Entitled Let’s Not Rush into Cold War II:
…In the earnest desire to help a beleaguered ally and perhaps longing for the good old days of Reagan Doctrine moral clarity, conservatives may be losing sight of something important – namely America’s strategic interests. Moreover, their silence in regard to grave failures by our national security establishment in this crisis is bewildering. The results of the Russo-Georgian war are a debacle. Either our State Department, CIA, and the Pentagon failed to accurately assess a likely Russian reaction to an attempt by Georgia to retake South Ossetia by force – an act that provided Moscow with a pretext to attack Georgia – or the war caught us completely by surprise. The former possibility is worrisome; the latter is inexcusable.
President Bush should be commended for his very firm but restrained moves to try and end this crisis and in the process salvage Georgia’s sovereignty and Mikheil Saakhashvili’s position as president of Georgia, both of which were close to being lost, mainly through Saakashvili’s own incompetence. Unfortunately, the president does not have much leverage to work with, having been maneuvered into a dispute with Russia at a time and place of Putin’s choosing rather than ours – a game where Putin and Medvedev hold all the good cards and can deal from the bottom of the deck.
Amusingly, some of the commenters there seem to believe that I am a) a liberal and b) a Russian shill and c) fit to be a member of The New York Times editorial board, perhaps the unkindest cut of all. 🙂
Sorry boys, if the Georgians had bloodied the Russian invaders, I’d have stood up and cheered with everybody else. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen and that reality needs to be accepted on it’s own terms without pretending the Russian military is now ten feet tall. Giving limited aid to Georgia here is fine but the urge to rush in American troops to fight Russia for Saakasvili, as some would like to do, while the Europeans and Georgians sit and watch is simply asinine.