But what the hell kind of an excuse to invade another country is “We’re doing this to protect our citizens”?
Grenada, October, 1983:
“U.S. officials cited the murder of Bishop and general political instability in a country near its own borders, as well as the presence of American medical students at St. George’s University on Grenada, as reasons for military action.”
It’s a pretty common excuse, actually. Most of the colonial powers used it at some time or other to justify putting down colonial uprisings. The German Reich used it as an excuse to invade the Sudetenland, iirc.
And, as ebow3d pointed out, those Russian citizens had homes, farms, businesses in South Ossetia, they weren’t just tourists who happened to be visiting or going to schoool there. Russia is concerned that the South Ossetia residents who hold Russian passports will be forced from their homes and exiled, en mass, to North Ossetia or elsewhere outside of Georgia by Georgian forces, who have been threatening to do such things for a while now.
Russia doesn’t want any American or American allied military bases on their borders, and with the current US administration’s policy of pre-emptive war, I can’t say I blame them.
As a lead up to this fiasco, the United States scheduled its annual joint exercises with Russian border states in Georgia, where, as part of the exercise, the Georgian military was trained in theater opening operations, which they would only need if they were planning on establishing a new theater of military operations somewhere ie: invading somebody.
(LOTRJ – Tom Clancy doesn’t make that stuff up, you know, he just reads the news and changes the names.)