Insights into the little dust up in the Caucasus region last summer keeps coming into the light just about every day.
The West wanted to believe the Russians were the bad guys in the Georgia war, even Jackboot John McCain blubbered, “We are all Georgians” during the conflict, but the facts on the ground seemed to point another way and into some man-to-man bullshit talk.
From the UK’s timesonline this morning:
- Nicolas Sarkozy saved the President of Georgia from being hanged â€œby the ballsâ€ â€” a threat made last summer by Vladimir Putin, according to an account that emerged yesterday from the Ã‰lysÃ©e Palace.
With Russian tanks only 30 miles from Tbilisi on August 12, Mr Sarkozy told Mr Putin that the world would not accept the overthrow of Georgiaâ€™s Government.
According to Mr Levitte, the Russian seemed unconcerned by international reaction. â€œI am going to hang Saakashvili by the balls,â€ Mr Putin declared.
Mr Sarkozy thought he had misheard. â€œHang him?â€ â€” he asked.
â€œWhy not?â€ Mr Putin replied. â€œThe Americans hanged Saddam Hussein.â€
Mr Sarkozy, using the familiar tu, tried to reason with him: â€œYes but do you want to end up like [President] Bush?â€
Mr Putin was briefly lost for words, then said: â€œAh â€” you have scored a point there.â€
Cute, figured Nicolas:
- Mr Saakashvili, who was in Paris to meet Mr Sarkozy yesterday, laughed nervously when a French radio station read him the exchange.
â€œI knew about this scene, but not all the details. Itâ€™s funny, all the same,â€ he said.
(h/t to Lawyers, Guns and Money).
The whole shebang might just be back-ass backwards.
Fog of war or lies?
Only boots on the ground can tell as the New York Times reported last week:
- Instead, the accounts suggest that Georgiaâ€™s inexperienced military attacked the isolated separatist capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7 with indiscriminate artillery and rocket fire, exposing civilians, Russian peacekeepers and unarmed monitors to harm.
President Mikheil Saakashvili of Georgia has characterized the attack as a precise and defensive act. But according to observations of the monitors, documented Aug. 7 and Aug. 8, Georgian artillery rounds and rockets were falling throughout the city at intervals of 15 to 20 seconds between explosions, and within the first hour of the bombardment at least 48 rounds landed in a civilian area. The monitors have also said they were unable to verify that ethnic Georgian villages were under heavy bombardment that evening, calling to question one of Mr. Saakashviliâ€™s main justifications for the attack.
We thinks Mr. Saakashvili should really be tightening his jock strap.