When does it Matter?

William D. Zeranski
The Cold War created a strong psychological connection between America and those nations held captive behind the Iron Curtain.  Freedom was the watchword, but now, it seems that the depth of an international relationship is proportional to the level of distress.  Simply, Georgia is in trouble and only now are we evaluating the U.S.-Georgia association. 
Americans must understand international relationships forged against Evil Empires aren't just historically romantic interludes.  These relationships must be taken seriously. 

Here's a hypothetical to consider:

Dateline:  Estonia

A Russian military column crossed the Estonian border just after midnight.   The initial Russian incursion occurred at the city of Narva, Estonian's third largest city, with a population which nears 90% ethic Russian.  

The reason given for the Russian military advance was what the Russian government viewed as the dangerously excessive actions by the Estonian government to put down protests by its Russian minority.  The protests centered on the removal and renovation of several Soviet/Russian era monuments and historical sites by Estonia, which continues to distance itself from its Soviet past. 

Estonia defense forces have since fallen back 50 kilometers, while the Estonia president urgently calls for the aide of the international community, the EU as well an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council of which Russia is a member. . .  

Yes, this is a bit of fiction, but even as fiction, isn't it worth considering the dynamics of the situation?  As days have gone by and Russian forces are still steeped in Georgian territory, the question is:  Is Georgia worth it?  For that matter, is Russia worth?

Not one penny will come from our pockets if Georgia is dominated by Russia.  But then again, if this continues, Russia will be feared.  Do we want to keep fearing Russia for another generation, and does the average Russian want to be feared  . . . and isolated.

Can America afford to become a fair-weather friend?  If Georgia is not worth it, will Estonia be worth it?  When do other nations become ‘worth it?'

Unlike Orson Welles's The War of the Worlds, Georgia is not a "holiday offering" and what is going on there is not Russia's "version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying "Boo!".  It is serious business and worth any and all efforts that can be mustered. 

(If I've distressed any Estonians or Russians by the use of their nations in this thought-experiment, I do apologize.)
The Cold War created a strong psychological connection between America and those nations held captive behind the Iron Curtain.  Freedom was the watchword, but now, it seems that the depth of an international relationship is proportional to the level of distress.  Simply, Georgia is in trouble and only now are we evaluating the U.S.-Georgia association. 
Americans must understand international relationships forged against Evil Empires aren't just historically romantic interludes.  These relationships must be taken seriously. 

Here's a hypothetical to consider:

Dateline:  Estonia

A Russian military column crossed the Estonian border just after midnight.   The initial Russian incursion occurred at the city of Narva, Estonian's third largest city, with a population which nears 90% ethic Russian.  

The reason given for the Russian military advance was what the Russian government viewed as the dangerously excessive actions by the Estonian government to put down protests by its Russian minority.  The protests centered on the removal and renovation of several Soviet/Russian era monuments and historical sites by Estonia, which continues to distance itself from its Soviet past. 

Estonia defense forces have since fallen back 50 kilometers, while the Estonia president urgently calls for the aide of the international community, the EU as well an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council of which Russia is a member. . .  

Yes, this is a bit of fiction, but even as fiction, isn't it worth considering the dynamics of the situation?  As days have gone by and Russian forces are still steeped in Georgian territory, the question is:  Is Georgia worth it?  For that matter, is Russia worth?

Not one penny will come from our pockets if Georgia is dominated by Russia.  But then again, if this continues, Russia will be feared.  Do we want to keep fearing Russia for another generation, and does the average Russian want to be feared  . . . and isolated.

Can America afford to become a fair-weather friend?  If Georgia is not worth it, will Estonia be worth it?  When do other nations become ‘worth it?'

Unlike Orson Welles's The War of the Worlds, Georgia is not a "holiday offering" and what is going on there is not Russia's "version of dressing up in a sheet and jumping out of a bush and saying "Boo!".  It is serious business and worth any and all efforts that can be mustered. 

(If I've distressed any Estonians or Russians by the use of their nations in this thought-experiment, I do apologize.)