I am reading a lot of op/eds today. Here are just a few… WaPo: Russia, on the other hand, is seeking to overthrow a democratically elected government precisely because that government does not want to be subjugated to Moscow. Mr. Medvedev’s claim of a Georgian genocide, after his own government published casualty figures of 200 or so, is deliberately preposterous; he is mocking the very idea of humanitarian intervention. As Russia under president-turned-prime-minister Vladimir Putin has become less and less democratic, it has become increasingly aggressive toward neighboring democracies. The more democratic those neighbors become — see Ukraine, Poland, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia — the more hostile Russia becomes.
WSJ: During a postsummit press conference, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who holds the rotating EU presidency, got the obvious question: Is the EU a “paper tiger”? Mr. Sarkozy, visibly angered by the suggestion, responded that “Demonstrations of force, verbal aggression, sanctions, countersanctions . . . will not serve anyone.” He didn’t say how Brussels’ latest tsk-tsk-ing serves anyone in Georgia.MT: Expecting Russia to have placed first or second in Olympic medals is asking too much of a country that over the past 100 years has had a history not that much different from other European nations. Britain, France, Belgium and Portugal also suffered a collapse of their colonial empires in the last century. Although the people of those countries felt then much as Russians do now, they were able to overcome their feelings of humiliation and find a suitable place in the world. Now they have little ambition to handpick the leaders of neighboring nations.DW: The Russian population and especially the Russian military would not understand a withdrawal in light of the Kremlin’s massive information campaign and a demonstratively displayed self-righteousness as far as the Russian actions are concerned. Their own propaganda is coming back to haunt them. An order to withdraw could be interpreted as a sign of weakness of the president, who was only elected a few months ago.