“Better to keep your mouth closed and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.”
You’ve probably noticed that I’ve said nothing about Russia invading Georgia. This is, in part, because the exigencies of the past week have deprived me of time to read in detail about it. I only know headlines and, since I have absolutely no background in the geography or the conflict, this means I’m abysmally ignorant.
The silence is also because, to the extent I have managed to grasp what’s going on out there, I don’t have anything to add to the discussion, or anything that I feel I want to voice personally despite the fact that so many others are saying the same thing. Yes, Putin is a totalitarian dictator, but we’ve known that about him for a long time, and many of us have just been sitting here waiting to see how is old KGB attitudes end up merging with his megalomaniac traits. Yes, this is all about oil. Yes, this represents a very dangerous trend, although it’s as unclear now as it was during the Cold War whether Russia has the ability to back up its aggressive initiatives. It’s easy to go in with the remaining guns from your former glory and squash a teeny little Republic. It’s harder to maintain any long campaigns. And yes, McCain showed leadership abilities, with Obama showing, first, ignorance (which is excusable in me, but not in him) and, second, the ability to follow McCain’s lead.
And yes, I’ve run out of echoing other, wiser people on the terrible tragedy, at the hands of a gross, bullying dictatorship, that is playing out in Georgia.