US Supports a Political Corpse

September 4th, 2008 | Sources: NY Times, Wall Street Journal


Russia and the US have ramped up the rhetoric over Georgia, a small country on Russia’s southern border that Russian ground forces invaded last month and still occupy.

The flare-up began two days ago, when Russian President Dmitri Medvedev referred to US-backed Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili as a “political corpse.”

Yesterday, the Bush administration proposed giving $1billion in economic and humanitarian aid to Georgia. Today, Dick Cheney shook hands with Saakashvili in Tbilisi and described Russia’s smack down of Georgia as, “an illegitimate, unilateral attempt to change (Georgia’s) borders by force that has been universally condemned by the free world.”

Cheney subsequently expressed US support for Georgia’s petition to enter NATO. That will not sit well in Moscow.

The US position on Georgia seems quite reasoned and nuanced. My worry is that, apart from occasional bellicose exchanges between the two Cold War foes, Russia and the US are not talking all that much.

This would be a huge mistake. It is essential that we have ongoing, multi-layered communications with countries like this. Unfortunately this has not been the Bush-Cheney way, and McCain has a definite inclination to posture in similar fashion.  

We want to believe the Big O will get this right.


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