As a majority of the world was watching the opening ceremony of the Olympic games, a new war had started. Thankfully, within two days the hostilities seem to have stopped and there appears to be a ceasefire.
I am a little confused about what happened though and perplexed by the actions of Georgian President Saakashvili. According to the BBC, he ordered Georgian troops to invade South Ossetia merely hours after agreeing to a ceasefire. Even if I forget about the lack of ethics involved, I can't understand why he would make such a decision in full knowledge that Russian forces would come to the defence of South Ossetia.
Russia may not be a superpower anymore, but it is still a power to be feared particularly since the military modernisation of the recent years. With a booming economy and resurgent nationalism, Russia could annihilate Georgia if it wishes to do so. Why would Saakashvili put his people in such a danger.
Lets not forget the ethical issue either. Why violate a ceasefire agreement hours after signing it? For the element of surprise? Well according to reports, Georgian troops killed over 1,000 people in South Ossetia - mostly civilians. Considering all this, why were western leaders criticising Russia? Shouldn't Saakashvili be condemned? What am I missing?
I do realise that South Ossetia is a recognised part of Georgia. I don't know enough to comment on whether or not the region has the right to secede from Georgia. However, the betrayal of a ceasefire agreement and the deaths of over a 1,000 civilians certainly deserves condemnation in my eyes.
Photo originally uploaded by Kaptain Kobold.