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US Ambassador Calls Russian Response 'Legitimate'?

It is far from helpful when the US Ambassador to Russia ignores the Russian instigation of the incidents in Georgia and, like so many others, only acknowledges events after Georgia’s baited response. To the Russian paper Kommersant, US Ambassador to Russia John Beyrle called Russia’s initial attacks “legitimate,” later adding that Russia has simply “gone too far.”

From Reuters via the Globe and Mail:

In his first major interview since his arrival as Ambassador last month, John Beyrle gave the Russian daily Kommersant his views on the conflict and warned about its impact on U.S. investor confidence in Russia.

“Now we see Russian forces, which responded to attacks on Russian peacekeepers in South Ossetia, legitimately, we see those forces now having advanced on to the soil of Georgia; Georgian territorial integrity is in question here,” Mr. Beyrle told the newspaper.

He said Washington had not sanctioned Georgia’s initial actions when on Aug. 8, after a succession of tense skirmishes, Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia, triggering a massive Russian reaction when its peacekeepers there came under fire.

“We did not want to see a recourse to violence and force and we made that very, very clear,” Mr. Beyrle was cited as saying in quotes the U.S. embassy confirmed as accurate.

“The fact that we were trying to convince the Georgian side not to take this step is clear evidence that we did not want all this to happen,” Mr. Beyrle said in the interview, which was published on Friday.

“We have seen the destruction of civilian infrastructure, as well as calls by some Russian politicians to change the democratically-elected government of Georgia. Some question the territorial integrity of Georgia. That is why we believe that Russia has gone too far,” the envoy said.

Mr. Beyrle said Washington still supports Russia’s bid to join the World Trade Organization, which has still not been finalized after more than a decade of talks. [Emphasis added.]

(It is a bit curious that the Kommersant English version contains no direct quotes from the Ambassador.)

This is simply difficult to fathom and is an embarrassment to the State Department’s foreign service and diplomatic corps. Or rather, it should be. To many, perhaps it is not.

While nuance is overrated, there is a distinct difference between diplomatic nuance and event revisionism.

For starters, here’s hoping the US Department of Treasury is monitoring the bank accounts of South Ossetia’s ‘president’ Eduard Kokoity for any recent or near-future - shall we say - “transaction anomalies. ” It takes a lot of money to start a war. To my knowledge, South Ossetia’s entire provincial economy is somewhere south of that of Ford County, Illinois. And regional strongmen never skim for their own pockets. Never.

Just a hunch.

All that said, is there anyone who thinks Ambassador Beyrle actually believes his own words characterizing the Russian response as ‘legitimate’?

Let’s get something straight here: The Georgian response to the calculated and prolonged Russian baiting was illadvised. The Russian response to the Georgian response was illegitimate, for it was all a fabrication. Just like the Russian claims of ‘genocide’ in order to justify their early actions.

Russia has quietly scaled down it’s initial Ossetia ‘genocide’ toll from 1,600+ to now just 133. There’s no need to propagate the extravagant lie anymore. They own the Ossetia and Abkhazia provincial dirt, plus much of the rest of Georgia still.

Check the accounts please, Treasury. Inquiring minds want to know.