I shouldn’t be blogging about international relations here. But just lately, I have been bombarded with e-mails and blogs with the senders asking me to join them and sign their petitions or send letters enjoining members of the parliaments (MPs), senators and congressmen to take a strong stand and penalize Russia for invading Georgia.
Though I have been following the Russia-Georgia war the past few days, I still couldn’t find sense in joining them signing their petitions or copying their letter to be sent either to their congressmen and mine. While I respect these people’s opinion, pressuring the Congressmen, Senators, MPs, and government leaders to do something without doing a thorough contemplation of the possible effects is dangerous as this is pushing them to do something which will all affect all of us.
Here is my response en toto to blogger who published a carbon copy of a letter to her congressmen:
But I think the letter should state that the senators should study first all sides of the story… and history… then try to ask what has American policy done in the past and is doing in the present. Some sort of an introspection. Otherwise we will just be triggering another World War if we take side this easy without really understanding who really did what and up to what extent is the mistake committed by each party.
The Coalition of the Willing invaded Iraq, and with our silence we approved it, because we were confused and were misinformed. Some says the reason is WMD. But when we found nothing, we justified our actions by saying Saddam Hussein is a dictator (though in reality it is never stated in our constitution to meddle in other countries and depose their dicatators). And that Saddam had been killing the Iraqi minorities. Which makes Georgian President Mekheil Saaskhavili no different as according to reports, he also bombed South Ossetia that caused Russia to react… only that the reaction was over, was too much.
Second, if there would be a letter, it should be addressed not only to our congressmen (including senators) but also to the members of all parliaments and all the leaders of the world urging everyone to respect the right of every tribe or clan or race to self determination. Just like what the Americans did when it broke away from the authority of the Crown. Just like what most nations did when they recognized Kosovo.
Though this may mean recognizing also the rights of the Ossetians to self determination but we can’t have double standards. <i>Dura lex sed lex.</i> The law is harsh but it is the law. Let the Ossetians be independent if they wanted. So if Georgia is claiming that Russia should not meddle on its internal affairs and the country’s right to self determination be respected, Georgia should prove first that it also respects its minorities. Just like what the Crown did by respecting and recognizing the Americans and the Australians as nations and states having the rights to self determination, and as peoples who can live without being crushed or bombed or invaded by the mother country- Britain.
We and the country members of the Coalition of the Willing were once wrong in Iraq. So with Afghanistan. We spent so much taxpayers’ money for nothing. (Where is the WMD? Where is Osama? Where is peace? Why the continuing violence in Iraq and Afghanistan?) Hope we never commit the same mistakes again. To err is human, it is true. But to repeat the same error again and again is stupidity and vice.
Just a thought.