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August 20th, 2008
05:48 PM ET

Should U.S. taxpayers spend $1 billion to reconstruct Georgia?

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A refugee shelter in Tbilisi, Georgia. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Barack Obama wants to give one billion American dollars to the Republic of Georgia for reconstruction efforts. The United States is already providing humanitarian assistance… as it should. This would be extra. The proposal actually came from Senator Joseph Biden, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, who is also rumored to be on Obama's shortlist for V-P.

Biden went to Georgia last week and came back saying the Russian invasion of its neighbor is quote "one of the most significant events to occur in Europe since the end of communism." end quote. Biden's vowing to work with the White House to get legislation passed so that the U.S. can start spending that money as soon as Congress reconvenes.

Hey it's not like we aren't already spending a few bucks overseas. $700 billion a year on imported oil… 200 billion a year on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Tens of billions to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure.

Now it's time to start boxing up hundred dollar bills and sending them to Mr. Saakashvili who started this whole dust up with the Russian bear? Give me a break.

We're almost ten trillion dollars in debt… with 63 trillion in unfunded liabilities for our own entitlement programs like medicare and social security… an estimated 500 billion dollar deficit for next year. Our own infrastructure is falling down around our ears… I mean come on… I'm sure the Georgians are very nice people… but we're busted over here.

Here’s my question to you: Should American taxpayers spend $1 billion for reconstruction in the republic of Georgia?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Conflict in Georgia
August 18th, 2008
04:55 PM ET

What are Russia's intentions when it comes to Georgia?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/08/18/art.gori.gi.jpg caption=" The city of Gori, Georgia is still under Russian control."]

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Russia says it's started its withdrawal from Georgia, but there's no indication that that's actually happening.

The Kremlin said yesterday that it had agreed to the troop withdrawal as part of a cease-fire agreement. But Russia's president Dmitri Medvedev hasn't specified how fast it will happen, or how many troops they're talking about. Instead, he said troops would withdraw to South Ossetia and a so-called "security zone" around it... whatever that means.

You gotta love the Russians. The city of Gori is still under Russian control. And the Russian military has apparently been moving launchers for short-range ballistic missiles into South Ossetia – even as they promised to start pulling troops out. They've also been carrying out bomber training missions over the Black Sea. And there are reports Russian soldiers destroyed a key railroad bridge just outside Tbilisi, cutting off East-West transportation routes throughout the country.

The U.S. and Europe are wary of what exactly Russia is up to in Georgia. There are serious political and military implications in all of their actions here.

A U.S. official says they've seen "no rapid pullback" so far, and describes the situation as "status quo." The White House keeps talking tough, saying that Russia needs to start the withdrawal "without delay”, but it doesn't appear Russia is paying much attention to what Washington has to say these days.

The Pentagon sees all this as a signal from Russia that it considers its sphere of influence to include Georgia and neighboring regions like Belarus and Ukraine. It's a way of Russia flexing its muscles, if you will. And so far the rest of the world can't do much about it.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to Georgia, what are Russia's intentions?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

FULL POST


Filed under: Conflict in Georgia