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August 12, 2008

Thank Obama...Russians Accept Cease Fire Agreement In Georgia

Virgina Governor Tim Kaine, my candidate in the Obama Veepstakes Pool, says it was Obama's intervention that lead to a cease fire between Russia and Georgia.

It was a bad crisis for the world. It required tough words but also a smart approach to call on the international community to step in. And Iím very, very happy that the Senatorís request for a ceasefire has been complied with by President Medvedev.

This will of course come as news to French President Nicholas Sarkozy who actually flew to Moscow to talk to the Russians.

President Sarkozy won the Kremlin's agreement today on the conditions for a cessation of hostilities in Georgia that would see both sides return to their initial positions before fighting erupted last week.

A six-point plan endorsed by President Medvedev during a visit by the French leader to Moscow calls on both Russia and Georgia to end all hostilities and allow free access for humanitarian assistance.

Based on the principle of respect for Georgian sovereignty, it nevertheless promised a fuller discussion on the future status of Georgiaís two breakaway provinces, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, which both want to become part of Russia.

..."We are not at peace yet but we are at a temporary cessation of hostilities which is certainly significant," Mr Sarkozy, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Council of ministers, told a press conference at the Kremlin.

But he added: "There is still a lot of work to do. The night is young."

It's too soon to tell if the ceasefire will hold or even fully take effect but I think we can all agree that the notion that Obama is responsible for any of this is, what's the approved AoS term? Ah yes, batshit crazy.

On second thought, we do know that He works in mysterious ways so perhaps Sarkozy is just His tool in this case.

Either way, if part of Obama's VP selection criteria includes a check box for willingness to beclown oneself in praise of The One, I'm really liking my chances in the pool.

More [Gabe]:For the Russians, the orders are to return to pre-conflict positions. That means "peacekeepers" will remain in South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

A lengthy AP report recaps the latest activity. A taste:

In Tskhinvali, South Ossetia's provincial capital, the body of a Georgian soldier lay in the street along with debris. A poster hanging nearby showed Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and the slogan "Say yes to peace and stability" as South Ossetian separatist fighters launched rockets at a Georgian plane soaring overhead. Broken glass and other debris littered the ground. [...]

The situation in Tskhinvali, the capital of South Ossetia, remained tense as sporadic fighting and artillery duels continued, but the city was in the control of Russian army and South Ossetian forces.

In villages around Tskhinvali once populated by ethnic Georgians, South Ossetian fighters reportedly were setting fire to Georgian houses and searching for hidden Georgian fighters.

An AP photographer in the village of Ruisi near South Ossetia saw fresh damage from a Russian air raid that locals said came just 30 minutes before Medvedev's televised statement.

We don't know yet how many are dead. Both sides are making claims, but there are few independent observers in the areas where the worst fighting occurred. One noteworthy event reported by a Russian news agency and repeated by the UK's Daily mail is that Georgian troops torched a church in which South Ossetians had taken shelter. Gateway Pundit is skeptical. An atrocity like that needs to be investigated.

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posted by DrewM. at 12:15 PM

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