Poor Saakashvili, either he misinterpreted US/UK signals (signals being the military aid and the international forces training Georgian troops three weeks prior to Georgian attack on South Ossetia, ...) or he did not and ended up being the pawn in this political chess game that just got sacrificed. Now the US knows that the bear is not hybernating. He's alive and well and will come out of its den to roar and do some damage.
Russia's Rambo ready for anything (sorry, need to keep this ridiculousness a little 'lite')
I suspect that no one expected Russia to react as strongly as they did and the US and of course, Sakaashvili, needed to back up quickly because they were losing face big time. Not only were Russia's actions more than they bargained for, the following upping eachother's ante put many in a fear of another Cold war. As it turned out, apparently (!), no need to worry;
DEBKAfile’s political sources report that, as in most cases when international tensions and violence reach dangerous levels, the big powers have instituted secret diplomacy to cool the situation before it gets out of hand in order to formulate new modes of conduct and relations.
This process began with Rice’s visit to France and Tbilsi.
In five hours of arm-twisting, she persuaded Saakashvili to accept clarifications to the ceasefire accord which contradict Washington’s spirited assurances for Georgia’s “territorial integrity.”
Russian troops allowed to remain in Georgia would be “very limited to a light patrolling ability, such as a few kilometers outside of South Ossetia.”
Furthermore, “Russian peacekeepers” would be allowed to “implement additional security measures” until international security can be put in place.
This clause authorizes on behalf of the US and Europe the narrow security strips, which DEBKAfile’s military sources revealed two days ago the Russians are establishing 300-500 meters deep outside the South Ossetian and Abkhazian borders with Georgia.
This American concession was designed as initial impetus for quiet diplomacy with Russia on a settlement in Georgia.
The other concession, which will unfold in time, is the removal of the Georgian president, another of Moscow’s conditions for ending the crisis. While Bush declared the Cold War is over, Saakashvili heaped verbal coals on the standoff with Russia to keep it ablaze.
Back-door US-Russian contacts to de-escalate war of words - after Moscow threatens to nuke Poland
tsaa.. it pays to play poker... and hardball!
And after all this excitement, getting people riled up and killed over nothing other than testing the waters of Russia's capability and reaction, we can apparently (it's a theme) expect a "Bush-Putin Summit". Oive, going fishing too perhaps?
ok ok..moving on. So now the US and Russia are working to restore their working relationship, whatever that means. So the US ambassador to Russia in Moscow gets to bring the happy news;
Ambassador Beyrle’s words were the first public departure by a US official from the critical remarks of Moscow’s conduct heard uniformly from Bush, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates.
The ambassador said Washington had not sanctioned Georgia’s initial actions when on Aug. 8, after a succession of tense skirmishes, Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia, triggering a massive Russian reaction when its peacekeepers came under fire.
PHEW! And here I was having sleepless nights dreaming of nuclear bombs and fall out, you know, the kind of stuff I dreamt about when I was growing up in the Netherlands thinking, shit, I hope no idiot is ever going to push that button!!
All is well on the Western front.. apparently!