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.
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Informative opinion piece that ends with a statement that deserves more scrutiny. She mentions that U.S. had troops in Georgia but does not indicate how many U.S. soldiers are in Georgia and why. The story does not mention the oil connection which is essential in understanding all the global players.
This is a good report, but it would have been better if some mention had been made of John McCain's wish to have Georgia and Israel join NATO, and of McCain's openly expressed hostility toward Russia and total lack of concern for legitimate security issues raised by Russia in its dealings with the US. The article might also have mentioned that McCain's national security adviser is a lobbyist for Georgia.
I highly recommend this piece, though it is important to call the reader's attention to the fact that this is an "opinion" piece. Applebaum makes a well-informed, well-supported argument about the significance of the conflict in Ossetia, about what led up to this point, and about how not having adequately addressed the conflict as tensions rose may have significant, negative consequences on a global scale. Applebaum does a particularly good job of placing these events in context and the piece is well- written. She does lean to one side of the argument; but that is entirely acceptable in an opinion piece.
I don't think she has given the complete picture. She mentions U.S. troops in Georgia but no mention since when, how many and what part of Georgia. Again we seem to think that a country that is favorable to the U.S. deserves our complete trust. Why didn't she mention that one of McCain's foreign policy advisers is a lobbyist for Georgia. Also, McCain wants Israel & Georgia to be included in NATO. Why not mention the oil pipeline from Azerbaijan to Turkey. If she is going to condemn Russia'a actions, why not mention if they interfered in our area we would take swift action. All in all I wasn't too pleased with reporting in this article.
Last year, the Georgian president commissioned from private Israeli security firms several hundred military advisers, estimated at up to 1,000, to train the Georgian armed forces in commando, air, sea, armored and artillery combat tactics. They also offer instruction on military intelligence and security for the central regime. Tbilisi also purchased weapons, intelligence and electronic warfare systems from Israel.
These advisers were undoubtedly deeply involved in the Georgian armys preparations to conquer the South Ossetian capital Friday.
Applebaum seems to have missed that aspect of the event
A. Applebaum is the finest commentator on Russian Affairs existing in today's mass media. The article clearly lays out the sequence of events leading up to today's crisis (which started in 1992). Had she been given more space (word count) I would have liked to see a greater explanation on the oil pipeline factor which is why Russia is down there in the first place. Characterizing Russia's South Ossetia and Abkhazia initiatives through the encroachment lens is dead-on analysis and points up the Kremlin's ongoing 10-year campaign to consolidate all oil assets (pipelines, deposits, stock shares) into State hands.