Two sides to the story of Russia’s advance into Georgia: The West

Everyone from Dick Cheney on down, including President Bush, is up in arms about Russia pulling in its troops to South Ossetia, and now rolling its tanks deeper into Georgia despite a ceasefire agreement brokered by French President Sarkozy.

Vice President Dick Cheney personally called Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili to express U.S. solidarity in the conflict with Russia. Cheney’s office said, "The vice president expressed the United States' solidarity with the Georgian people and their democratically elected government in the face of this threat to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity."

Others like Robert Kagan, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, writing in The Washington Post, conclude:

“This war did not begin because of a miscalculation by Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili. It is a war that Moscow has been attempting to provoke for some time.

“The man who once called the collapse of the Soviet Union ‘the greatest geopolitical catastrophe of the (20th) century’ has re-established a virtual czarist rule in Russia and is trying to restore the country to its once-dominant role in Eurasia and the world. Armed with wealth from oil and gas; holding a near-monopoly over the energy supply to Europe; with a million soldiers, thousands of nuclear warheads and the world's third-largest military budget, Vladimir Putin believes that now is the time to make his move.”


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