19 1 min 14 yrs

A SITREP: Russian troops are in control of South Ossetia, where they have bested Georgian forces. For an encore, Russian aircraft have bombed Tblisi, its airport, Gori and elsewhere in sovereign Georgia. Thousands of civilians are reported to have been killed. Latest reports state that Russian armour has broken out of South Ossetia and is advancing on Gori.

Our correspondent brings us the latest reaction from the anti-imperialist, anti-war Left:

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19 thoughts on “ATW Breaking News

  1. I hear the EU will hold a seminar on the issue in the not too distant future. Let no one say the Russian bear intimidates the Euroweenies — oh no.

  2. These Russkies had better be careful. If they go too far Ban Ki-moon will be forced to draft a sternly worded letter of concern.

  3. Pete, when I clicked the link and then headed to the videos, I was struck by the reporter mentioning people fleeing a city on donkeys. Donkeys.

    We have tanks, state of the art weapons and donkey transportation in the same story.

    The veneer of modern civilization is thin.

    On this state of affairs, I predict nothing overt will be done to stop the Russians. Geopolitics is a rough game, I think the Russians are holding Aces, from their point of view, and they are more than willing to do what they see fit to meet their goals. Putin has no problem telling the rest of the world to go hang if they don’t like it. He’s a tough SOB.

  4. Interesting the way the story of an attack by Georgia on South Ossetia in breach of a ceasefire, killing russian soldiers and civilians, has morphed into a story of an aggressive assault by Russia on Georgia.

    Fri Aug 8, 2008 12:49am BST

    MEGVREKISI, Georgia (Reuters) – Georgia pounded the capital of its breakaway South Ossetia province with heavy weapons on Thursday after a ceasefire broke down within hours and separatists said they were under siege.

    "Georgian troops are storming Tskhinvali (the capital). They are bombing the city," South Ossetia’s separatist leader, Eduard Kokoity, told Russian news agencies.

    A Reuters reporter saw intense fire from heavy weapons at different locations skirting Tskhinvali. The reporter heard heavy fighting coming from the direction of the city.

  5. Daphne –

    I hope one day we’ll see Poot Pooty Poot for what he really is – a dandy, a poseur and a bit too full of himself.

    You see this is the middle-aged fella who employs professional photographers to snap ‘natural’ scenes of Putin in the Russian wilds, stripped to the waist, dressed in combat strides with a knife strapped to his leg.

    He likes to be snapped in his Judo suit and black belt.

    Come the winter he’s snapped on the slopes of Krasnaya Polyana in southern Russia tearing up the piste (his technique’s awful, by the way).

    If it’s a state occasion the cameras are dragged in to film him march alone, chest puffed up, through the ornate, gilded state rooms in a ridiculous display of what we’re supposed to think is ‘power’.

    The other day he landed in North Ossetia – ‘to take control’ of the situation – in tight jeans and luminescent white jacket with shoulder pads of such ridiculous proportions that Joan Collins would have gagged at the sight.

    In short, this is a man with a the kind of humourless, self-regarding facade developed by those with not so much to back it up, but who lack the real self-confidence revealed by those who can stand a bit of joshing (like Ronald Reagan).

    For all the oil and gas his country has, the economy is a basket case with a total economic output less than that of Italy. Investors are fleeing since they’ve belatedly noticed that gangsterism is back in vogue.

    The Russian military is decrepit. Tens of thousands of conscripts go AWOL each year, since living conditions, food and discipline has completely gone to cock. In living memory the Afghans and Chechens have given Russians the what for again and again.

    The hardware is falling apart and no match for what we have, as has been seen since the Iraqis had the misfortune to be saddled with it against us in 1990 and 2003.

    He’s all mouth and no trousers, as we say, but then we’re led by moral midgets who lack the insight to see him for what he really is and who would lack the guts to expose him anyway.

    Millions of photos of the leaders and gauleiters of the Third Reich have been published and reproduced over the last 60 years. What we haven’t seen enough of are these leaders and their leiutenents in 1945, when the Allies were invading Germany and the game was up – they were hiding in basements, pretending to be low rankers and impersonating farmers.

    These monsters of the Third Reich were suddenly revealed to be very human, very sad, pathetic men. Think of a bewildered, bedraggled, halitosis-ridden Saddam Hussein dragged from a hole in the ground by US grunts. They’re all the same when the fear is gone and the fauning, craven lickspittles have fled.

  6. "Interesting the way the story of an attack by Georgia on South Ossetia in breach of a ceasefire, killing russian soldiers and civilians"

    Georgia didn’t just decide to attack the peace loving Russians out of the blue. There has been shooting and shelling going on the region for weeks..

  7. Ross,

    Indeed however there was also a ceasefire which Georgia appears to have broken. Regardless I was just commenting on how what was first reported as a de facto invasion by Georgia – with casualties of both russian troops and russian passport holders – and then a disproportionate response by Russia is now portrayed as a totally unprovoked attack by Russia.

    It certainly seems that this is as much a propaganda war as anything.

  8. Classic stuff from our Frank there. Constant shelling and border raids doesnt break the ceasefire, but any response to strike back from the other side does. I suppose we should be thankful, at least our Lefties are consistent and don’t just reserve their double standards for the Jooooz…

  9. Classic stuff from DSD there:

    1) Anyone who he thinks disagrees with him is a ‘Leftie’ even when they’re not
    2) Anyone who disagrees with him has a problem with the ‘Joooz’ even if the only time they have commented on Israel/Palestine is to say they don’t comment on it as they don’t know much about it.
    3) A ceasefire that was called on Thursday and broken on Friday AM has had ‘constant shelling and border raids’ in between.

    I knew that rightworld had mastered time travel, what with the abiotic oil and their unique and mutually conflicting versions of physics and biology, but clearly their powers know no limits.

  10. Pete – First of all I’m a little worried that you know so much about Putin’s wardrobe. 🙂

    I don’t have any disagreement with your analysis, but I still stand by my statement. Putin will do as he wishes and I don’t think the West has the ability to rein him in at this point in time.

    Reading the geo-political strategy blogs this morning, I’m wondering if Bush didn’t know about Georgia’s military strike prior to boarding his plane to China. The U.S. has been working very closely with the Georgians, politically and militarily for quite awhile now. I find it hard to believe they took this highly provocative military step against Russia without our knowledge and, possibly, without our approval. Which leads me to wonder why. Is there something more going on behind the face of this conflict that the U.S. wants to achieve?

  11. Daphne –

    If Bush didn’t know all about it, the Pentagon and State Dept. are keeping things from him. There has been a build up for some time – border skirmishes, shelling, Russian aircraft buzzing Georgian positions and so on. The provocation seems to have been on both sides.

    The US has military feet on the ground since it’s been training the Georgians for some years and instructing them on how the use the hardware the US has been supplying. The US also has plenty of suits in Tblisi doing the diplomatic schmoozing thing.

    Also, Georgia has (or had) 2000 troops in Iraq gaining combat experience alongside US forces, particularly its officer class.

    In short, it’s inconceivable that the US didn’t know that something was up, though whether Washington backed the Georgian action is somethng else.

    The US also would have known that the Russkies had parked a couple of armoured divisions just over the border from South Ossetia and a flotilla in the Black Sea nearby.

    Despite the opinion of Field Marshall O’Dwyer that it woz the Georgians wot started it, the Russians responded with an invasion force within hours, a force which didn’t just happen to be in the vicinity.

    Since it also acted with an efficiency and co-ordination not often displayed by the Russian military, it’s fair to say it was acting to a rehearsed plan.

    So all in all there was plenty of build up and no-one ought to have been surprised (the MSM aside, which was caught on the hop when gushing at the Olympic opening ceremony) that someone started shooting.

    What Washington had to say about it all – who knows?

  12. All true Pete.

    Since the U.S. has bigger fish to fry with Russia – namely Iran – maybe letting Russia have its way with Georgia (and other satellite states) will lead to the U.S. finally getting it’s way on Iran from Russia.

    I think little Georgia will be left hanging in the wind.

  13. Daphne & Pete: I think maybe this has alot to do with Iran. If Russia invades Georgia against America’s wishes, and America is forced to expend time and resources on Georgia — Iran is freer to finalize nuclear weaponry.

    I understand that Iran is very close to having a successful nuclear weapon capacity. I also think that I read that Russia supplied Iran with soem nuclear material that Iran needed.

    Maybe this is just a diversion so that the world looks away while Iran strengthen her position.

  14. Russia is worried about Eastern Europe looking West and has sent out a reminder it still has some kick left in its evil self.

  15. It certainly seems that this is as much a propaganda war as anything.

    Its as important and bullets. Always has been. Whats particularly impressive from our perspective is the lack of debate on the Georgian leader. He’s an ultra nationalist thug with rather tarnished democratic and civil credentials. Of course thats all fine, because he’s our thug. There are few angels in this fine peice of global theater.

    Also I just listened to a rather humourous bunfight on the BBC World Service between some Yank and a Ruskie. It was hilarious, Nazis, 9/11 you name it it was all being tossed about. Worth checking out on the archives, it was on shortly after 10pm BST.

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