In the fantasy world I live in I imagine that I have fans that send me e-mails begging me for my take on a particular subject and that I begrudgingly oblige them by proclaiming something notable that's quoted on many major websites. Then I get to tell Bill O'Reilly that I won't do an interview and then I give Keith Olbermann shit for becoming just like him.
However, while an excellent website occasionally posts something I've blathered on about, my greatness is still somewhat of a secret to the world at-large.
So instead of answering a real fan request, I'm forced once again to submit to the will of the voices in my head and channel a bit of an opinion on what's up in Georgia. So without further adieu (or verbose introduction) I shall say my opinion is mostly nonexistent, other than that I find it interesting.
By the accounts I've received Russia managed it's military in a way the United States can only be envious of. Their strike was clean, concise and effective and they sent a message to the world that they are a contender once again. They made no threats, they didn't posture or threaten, they simply acted and in those actions their message was carried loud and clear.
Before I can explain further, I need to shed some light on the history of the area. When I was a kid there wasn't a place called Russia, it was instead called the USSR, which stands for something bad. They were commie bastards and were involved in a "Cold War" with the United States for over a decade, which was basically a dick waving contest between schoolyard children, except the schoolyard children were large nations, and the dicks were nuclear weapons.
Eventually the recess bell rang and each boy begrudgingly put their ICBM's back in their pants before both of them got expelled. But in the process, the USSR blinked first and decided communism was too much work and changed it's name to Russia, giving up a few territories in the process.
To keep the area stable and put Russia in it's place NATO quietly surrounded it, garnering allegiances and bringing nations like the Ukraine, Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic into it's folds. This was essentially insurance against another cold war and it effectively neutered Russia humiliating it's leaders and showing the international security that they were nothing to fear. That is until last week.
Tensions between Russia and Georgia aren't a new thing, they've been shelling each other for a while now, and Georgia is the United States ally, they have lots of oil after all and NATO has been courting Georgian membership for the past few years, this would have been quite a coup for the US and another blow to Russia giving NATO nations more economic leverage against them.
Officially the Russian Military march on South Ossetia was a counterattack to the Georgian military marching to quell the civil unrest in the area. Unofficially though, it was a message to the surrounding NATO nations, the United States doesn't care about them enough to protect them, and more than that, even if the US did care, they're busy in Iraq. Russia on the other hand now has a healthy economy, and just proved that their military isn't nearly as flaccid as everyone thought. They have lots of oil and lots of weapons and they can sell either to whom ever they wish, and it's nearly impossible for NATO to condemn their actions, because the United States is doing the exact same thing in the middle east.
To paraphrase John Stewart, it seems war is the most effective way to teach us geography, and Russia has effectively reminded everyone that they're still on the map.
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