Thursday, August 28, 2008

Is John McCain Ready To Lead? Clearly Not-- Let's Look At Georgia


"I had just returned from Gori, which was still under the shadow of Russian occupation," wrote Wall Street Journal reporter Melik Kaylan dramatically this morning. Gori, Stalin's birthplace, has no Russian troops or checkpoints during the daytime. But there is the great big monstrous looming shadow of a voracious bear and if you hang around into the wee hours of the night... "if you stayed overnight after observers left, as I did with various locals, you could hear and glimpse the tanks in the dark growling back into town and roaming around. A serious curfew kicked in at sundown, and the streets turned instantly lethal, not least because the tanks allowed in marauding irregulars-- Cossacks, South Ossetians, Chechens and the like-- to do the looting in a town that the Russians had effectively emptied. Now that the Russians have made a big show of moving out in force-- but only to a point some miles to the other side of Gori toward South Ossetia-- they've left behind a resonating threat in the population's memory, a feeling they could return at any moment."

Yes, Cossacks! They chased my grandfather into a forest when he was a teenager and he hid in a tree before emigrating to America. Yesterday I introduced you to Svetlana, not Stalin's daughter, another Svetlana, a nurse who works for my doctor. She was trembling with outrage about the distortions in the America media about the conflict in the Caucasus. Svetlana places the blame for the flareup squarely on the shoulders of political hack and cynical opportunist John McCain (and well-paid Georgia lobbyist/McCain foreign policy czar and notorious Neocon Randy Scheunemann). When she referred to the deceitful and clueless American media, the Wall Street Journal is more in the deceitful camp than the clueless. They're on a mission: elect McCain.

The trope they're pushing: Saakashvili attacked first because he knew "the Russians had been planning an invasion of his country for weeks-- even months-- ahead of time" and because NATO didn't admit the little Neocon bastion. Oh... and how could a far right mouthpiece like the Journal not mention victory in Iraq? Scheunermann's paymaster-- and McCain's ally-- Saakashvili says "the invasion had to be done before the situation in Iraq got any better and freed up U.S. forces to act elsewhere-- a matter not simply of U.S. weakness but of increasing U.S. strength. 'If America thinks it is too weak to do anything about Georgia,' said Mr. Saakashvili, 'you should understand how the Russians see it, how much Moscow respects a strong United States-- or at least a U.S. that believes in its own strength.'" He must have forgotten to add: "Vote for John McCain."

Europeans are getting a less biased perspective on what's been going on with the nasty little war McCain incised so he would have something to talk about without mentioning that Obama is black. A couple of weeks ago we looked at a column in Britain's Guardian by Seamus Milne. Milne's column today, Georgia is the graveyard of America's unipolar world, is more disturbing-- and something American voters should focus in-- more than just Karl Rove's machinations in getting Willard named to the Republican ticket tomorrow... or whenever.

Milne writes about what McCain's self-serving Neocon publicity stunt has wrought:
If there were any doubt that the rules of the international game have changed for good, the events of the past few days should have dispelled it. On Monday, President Bush demanded that Russia's leaders reject their parliament's appeal to recognise the independence of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. Within 24 hours, Bush had his response: President Medvedev announced Russia's recognition of the two contested Georgian enclaves.

The Russian message was unmistakable: the outcome of the war triggered by Georgia's attack on South Ossetia on August 7 is non-negotiable-- and nothing the titans of the US empire do or say is going to reverse it.

...America's unipolar moment has passed - and the new world order heralded by Bush's father in the dying days of the Soviet Union in 1991 is no more. The days when one power was able to bestride the globe like a colossus, enforcing its will in every continent, challenged only by popular movements for national independence and isolated "rogue states," are now over. For nearly two decades, while Russia sunk into "catastroika" and China built an economic powerhouse, the US has exercised unprecedented and unaccountable global power, arrogating to itself and its allies the right to invade and occupy other countries, untroubled by international law or institutions, sucking ever more states into the orbit of its voracious military alliance.

Is John McCain ready to lead? Clearly, not-- not any more than George Bush was-- or will ever be. They walked hand-in-hand into the greatest foreign policy disaster of our time and McCain has learned... absolutely nothing. He is a captive or the worst elements of the Neocon forces that need to be excised from American politics as soon as possible.


The Moscow Times presaged what Putin told CNN about American neocons encouraging Georgia to attack South Ossetia and destabilize the Caucasus. Putin "accused the United States of orchestrating the military conflict in Georgia in order to boost the chances of a U.S. presidential candidate." You wonder which one? Hint: follow the money.

Tomorrow's NY Times also reported that Putin claimed the Republicans-- though not by name-- "needed a small victorious war." He's groping in the darkness; McCain doesn't care if it's a victory or not. He just wants trouble so he can try making the case that he's an old warrior who can protect us.

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At 9:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may also want to read this interesting report from Human Rights Watch as reveals the extent of Russian depravity on ethnic Georgian villages in South Ossetia.

And you'll never guess the evidence Human Rights Watch is using: Satellite photo imagery showing whole Ethnic Georgian villages reduced to smoke and ash (in some cases, showing actual fires) by way of Russian troops.

So much for Vladimir Putin's notions that the United States provoked same for political ends....


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