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Why So Demanding?

I hereby demand Russia withdraw her troops from Georgian territory.

That was easy. Now I can say I’ve done everything every Western statesperson and organizational spokesperson has done in response to the invasion of Georgia. I’m in the big leagues now! What’s more, I expect Moscow to treat my demand with the same degree of seriousness accorded those of presidents and prime-ministers. Take a look:

“We demand the withdrawal of the [Russian] occupation forces without delay. Let’s then start thinking, negotiating how can we prevent the definitive estrangement of our two countries.” –Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili

Regardless of this action, the European Union (EU) will continue to force Russia to carry out all six items of the agreement. I demand it, Bernard Kouchner, the French Foreign Minister, stated at the end of the meeting of the Council of NATO Foreign Ministers held in Brussels.

Russia must withdraw its military forces from Georgia “now,” the White House demanded on Thursday, saying Moscow was in violation of a commitment to do so made earlier this month.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy demanded that Russian troops withdraw “without delay” from Georgia, adding that “this point is not negotiable in my eyes.”

[German Chancellor Angela] Merkel demanded that Russia withdraw all its troops from Georgia’s core territory when she met Medvedev in the Black Sea resort of Sochi Friday.

Earlier, Nato demanded that Russia pull out its troops from Georgia as agreed in an EU-brokered ceasefire plan signed by both parties at the weekend.

McCain demanded that Russia “withdraw all forces from sovereign Georgian territory.”

And after weighing the demands of various world leaders, Vladimir Putin has decided to dig into Georgia with tanks, missile launchers, and checkpoints; trickle out a few token troops; and throw a victory concert inside Georgia’s borders. Because demands, of course, don’t mean anything. Anyone can demand whatever they want. I demand the surrender of all Islamist terrorists, the immediate release of UIC’s Obama-Ayers records, a lifetime industry ban on Bill Maher, and a weekly dinner with Natalie Portman.

Demanding, with nothing to back you up, isn’t policy–it’s wishful thinking. Throughout this crisis, there have been several opportunities to hit Russia where it hurts. Concerned countries had options varying from sending weapons to Georgia, to kicking Russia out of the G8, to moving the 2014 Winter Olympics out of Sochi, to freezing Russian funds abroad. Instead, all those options were ignored in favor of the stern-sounding, but realistically laughable, demands. And when these demands not met?

Obama told the veterans Tuesday that, “I reiterate my demand that Russia abide by the cease-fire.” [Emphasis added.]

That‘ll show ‘em.



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