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Go Back   Armchair General and HistoryNet >> The Best Forums in History > Current Events > Russia, Central Asia, and The Caucasus > South Ossetian Conflict

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South Ossetian Conflict Discuss the conflict between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia.

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  #1  
Old 05 Apr 11, 08:41
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Latest Wikileaks info on the Ossetian war

Wikileaks, South Ossetia and the Russian "reset"

Quote:
Initially, a Georgian press release issued at 1:47 am on 8 August and the Foreign Ministry website only mentioned para-military volunteers coming from North-Ossetia, not regular Russian forces. Three days later, however, the Georgians changed their official webpages (as documented by Jørgen Staun) and gave a new version that still prevails: Georgia had been exposed to a full-scale Russian invasion at 11.30pm, thus five minutes before the bombardment of Tskhinvali (one may wonder why Georgian resources were spent for this purpose in the face of a foreign invasion, but that is another matter). This amended Georgian version has been denied by Russia (dating its army invasion to 2:30pm on 8 August) and doubted by the ‘Independent International Fact-Finding Mission’, which could find no evidence of an early invasion. The Georgian explanation for its shift of versions (obtained in an interview conducted by this author) was that the first one was meant to provide a “fig leaf” for the Russians, so they could withdraw without losing face in front of the international community.

The Wikileaks revelations of confidential communication from the US embassy in Tbilisi, however, gives a different picture. At 10:10 in the morning of 8 August, Ambassador John Tefft reported to Washington that “if the Georgians are right, and the fighting is mainly over [i.e. Georgian victory], the real unknown is what the Russian role will be and whether there is potential for the conflict to expand”. In other words, no Russian action had yet taken place. Moreover, Saakashvili was concerned that the South Ossetian fighting “might have been a Russian pretext and a further attack could be expected [my italics]”. There was also information about how the Georgian foreign minister had briefed the diplomatic corps in the morning and had “called on the international community to put pressure on the Russian government to take no action”. Finally, the US ambassador mentioned that “the South Ossetians are reportedly now accusing the Russians of betraying them” – in other words passively watching from the sideline. All this unequivocally contradicts the second (prevailing) Georgian version of events, uncritically accepted by Ron Asmus (see the below book reference).

...

Wikileaks is useful, too, for demolishing other myths, for instance the Russian allegation that Washington orchestrated the events that led Georgia to initiate war. Quite to the contrary, the US sought to discourage any such initiative. This is nothing new, but the cables demonstrate that the US embassy in Tbilisi, and thereby State Department, was just as much in the dark as anybody else at the eve of war events – this despite some 130 US military advisors being present in the Georgian Ministry of Defence.
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  #2  
Old 05 Apr 11, 13:31
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Interesting. Never under-estimate the ability of the US State Dept. to militarily clueless.
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  #3  
Old 05 Apr 11, 13:34
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Originally Posted by GCoyote View Post
Interesting. Never under-estimate the ability of the US State Dept. to militarily clueless.
That still has more to do with Saakashvili being a loose cannon than with the lack of intel. Never trust people who munch on their ties
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Old 06 Apr 11, 22:26
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This post should get more attention. There are still people who blame Russia for starting that "war".
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Old 07 Apr 11, 03:13
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Originally Posted by GMan88 View Post
This post should get more attention. There are still people who blame Russia for starting that "war".
Don't worry, the propaganda war has been won by Georgia, or to be more precise, FOR Georgia by other concerned actors. It doesn't matter who's right, it only matters who gets more favourable coverage when the fight is still on. When the fighting is over and the attention span of the Western public ends, it becomes irrelevant if you're right or wrong. The public opinion gets solidified in stone and all further information is corralled into political scholars' discourse. You can see people here still parrotting the old Georgian version despite massive evidence to the contrary, cause it fits their agenda.
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Old 10 Apr 11, 16:51
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Yes, and it can be frustrating. It's right there, and yet some people still blatantly talk out of either willful ignorance or intentional put-downs.
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