How the War in Georgia Started
The Bush administration appears to be trying to turn a failed military operation by Georgia into a successful diplomatic operation against Russia.
It is doing so by presenting the Russian actions as aggression and playing down the Georgian attack into South Ossetia on 7 August, which triggered the Russian operation.
Yet the evidence from South Ossetia about that attack indicates that it was extensive and damaging.
The BBC's Sarah Rainsford has reported: "Many Ossetians I met both in Tskhinvali and in the main refugee camp in Russia are furious about what has happened to their city.
"They are very clear who they blame: Georgia's President Mikhail Saakashvili, who sent troops to re-take control of this breakaway region."...
Human Rights Watch concluded after an on-the-ground inspection: "Witness accounts and the timing of the damage would point to Georgian fire accounting for much of the damage described [in Tskhinvali]."