Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Russian Invasion of Georgia

UPDATE: Barack Obama has flopped his flip on the Russian invasion of Georgia, and is now trying to parrot John McCain's immediate condemnation of Russia's aggression.

Gateway Pundit contrasts yesterday's meaningless drivel with today's strong stand for our democratic ally of Georgia:
Nowhere in Obama's original statement did he exclusively condemn Russia but rather took the citizen of the world approach and left America's ally Georgia to fend for itself.

Here is that statement:

"I strongly condemn the outbreak of violence in Georgia, and urge an immediate end to armed conflict. Now is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint, and to avoid an escalation to full scale war. Georgia's territorial integrity must be respected. All sides should enter into direct talks on behalf of stability in Georgia, and the United States, the United Nations Security Council, and the international community should fully support a peaceful resolution to this crisis."

But, that was yesterday.

Now Politico is reporting that Barack Obama has released a fresh new statement and has decided to choose sides:

"I condemn Russia's aggressive actions and reiterate my call for an immediate ceasefire... Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia."

Suddenly, Barack is sounding McCainish.

Drew thinks someone must have looked it up and told Obama which side we are on.

Under an Obama Presidency, rest assured that Barack will stand strong for America's allies, once he has 24 hours to check with John McCain.

UPDATE: I missed this telling quote from the Obama campaign:
It’s both sides’ fault — both have been somewhat provocative with each other

Moral relativism, appeasement in the face of aggression, and failed foreign policy: Barack Obama- Change You Can Believe In!

Russia has invaded its democratic neighbor in order to secure a key oil pipeline. Anything else you hear is just window dressing. The folks at Powerline are doing great work updating the situation:
Georgia claims to have shot down a number of Russian airplanes, and apparently has captured at least one Russian pilot. There are unconfirmed reports of Russian ships steaming toward the coast of Georgia.

What is most striking about the crisis is how strongly it recalls the bad old days of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Putin has cast aside any pretense of having given up the reins of power, and is directing the Russian Army.

I'm disappointed that President Bush has not more clearly placed responsibility for this war on Russian aggression, but I understand that the U.S. might need to serve as arbiter once the shooting stops. John McCain once again demonstrates his superior foreign policy instincts:
While Obama offered a response largely in line with statements issued by democratically elected world leaders, including President Bush, first calling on both sides to negotiate, John McCain took a remarkably — and uniquely — more aggressive stance, siding clearly with Georgia’s pro-Western leaders and placing the blame for the conflict entirely on Russia.

More from Powerline:
In case that wasn't clear, he adds: "McCain’s initial statement...put him more closely in line with the moral clarity and American exceptionalism projected by President Bush’s first term."

In another weird echo of the Brezhnev years, Obama adviser Mark Brzezinski-- Zbigniew's son--said, "It’s both sides’ fault — both have been somewhat provocative with each other." Sure. Just like the Czechs provoked the Germans in 1938.

The Russians, needless to say, are not neutral as between McCain and Obama. Ben Smith recounts that Russia's Washington public relations firm contacted reporters to remind them that McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann has lobbied for Georgia. Unbelievably, the Obama campaign aligned itself squarely with Vladimir Putin, putting out a statement that echoed the Russian PR firm's:

"John McCain's top foreign policy adviser lobbied for, and has a vested interest in, the Republic of Georgia and McCain has mirrored the position advocated by the government,' said Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan.

In the common sense-free world of Barack Obama, advocating for a fledgling democracy that is trying to align itself with the West and is threatened by the imperial aspirations of Russia constitutes a "conflict of interest."

The McCain camp responded with this statement:

"The Obama campaign's attacks on Randy Scheunemann are disgraceful. Mr. Scheunemann proudly represented a small democracy that is one of our closest allies in a very dangerous region. Today, many are dead and Georgia is in crisis, yet the Obama campaign has offered nothing more than cheap and petty political attacks that are echoed only by the Kremlin. The reaction of the Obama campaign to this crisis, so at odds with our democratic allies and yet so bizarrely in sync with Moscow, doesn't merely raise questions about Senator Obama's judgment--it answers them."

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