A good friend of mine recently told me how much he had recently been enjoying David Friedman’s writings. After coming across a link to Friedman’s blog recently I was reminded just how good a writer (and commentator) he is.
My friend told me how Friedman’s book The Machinery of Freedom (originally written in 1971), was shifting his views from minarchist to anarcho-capitalist. (David is after all, even more radical than his famous father.)
Here on his blog, he talks about the Georgia-Russia dust up:
I have no special expertise on the Georgian conflict, nor much sympathy for either side. I am, however, struck by the fact that most of the international condemnation is aimed at the most defensible, not the least defensible, part of what Russia has done.
Russian recognition of two breakaway provinces, both of which seem to have been effectively independent for over a decade, may or may not be a good idea, but I find it hard to see any reason to be outraged over it. The current governments there may be better or worse than the government of Georgia, but they pretty clearly have more support from the local population–and in any case, governments don’t decide what other governments to recognize primarily on the basis of whether they approve of them. Yet it is the Russian recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia that western governments have been expressing outrage over.
What is outrageous, in terms of international law and norms as I understand them, is the fact that the Russian military continues to hold territory well inside Georgia and well outside South Ossetia. That is both a violation of public Russian promises and an invasion of undisputed territory. But nobody–at least, none of the nations that are condemning Russia at the moment–seems to be paying very much attention to it.