So much for that "peace dividend" we supposedly had in the 1990's. It's becoming more obvious every day that one of the biggest failures of both the Clinton and Bush II administrations is the failure to pull Russia into the civilized world. Now powerful, rich, and resurgent, we've lost her for perhaps a long time. Putin can rape and subjugate at will, take over entire industries, and control the media in his own country, all while enjoying extremely high approval ratings from Russians.
What will it be like to live in a world where Russia violently vies for the head position in world leadership while supplying terrorist states with weapons of mass destruction? We're finding out now.
Salient quotes from the article:
If conditions continue, Georgia will be strangled and Saakashvili will fall, to be replaced by a Russian client whom Russia will offer to deal with magnanimously. Russia will have demonstrated its capacity to destroy a neighboring pro-Western regime without full-scale invasion or occupation and with zero resistance from NATO. Eastern European leaders will observe this outcome with shock, rethink their reflexive move toward the West and, in time, begin to accommodate themselves to Russian ambitions. Every Russian objective will have been achieved.
That is why so much hinges on the next few weeks, a time of maximum pressure on the Saakashvili government. The goal of this war is to demoralize and dominate Eastern Europe. Its outcome depends entirely on one development: Whether Russia succeeds in bringing down what it contemptuously calls "the Tbilisi regime." The fate of far more than Georgia is at stake.
More great thinking by Victor Davis Hanson: Blame Everyone But Russia!