What's particularly interesting to me about the conflict over the Georgian separatists is that the Russian position is really a neoconservative's dream, and Russia's actions precisely the kind of aggressive and uncompromising assault that neoconservatives champion. The Russians have justified their invasion with appeals to both stability (Georgian attacks on the Ossetian separatists jeopardize Russian security) and to democracy (Georgian crackdowns on Ossetian separatists violate the rights of Ossetians and represent a humanitarian crisis). Vladimir Putin has devised a military campaign publicly defend by neoconservative principles and executed it in the manner that neoconservatives long for. (Of course, as with American neoconservatives and their motives, not everyone buys Putin's stated rationale.)
I mean, imagine if Iranian separatists wished to join Iraq, and the Iranian government bombed them. We'd have invaded yesterday. The neocons would be frothing at the mouth. And they'd use precisely the same justifications as Putin.