As I stated earlier, Russia has invaded Georgia-proper and is pushing south. It looks like they will attempt to seize the town of Gori, cut Georgia in two, and then size up the situation. Their political goal appears to be regime change at a minimum, if not outright annexation.
And in a heated exchange with his Russian counterpart at the United Nations, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad of the United States accused the Kremlin of seeking to oust [Georgian President] Mr. Saakashvili.
He charged that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov had said as much during a telephone conversation with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Sunday morning.
“In that conversation, Foreign Minister Lavrov told U.S. Secretary of State Rice that the democratically elected president of Georgia ‘must go,’” Mr. Khalilzad said. “I quote again: ‘Saakashvili must go.’”
Mr. Khalilzad said the comment was “completely unacceptable.”
The events that precipitated this invasion are still in dispute. What’s not in dispute is that Russian tanks are now rolling deep into Georgian territory, they have bombed the capital, the capital’s airport, the southern pipelines, have pushed into Abkhazia, and are shooting at Georgian ships in the Black Sea. Meanwhile, our president is watching Olympic sports and doing chatty interviews with Bob Costas.
“We strongly condemned bombing outside of South Ossetia,” he said in an interview mixing politics, diplomacy and sports.
“I was very firm with Vladimir Putin,” he said of his conversations with the Russian prime minister at the Olympics.
George W. Bush seems determined to finish his presidency the same way he started it…by
reading a book about a Pet Goat posing for photographs with Olympic athletes while our enemies run roughshod over us. And to think that Bush looked into Putin’s soul and saw a man he could work with. To think that he is stupid enough to tell us that he was very firm with Putin when Putin left Beijing and reported to the frontlines while Bush remained to watch swimming meets and gymnastics.
Bush has invested so much in Georgia and he’s just fiddling while Putin turns it all to ashes. What a legacy. What a disgrace.