Unlike Georgian soldiers who have been repeatedly left stranded on the battlefield, asking “Where are our friends?” Ossetians are receiving all the military assistance they expected from their more powerful allies. By and large, Russia’s invasion into Georgia has been encouraged by the heavily censored Russian press. In the West, we have the luxury of using the media to debate military and political decisions. Crude historical associations not only obscure this debate, they may also force us to come to the wrong conclusions.

Sacha Evans is a writer in New York.