Saturday, August 16, 2008

High Noon At G8 Corral

All over my teebee screen last night I had pundits claiming the fight went to McCain because Obama presented a balanced and fair approach to the Russia/Georgia situation while McAyn shot from the hip and accused Russia of being the bad guy. Russia made his day.

From the things Ruth Marcus, (who recently claimed that McAyn hadn't flipped on campaign financing by going back on his early use of public financing, but Obama had), and company said, McAyn is being credited by the commenters on several public affairs show with getting it right. Obama, in their view, was wrong to be diplomatic.

Let's see, what we want in a President is some one who jumps into a battle to accuse one party of being the aggressor? That one party of course, just happens to be the same one that the American voters have associated with the Other Side for most of our lifetimes. If the media were running the U.S., we would be slamming that Iron Curtain down again, and just daring the Russkies to keep going to the G8 meetings and negotiating like wimps.

Does anyone else think this is insane? We try for eons to get a reclusive nation to talk out differences, and the winning candidate is the one who wants to call a halt to all that diplomatic stuff?

McCain and Democratic rival Barack Obama have traded fire over the crisis in Georgia since hostilities erupted there last week. Obama issued a measured call for restraint on both sides, while the Republican nominee was quick to condemn Russia for its aggression - a response that began to appear prescient as Moscow escalated the conflict.

McCain seized on the conflict again today during a campaign stop in Pennsylvania, remarking that Nato's decision to delay Georgian membership in the alliance this year "might have been viewed as a green light by Russia for its attacks".

"I urge Nato allies to revisit the decision," McCain said. Echoing his past support for removing Russia from the G8, he urged the US to convene an emergency meeting of G7 foreign ministers.

The decision to critique Moscow is a risky one for McCain, whose senior foreign policy adviser has profited from lobbying contracts with the Tbilisi government of Mikheil Saakashvili.

But the gamble looks to be paying off. When the Obama camp cited McCain's Georgia-connected adviser, Randy Scheunemann, as proof that the candidate is too close to lobbyists, the Republican fired back.

McCain accused his opponent of being "bizarrely in sync with Moscow," angering Obama backers who perceived the dig as a subtle invocation of communism.

The long hard work that dragged the East out from behind that Iron Curtain so recently is threatened by the kind of ignorance McAyn has displayed. It can only be the end to years of promising negotiation to make a High Noon out of every international event. I don't ignore that destruction by Russia in its attack on Georgia is horrible. Still, when we have been doing that very thing to Iraq for seven years, we don't gain any credit internationally by being shocked, shocked, that another nation might send in the tanks too.

It is our rotten example that has created the climate Russia has taken advantage of, our precedent they are following. Georgia is on Russia's doorstep, and its forces took on the Russians who were inside their boundaries. We have less claim to being threatened by Iraq than Russia has to the same with Georgia.

I cannot see that McAyn's belligerence is an improvement, after the years it has taken to regain ground since the cretin in chief pounced on the Axis of Evil. Is McAyn's stance that we need to rant and rave, that will make them respect us? I think events to date have proved that stance wrong, and harmful.

Thoughtful and considered approaches to foreign policy would be a great improvement in our nation's executive branch.

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