A parable about Russia invading Georgia from Robert Hunter

| Aug. 15, 2008

BBC News interviewed Robert Hunter, former ambassador to NATO, this afternoon and he had a few choice phrases to use condemning Russia for its invasion of the nation of Georgia.

We are now at the endgame of this dastardly attack by Russia into Georgia. If the Russians know what’s good for them, they will try to wrap this up as fast as possible, and be responsive now to the leadership of the European Union and the French President Sarkozy, to get some peacekeepers in to find a way to disengage forces and for Russians to go home. I think one has to recognize that the country that stands to be the big loser in all of this is not the United States, not even Georgia with its tragedy, but Russia itself.

In the Soviet Union, they had a phrase, called “correlation of forces” — don’t give me all the words, tell me who’s got the big clout. Russia doesn’t have a big clout, it’s got a lot of oil and gas. They don’t have a lot more. One of the dramas of the Beijing Olympics this last week was here’s little Georgia, being attacked by Russia, took them four days to do what they did militarily, while off in China, you see the future of Asia with this extraordinary potential in front of them. Russia needs the outside world. This isn’t like 1921 under Lenin or ’45 under Stalin. If Russia doesn’t behave itself, it’s going to isolate itself and it’s going to pay a huge price for this little adventure they allowed themselves to get into.

Now for a little find/replace… and voilà! Instant parable:

We are now at the endgame of this dastardly attack by [America] into [Iraq]. If the [America]ns know what’s good for them, they will try to wrap this up as fast as possible, and be responsive now to the leadership of the European Union and [NATO], to get some peacekeepers in to find a way to disengage forces and for [America]ns to go home. I think one has to recognize that the country that stands to be the big loser in all of this is not [Russia], not even [Iraq] with its tragedy, but [America] itself.

In the Soviet Union, they had a phrase, called “correlation of forces” — don’t give me all the words, tell me who’s got the big clout. [America] doesn’t have a big clout, it’s got [a need for] a lot of oil and gas. They don’t have a lot more. One of the dramas of the Beijing Olympics this last week was here’s little [Iraq], [still] being attacked by [America], took them four [years] to do what they did militarily, while off in China, you see the future of Asia with this extraordinary potential in front of them. [America] needs the outside world. This isn’t like [1933] under [The New Deal] or ’45 under [Roosevelt]. If [America] doesn’t behave itself, it’s going to isolate itself and it’s going to pay a huge price for this little adventure they allowed themselves to get into.

Thank you for your valuable and not at all ironic insight, Mr. Hunter!

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