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Georgia War a Neocon Election Ploy?

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Posted on Aug 12, 2008
McCain and Saakashvili
AP photo, Mary Altaffer / Irakli Gedeniedze, pool

October comes early? Sen. John McCain and Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

By Robert Scheer

Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?

Before you dismiss that possibility, consider the role of one Randy Scheunemann, for four years a paid lobbyist for the Georgian government who ended his official lobbying connection only in March, months after he became Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s senior foreign policy adviser.

Previously, Scheunemann was best known as one of the neoconservatives who engineered the war in Iraq when he was a director of the Project for a New American Century. It was Scheunemann who, after working on the McCain 2000 presidential campaign, headed the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which championed the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

There are telltale signs that he played a similar role in the recent Georgia flare-up. How else to explain the folly of his close friend and former employer, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili, in ordering an invasion of the breakaway region of South Ossetia, an invasion that clearly was expected to produce a Russian counterreaction? It is inconceivable that Saakashvili would have triggered this dangerous escalation without some assurance from influential Americans he trusted, like Scheunemann, that the United States would have his back. Scheunemann long guided McCain in these matters, even before he was officially running foreign policy for McCain’s presidential campaign.

In 2005, while registered as a paid lobbyist for Georgia, Scheunemann worked with McCain to draft a congressional resolution pushing for Georgia’s membership in NATO. A year later, while still on the Georgian payroll, Scheunemann accompanied McCain on a trip to that country, where they met with Saakashvili and supported his bellicose views toward Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

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Scheunemann is at the center of the neoconservative cabal that has come to dominate the Republican candidate’s foreign policy stance in a replay of the run-up to the war against Iraq. These folks are always looking for a foreign enemy on which to base a new Cold War, and with the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s regime, it was Putin’s Russia that came increasingly to fit the bill.

Yes, it sounds diabolical, but that may be the most accurate way to assess the designs of the McCain campaign in matters of war and peace. There is every indication that the candidate’s demonization of Russian leader Putin is an even grander plan than the previous use of Saddam to fuel American militarism with the fearsome enemy that it desperately needs.

McCain gets to look tough with a new Cold War to fight while Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, scrambling to make sense of a more measured foreign policy posture, will seem weak in comparison. Meanwhile, the dire consequences of the Bush legacy that McCain has inherited, from the disaster of Iraq to the economic meltdown, conveniently will be ignored. But the military-industrial complex, which has helped bankroll the neoconservatives, will be provided with an excuse for ramping up a military budget that is already bigger than that of the rest of the world combined.

What is at work here is a neoconservative, self-fulfilling prophecy in which Russia is turned into an enemy that expands its largely reduced military, and Putin is cast as the new Josef Stalin bogeyman, evoking images of the old Soviet Union. McCain has condemned a “revanchist Russia” that should once again be contained. Although Putin has been the enormously popular elected leader of post-Communist Russia, it is assumed that imperialism is always lurking, not only in his DNA but in that of the Russian people.

How convenient to forget that Stalin was a Georgian, and indeed if Russian troops had occupied the threatened Georgian town of Gori they would have found a museum still honoring the local boy, who made good by seizing control of the Russian revolution. Indeed five Russian bombs were allegedly dropped on Gori’s Stalin Square on Tuesday.

It should also be mentioned that the post-Communist Georgians have imperial designs on South Ossetia and Abkhazia. What a stark contradiction that the United States, which championed Kosovo’s independence from Serbia, now is ignoring Georgia’s invasion of its ethnically rebellious provinces.

For McCain to so fervently embrace Scheunemann’s neoconservative line of demonizing Russia in the interest of appearing tough during an election campaign is a reminder that a senator can be old and yet wildly irresponsible.

Click here to check out Robert Scheer’s book,
“The Great American Stickup: How Reagan Republicans and Clinton Democrats Enriched Wall Street While Mugging Main Street.”


Keep up with Robert Scheer’s latest columns, interviews, tour dates and more at www.truthdig.com/robert_scheer.



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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 9:32 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, You say:
————————
Issywise..If we’re going to discuss the Balkans you’ll have to get your facts straight…
————————-
The facts in the Balkans were that Serbians were programmatically conducting mass murders (call them what you will—genocide or “ethnic cleansing), unchecked by any party, including the great powers in Europe itself. The murders continued until American will and military might was brought to bear.

The fact is that talk did not, could not, end the murders.

The fact is that the actors in the tragedy itself and all the other peoples of the world and especially Europe were unable or unwilling to act to end the murders.

The fact is that the only reason Serbia’s mass murders ceased was because American air power, military intelligence and on-the-ground forces gave the Serbians only two military choices: attempt to remain hidden and be eaten up piecemeal by opposing irregulars on the ground—lead by American special forces teams, or stand up and get obliterated from the sky by million dollar cruise missiles launched from submarines hundreds of mile away. All of which YOU funded.

The fact is that, concurrently, American military air power started destroying property in Serbia to leverage its assent to permitting its neighbors to continue to live.

The fact is that, while admirable in the abstract, your position would have left all the remaining targets of Serbian mass murder who survived the holocaust subject to the same fate as the murdered.

My guess is that they’re grateful to you for the tax dollars you paid to fund that military intervention, even if you disdain the purpose to which the money was put.

The facts are that the same procedure was followed in Darfur: After years of international impotence and failure of any other encouragement to end the genocide, American special forces advisers lead Ethiopian troop to confront the Somolian genociders (or whatever you want to call them), who were thereby confronted with three choices: 1) being destroyed piecemeal on the ground, 3) standing-up to fight an organized battle and being destroyed from the air or 3) retreating and desisting from their mass murders.

Again, I don’t think the result was academic to the victims in line to be murdered.
—————————
You say, “..the only way imperialism could be avoided would be by restricting military operations to situations in which it was conducted in a context of “nonaggression, equity, equality and legality”,
——————————
I couldn’t agree more—so far as you’ve gone here, but you add:
——————————

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By youraveragejoe, August 15, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment

The point of the article is that right-wingers are somehow manipulating world events to advantage McCain.

More believable is that, given what has happened, Democrat Party supporters are now trying to inoculate B.O. from criticism on another one of his weak suits. 

Otherwise, the Democrat candidate will again have been unlucky, swift-boated, or hanging-chadded.  If the truth would be allowed to come out, the Democrat will always win.

What a euphemism—B.O’s “more measured foreign policy”.  Where’s my micrometer.  B.O. is for a much more dangerous, reckless, and quagmire-prone Afghanistan surge.  He said he would invade Pakistan given the right circumstances.  These are the things that will bring the world together?  (And what was the purpose of his Berlin speech?) 

We all know this is all politics—your war is reckless and costly, my war is just.  The Democrat Party needs to show it’s tough, too.
 
B.O is not a new politician.  Sooner or later we’ll be within 16 months of winning in Iraq, and the liberal media will trumpet his judgment, and measured foreign policy.

The Democrat Party is so angry, and mired in the past, and in “anyone but Bush”, it has nominated just that, an empty suit, who’ll ultimately go the way of Dukakis, Gore and Kerry.

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, August 15, 2008 at 6:49 am Link to this comment

Issywise: ‘... So then, you did oppose the use of the American military to end the genocides in the Balkans and Darfur? ...’

If we’re going to discuss the Balkans you’ll have to get your facts straight.  There was no genocide in the Balkans.  There was ethnic cleansing.  The United States supported ethnic cleansing (not just verbally—materially) when it was done against the Serbs, as in Croatia, and opposed it when the Serbs did it to other groups, as in Kosovo.  The whole business was quite cynical.  Apparently the Serbs were thought to be insufficiently subservient to Western interests.

(I’m using genocide here in its original meaning, not the senses in which it’s often used in contemporary propaganda, where it seems to extend to bar fights and gentrification.)

I am not aware that the U.S. has done anything serious about the situation in Darfur except talk.  I was impressed by the large, glossy, expensive ads which appeared on the sides of New York City buses some time ago referring to Darfur which made me suspect that Darfur was being used as some sort of political tool for ulterior ends, but I didn’t look into it at the time and now the ads have dropped out of sight.

I can’t give a generic answer to your generic questions but I think it is obvious that even if one decided that some kinds of war were acceptable policy the only way imperialism could be avoided would be by restricting military operations to situations in which it was conducted in a context of “nonaggression, equity, equality and legality”, in other words by prior voluntary agreement, just as we supposedly set up governments among individuals.  Even so, the United States, like Germany, Britain, Russia, is now so tainted by its history I doubt that it could play a leading or even supporting role in such an arrangement without corrupting it. 

Needless to say, this is all very academic.  The U.S. ruling class is going to pursue empire by hook or crook (mostly by cudgel) until it ruins the country, just as did the ruling classes of Britain, France, the Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Germany, Russia, Sweden, etc. etc. etc., and I’m going to continue to oppose it.  I don’t accept calculated murder as a way of life even if practically everyone else thinks it’s wonderful.

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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 5:04 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie,

You say:
———————————-
“What I am dealing with, my central issue, is whether it is all right to kill innocent, harmless people in any situation where it is not absolutely the last resort.  Starting a war is like, no, it is exploding a bomb in a schoolyard full of children because you don’t like the principal’s opinions.”

“I’m pretty “black and white” on that one, if you want to put it that way.

“All those strategic, tactical, nuanced, complex considerations—do you realize what they have led to?”
————————————————-

So then, you did oppose the use of the American military to end the genocides in the Balkans and Darfur? You will oppose any future use for the same purpose? The next Berlin should be handed-over to armed subjugation when a greater power demands it loose its own self-government?

You believe we all should sit by and watch the armed oppression of other peoples, fixed in our black and white certainty that use of force is ALWAYS evil?

The next Hitler, Stalin, Mao, British Imperialism, Napoleon, Genghis Khan, Ottomans, Attilla, or Tamerlane should just be “persuaded” to see a non-violent light?

I respectfully suggest to you that “nuanced, complex considerations” have led to uses of force that were more humane, more contributive to the establishment of peace in the world, than your easy absolutism would have been.

Hell, even Gandhi who wouldn’t fight himself and said he thought nobody should fight, quelled the push for independence in India during WWII so it wouldn’t draw off British troops from their confrontation with Hitler.

I think your moral absolutism would result in more violence in the world by leaving the violently aggressive unchecked and successful, encouraging more violent aggression. The rule of law does not emerge until order is established by presence of just force.

How many places can you name in the world today where armed attacks would take place but for countervailing forces? How many places can you assure would be free from any violence if there were no inhibiting force available?

It’s nice to be “moral” and high minded. Unfortunately, for some reason, God has put us in a complex world where nuance is necessary to make a halfway responsible stab at establishing exactly what you desire.

We’ve failed at the effort often enough—and it particularly stings when we are the misguided aggressor, but your prescription, for the foreseeable future, would bring on a disastrous anarchy.

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By Issywise, August 15, 2008 at 4:36 am Link to this comment

Cyrena

You said white Europeans are possessed of a genetic trait that makes them imperialistic, arrogant, destructive and other evil things.

You have said it in more than one post and on more than one website. It slips into your writings with regularity.

You routinely swap anti-European bigotries with your buddy Fadel.

If you say a bunch of bad characteristics are a genetic trait of any race, you should expect to be called a racist. You should be called a racist. Your readers should recognize you as a racist.

You refuse to deny your racism. You’ve asserted the genetic trait of evil behavior and refuse to take the apparently uncomfortable step of agreeing with Dr. King that people should be judged by the content of their character rather than by the color of their skin.
Here, for the first time, you back down..just a little: you seek to excuse your own racist statement as a mere rhetorical flip.” cyrena: If some idiot here wrote that black people have a genetic trait that makes them shiftless and lazy would you accept their self-excuse that it is a rhetorical flip?” I wouldn’t and I don’t think you should get away with it either.

You seek to prove your racism by pointing to recent Western imperialism, while denying the the much longer and broader HUMAN history of imperialism manifest in every race. 

You dismiss that entire broader history as, “The classic, ‘they did it too’ defense, deviously changing the entire point of the original subject..” You are selecting from history what supports your prejudice and ignoring all that denies it.

It is not changing the subject to 1) Point out that you’ve made a racist statement and 2) where you seek support for the statement in history, you are exercising a racist exclusion of all facts to the contrary.

Since history doesn’t support your thesis, do you know of any science that shows a link between race and individual or society-wide behavior?

There ain’t none, cyrena. You can’t keep going on spouting racist statements without being called on them.  If you have to defend your racist attitudes by calling me all kinds of names, then so be it. I am proud to be called names by a racist for forcing her to face her own ignorant prejudices.

Maybe, just maybe, she’ll see it in herself and overcome what has become a destructive reflex in her.  You know, some people are actually capable of doing it. I know some. They are better for it.

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By george in toronto, August 15, 2008 at 4:27 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

JIMBOB and others please explain neocons are?
“The only way to keep these neocon warmongers under control is to institute a draft with NO deferments. None.”
It started out as infiltrators from the democtatic party—no so! How about Israel Firsters without offending the Jewish community Yaaaah?

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By cyrena, August 15, 2008 at 2:32 am Link to this comment

Reply to Tony Wicher, August 14 at 8:49 pm
Part 1 of 3

Hey, cyrena, it’s nice to hear some sanity. I just lost my temper with that fool Folktruther aka Ghengis. I guess he reported me, because I got an admonition from the webmaster. This is so serious, and people like Folktruther might as well be working for the neocons. In fact, one Folktruther is worth 10 Republicans to the likes of Karl Rove.
~~~~~~~

Hi Tony, I’m APPALLED that YOU would actually get an admonishment from the webmaster. This only proves to me, (yet again) that there is little sanity anywhere. I’ve been reading this stuff from folktruther, and Issywise, and as far as I can tell, they are just new names for the same old people like Max Shields and the despicable DC, in line with rowman, rus7355, dihey, and other’s that I’m perfectly willing to add to the list as they come up.

So for the moment, I’ve refrained from even responding to them, since the INTENT is to set us off. That’s the whole purpose. For the most part, you and Ernest exert so much more patience than I do, in dealing with them. NOT because I’m incapable of the same, because I generally start out that way. But just because after nearly 2 years of hearing from these types, I can now figure out the MO much quicker, and because YES..it IS so serious, that I find I need to conserve my energy with this stuff.

Based on that, I’ve come to the conclusion that these people can be ‘roughly’ (very roughly) thrown into 2 or 3 ‘bunches’. They either really do NOT get the seriousness of this at all, which includes the REAL seriousness. In other words, this may be serious ‘to them’ on their personal ideological, and very limited one channel mentalities. But they have no way of comprehending the real consequences, because they can only perceive, based upon what they see on the surface. They have no way of connecting any dots. The agenda is quite personal, (they get to see their name in print) and sprout off all kinds of ideological shit, and some even manage to sound reasonably intelligent in the process. Others are far more obvious as the ideologues that they are, and totally resistant to logic. And while they are indeed ‘dangerous’ to an extent, it’s primarily only in the effect that they have on others, who are less inclined (for whatever the reasons, because there could be many) to really pick the rhetoric apart, and find that there really is nothing there.

Another group of them, (which I find far MORE dangerous) are the intentional trolls/shills/and disinformation agents with definitely nefarious and deceitful agendas. Even among this crowd, some are smarter than others. They will side track away from the point of the discussion, but because that is NOT ‘unusual’ on such a forum, and because that probably SHOULD happen on such a forum, it becomes more noticeable when they always sidetrack to the SAME basic agenda, regardless of what the topic may be.

These types will ALSO pick up ONE single comment, (which is what folktruth has apparently done, since we can probably assume that he/he is the one who ‘reported’ you) OUT OF CONTEXT to the overall collection of remarks that we’ve all made over time. Like the torture thing. We ALL know how you feel about the torture that has been ‘legalized’ under this regime, and most regular posters at this site most certainly know how *I* feel about it, since that’s probably been among my primary focuses of all the hundreds of laws that these thugs have violated. Now even I’m not as immersed in it as some of my colleagues, for whom it is ALL torture, ALL of the time, just because it has become the hallmark MOST DESPICABLE of the crimes of this regime. That’s not to dismiss any of the other stuff, but just to note that in the past 6 years, there have been more books, conferences, and university curriculum agendas centered on this, than one could probably even imagine..especially if they are not tuned in to what is going on.

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By cyrena, August 15, 2008 at 2:31 am Link to this comment

Part 2 of 3 to Tony Wicher, August 14 at 8:49 pm

The irony is that when the first news of the abuses at Abu Ghraib hit the news, I got some of the most offensive chain email, (from people that I know, who should have known better) quoting General MacArthur, with the standard macho war mongering stuff, and claiming it was no different than some ‘frat boy activity’. I went berserk of course, and so they don’t make those sorts of stupid comments anymore.

But I said all of that to say that this was a deliberate ‘zeroing in’ on a single comment made in anger, that NOBODY else, (including me the obsessively anti-torture person) would have thought anything of, because we know better. And, in all of the conversations that we’ve had on this blog regarding torture, HOW MANY dozens of other posters have said the same thing? That they sure wouldn’t mind seeing any one or most of these gangsters in the Dick Bush Admin, get a healthy dose of their own torture prescription?

And why WOULDN’T we expect many people to feel that way, based not ONLY on the fact that if anyone ‘deserves’ it, it would be them, and more to the point, most Americans at least, still support the barbaric death penalty. Americans are, by and large, a very punitive and revengeful bunch, with ZERO compassion or empathy for the fellow humans. Were that not the case, we wouldn’t be one of the very few civilized nations on the globe, still practicing that, nor would we have more of our population imprisoned, than any other country on the planet.

But did you notice, that the complaint from folker was couched THIS way…

Folktruther, August 14 at 4:59 pm

•  Your comment, Tony Wicher, “such an attitude deserves some electords to the testicles to enlighten their owner” is quite revealing.
It sounds like you strongly identify with Israeli methods and those of the CIA.

~~~~
Nope, I’d say that his/her mention of the Israeli methods, (and of course Israel does use these methods among many) and those of the CIA, is quite ‘revealing’. It’s very ‘revealing’ that he/she zeroed in on that one comment from you, and I find that to be a dead giveaway to the nefarious presence of folktruther, and I’m equally certain that he/she has been on this site before, using other identities.
Another recent example of the very same, has been the Issywise fixation on my singular comment resulting from the book review of The Kingmakers. I was making the point that “The West” as it is understood in geopolitical terms including Western Europe and now the US, have been the WESTERN WHITE people, that have been responsible for the colonization and imperial conquer of literally hundreds of nations around the globe, for at least 500 years. And, based on the history, the conquers have been white, and the conquered have nearly ALWAYS been people of color. Arab, African, Indian, (East AND West) as well as a portion of the Asian population. In the initial post of my observation, I included what was more a rhetorical flip remark than anything else, to wonder if this imperial arrogance of the WESTERN WHITE people might somehow be genetically wired as such.
WELL!!! Issywise lost his flippin’ mind, accusing me of declaring an entire civilization of people as being genetically racist and imperialistic, and hasn’t shut up about it since. And rather than just make an objection based on his/her incorrect perception, (which I’m sure was intentional) of my somehow blaming ALL western white people for being ‘genetically racist’ he launched into a multi-post tirade against all of the other civilizations of the part jillion years, where people of color practiced many of the same behaviors. The classic, ‘they did it too’ defense, deviously changing the entire point of the original subject, in order to pursue a personal agenda. (whatever that might be)

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By cyrena, August 15, 2008 at 2:29 am Link to this comment

Part 3 of 3 reply to Tony Wicher, August 14 at 8:49 pm

So, it’s not so different from the folktruther, who’s looking for a ‘gotcha’ moment, which is no different than the persecution Obama is undergoing as well. And at the end of the day, THAT’S what this all boils down to. These are the anti-Obama trolls out and about, attacking any and everyone who might appear to be in support of him, and lying and doing what they can to tilt the dialogue in the negative, for anyone who might not yet have given it much thought, or is still in the process of finding things out, in order to make the right decision on what is a make-or- COMPLETELY-break time for all of us.

THAT’S why these people are coming out of the woodwork, and while some are slicker in their efforts than others, the real agenda still becomes obvious sooner or later.

So, keep writing, and keep exposing these folks, as I will continue to do, though my ‘life routine’ will undergo a change in the upcoming weeks. And, in all honesty, I don’t know to what extent that will be. I’ll be sure to keep my wireless bill paid though, (if not much more)  and I’ll keep the computer with me.

I still can’t believe the jerk actually reported you. This really is just too much!! On the other hand, at least TD had enough sense to send you a warning. In all frankness, they don’t always exercise the best of judgments, but the excuse has been that they work with a limited staff. There’s some validity there I’m sure, and for the most part, I don’t have any complaints, since I believe that reasonable adults can police themselves.

AT THE SAME TIME though, it’s important to remember that it is for that very reason, (the fact that this site is not closely monitored) that the crazies and the ideologues have found a voice here. Therein lies the paradox.

By the way, I also noted Cann4ing’s response to folktruther. It was, as both of you always are, in the perfect tone. Still, losing one’s temper from time to time is more than perfectly acceptable. I fear that we have become to ‘civil’ sometimes, because more and more people these days, have problems understanding that. It always brings to mind my parents’ (but especially my mother’s) favorite ‘warning’…”Humm, you all just can’t stand prosperity, can you?”

In other words, keep it up, and you’re gonna get an ass whoopin’!! Now THAT’s the kind of ‘nuance’ that the morons and the arrogants understand. Sometimes it just has to be pointed out for them.

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 10:37 pm Link to this comment

Thank you for your friendly suggestion,to step back, cann4ing, and to quite making wild accusations. I assume that the wild accusations replaced the psycho-babble I was talking before when you said I didn’t have a clue. 

\But if I step back, cann4ing, I can’t reach the keyboard.  It’s quite true that if I step forward I may step on some toes, but the resulting remarks don’t bother me.  It wasn’t me that reported Tony’s slime.  I’m perfectly happy to have it there; it indicates the underlying emottion accompanying the frustration of not being able to engage in sustained debate.

Not incidentally, I never said that Scheer was a shill for the current regime, nor do I think so.  He certainly deserves credit for allowing this kind of discourse on his site.  But I would have kept the gutter comment.

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

I think the elections, samosamo, are largely political theater that does not chnange policy if there is no organized population pressure.  If Obama is elected, and Congress is voted Dem, I expect no significant change.  The electoral process is so corrupt and obsolete in the US that the money and media of the ruling class trumps anything the population can do to elect leaders that promote their policies.

But Tony Wicker was suggesting, probably in a rash moment, that people who criticize the government, or power system, like I do, be tortured.  This is the actual purpose of torture by Israel and the US, not to gain information but to intimidate the population.  Again rashly, he followed it up with a gutter remark that he or someone delueted.  It’s not important in itself, but it indicates what we can look forward to no matter who is elected.

I don’t think that the current American or Israeli power system can be salvaged.  It will continue to degenerate until the American people transform it.  But this will not be done by torure or mass violence, but political organizaation that opposes the power structure.

How this can be doone iw what we are discussing here.  Gore Vidal, for esxmaple, adressed the National Press in 1991 and argue what we need is an Article 5 convention to change the constitution.  Obviously this cannnot be done effectively without arevoltution of some type.  And to put down this revolution the American power system will resort to imprisonment torture and murder.  the violence will come form power primarily, not the people.

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By cann4ing, August 14, 2008 at 9:55 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther:  I know you’re relatively new to TD.  If you had been around during much older posts concerning the fortieth anniversary of the illegal and brutal occupation of Palestine, the one little nugget you would have come away with is that Tony Wicher is “not” a Zionist—not even close.  But then, I note that you are one to quickly make wild assumptions about people from a single post—as when you accused Robert Scheer of being a shill for the current regime simply because he made an error of judgment in his assessment of the Ivins matter.

Just a friendly suggestion.  Try stepping back.  Don’t take everything else other people write as a personal challenge.  Read what others have to say with a sympathetic view, and slam them only when they prove incapable of intellectual integrity.

When it comes to Mr. Wicher, you missed the target by a country mile.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 9:49 pm Link to this comment

Hey, cyrena, it’s nice to hear some sanity. I just lost my temper with that fool Folktruther aka Ghengis. I guess he reported me, because I got an admonition from the webmaster. This is so serious, and people like Folktruther might as well be working for the neocons. In fact, one Folktruther is worth 10 Republicans to the likes of Karl Rove.

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By cyrena, August 14, 2008 at 9:35 pm Link to this comment

Samosamo speaks to the reality here:

•  “..First of all, most people still don’t grab the idea that the neocons have been planning this for decades beginning in nixon’s era with their think tanks that help them formulate and carry out the plans that you are seeing the effects of today. You are dealing with a bunch of motivated screwballs that most likely want you dead but at least out of their damn way to carry on with their agenda.”

In short, this did NOT ‘just start’ with the thugs currently in office. They had to plan this for a long time, and that’s exactly what they’ve done. Look to the pedigree. Richard B. Cheney. How long has he been lurking in the shadows? He’s been an active insider for every single republican administration since Nixon’s, and has maintained those connections, (including his own shadow regime) ever since, including the 8 years of the alleged Democratic reign of William Jefferson Clinton. (Clinton was in my opinion, a moderate Republican). He was a smart guy, and personable enough, but still a centrist, and still very much a part of what allowed for the continuation of what has become an oligarchy. In other words, there is now NO discernable line between the power of the state, and the power of the corporations. And because they blend imperceptibly, eliminating all checks and balances, there is NO accountability.

So, it didn’t happen overnight, and the pedigree CAN BE TRACED. It will include the same people, (both in the foreground and the shadows). So CHECK THEM. Check Phil Graham, and check John McCain, and Check all of these associated gangsters. And check their vehicles..the vehicles..the corporations that they’ve created, and melded with the power of the state, so that they are one and the same…trapping us all.

Once Americans can begin to understand the enormity of this, they might be able to properly analyze the reasons why there has been SUCH a concerted effort to prevent Obama from bringing an end to this BLOOD LINE. That is exactly what an Obama presidency would do. It would END their reign.

So I’ve said this before, and I’ll just keep repeating it…this blood line would have been willing to accept another Clinton presidency, and that’s the way it was planned. In other words, if McCain had to lose, or if the “Republicans’ had to lose, (and surely they’ve known that to be a ‘given’, considering what the current batch has done over the past 8 years, that even the most politically unconscious Americans can figure out) then the backup was Billary, since there’s virtually no difference). THAT’S been ‘the plan’ folks, and now Obama has put a whammy in it. Or, to be more accurate, ‘we the people’ have put a whammy in it, by rejecting the corrupt blood line, and propelling an outsider into the mix. One that can, (once ‘inside’) make our country available to US again.

Yeah, Americans need to grasp that, because time is oh so very precious.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Folktruther,

On second thought, I’m going to be charitable and assume you were just testing me: do I have any problem with the idea that Israel tortures people with such methods? Not only do I not have a problem with it, I am in 100% agreement with Robert and Fadel Abdullah about this. And, of course, the police state called the United States has been doing this under Bush. But you seem to think it will continue under Obama, whereas I am trying to save my country by electing Obama, who I am quite confident will stop this practice.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 6:59 pm Link to this comment

John, August 14 at 2:46 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Karl Rove was at a conference in Crimea last month. Shaakashvili was also there.

Ugggh.
——————————————————————————-
John,

Sounds about right to me. Do you have a link for this?

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By samosamo, August 14, 2008 at 6:47 pm Link to this comment

By Folktruther, August 14 at 4:59 pm

By some of your comments, it appears that your grasp of the issues are that we wait until november, vote, gain the house, senate and white house and all problems are fixed with not a drop of blood and everybody is happy. I don’t see it that way at all.
First of all, most people still don’t grab the idea that the neocons have been planning this for decades beginning in nixon’s era with their think tanks that help them formulate and carry out the plans that you are seeing the effects of today. You are dealing with a bunch of motivated screwballs that most likely want you dead but at least out of their damn way to carry on with their agenda. I would have NO problems treating them the way Tony describes considering the misery they have spread around the world. And as it stands and everyone just waits and hopes the elections will change things, 1) you may be in for a surprise even if the dems gain congress and the white house or 2) you will eventually be trodden under foot by the neocon agenda as ‘collateral damage’.
Unless the people who are on the receiving end of the neocon’s tricks and games organize and actually begin going at these criminals like the are being attacked, ain’t shit gonna change. And you better keep an eye on what the dems start doing IF they do take power/control.

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By Ed Harges, August 14, 2008 at 6:37 pm Link to this comment

Watch this - it’s hilarious. Fox News interviews some victims of the war in Ossetia, and as the interviewer sits in helpless discomfort, they insist on saying what he doesn’t want to hear: “We blame Georgia’s president for this war, and we want to thank the Russian troops for helping us!”:

http://www.antiwar.com/blog/2008/08/14/american-girl-interviewed-on-fox-news-we-were-running-from-georgian-troops-thank-you-to-russian-troops/#comment-158959

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 5:59 pm Link to this comment

Your comment, Tony Wicher, “such an attitude deserves some electords to the testicles to enlighten their owner” is quite revealing.

It sounds like you strongly identify with Israeli methods and those of the CIA.

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By cann4ing, August 14, 2008 at 4:54 pm Link to this comment

Forget the draft, JimBob, let’s just send Karl Rove, George Bush & Dick Cheney to the front lines.

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By Kevin James, August 14, 2008 at 4:53 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The 100k question is: “What prompted Saakashvili?”
The answere to that question can be found where the answere to this question lies: “What prompted Saddam Hussain to invade Kuwait?”

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By JimBob, August 14, 2008 at 4:27 pm Link to this comment

The only way to keep these neocon warmongers under control is to institute a draft with NO deferments. None.

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By John, August 14, 2008 at 3:46 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Karl Rove was at a conference in Crimea last month. Shaakashvili was also there.

Ugggh.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 3:16 pm Link to this comment

Re Folktruther, August 14 at 12:52 pm #


Folktruther,

You should know that when I was young, my family was essentially exiled from this country by McCarthy. We lived down in Mexico for eight years with the Hollywood Ten and other victims of political persecution. The United States was approaching a police state at that time, but the forces of democracy beat McCarthy. My family returned from Mexico in 1962, when this country was free and making progress.

I don’t call this country a police state even now, although it is getting close again, and I am fighting the best I know how to prevent it, and that is to support Obama.  I wish you would have to live in a real police state, such as Egypt, Syria, Iran, China or Russia for a while, rant against the government like you do here on TD, and see how long you last. Such an attitude deserves some electrodes to the testicles to enlighten their owner.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 3:04 pm Link to this comment

By Saggy, August 14 at 1:15 pm

The way I see it, Saggy, Obama does not support a “democratic police state” but Bush-Cheney-McCain does. Where is your evidence? Obama’s compromise vote on the FISA bill? I was diappointed in that vote too, but it’s a long way from there to not seeing any difference between Obama and McCain.

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By jobart, August 14, 2008 at 2:54 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

By Tony Wicher, August 14 at 5:51 am #


By Q., August 13 at 8:42 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it odd that at the time that this invasion was going on, we saw a live shot of Bush and Putin at the Olympic opening festivities chatting like old friends? It makes one wonder what is really going on.
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One does wonder. When you look at who gained from the conflict, it’s Putin and Bush-McCain. Georgia lost.

I read that, as Putkin heard that what was “suspected” what might happen and the told waht “had” got so angry that he “stood up, wagged an angry finger at “Shrub” and, while raising his voice,stormed away to a plane to take him back to Russia, as fast as possible.
Putkin, in my opinion, believed that Georgia wouldn’t be “dumb” enough to think that they could (regardless of US assurances) to do what they did.  And while he took off very quickly, we have our leader, a.k.a. “SHRUB”, creating a world-wide perception of America and its people.  Check out the link: (BTW I’ve yet to see these pics, and the commentary of same) anywhere in our MSM. Pretty funny if it wasn’t so embarassing.


http://gawker.com/5035885/bush-looking-drunk-at-the-olympics

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 1:52 pm Link to this comment

I see why you support Obama so strongly, Tony Wicher.  His version of imperialism you call ‘international’, his support by the ruling class you call ‘democratic forces, ojections to his suport for apartheid Israel you call ‘anti’Semitism’, his support for a Democratic police state you do not mention at all.

Well, this is the mainstream psuedo-progressive ideology.  Get people involved with the partisan electoral struggle and promote Bushite policies under new names and a diffeent party. 

Certainly it has been the Dems that the ruling class has turned to historically for war and oppression, the Bushite approach only being possible by the use of mercenary gunmen.  If more troops are needed, there must be a draft and who but a Dem could impose one with least difficulty?

And who could better implement a police state. As his Dem predecessors did.  The Palmer raids under Wilson after WW1, the concentration camps for Japaense by Roosevelt during WW2, the Loyalty Oaths and first peace time draft by Truman, the FBI murders and other assassinations under Johnson and the huge increase in the prison population under Clinton.

The concentrations camps have been built, Hagel has intorduced the draft a number of times in the house, the spying on the American population is in place, all we need is a leader to BRING US TOGEHTER.  To introduce CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN. 

Well, I believe in it, and after a bit, so will the American people.  The torture, murder and privation that is the feature of Democratic Israel appears likely to become a feature of the New American Democracy.

Clinton trianulized to pass Nafta and eliminate welfare.  Obama is now triangulating the whole fucking election.

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By Robert, August 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm Link to this comment

Georgia’s Israeli arms point Russia to Iran
By Peter Hirschberg

“JERUSALEM - With the eruption of fighting between Russia and Georgia, Israel has found itself in an awkward position as a result of its arms sales to Georgia. Israel is now caught between its friendly relations with Georgia and its fear that the continued sale of weaponry will spark Russian retribution in the form of increased arms sales to Iran and Syria.

After fighting broke out late last week between Georgia and Russia over the breakaway provinces of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, Israel’s Foreign Ministry over the weekend recommended suspending the sale of all weapons and defense-related equipment to Georgia, the daily Ha’aretz newspaper reported.

The paper quoted an unnamed senior official saying that Israel

needed “to be very careful and sensitive these days. The Russians are selling many arms to Iran and Syria and there is no need to offer them an excuse to sell even more advanced weapons.”

Israel’s immediate concern is that Russia will proceed with the sale of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, which would help it defend its nuclear installations from aerial attack. Israel, like the US, believes that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing a bomb, and Israeli leaders have refused to rule out the possibility of a pre-emptive strike aimed at derailing Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Israel recently conducted a major aerial exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece that was widely viewed as a rehearsal for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear installations. But with the US and Europe resorting to diplomatic pressure in the form of sanctions to deter Iran, Israel is loathe to anger Russia, which until now has opposed harsher sanctions on Tehran.

Israel’s relations with Georgia have been close, partly because there is a large Georgian Jewish community in Israel. In recent years, ties have also taken on a military dimension, with military industries in Israel supplying Georgia with some US$200 million worth of equipment since 2000. This has included remotely piloted planes, rockets, night-vision equipment, other electronic systems and training by former senior Israeli officers.

“Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers,” Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili told Israel’s Army Radio in Hebrew shortly after the fighting erupted.

Israel is not a major supplier of arms to Georgia, with the US and France supplying Tbilisi with most of its weaponry. But the arms transfers have attracted media attention partly because of the role played by some high-profile Israeli figures, including former Tel Aviv mayor Roni Milo, who conducted business in Georgia on behalf of Israel Military Industries.”

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/JH14Ak02.html

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By Anarcissie, August 14, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment

Tony Wicher: ‘... I would like to restate Issy’s point that what we are dealing with is various geopolitical forces of which the U.S. is one. Neither the U.S. nor any of the other forces are determined primarily by morality but by geopolitical interest. ...’

What I am dealing with, my central issue, is whether it is all right to kill innocent, harmless people in any situation where it is not absolutely the last resort.  Starting a war is like, no, it is exploding a bomb in a schoolyard full of children because you don’t like the principal’s opinions.

I’m pretty “black and white” on that one, if you want to put it that way.

All those strategic, tactical, nuanced, complex considerations—do you realize what they have led to?  But I have already described what they have led to.

And they’re going to lead to worse in the future, as the technology of death and destruction advances.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 1:11 pm Link to this comment

By samosamo, August 14 at 11:46 am #


This is one simple way to put this lastest act of american ingenuity, which it really is. This is the preparation for McCain to come across as the military leader the current administration will try to make us believe as the one to be able to handle this recent fracas. So expect a bunch of rhetoric from the mccain camp about his military experience and the swift boating that will try to sink obama’s chances or cause people to vote 3rd party. I hate plugging obama but he will still be the least worse choice for president.
—————————————————————————-
You know it. Thanks for the plug, samo, however reluctant.

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By Big E, August 14, 2008 at 1:06 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

this election will come down down possibly to those who do, or don’t believe
in whatever is the modern equivalent of ‘my country, right or wrong’,..

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By samosamo, August 14, 2008 at 1:02 pm Link to this comment

And don’t forget the military’s part in wanting mccain over obama despite mccain’s short comings as being in the bottom percentile of his class. That actually is what all the behind the scene players want anyway, another dope like w that will spout and spew pure vomit to the detriment of this country and the enrichment of the those behind the scene players. This is where our tax dollars will get shuffled back around into mccain’s campaign, just watch how much his camp will all of sudden raise a bunch of money from seemingly no where.

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By samosamo, August 14, 2008 at 12:46 pm Link to this comment

This is one simple way to put this lastest act of american ingenuity, which it really is. This is the preparation for McCain to come across as the military leader the current administration will try to make us believe as the one to be able to handle this recent fracas. So expect a bunch of rhetoric from the mccain camp about his military experience and the swift boating that will try to sink obama’s chances or cause people to vote 3rd party. I hate plugging obama but he will still be the least worse choice for president.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 12:20 pm Link to this comment

Also,

I would like to restate Issy’s point that what we are dealing with is various geopolitical forces of which the U.S. is one. Neither the U.S. nor any of the other forces are determined primarily by morality but by geopolitical interest. The internationalist problem is to find a just and harmonious balance of these forces and to maintain that balance through a strengthening of international institutions. The U.S. cannot withdraw its forces without upsetting the balance that now exists; that is isolationism. What the U.S. must do under Obama is to work together diplomatically with the rest of the world to bring U.S. forces together with all other forces under the rule of international law.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 12:09 pm Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, August 14 at 9:39 am

I understand your perspective, but I would have to say that my view is more nuanced. The “ruling class” is not monolithic, but is made up of more reactionary and more progressive elements; the most reactionary ones have been in ascendance for the last 8 years and most of the last 40. But there are still strong pro-democracy, pro-internationalist forces left in this country. The majority of Americans who really believe in democracy and internationalism (like myself) are supporting Obama.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 11:48 am Link to this comment

By Issywise, August 14 at 10:15 am #


Anarcissie, August 14 at 8:11 am #

Issywise: ‘… The U.S. must remain engaged all over the world; the question is how and with what objective, peace and stability or world domination. ...’

———————————————————-

Huh? I didn’t say that.

I can’t see where anybody here said that. What got you off on that track?
—————————————————————————
Issy,

As I pointed out in a previous post to Anarcissie, I am the one who said that earlier, not you.
(By Tony Wicher, August 14 at 6:26 am #) below.

I found your conversation interesting so I joined in. 
—————————————————————————-
But just to chew on it anyhow, America maintains over 700 foreign military bases. How many do you propose we could instantly close without inviting violence in the world? What’s your number 600, 100, none? Should we withdraw our naval forces protecting Taiwan so that China will be free to militarily take it “back?” Should we withdraw from South Korea and trust it to the goodwill of North Korea’s militarized security state? Should we withdraw participation in NATO and leave the Europeans free to conduct the military natters in the old fashion way?

Also, were the military interventions into the Kosovo and Darfur genocides acts of aggression? What about the Berlin Airlift? What about the scrambling of the Navy in response to Stalin’s demand that Iran cede a warm water port to the USSR? Should we withdraw our naval forces protecting Taiwan so that China will be free to militarily take it “back?”

You have a very negative view on military affairs—which I confess I largely share, but I don’t think we are genetically imperialist, militarist or any other ist just because we are Americans.

I also think issues have to be seen in their whole context, not through the eyes of sweeping ideology.
——————————————————————————
Issy,

I agree with you 100%

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 11:27 am Link to this comment

Hemi,

How about this way of looking at it: we can define what an international criminal is only to the extent that there is international law. The world itself is a lawless place with various interests operating. The point is to strengthen international law and to bring those interests under the rule of law.

Putin says he is going to bring charges against Georgia in the Hague. I am going to follow that story with interest. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/08/13/world/europe/13georgia.html?bl&ex=1218859200&en=9c40d5c45e6f1643&ei=5087


The U.S. withdrew from the compulsory jurisdiction of the World Court in 1986 under Reagan, a big setback for internationalism and a victory for the imperialist and reactionary forces that Reagan represented. Obama could strenghthen international law greatly by reversing this position. Yes, Obama still does talk about fighting terrorism, but the question is, how is he going to do it, whether by a process of strengthening international law or not.

Of course, the best possible way to strengthen international law and to set the example for the rest of the world would be to admit that the United States under Bush has itself committed international crimes and to work together with the World Court to see that the Bush-Cheney gang get what they deserve.
No doubt this is just wishful thinking.

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By Issywise, August 14, 2008 at 11:15 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie, August 14 at 8:11 am #

Issywise: ‘… The U.S. must remain engaged all over the world; the question is how and with what objective, peace and stability or world domination. ...’

———————————————————-

Huh? I didn’t say that.

I can’t see where anybody here said that. What got you off on that track?

But just to chew on it anyhow, America maintains over 700 foreign military bases. How many do you propose we could instantly close without inviting violence in the world? What’s your number 600, 100, none? Should we withdraw our naval forces protecting Taiwan so that China will be free to militarily take it “back?” Should we withdraw from South Korea and trust it to the goodwill of North Korea’s militarized security state? Should we withdraw participation in NATO and leave the Europeans free to conduct the military natters in the old fashion way?

Also, were the military interventions into the Kosovo and Darfur genocides acts of aggression? What about the Berlin Airlift? What about the scrambling of the Navy in response to Stalin’s demand that Iran cede a warm water port to the USSR? Should we withdraw our naval forces protecting Taiwan so that China will be free to militarily take it “back?”

You have a very negative view on military affairs—which I confess I largely share, but I don’t think we are genetically imperialist, militarist or any other ist just because we are Americans.

I also think issues have to be seen in their whole context, not through the eyes of sweeping ideology.

Too much black & white around.

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By Anarcissie, August 14, 2008 at 10:39 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher: ‘...  You are right that U.S. imperialism has gotten steadily worse since the end of WW II. But you still have a one-sided view of history. Imperialism has gotten worse, and went completely off the reservation with Bush, but that is to say that there is also a genuinely democratic and internationalist element in U.S. policy which has gotten steadily smaller. Obama represents a resurgence of the democratic, internationalist forces. I know things have been bad, but to identify U.S. policy since WW II with the Bush policy of the last eight years is to be anti-American, and actually helps the bad guys. ...’

I don’t know that American imperialism has gotten worse.

In terms of body count, Bush 2 has been somewhat milder than some of his predecessors.  The war in Vietnam, planned during Eisenhower’s presidency, was actually carried out by famous liberals Kennedy and Johnson, followed up by centrist Nixon.  A couple of million Vietnamese were killed, millions more maimed, terrorized, poisoned, and so on; 58,159 American soldiers were killed, and there were about 200,000 other American casualties.  Bush 1 oversaw the deaths of maybe 300,000 Iraqis in the first adventure in Iraq.  In between Bushes 1 and 2, Clinton attacked at least four countries, Serbia, Sudan, Somalia and Iraq, invaded one (Somalia), and is said to have caused 500,000 premature deaths in Iraq, mostly of children, by destroying Iraq’s civilian infrastructure through bombing.  (About this, his Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, famously said “We think it is worth it.”)  In between this and that, thousands and thousands of people were knocked off in Panama, Libya, Lebanon, Yugoslavia, Nicaragua, and so on and so on.

Although the level of killing goes up and down, I think we’re seeing a pretty consistent policy here: whoever gets in the way of the American ruling class will be pushed aside, and if necessary, smashed, especially if they live in small countries who cannot defend themselves, much less retaliate.  Bush 2 and the neo-cons are simply more overt than their predecessors.  If it is “anti-American” to say this, then history is anti-American.

I don’t see why you think Obama represents any kind of serious break with the American ruling class’s basic policy of global domination.  (I say “ruling class” because I think a sizeable proportion of the ordinary people are uninterested in world domination or “internationalism” as you call it.  But their opinions don’t matter.)  Although he knew the invasion of Iraq was pretty stupid, Obama voted to support both the adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan until the former became unpopular in 2007.  He became the peace candidate long enough to get enough convention delegates to secure the presidential nomination, and then backtracked to his previous position of supporting more or less permanent occupation of Iraq.  He’s eager to continue “nation-building” in Afghanistan (that is, smashing the kind of Afghans “we” don’t like) and is ready to invade Pakistan.  As far as I can see the peace candidate stuff is just opportunism; there is no new policy.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 10:38 am Link to this comment

By cann4ing, August 14 at 9:23 am #


Folktruther—McCain is principled?  Have you been following the news?  Did you even read the current piece by Scheer about McCain’s “principled” foreign policy being erected by a neocon whose primary source of personal funds flow from his lobbyist connects to Georgia? 
—————————————————————————-
Yeah, really. If McCain is principled, he’s a “principled” imperialist. His principle is the imperialist principle - that might makes right.

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By cann4ing, August 14, 2008 at 10:23 am Link to this comment

Folktruther—McCain is principled?  Have you been following the news?  Did you even read the current piece by Scheer about McCain’s “principled” foreign policy being erected by a neocon whose primary source of personal funds flow from his lobbyist connects to Georgia? 

I like Cynthia McKinney; Ralph Nader.  They do indeed take many “principled” stands against the corporate security state, and they have absolute “zero” chance of success in the next election.

Reading posts like yours reminds me of something profound my freshman history professor said in 1969, shortly after I returned from Vietnam, and which has stuck with me all these years.  He said that if the American right can always be criticized for its absolute insensitivity towards the plight of the common man, the American left can always be criticized for its inability to count.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Folktruther

Correction, it wasn’t Cynthia McKinney I sent the $25 to, it was Cindy Sheehan.

Same difference.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 10:17 am Link to this comment

Re Folktruther, August 14 at 8:53 am #

It the election isn’t close in Calif, I’ll vote and give some money to Cynthia McKinney, who might help mobilize the population during the coming police state.  And I and my family will do so quite dogmatically, hewing closely and with maniacal discipline to the dogma that we decide on at the time.
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Folktruther,

So, we’re still on the same side, then. Believe it or not, I got so frustrated with Pelosi’s “impeachment is off the table” stance that I sent Cynthia McKinney $25 a couple of months back. Talk about your useless gestures!

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 10:09 am Link to this comment

By Hemi*, August 14 at 8:55 am

I think that until there is proof positive you continue to maintain that “a duck is a duck”. In that vein, Putin is the bad guy and the world should react to him as a largely unprovoked aggressor. On the surface I’m rather certain that’s what will come down.
——————————————————————————
Putin is an unprovoked aggressor, when it was Georgia that made the first military move, attacked South Ossetia killing a thousand civilians? I don’t see how you or the international community can say that. Yes, there was agitation by Russian separatists which may have provoked this action, but Georgia’s military attack put Russia in the right from the standpoint of international law. This is the unexpressed but actual view of the international community. Russia has achieved its political objective in kicking the Georgians out of South Ossetia, and the international community is going to let it stand. Of course McCain wants to restart the Cold War, but he’s an imperialist, as such not a member of the international community.

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By skyreader7, August 14, 2008 at 9:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Bush put his hand in Putin’s cookie jar and got it slapped.

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By Hemi*, August 14, 2008 at 9:55 am Link to this comment

To Tony W,

I’ve gotten to the point where I find the conspiracy theories dizzying. I know, that doesn’t mean their not out to get me. You could very well be correct. I’m not sure how we (the US) react differently to this if you are correct. I think that until there is proof positive you continue to maintain that “a duck is a duck”. In that vein, Putin is the bad guy and the world should react to him as a largely unprovoked aggressor. On the surface I’m rather certain that’s what will come down.

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By felicity, August 14, 2008 at 9:54 am Link to this comment

Re:  Tony Wicher, 8/13 @6:13 pm

“...sociopathic international gangs…” Merchants of Death, an epithet coined during WWI, may well continue to determine the why’s and wherefore’s of international conflicts. 

At present, Israeli arms dealers are faced with a quandry.  By continuing to sell arms to Georgia, they’re pissing off Russia which, if true to form, will retaliate by increasing her arms sales to Iran and Syria - at last check sworn enemies of Israel.

So, will profiteering win the day and arms sales to Georgia continue unabated, or will sanity prevail and arms sales to Georgia cease.  If not, which is probably more likely, if Iran attacks Israel it will be with the weapons sold to her by Israeli arms dealers. “...sociopathic international gangs…” may be an apt description of who the real players are.

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 9:53 am Link to this comment

No, I don’t take offense at being characterized as being dogmatic, Cann4ing, except that the dogma hasn’t been developed yet.  But I try to be on the side of the American people and people of the world against the US power system or polity, the most violent and oppressive in the world. With the possible exception of apartheid Israel.  I don’t blame the US power system first or always, as issywise claims, merely most, since all power systems are oppressive to varying degrees.

But it hasn’t made me blind to individuals.  I can tell the diffeence.  McClain is dumb, Obama is smart, McCain is white, Obama is black, McCain is old, Obama is not old, McCain is a Gop, Obama is a Dem, McCain is prinipled militarist and nationalist, Obama is an unprincpled one, doing and saying anything to get elected.  Being a princpled oportunist, totally dedicated to advancing his political career.

But their policies are similar, especially their foreign policies. Although the electoral bullshit they sling to the population differs of course, McCaoin trying to deceive conservative rank and file, Obama deceiving progressive rank and file. 

As political scientists say, the rhetoric of candidacy diverges from the discourse of goverance, this being the politically scientific bullshit.

Tony Wicher is an internationalist, believing, he states, in the formation of world institutions needed for governing the world’s population.  The US president isn’t an internationalist, no matter who is elected.  He is president of the fucking country and must conform to the power interests that put and keeps him there.  The US is an imperialism that is losing power, which is why its policies are so murderous and destructive to the world.  They will continue to be destructive, less so hopefully under Obama then McCain.

Both McCain and Obama will continue to turn the traditonal US power system into a Democratic police state, a police state disguised by a cover of liberal institutions that are drained of people power.  This will continue to be called Freedom and Democracy in the mainstream media dn by mainsteam tuthers. 

Obama signaled his readiness to continue this police state policy by supporting a law that mandates lawless spying on the American people by the American power system.  He had no hesitation in trashing the Constitution despite his being a former professor at the U of Chicaago (my old school, may it rot in hell) teaching constitutional law.

If the election is close I will probably vote for Obama, because he may be less destructive than McCain.  But spare me the bullshit; if I want some I’ll read the NYTimes. 

It the election isn’t close in Calif, I’ll vote and give some money to Cynthia McKinney, who might help mobilize the population during the coming police state.  And I and my family will do so quite dogmatically, hewing closely and with maniacal discipline to the dogma that we decide on at the time.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 9:51 am Link to this comment

re Saggy, August 14 at 8:45 am

Saggy,

Alexander Cockburn is a troglodytic doctrinaire Communist way past his time. I stopped reading his stuff 20 years ago. You are both anti-American and anti-Semitic. You say this is name calling; I say it is an objective fact as plain as the nose on your face.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Saggy, August 14 at 8:45 am

Your positive message of hope is an inspiration to us all.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 9:34 am Link to this comment

Re Anarcissie, August 14 at 8:11 am #


Issywise: ‘… The U.S. must remain engaged all over the world; the question is how and with what objective, peace and stability or world domination. ...’
——————————————————————————-Ararcissie,

The quote you give here was not posted by Issywise, but by me, Tony Wicher
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Intention (real or pretended) is not the critical issue; procedure (what one actually does about one’s supposed intentions) is what counts.  Everybody intends, or pretends, to do good—even Stalin and Hitler did.
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Anarcisse,

There is all the difference in the world between really intending an objective and pretending such an objective, as you correctly point out in your very next few sentences.
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If some state wants to be involved “all over the world” yet doesn’t want to be imperialist, then it would have to proceed on a basis of nonaggression, equity, equality and legality with other states.
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Absolutely correct! Of course, you know that democracy is never perfect, even within the most democratic country, much less internationally. The more powerful will probably always be “more equal” than the less powerful. It is a matter of degree. The question is how much “more equal”. It comes down to whose policies will strenthen international law and whose policies will undermine them.
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(Of course, this is contrary to the logic of the state, so it’s unlikely to be observed by the ruling class of any state which has the power to do otherwise.  But I digress.)
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Anarcisse,

That is true up to a point. That is the point where international political and also ecological instability threatens the ruling class more than ceding some of their power to international institutions. We are in that situation today.
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The United States does not proceed on a basis of nonaggression, equity, equality and legality with other states; it is aggressively violent and, just since World War 2, has attacked more than two dozen countries that were not attacking it because its rulers felt that the countries or parties within them were opposing its “interests”.  This is the logic and morality of the Mafia.  This behavior is not a neo-con innovation; it has been the default policy from Truman straight through to Clinton and Bush.  Both McCain and Obama have signed on to this program. (They would never get anywhere near the presidency if they did not.) They are, in short, imperialists.  “Internationalism” has been the official cover name for this imperialism, taught even in my childhood fifty years ago with religious fervor in the schools, but it is still imperialism.
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You are right that U.S. imperialism has gotten steadily worse since the end of WW II. But you still have a one-sided view of history. Imperialism has gotten worse, and went completely off the reservation with Bush, but that is to say that there is also a genuinely democratic and internationalist element in U.S. policy which has gotten steadily smaller. Obama represents a resurgence of the democratic, internationalist forces. I know things have been bad, but to identify U.S. policy since WW II with the Bush policy of the last eight years is to be anti-American, and actually helps the bad guys.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 9:13 am Link to this comment

By Hemi*, August 14 at 7:55 am #

Depsite being a confirmed ass I don’t think the president signed on to be made to look foolish by Putin for McCain’s sake. If you want to say that Bush has run his course and the neocons are sacrificing him for the sake of the agenda, well that’s accepting a lot to make the conspiracy. That would include that Putin is under their control.
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Hemi,

I’m just speculating. I don’t know if there was any prior arrangement between Putin and Bush. But there could have been. I don’t see how Bush was made to “look foolish”, and anyway, the whole world already knows he’s a moron. It would not mean that Putin is “under their control”, only that they made this arrangement because both sides benefitted in this case. Again what we have here is different international gangs, the Bush-Cheney-McCain-neocon imperialist international criminal gang on one side and the Putin KGB Russian imperialist international criminal gang on the other side making a temporary alliance for the purpose of screwing Georgia and the rest of the people of the world. Internationalists are those who would like to liquidate these gangs in favor of international law.

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By Anarcissie, August 14, 2008 at 9:11 am Link to this comment

Issywise: ‘... The U.S. must remain engaged all over the world; the question is how and with what objective, peace and stability or world domination. ...’

Intention (real or pretended) is not the critical issue; procedure (what one actually does about one’s supposed intentions) is what counts.  Everybody intends, or pretends, to do good—even Stalin and Hitler did.  If some state wants to be involved “all over the world” yet doesn’t want to be imperialist, then it would have to proceed on a basis of nonaggression, equity, equality and legality with other states.

(Of course, this is contrary to the logic of the state, so it’s unlikely to be observed by the ruling class of any state which has the power to do otherwise.  But I digress.)

The United States does not proceed on a basis of nonaggression, equity, equality and legality with other states; it is aggressively violent and, just since World War 2, has attacked more than two dozen countries that were not attacking it because its rulers felt that the countries or parties within them were opposing its “interests”.  This is the logic and morality of the Mafia.  This behavior is not a neo-con innovation; it has been the default policy from Truman straight through to Clinton and Bush.  Both McCain and Obama have signed on to this program. (They would never get anywhere near the presidency if they did not.)  They are, in short, imperialists.  “Internationalism” has been the official cover name for this imperialism, taught even in my childhood fifty years ago with religious fervor in the schools, but it is still imperialism.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 8:59 am Link to this comment

By Folktruther, August 14 at 6:53 am #

Whoever wins the election will serve a third term of Bush, continuing the imperialistic bogus War on Terrorism.  Obama will do it more intelligently and hopefully less destructively, but they are both imperialist, as apparently you and Issywise are.
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No, Folktruther, I’m an internationalist. I believe in international law, international institutions and world government as the only way to prevent war and manage the world economy and ecology. It will be necessary for all nations, starting with the U.S. as the most powerful nation, to progressively cede some of their soveriegnty to these institutions. It is inevitable that such institutions must grow, or we shall all perish.

Bush-Cheney-McCain neocon Republicans are unilateralist imperialists. They have done everything possible to undermine international law. Their talk about “freedom and democracy” is pure phoniness. Not only have they undermined international law, but also the U.S. Constitution. They have tried to pack the Justice Deartment with Republican operatives. They have ruined the moral standing of the United States in the world. The United States was once admired around the world as a promoter of peace, democracy, international stability and economic development. Since the Iraq invasion it has been RIGHTLY despised as a phony imperialist nation.

Now finally we have a chance to elect a decent American in Barack Obama, and people like you can’t tell the difference between him and McCain! It’s frustrating.

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By Hemi*, August 14, 2008 at 8:58 am Link to this comment

It’s more likely Putin saw his opportunity to make hay while we were vulnerable. Plain and simple.

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By Hemi*, August 14, 2008 at 8:55 am Link to this comment

Depsite being a confirmed ass I don’t think the president signed on to be made to look foolish by Putin for McCain’s sake. If you want to say that Bush has run his course and the neocons are sacrificing him for the sake of the agenda, well that’s accepting a lot to make the conspiracy. That would include that Putin is under their control.

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By cann4ing, August 14, 2008 at 8:52 am Link to this comment

Folktruther—There are many aspects of Barack Obama’s policies with which I disagree.  We don’t need more military spending.  We need drastic reductions.  His, as well as Hillary Clinton’s, “universal coverage” plan will not solve the health care crisis because it leaves in place the unnecessary, parasitic middle men (for-profit carriers & HMOs) which account for 31% of the spiraling health care costs.  The only real solution is single payer—ideally a nationalized health care system patterned after that available in the U.K.

The problem I have with dogmatic individuals—and I sincerely hope you won’t take offense if I tell you that I have reached the conclusion that you are such an individual—is that they see the world through a Manichaein lens which clouds their ability to see differences between individuals with whom the dogmatic individual does not totally agree.

The differences between Barack Obama and John McCain are stark.  They include a fundamental disagreement on constitutional issues that are vital to the preservation of the rule of law—the very things now under assault from the Federalist Society radicals in robes, four of whom now sit on the U.S. Supreme Court—a number that will swell to five (a permanent majority) if McCain is elected.  All of these jurists subscribe to “Unitary Executive” theory—a theory that was not taught when I attended law school in the mid-70s because it did not then exist.  Unitary Executive is not simply radical but subversive of the constitution and the rule of law itself.  It would destroy the last remnants of all legislative and judicial checks on executive abuses of power and extend to a president greater powers than that held by the British monarch at the time of the American Revolution.

With respect to foreign policy, there could be no greater example of a stark difference between candidates Obama & McCain than the their reactions to the Russia/Georgia conflict where Obama called for diplomacy and McCain and his neocon handlers expose a delusional perception of omnipotent American power coupled with a reckless willingness to exercise power towards Russia in a manner that could result in nuclear conflagration and an end to all life on the planet.

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By JMarra, August 14, 2008 at 8:43 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Scheunemann probably told the Georgian rep that “Senator McCain’s a man of his word” (just not always the same one).

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 8:32 am Link to this comment

By Rus7355, August 14 at 6:39 am #


Issywise,

Yes. Blinding hatred.

Cann4, Cyrena, Fadel and others are blinded by a deep seated hatred. I firmly believe their collective pathology has a great deal more to do with their own perceived self worth than the usual object of their wrath, the United States. In other word; they see America as they see themsleves.

It matters little the event. Global warming, Iraq, Iran, Russia, oil prices or tooth paste and knitting needles. In some way it’s always the United States at blame. Choose any topic. Any event. The context is always the same. It matters none what others say and do. Blame America First and Always!
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russ,

Neither cyrena, cann4ing or Fadel are “anti-American”. They understand the difference between imperialism and internationalism, between Obama and McCain. You, on the other hand, are the same as the anti-Americans in that you also can’t tell the difference between the two. The difference is that they are against imperialism and you are for it. The rational posters here, like cyrena and cann4ing,  are against imperialism and McCain and for internationalism and Obama. As a Republican, you love imperialism and believe in the Bush-Cheney-McCain claptrap about “spreading freedom and democracy” to justify purely imperialistic policies.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 8:21 am Link to this comment

Folktruther, August 14 at 6:53 am #

Like I said, you are politically blind as a bat, and your blindness is a godsend to the Bush-Cheney-McCain imperialists. If we get McCain this November, I am going to hold you and every fool like you personally responsible.

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By george in toronto, August 14, 2008 at 8:13 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Russia will always be in Israel firsters crosshairs. Hardly any talk here of Israel’s conduct in this affair. Fact, Georgia is controlled by Zionists. This war is another false flag operation instagated by unhappy X-Russians to start another world War. America/Israel are exposed as Zionist terrorist states.Sad part is Europe has the same problem. WWIII is upon us.

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By cann4ing, August 14, 2008 at 8:11 am Link to this comment

Q asks what was going on between Bush & Putin when both were seen smiling at the Olympics.  Simple, Bush was having a good time, so he wasn’t about to let a little thing like a war between Russia and Georgia get in the way.  Keith Olbermann said it best.  Bush is the first who sees the presidency as a part-time gig.

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By Easterling, August 14, 2008 at 8:09 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Russia = Creditor nation
USA = Debtor Nation

    Unfortunately Obama as well as McCain are Military Industrial Complex harpies. The USA’s unitary executive, ideologically correct judicary and legislature for hire take their marching orders from Corporate CEO’s and Boards of Directors. What’s good for the stockholders is good for the USofA! The system is so broken. Just my opinion. I could be wrong. Heh!

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By Folktruther, August 14, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment

Tony Wicher, your distinction that Bush and McCain are imperialists and Obama is an internationalist is a bad joke.  Obama wants to INCREASE the US military, continue to stay in Iraq under the guise of withdrawing combat troops (fighting with internationalists rather than imperialists, no doubt), esaclate the Afghanistan war to Pakistan, a country with nuclear weapons, and threaten Iran with nuclear war. 

He is toadying shameless to Aipac and the neocons, and supporting Israel militarily against the Palestinians. He is for increasing tension with China.

Whoever wins the election will serve a third term of Bush, continuing the imperialistic bogus War on Terrorism.  Obama will do it more intelligently and hopefully less destructively, but they are both imperialist, as apparently you and Issywise are.

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By jackpine savage, August 14, 2008 at 7:42 am Link to this comment

Rus7355,

You make some solid points, but your continual returning to the theme of “democracy” in the former Soviet Republics detracts from the points you make.

Georgia is hardly a “democracy”.  International observers labeled Saaskavelli’s election just shy of a farce.  All the things that the Western Left (and Right) lambastes Putin for occur with regularity in Georgia…and with perhaps more brutality.

We would be right to foster actual democracy everywhere (though we should start at home), but that is not what we do.  If you’re “friends” with us, then you can be a tinpot dictator and have the POTUS call you a “beacon of democracy”.

And we would be right to defend democracy, but when we defend tyrants and rationalize that defense with the word “democracy”, we pull the rug out from under ourselves. 

So long as “democracy” equals agreeing with us, it loses all of its power.  V.V. Putin was elected democratically twice (and even The Economist, no friend of his, has stated that he has no reason to fix elections) but all we hear about are his fascist, authoritarian tendencies.

Moreover, a country who’s last two presidential elections were clouded by voting issues has very little room to proclaim anything about “democracy” to the world.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment

By Issywise, August 14 at 5:34 am #

I think all the talk of American imperialism on this site is way too overblown. It is a perspective, but not the only one.
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I agree with you. Posters on this site cannot tell the difference between imperialism and internationalism. McCain and Bush are out-and-out imperialists. Obama is an internationalist. If you can’t see the difference, you’re politically blind. Internationalism is absolutely necessary; it is opposed to isolationism. The U.S. must remain engaged all over the world; the question is how and with what objective, peace and stability or world domination. Will the U.S. act to strenghthen international law or undermine it? That is the question. Unfortunately, the most hate-filled ranters on this site must be called anti-American. They are only helping the reactionaries with their stance, just as they did in the days of the Vietnam War.

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By Vince Liberty, August 14, 2008 at 7:26 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

@Anarcissie;

A small point - Neocons are not exclusively found among the Republicans. The sources of neoconservativism include Ex-Trotskyites, Straussians, Likudniks, Buckleyites, Crolyites (New Republic), and Scoop Jackson Democrats.

For an extreme current example, see Joe Lieberman, but the House and Senate are filled with Democrats who are either invested in neocon imperialism, or too corrupt or stupid to oppose it.

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By Vince Liberty, August 14, 2008 at 7:17 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

So is Robert, I fear. The connection between McCain’s campaign and Saakashvili is interesting for sure, and no doubt informs McCain’s rhetoric about a “revanchist” Russia, whatever the hell that is supposed to mean.

This is a conflict over resources, plain and simple, whatever gains result will redound to one or the other power’s oil oligarchs, whatever losses there are will be shared by the ordinary people, be they taxpayers or unfortunate military victims.

It baffles me that people who are not shills for Bush, McCain, or the oil companies can have any doubt that there are absolutely NO legitimate US interests at stake here.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

By Anarcissie, August 14 at 4:40 am #

There remains the question, though, of what set off Saakashvili.  It seems unlikely that he would invade Ossetia and run the high risk of a Russian counterattack without believing he had backup.  The neo-cons were crazy enough to advocate an unnecessary war in Iraq; why not one in Georgia?  “War is the health of the state.”
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Absolutely. Shalikashvilli is a neocon/Karl Rove dupe.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 7:00 am Link to this comment

Re Issywise, August 14 at 5:34 am #


Anarcissie

My point was less global than your perspective: it was simply that it is nuts to think something as attenuated as policy towards a Central Asian nation could have been a specific manipulation by some domestic political interest (an “election ploy”) aimed at domestic political gain.
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Either I’m nuts or the neocons are nuts. I think it’s them. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that ONE of major reasons - but far from the only one - that we invaded Iraq exactly when we did was to give the Republicans the advantage in the 2002 midterm elections. Sure, we also did it to establish complete military dominance in the Middle East, but there were the purely political Rovian motives as well. The politics succeeded - Bush won the election and the Republicans got their second round of tax cuts - even though as military strategy, it was a colossal blunder. The Georgia attack on South Ossetia has the same characteristics.

You say this is nuts. Yes, it is nuts. These guys are nuts. They are going to get us all killed.

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By Tony Wicher, August 14, 2008 at 6:51 am Link to this comment

By Q., August 13 at 8:42 pm #
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it odd that at the time that this invasion was going on, we saw a live shot of Bush and Putin at the Olympic opening festivities chatting like old friends? It makes one wonder what is really going on.
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One does wonder. When you look at who gained from the conflict, it’s Putin and Bush-McCain. Georgia lost.

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By Issywise, August 14, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment

Rus7355

I’m turning you in for inclusion on whatever list Fadel and cyrena maintain of people who just can’t see the forest for the trees.

There are those here who believe imperialism and fascism is a racial characteristic—a characteristic genetically possessed by white people. I’m not kidding—they actually SAY imperialism and fascism are a genetic trait carried by people of European descent. In 2008, forty years after the death of Dr. King.

Welcome to the swamp.  Your comment pulled my legs out of the mire to just about knee height. So much mindless sludge in one place was overwhelming me.

The irony is that most of the people here have good goals. They just habituate to dissentful perspectives that the cease discriminating between the realistic, the fantastic and the even the outright evil—Fadel is an Islamacist who’d displace democracy with theocracy.

There is as much blind hate here as there must be on neocon websites. I haven’t the stomach to visit them. I lean to the hopeful. Do think these folks are rehabilitatable? If not they’ll be impotent in pursuing their often admirable goals.

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By Issywise, August 14, 2008 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Anarcissie

My point was less global than your perspective: it was simply that it is nuts to think something as attenuated as policy towards a Central Asian nation could have been a specific manipulation by some domestic political interest (an “election ploy”) aimed at domestic political gain.

Ascending to discuss things on your higher level of analysis: I don’t think “The Great Game” was solely an imperialist thing. To the extent the present circumstances analogize to “The Great Game,” they too cannot be shoehorned into a purely imperialist perspective.

Britain was undoubtedly imperialist. It’s imperialism made it fear for it Indian “possessions.” Russia, imperialist itself and ever-expanding, was seen as a threat to British imperial interests in the Far East. Hence, some of the motivation for the “Great Game” was imperialism.

But, there is another perspective that is just as applicable to explain the competition between the two empires.  Britain, the small island just off the coast of Europe, followed a “balance of power” foreign policy for centuries; wherein, it combined with the second strongest power on the continent (and others) to restrain the accumulation of power by the strongest continental state—with the Dutch to inhibit Spanish-Hapsburg supremecy, with everybody to retrain France and with France and Russia to restrain Germany.

By this same perspective, all of the Western European powers sought to retrain Russia from gathering up enough resources (Asian or European) to become the dominant power in Europe.  This is why the Polish Partition was a concern in 18th Century Paris and London. Neither power had any imperial interest in Eastern Europe, but were wary of growing Russian strength.

The history of the 19th Century is one of long Western support for a fading Ottoman Empire to forestall Russian accumulation of national resources at Ottoman expense. The Western forces didn’t prefer “The Turk” to “The Bear,” but fought wars to prevent The Bear from becoming too strong.

This balance of power perspective is more defensive, paranoid—if you will, than aggressive imperialism. It is also more closely parallels American policy since the end of WWII—containment of Soviet-Russian power. Support of Georgia can be seen as a natural extension of that defensive-paranoid policy rather than imperialistic. Not to mention, we like democracies. Should we ignore them because their within reach of the Bear?

Nonetheless, a valid question is the degree to which our containment (or imperial) policy helped bring about the rearmerment and re-chauviniscation (is that a word?)of Russia.

I think all the talk of American imperialism on this site is way too overblown. It is a perspective, but not the only one.

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By jackpine savage, August 14, 2008 at 5:55 am Link to this comment

cann4ing,

I don’t doubt that Saaskavelli was led to believe that he would have the full support of the United States by someone in the US government.  We’ve been arming and training Georgian troops for a while.

Still, Saaskavelli made the decision.  And if he’s dumb enough to trust his US advisers then he’s too stupid to be running a country.

On the other hand, i would guess that his US advisers assumed that Russia would do more than drive the Georgian military back.  Had Russia marched on Tbilisi, then a more serious US response probably would have been in the offing.

But Putin played it smart.  One side is playing checkers and the other side is playing chess.

Anarcisse, i understood your full point and it is an important one.  Much of the antagonizing of Russia was done under a Democratic administration.  And the fundamentalist neoo-liberal rape and pillage of the Russian economy was all done under a Dem.  It was a Dem who kept calling Yeltsin a trumpet of freedom and democracy…and Yeltsin was anything but that.  Only those with no sense of history will blame this all on Bush.

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By basho, August 14, 2008 at 5:53 am Link to this comment

to Anarcissie-

can you expand on this a little? thanx

‘I don’t know who else likes it, maybe the Germans’

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By Anarcissie, August 14, 2008 at 5:40 am Link to this comment

Issywise: ‘... Eight of the 18 years since the collapse of the Soviet Union featured a Democratic administration—hardly a solid period of hard right wing neocon supremacy. ...’

That was one of my points—that the attempt to get control of Georgia as part of driving an imperial wedge into central Asia has not been a neo-con thing but a general ruling-class thing (in the U.S.—I don’t know who else likes it, maybe the Germans).  It is the same game the British played there in the 19th century (in fact, they called it “the Great Game” whilst killing thousands of people in the region).

There remains the question, though, of what set off Saakashvili.  It seems unlikely that he would invade Ossetia and run the high risk of a Russian counterattack without believing he had backup.  The neo-cons were crazy enough to advocate an unnecessary war in Iraq; why not one in Georgia?  “War is the health of the state.”

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By basho, August 14, 2008 at 5:01 am Link to this comment

The august surprise fell flat on its face.
All it showed was that the U.S. is running out of steam.
And fast running out of friends. But then as history shows this is the way it treats all of its friends, Georgia now joins that list.

What did happen though, is support DE and FR in their drive to keep Georgia and Ukrania out of the now almost defunct NATO. This last vestige of U.S. military blackmail on European soil may soon become a memory, hopefully. The Russians withdrew from Europe a number of years ago and have repeatedly asked the U.S. and the Europeans (ala NATO) to do the same. It will also cause a re-think of the vaunted U.S. missile-shield in Europe. AS for re-igniting a cold-war. Yes, in the literal sense it may, winter is on its way.

I agree with the writer from Russia that commented on the anti-Russian bias in the European press. Unfortunately this is true. Paranoia runs deep. To him I will say that this clash will soon be forgotten because the next big story will revolve about the Gulf of Hormuz where the same people that are condemning Russia are now massing their naval fleets.

The world is changing…quickly. The West (whatever that is) had better wake up to it…and soon

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By Issywise, August 14, 2008 at 4:26 am Link to this comment

It is one thing to say that American policy contributed to the invasion Georgia by Russia—“contributed” not “caused”: cause assumes too much Amero-centric importance.

It is completely another thing to say that your domestic political adversaries caused the invasion for domestic political purposes. That’s way too self-centric, assumes to much domestic omnipotence abroad and is more than a little nuts.

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By juri, August 14, 2008 at 3:16 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

doesnt add up.

Western interest is a stabile georgia .. its one of the only ways to go around Russian monopoly as gas provider to Europe. By causing problems in the region, West would increase the depency on Russian gas.

They might be crazy, but they dont go against their self-interest

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By Greg Bacon, August 14, 2008 at 3:01 am Link to this comment

Let’s not forget that the Bush White House was getting nervous about the revelations in Ron Suskind’s book, “The Way of the World,” and needed to get Suskind’s documented stories about more Bush White House lies and deceit about the Iraq War out of the news cycle.

And the American FBI was getting nervous that it’s supposed case against the man they had fingered as the anthrax mailer, Ivin, was getting shot to pieces.

How convenient for the Bush/Cheney Junta that their hand picked man in Georgia decided to start a conflagration with Russia that that is filling up the newscasts.

Damn, are the Bushies lucky or not?

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By samosamo, August 14, 2008 at 12:55 am Link to this comment

By Alexander, August 13 at 9:49 pm

Your comment reflects a lot of what I don’t understand since it happened under our noses, is why people continually refer to these evil people as being elected when it should be recognized for what it was, ILLEGAL, as bush/cheney did not win either 2000 or 2004 elections. Only by the power of the mainstream media’s ability to divert and stop reporting on what happened in both elections, allowed this administration to be appointed in 2000 and steal the 2004 election.
As a matter of fact, Vincent Bugliosi presents an unarguable stance that the 5 conservative ardent federalist supreme court justices that STOPPED the recount vote on Dec. 9 because bush’s lead over gore had shrunk to 154 votes committed a felony of which they should be serving time in prison for their act. And that doesn’t even cover the voting machine manipulations where if a ballot in a white county was marked wrong the vote count machine would kick it back out so that person could vote again; where in black counties the ‘switch’ was turned off that made the machine keep the ballots that were marked wrong and those people were not allowed to redo their vote. And it doesn’t cover the purge list created by the orders of jeb bush, george’s brother, the governor of florida, of ‘supposed felons’ that were stricken off the voting lists most of who were not felons.
Get and read the book ‘What Happened in Ohio’ to understand how that was subverted. But shortly, the secretary of state for Ohio put several measures into effect that confused and negated peoples votes to where an exit poll showed kerry winning by a few percentage points but miraculously, bush up and wins.

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By Alex, August 14, 2008 at 12:04 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

glad to see so many thinking people but unfortunately you’re not who makes decision. The hysteria about bloody russian barbarians has started, and looks like Obama now don’t have a single chance. I don’t think hes well enough to rule US but the alternative is quite horrific.

Alex, Vladivostok, Russia

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By Alexander, August 13, 2008 at 10:49 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

As far as I can see from your comments - there are enough sane pepole in US. But how can you elect such leaders as George W. Bush et al.?
Doesn’t your nation really understand that for their stupidity & ambitions will pay simple americans?

I’m from Russia. I regulary investigate foreign papers (yeah - there is a freedom of media in my country!!!) and I can say that only 5% of articles in US & EU about war in Osetia are fair.
We didn’t start that war. We gave our response 15 hours later after first georgian bombardments of South Osetian villages and capital - Tskhinval. We did protect our citizens in South Osetia and our peacekeepers which were had no weapon against tanks & artillery (UN convention prohibited).
Saakashvili is crazy, but not stupid. He couldn’t make such kind of decision by himself. He undestood that Russia will respond. I believe that he was promised a support (political or military). Try to guess who promised it..

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By samosamo, August 13, 2008 at 10:14 pm Link to this comment

Consider the rise of the nazis in germany in the 30s. This group/party or what have you saw the desolation of WWI torn germany and the dire straights they were in. And what became of all that? The rise of corporate germany towards war production, plans drawn out to ‘round up and harrass’ of the non-aryan peoples(jews, gypsies, etc). Any political system was totally complicit with the furhrer through threats and imprisonment or worse. Then the schemes to adroitly invade other countries to come under the domination of nazi germany for the resources and manpower which eventually led to the outright enslavement of the people which for many was hard labor and death or concentration camps and death.
Now, did I leave anything out? Probably but the general outline comes across as very modernly familiar. Where? Here in the good old USA. Only now it is the neocons(read neonazism) with not just one idealogue but 2, w & dick; and a bunch of schemers in think tanks. Actually the idealogues were a bit higher up and w & dick are their fuck boys. So here they are doing their best to ‘round up and harrass’(housing crisis, economy, job loss) the people of this country where eventually these people will provide the slave labor to maintain corporate intentions and the rest will be put in ‘special places’ where the new private contractors will be able to refine their techniques and methods for an Owellian society that these think tankers read about in ‘1984’. Any information about how to control and manipulate the masses in countries has been read and studied by the think tankers and they have learned those lessons very well.
The new military junta will handle the colonies and expand the corporate desires as needed. Neocons will be put in place to help guide the military agendas and performance.
So don’t expect for these people to just go away or give up because there appears to be a messanic figure in the running to supposedly prevent a reliving of history which a bunch of evil schemers utterly reject and will still do what they think needs to be done to keep control, hopefully in the white house and in congress through any means possible. Most notably with the use of diebold and es & s, and also the swift boat. And just as the ruse in Georgia indicates, the methods and the actions are just beginning to start.
For swift boating, try this from Truthout:
http://www.truthout.org/article/obama-swift-boat-sets-sail
Once again, these neocons(president on down to congressionals to the think tankers) have all declared war on the people and mean to maintain power at any cost.(think putin using tactical nukes) And I guess we should all ask ourselves what will it take to not just change the presidency and congress BUT come up with the solution to ending the onslaught of the neocons. Remember too, the military is very infected with these people.

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By Q., August 13, 2008 at 9:42 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Isn’t it odd that at the time that this invasion was going on, we saw a live shot of Bush and Putin at the Olympic opening festivities chatting like old friends? It makes one wonder what is really going on.

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2008 at 9:39 pm Link to this comment

I didn’t mean their crdibility, cann4ing, in the sense of telling the truth.  That is quite impossible.  I meant their military credibility with the small states they are trying to drive against Russia. They are trying to put an anti-missile system in Poland and Checho to give the US a first strike capacity.  This effort will suffer now.

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By vonbargen, August 13, 2008 at 9:38 pm Link to this comment

If I weren’t just reading Naomi Klein’s book, it wouldn’t have occurred to me that this could be the equivalent of the Falklands War, Grenada, the attack on Chechnya et al, all designed to create an atmosphere in which “emergency powers” and “emergency measures” can be implemented with widespread public support.  Of course, I left out the most obvious recent example - Iraq!

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By cann4ing, August 13, 2008 at 9:21 pm Link to this comment

What credibility, folktruther?  Condi Rice got up and echoed McCain, who said that it is unacceptable for one country to invade another sovereign nation in the 21st Century.

Hello, Condi and McSame!  You’re lights are on but no one appears to be home.  Have you forgotten that this was precisely what the U.S. did to the sovereign nation of Iraq?

Why should any nation listen to what either Mad Dog McSame or someone in the Bush administration has to say on this issue?

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2008 at 9:15 pm Link to this comment

The power interests of the Bushites in office and McCalin are not the same.  Sure, they both want McCain to win the presidency but the Bushites may not risk nuclear war to do it.  It may be, as cann4ing suggests, that Schoeinemann and Rove gave Saakashvilli assurances that they were in no position to implement.

The Bushites are now in a position where they must maintain their credibility to protect the other states who they are arming to surround Russia.  Even if they write off Georgia.  And they also don’t want to write off McCain.  But I would bet they are not too happy with McCain’s advisers.

As for McCalin, he is giving old dumb people a really bad name.

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By Vince Liberty, August 13, 2008 at 8:59 pm Link to this comment

US Interests in areas of conflict, 2008;

Afghanistan = pipelines

Iraq = oil

Iran = oil

Georgia = pipelines

Whoever said the world does not revolve around the US is partly right - it revolves around our anti-capitalist, mercantilist, fascist, corporatist oil companies, weapons makers, and banks.

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By rowman, August 13, 2008 at 8:47 pm Link to this comment

Re: By Issywise, August 13 at 11:50 am #

No, I don’t buy it. You zeroed right in on the anti-Semites….

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By Fahrenheit 451, August 13, 2008 at 8:43 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

One thing being overlooked; Russia has every right to be very worried.  As America surrounds her with the missile shield it gives America a first strike capability against Russia for the first time.

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By cann4ing, August 13, 2008 at 8:31 pm Link to this comment

jackpine, it isn’t so much as whether the U.S. “engineered” the Georgia attack on South Ossetia but whether Scheunemann led the Georgians to mistakenly believe that we would come to their aid if the Russians responded.  While most people would scoff at that idea, given the reality that the U.S. military is already stretched to the breaking point, one has to keep in mind that most neocons are still operating under the delusion that U.S. power is omnipotent.  Indeed, that is the core point made by the PNAC in all their writings.

If Scheunemann told the Georgians that it would be a “cake walk,” he would obviously not be the first neocon to make such an absurd assertion.

That is what makes the likes of McCain and the neocons so scary.  It isn’t just that they are driven by greed-based U.S. imperialism but that their delusions of omnipotence lead them to think they can surround Russia with a missile defense shield, e.g. the Czech Republic, gaining a first strike capability, treat the oil in former Soviet Republics, like Georgia, as if it were the exclusive property of U.S. based oil companies, and that the Russians will be so immobilized by our exclusive weaponization of the space dimension that the Russians would dare not counter anything we sought to do.

This is why those suggesting there is no difference between Barack Obama are dead wrong.  Where Obama immediately recognized the delicacy the situation requires smart diplomacy, insane McCain sees the Russian action as a challenge to his manhood.  He actually believes we could win a nuclear war.  A McCain presidency potentially portends to a nuclear holocaust and an annihilation of all life on the planet.

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By Chris1274, August 13, 2008 at 7:46 pm Link to this comment

Does anyone else think that this morning’s Minuteman III test was a shot across Russia’s bow?

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By ratsass, August 13, 2008 at 7:32 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Mr. Scheer,

Be sure to checkout today’s c-span coverage
of AEI where all the neo-con got their hard on.
It was totally surreal to see those who pushed the
war with Iraq and Iran are now using the double talk
it should be archived for future columns.

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By jackpine savage, August 13, 2008 at 7:26 pm Link to this comment

Nicely done, Anarcissie, nicely done.

No one should be surprised by the McCain-Georgia connection.  However, i don’t think that Georgia’s attack was engineered by anyone in the US.  Enabled?  Certainly. 

If this was America’s/McCain’s plan then we’re in deep shit/McCain will be even more bumbling than Bush.

I think that this was Saaskavelli misreading his support and being more than a little too full of himself.  It’s hard to declare a ceasefire, break it yourself in less than 24 hours, and get away with it…during the Olympics no less. 

None of that means that the McCain lobbyist, Georgia connection shouldn’t be pursued by journalists.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 13, 2008 at 7:13 pm Link to this comment

Re Viewer, August 13 at 3:09 pm

Nice post, welcome to TD. I very much share your view of the world. I would also say that there are various sociopathic international gangs operating outside the laws of any nation (much less international law). These gangsters have no allegiance to anyone but themselves, no real ideology, no real national or religious ties and no morality. They are just plain gangsters. But they use religion, nationalism, ideology to justify their activities and to create division, war and conflict from which they profit. So, for example, it is very possible that the Cheney-PNAC gang, the Al Qaeda gang and Israeli gangsters were all in on 9-11, because they all stood to profit. Cheney-PNAC got their pretext for a military invasion of the Middle East, bin Laden become a big hero in the Muslim world, and the U.S. being a victim of terror on its home soil cemented it as a Israel’s ally in the “war against terror”.

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By Big E, August 13, 2008 at 6:57 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

there certainly is a lot of irony in the situation, intended or otherwise…..

American rhetoric chastising the Russians about ‘invading a sovereign nation’ and showing restraint in their actions, it’s almost laughable if people weren’t really dying.

Georgians should have reread the 1st Gulf War history on how the U.S. really supports those they encourage to ‘rise up’.

Bush may have looked into Putin’s soul, but Putin’s leg went knee deep up Bush’s ass, and Russia said very clearly we can play this game too and what are you going to really do about it?

It is possible that this is actually a PNAC/Republican/Neo-Con fantasy plan come to life…. yes, as I believe based on the last 8 years there is no line
the Bush & Co. folks wouldn’t cross.

More likely tho’, Russia didn’t want a Cuba like situation on their doorstep and would have used any excuse to administer some hard lessons to Georgia.

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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 13, 2008 at 6:35 pm Link to this comment

Re Folktruther, August 13 at 3:48 pm #

The war can simply be a result of miscalulation, miscommunication and deception, instead of a desperate gamble to risk everything by the Bushites. This is one interpretation.

The other is Robert’s.  The Bushites are ignorant, stupid and total loonies.
——————————————————————————-
The burden of Scheer’s column is that backing Georgia makes no strategic sense, as the Russians have demonstrated, but it does make political sense, if Bush-McCain never had any intention of backing Georgia militarily, knew they would be crushed, but did it for domestic policial purposes, so McCain could look “tough” in comparison with Obama.

It is remniscent of the Iraq invasion, which was also a major strategic blunder for the U.S., planned by the same PNAC people, but which did serve the purpose of making the Democrats look weak, as Republicans beat the drums of war just before the November 2002 election. It worked like a charm for the Republicans. The Democrats caved on the war in order not to look weak, which precisely made them look weak anyway. The Republicans got their war, won the election, and got their second round of tax cuts besides. Karl Rove should get a medal of some sort for that.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, August 13, 2008 at 6:28 pm Link to this comment

McCain Adviser Was
Lobbyist for Georgia

By MARY JACOBY
August 11, 2008; Page A5

“John McCain’s top foreign-policy adviser, Randy Scheunemann, is a leading expert on U.S.-allied Georgia—and was a paid lobbyist for the former Soviet republic until March, in the run-up to what has become a major battle between Georgia and Russia.
[Go to page.]

Democratic rival Barack Obama’s presidential campaign was quick to try to paint Mr. Scheunemann’s dual roles as a conflict of interest after Sen. McCain swiftly took Georgia’s side in the dispute, and cited it as evidence that Sen. McCain is “ensconced in a lobbyist culture,” as Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan told reporters over the weekend.

But given the rapid escalation of the fighting, and the fact that Georgia is being viewed as a victim of its neighbor’s aggression, Mr. Scheunemann’s ties to the small nation and its pro-Western Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili may look less like a weakness and more like a strength in the first foreign-policy crisis of the general election campaign.

“In a major international crisis, what is their response?” Mr. Scheunemann said of the Obama campaign in an interview Sunday. “To take a cheap shot at me, as if helping a struggling democracy is somehow wrong.” Mr. Scheunemann took a formal leave of absence from his two-person lobbying firm earlier this year amid controversy over Sen. McCain’s ties to lobbyists.

Mr. Scheunemann’s firm, Orion Strategies, continues to represent Georgia in Washington, and signed a new $200,000 contract with the country in April. Mr. Scheunemann remains an owner of the firm, though he is no longer registered to lobby for it. Mr. Scheunemann said he has made more than a dozen trips to Georgia since he began lobbying for the country in 2004.

The crisis puts a spotlight on Mr. Scheunemann, 48 years old, who has long been a leading neoconservative voice in the American foreign-policy debate. He played a prominent role advocating for toppling Saddam Hussein, serving in 2002 as executive director of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq. At a key moment before the war, he helped to line up allies in “New Europe”—notably former Soviet bloc states like Latvia—to write a letter in support of the invasion. That came as “Old Europe” American allies like France and Germany resisted.”

http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB121842762192729075.html

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