Last week, Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin declared that she was willing to go to war against Russia on behalf of Georgia. Palin wasn’t talking about launching World War III on behalf of our Georgia–you know, the adorable Southern state famous for its peaches, June bugs and KKK marches–but rather for a tiny mountainous country that few Americans even knew existed before last month, and still couldn’t locate on a map if their lives depended on it–even though their lives now do depend on it.
If the polls are correct, then come this January, Palin will find herself one melanoma growth away from the presidency. So when she says she’s ready to go to war with Russia on behalf of Georgia, we better take it seriously.
What’s even more frightening is that Palin’s comments weren’t some amateurish slip-up but rather the culmination of a neocon campaign to avenge Russia’s crushing defeat of US-backed Georgian forces in August. What the neocons and McCainites want is another war–this time one in which Russia loses. And they have another brilliant plan to make it happen: transform picturesque little Georgia into the bloodiest hellhole on earth… and if that doesn’t work, then hand the button to Palin and let her bring on The Rapture.
On August 14, just as the Georgians and Russians signed their ceasefire, the pro-McCain neocon rag The Weekly Standard published an article “The Pain Game: A military response to Russia’s aggression?” calling for the Pentagon to refit Georgian forces to fight a protracted, Chechnya-style guerrilla war against Russia. The author, an old cold war goon named Stuart Koehl, admitted that pushing Georgia into a Chechnya-style guerrilla struggle against Russia would result in a “long and difficult war” and would be “messy,” because the Russians “will probably respond to this as they did to the bloodletting in both Afghanistan and Chechnya”–in other words, by killing tens or hundreds of thousands of Georgians. But that’s no skin off this neocon’s back, because if Georgia managed to hang in as long as it takes for such a war, victory over Russia could be achieved “in a way that would not directly involve US or NATO forces.” In other words, Koehl and the rest of the neocons are ready to fight Russia to the last Georgian. And that might literally mean the last Georgian, if you look at what the Russians did to Chechnya.
The idea seems to be gaining traction, as an anonymous defense analyst told a military reporter a couple of weeks ago that America should convert the Georgian armed forces into a “Hezbollah” guerrilla force for the same purpose–bleed the Russians into defeat, while we sit back and chant “Hoo-ah!”
Lost in all of these apocalyptic plans for “helping” Georgia is what the Georgian people themselves might think. How do they feel about the McCainites’ plans for turning their ancient, charming country into one of the world’s bloodiest hellholes–Chechnya meets South Lebanon by way of Afghanistan, according to the neocons’ own words. As the popular war blogger Gary Brecher explained: “Starting a guerrilla war means sentencing most of the people in your address book to a very nasty death.” Do Georgians really want that?