Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Kosova and South Ossetia

The US has its Kosova and Russia seems to want its South Ossetia.

My friend Mar said yesterday that I was not often short of an opinion, but I really do not know what to think about the business in Georgia these recent days, beyond deploring the bloodshed.

The serious paper which we take, the NRC, had an article today which put most of the blame for the current dispute and fighting on the shoulders of an opportunistic Georgian President who last week 'invaded' the province of South Ossetia and provoked the Russian retaliation.

The problem is that it is easier to get into these things than to get out. We ahd heard of all these places in the early 1990's when the Soviet Empire ws crumbling. It seems that the wounds and abd feelings have not gone away and we have areas such as Abkazia and Nagorny-Karabakh still to be resolved.

Kosova was one of thos eplaces and we have a sort of resolution. The US has built a massive base in that country, plum in the middle iof South-East Europe and doesn't look liek it will be leaving despite the announcement today of a 70% reduction in the UN force in that country.

We saw Italians, Spanish, Turkish, Swiss and German troops doing their work in protecting and rebuilding that country. I even met that English policeman. We never saw a single US military person there - they were all at their massive base camp in Ferizaj (Urosevac in Serbian). We did see a massive miliatary aircraft take-off from Prishtina while waiting to board our plane. Nothing said in the media about this new US build up of troops in Europe.

In the meantime, we were asked in Amsterdam last weekend to sign a petition against the continuous placement of over 60 nuclear missiles on Dutch soil. How many in the UK? How many in Turkey? How many in Kosova?

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