It was alas premature to hope the spirit of the Olympics, of Delphi, would permeate the world and declare it at peace for this period. Such hopes are revealed as pagan superstition by the tragedy of the outbreak of violence in the Caucasus, where two mighty nations align great engines of war in face of each other.
The experience of history is that Russia has to be regarded in much the same fashion as China. It is a dozing bear, whose tail must not be tweaked for one thrash of its paws can be as deadly as the mightiest roar of smaller nations.
It would be easy to misread the current crisis without deep knowledge of the situation and I confess that events have marched on somewhat in the last 150 years. The nation of Georgia, which was once part of Russia, has hopes of joining the western alliance of NATO, I gather. NATO's original aim was to contain the Russian empire which was at one time ruled by the Communist party as brutally as if by any Czar. NATO no longer declares its aim to be to keep Russia at bay, merely to maintain the peace.
I am perplexed therefore as to why Georgia appears to have launched an offensive against the tiny nation that lies between itself and Russia, a land whose name could have been conjured from a fairy-tale and whose existence, I hear, is equally magical. This land of South Ossetia has sought independent existence but Georgia has responded in the last few hours by breaching the Olympic spirit and launching an invasion.
I will not condone the Russian response; I will merely repeat that if you tug the tail of a bear it will slash with its paw. Russia has always liked to maintain a buffer zone. Rather it had been South Ossetia than Georgia.
I hear as I write a declaration from the lamentable idiot who currently, briefly presides over our great allies in America. He calls for Russia to restrain itself; rather he should order Georgia to restrain itself and withdraw troops from the Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali, and he should remind it firmly that the purpose of NATO is to maintain peace. It may be he considers Georgia to be a state of the United States; more likely he is aware that Georgia has supported his preposterous adventure in Mesopotamia. If he has any influence he should use it to bring peace and justice to this region. I fear that otherwise there will be Russian troops marching through Georgia.