Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ongoing Russia-Georgia Conflict - Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Ongoing Russia-Georgia Conflict
, August 13, 2008
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About above photo: Flanked by U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, President George W. Bush delivers a statement in the Rose Garden Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008, regarding efforts by the United States to resolve the crisis in Georgia.
White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian
President Bush Discusses Situation in Georgia, Urges Russia to Cease Military Operations

11:10 A.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I've just met with my national security team to discuss the crisis in Georgia. I've spoken with President Saakashvili of Georgia, and President Sarkozy of France this morning. The United States strongly supports France's efforts, as President of the European Union, to broker an agreement that will end this conflict.

The United States of America stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia. We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected.

Russia has stated that changing the government of Georgia is not its goal. The United States and the world expect Russia to honor that commitment. Russia has also stated that it has halted military operations and agreed to a provisional cease-fire. Unfortunately, we're receiving reports of Russian actions that are inconsistent with these statements. We're concerned about reports that Russian units have taken up positions on the east side of the city of Gori, which allows them to block the East-West Highway, divide the country, and threaten the capital of Tbilisi.

We're concerned about reports that Russian forces have entered and taken positions in the port city of Poti, that Russian armored vehicles are blocking access to that port, and that Russia is blowing up Georgian vessels. We're concerned about reports that Georgian citizens of all ethnic origins are not being protected. All forces, including Russian forces, have an obligation to protect innocent civilians from attack.

With these concerns in mind, I have directed a series of steps to demonstrate our solidarity with the Georgian people and bring about a peaceful resolution to this conflict. I'm sending Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to France, where she will confer with President Sarkozy. She will then travel to Tbilisi, where she will personally convey America's unwavering support for Georgia's democratic government. On this trip she will continue our efforts to rally the free world in the defense of a free Georgia.

I've also directed Secretary of Defense Bob Gates to begin a humanitarian mission to the people of Georgia, headed by the United States military. This mission will be vigorous and ongoing. A U.S. C-17 aircraft with humanitarian supplies is on its way. And in the days ahead we will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies.

We expect Russia to honor its commitment to let in all forms of humanitarian assistance. We expect Russia to ensure that all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, airports, roads, and airspace, remain open for the delivery of humanitarian assistance and for civilian transit. We expect Russia to meet its commitment to cease all military activities in Georgia. And we expect all Russian forces that entered Georgia in recent days to withdraw from that country.

As I have made clear, Russia's ongoing action raise serious questions about its intentions in Georgia and the region. In recent years, Russia has sought to integrate into the diplomatic, political, economic, and security structures of the 21st century. The United States has supported those efforts. Now Russia is putting its aspirations at risk by taking actions in Georgia that are inconsistent with the principles of those institutions. To begin to repair the damage to its relations with the United States, Europe, and other nations, and to begin restoring its place in the world, Russia must keep its word and act to end this crisis.

Thank you.

View the video HERE

From a White House press release - Office of the Press Secretary
Georgia: Russia Must Stop Military Operations

Secretary Condoleezza Rice Press Briefing, 2:06pm CDT:
"Let me just reiterate the President’s statement this morning of our strong support for the democratically elected Government of Georgia, for its territorial integrity and its sovereignty, that Russia must now end its military operations. There are concerning reports from around Georgia that Russia has not, in fact, in accordance with the pledge that it took to the French presidency -- to President Sarkozy, that Russia has not ended its military operations. Those operations must stop and must stop now."
Full Text HERE - Interview on ABC HERE

Taken from DoS website
Press Statement
Robert Wood, Acting Deputy Spokesman
Washington, DC
August 13, 2008

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to Travel to France and Georgia

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will depart August 13 for travel to Fort de Brégançon and Paris, France and Tbilisi, Georgia. Secretary Rice will stop in Paris to consult with senior French officials on the European Union initiative to broker peace between Russia and Georgia.

On August 15, she will continue on to Tbilisi to meet with senior Georgian officials and other concerned parties in an effort to reinforce the United States’ commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. Secretary Rice will stop in Crawford, Texas to brief President Bush on August 16, returning to Washington, DC on August 17.


Taken from DoS website
* website posted the following report around 2:40pm CDT and it starts off like this... Russian troops and paramilitaries rolled into the strategic Georgian city of Gori on Wednesday, apparently violating a truce designed to end the conflict that has uprooted tens of thousands and scarred the Georgian landscape... In Washington, President Bush said the United States planned a massive humanitarian effort involving American ships and aircraft, including a C-17 military cargo plane loaded with supplies that landed on Wednesday... He said Russia must ensure that "all lines of communication and transport, including seaports, roads and airports," remain open to let deliveries and civilians through... Georgian officials said Gori, a central hub on Georgia's main east-west highway, was looted and bombed by the Russians before they left later in the day and camped nearby...
Read the full report at link below...
Russian troops roll into strategic Georgian city
* has Russia’s Foreign Minister’s take... Russia's foreign minister criticized comments made by the U.S. president as being based on unverified reports... Sergei Lavrov also said Washington has to choose between cooperation with Russia and Georgian leaders who he described as a "virtual project" for the United States...
Read the full report at link below...
Lavrov to U.S.: Choose between Russia and Georgia


Russian Tanks Roll Towards Tbilisi...

About News Video: Georgia says Russia has violated an EU-brokered ceasefire after a Russian military convoy rolled into the central town of Gori... And without warning the armored personnel carriers later moved on towards the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, as Al Jazeera's Alan Fisher reports.
Video posted on YouTube by AlJazeeraEnglish
Post Update:
, August 14, 2008

About Photo: Pentagon Press Briefing - Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, left, and Marine Gen. James E. Cartwright, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, brief reporters at the Pentagon on military humanitarian support efforts for Georgia, August 14th.
Defense Dept. photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Molly A. Burgess


Soldiers, Airmen in Europe Work to Provide Georgia Aid
By Army Capt. Bryan Woods
Special to American Forces Press Service
August 14, 2008

The U.S. Army's 21st Theater Sustainment Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe began working Aug. 12 to begin emergency humanitarian assistance for the people of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.

Soldiers from 66th Transportation Company and 39th Transportation Battalion and airmen from 723rd Air Mobility Squadron worked 36 straight hours to load onto pallets more than 75,000 pounds of tents, blankets, bedding, hygiene items, clothing, beds, cots and medical supplies to support the mission.

The humanitarian aid supplies were provided from State Department stock at the U.S. Army Medical Materiel Center Europe's humanitarian assistance program warehouse in Pirmasens, Germany.

An air load planning officer was in charge of the load as it was received and placed onto aviation pallets. After the loads were inventoried, certified, weighed and strapped down, they were handed over to the Air Force for loading and transport to the destination.

"It's a good feeling to be able to do something good for someone during a situation like this," Army Sgt. Henry Pinckney, of 5th Quartermaster Company, said. "I think it is important because you never know when you are going to be the one requiring help one day."

Army Capt. Gabriel Legendry, of 39th Transportation Battalion, in charge of the loading site at the deployment processing center, said the effort is worthwhile.

"When we are working against the clock with a 24-hour turnaround, everyone is working hard," he said, "but it brings a lot of joy to do something good for someone."

From a DoD, American Forces Press Service news article - Written by Army Capt. Bryan Woods who serves in the 21st Theater Sustainment Command Public Affairs Office


* The Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty has the following report posted on their website today and it starts off like this... U.S. officials are continuing to criticize Russia's actions in Georgia, with Defense Secretary Robert Gates warning that Moscow's behavior in the coming days could shape its future relations with Washington... Speaking at the Pentagon, Gates said all military-to-military activities with Moscow will be examined, and changes made, depending on Russian actions in the days ahead... "Russia's behavior over the past week has called into question the entire premise of that dialogue and has profound implications for our security relationship going forward, both bilaterally and with NATO," he said. "If Russia does not step back from its aggressive posture and actions in Georgia, the U.S.-Russian relationship could be adversely affected for years to come."...
Read this report in full at link below...
U.S. Says Russia's Actions Will Determine Future Ties, As Rice Heads To Tbilisi

‘This Is For America’: Russian Bombs Dropped on Georgia Carried Anti-US, Anti-NATO Inscriptions

by krs601

About above news video: Last night on TV, Glenn Beck interviewed Georgia President Mikheil SaakasHhvili
Full transcript HERE
Post Update:
Friday, August 15, 2008
FOX News Video Report:

Will the U.S. be drawn into conflict between Russia and George?

* More from Fox News Today...
Rice: Cease-Fire Means Russian Troops Must Go
Secretary of State says invasion has 'profound implications' for the West, Georgian President signs pact... VIDEO
Fox News also has the following reports this morning...
Georgian President: We'll 'Never, Ever Surrender' Russia: U.S. Missile Shield Won't Go Unpunished Sniper Fire Hits Journalist During Live Report
Raw News Video:
Russians Attacking Turkish Journalists During Georgia Invasion

Video posted on YouTube by Hichkas

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