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Thursday, November 27, 2008


Georgia: the old "U.S. green light"

When Iraq invaded Kuwait, it was just days after a meeting between U.S. Ambassador April Glaspie and Saddam Hussein in which, we are told, Hussein got (or felt he got) a "green light" to invade. When Indonesia invaded East Timor, it was again just days after a meeting between Gerald Ford, Henry Kissinger, and Indonesian President Suharto, in which that invasion was given a "green light" by Washington.

And so it was, evidently, when Georgia attacked South Ossetia earlier this year; this time, it was Condoleezza Rice in the role of "green light" shiner:

A former Georgian ambassador said on Wednesday that Georgia had wrongly convinced itself it had U.S. blessing for an assault on breakaway South Ossetia.

Erosi Kitsmarishvili, former envoy to Russia, told a parliamentary commission on Tuesday that Georgia had been the aggressor and triggered a war with Russia in August that proved to be disastrous for Georgia.
"Some people who attended the meeting between Condoleezza Rice and Saakashvili (in July 2008) were saying that Condoleezza Rice gave the green light for military action," he told a news conference.
By the way, I was amused by this bit of red baiting/Western arrogance/lack of self-awareness in the article:
Since his testimony, Kitsmarishvili has been vilified by senior Georgian officials, underscoring the difficulty of expressing dissent in the ex-Soviet republic since the war.
Right, and all those ex-Bush officials (Richard Clarke, Ari Fleischer Scott McClellan, Paul O'Neill) who have published tell-all books haven't been publicly scorned and ridiculed; I must have imagined that.

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