KGB in charge; Russia back to roots

Russians like strong, authoritarian leaders. They have a long and honored history of throwing off the suffocating oppression of one despotic ruler, only to embrace another under the auspices of strength and prosperity.  In the last 60 years, this has all been tied to the riches of oil.  Control and high prices of oil bring money, money allows the leader to consolidate and create military and social power, and then the leader, in true Russian style, embarks on conquest.  From before Cathrine the Great, to the Soviet states, and now to Putin and his puppet, the pattern has stayed true throughout history.
Is it any wonder that Russia is not trusted by the west? 

If we are doomed to repeat history, if history is forgotten, then the Russian people must be among the most forgetful, if not complacent, in the modern age. (Rivaled only by the west.)

I have read much on this lately, and I am sure that no one really knows the whole story.  But some things are fairly clear.   South Ossetia is a break-away province of Georgia, (civil war), which has not been resolved in nearly two decades.  Tensions started mounting higher, (several skirmishes -between separatists and Georgian soldiers - over the past few years, killing both Ossetians and Georgians ), and Russia posted 1200 “peace keeping” troops in South Ossetia to prevent Georgia from solidifying its own internationally recognized borders.  Georgia is considered for NATO membership. (I do not know which came first, Georgia’s courting of NATO, or the Russian troops, but they are around the same time.) Georgia then sent troops into South Ossetia to restore constitutional order, (reclaim South Ossetia),  and to stop alleged mortar shelling of Georgia from South Ossetia.

Russia sent heavily armed and ready soldiers into South Ossetia the next day, claiming that they need to protect the “Russian citizens” living there, and that Georgia was committing genocide. Russian soldiers then drove Georgian forces out of Ossetia, and further continued to invade Georgia to sack “military bases” and remove any arms the Georgian army had in the immediate area. Russia also bombed many military installations inside Georgia and blockaded Georgian ports and shipping.

Georgian cities and towns near the South Ossetian border, like Gory, were bombed and invaded by Russian troops, and looted by South Ossetian fighters. Georgian militias have also been witnessed “intimidating” ethnic Ossetians. (Reported by Human Rights Watch)
A ceasefire was brokered a few days ago, and Russia claims to be pulling back, though several combat groups remaing in Georgia have been reported, (still looking for Georgian weapons), including a column of Russian armor and troops camped an hour outside the Georgian capital. Those are the actions, as far as I know them.

Check Wikipedia and the news for more information.

As for the skepticism, I was surprised at how fast Russia was able to send troops into South Ossetia, almost like they were waiting for the signal. One day for the amount of armor and troops that were sent into South Ossetia seems quite short. It is possible, but seems like there was an attack plan ready.

Russia’s accusations of Genocide didn’t have enough time to blossom, and will be extremely hard to prove, because of the speed of the Russian response and invasion.  Casualties have yet to be accurately assessed, (civilian and otherwise).  Russia has crippled the military ability and invaded a sovereign and internationally recognized nation on the brink of being inducted into NATO. All of this, to interfere in an obvious civil war, in behalf of a territory, (there are technically two, but only one was initially involved in fighting… the second, Abkhazia, only started into hostilities when Russian soldiers were on the ground),  which wants to join the Russian federation.  Having a neighbor as a member of NATO is seen as a direct threat in Russia… though I don’t understand why or how - unless it is a holdover from the cold war era. Russia also has a vested monopoly interest in the only oil pipeline from the region which is not under their control.

This all happening at a time, when the US has its military hands tied in the Middle East, seems more than a bit coincidental. The skeptic in me finds the current situation between Georgia and Russia as manufactured. 

This looks bad on Russia. Any way you twist the details, they point to imperialist intentions and policy. Should Russia be allowed to attack a sovereign neighbor and cede willing territories to their borders? Should America?  If parts of Mexico were willing, and dissatisfied with their government, would it be alright, under any circumstance, for the US to destroy the military infrastructure of Mexico and cede territories to our borders?

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