Tuesday, 26 August 2008

What stopped the Russian tanks?

Why did Russian tanks stop outside Tbilisi, Georgia? What made the Russian bear withdraw?

It wasn't the power of negotiation, observes Jack Wakeland, and it sure wasn't the sanctimony of the 'international community.'

Did the Georgian army destroy Russia’s armored columns? No. The tanks were stopped because the Georgians put up a fierce fight for Tskhinvali, the provincial capital of South Ossetia (and for the Kodori Gorge in northeast Abkhazia Province). Georgia’s brief defense of Tskhinvali served as a deterrent, not because it was successful (it wasn’t), but because it was fierce. The only defense that the small nations of Eastern Europe have ever had against the “big dogs” of Russia and Germany is to make themselves into fierce little porcupines and hope that enough quills delivered into enough noses will cause the dogs to give up the quarry as not worth all the trouble.

In the end, the Georgians might just have taught all of us a crucial lesson:

Do not be in awe of evil. Do not tremble when its power briefly rises to equal a fraction of our own. This is an invalid perspective, and it is a betrayal of confidence in what we all know is the deep well of power that the good can always draws from: that we are right.

We should know our own power. Being right matters.


  1. US Airforce planes landing in Tlblisi stoped the tanks.

    The Georgians were totally overmatched, the Shock Army was rolling forwards, and the US Airforce starlifters starting landing in Tiblisi.

    That's what made the Russians stopped.

    "Plucky Little Georgia" is as much as a myth as "Plucky LIttle Belgium".

    the US Airforce (in this instance) stopped the Russians. Noone else has the guts.

  2. The ONLY country stopping Russian tanks is Russia.

    Nice to see Russia recognizing the independence of the breakaway Georgian regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

  3. It was the South Ossetian militia who stopped the Georgian attack in the middle of Tskhinvali. The Goergians were unable to take the city even with a massive missile barrage and combined infantry tank assault. When the Russian armour and air power entered the fray the result was what is generally known as a rout. Georgian forces fled in panic and disarray back to Tbilisi. It is to the Russians credit that they did not do a ‘highway of death” on the retreating forces as the Americans might have. The Russians had nothing to worry about and I suspect that Tbilisi would have fallen with little resistance if its conquest was part of the plan.

  4. Except, you know, the Russians are more or less on the right side in this one - the people in South Ossetia don't want to be part of Georgia; fighting a war to keep control of people who don't want you in control of their lives is the very definition of evil.

  5. By your standards Hitler was right. Think on that.

    The Russians are not "in the right." Their leaders are reverting to type; thugs, looters, rapists and killers all.
    Why engage in a violent invasion at all? There are obvious alternatives.


  6. At the tine I half expected terrorist attacks against Russian civilians like embassy & trade commission staff somewhere around the world. But then this is Georgia an American sponsored democracy not some loser Russian puppet or Islamic basket case.

    Congrats to the USAF and the US civilian administration who ordered their deployment. With Obama running Putin should have waited one year.

  7. By your standards Hitler was right.


    The Russians are not "in the right."

    Which is why I didn't say "The Russians are in the right". What I said was "The Russians are more or less on the right side in this one". Which they are.

  8. Stop playing with words. You simply are not good enough to pull it off.

    The Russian govt and military are not right ("more or less" or however you want to put it).

    Yes, you are makling the same rationalisation for the Russian invasion as was made for Hitler's Sudetenland effort. Go do the research.



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