The New York Times reports today: "The United States took a series of steps that emboldened Georgia: sending advisers to build up the Georgian military, including an exercise last month with more than 1,000 American troops; pressing hard to bring Georgia into the NATO orbit..." Neither President Bush this morning nor Secretary of State Rice yesterday took questions following their comments.
Professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Boyle is author of Breaking All The Rules and Destroying World Order. He said today: "It is curious but not surprising how the Bush administration and its allies have now found renewed respect for international law in the Caucasus, but not when it comes to (1) the United States invading Afghanistan and Iraq, while threatening to attack Iran; (2) Israel invading Lebanon and Palestine, attacking Syria, and threatening to attack Iran; (3) Ethiopia invading Somalia; (4) Colombia attacking Ecuador, etc. From an international law perspective, the real issue here is whether during her trip to Tbilisi a month ago, U.S. Secretary of State Rice gave the proverbial green light to Georgia to attack South Ossetia and thus deliberately provoke an overreaction by Russia. And how does this fit in with the U.S./U.K. naval armada currently steaming for the Persian Gulf and possible military confrontation with Iran over its right to engage in nuclear enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?"
Falk is professor emeritus of international law at Princeton University and distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He is the author of more than 20 books including The Costs of War: International Law, the UN, and World Order after Iraq. Falk recently returned from Turkey.