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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Cruising for a bruising

The long-simmering conflict erupted in earnest last week when Georgia launched a surprise operation to seize control of South Ossetia, killing Russian peacekeepers and hundreds of civilians. Russia has bombed targets inside Georgia and imposed a sea blockade, moving its Black Sea fleet along the coast to prevent supplies and goods from entering the country.

The Georgian soldier sprawled facedown in the ditch, so still that he looked dead at first glance. Skinny arms folded over his head, mouth in the dirt, combat boots braced against the earth. He was cowering at the side of the road in South Ossetia, frozen in place.

Russian jets, wheeling overhead, had just bombed the road, a hot explosion that sent chunks of dirt and broken pavement showering down. The soldier picked up his head. He looked young and underfed, fevered eyes gleaming in a pinched face.

"Please, no run," he said miserably in bad English. He nodded toward the ground at his side and raised his eyes heavenward. "It's Russian MIG."

The soldier was among the Georgian troops sent north up this pitted, twisting main road to bring the rebel province of South Ossetia to heel. But on Monday they were retreating back down it, overwhelmed by relentless Russian air assaults. Moscow's tanks and troops and fleets of warplanes had pushed them out of Tskhinvali, the South Ossetian capital, and threatened to keep coming up behind them, plunging deeper into Georgia.

Further reading whining:  "We helped in Iraq — now help us, beg Georgians."

QUESTION:  What happens when you play chicken with a bear?

ANSWER:  You become Ayam Penyet.

Maybe third time's the charm, eh?  Mr. Saakashvili?

Coming up next:  How jogging through lion / tiger / mountain lion / cougar territory with a beef medallion makes you a faster runner.


Bonus round:  War Nerd: South Ossetia, the War of my Dreams.


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