Showing posts with label Cheney. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cheney. Show all posts

Monday, August 11, 2008

What do we do now, Lt. Dan? Lt. Dan? Lt. Dan?

The United States has spent the last 17 years poking a stick into the Russian bear's eye, and now Georgie, and Dickie and Condi are shocked, shocked that it's done gone and ate somebody.

THIS, from an Associated Press think piece by Anne Gearan:
The Russian Bear is back, and the United States doesn't seem to be able to do much about it.

The United States saw trouble coming between Russia and Georgia, a former Soviet republic turned nemesis, but didn't have enough leverage, focus or resolve to intervene. Even Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, a specialist on the old Soviet Union, may have misjudged the combustible combination of Russian grievance and ambition.

The Bush administration's assurances of solidarity with a young democracy also may have given Georgia's silver-tongued, U.S.-educated leader a little too much swagger as he picked a playground fight he never could win on his own.


In talking points on the conflict obtained by The Associated Press, the Bush administration claims it had no specific advance warning that Georgia would try to retake control of a breakaway border region largely loyal to Russia.

That doesn't mean diplomats, intelligence analysts and others weren't worried about worsening Russian relations with Georgia over the past two years and in particular about the shoving match over ethnic conflicts left over from the Cold War.

Rice went to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi to try to calm things down in July, but infuriated Russia with a public endorsement of Georgia's "territorial integrity." Saakashvili used the visit to display his close relationship with Washington, the organizing principle for an imperfectly democratic government that has collected millions of dollars in U.S. aid.

U.S. officials say they gave Saakashvili a strong warning not to put a match to the ethnic tinderboxes in South Ossetia and Abkhazia, even as Rice and others took Georgia's side in public. Bush backed the Georgian claim when he visited Tbilisi in 2005.

"The path of freedom you have chosen is not easy, but you will not travel it alone," Bush said then.
I THINK THE PART about a secretary of state who goes to the tinder box to "calm things down" but instead starts throwing around lit matches is rich, indeed.

The problem with the neocon cabal in Washington, as it wreaks havoc at home and abroad, is it's the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. Without Lieutenant Dan.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

If loving Georgia is wrong,
Bushies don't want to be right

Dick Cheney's mouth is writing checks that America's ass can't cash.

The Associated Press
has the details of exactly how moronically belligerent the Bush Administration is when it comes to sticking the United States' nose into affairs that are none of its business:
The violence appeared to show Russia's determination to subdue diminutive, U.S.-backed Georgia, even at the risk of international reproach. Russia fended off a wave of international calls to observe Georgia's cease-fire, saying it must first be assured that Georgian troops have indeed pulled back from South Ossetia.

Meanwhile, U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney was said to have told Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that Russia's military actions in Georgia "must not go unanswered."

Cheney's press secretary, Lee Ann McBride, said the vice president spoke Sunday afternoon with Saakashvili. "The vice president expressed the United States' solidarity with the Georgian people and their democratically elected government in the face of this threat to Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity," she said.

Cheney told Saakashvili "Russian aggression must not go unanswered, and that its continuation would have serious consequences for its relations with the United States, as well as the broader international community," McBride said.
IT TOOK ONE SEMESTER of getting a handle on "realpolitik" in Ramon Arango's world politics class at Louisiana State for me to know -- in about one second flat -- that foolishness like this from the American government will not turn out well for the United States.

It seems to me there are three things you'd better have a handle on before you screw with Russia:

* Are you right?

* Is it in America's vital interest?

* Is it worth the price you will pay for messing with the Russian bear in an area of its vital interest?

Looking at all three areas, you're left wondering whether President Bush and Cheney are stark, raving mad. Well, actually, I don't much wonder about that anymore. I'm sadly sure of the unfortunate answer.

First, the United States' position on this is dead wrong. I don't care how much of an "ally" Georgia is to the West, Georgians crossed a line and "
have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk; the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up."

The Georgian government violated its own cease fire to launch an all-out attack on the capital of the breakaway region of South Ossetia. Its forces killed hundreds, and probably more than 1,000, civilians . . . plus at least 10 Russian peacekeeping troops.

What the hell was Russia supposed to do? Georgian forces broke a cease fire, killing Russian troops in the process.

Then there is the Kosovo question. In 1999, NATO (meaning primarily the United States) went to war against Serbia -- thousands of miles removed from American shores -- to safeguard Kosovar autonomy and its residents' human rights, which Western nations saw as being encroached upon by Serb authorities.

Yet NATO and the United States now condemn Russia for going to war against Georgia -- on the Russian Federation's southern border -- to safeguard South Ossetian autonomy and its residents' human rights, which Russians saw being molested in a bloody military assault.

The scenarios are identical, yet the American government says it "must not go unanswered" when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev does in 2008 exactly what U.S. President Bill Clinton did March 24, 1999.

Second, does America's outrage at Russia's actions mean, in the name of principled consistency, we now have to
give nearly a third of the United States back to Mexico?

Inquiring minds really would like to know.

THE PROPER RESPONSE by Russia to the neoconservative busybodies in charge of U.S. foreign policy ought to go something like this: "Shut the #$&* up, and mind your own business. If you don't, we'll screw up your oil supply, re-create the Warsaw Pact and grant Mexico membership."

Some things are America's business. Other things aren't. The Bush Administration, of course, doesn't know which is which.

Unfortunately for all of us, the country that put these idiots in charge of its affairs certainly will deserve whatever "just deserts" the Bear serves up.