Politics & Media
Aug 13, 2008, 07:40AM

McCain War Policy Preview Not Pretty

John McCain's recent statement on the war between Georgia and Russia shows a foreign policy mind that's still stuck in the Cold War. One writer is disturbed at how quickly the U.S. media bought into the anti-Russia story line, like McCain too eager to fight an old war. Considering that Georgia was the aggresor, and that current geopolitical realities do not favor the West in a confrontation with a resurgenet Russia, we should be calling people who think like McCain exactly what they are: wrong.

This article first appeared in The Nation.

As the centuries-old ethnic animosities between Georgia and Ossetia boiled over into another armed conflict, drawing in neighboring Russia, McCain issued a stark-raving statement from Des Moines that is disturbingly reminiscent of the language used in the lead-up to NATO’s war against Yugoslavia in 1999, a war McCain zealously pushed for:

“We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation,” McCain said.

McCain’s call to NATO-ize the war is not only frightening, it’s also delusional: both NATO and US forces are already stretched beyond the breaking point, even by Joint Chief of Staff chairman Michael Millen’s own recent assessment.

When he issued [Monday's] Des Moines statement calling for Russia to do what Russia already did a few hours earlier, you have to ask yourself: either McCain’s short-term memory is totally shot, encased in an impenetrable tomb of aluminum-zirconium plaque… or worse, McCain simply doesn’t give a damn about reality, he just wants to get Georgia’s war on, as badly as Saakashvili does. The awful truth is probably a combination of the two, which is the worst of all worlds, considering McCain’s raving Russophobia, and his campaign team’s financial and ideological ties to Saakashvili.

Lost in all of this is not only the question of why America would risk an apocalypse to help a petty dictator like Saakashvili get control of a region that doesn’t want any part of him. But no one’s bothering to ask what the Ossetians themselves think about it, or why they’re fighting for their independence in the first place. That’s because the Georgians–with help from lobbyists like Scheunemann–have been pushing the line that South Ossetia is a fiction, a construct of evil Kremlin neo-Stalinists, rather than a people with a genuine grievance.

Georgia has been on a massive, successful, multi-layered PR offensive in the West, helped by years of cultivating people like John McCain as well as the army of neocons and old cold warriors who naturally gravitate to a fight with Russia.


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