and moisture and temperature take over.
Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgia’s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.
The accounts are neither fully conclusive nor broad enough to settle the many lingering disputes over blame in a war that hardened relations between the Kremlin and the West. But they raise questions about the accuracy and honesty of Georgia’s insistence that its shelling of Tskhinvali, the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, was a precise operation.
Anyway, look. Saakashvili is a corrupt thug as much as Bad Vlad. The difference is that Bad Vlad had the Russian Army. You ain't got shit, Saakashvili. The West, in the glowering saturnine form of Dick Cheney, kept telling him go ahead, come on baby, just touch it a little, just hold it, that's all, that's all, you can stop if you want to, come on baby. And like every other freshman, Mikheil got fucked.
The notion of the little democratic Georgian David struggling to overcome the autocratic Russian Goliath plays well in the McCain compound, but in the real world, there are no innocent state actors. All sides involved in the Georgian War were lousy bastards, but one of them had a real army. Whaddareyagonnadoaboutit? Don't poke the bear.