Under Trump, Putin Gets To Slowly Invade Georgia

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Every now and then, Russian operatives go out in some field in Georgia, sometimes at night, tear down a fence and put up a new one, making Russia bigger and Georgia smaller. You may remember a related incident that happened during the McCain-Obama election, of which much was made.

From WaPo:

This constantly changing boundary has already divided communities and swallowed up homes in Georgia, a country of 3.7 million that hopes to one day join NATO.

Many consider it nothing short of a silent, creeping occupation on the fringes of Europe supported by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“What should I do? If the Russians come closer I will not be able to do anything,” Vasya, 51, said with a shrug and a waft of a freshly lit cigarette. He wants only his first name used for fear of reprisals by nearby border guards.

The Russians have been trying to Russianize Ossetians living in the nearly island like enclave in Georgia for decades, and eventually issued many Russian passports.

It is the standard Russian move. Make up a situation in which there are people in some territory that say “Hey, we’re Russians. Where’s Russia! Come help us, Russia!” Then, the tanks roll in. In this case, until Putin put Trump in the US White House, the US helped Georgia resist this move in South Ossetia. No more. Trump is screwing over an important ally in the region.

In Georgia, there is a saying. You use it when you are disagreeing with someone. “We can discuss this in the morning. But during the night, I will sneak into your house and cut your throat,” or words to that effect. Well, now it’s Trump cutting the throat of Georgia.

“We can do nothing to protect ourselves … we cannot start war on them,” said Temuri Khuroshvili, 59, a retired police officer whose cinder-block house is in one of the 52 villages on the boundary. His home is surrounded by annexed territory on three sides.

“What can you do against Russia? They do whatever they can,” he said as he sat in the roadside shade while rusty tractors groaning under bales of hay rattled through the dusty lane. “The Russians don’t care at all.”

This is not the kind of mess that an actual US President, when we get one, is going to be able to clean up easily.

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16 thoughts on “Under Trump, Putin Gets To Slowly Invade Georgia

    1. Russia’s population is going to start shrinking. They don’t have really have the people or the resources to expand, selling oil and gas and not much more. It’s questionable if they can defend themselves from China wanting to find more space for their billion and a half in Siberia.

  1. This is not the kind of mess that an actual US President, when we get one, is going to be able to clean up easily.

    Especially when there is really nothing, outside of some meaningless sanctions, that could be done. Neither we nor Europe would (or should) go to war over this.

    And: cue the usual troll with “but but but Obama/Crimea”, completely ignoring that he was faced with the same lack of influence and with Republicans willing to do everything they could to stop him in this regard. And ignoring the fact that GWB was faced with similar issues in Crimea, and he also had essentially 0 influence and options.

    A real president, one with capable people surrounding him, would have difficulty doing anything about this. We’re so far from having a real president surrounded by capable people it’s sad.

  2. George W Bush did nothing, to the objection of John McCain and Bill Kristol.
    Barack Obama did nothing, to the objection of John McCain and Bill Kristol.
    Donald Trump does nothing, to the objection of John McCain and Bill Kristol.

    But somehow, Trump is the bad guy in Greg Laden’s mind.
    If Georgia objects, they can move the fence back. Maybe have soldiers on the border at night?

    So is it a good thing or bad thing that NATO was not expanded to include Georgia in the 2000s, which would have committed every country to fight over this, or perhaps Russian would have avoided doing this.

    The major implication for America in this is that it happened just as Obama had settled on Tim Kaine as his VP nominee. They felt foreign policy experience was needed to go against McCain and switched to Biden.

    1. “Barack Obama did nothing, to the objection of John McCain and Bill Kristol.”

      Same quote thing for Bush.

      McCain and Kristol are not the entire right, and Bush did not have the entire membership of the Republican House and Senate vowing to do anything to stop him as Obama did. You continue to omit that fact.

      With that said — this is one of those things where essentially nothing can be done. That was true for both previous presidents, it’s more true now with a president who won’t even back his own intelligence officials about Russian interference in our elections.

    2. You appear to have completely missed the point, as I am largely in agreement with you. I object to Greg Laden’s formulation.

      That said, you did leave out that Obama and Hillary engineered the coup in Ukraine that led to the annexation of the Crimea. Victoria Nuland is seen on video discussing new cabinet members before the coup started.

  3. Would a title, ” Under Macri, Putin gets to slowly invade Georgia ” be ok and reasonable?
    The Argentinian President is just as bloody relevant.
    How bout ” Under Turnbull, Putin gets to slowly invade Georgia “.
    Or ” Under Xi, Putin gets to slowly invade Georgia “.
    Who’s the Mexican bloke? Oh yes.
    ” Under Nieto , Putin gets to slowly invade Georgia ”
    Can yanks paaaaleeeaase stop pulling their doodle over themselves.

    1. Under Guterras ( UN top dog ) might make some sense. But there’s a lot of different departments he needs to oversee.
      Under May would be better as UK holds
      the security council presidency.
      Best and most relevant would be
      Under Margvelashvili, Putin gets to slowly invade Georgia.
      There’s something completely fucked how yanks think.

  4. “Barack Obama did nothing, to the objection of John McCain and Bill Kristol.”

    Same quote thing for Bush.

    McCain and Kristol are not the entire right, and Bush did not have the entire membership of the Republican House and Senate vowing to do anything to stop him as Obama did. You continue to omit that fact.

    With that said — this is one of those things where essentially nothing can be done. That was true for both previous presidents, it’s more true now with a president who won’t even back his own intelligence officials about Russian interference in our elections.

    1. Well this sucks on my part — that comment shouldn’t have repopulated the comment box and I should have noticed it had.

  5. The Russians already occupy South Ossetia and Abkhazia, recognizing them as separate republics. Georgia calls them Russian occupied Georgian territory.

    Why do the fences matter?

  6. Steve P please don’t insult Neville Chamberlain like that. He knew perfectly well Hitler would break the agreement he’d just made, but that agreement postponed German attention to the UK and gave more time for us to re-arm. Trump isn’t trying to delay anything Putin does, he’s not trying to gather resources to resist Putin, he’s just rolling over like a good puppy.

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