Overnight, the situation in Georgia  has changed a bit.  The Financial Times says Georgia is welcoming Russia’s cease fire call.   

The first implication for the US out of this is the most obvious of all. Even if Bush had committed US forces, they’d not have had time to deploy.  Even airstrikes would have taken longer to plan and deploy, than this thing has gone.

Now it’s down to Russia dealing with the consequences, both regional and world-wide… and that’s something that for all their typical pragmatism, I don’t think the Russians prepared for. The Baltic states are PISSED. In the Financial Times linked above,  we see:

The Baltic states, past victims of Kremlin attacks, have called on the European Union to suspend its drive for closer relations with Russia after its invasion of Georgia. “We have to review our policy. Can we consider a partner a country who behaves like this?” President Toomas Hendrik Ilves of Estonia said in an interview. He added: “It’s time to stop sticking our head in the sand.

 James Joyer notes the same FT piece and says, correctly:

When one contrasts this strong language with the much milder talk from France and elsewhere, we see, as my Atlantic Council colleague Jim Townsend noted yesterday, that Don Rumsfeld’s much criticized formulation of Old Europe and New Europe was on the mark.

Yeah, there seems some suprised faces around blogdom this moning on that point.  Me… I never expected THAT aspect to go any other way.  I said he had it right at the time, and never wavered from that conclusion.

As for consequences to the US relations with Georgia, I suppose that book’s not been written yet. Certainly, there will be some smoothing of feathers, particularly in terms of the mood of the electorate there. How that plays is up to how their leadership explains the facts to them.  That, in turn depends, I’m sure, on how they serve it up to the voters.

The interesting part there will be how this plays out in the UN. And of course the question of ‘will the G8 become the G7?’

I must say,  There is something unsettling about the stated purpose of Russia’s attack; ‘liberating’  areas of Georgia which were suposedly still loyal to Moscow. It’s strangely remenicent of Germany annexing areas of Europe that it figured had German ties.  Am I suggesting that Russia is still harboring thoughts of world domination?  On it’s face, no. They couldn’t do it when the USSR was still an item, and they’re in less of a position now than they were then.

Then again, they did make a fair amount of trouble for the world, in the day, and with not a whole bunch more military than they have now.  Using this particular excuse to invade Georgia seems a might thin to me; They clearly have a different motive, than their stated one, or perhaps more correctly in addition to their stated goal.  What that may be I don’t know but I can’t help but think the attack on the pipeline yesterday is an indication of what they have in mind.

Finally, there are some indications that the Russians are not all of a mind about this thing. I sometimes think I’d like to be a fly on the wall of some of their meetings the last week or two. The arguments and  table pounding would be nothing short of epic, I thnk.

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