If you believe that the outrage by George Bush and John McCain over Russia's attacks on Georgia are motivated by humanitarian concern, I have some WMDs I'd like to sell you. It is the height of hypocrisy for Mr.Bush to berate the Russians for dealing with a country on it's border. What's to stop Putin from demanding that the U.S. pull out of Iraq? That was just as illegal and immoral. No, the outrage is about diverting attention from failing presidencies and campaigns, as the case may be. It is a desperate attempt to take attention away from Iraq, Afghanistan and the economy. It is also a way for McCain to look like a commander-in-chief and create a contrast with his opponent, Barack Obama. Let's not forget that Bush became very popular after 9-11 when it was he who failed to protect us from the al Qaeda attacks. The danger is that the exaggerated rhetoric from the White House could escalate into a serious rift between the U.S. and Russia. America is no position to picking another fight in the world.
Both John McCain and Barack Obama will be paying particularly close attention to the polls early next week to see what impact the Russia-Georgia crisis has had on the US presidential race. Most analysts expect that Mr McCain, who on Wednesday trumpeted "We are all Georgians now", will be the beneficiary.
Mr McCain's robust response at the start of the crisis eight days ago preceded by several hours what Mr Obama and, indeed, President George W. Bush had to say.
His statement, in which he warned Russia of "severe long-term negative consequences", also exceeded what either Mr Obama, who returned yesterday from a week-long holiday in Hawaii, or Mr Bush, who was attending the Beijing Olympics, could produce.
[...]Yet not everybody admires Mr McCain's confrontational stance towards Russia or, by extension, the position Mr Bush has now adopted. A number of Mr Obama's advisers privately express concern that their candidate has been railroaded by campaign politics into talking a similar - although more modulated - stance to Mr McCain on the crisis. "The whole tone is slipping much too easily into cold war rhetoric," says one.
[...]Given the prominent role both Mr McCain and Mr Scheunemann played in beating the drums for the invasion of Iraq, many cringed this week when the Republican contender said: "In the 21st century nations don't invade other nations."
McCain is exaggerating the significance of what is happening in Georgia. It isn't World War III.
Apparently John McCain thinks the Russian invasion of Georgia is "the first probably serious crisis internationally since the end of the Cold War." This is, pretty obviously, factually wrong, since you could trot out the Gulf War, Bosnia, Kosovo, the al-Aqsa Intifada, 9/11, Afghanistan, and Iraq at a minimum as other serious international crises since the end of the Cold War. But in a way, that doesn't matter. What this demonstrates is McCain's urgent, deep-seated desire to believe that he, John McCain, is right smack in the middle of world historical events, a desire remarkably similar to one we've seen from George Bush since he took office. That temperament hasn't worked out so well for the past few years, and I'm not sure the country is ready for a repeat.
Bush's belligerent style could create a dangerous situation, much worse than he's made it over the last 7 years.
“Realist” diplomats from Henry Kissinger downwards are pointing out that America can’t do both because a contained Russia won’t be a cooperative Russia. However, if Georgia were to join Nato, the consequence could be a much more serious confrontation with Moscow, as the alliance works on the understanding that an attack on one member is an attack on all. Is the invasion of Georgia the first step towards an armed confrontation between America and Russia?
On Friday, Russia even threatened Poland with nuclear retaliation for agreeing to host US rockets as part of its antimissile shield.
Georgia didn't even exist in the media until recently. American's at this point do not care about what's happening in that control. We have too many things to worry about right now to even worry about what is happening along the Russian border. Don't we have enough problems along our own border? And there is another factor: oil. It was a major factor for the Bush/neocon invasion of Iraq.
In fact, that expectation of restraint by the Russians toward their 'independent' neighbor is what the U.S. has been counting on from the instance they decided to encourage and support the construction of the oil pipeline which runs through Georgia from Azerbaijan to Turkey. The expectation was that the West could have a potential control over the flow of oil out of the former Soviet state which supplies Russia's allies (like Bush's nemesis, China). That, undoubtedly, is what has the Bush administration so jazzed about the Russian military incursion.