Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Violating territorial integrity is only ok when we do it

With Russia's surprisingly swift recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent, it's worth listening to these hilariously hypocritical reactions from Western powers. "Absolutely unacceptable," said Angela Merkel. "We fully support Georgia's independence and territorial integrity, which cannot be changed by decree from Moscow," said David Miliband, who also promised "the widest possible coalition against Russian aggression in Georgia."

These were the same people, of course, who six months ago did the exact same thing in Kosovo. The Russians, of course, are hypocrites as well. They took the exact opposite position on Kosovo as they're taking now. But at least they have the guts to admit it. Russia's action, which they've been threatening for months, is clearly a retaliation against the recognition of Kosovo. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, but if we're going to consider the Kosovo independence a good idea, we have to understand that this is the price, that great powers can recognize independent breakaway provinces in their sphere of influence anywhere now, that we can't have an international order where we get to do it but they don't. Is it worth it? That one's up to you. I just loathe the hypocrisy of it all.

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