Osetia del Sur (Continuación)

En los últimos tiempos, hemos afirmado que Rusia estaba llevando a cabo una política de cambiar el régimen de Georgia y a su presidente prooccidental y democráticamente elegido, Mijaíl Saakashvili. Predijimos que, a falta de una intervención diplomática fuerte y unida de Occidente, se avecinaba una guerra. Ahora, trágicamente, la escalada de la violencia en Osetia del Sur ha culminado en una invasión declarada de Georgia por parte de Rusia. Occidente, especialmente Estados Unidos, podría haber prevenido esta guerra.

No está claro del todo qué ocurrió en Osetia del Sur la semana pasada. Cada bando contará su propia versión. Pero sí sabemos, sin ninguna duda, que Georgia reaccionó ante las repetidas provocaciones de los separatistas de Osetia, controlados y financiados por el Kremlin.…  Seguir leyendo »

Me resulta chocante que el pacifismo de tantos sea tan terriblemente selectivo. Nadie se acuerda de Ruanda o de Burundi, las guerras olvidadas de Africa no sacuden ya las conciencias de los occidentales antioccidentales, Darfur parece interesar sólo a algunos en Europa y a pocos más en Estados Unidos, quizá se deba al gancho de George Clooney, hasta para esto somos frívolos. Hay conflictos terribles que cierta progresía conoce de memoria: datos, detalles y hasta las estadísticas muchas veces infladas y siempre blandidas como afiladas espadas contra el adversario. Si no que se lo pregunten al flamante vicesecretario general del PSOE, que recurre a ellos constantemente.…  Seguir leyendo »

Las chicas ucranias me vuelven loco de verdad
Dejan Occidente a la zaga
Y las chicas de Moscú me hacen cantar y gritar
Que Georgia siempre está en mi mente.
He vuelto a la URSS
No sabéis cuánta suerte tenéis, chicos,
De vuelta en la URSS
John Lennon & Paul McCartney

No son sólo los osetios del sur los que han vuelto a la URSS esta mañana. Otros georgianos, países del «extranjero cercano» a Rusia, desde el Cáucaso hasta el Báltico, «minorías nacionales» como los chechenos, e incluso los propios rusos, se enfrentan ahora a un país y a unos líderes políticos corruptos, autoritarios, militaristas, y a los que no les preocupa excesivamente dónde acaban sus fronteras.…  Seguir leyendo »

Russia is portraying its war in Georgia as a legitimate response to Georgia’s incursion last week into its breakaway region of South Ossetia. Many in the West, while condemning the disproportionate nature of Russia’s response, are also critical of Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili for his attempts to bring South Ossetia back under Georgian rule, and of the United States for supposedly encouraging Mr. Saakashvili’s risk-taking by pushing NATO membership for Georgia.

But the truth is that for the past several months, Russia, not Georgia, has been stoking tensions in South Ossetia and another of Georgia’s breakaway areas, Abkhazia. After NATO held a summit in Bucharest, Romania, in April — at which Georgia and Ukraine received positive signs of potential membership — then-President Vladimir Putin of Russia signed a decree effectively treating Abkhazia and South Ossetia as parts of the Russian Federation.…  Seguir leyendo »

The Russian tank columns rumbling into Georgia reveal the anger of a tiger finally swatting the mouse that has teased it for years. South Ossetia may seem as distant, trivial and complicated as the 19th-century Schleswig-Holstein question but Russia’s fury is about much more than the Ossetians. The Caucasus matters greatly to the Russians for all sorts of reasons, none greater than the fact that it now also matters to us.

The troubles in Georgia are not the equivalent of an assassinated archduke in Sarajevo. But historians may well point to this little war, beside the spectacular Olympic launch of resurgent China, as the start of the twilight of America’s sole world hegemony.…  Seguir leyendo »

In weeks and years past, each of us has argued on this page that Moscow was pursuing a policy of regime change toward Georgia and its pro-Western, democratically elected president, Mikheil Saakashvili. We predicted that, absent strong and unified Western diplomatic involvement, we were headed toward a war. Now, tragically, an escalation of violence in South Ossetia has culminated in a full-scale Russian invasion of Georgia. The West, and especially the United States, could have prevented this war. We have arrived at a watershed moment in the West’s post-Cold War relations with Russia.

Exactly what happened in South Ossetia last week is unclear.…  Seguir leyendo »

The details of who did what to precipitate Russia’s war against Georgia are not very important. Do you recall the precise details of the Sudeten Crisis that led to Nazi Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia? Of course not, because that morally ambiguous dispute is rightly remembered as a minor part of a much bigger drama.

The events of the past week will be remembered that way, too. This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time. The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union «the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the [20th] century» has reestablished a virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore the country to its once-dominant role in Eurasia and the world.…  Seguir leyendo »

EU foreign ministers meeting in emergency session today to discuss the situation in Georgia should begin by asking why it took the outbreak of war to focus their attention. They had no cause to be surprised. The warning signs had been apparent for at least a year, and the Georgian government had made strenuous efforts to raise the alarm. This time last summer a Russian jet violated Georgian airspace and dropped a missile north of Tbilisi in what appeared to be a botched attack on a Georgian radar installation. Russia denied involvement, but two separate independent investigations found otherwise. Despite this, Georgia’s plea for diplomatic support fell almost entirely on deaf ears.…  Seguir leyendo »

Era un acontecimiento anunciado. Georgia y más concretamente sus dos repúblicas separatistas de Osetia del Sur y Abjasia son una caldera hirviendo en la que EE UU y Rusia están echando un pulso de incierto resultado. Incertidumbre que desaparece al considerar los sufrimientos que el enfrentamiento bélico traerá y que son una obviedad como en cualquier conflicto cuando las armas son las que mandan. Las escaramuzas constantes de los aviones espías, las declaraciones más o menos incendiarias y el espíritu de enfrentamiento han dado lugar al bombardeo días atrás de la capital de Osetia del Sur, Tsjinvali, por aviones georgianos, a modo de preludio de la inmediata invasión terrestre de la república separatista que incluye las zonas montañosas de las regiones históricas georgianas de Imereti, Racha y Shida Kartli en las que se instalaron osetas procedentes del Cáucaso norte.…  Seguir leyendo »

For the best possible illustration of why Islamic terrorism may one day be considered the least of our problems, look no farther than the BBC’s split-screen coverage of yesterday’s Olympic opening ceremonies. On one side, fireworks sparkled, and thousands of exotically dressed Chinese dancers bent their bodies into the shape of doves, the cosmos and more. On the other side, gray Russian tanks were shown rolling into South Ossetia, a rebel province of Georgia. The effect was striking: Two of the world’s rising powers were strutting their stuff.

The difference, of course, is that one event has been rehearsed for years, while the other, if not a total surprise, was not actually scheduled to take place this week.…  Seguir leyendo »

For many people the sight of Russian tanks streaming across a border in August has uncanny echoes of Prague 1968. That cold war reflex is natural enough, but after two decades of Russian retreat from those bastions it is misleading. Not every development in the former Soviet Union is a replay of Soviet history.

The clash between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia, which escalated dramatically yesterday, in truth has more in common with the Falklands war of 1982 than it does with a cold war crisis. When the Argentine junta was basking in public approval for its bloodless recovery of Las Malvinas, Henry Kissinger anticipated Britain’s widely unexpected military response with the comment: «No great power retreats for ever.»…  Seguir leyendo »