Archive for the ‘Chechnya’ Category

Russia Is Overstepping It’s Bounds by Invading Georgia

August 11, 2008

Alright, I have to admit, I was a little behind in this story – I don’t know why, I just hadn’t heard anything about it until Saturday, and this is my first opportunity to post about it.

Brief overview (for a really good, but still short overview, see Wikipedia’s page):

  1. August 1st – Georgian and paramilitary South Ossetian soldiers begin fighting, causing several deaths and injuries.  Fighting continues.
  2. August 7th – Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili makes a statement: “A sniper war is ongoing against residents of the villages in the South Ossetian conflict zone and as I speak now intensive fire is ongoing from artillery, from tanks, from self-propelled artillery systems – which have been brought in the conflict zone illegally – and from other types of weaponry, including mortars and grenade launchers.”
  3. August 8th:
    1. Georgia attacks the city of Tskhinvali.
    2. The UN meets and expresses “serious concerns at the escalation of violence.”
    3. Russia attacks Georgian forces in cities in South Ossetia, and attacks the Georgian city of Gori.
  4. August 9th:
    1. Georgian/Russian fighting continues.
    2. Georigian South Ossetian fighitng continues.
    3. Abkhazian separatists bomb the Kodori Valley.
  5. August 10th – Georgia withdraws from Tskhinvali and other parts of South Ossetia.
  6. August 11th:
    1. Russia invade Georgia.
    2. Russia captures Gori.
    3. Georgian forces retreat to protect the capital, Tbilisi.

This is absolutely uncalled for.  It doesn’t matter WHO started this, either Georgia or the separatists, but Russia has NO RIGHT to invade Georgia.  President Bush said in a speech, “The United States takes this matter very seriously […] Georgia is a sovereign nation and its territorial integrity must be respected.”

And that’s absolutely true – like I said, Russia has NO RIGHT to get involved here, especially not to the level of invading somebody who may not even be the aggressor.  And why is Russia helping separatists here, when they continue to oppress the Chechnya?

Personally, I think the U.S. should stay out of this, other than helping with talks and the UN.  But we ALL have to be careful here.  Making Russia angry is not a wise move.  The only countries capable of militarily stopping Russia are America and China.  I don’t think America is stupid enough to get involved militarily, and I doubt China is either.

This being said, Russia should not be allowed to continue their invasion in Georgia.  The UN and countries must step in and persuade (through sanctions and other non-military actions) Russia to stop.

Everybody was happy when the USSR ended, but all that really happened was a smaller giant emerged, a very dangerous giant named Russia.

Done Ranting,

Ranting Republican
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Analysis of Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence from Serbia

February 23, 2008

OK, so election stuff plus a research paper kept me from talking about this as it happened, but now let’s take a look back on all that’s happened.  On February 17th, 2008, the Autonomous Province of Kosovo declared their independence from Serbia.  Since then, some countries have weighed in (see below for the map).  Some Serbians rioted (1 assumed protester was found dead); our embassy in Belgrade got torched a little bit, causing all non-essential personnel to have to be evacuated to Agence France-Presse (apparently the world’s oldest news agency) – no biggie.

So, who recognizes the Republic of Kosovo as it’s own sovereign nation?  And should we?

Well, I say we absolutely should!  They were an oppressed region who the UN put under its control after the 1999 Kosovo War.  I think that for the people of Kosovo to be treated fairly, they HAD to secede.

According to a poll an unscientific ABC News poll on Facebook, 79% of people agree with me, 12% disagree, and 9% are unsure.  Some of the arguments I’ve heard are “What if Texas seceded?”  Well that’s different – Texas isn’t being oppressed.  (Not to mention that Texas could probably put up a heck of a fight.)

So, who says what about Kosovo?  Well, here’s a map from Wikipedia:

Admin edit – apparently Wikipedia updated it to just a recognizes / doesn’t recognize map. So here’s an updated version (this will update automatically as wikipedia updates it, so if you’ve visited this page and are coming back to it now, refresh [F5] to make sure that this map is up to date). The map above is the map version from when I originally posted this post, and the map below is the current map:

██ Kosovo

██ States which formally recognize Kosovo as independent.

██ States which have stated they intend to recognize formally Kosovo as independent.

██ States which have delayed or have expressed neutrality on recognition of Kosovo’s independence.

██ States which have expressed concern over unilateral moves or expressed wish for further negotiations.

██ States which have stated they will not recognize Kosovo as independent.

██ States with no reported position at present.

Now, let’s highlight some key countries:

  • The U.S. obviously supports it.
  • Essentially the entire former U.S.S.R. opposes it, and Russia is blocking its entry into the UN.
  • Costa Rica was the first (by local time) to recognize it – kinda odd.
  • Afghanistan was the first (by international time) to recognize it – again, seemed kinda odd.
  • Taiwan recognizes it, but Kosovo may not recognize them, in order to get China to side with them – this angered me a little, as I’ve always been a HUGE supporter of Taiwan, the TRUE China!  Here’s a quote from the Foreign Ministry: “We congratulate the Kosovo people on their winning independence and hope they enjoy the fruits of democracy and freedom. […] Democracy and self-determination are the rights endorsed by the United Nations. The Republic of China always supports sovereign countries’ seeking democracy, sovereignty and independence through peaceful means.”
  • The British Kingdom (with the exception of Canada and South Africa) seems to have supported Kosovo.
  • Obviously Serbia doesn’t.
  • Oddly, Bosnia says not in the near future – most other countries who have seceded or are trying to have sided with Kosovo, so I thought they would.
  • Vietnam doesn’t – who didn’t guess that one.
  • China expressed “grave concern” (thus Kosovo’s reluctance to acknowledge Taiwan, since China is also a member of the UN Security Council).
  • South Korea is in favor of recognition, but still somewhat skeptical.
  • The Organization of the Islamic Conference backs Kosovo.
  • The International Olympic Committee does not plan on recognizing them.
  • The Basque Country, Catalan Government, Chechnya, Crimea, and Transnistria (at least their minister) all support Kosovo.
  • Western Sahara is bitter, because Kosovo was so quickly recognized and they weren’t.
  • Canada is in a pickle.  Their motherland, England has sided with Kosovo, but if they side with Kosovo, that sends a HUGE message to Quebec which has been trying to break free from the U.S. state of (I’m kidding – it’s a joke, so don’t get all offended about it) Canada for quite a while now.

So, go Kosovo! (and they’d better not change the name to Kosova – I’ve heard rumors and that’d be stupid).

 

Done Supporting FREEDOM,

Ranting Republican
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