Sunday, August 17, 2008

Georgia on my Mind

"If the American army can take over Baghdad, why can't Russia take over Tbilisi?" It's a reasonable question that was asked by a Russian soldier to an NPR reporter in Georgia. He has a point, you have to admit. I'm not expert in international affairs, but I'm going to take a wild stab at answering it.

Do you find yourself smiling inwardly, or maybe cringing outwardly, when you hear George Bush scolding Vladimir Putin, indignantly demanding that Russia stop the bullying and intimidation, and respect Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity? Do you squirm with any discomfort at this?

Bush knows what to do, according to one female Georgian refugee. Why wouldn't he save them? A major thoroughfare in the Republic of Georgia is named in his honor, and Bush is a strong advocate of Georgia becoming a member of NATO, the Western alliance in which members agree to come to each others' aid if militarily attacked.

Georgia is another of those neocon pet satellites of "democracy" in the heart of an otherwise anti-Western and hostile region right on Russia's flank, known as the Caucasus. Georgia helps the US secure access to another of those big, beloved sources of black, sticky stuff that wars are fought over these days. US forces have trained the Georgia military.

Not surprisingly, the Kremlin is not happy about this mini-kingdom of pro-American democracy on its doorstep. It is even less happy about having a US missile interceptor system, ostensibly meant to block missile attacks from the Middle East, installed on Polish soil. Have no fear, though, because Bush has already sealed the deal. When you know how to do a thing you do it right. Now Russia has signaled to Poland that, assuming the Polish government sticks to the plan, it is exposing itself to a possible nuclear attack by you-know-who.

So, it's time to choose your sides, guys. John McCain has already made his choice crystal clear. With utter sham seriousness, he was all over television articulating the message that "We are all Georgians now." Had he been within arm's reach, I'd have smacked him. Still, once affirmed, it turns out to be true: Randy Scheunemann, his campaign's chief foreign policy adviser, is a big cheese Washington lobbyist who has many dealings with Georgia. In a gross display of supreme commander-in-chiefness, McCain has already dispatched his stooges, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman, to the region. The red telephone has never seemed more compelling, immediate, or visceral. The good guys are off and running on Day One to thrash the bad ones. And they haven't even made it to the White House yet.

And what about Barack? Poor Barack! Presumably he lies, bewildered and sleepless, in the school room, reduced to battling Swiftboaters and staving off the bad effects of his "popularity," while the big boys take real action with their sticks and stones. "Obama Nation" (otherwise pronounced "Abomination") has just come out and is already at the top of the charts--the latest smear book vomited up (and purchased in bulk) by the Republican slime machine. Smirk! Smirk! That should keep the rock star busy and off the streets! Distracted by distraction.

I've written before of my concern about a possible "October surprise" right before the election. We all assumed it would be a bomb attack on Iran's nuclear facilities--if only the American people hadn't had enough already of wars in the Middle East. So look Ma, no hands! Now that we've all become Georgians, how about a nice Russian surprise instead? And don't forget the sour cream!

I've decided to make my remarks from now on as if Cindy McCain and Laura Bush were in the room with me. That way I won't embarrass or shame the women who sleep with these men every night with my own very critical remarks. I don't want to disturb anybody else unnecessarily with my thoughts.

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