Obama, last night:
The other thing we have to do, though, is we’ve got to see around the corners. We’ve got to anticipate some of these problems ahead of time. You know, back in April, I put out a statement saying that the situation in Georgia was unsustainable because you had Russian peacekeepers in these territories that were under dispute.
And you knew that if the Russians themselves were trying to obtain some of these territories or push back against Georgia, that that was not a stable situation.
Obama’s complete, five-paragraph statement from April can be found here:
Georgia is a sovereign country, a member of the United Nations, and a close friend of the United States. I welcome the desire by Georgia, as well as Ukraine, to seek closer ties with NATO.
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s decree establishing closer governmental and legal relations with the Georgian regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, without the approval of the Georgian government, is deeply troubling and contrary to Russia’s obligations as a permanent member of the UN Security Council.
Putin’s declaration falls short of recognizing Abkhazia and South Ossetia as independent countries, but these pledges of closer ties to these two regions threatens the Georgian government and emboldens the secessionist forces in Abkhazia and South Ossetia.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili has offered to negotiate substantial autonomy for these regions. Negotiations between the Georgian government and regional leaders, fully supported by international organizations and responsible governments, are the right way to proceed. By contrast, Russia’s unilateral decree outside of legal United Nations procedures and principles is fundamentally counterproductive.
Since the end of the Cold War, Republican and Democratic administrations have supported the independence and sovereignty of all states of Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union. We must continue to do so. The advance of democracy and peace in the region is a remarkable achievement that cannot be undone by unilateral acts designed to undermine the territorial integrity of democratic countries like Georgia.
No mention of Russian peacekeepers. Obama touts his ability to “see around corners” which is, apparently, a Chicago term for “rewrite history.”