Friday, November 7, 2008

The truth about "Russian aggression"

From the NYTimes:
Newly available accounts by independent military observers of the beginning of the war between Georgia and Russia this summer call into question the longstanding Georgian assertion that it was acting defensively against separatist and Russian aggression.
In other words, Georgia attacked the enclave of South Otessia, killing russians "peacekeeper" in the process, which drew a Russian response. The dominant narrative, coming straight out of Tbilisi, was that Georgia was attempting to defend itself from a resurgent Russia. This was eaten up by the American establishment especially John McCain and the neoconservatives.

More broadly, this crisis serve this illustrate the pitfalls of using simplified caricatures of your enemies and look only for the data that fits it. The Russian government might not be always honest, but it doesn't mean everything coming out of the Kremlin is a lie. And it's not because Saakashvili claims to be pro-Western that he's telling the truth.

This crisis is also another reason why you should read Daniel Larison regularly.

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