Tuesday, August 12, 2008

John McCain, speaking for America

So John McCain declared publicly today that he told President Saakashvili today that he speaks for all of America when declaring our support for Georgia.


I don't support Georgia in this. I'm an American. How presumptuous, arrogant, and absurd of McCain to think that a good number of American's wouldn't support Georgia in this. Why you ask?

Because Georgia's President is a fool. The simple truth is that Georgia and Russia had a little border dispute over an advantageous region with an oil pipeline so what does Russia do? It sets a trap. It prepped its military for a fast conquest and then encouraged the South Ossetians to get uppity with the hopes that Georgia would send in the military thus giving Russia a pretense for invading and conquering Georgia. Of course, after diplomacy, they will give most of it back except for the regions they wanted in the first place.

Georgia walked right into this trap because President Saakashvili foolishly thought that the west or the U.N. would back him up. Russia knew better. Russia also knew that had they invaded without any justification, no matter how weak, then they wouldn't be able to rely on China protecting them from the one thing they fear: economic sanctions. Thus they tricked Georgia into giving them that justification. A trick predicated on Georgia's naive faith in the U.N. encouraging them to pick a suicidal fight with Russia, which they did.

President Saakashvili gambled the integrity of his country and lives of thousands of his countrymen on the absurd notion that the U.N., or NATO, or anyone else would come to help them. In the days before these useless organizations, Georgia might have instead developed allies in the region who might have been able and willing to help or solved the issue through diplomacy. Instead they relied on the idealism of the U.S. and the United Nations. Only a fool would risk so much on so little.

The other element is that while Georgia may have been provoked, they still picked this fight and it was a fight that they knew they couldn't win. They only reason they did it was their faith that the their allies and the U.N. would save them. That's a dangerous, dangerous fantasy which encourages war over diplomacy. A country in a difficult situation is less likely to make a concession and more likely to start fighting if they believe that their allies will come rescue them after a few days of fighting. These kinds of small scale wars can escalate out of control very easily by dragging larger, wealthier nations into a conflict that has virtually nothing to do with them. 

So while I have no affection for Russia and what they are doing (other than admiring the fact that they seem to understand the state of modern international diplomacy better than most), I also no interest in supporting Georgia. They don't deserve it, no matter what John McCain says.

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