Monday, August 18, 2008

Georgia and Quick Draw McCain

“Foolish Georgians for baiting the Russian bear. Silly Americans for egging them on.”
Marcus Gee

Writing in Canada’s Globe & Mail, Marcus Gee reflects some of the arrant nonsense being spun out on this tragic affair. Apart from generalizing the protagonists, at worst it was leaders of the countries mentioned, the article lays out a reasonable premise:

“…Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili started the whole thing by attacking separatists in South Ossetia, giving Russian leader Vladimir Putin the perfect excuse to respond in force. Washington encouraged the Georgian hothead by pumping him up with praise and making him think that it would gallop to his aid, while in fact it has no power at all to help.”

But that description is delivered as the clearly erroneous view of those who would “blame-the-victim”. “While Mr. Saakashvili blundered at the start and Washington underestimated the Russians, it is wrong to place the blame on the Georgians and their American allies,” Gee continued.

I’m not sure what the writer or his fellow apologists are sniffing that makes it so reasonable to turn a truth into a shaky, unfair attack. Senator John McCain, when asked about his tough rhetoric on the ongoing conflict in Georgia began:

"If I may be so bold, there was another president . . ." He caught himself and started again: "At one time, there was a president named Ronald Reagan who spoke very strongly about America's advocacy for democracy and freedom."

Did McCain also assume he was acting in a presidential way and perhaps encourage Georgia that the US would rush in to assist? Someone gave Saakashvili that impression and State say it wasn’t them. Quick Draw McCain has boasted of his close relationship with the Georgian President, did he also boast of his control of US resources?

Mikhail Saakashvili claims “I am not crazy…” In fact he has otherwise shown himself to be as urbane and thoughtful as a US trained lawyer can be. Russian President Medvedev charged that Saakashvili had acted like a "lunatic" in provoking the conflict, a fair call in retrospect.

Gee asserts that “It has been clear for months, even years, that Russia was determined to teach Georgia a lesson..” If a Canadian columnist can claim such knowledge then certainly all the main players would have understood the situation. Exactly who encouraged Saakashvili in this madness?


Praguetwin said...

Exactly who encouraged Saakashvili in this madness?

Well, GWB did say that the U.S. would be Georgia's "unflinching ally."

Maybe Saakashvili took him seriously.

D.K. Raed said...

McC keeps yakking about the beautiful little CHRISTIAN country of Georgia. Nothing riles up the religious base here than the prospect of some "innocent" little christians being attacked by godless russians, or oooh, maybe throw in the muslims to the south & east of georgia, and we got us all the makings of a crusade!

Cart said...

PT, perhaps he said Georgia would always be... :)

DK We haven't had a Christian crusade for a couple of years now. It must be time.