"It's logical," explains General Vyachislav Borisov, as we stand in the stench and the night waiting for Lomaia to return. "We are here because the Georgians are incompetent, because their administration collapsed and the town was being looted. Look at this," showing me on his cell phone photographs of weapons of Israeli origin, which he emphasizesheavily, "Do you think we could leave all this lying around without supervision? And let me tell you," he struts around, striking a match to light a cigarette, startling the little blond tank gunner who had fallen asleep in his turret, "We summoned the Israeli Foreign Minister to Moscow. And he was told that if he continues to supply arms to the Georgians we would continue to supply Hezbollah and Hamas." We would continue? What an admission!
..."The real problem," he says, sidestepping, "is the stakes involved in this war. Putin and Medvedev were looking for a pretext to invade. Why?" He begins counting on his fingers, "Number one, we are a democracy and incarnate an alternative to Putinism as an exit from communism. Two, the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan [oil] pipeline goes through our country, such that if we fall, if Moscow replaces me with an employee of Gazprom, you, the Europeans, would be 100% dependent on the Russians for your energy supply. "And number three," as he takes a peach from the fruit basket which is brought to him by his assistant--"She's Ossetian, mind you!"--and then resumes, "Number three, look at the map. Russia is an ally of Iran. Our Armenian neighbors are also not far from Iran. Now imagine a pro-Russian government installed in Tbilisi. You would have a geostrategic continuum stretching from Moscow to Tehran which I seriously doubt would be doing business with the free world. I hope NATO understands this."