Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Stand up to Russia"

Sending troops to help Georgia is out of the question, but the U.S. must do more than issue strongly worded statements.

Whatever the details of the clash that began last week between Georgia and the breakaway, pro-Russia province of South Ossetia, there can be no excuse for Russia's invasion.

Putin does appear to have more than a passing resemblance to lesser autocrats such as Mussolini and the Japanese generals of the 1930s whose aggression nevertheless had tragic repercussions. Indeed, two other historical analogies that come to mind are the Japanese invasion of Manchuria in 1931 and the Italian invasion of Ethiopia in 1935.

Both set the stage for World War II by revealing the impotence of the League of Nations and the unwillingness of the great powers to respond forcefully to aggression.