Monday, August 11, 2008

Georgia on My Mind

Frankly, the escalating conflict in the former (and future?) Soviet Union is far more important than any of the things I'm reading about in other blogs or seeing on my teevee. It has the potential to be a Cuban Missile Crisis-level event. Unlike Iraq and Afghanistan, where the right things to do at the outset was stunningly obvious, this one seems genuinely difficult. it is especially so because our options are limited by all of the Bush Adminstration's past screwups.

It is borderline silly to view our apparent abandonment of our real walk-the-walk ally in terms of domestic politics. But I was reminded of this from Dubya's greatest hits:
BRATISLAVA, Slovakia (CNN) -- Almost four years ago, when U.S. President George W. Bush first met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Slovenia, it seemed he'd found a kindred spirit when it came to democratic values.

"I was able to get a sense of his soul, a man deeply committed to his country and the best interests of his country," Bush declared after their 2001 visit.

And so he did. Putin is indeed a kindred soul, a monster just like our own Maximum Leader.

Should we risk WWIII by intervening now? I don't kow. But by the lights of realpolitik, we might never been in this position had we not (a) gotten ourselves so tied down thoroughly in Iraq and Afghanistan and (b) enthusiastically ceded the moral high ground by ginning up bullshit casus belli for the larger of those two quagmires.

From 2005:

"It is important that Russia make clear to the world that it is intent on strengthening the rule of law, strengthening the role of an independent judiciary, permitting a free and independent press to flourish," U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said this month.
There is indeed no daylight between Putin and Bush on those matters, to our everlasting shame and horror.

Update: Or not. This thing is a bit convoluted, and being steeped in domestic politics is not really good training for understanding it based on MSM reports.

But whether or not the Georgians turn out to be people we should be backing, Dubya's empty promises may well turn out to be echo of Daddy's exhortations for a democratic uprising in Iraq almost 20 years ago.


Post a Comment

<< Home

see web stats