View Full Version : Was Georgia/Russia Conflict a Campaign Tactic, Or

Gayle in MD
09-10-2008, 03:15 PM
Just another stupid mistake by George the horrible to recaue his legacy of horror?

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">"Bush is reported to be in the legacy building phase. Having ignored the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for most of his administration, the President wants a quickie peace deal as part of his legacy. It is not going to happen. Instead he has generated a new, major mess in Georgia that he will leave on the doorstep of the next administration.

Bush started by allowing the transfer of huge amounts of wealth to Russia and other oil exporting countries by not doing anything meaningful to promote energy independence. Russia used these billons of dollars to fix some of what ailed its economy and to start rebuilding its military. Then Bush provoked Russia by calling for Georgia to be invited to become a member of NATO. Russia has been obsessed for hundreds of years with the countries on its borders. (The US would not have been too keen to have Cuba and Mexico join the Russia dominated Warsaw Pact either.) And that is the least of it.

Being the one-move chess player that he is (a club of those who make a move without considering what their opponent will next do, or how they are going to deal with that response), President Bush sacrificed major American priorities for nothing. The US has a very keen interest in curbing the nuclear arming of Iran. Russian cooperation is essential if Iran is going to be swayed. After the Georgian provocation, forget it. Also forget about meaningful sanctions being imposed on Iran, as Russia will no longer play ball. And it is now extremely unlikely that it will even support UN resolutions that might encourage Iran (maybe) to resolve this matter amicably. Maybe most troubling is that the confrontation may make it more difficult to accelerate the Nunn-Lugar projects that ensure that fissile material, from which nukes can be made, will be blended down or better secured.

Wait, the administration, which is so good at starting conflicts but has no clue how to finish them, is still not done. It also had to demonstrate to the world what a paper tiger the US--with its overstretched, exhausted military--has become. So Bush, Cheney, Rice and McCain all mounted soap boxes to declare that the US "will stand with Georgia" and that "Russian aggression must not go unanswered" and that Russia must retreat. But Russia largely ignored all these proclamations as it is all too obvious that there is precious little the US can do about making them stick.

Various neocons have suggested that the US kick Russia out of the G8 or block its entry to the WTO, or that the US should boycott the 2014 Winter Olympics--moves that would hurt the US at least as much as Russia, and most of which are unlikely to be implemented and clearly trouble Russia much less than finding NATO forces on its borders.

About the only rationale one can conjure up for this piece of the Bush legacy is the misbegotten neocon theory that the US ought to democratize the world because democracies do not attack each other, and hence they are the only reliable partners in peace. Georgia is a democracy and hence deserves our defense, they say. Well, it turns out that there is not much we can do to help Georgia. And our basic security matters most, and this is tied to preventing terrorists from getting their hands on nukes. Thus, in the vain pursuit of an elusive goal we are undermining one that can be achieved, as Russia has no deep reason to object to enhanced nuclear safety.

In short, here is the last chapter of the Bush legacy, as if we did not have enough: Another front which most likely will continue to fester well after he is gone; an increased threat of the spread of nuclear arms; another demonstration of the reduced US status and credibility as a superpower.

Let's pray that Bush is done and not seeking to add still more notches to his tattered belt.

Amitai Etzione


<span style="color: #000066">And McCain supported all of this. </span>