We asked a smart friend of ours what her current take on the situation in Georgia is.
She wrote us:
I don't know if it's a smart take, but the whole thing is a shitfuck. The "mysterious" bombings in Abkhazia and killings in South Ossetia in June and July were eerily reminiscent of the mysterious apartment bombings in Moscow in 1999, which the Russians then used to justify re-invading (and then leveling) Chechnya.
If I were Georgia, I would be panicked. If I were Russia, I would be feeling very, very good about myself right now. If I were us...? It makes us look like a self-absorbed superpower who's happy to use the little guys when it suits us but happy to dump them when they become inconvenient.
Better intelligence and some back-channel diplomacy earlier this summer would have been ideal, but that was then and any given thing in this week's suite of responses is a lot less desirable.
Annoying, too, because our secretary of state is academically a Russianist.