Sunday, August 10, 2008

Georgia on my mind

The title is cliched, but I'm sticking with it. Deal with it.

I really want to write this post, but words are failing me. I have been watching with a closer-than-usual eye the violence and war in the former Soviet republic of Georgia. For what is not the first time and what will certainly not be the last, a powerful country has unilaterally invaded one much weaker, with little regard for the sovereignty or borders of that country. I have to admit, what basically amounts to a Russian invasion of its neighbor Georgia has me more than a little bit worried. I know there is nothing that I can do about it, but still, it has me worried, feeling much like I used to when I was in junior high school, sure the world was about to ignite in a nuclear fireball from every little skirmish that erupted in some remote part of the globe.

I'm sure that there has been a lot leading up to what appears to me to be a very abrupt and intense over-reaction on the part of Russia. Many innocent people are dying for reasons that I'm sure I know next to nothing about. The Georgians are pleading with the West to help them. But there is no way on God's green earth that's going to happen. To do so would be to engage what is still a nuclear armed superpower and, well, that's just not going to happen. Still, I can't help but wonder what may lie ahead and it has put me in a funk that I didn't really anticipate.

As an early adolescent, I was so scared of nuclear war that it almost bordered on the ridiculous. It certainly didn't help that at the time, I was watching a lot of Herbert W. Armstrong and his Worldwide Church of God. Armstrong had a lot stuff on his program about how "a nuclear war will happen in my lifetime!" (he's been dead since 1986) and scary pamphlets you could order with titles like "When The Red Phone Rings" that made you feel like nuclear war was just around the corner. But with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War (not to mention growing up and becoming an adult), a lot of those fears fell by the wayside.

But still, you can't take the boy out of the man. In light of all that's happened, a lot of the same fears have welled up in me again. Could this spread? Could this be the event that sparks what is the end of the world? Stranger things have happened. I would like to think that we're all smarter than that, but with our current president, I sometimes wonder. The Huffington Post was reporting that the UN ambassadors to Russia and the US were "trading barbs" today and that the violence "could have a significant long-term impact on US-Russian relations." And then Dick Cheney goes and says something supremely helpful in "Russian aggression must not go unanswered." Whatever THAT means.

It would, of course, be helpful if we had any kind of higher ground to stand on. We have pretty much sent the message to the world that it's okay to invade a sovereign nation against the will of most of the world, so why would the Russians even give a shit what we think? To them, I'm pretty certain that our calls for respect of borders and the sovereignty of a country are the height of hypocrisy.

Ultimately, the answer is what will be will be. In a former version of myself, I thought that prayer would work, now I know it is pretty much worthless. I guess we just keep on living our lives and hope for the best. While there are a lot of things that we can control in our lives, there really are a large number of things outside our sphere of control and influence. Worrying about these things accomplishes nothing but ulcers and I'm not really interested in that. So it's time to stop worrying and as Dolly would say, get to living.

All I know is that I am more eager than ever to talk to my Russian sister-in-law later this week. She always has an interesting take on Russian current events. Olenka, consider yourself warned. I'll want to know everything.


Anonymous said...

The beginning of the End ...So this is how it starts

xolondon said...

I don't think this part of the world will be what creates WWIII, I really don't. This will be resolved - Gates is no Rummy, thank God.

Cheney is a shill - his power is very limited at this point. Good news also that I know a very smart guy working as an advisor to Condi. He started last year. said...

You bring back memories. I also used to listen to Herbert W. Armstrong on the radio. I remember he and other writers who worked for him predicted that the nations of Europe would unite and form a single power that would eventually attack the United States. He taught that a future attack would not come from Russia. This was in the late 1960's and early 1970's.

Europe is not a strong military power right now. They have mostly united economically. It will be interesting to see how things work out.