EU Georgia Report False Equivalency
As widely anticipated, an EU report on last year’s Russian invasion of Georgia finds plenty of blame to go around, finding that Tblisi “triggered” the conflict but that Moscow violated international law by its invasion and with numerous atrocities thereafter.
This leads John Cole to quip, “Was the McCain/Palin campaign right about anything?”
As I detail in my New Atlanticist post, “EU: Georgia ‘Triggered’ Russia’s Illegal Invasion,” this is quite wrongheaded. Not because the McCain/Palin “We’re all Georgians now!” posturing was wise — it wasn’t — but because they at least understood the basics of international law in a way the EU panelists do not.
Only the most ardent Georgian nationalists believe that Mikheil Saakashvili was other than a reckless fool in his actions leading up to the Russian invasion. However, once one recognizes — as the EU panelists here explicitly do — that Abkhazia and South Ossetia are part of Georgia, it no longer much matters.
If sovereignty means anything, it means that leaders of a state have license to take actions within the confines of their borders as they see fit, so long as they don’t create adverse spillover effects for their neighbors. Saakashvili’s actions against internal groups conducting illegal activities within the borders of his country, while unwise and perhaps even provocative, are simply no justification for an illegal invasion of its sovereign territory by another member of the United Nations. Period. End of story.
I don’t actually end the story there, of course, so click the link for more.
Photo: Reuters Pictures (cropped).