Thursday, August 21, 2008

Georgia and a truculent John McCain

Sen. John McCain has seized upon the crisis in Georgia as an issue that supposedly
points up the importance of his experience in national security affairs. In such crises, he claims, he is far more prepared to be commander-in-chief than Barack Obama.

Considering the complexity of the situation in Georgia, however,I would feel more comfortable with Obama in the White House. Judging from his truculent reaction to the Russian invasion of Georgia, I fear that if McCain was now President, we would be shipping troops to Georgia. "We are all Georgians!" he declared emotionally when the war there began.

What makes the crisis in Georgia so complex is that this isn't a simple issue of "good guys" versus the "bad guys."

Both the Russians and their South Ossetian allies are clearly the bad-est of the bad guys. But the Georgians, who are now victimized by the Russians, provoked the crisis by moving troops into South Ossetia to reclaim a separatist region that had declared its independence.

Russia, which contains the semi-autonomous, related state of North Ossetia, responded with overwhelming force, crushing the Georgians. It continues to occupy part of Georgian territory.

I wonder whether either President Bush or the truculent Sen. McCain even knew where South Ossetia was located before the crisis began. And if they did, they probably failed to appreciate the Ossetians' desire for independence from Georgia to join North Ossetia as a unified state.

Bush squandered America's moral authority by invading and occupying Iraq, which weakens his ability to react to the Russian aggression in Georgia. Moreover, he is stoking Russia's traditional paranoia by insisting on an expansion of NATO, which would have included Georgia, and planning to install an anti-missile system in Poland and the Czech Republic.

McCain may boast about his national security credentials, but he has displayed a hot-headed approach to foreign affairs. Only a decade ago, he was calling for an aerial attack on North Korea's nuclear facilities. He is probably now in favor of doing the same in Iran.

Bush has planted the seeds for a renewal of the cold war with Russia. McCain appears ready to "harvest the crop" if he is elected as Bush's successor.

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6 Comments:

Blogger Sylvia K said...

It is a pretty scary outlook considering McCain's personality and a hot head is the last thing we need in the White House. It seems to me that we are just going backward if we follow McCain, but the numbers seem to indicate that more and more people are leaning his way and that's even scarier.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 5:34:00 PM  
Blogger Hoots said...

It's sad that the contest is turning ugly. But McCain's short fuse plus an embarrassing level of general ignorance (geography, world affairs, history, religious differences... the list is long and getting longer) may be Obama's best shot at winning.

Debates will tell the tale. McCain's strong suit is snappy one-liners coming from years in the Senate. Most of them seem to have the knack. Obama, however, may be one of the smartest men to have served in that body (Phil Graham and Pat Moynihan are in that club.) and, if he doesn't get too windy, his brilliance will sparkle. He must be careful not to make listeners feel stupid while simultaneously painting his opponent as ignorant to the point of danger.

McCain will be well-coached ahead of time NOT to lose his famous temper. No. Matter. What. The next few weeks are gonna be messy.

I want Obama in the office ASAP simply because he's still fresh. He's not going away even if he loses. But I'm afraid another four or eight years in Washington will do him no good. It's a paradox: the only way he can get better is to become worse.

Thursday, August 21, 2008 7:26:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

You have zoomed in on my criticism of conservatives. They have simplistic answers for complex problems.

To simplistically imply that Georgia is the good guy and that Russia is the bad guy is the type of cowboy mentality that has gotten us in so much trouble.

If the cold war has been heated up, we can thank Bush for his wrong headed foreign policy.

Saturday, August 23, 2008 1:42:00 PM  
Blogger Darlene said...

I believe that this crisis, just like the Iraq fiasco, has been precipitated by oil. In the international theater the advice should be, "follow the oil."

McCain is absolutely living up to his nickname of McSame.

Monday, August 25, 2008 9:07:00 AM  
Blogger joared said...

You've zeroed in on the very points that have so alarmed me about this Russian/Georgian issue. I agree with Darlene about "follow the oil." I shudder to think how thoughtlessly but likely McCain is to embroil our country in more bloodshed.

Monday, August 25, 2008 7:43:00 PM  
Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

And the Russians are more than willing to oblige him!

Friday, September 05, 2008 2:56:00 PM  

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