Comes reports about the fighting in Georgia in a corner of the world most Americans never even have heard of.  List me as one of them, but I'm educating myself(map here) as fast as I can with kids coming in and out asking for things.   

From the CNN story, here's a summary of (the finger, uh, gun, rocket, and bomb pointing) what's up:

The fingerpointing over which side began the battle last Thursday
intensified with Russia accusing Georgia of a genocidal plot to cleanse
the region of ethnic Ossetians loyal to Russia.

Georgia accuses Russia of executing a long-planned war with the aim
of taking control of the pipeline that carries Asian oil to Black Sea

Russia's Black Sea Navy imposed a blockade on Georgia's
coast, which it said was aimed at stopping shipments of military
supplies into the country, according to Interfax, Russia's official
news agency.

Urkaine, a former Soviet republic like Georgia,
said it might prevent Russian navy ships involved in the blockade from
returning to their bases in the Crimea, an spokeswoman with Urkaine's
foreign ministry said.

"This statement is new to us and it
requires analysis," said Russian Defense Ministry Colonel-General
Anatoly Nogovitsyn. "It is a case of a third party intervening in the
process, which is quite surprising."

So, it looks like Russia, with its struggling post-USSR economy, is out to protect it's black gold interest.  Money, the root of all evil.  Like one would really believe the Russian argument that they're out to be a righteous human rights enforcer.  Interesting development with Ukraine.  Do they see this as a situation where, if Georgia falls to Russia, we're next, so let's get in behind Georgia while we have someone who can be on our side? 

Russian soldiers in the breakaway Georgian province of Abkhazia warned
Georgian troops to move out of their way as they intend to advance into
Georgia's western region, Georgian Interior Ministry spokesman Shota
Utiashvili said Sunday.

Back when I live in Montgomery, AL, and did newspaper, I used to carry a police scanner and listen to MPD.  One night, dispatch put out a Code 9, which was a fight in progress.  The sent unit 210 or whatever and then called unit 209 asking if they could back up 210.  "Yeah, we can go to a Code 9," 209 replied, with a sound in his voice that hey, we're happy to go get into a good fight.  This is what it sounds like the Russian soldiers are doing after a decade or so without being able to be Cold Warish, hey, let's go kick a little A$$.  Sounds like a perfect little war.   

This whole thing really feels like a plot line from Tom Clancey's The Sum of All Fears movie.  Except it was Chechnya in the movie, not Georgia doing ethnic cleansing, and rogue military agents took it upon themselves, not the leaders in the Kremlin, to initiate the attack, which in the case of the movie, also wound up being a gassing of thousands of people.  When the US President, (Archie Bunker's Stretch Cunningham) tried to talk to the Russian President, they told the president that Chechnya was an internal affair and not one for the US to meddle with.

If you go to National Georgraphic's Siberian Oil Boom story of a few months ago, you'll see that Russia now has pulled ahead of Saudi Arabia as the top producer of crude oil in the world.   

The question I find myself asking at this writing is, like in the movie, who is in charge of the Russian Army?  Is this direction coming from the Kremlin or is it coming from a Russian oil baron somewhere who exerts his capitalistic control over the fledgling non-Communist government? President Bush has called for them to revert back to a status quo arrangement of pre Aug. 6.  Would that work?  It seems to me with thousands dead already we're past that point.   


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