Terror - OPINION The Kremlin's'Protection Racket By DAVID B RIVKIN JR and LEE A CASEY Page A15 Russia's invasion of Georgia will be a defining

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August 15, 2008 OPINION The Kremlin's 'Protection' Racket By DAVID B. RIVKIN JR. and LEE A. CASEY August 15, 2008; Page A15 Russia's invasion of Georgia will be a defining moment for America's credibility and global stability. If the Medvedev (or, rather, Putin) regime succeeds in using force to topple a democratic and pro-Western government, based on spurious claims of "protecting" Georgia's population against its own government, the stage will be set for similar aggression against the other states -- from the Baltics to Ukraine -- that border Russia but look to the free West. The dangers of the post-September 11 World will be combined with the challenge of a new Cold War. Russia is fully aware of these ominous implications. It has accordingly sought to cloak this act of aggression in the raiment of modern international justice. Its officials and surrogates (including Mikhail Gorbachev) have falsely accused Georgian leaders of violating international law in the South Ossetia and Abkhazia regions, which have "Russian" populations on account of Russia's extralegal issuance of its passports in those areas. President Dmitry Medvedev has called for the "criminal prosecution" of the perpetrators of these supposed abuses and Vladimir Putin has alleged that if "Saddam Hussein [was hanged] for destroying several Shiite villages," Georgian leaders are guilty of much more. Ruthless Kremlin realists have learned the language of global humanitarianism. The language of "protection" was once a favorite pretext for Tsarist expansion in the 19th century. It is also the same rationale that Germany offered for absorbing the Sudetenland in 1938. The Kremlin's current claims are no more credible than its tattered justifications for invading Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968, and Afghanistan in 1979. Russian assertions that Georgian forces provoked the conflict
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This note was uploaded on 02/19/2011 for the course AGEC 217 taught by Professor Deboer during the Fall '08 term at Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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Terror - OPINION The Kremlin's'Protection Racket By DAVID B RIVKIN JR and LEE A CASEY Page A15 Russia's invasion of Georgia will be a defining

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