Up until a few years ago key U.S. military personnel were studying Arabic and Pashtu in order to communicate or perhaps torture their foes. Now maybe they should be brushing up on their Russian.
Russia's peacekeeping contingent in the United Nations have removed their blue helmets and joined the rest of Vladimir Putin's storm-troopers invading the Caucuses. Oil is once again the prime motivator for this invasion. Specifically, the oil coming from Azerbaijan seems to be in Vlad's sights. Russia's former KGB spy wants to keep the BP pipeline in Georgia closed. That leaves only the pipeline from Azerbaijan through Russia flowing. That in turn props up the falling price of oil worldwide, or at least keeps it from falling too quickly. Russia's annual oil output is slowing declining and they have grown comfortable with the flow of U.S. dollars in the direction of Moscow.
Maybe Mr. Putin thinks it is his turn to pull the kind of stunt Mr. Bush pulled in Iraq back in '03. Bush seems to care less that the international crisis in Georgia apparently has resulted in Russia re-annexing a former Soviet satellite nation. Bush remains adamantly on vacation in Texas, after his Olympic holiday in Communist China. He needs the rest after his beach volleyball match in Beijing. The overgrown weeds on the Crawford ranch appear to take priority over one of his favorite new democracies.
Georgia, under President Saakashvili in Tbilisi is getting only a few pats on the back and bottled water from leaders of Western nations. Germany's Merkel showed up for a few hours, without any troops of course. Europeans still do not like German forces to be the first to step into any conflict, though they do serve, well behind the lines, in Afghanistan.
The U.S. and U.K. really cannot do much, their armies are tied up in debacles in Kandahar and Iraq. Though there are few hundred trainers in Georgia. China's forces really don't go far and besides they are busy looking for Olympic pole vaulters that might suddenly show a "Free Tibet" sign. Blackwater mercenaries are probably all set to fly to Tbilisi, if there is not already a subsidiary of that private army there.
In short, the free world is telling Georgia, we feel your pain but the only thing we are will to do is shout at Moscow, and trim the weeds in Texas.