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Why do we want Georgia in Nato. Had they been a member last week we would have been at war with Russia by now.

Some may argue that Russia would have stepped back if Georgia was Nato member - but that's one big gamble to take. Russia has historically done anything to guarantee its borders. Don't mess with this region.

Had they been a member last week they wouldn't have been invaded. Cowards back down in the face of such bullying.

The basid fact is that no-one is going to do anything on this one. One move by the UK and Putin switches off our oil and gas supplies. Simple economic reality.

We wouldn't have been at war with Russia, for several very good reasons, had we been foolish enough to agree to NATO membership for Georgia. But here's the single most important - they started it. NATO's self-defence commitment is exactly that: a commitment to defending a fellow member who has been attacked. It's not a mutual-support treaty, requiring signatories to support other members if they start wars. Stupid, stupid Georgia. But still stupider are those foreign countries who egged on the current, idiotic crew in Tbilisi.

Chips of Brookfield you are so wide of the mark.

If Georgia had been members of Nato, Russia would have thought twice before raining missiles on the country.

Britain is the european nation with a backbone. Its time we showed it.

David Cameron is to be congratulated on his firm stance on supporting democratic Georgia where BP has enormous investments. The Russian perspective is simply that after the April Bucharest summit which denied a NATO MAP to Georgia but left open eventual membership this sent the signal they had to attack now when there would be nothing done by the west to defend Georgian sovereignty as once Georgia was in NATO Russia would face a southern NATO member which is their "security nightmare" as everything to Russian perspective is a zero sum game ie west wins one Russia loses which is still their backward simplistic approach to foreign relations unfortunately. Chips is wrong as even Russia recognises at least in theory that South Ossetia is in Georgia hence the flimsy excuse that after handing out thousands of Russian passports they went in to defend their citizens like Hitler did with the Sudeten Germans as a pretext to take out Czechoslovakia. Russia after its loss of face over Kosovo and its rightly perceived double standards by the west over Kosovo has decided to reassert its hegemony in the Caucasus where they want no more colour revolutions. Georgia is key as it is an energy corridor and the only outside access to Russia for Armenia, Russia´s ally. The Russians want eventual regime change in Tblisi to imposing a President who is anti NATO and pro Moscow and they will not stop till they have achieved this in Georgia and in Ukraine as well if necessary, but that is a much bigger fish with an army and reseves of 500000. There can be no doubt this whole war was planned for some time and executed by the Kremlin and Georgia fell into their trap. If Georgia had started it as claimed by ACT the first they would have done is to bomb the Roki tunnel to stop heavy weaponry flowing in from Russia and Sakashvilli would not be booked on a plane to Beijing.

If Charles Tannock doesn't actually appreciate that the first party to use force in this conflict was the Georgian government, well, at least this year we have an early winner for the always hotly contested, densest Tory MEP competition.

Oh, but they are incandescent and inconsolable! As well they might be. First no war against Iran, and now no war against Russia. Poor loves.

The War Party, we must always remember, is as it is because it has absolutely no stake in the lives of our Armed Forces, at least beyond a patriotic or a universally human stake in which the warmongers do not believe.

The officers are drawn from the old ruling class that the armchair warriors long ago displaced, but which they have to insist is somehow still in charge in order to justify their own existence on the wholly specious basis of "meritocracy" and the mind-blowing ridiculous fantasy that they themselves are somehow "anti-Establishment".

The other ranks, meanwhile, are drawn from the ruled, from those without "merit" (wealth and paper qualifications, defined as "merit" by those with material wealth and paper qualifications). There was much mockery, by the Nick Cohens and David Aaronovitches of the world, of "toffs" marching alongside trade unionists and others against the Iraq War. But very well they might have done, and very well they did.

So let them all die, and that in horrible agony. It will never have the slightest impact on the persons, families or circles of those who advocated and advocate the wars in the first place.

The bankruptcy and impotence of the Bush Presidency has been exposed for all to see this week. Admiring volley ballers arses in China whilst Gori burns.

Putin did it because he knows he can get away with it. Look to Baghdad and Helmand for the reasons.

Speaking from the moral high ground, I wonder if Bush and Cheney have contemplated sending Blair to Georgia as a peace envoy ?

ACT I think you are the dense one for not realising what Charles Tannock has pointed out that this was clearly pre-planned by Russia and is all about gaining influence and placemen in the Caucasus region. Your comment is both rude and ill-considered.

Either way round we don't need Georgia in Nato. They are either a victim state that will drag us into war or a foolhardy one that took on Russia.

I would also not be so certain that Russia would have backed down in Nato was involved- they know the European nations and spineless and that the USA does not always act. Czechoslovakia in 1948 (after the Truman Doctrine) and the people of Iraq after Gulf War 1 (despite the USA's incitement to rise up).

Plus, let's not forget - its all about energy - we need Russia as a friend.

Again, if Charles Tannock wants to embarrass himself still further by claiming that the Russians were the first to use force, let him. It'll come a surprise not least to the Georgian government, who of course last Thursday *boasted* about their strike towards Tskhinvali.

I'd always wondered why Tannock assiduously typed out 'MEP' after his name. Was he worried that without those three telltale initials, people might think, 'oh, which Charles Tannock could these words of wisdom have come from?' But perhaps it is another Charles Tannock entirely? And MEP simply stands for 'Most Egregious Post', or 'Muppetish Euro Policy', or 'Mostly Etiolated Piffle', or 'Mushy Effort Probably', or 'Madly Energised Pseudo-politician', or, well, you get the point.

Georgia started this particular bout of armed conflict; Georgia was very stupid to do so; the foreigners who urged her on were no real friends of Georgia or her national ambitions; Georgia is now paying a condign price for all this foolishness. Thank God Britain isn't involved.

A one minute video clip of David Cameron's remarks on Russia-Georgia.

It is good to see the conservatives working so methodically, so that, it is to be hoped by the end of the conference, anyone interested will have a much clearer view of what Cameron's conservatives have to offer.

One thing I hope they will do, as they are now anticipating what government is all about, is to start planning long-term e.g.

* how to get some of our armed forces out of theatre to allow them to recuperate and form a strategic reserve (the thought that NATO might have been involved with Russia anytime soon is too horrific to contemplate).
* how to make the country at least 60% self-sufficient in energy needs and foodstuffs.
* how to engage with the car trade to move manufacturing even more to low emission cars.
* how to develop and market viable alternatives to fossil fuels.
* how to create enough prison accommodation, to avoid so many early releases.

I am sure that there are numerous other issues that are too long-term simply to respond to the Brown/Blair sort of quick fix.

I'm so conflicted.

On the one hand, it is excellent that DC has chosen to blather and posture rather than to propose the sort of misguided concrete action which some here have suggested.

On the other hand, it is truly nauseating to listen to.

'A debate of the situation at the UN General Assembly'

Oh well. That'll show 'em

'suspension of visa access to Britain for certain Russian nationals'

Certain but anonymous (ie: nonexistant)

'possible suspension of Russian membership of G8'

The key word being 'possible' (as in, possible suspension of US membership of G8)

'A clear timetable for Georgian membership of NATO.'

Although it won't be DC who'll attempt to clarify it, naturally.


For the first time, I think I know how Simon Heffer feels about the one true Dave.

'If Georgia had started it as claimed by ACT the first they would have done is to bomb the Roki tunnel to stop heavy weaponry flowing in from Russia'

Dr Charles Tannock, MEP

Georgia attacked the Ossetians, not Russia.

They did so because they mistakenly believed that US security guarantees meant that they could do so with impunity.

They were wrong.

I have no interest in trading insults with ACT who unlike me is hiding behind an psudonym and his invective just devalues the currency of his arguments which are supposed to be about a serious topic but his assertion concerning my knowledge of the issue is unfounded as I spent the entire summer last year touring Georgia and Armenia and I have written the EP Report on the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy which includes Georgia. Even if the Georgians did start it (and they claim that there were shells fired on ethnic Georgian villages in the pro Georgian part of South Ossetia run by Sanakoyev which provoked their artllery response) they are entitled under international law to retake their sovereign territory by force if necessary and Sakashvilli had always stated this was his priority.

Speed up Nato membership.?

Well thats a shallow fool talking.

'Even if the Georgians did start it . . . they are entitled under international law to retake their sovereign territory by force if necessary.'

Posted by: Dr Charles Tannock MEP

International law is dead and buried in Iraq. All that's left now are regional powers and spheres of influence.

Russia can do what it wants to Georgia, America to Iraq, Israel to Palestine, China to Tibet, and so on.

Sakashvilli's failure to understand this reality is what led him to spill Russian blood and thus bring ruin to his country.

"I spent the entire summer last year touring Georgia and Armenia and I have written the EP Report on the Eastern dimension of the European Neighbourhood Policy which includes Georgia"! Did irony die with Kissinger's Nobel peace prize? Who knows? Certainly my feeble efforts at humour have been annihilated by that offering. I think though it's slightly cruel of whoever it is that's pretending to be Tannock to quite so casually p*sstake MEP pomposity. After all, I think even the *real* Charles Tannock would have been ever so slightly more shame-faced about, er, not knowing which way round the fighting started, unlike the literary creation up above.

I bet you Cameron and Grayling had their head in their hands at the Policy Exchange document on regenerating northern cities this morning.

Looking at those proposals, I bet the Ruskis are terrified...not. What blather. Russia couldnt give less of a damn what the international community says or any restrictions. Russia just invaded Georgia and beat them with ruthless efficiency and nothing happened in response. Hell, Georgia was begging the Russians to stop.

Russia is a country transformed from what it was not that long ago. Russia tells the world what to do, not the other way round. The second Cold War has already begun...

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The coverage in our papers and on our TV of Russia's involvement in this has been imbalanced and I would suggest is not a secure base from which to comment. most comments here demonstrate ignorance of the situation in the Caucasus at the moment.

1. The Georgians invaded unprovoked with great force and killed civilians

2. S Ossetia was part of Georgia only by Stalin's determination. Georgia is an economic basket case propped up only by CNN

3. Anyone who believes in self-determination knows that S Ossetia wants to be independent of Georgia. If the ossetes determine they'd prefer to be with Russia, so be it. Having been to all of these countries I would certainly agree with them.

4. Those who supported self-d for Kosovo have no leg to stand on.

5. That means nearly all Tories.

john W, Ron McDonald, "Dr" Charles Tannock MEP,

Perhaps you can help me:

Why did the USA and the UK veto a Russian UN proposal for both parties to refrain from the use of force in the Caucasus on Friday 8th August?

Sally Roberts, you clearly believe that tank-crushed grannies were agents provocateurs for the Russians against the Georgians. This is loony.

For people who have not encountered Tannock before - he spends much of his time on international junkets at the taxpayer's expense, incredibly, more even than Bruce George MP (Lab) who's a walkover for the Saakashvilis of this world. Fill yer boots lads.

... Russia was intent on toppling a democratically-elected government and crippling a sovereign country...

Democratic used to mean that the person in power was put there by the will of the people. In the Caucasus and across Eastern Europe, when they say 'Democratically elected government' they mean one that has the favour of, and is influenced by/controlled, the West (esp USA).
Or is that too obvious?

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"Sally Roberts, you clearly believe that tank-crushed grannies were agents provocateurs for the Russians against the Georgians. This is loony."

Don't be silly, Time Honoured - I never said anything of the sort and well you know it - but then you are simply presenting a Sraw Man, aren't you?

I go away from this thread for a couple of days and I come back to find even more personal insults and posts which are clearly not worthy of anyone with reasonable intelligence. I am sorry too to see that the response to Charles Tannock's informative posts is nothing more than puerile name-calling. Editor I think you should bring this topic to a close.

'Even if the Georgians did start it . . . they are entitled under international law to retake their sovereign territory by force if necessary.'

Posted by: Dr Charles Tannock MEP

Does this right under international law apply to Iraqi insurgents as well?

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