We Are All Georgians?

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Bad Decisions, Foreign Policy, Georgia, McCain, Russia

John McCain’s latest editorial is entitled “We Are All Georgians” and I have to say pretty bluntly that McCain absolutely does not speak for me.

First off, McCain’s not the President. Obviously he knows this, but when he says something so broad it feels like he’s speaking for America. Perhaps this isn’t what he meant, but after 5 years in Iraq, I think it’s pretty presumptuous to align the entire US population with another country’s strategy of pre-emptive attack…even if it’s symbolic.

And yes, the Russians overreached in response and their march towards Georgia’s capital is troubling to say the very least. But to suggest, as he does in the editorial, that he knows that regime change is Russia’s goal is overreaching in its own right. This is not how you play this game. You don’t tell the “enemy” what they should do to piss you off because it’s more likely to incite increased aggression in exactly that direction. Well, unless you’re itching to be aggressive…

Case in point…look at how this latest conflict shook out. Russia said time and again they’d defend South Ossetia. Georgia didn’t listen. Look what happened. Sure, Russia was itching for a fight, and Georgia played right into their hands. It seems like McCain is attempting a similar strategy, but, reality check, who reading this wants to get into a war with Russia over Georgia?

Long story short, McCain would do well to back down from his increasingly hard line rhetoric. Because as we’ve seen in the past 7 years, we can talk tough all we want, but when it gets down to the nitty gritty, the consequences are insanely costly, not just in blood and treasure, but also in credibility. And we could have used a lot more of it in this situation.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 14th, 2008 and is filed under Bad Decisions, Foreign Policy, Georgia, McCain, Russia. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

2 Responses to “We Are All Georgians?”

  1. Donklephant » Blog Archive » McCain’s Georgia Editorial Makes Some Good Points Says:

    [...] feels John McCain’s editorial on the Russian/Georgian conflict is not helpful. However, outside the ridiculous title of “We’re All Georgians,” McCain’s editorial is [...]

  2. mike mcEachran Says:

    “…the consequences are insanely costly, not just in blood and treasure, but also in credibility. And we could have used a lot more of it in this situation.”

    To me, that point is most important and little discussed. How much credibility has “Bring-It-On” talk lost us? As evidenced by the increasing boldness of Russia, Iran, Syria, China, and others, a great deal. Bush replaced “Talk-soft and carry a big stick” with “Talk too much and show all your cards.” Now look where we are. Resigned to stand on the side-lines and complain.

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