Reality Check: Has George Bush Gone Too Far in Georgia?
It now turns out that ceasfire negotiations for Russian pullback from Georgia were stalled because of the refusal of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili to sign the six-point ceasefire plan brokered by French President Nicholas Sarkozy. According the Guardian-UK, Sarkozy finally agreed to sign opening the way for Russian president, Dmitry Medvedev, to also ratify the pact.
Both have now signed on.
Pres. Bush's tone remained agressive
George Bush today said the development was "a hopeful step," but added: "Now Russia needs to honour the agreement and withdraw its forces and of course end military perations."
The situation now seems to be under control, but the U.S. is still pursuing an provocative posture in Poland which has been given patriot missiles along with the Pentagon's so-called missile shield.
In return for hosting 10 interceptor rockets said to be intended to destroy any eventual ballistic missile attacks from Iran, Poland is to receive a battery of US Patriot missiles for its air defences and has won a mutual security pact with Washington.
Has Bush overstepped?
Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, met Russia's President Dmitry Medvedev on the Black Sea close to Georgia's borders and sent quite a different message, offering a mild rebuke of Moscow.
"Some of Russia's actions were not proportionate," she said.
Unlike the Americans and some European states who are saying the Russians should face "consequences" for their invasion, Merkel said negotiations with Moscow on a whole range of issues would continue as before and spread the blame for the conflict. "It is rare that all the blame is on one side. In fact, both sides are probably to blame. That is very important to understand," she said.
The Pentagon has also raised doubts as to whether Bush's commitment to deliver humanitarian aid to Georgia is feasible. The Detroit Free Press carries a McClatchy report by Jonathan S. Landay that Bush promised Georgia aid before getting clearance.
According to Landy
Pentagon officials told McClatchy Newspapers that they were increasingly dubious that any U.S. Navy vessels would join the aid operation, in large part because the U.S.-based hospital ships likely to go, the USNS Comfort and the USNS Mercy, would take weeks to arrive.
“The president was writing checks to the Georgians without knowing what he had in the bank,” said a senior administration official.
Furthermore the Adminsitration has not received approval from Turkey for U.S. naval vessels to pass through the Bospurus and the Dardanelles.
Most interesting are remarks by the Turkish president, reported by Andrew McLemore, on Raw Story, Turkish prez says US must share power in 'new world order'
Gül said America's inability to prevent Russia's invasion shows that the US can no longer shape world politics as it once did.
"I don't think you can control all the world from one centre," Gül said. "There are big nations. There are huge populations. There is unbelievable economic development in some parts of the world. So what we have to do is, instead of unilateral actions, act all together, make common decisions and have consultations with the world. A new world order, if I can say it, should emerge."
Turkey is being squeezed by both the U.S. and Russia because of its need for oil and natural gas.
The conflict in Georgia proved Turkey's tenuous position regarding energy when Russian tanks cut the flow of oil to Turkey from a pipeline running through Georgia, Reuters reported.
Turkey's energy problems have forced it to seek gas from Russia and Iran, prompting an outcry from Washington.