Banal but true

Things I know: Russian aggression against Georgia is evil and will cause needless death and suffering. A legitimate system of international cooperation requires that the norm against aggressive war be enforced, moving towards such a system requires steps on the margin to enforce it.

Things I don't know: What the U.S., EU, NATO, China, the UN or any other actor can do to enforce it, because I don't know what they can plausibly threaten this nuclear power with, nor do I know what those actors can offer Russia which would motivate it to stop this attack without encouraging attacks in the future.

Rob Farley has been writing up a storm on the “Confrontation in the Caucasus,” both detailing the most recent strategic and military developments in South Ossetia and rest of Georgia (that last bit is, of course, intentionally political) over past the four days and and giving some good perspective on what it means for the future. All his posts are still on the frontpage over at Lawyers, Guns & Money, if you want to read them in chronological order, start here.

For what the experience has been like for a british expatriate living in Tbilisi, see this blog, starting with her post here, skipping to this one, and then almost all of the subsequent posts. The progression of the posts is fascinating, and it illustrates one of the amazing things about blogging, that the man or woman on the street in an area of news interest has a forum to post their impressions of what day to day life is like, assuming they have access to the internet and the skill set to use it, and that those postings can find an audience. Katrina hitting New Orleans was another example of this phenomenon, as were many of the Iraqis blogging from Iraq during the early phases of that war, or for that matter the military bloggers now. As you can see from the most recent posts, she's now being evacuating from the country.