Putin’s NYT Op-edPosted: September 12, 2013 Filed under: Nuclear 8 Comments
As you’ve probably seen, Russian President Vladimir Putin has written an op-ed in the New York Times, including an impassioned plea for the U.S. to abide by international law and in particular the UN Charter process of obtaining Security Council authorization for any international use of force. He adds that it is “alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States . . .” and urges the U.S. to seek exclusively diplomatic solutions for problems with other countries.
Oh, nuts. Instead of linking to Putin’s NYT op-ed above, I accidentally linked to an article about the Russian army invading Georgia in 2008, without Security Council authorization, in what Putin argued was a humanitarian intervention. Oh well, I guess I’ll just leave it there. It nicely makes the next point I was about to make anyway.
Very funny. And the UK Daily Mail as a source of anything — that’s funny, too. This excerpt is of interest:
Of course, the analogy to Syria breaks down in one vital detail: Syria is over 6000 mi. away from the US border; Georgia is next door to Russia.
In the US-Russia relationship, I have always thought it an absolute disaster that Reagan & Pappy Bush backed al-Qaeda in Afghanistan rather than seeing that Russia was right. Reagan should have teamed up with them. A USSR/US coalition w/ NATO back up could have wiped out the bloody, radical Islamists 30 years ago and there would be no need to remember Sep11. It would be just another day.
Hmmm, Article 51 of the Charter does recognize the right for a collective self-defence against an armed attack, doesn’t it?
Georgia launched an unprovoked armed attack against South Ossetia in violation of the 1992 Sochi Agreement. Nobody really disputes that, do they?
The South Ossetian’s (you know, the people who were under attack) then appealed for help in the face of that armed attack, and Putin responded.
That’s “collective self-defence” in the face of an act of aggression by the Georgians, is it not?
Collective SD only works when it’s a state that invites another state to help it exercise its right of SD. Not when a group of people inside a state invite another state. I know there’s a contested history about the regions of Georgia in which alot of ethnic Russians live. But the Russia/Georgia war of 2008 doesn’t fit well under a classic collective self defense theory. I think that’s why the Russian govt referred to it in humanitarian terms, and in terms of protecting ethnic Russians.
I would think that the answer to that lies within the articles of the Sochi agreement.
If that agreement has the Georgian government committing itself not to go BANG! on the autonomous region of South Ossetia then I would argue that the South Ossetians have a very good excuse to ask for help if/when the Georgian military goes BANG! on them.
There’s a lot of history behind the conflict but the 2008 war started when Georgia launched a large-scale military offensive against South Ossetia.
Note that Putin’s recent op-ed in the NY Times expresses disapproval of the USA’s propensity to go picking fights on the other side of the world, and that point is not at all diminished by pointing out (correctly) that Russia intervenes in conflicts that are on its own doorstep.
After all, nowhere in Putin’s list of damn stupid military interventions by the USA will you find Granada, or Panama, or Haiti.
I suspect that’s because Putin rather agrees with the notion that when push comes to shove a Big Power is entitled to go the thump in its own immediate sphere of influence, and so he doesn’t have any problem when the USA does exactly that in Central America or South America.
Just as I suspect that Putin can’t understand the USA having a problem with Russia doing likewise in, say, South Ossetia or Chechnya.
In essence Putin is saying this: the USA is acting as if The Whole Damn Globe falls within its sphere of influence, and he is arguing (correctly, IMHO) that this is a most unwise delusion of grandeur on their part.
No wonder Boehner says that he is “offended”. Fancy telling someone who has delusions of grandeur that they have delusions of grandeur.
Putin was particularly interested in Obama’s stuffy pretense regarding American Exceptionalism, that, you know, Americans are better than anyone else and that justifies anything and everything. It goes ‘way beyond the Georgia example of Russia acting to protect ethnic Russians. Russia isn’t bombing a dozen countries every day. Putin:
“It nicely makes the next point I was about to make anyway.”
Dan, I think you should make the point you intended to; it is not at all clear what it is.