The Georgian government is recalling its 2,000 troops serving in Iraq to confront the threat at home, reports The Times:
We helped in Iraq - now help us, beg Georgians As Russia forces its neighbour to retreat from South Ossetia, the people of Gori tell our correspondent of betrayal by the West. (...)
Miriyan Gogolashvili, of Tkviav, said: "The Russians will be here tomorrow. They want to show us and the world how powerful they are. Tomorrow it will be Ukraine and nobody in the West is doing anything to stop them. Why were our soldiers in Kosovo and Iraq if we don't get any help from the West now?" he asked.
So, is the West going to defend Georgia? Nobody seriously expect the EU to fight the Russians, after all we Europeans are from Venus. So what about the Americans from Mars? Is the United States going to help Georgia fight the Russians? After all, the US was Georgia's strongest supporter for NATO membership action plans...
I appreciate James Joyner's honesty and frankness in Outside the Beltway:
As sad as the events of the past few days have been, I do not believe that the United States has sufficient interests in Georgia keeping sovereignty over South Ossetia to justify war with Russia. Strong words, and perhaps diplomatic sanctions - including ousting Russia from the G8 - are as much as we can reasonably do.
But here's the rub: It is the position of the United States government that Georgia should be admitted to NATO. We begged, cajoled, and arm twisted our European allies to that end in Bucharest this past April, ultimately settling for a vague pledge that Georgia will be put on the path to membership soon. (...)
If, however, we have no intention of defending Georgia from an attack by the only country on the planet that could conceivably pose it any threat, what the hell are we doing inviting them into NATO?
Matthew Yglesias asks the same question:
But given that we don't want to back Georgia in these situations, then why were we so eager to support Georgia's bid for NATO membership?
My answer: The US knew that the European countries would block NATO membership for Georgia. Thus it was safe for the US to express rhetorical support for NATO membership action plans for Georgia without coming in a situation to having to defend Georgia. And the beauty of it: It also allowed the US to paint the Europeans as weak countries afraid of Russia.
Oh, wait, there are some brave Americans who want to come to Georgia's rescue. Think Progress writes: Neocons Call For U.S. To Launch War With Russia:
Bill Kristol: [Georgia] has had the third-largest military presence - about 2,000 troops - fighting along with U.S. soldiers and marines in Iraq. For this reason alone, we owe Georgia a serious effort to defend its sovereignty. Surely we cannot simply stand by as an autocratic aggressor gobbles up part of - and perhaps destabilizes all of - a friendly democratic nation.
And, of course, you don't have to read very much to stumble upon Nazi analogies in the US media. Robert Kagan needs Nazi Germany to make his case in his Washington Post column Putin Makes His Move. This prompted Joe Klein to write the Time Magazine blog post It's Raining Nazis--Continued, where he criticizes "the endless neoconservative search for new enemies, mini-Hitlers." These comparisons are not limited to Neocons. Zbigniew Brzezinski opines in a Huffington Post interview:
Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt has correctly drawn an analogy between Putin's "justification" for dismembering Georgia -- because of the Russians in South Ossetia -- to Hitler's tactics vis a vis Czechoslovakia to "free" the Sudeten Deutsch.
So why is not the US stopping Russia's "Hitler tactics"?