The United States has been urging NATO to extend its influence into eastern Europe on the assumption, as Kurt Volker, assistant secretary of state put it: “it is the right of the Georgian people are Georgian government to determine their own security orientation.” The British government voices platitudes expressing support for the Georgian attack on South Ossetia insisting President Saakashvili had the right to lead his government in regaining control of breakaway areas. As Geoffrey Wheatcroft notes in The Independent, the world already knew Putin led a ruthless government that would not hesitate to use power, but the verbal bellicosity of Western officials raises questions as to the goals of American and NATO in response to aggression.
The world is aware when Kosovo broke away from Serbia, the United States and NATO fervently insisted a people had a right to break away from a government that it despised. Apparently,the people of South Ossetia do not enjoy that right. President Bush saw no problem building bases on the border of Russia although he would most probably have authorized an invasion of Cuba if that country offered military bases to Russia.
Western media is filled with angry voices which insist the forces of democracy must be respected and which condemn violence toward innocent people. Darfur has seen the death of over 200,000 people and the Congo has witnessed the death of 5,000,000 but no cries come from Washington D.C. about the plight of those people.
Russian has twice been invaded in the 20th century with the death of over 40 million of its people. The Russians withdrew missiles from Cuba in 1962 when President Kennedy objected but the United States under Bush in 2008 believes it is OK to establish missile bases near Russia.
Western nations have no business building up the Georgian military and urging its leaders to take action to support their goals. If the Western world supports independence for Kosovo it has no right to prevent breakaway provinces in the caucus area. We do not condone brutal Russian actions toward Georgia, but recognize that Georgia provoked the warfare.
If hypocrisy was a virtue, George Bush would be a saint in heaven.