Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s president, has said Georgia’s attack in August on the pro-Russian breakaway region of South Ossetia was his country’s equivalent of the September 11 attacks on the United States in 2001.
The president made the comments at the annual meeting of the Valdai Club, a group of political analysts and Russia experts, in Moscow on Friday.
He told atendees: “Immediately after the events in the Caucasus, it occurred to me that August 8 was for us almost what 9/11 was for the United States.”
Medvedev also said that he would have sent in Russian troops regardless of how closely tied Georgia was to Nato and that he would do so again if needed.
Why is this calling Palin out? In her first interview granted to her adoring public she mentioned this situation to dislay her vast grasp of the nuances of international negotiations.
GIBSON: Let me ask you about some specific national security situations.
GIBSON: Let’s start, because we are near Russia, let’s start with Russia and Georgia.
The administration has said we’ve got to maintain the territorial integrity of Georgia. Do you believe the United States should try to restore Georgian sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia?
PALIN: First off, we’re going to continue good relations with Saakashvili there. I was able to speak with him the other day and giving him my commitment, as John McCain’s running mate, that we will be committed to Georgia. And we’ve got to keep an eye on Russia. For Russia to have exerted such pressure in terms of invading a smaller democratic country, unprovoked, is unacceptable and we have to keep…
GIBSON: You believe unprovoked.
PALIN: I do believe unprovoked and we have got to keep our eyes on Russia, under the leadership there. I think it was unfortunate. That manifestation that we saw with that invasion of Georgia shows us some steps backwards that Russia has recently taken away from the race toward a more democratic nation with democratic ideals.That’s why we have to keep an eye on Russia.
O.k. In the interests of reality, I’m going to have to link a few stories here. This is the backstory for this and it’s important to comprehend to appreciate the complete…jaw-dropping ignorance Palin displayed in the interview.
Georgian military commanders confirmed an invasion began in the early hours of Friday morning, raising fears of a serious diplomatic crisis between the country’s western allies and Moscow.
The United States swiftly called for calm, but appeared to apportion more blame on Moscow and the separatist forces it supports for taking the volatile region to the brink of war.
“We’re urging Moscow to press South Ossetia’s de facto leaders to stop firing,” a US State department official said. “We’re urging Tbilisi to maintain restraint.”
Just hours after Mikheil Saaskashvili, Georgia’s pro-western president, declared a unilateral ceasefire, his armed forces began an artillery barrage against Tskhinvali, the rebel capital.
And I have to mention this as well…
The Bush administration is not happy with Russia’s decree. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice called Russia’s move “regrettable.”
But there is strong support for independence in the regions, including South Ossetia. And the decision to recognize them as independent came much more quickly than the South Ossetians expected.
After the Russian parliament’s decision, South Ossetians drove through the streets, waving Russian and Ossetian flags and spraying champagne to celebrate. Their goals — independence, then marriage with Russia — suddenly seemed within reach.
So.. to summarize, an attack that Sarah Palin didn’t think happened is being treated by Russia as a terrorist attack similar to 9/11. The civilians who were attacked by Georgia don’t want to be a part of it (hence “rebels”), and would rather join their brethren in North Ossetia, which is a part of Russia proper.
Many considered themselves to be rescued, rather than invaded. Part of the issue here is that there is a distinct racial difference between Georgians and Ossetians. And their history is different.
So, to some up…Russia is basically ready to go to war after their 9/11. Sarah Palin doesn’t even think it happened. She’s in complete denial, or in complete ignorance.
AND THAT’S EVEN WHILE SHE, LITERALLY, KEEPS AN EYE ON RUSSIA.
PALIN: And, Charlie, you’re in Alaska. We have that very narrow maritime border between the United States, and the 49th state, Alaska, and Russia. They are our next door neighbors.We need to have a good relationship with them. They’re very, very important to us and they are our next door neighbor.
GIBSON: What insight into Russian actions, particularly in the last couple of weeks, does the proximity of the state give you?
PALIN: They’re our next door neighbors and you can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska, from an island in Alaska.
GIBSON: What insight does that give you into what they’re doing in Georgia?
PALIN: Well, I’m giving you that perspective of how small our world is and how important it is that we work with our allies to keep good relation with all of these countries, especially Russia. We will not repeat a Cold War. We must have good relationship with our allies, pressuring, also, helping us to remind Russia that it’s in their benefit, also, a mutually beneficial relationship for us all to be getting along. [ed note: that’s a pass on the question, BTW]
I guess she didn’t literally “see” Georgia shelling civilians, so it didn’t happen. This is unfortunate, as you can’t see 99.99999% of Russia from Alaska.
I don’t think we are going to keep good relations with Russia if our Vice-President denies their “9/11” ever happened. How will that work?
And with statements like…
GIBSON: Under the NATO treaty, wouldn’t we then have to go to war if Russia went into Georgia?
PALIN: Perhaps so. That is the agreement. When you are a NATO ally, is, if another country is attacked, you are going to be expected to be called upon and help.
…you have to be scared. Too be so..dismissive..about the prospect of nuclear war, after displaying complete ignorance of the perspective of the adversary, and the situation…
…and then you think about who is educating Palin on these issues…(hint: he’s currently being paid by Georgia for “security consulting” and is a card-carrying Neocon).
Randall J Scheunemann is an American lobbyist. He is the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member. He was Trent Lott‘s National Security Aide and was an advisor to Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on Iraq. He is a paid lobbyist for the country of Georgia and is 2008 Presidential candidate John McCain‘s foreign-policy aide. He lives in Fairfax Station, Virginia.
This is who is teaching Palin about the world. No wonder she missed an entire side of the argument and is ready to start a war at the drop of hat.
NOTE: Because of the general fucked-upedness of the Georgian situation and my general unfamiliarity with the region, I don’t think this situation is as black and white as it has been presented in the U.S. media. Just reading through these few articles probably made your head spin a bit (it did mine), but to assert so strongly that an event the PRESIDENT OF RUSSIA called their 9/11 didn’t happen…this isn’t someone I want anywhere near a negotiating table.