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Web Letters | The Nation

Web Letter

LOL! Yet another case of The Nation positing that anyone with any connection to the Bush Adminstration is a diabolical genius (except, of course, when they are idiots).

The neocon angle is ridiculous when the Russians say it--but for the American left to believe it?

But please--give it another go. Start by explaining why "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." Here's a hint: people take ill-conceived actions. I mean, really, how else would you explain why a President of the USA would risk his ability to lead, and his legacy, for a blow job? Did you catch how I used the same rhetorical question technique as you? Really made me sound learned, didn't it?

Steve Huggs

Houston, TX

Aug 14 2008 - 11:13pm

Web Letter

Many commentators are tentatively coming to the same conclusion, including Andrew Sullivan today. Saakashvili often plays the hysterical clown, but he is acqually quite intelligent and probably rational. Suicide missions are not his style.

The author is too focused on McCain's involvement. The real players are Cheney/Rove. Rove made a special trip to Yalta, and met with Saakashvili on July 12. Ignoring the order that he appear to testify before Congress on that same day.

Saakashvili is a US citizen who was put in power with the help of massive US support, is kept in power with this support, and who will be amply rewarded for his aid to his bosom friends the neocons, his birthland be damned.

The other tell-tale clue is the timing. It would not have been in Saakashvili's interests to launch such an operation on the day the Olympics started. The only logical reason for that is that Cheney wanted to make a statement to the Chinese that he could care less about their party--the US runs the global show.

In February 1997 George Kennan wrote: "[E]xpanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the entire post-cold war era. Such a decision may be expected to inflame the nationalistic, anti-Western and militaristic tendencies in Russian opinion; to have an adverse effect on the development of Russian democracy; to restore the atmosphere of the cold war to East-West relations, and to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking,"

We are now reaping that harvest, sown by the Clintons.

Putin and his crowd feel much more comfortable with hard power, easier to stereotype McCain than soft-power Obama in any case, so they stand to win on multiple fronts in this conflict.

The Cheney-Putin axis wins bit with "Operation Double 0: Obama/Ossetia."

Tom Fennell

Omaha, NE

Aug 14 2008 - 6:38pm

Web Letter

Good grief: Russia attacks a democractic country (from positions located in territories of that country it occupies) and it's the "neocons' " fault?!

This is just another variation of "Blame America First." The left needs a new party line.

Nicholas Rand

Phoenix, AZ

Aug 14 2008 - 3:29pm

Web Letter

The author has clearly decided on a conclusion and has spent his time looking for ways to justify it. Not very intellectually honest. Plus, guilt by association, i.e., the résumé of one of McCain's advisors, is also an unfair tactic, even if it is commonplace.

The ongoing analogy with NATO actions over Kosovo in 1999 is very tiresome. A view has taken hold that Kosovo was an unjustified intervention, one that laid a precedent that Russia is now following. That is a political judgment, but it has become a habit to deny the crimes that called for NATO intervention in the first place. The criminal history of the Belgrade government was a long one by 1999, and whatever your thoughts about the Saakashvili government, it hasn't done anything close to what the SPS did from 1991 to 99 in the former Yugoslavia, (intentionally failing to prevent genocide, for instance--Srebrenica 1995--bombarding and conducting the longest siege in modern military history, that of Sarajevo during the Bosnian War). NATO gave the Yugoslav army numerous warnings over their treatment of civilians in Kosovo before the intervention, yet the murders continued (look up the village of Racak), the terror through systematic rape and bombardment of villages to force communities out of the province continued, and the destruction of Albanian cultural and religious autonomy continued. The comparison between Kosovo and Ossetia is historically and morally thin, and informed people should know better.

Jon Jones

Birmingham, United Kingdom

Aug 14 2008 - 12:58pm

Web Letter

Georgian War a neocon ploy? You need to lay off the grass, Oliver Stone. Just reading that headline made us all a little more stupid. Scheer is a sad, paranoid individual. I suppose he drinks only grain alcohol and distilled water as well. Maybe he spends his weekends looking for Bigfoot? Idiot.

Brendan Wilson

Charleston, SC

Aug 14 2008 - 11:23am

Web Letter

Russia is no better than Nazi Germany. The Russians are nothing more than thugs and brutes who believe that forcing their will and control on other peoples will make them an important country, but they are very, very wrong. Putin is a dictator no better than Saddam Hussein, Kim Jong Il and the rulers of Syria and the Sudan. Russia, as always, will wind up on the ash heap of history. Stalin murdered 15 million of his own people and the Russians have murdered millions in Europe with their false and totally phony empire.

When Chechnya would not surrender to the Russian thugs, cities were bombed and more than 250,000 innocent men, women and children were murdered.

The world's terrorists all use weapons supplied to them by the Russians, and it is Russia that is assisting Iran in building nuclear capability.

The West needs to wake up and realize that the Fourth Reich, the Russians, is once again causing havoc among free people, and put a stop to the thuggery. If Putin relies on his energy supplies to fund his megalomania and brutality the West should concentrate on the total destruction of Russian oil fields and machinery and teach the little dictator a lesson he will not forget.

Those like Mr. Scheer who criticize people who are against Russia and call them neocons perhaps need to understand that the United States, despite all its many faults, does not indiscriminately bomb cities as Russia has done in Chechnya and Georgia or try to impose its will against its neighbors.

Canada and Mexico do not fear us but the Ukraine, Georgia, and other countries have reason to fear Russia, and people who point this out are not all neocons but instead are people who can differentiate between Putin and the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, North Korea, and the Sudan and the leaders of the United States

Bush may be a terrible President and the Iraq War a horrible mistake but we are not thugs and brutes, and the Russians are. If you cannot tell the difference between the way Russia behaves and the way America behaves, perhaps you need to move to Russia and see what happens if you try to get your criticisms of that government published or aired.

Mark Jeffery Koch

Cherry Hill, NJ

Aug 13 2008 - 10:56am

Web Letter

My suspicion is similar to the author’s. Short of another “terrorist attack," this is may be seen as a convenient ploy to "demonstrate" how tough McCain is/can be when it comes to national security. What is surprising is how blatant they are in their use of the lobbyist for Georgia in the campaign, and how little attention the mainstream media is paying to this and not exposing the hypocrisy of it. Also surprising is that Obama campaign is not pouncing on this issue (not yet anyway) and going after McCain. One thing it has done, for any one paying attention, is that it has unambiguously exposed McCain’s place squarely in the camp of the neocons (neo-fascist thugs, really) who have played havoc last seven-plus years.

M. Siddique

Chevy Chase, MD

Aug 13 2008 - 9:04am

Web Letter

McCain's aching for a war--so that he can win another one. Right? You remember, he said, "I know how to win wars!" Was he ever involved in a war that was won? Is any war ever really won?

Does anyone remember the Vietnam War any more--you know, the one where McCain flew bombing missions without ever seeing the results, and then spent most of the war in a POW camp?

Lord deliver us from McGeezer!

Joe Sedlak

Raleigh, NC

Aug 13 2008 - 7:31am