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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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Tony Wicher's avatar

By Tony Wicher, August 13, 2008 at 6:25 pm Link to this comment

Having paused to take a look at all sides of this conflict, I have come to the conclusion that it does not matter who provoked who, who started it, etc. I’m neutral, and all I want is an end to violence and negotiations with agreements bound by international law. That is Obama’s postion, the EU’s position, the postion of the international community, and a position that Russia has already agreed to. McCain wants to make Georgia a memeber of NATO, and sets conditions that Russia will never agree to, and doesn’t have to agree to, conditions that are sure to re-ignite the Cold War, which is what McCain and the military-industrial completx wants. There could not be a starker difference between the Obama and McCain policies.

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By george in toronto, August 13, 2008 at 4:56 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Just read this article and wanted to share it—from WRH.
“Now I offer you six reasons why the heavily Jewish-influenced media and political establishment of America side with Georgia:

1) As Israeli newspapers freely report, Israel has long allied itself with Georgia, trained its troops, and supplied weapons to Georgia. Key figures in the Georgia government are Israeli citizens and partisans for Israel, including the “Georgian” who directly launched the war, Defense Minister Davit Kezerashvili. The major “Georgia” Spokesman is Temur Yakobashvili, also an Israeli citizen, is Georgia’s minister of reintegration.

2) Israel has strategic oil pipeline and economic interests in Georgia that it wants to keep under control.

3) Israel and Jewish powerbrokers around the world are angry with Russia because Russia keeps the Jewish Neocon-controlled United States from total domination of United Nations policy toward Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and toward a war against Iran.

4) The Russian government has had the courage to prosecute some of the Jewish criminal Oligarchs in Russia such as Berezovsky, Gusinsky, Khodorkovsky and others, a great many of whom have fled with their stolen billions to Israel and other nations.

5) Russia is a democratic state, and not controlled by special interests such as the United States is by AIPAC and Jewish campaign money. While Jewish-influenced newspapers and politicians complain about “democracy in Russia,” America maintains a completely controlled two party system that is structured to stifle Third Party dissent and representation. Russia is no longer a communist state but an anti-communist state in the true sense. While Russia has moved toward more freedom and healthy national sentiment, America has moved toward more state control of every aspect of life. Ironically, today American policy is dominated by Neocons, a Jewish extremist led group that was founded by followers of Leon Trotsky (Lev Bronstein) the notorious Jewish Bolshevik head of the Red Army in the early years of the Communist revolution in Russia, a man who murdered millions of Christians.

6) Zionists are trying to make the great, overwhelming White nation of Russia an enemy of America and Europe because nationalist Russia stymies their plans for the Mideast and for the New World Order. The conflict between Russia and Georgia is not in the true interest of either country, but one in which their main enemy, Russia is weakened both financially and in the court of world opinion, and Israel gets to sell Georgia more weapons. Once you understand the powerful role of the Jewish supremacists in media and government you can begin understand the nature of the world’s major conflicts.”

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2008 at 4:48 pm Link to this comment

While, granted, we are being ruled by homicidal maniacs, Scheer points out a reason for ‘optomism.’  It may not be the the case that Bush gave the go-ahead directly to the Georgian leader. 

It is conceviable that McCain’s advisers, Schoenmann and now Rove, who vacationed in Crimia recently, told Sakashvili that the Bushites would back him if he invade Ossetia and the Russians reacted.

It’s an importance diffeence.  As gobal Exchange writers emphasize, there is here a risk of thermonuclear war.  If Bush does not want to risk nuclear war over this minor world conflict, there is still an element of sanity in an evil perverted mind.

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.

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By IGOR, August 13, 2008 at 4:30 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Do you know that all Russian TV channels showed in an alive the beginning of aggression of Georgia to South Ossetia? And in some hours after in Beijing prime-minister Putin informed president Bush about the beginning of war!
Russia did not attack Georgia the first. Russia has started to protect ossetic people from the Georgian aggression. Up to when Russia has started to protect ossetic citizens and the peacemakers - it has been killed not less than thousand peace citizens of Ossetia. Treacherous attack of Georgia against Ossetia has begun at 23.45, on August, 7th. The military answer of Russia to the Georgian aggression has begun at 14.00, but already on August, 8th.
Artillery bombardment all the day long proceeded, fights with use of tanks and heavy combat material, both against ossetic armies. The Russian army and the Chechen soldiers battled together against the Georgian army!!!
Georgian President Saakashvili is the liar and the coward! The Georgian army can be at war only with sleeping women and children!

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By Viewer, August 13, 2008 at 4:09 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

***

Consider the possibility that the international gang of thugs that control the various fiefdoms called nations might all (or mostly all) be in on the game.  The pattern is not unlike that of pre-democracy European monarchical aristocracy, or mafia crime turfs. 

Yes, they play the “great game” with each other, using assorted peasant populations (that would be us) as pawns.  Yes, there are winners and losers of territory and power.  ... But mostly everybody in the power elites of these competing nations wins!  The threat-drama provided by the “enemy” (take your pick) allows entrenched big money to stay in power and to keep “democracy” from ever actually being what it claims to be.  That would really be too much: allowing the “people” to actually have a real say in how the world works!!  Horrors!  They might lose their considerable perks. 

So ... consider, that when you buy into the TV drama of Americans vs. Russians vs. Muslims vs. Jews vs. Chinese vs. ... let’s see, how about Luxembourg or Sierra Leone ... or liberals vs. conservatives ... or any other abstract grouping of peoples you care to choose ... consider that you might be missing the main players: Up-$ vs. Down-no$; Power players vs. pawns.

This situation will not change until a gradually growing number of people awaken to the situation and gradually begin to reinvent the way media informs people and the way economies work.  (As this site demonstrates, media can be used to enlighten as well as to propagandize.) In my view, this awakening shift is what this century is all about.  We are in the early days.  Have patience, courage, and wise persistence.  This will take a couple of generations to change.

Footnote: I’m glad to read some reminder of April Glaspie, but please spell it out.  For those who do not know, April Glaspie was the US embassador to Sadam’s Iraq just before the first Gulf war.  When Sadam mentioned that he was considering invading Kuwait (they were pressing him to pay debts), her reply was that the US would consider the invasion an “internal matter.”  In other words, the Bush-one government mousetrapped him. 

Effect: got Niel Bush’s involvement in the Savings and Loan crisis out of the news, showed that America was tough, gained greater control of Gulf oil region, funnelled money into the military industrial complex.  All around net win, from their perspective.  This is important, but little known, history.  Search on her name and you should be able to find the actual text of her memo to Sadam.  I did a few years ago.

***

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By Austrian, August 13, 2008 at 3:34 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

All Americans are imperialists

I have just recently realised the above…

Even those who are critical of neocons and the establishment still think that everything revolves around USA. “It must be so because they talked about it on the news and there MUST be a REASON for that”.

The author of the article has some interesting insights and points out interesting connections but as an American knows little about the ex-soviet region and understands even less.

It’s not always about you, sometimes other people act on their own. They make their own stupid mistakes (Shakashvili) and they have their own dreams and sweet memories about empire (the head of the KGB/FSB Putin). US certainly has it’s influence but it only goes so far.

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By felicity, August 13, 2008 at 2:56 pm Link to this comment

Is it possible…so many possibles so I’ll offer one.  How about creating a diversion from a possible, maybe even impending investigation and follow-up to the crimes committed by the Bush Administration, more importantly its primary players.

Bush Sr. at the end of his administration pardonned the Iran-Contra players which in turn shut down the ongoing investigation of same and therefore himself.

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By Kevin James, August 13, 2008 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This article clearly demonstrate that whatever the United States touch will wreak of Hypocrisy and Corruption.
Here is a little background:

http://news.newamericamedia.org/news/view_article.html?article_id=be0c1714ee6d115a328ec24b7d081e62&from=rss

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By barbatus, August 13, 2008 at 2:38 pm Link to this comment

I don’t know whether it is true or not that Mr. McCain (or his speechwriter) got his “facts” on Georgia from Wikipedia, but he got them wrong. He can’t even pronounce his “old friend”‘s name properly. What a moron . . .

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By Ed, August 13, 2008 at 2:31 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The past seven years have demonstrated with clarity that this administration (and the Republicans) have weakened the U.S.‘s defenses. The U.S. is in a much weaker military and world leadership position than ever. The failure of the Afghan campaign (with the complete incompetence at Tora Bora) and the foolhardy adventures in Iraq have emboldened U.S. adversaries. From their perspective, the U.S. leadership is provincial and corrupt; the U.S. military and intelligence services are politicized and incompetent. Hardly the stuff of a world leader. Castro and Chavez are watching with glee and Bin Ladin and his ilk are delighted at the outcome of their 9/11 operation. It boggles my mind that the U.S. has a half trillion dollar military budget yet is so cowardly and weak.

If McCain is perceived as strong on defense, it’s nothing more than an illusion. He is as weak on defense as he is on the economy: myopic, reactionary and a member of the more corrupt party.

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Robert's avatar

By Robert, August 13, 2008 at 2:23 pm Link to this comment

August 13, 2008
Two Morons: Bush and Saakashvili
“President Bush, Will You Please Shut Up?”

By PAUL CRAIG ROBERTS

“The neoconned Bush Regime and the Israeli-occupied American media are heading the innocent world toward nuclear war. 

Back in the Reagan years the National Endowment for Democracy was created as a cold war tool. Today the NED is a neocon-controlled agent for US world hegemony. Its main function is to pour US money and election-rigging into former constituent parts of the Soviet Union in order to ring Russia with American puppet states. 

The neoconservative Bush Regime used the NED to intervene in Ukrainian and Georgian internal affairs in keeping with the neoconservative plan to establish US-friendly and Russia-hostile political regimes in these two former constituent parts of Russia and the Soviet Union.

The NED was also used to dismember the former Yugoslavia with its interventions in Slovakia, Serbia, and Montenegro.

Allen Weinstein, who helped draft the legislation establishing NED, told the Washington Post in 1991 that much of what the NED does “today was done covertly 25 years ago by the CIA.”

The Bush Regime, having established a puppet, Mikhail Saakashvili, as president of Georgia, tried to bring Georgia into NATO. 

For readers too young to know, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization was a military alliance between the US and Western European countries to resist any Soviet move into Western Europe [and to ensure European countries lined up behind the US, and bought its weapons systems. Editors] .  There has been no reason for NATO since the Soviet Union’s internal political collapse almost two decades ago. The neocons turned NATO into another tool, like the NED, for US world hegemony.  Subsequent US administrations violated the understandings that President Reagan had reached with Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, and have incorporated former parts of the Soviet empire into NATO.  The neocon goal of ringing Russia with a hostile military alliance has been proclaimed many times.

Western European members of NATO balked at the admission of Georgia, as they understood it as a provocative affront to Russia, on whom Western Europe is dependent for natural gas.  Western Europeans are also disturbed at the Bush Regime’s intentions to install ballistic missile defenses in Poland and the Czech Republic as the consequence will be Russian nuclear cruise missiles targeted on European capitals. Europeans don’t see the advantage of helping the US block Russian nuclear retaliation against the US at the expense of their own existence.  Ballistic missile defenses are not useful against cruise missiles. 

Every country is tired of war except for the US. War, including nuclear war, is the neoconservative strategy for world hegemony.

The entire world, except for Americans, knows that the outbreak of armed conflict between Russian and Georgian forces in South Ossetia was entirely due to the US and its Georgia puppet, Saakashvili.  Americans, alone in the world, are unaware that the hostilities were initiated by Saakashvili, because Bush, Cheney and the Israeli-occupied American media have again lied to them.

Everyone else in the world knows that the unstable and corrupt Saakashvili, who proclaims democracy and runs a police state,  would not have taken on Russia by attacking South Ossetia unless given the go-ahead by Washington.”

http://www.counterpunch.org/roberts08132008.html

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By Mr. Hand, August 13, 2008 at 2:13 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

McCain shouting “Russian Evil Empire!!1!” before the smoke had even cleared (and it now turns out that Georgia was being just as Evil Empire) wasn’t indicative of the war being a ploy - it’s indicative of McCain lacking the foreign policy acumen to actually try to figure out what’s going on over there.

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By Carlos, August 13, 2008 at 1:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Facts and Reality,during the last 8 years more so than at any previous time,have not only shown how this country got highjacked by TheMcCain/Schuenemann
/PNAC,nowadays as stated here….............
” 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”,but are likewise documented at these sites :
http://www.philipweiss.org/mondoweiss/2008/07/
http://www.amconmag.com/blog/2008/07/
To call this Bush-administration the greatest,darkest
hypocrites this country has ever seen,is an utter understatement..just by facts,words and deeds alone.
And these very Nazi-criminals,who have the audacity
to point fingers at the original Nazis whenever it suited their needs,have received a free pass by the
very same MSM,which is collaborating with each other
ever since.Honest,discreet journalism is nowhere to be found….unless there a individuals such as Robert
Scheer or Keith Olbermann ...it`s a sad situation !

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By unregistered, August 13, 2008 at 1:24 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Soome posted this question:

“... postulates that Zionist are using the presidential race to “destroy what remains of the WASP power structure in the US.”

Is anybody else here noticing that this stuff is being vended here? Does everybody just ignore it or are you all buying it?”

I for one am NOT buying it. There are plenty of more believable suspects. Like Global Capitalism.

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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 13, 2008 at 1:22 pm Link to this comment

Anarcissie

I think your scenario is credible, but there are two problems with it: 1) It is just possible that Russia would have eventually gotten around to using its military to dominate it’s “near” republics regardless of what the US did—there is quite a long history of Russian militarism reaching back, in fact, to before there was a United States. 2) 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. The policies you cite as provoking a Russian reaction to serve a domestic American political purpose were pursued on a bi-partisan basis.

I know that the two parties do not represent the whole political spectrum here, but they do represent a range of countervailing political interests.  What serves one usually undermines the other. If all of this was international manipulation for domestic political purposes, how come everybody went along with it?

Aren’t we assuming we are at the center of things that might not be wholly under our control?

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By Folktruther, August 13, 2008 at 1:18 pm Link to this comment

I strogly agree with cann4ing’s first paragraph that the McCain-Schoenmann-PNAC connection should be vigorously explored.  Scheer certainly deserves credit for uncovering it.

I maintained that Scheer was intellectually dishonet in sanitzing the death of Ivins in the anthraz incident, however, although I did not consider him ‘merely a schill of the corporate media.’  But there are things he does not say, such as report the Zionist connection in this story.

A minister of Georgia is Israeli-born, speaks Hebrew, and is quoted bragging about all the bloodshed they inflicted in the Israeli paper Haaretz.  Israli trainers are in Georgia and Israel provided much military equipment.  The pipeline from the Caspian sea is intended to extent to Israel eventually.  Scheer does not note what Michael Parenti calls the ‘gangster nature of the state’ or Zionisn.

This pipeline is apparently shut down by a fire caused by dissidents in Turkey, and BP and the other owners have shut down the rest of it because of the war.

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By rage, August 13, 2008 at 1:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

“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?”

Computer says YES!

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Anarcissie's avatar

By Anarcissie, August 13, 2008 at 12:56 pm Link to this comment

Issywise, August 13 at 4:31 am:


“... Now, I’m gonna have to listen to progressives say that Russia invaded another country because conservatives manipulated it into doing it. Damn, those American conservatives are omnipotent. ...

It’s not “conservatives”, it’s the ruling class.  (1) In the 1990s, the Russian empire’s extremity became the American empire’s opportunity.  One residue of those days was the very thin wedge the U.S. obtained in central Asia in the form of Georgia, or rather, the Georgian state and rulers.  This was a wedge which would have to have been worked very carefully and prudently, considering that Georgia’s neighbors are Turkey, Iran and Russia, all of them far from subservient American satellites although Turkey has been something of an ally.  (2) Also during the 1990s, the West, including the U.S., feasted on Yugoslavia which involved repeatedly bashing Serbia, thus humiliating Serbia’s ally Russia.  Note that the acquisition of Georgia and the dismemberment of Yugoslavia took place not under some “conservative” regime but that of Bill Clinton.

In fact, all through the ‘90s and the Naughties, the U.S. has been engaged in making hostile moves against Russia.  Besides the above we have the extension of NATO to Russia’s borders, the rockets in Poland, the radar in the Czech Republic.  It was as if the U.S. ruling class didn’t know what to do without a Cold War and was determined to restart it.  The Russian ruling class, at first open to a cooperative alliance with the West, has finally responded by becoming the enemy the U.S. ruling class desired.  The U.S. gave the Russians a black eye in Kosovo; now the Russians have responded by giving the U.S. a bloody nose in Ossetia.

Most of this was set in place by the beginning of the Bush regime, which has been more focused on the Muslims rather than Russians as bogeymen, so it cannot be attributed solely to “conservatives” or “neo-cons”.

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By ocjim, August 13, 2008 at 12:55 pm Link to this comment

Any conservative audience would tend to poke fun at Scheer’s comments as paranoid nonsense, but conservatives have a tendency to mock and denigrate anything suggested by their opponents. Look at Bush’s total disregard of the Clinton administration’s warning about terrorists plots, perhaps plots to hijack planes. They would rather mock and polarize than react to liberal warnings of any kind. Besides the 9/11 attack made possible Iraq, which the neocons wanted all the time.

BushCo’s Machiavellian ways have easily been adopted by McCain advisors, so a little war in Georgia can serve to get McSame elected. In fact, not impeaching and indicting the Bush crime family only encourages more of the same, even from the Democrats.

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Issywise's avatar

By Issywise, August 13, 2008 at 12:50 pm Link to this comment

Fadel Abdallah says “don’t forget to factor in the Israeli connection!”

Gee… you have to be pretty focused on the Israelis to assume they have something to do with a dispute between Moscow and a country in the Caucuses, but then hate and ideological zeal can shove any set of fact into an antisemitic proof of further Jewish evilness.

But Fadel is a paragon of rationality compared to Saggy who postulates that Zionist are using the presidential race to “destroy what remains of the WASP power structure in the US.”

Is anybody else here noticing that this stuff is being vended here? Does everybody just ignore it or are you all buying it?

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Ed Harges's avatar

By Ed Harges, August 13, 2008 at 12:38 pm Link to this comment

re: Richard Friedman, August 13 at 11:01 am:

Poor Richard Friedman laments that Georgia will never exercise dominion over Ossetia and Abkhazia, even though these entities do not WANT to be part of Georgia and were only nominally ever part of Georgia because the Soviet Union forced them to be part of the captive state of Georgia. When the Soviet Union dissolved, and Georgia became a separate nation state, Georgians thought they had some inalienable right to keep Ossetia and Abkhazia forever, simply because Stalin (a Georgian chauvinist by birth) had said these territories were theirs!

And Poor Richard seems disappointed that we didn’t join this war on Georgia’s side. Isn’t it just terrible that we’re missing out on this? It would have been so glorious!

Finally, Poor Richard bitterly laments that Georgia probably won’t get into NATO - because, see, if Georgia were a NATO member, we would be REQUIRED to join in and fight on Georgia’s side if it decided to launch any future wars! Wouldn’t that be grand??

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By omniadeo, August 13, 2008 at 12:37 pm Link to this comment

Where were these National Guard troops this week?

http://www.ajc.com/news/content/metro/stories/2008/07/13/georgia_national_guard_.html

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By GW=MCHammered, August 13, 2008 at 12:36 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

WWIII
Brought to you by:
Manife$t De$tiny turned $elf-fulfilling Prophe$y.

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By Angus Nunes, August 13, 2008 at 12:22 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

The fact that McCain was so quick to go on record with a public comment condemning Russia’s response to Geogia’s aggression towards South Ossetia gives credence to Robert’s observation.

Bob, your insight is keen as always.

Angus.

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By Richard Friedman, August 13, 2008 at 12:01 pm Link to this comment

McCain will likely soon be taking credit that his tough talk made Russia back down and agree to the ceasefire in Georgia.  But does he deserve any credit?

Georgia has lost any possibility of ever exercising sovereignty over South Ossetia and Abkhazia.  Georgia is never going to be admitted into NATO.  Geogia’s military is embarrassed and in ruins.  Saakashvili’s political fortunes are going downhill fast.  This country has shown that its friendship isn’t worth a warm bucket of spit when push comes to shove.

So when McCain starts taking credit, remind yourself of just what Bush-McCain foreign policy has accomplished here.

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By cann4ing, August 13, 2008 at 11:57 am Link to this comment

The McCain/Schuenemann/PNAC connection should receive a great deal of scrutiny.  It is the radical PNAC doctrine which exemplifies a delusional perception of an omnipotent U.S. military able to take on all comers at all times.  It is a reckless doctrine which not only led us into the quagmire of Iraq, where, despite the “surge is working” propaganda, the combined formal armed forces and paid for mercenaries is present in greater numbers now than at any time since the original invasion.  A McCain presidency portends to attempts at imperial conquest even more reckless than that which we have seen from the Bush regime.

Mr. Scheer’s piece is excellent and blows a huge hole in the assertion made by some TD posters that Mr. Scheer is merely a shill for the corporate press.  That said, there is one salient feature of the nation of Georgia that Mr. Scheer’s article overlooked.  That nation has oil—a whole bunch of oil, and despite the fact that Georgia is a former Soviet Republic and one which might be said to be in Russia’s sphere of influence, the neocons regard that oil as belonging to our oil cartel.

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By Steve from Europe, August 13, 2008 at 11:56 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I think you are overestimating a) American influence on other parts of the world, b) Caucasian influence on American elections. The Georgian president ran and won an election on reclaiming these minority territories. What he did now was of course a colossal blunder and it is difficult to find explanations for this kind of stupidity. But a trick to help McCain? Nope. There would be nothing in it for Saakashvili, that’s why not. Even he cannot be stupid enough to believe, anybody would risk a direct battle between the armies of two military superpowers in order to help him out.
Most Americans probably know meanwhile, that there is no good guy side in this conflict, so i do not see any usefulness of it in the election either.

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By rbrooks, August 13, 2008 at 11:55 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

doing the April Glaspie thing, no doubt.

Wonder when it will occur to Georgians that they have been, putting it politely, used.

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By rowman, August 13, 2008 at 11:38 am Link to this comment

Now Now. Lets visit history for a lesson on How Obama changed Kenya:

During his first visit to Kenya as a U.S. Senator in 2006, Obama openly campaigned for Odinga, to the point where Kenyan government spokesman Alfred Mutua accused Obama of meddling inappropriately in Kenyan presidential politics. Mutua charged during a television news video that Obama had become a “stooge” to Odinga during the Kenyan presidential election campaign. Obama’s father belonged to the same Luo tribe as Odinga.

Odinga and Obama charged he was denied winning the presidency by voter fraud. This claim led to widespread fighting that killed more than 1,000 people in the weeks after the election, leaving more than 350,000 Kenyans displaced. While proving involvement is difficult, many in Kenya assumed the post-election violence was supported, if not organized, behind the scenes by Odinga and his Orange Democratic Movement party .In a horrifying incident following the election, at least 50 people, including women and children, were killed when an angry mob forced Kikuyu Christians into an Assemblies of God Pentecostal church and set fire to the church, hacking with machetes any of the Christians who tried to escape the flames.

Christian missionaries report over 300 Christian churches were severely damaged or destroyed in the violence that swept the country, but mosques were left undisturbed.Another horrific report came from the Telegram in London, reporting the wave of post-election violence involved members of President Kibaki’s Kikuyu tribe being attacked in Nairobi slums by ethnic groups including gangs of Luo tribe youth and men who were engaging in gang rapes of women and sodomizing boys as young as five years of age.The Telegraph reported the vast majority of the victims were assaulted in their homes and all had been targeted because of their Kikuyu tribe membership. Mobs slashed their way into homes, attacking everyone they found with machetes and clubs. Youths raped women in front of their husbands and many wives were then dragged from their homes and killed.

In the final days of the New Hampshire Democratic Party primary, after the post-election violence in Kenya, Obama told reporters he had telephoned Raila Odinga by telephone. Obama sided with Odinga, indicating Odinga was willing to meet with Kibaki.
“Obviously he [Odinga] believes that the votes were not tallied properly,” Obama told reporters, almost as if he were running for election in Kenya….

That is change you can believe in!!!

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By Reubenesque, August 13, 2008 at 11:21 am Link to this comment
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I guess it’s time to cut taxes and get into another war.  Don’t worry, offshore drilling will save us all.  Invest in smoke and mirrors stock.  It’s the new hot commodity.

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By Rich, August 13, 2008 at 11:17 am Link to this comment
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I have not been able to put all the destructive, political decisions into any intelligible context until reading more about Leo Strauss.  Not even Freud brings more light or understanding to today’s political events as Leo Strauss.  This approach to understanding, places the Sheer article strongly in to the “plausible”.
http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Leo_Strauss
Strauss thought that “those who are fit to rule are those who realise there is no morality and that there is only one natural right, the right of the superior to rule over the inferior”

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By sophrosyne, August 13, 2008 at 11:08 am Link to this comment
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McPain is firmly in the grip of the Zionists.  He is their chosen stooge. McPain is wildly unstable, badly informed and unsteady.  His performance so far should terrify Americans.  We can only hope Obama will come out of his centrist slumber and go after McPain and the economic and miltiary threat to America he represents.  McPain will continue Bush’s war on America.

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By Ed Harges, August 13, 2008 at 10:46 am Link to this comment

That one phrase, “the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear”, captures the essence of the matter. Thank-you, Mr. Scheer. You’re back in good form.

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By augustus, August 13, 2008 at 10:44 am Link to this comment
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“Yes, it sounds diabolical, but…” John McCain is willing to start World War III to win an election!

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By homelesseus, August 13, 2008 at 10:34 am Link to this comment
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As a people we’re not ready for the change Obama inspires and alludes to.  He’s not even ready for it.  The desire for change is just a clever way to acknowledge that we understand that we might get cancer but we like smoking while hoping for the best.  Normal smart people must be pulling their hair out of their heads.  McCain, Brzezinski, Obama, Putin, Hu, all live in a strange world of interrupted adolescence, cavemen wielding clubs.  We—the people who didn’t choose to attempt to lead others—are going to have to get rid of them and their ideas or face the consequences of their rumble.  Seems the depths of paucity that civilization offers only a couple of paradigms for human organization.  How innovative are we if we can’t even communicate with each other like reasonable people, not wheeler-dealers.

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By folktruther, August 13, 2008 at 10:33 am Link to this comment
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Scheer’s analysis is the most plausable one, since the geo-political policies of the US-Georgia war is so incredibly stupid from the both the Georgian and US power perspective.  (see Paul Craig Robert’s piece in Counterpunch today).  It was also extremely bloody, but we expect that from the Bushites.

Scheer’s analysis goes some way to make up for his sanitizing of the FBI’s hounding to death of Ivins in the anthrax false flag homicide.  This war also diverts attention away from it.

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By srelf, August 13, 2008 at 10:28 am Link to this comment

We really need to forget about the MSM giving us the truth about this story (including the Washington Post!) As this story develops a concerted effort to come down hard on MSM irresponsiblity (they haven’t learned their lesson from Iraq) has to be put forth. See the documentary “War Made Easy”.

Letters to the editor, demonstrations in front of news headquarters, support for Indymedia, Pacifica, etc., and even posting your own freeway signs (see:  http://www.freewayblogger.com ) have to be considered.

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By August West, August 13, 2008 at 10:20 am Link to this comment

Karl Rove was “vacationing” in the Crimea in mid-July when he was under subpoena to appear in front of the House Judiciary subcommittee.  He participated in the Yalta European Strategy conference.  But nah, can’t be anything to it, can there?

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By Crow, August 13, 2008 at 10:19 am Link to this comment
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What this little Georgia episode also does, quite well, is raise further questions on all the backroom deals that the Bush administration has cut, with who-knows-what nefarious purposes in mind, behind closed doors. Throw Scheunemann into the mix and this thing gets real nasty, real fast…

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By lawlessone, August 13, 2008 at 10:10 am Link to this comment
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There is not the slightest chance that Bush will confront Russia in a way that might initiate military action like he did in Iraq or Afghanistan.  In case you haven’t noticed, Bush is a personal coward.  He won’t do anything that puts him personally in harm’s way which is why he hide out in the Vietnam war and explains why he invaded Afghanistan and Iraq instead of North Korea, the one member of the so-called Axis of Evil that demonstrably possessed weapons of mass destruction.  The difference is that although he loudly claimed otherwise, we have since learned Bush was secretly confident neither Iraq nor Afghanistan actually had WMDs which could be torched near the White House whereas both North Korea did.  So does Russia.  Lots of them.  And, as with any playground bully like Bush, he may bluster a lot, but he will never ever take on anyone his own size who could physically hurt him.

[more irreverence at resistence-is-possible.blogspot.com]

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By Purple Girl, August 13, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

Afghanistan was the ‘foot in the door’, Iraq an Oil venture, (Oil ) Drum beats about Iran serve to move the game plan forward. consider not only seizing Iran for the Corps and their UAE sponsors, but such a seizure would help ignite the cold war. So we must realize the Push from the so called ‘Friends of israel’ have been just another tactic- Religious justification.
They have been working every angle to re start this For Profit ‘Cold War’.
Through chaos comes order.Seemed W. & Putin were paling it up at the olymics- sitting right next to each other. ‘cold War’ was a win/win for the Corps who operate via surrogates in both countries.And both sides of our congress’ Aisles.
Reagan never ‘defeated the Soviets’ their economy was falling apart anyway- Nice Acting job,should have gotten the Oscar for that performance.Corps thought that would be a winner, but found ‘WAR’ the better Money Maker- so they’ve just reversed courseand revised their mission statements.
W/Cheney, Medved/Putin-same shit brought to you by the same companies and the ‘Royals’ who support them- islamic extremeist/Christian Extremeist- A Marketing tool, conning the zealots and diverting attention away from the Real Terrorist to Humanity.
Who produced and sold this stage play- same assholes who caused 9/11 by their actions in the M.E.-follow the money baby…Oil corps and their Pushers (big 3,financiers & Speculators)
The ‘BEAST’ is a metaphor-could that ‘fire breathing dragon’ been the flames from Oil Fields??Could it’s horsemen have been Religion,Gov’t,corps and Media?
Being a Recovered Catholic, and affilated with no Organized religion and suspecious of those who claim to be ‘Democrats’, and no longer believing anything which comes out in MSM, or the Gov’t…..Seems some Prophecies may have come to fruition, If not from a self fulfilling doctrine-following in the foot steps laid down by such ‘greats’ as Nero & Hitler?A Blueprint for Them to follow and Perfect!!

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By lodipete, August 13, 2008 at 9:47 am Link to this comment

Gee, I wish we could hear from Georgia’s opposition party & press on this issue. Oh, that’s right, they don’t have any. This must be Cheyney’s ideal form of democracy. Too bad the Russkis screwed up the scams that he was running in the name of Haliburton & Exxon. Like the maggot that he is, Cheyney likes to operate in the dark. When is our beloved MSM going to turn over the rock he hides under or have they joined him?

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By Beecharmer, August 13, 2008 at 9:36 am Link to this comment

Tell it to the Georgians, Mr. Scheer.  Salon.com’s article below tells it much differently.  Your cavalier attitude toward a people you characterize as “a garbage issue” is startling at best, and frightening at worst.

“There was so much blood spilled”

A Russian invasion has left besieged Georgians angry at their government—and at the Bush administration—for failing to defend them.

By John Hudson and Nana Naskidashvili

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2008/08/12/georgia/index.html?source=newsletter

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By Fadel Abdallah, August 13, 2008 at 9:21 am Link to this comment

Since truth these days is a very relative matter, depending on the eyes of the beholder; and since we don’t know about all the plots and conspiracies that are done in the darkness, I think that Robert Sheer’s take on this issue is plausible.

Add to this elements of what most posters wrote here, (with the one exception of Issy-the-Unwise) then we are closer to the truth. And if you want to get even closer to the truth, don’t forget to factor in the Israeli connection! After all, they are the “Chosen People” of God and thus their God has to have a stake in everything that happens in this World!

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By omniadeo, August 13, 2008 at 7:54 am Link to this comment

Two very important things stand out in Mr. Scheer’s column.

1) The cogency of his thesis.

2) The fact that Mr. Scheer is willing to “go there.”

Just when I was getting ready to write off Truthdig and Scheer as sometimes useful but ultimately hopeless gatekeepers, Scheer reminds me of why I cut him so much slack.  This is a Robert Scheer in the lineage of the Robert Scheer who changed my world in ‘65 with “How the United States Got Involved in Vietnam.”

I would like to suggest another reason for the timing of the brutal Georgian military provocation. (That’s what it was, no matter how much I despise the brutal Russian response. No, Issywise, we are not the “center” of the world. But we are led by gangs of thugs who control half the weapons and half the intelligence budget of the world.)

It is quite possible that Georgia’s provocation was also a feint in the run-up to attacking Iran, meant to expose and tie down Russian forces. I also believe that the timing of this was related to the fact that the POTUS was facing off physically at the time with both Putin and Hu. That had a symbolic power that works in several directions on many levels.

The MSM may black out the connections between Georgian forces and US/Israeli blackops, but Putin and Hu don’t get their news from ABC and Fox. They know very well what is going on. Interestingly enough, in spite of what they will say, they all three have things to gain from the bloodbath of innocents far, far away.

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By sailorflat, August 13, 2008 at 7:53 am Link to this comment
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It’s too bad that we’re losing track of what is happening in the current presidential race.  If any of you don’t recognize the utter stupidity of the American populace, then I suggest to talk to people in a rural location.  Currently, I think that those people are more worried about earning a living than with the U.S.‘s standing in the world.  Since the boob tube basically educated our populace, what did you expect?

Already, we’re hearing about how “liberal” the presumed Democratic candidate is.  Trust me, he’s far less liberal than I am and calling him a liberal is ludricrious! Yes, we’re hearing about Obama’s race, which is actually biracial, and his religion and his friends.  The MSM is talking down anything Democratic and not providing the general public with accurate information.  well, gee duh.

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By Rubaggio, August 13, 2008 at 7:48 am Link to this comment
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At first thought, I would say you might have gone off the wall with this connection.  The U.S. doesn’t have the resources to induce a confrontation with Russia.  But some of the other pieces just seem to fit together too well.  This Washington Post story provides some more insight, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/08/12/AR2008081202932.html.

But I don’t want this article to let the Russians off the hook.  Diabolical Neocon scheming does not justify diabolical Russian aggression.  I wish this article would have addressed that.

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By Dave Timmerman, August 13, 2008 at 7:08 am Link to this comment
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Well thank you mister Scheer, for this comprehensive article of assertions. Another entirely ‘plausible’ conspiracy to belief in…and get really angry about.

Thanks Issywise for stating what should be obvious!

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By AS, August 13, 2008 at 6:53 am Link to this comment
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Thank you Mr. Scheer for your continued effort to properly educate Americans before they cast their votes!

Unfortunately, it is not just McCain who is “... so fervently embracing Scheunemann’s neoconservative line of demonizing Russia….” The MSM also acts as if it were hijacked by the neocons! How else could anyone explain the fact that NYT published an editorial on 08/11/08, titled “Russia’s War of Ambition,” saying that “There is no imaginable excuse for Russia’s invasion of Georgia;” ironically, the editorial elicited more than 300 NYT readers’ comments, most of whom, in one way or another, were saying that they “totally disagree with the Times’ editorial, affixing almost all the blame for this conflict to the Russians…”

I do hope that all of the American people will wake up, before it is too late, and will not vote in such a way as to IGNORE “...the dire consequences of the Bush legacy that McCain has inherited, from the disaster of Iraq to the economic meltdown…” AS

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By AT, August 13, 2008 at 6:47 am Link to this comment
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how many wedge issues can Republican Operatives come up with? Except this time it’s legal. Now wait a minute, how did they managed to stage such without involving high level officials from State or the White House itself . Of course , Dickie C is out of the loop. He’s in Southern California campaigning.

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By Bill Witherup, August 13, 2008 at 6:46 am Link to this comment
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Do not forget that both Russian and the U.S. still have basements, metaphorically speaking,gorged with nuclear weapons, and both sides waiting for the opportunity to vomit them forth. McCain is pro-war, pro-nukes, pro-nuclear energy. The weapons manufacturers like nothing better than so-called “brush-ups” to continue their profit making enterprises, the rest of us be damned!

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By G.Anderson, August 13, 2008 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

This sad little game is one the Neo Con’s have played since the time of Reagan. But this time it didn’t work because, we were up against someone who is more than aware of our B.S..

Let’s see, we send in millions of dollars in Weapons to Georgia, then we send in military advisors, both CIA, and that other little country who seems to be in control of our leadership. Then we give them the false sense of security, that we will protect them, and encourage them to take military action, by proxy against our foe. But when Georgia’s idiot leader, kills our foes citizens and initiates attacks on our foe’s troops, we express outrage, when said foe defends itself.

Surprise, Surprise…

So now we use our control of the media, to spend endless hours, mouthing more psyops B.S., to cover our naked behinds, about the big bad bear that lives in the woods…. Ooooh… 

George W. Bush, the King of Debt, is America’s shame, and a disgrace to his country.

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By Fahrenheit 451, August 13, 2008 at 6:01 am Link to this comment
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If Scheer’s scenario is even close to reality then America has even more to worry.  Because of a lack of due diligence on the part of America’s citizens for the last 7 years:  Americans have backed themselves into an absurd corner; they can no longer “revolt” and over throw their corrupt government because the government can now crush any attempt, even if that attempt is “just” public demonstrations.  The only recourse we have now is to change the government through elections and there’s the rub; the only candidates who would have/could have truly changed things were booted out of the running long ago by the media with the blessings of the majority of Americans.  The emerging picture of governance in America is closer to the Oligarchy in Russia and drifting rapidly to Naomi Klein’s view of China’s totalitarian capitalism.  If America is anything; it is truly a democracy, governed by leaders, chosen by the majority of the people.  It has been said we have the government we chose.  This would appear to be true.  It is very late in the game; maybe too late.  I fervently hope it isn’t.  But in truth; I’m not that optimistic.

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By Paolo, August 13, 2008 at 5:54 am Link to this comment

The same guys who can’t quite figure out the difference between a Shi’ite and a Sunni Muslim, now pretend to know the differences among Georgians, South Ossetians, and Abkhazians! And not only that, they presume to know how to referee this local squabble on the far side of the globe. This is way beyond sheer chutzpah. It verges on insanity.

McCain showed his profound knowledge of Georgia the other day by continually butchering the pronunciation of Georgia’s president, Saakashvili. You will also notice that most of our brilliant Western commentators haven’t figured out how to pronounce “Ossetia” (the t has an “sh” sound).

The same gang of idiots also never figured out how to pronounce the capital of Afghanistan (the accent in “Kabul” is on the last syllable; our intellectual giant leaders pronounce it to this day as “cobble”). Yet they presume to know how to referee centuries-old squabbles among the various Afghani tribes!

Non-interventionism, folks. It’s the only sane foreign policy.

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By Big B, August 13, 2008 at 5:32 am Link to this comment

Some of us the left would like it if Barry Osama would please start running for president, or get out of the way and let someone else do it. Once again he had a golden opportunity to call a spade, well, a spade by bringing up the very info shared by Mr Scheer in this article. If Barry’s advisors did not know this info, they should be sacked. If they did, and chose not to use it, they are incompetant. Either way, Barry should fire ‘em all.
Some of us liberals would also like Barry to begin explaining to all Americans just what the Project for the New American Century is. It is time for Barry and the rest of the Dimmo elite to realize that they are not running against McCain. They need to defeat the neocon menace and the MIC that provides the funding for it. The American public is dumb because Dimmos (like Barry) think we can’t handle the truth. Well, if we cannot handle the truth, then America is already lost to the Right Wing Lunatic Fringe.
Oh some people will say that this article just plays into the fears of all those crazy conspiracy theorists. But keep this in mind, if I told you that a small group of neocons, backed by money from the MIC, sold weapons to our enemies so that they could use the profits to funnel money to a terrorist group in Central America, in defiance of a congressional ban on aid, you would say I was crazy, that this is dime store spy novel stuff. But it happened.
Once again, liberals have no choice on election day. We either have to throw our votes away on a cadidate we like, but cannot possibly win, or capitulate to the Dimmo machine and its generic “Barry”.

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By JP, August 13, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

I had these suspicions from day one, and would not be the least bit surprised to find that our neoconservative slimeballs engineered the Georgian event.  I haven’t heard so much propaganda since the run up to the Iraq attack.  Hopefully enough people see past the disinformation that is pouring out, and this won’t have much of an effect on the election.  People are far more worried about their own lives and their own country than entangling overseas alliances.

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By Issywise, August 13, 2008 at 5:31 am Link to this comment

Ok, I’ve heard conservatives say for decades that the Soviet Union fell because of Ronald Reagan. It had nothing to do with the “evil empires” decades of internal rot and the fact that their political system vested power into a single man’s hands, which happened to lead to selection of a man who incorrectly thought he could hold power while loosening absolutist control.

Now, I’m gonna have to listen to progressives say that Russia invaded another country because conservatives manipulated it into doing it. Damn, those American conservatives are omnipotent.

There is no end to the self-absorption of Americans. We are the dead center of the universe and all actions must somehow revolve around us.

If it suits our political predilections, any event in the universe can be shoehorned into fodder for advocacy.

This Website ought to have a rating system for its articles. At the high end would be “Plausable,” at the low “Outright Whacko.”  Fox News should adopt the same system.

Countervailing ideological bending doesn’t render a political perspective straight.

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By Pacrat, August 13, 2008 at 5:18 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Attack, attack! Russia just attacked a sovereign nation!

What’s that you say? A sovereign nation? Isn’t that what Iraq was before we invaded it?

Oil? Yes, they have lots of oil! Even better! Maybe we can get it when we “rescue” Georgia. They will treat us as liberators! Watch out for the flowers!

Attack, attack!

Thanks, John McGeezer!

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By cyrena, August 13, 2008 at 3:34 am Link to this comment

“...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…”

I dunno Mr. Scheer, it’s probably not so much ‘irresponsible’ though you did at least put ‘wildly’.

No, it more than that..it’s just the complete insanity that has taken over the entire group of these neocons, and any measure of responsibility has never been present with them. Not a single lick of it. Not from the very beginning.

That problem is that is SOOOO insane, that far too many of us still don’t get just how insane they are. It’s just too incomprehensible for too many of us. Besides, just recognizing it only heightens the terror.

When they say win at ALL or ANY cost, they mean that. There are ZERO boundaries. I think we’ve consistently failed to understand that. Just too diabolical for many people to consider.

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