New developments in the escalating Russian-Georgian conflict. Only hours after claiming it had "achieved its military goals" and announced a French-brokered cease fire, "a Russian tank battalion occupied the strategic Georgian crossroads town of Gori, and hundreds of Russian soldiers poured over the border from Russia into South Ossetia, where attack helicopters and fuel trucks accompanied a long convoy of dozens of trucks."
Meanwhile, in Washington, The Hill reports President George Bush announces the Pentagon will deliver American aid to the pro-Western Georgia and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will travel there to negotiate a settlement. Bush said, "We will use U.S. aircraft, as well as naval forces, to deliver humanitarian and medical supplies" and warned Russia against interfering with the humanitarian operation.
The former Soviet republic of Georgia is a close ally to the Unites States and would like to join NATO—a position which is opposed by Russia. The conflict began last week when Tblisi launched an offensive to retake the pro-Russian region of South Ossetia, which broke away from Georgian rule in 1992. Moscow responded with a huge counter-offensive.
One must admit there is a certain irony to Bush and Rice lecturing Moscow against invading a sovereign nation which does not pose a threat to its existence.