Do they realize how stupid they sound?

To me, the first good thing about the Palin nomination is that it highlights Obama’s inexperience.  You can just hear him going around the house muttering, “I know you are, but what am I?  I know you are, but what am I?  I know you are, but what am I?”

To date, Obama has written two self-serving books; been editor of the law review, a student job, during which time he wrote only one anonymous note; served 8 years in a state legislature, which is a collegial, not an executive position, and in which he did not distinguish himself; been a law professor who left no tracks whatsoever; spent almost his entire time in the US Senate (another collegial, not managerial job) running for the Presidency; worked as an associate in a small law firm (associates are never managerial); and been a community organizer (whatever that means).  Significantly, his one executive experience was a complete bust:  Despite being a nothing and a nobody at the time, he was put in charge of a $100,000,000 project to improve Chicago schools.  Although he effectively channeled money to his political friends, the program made not a bit of difference to Chicago’s profoundly damaged educational institutions.  It’s a busy resume but, in terms of performance outcome, an undistinguished one.

Palin’s bio isn’t much thicker, but it shows her having (a) more executive experience and (b) more successful outcomes.  She’s raised four children and is working on raising a fifth, which is already a level of executive experience people who haven’t raised children don’t appreciate.  She spent several as a successful mayor of a small-ish town (which can be likened to being the CEO of a 9,000 strong corporation).  Significantly, she’s been a wildly successful, courageous, and non-partisan scourge of corrupt Alaska politicians and big oil interests:

Governor Palin has always run as the anti-corruption candidate. She served as Ethics Commissioner of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission from 2003 to 2004, when she resigned in protest over the actions of her fellow Alaskan GOP leaders, including then-Alaskan Governor Frank Murkowski. She was furious over the fact that they ignored her reports of rampant GOP corruption. When she chose to run for Governor, the GOP establishment ignored her and supported the incumbent Murkowski. Palin beat him, and went on to beat former Democratic Governor Tony Knowles with no support from Alaskan GOP leadership. She has actively supported and helped the GOP primary opponents of current indicted Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens and Representative Don Young, and denounced both of them often in public.

Oh, and the forthcoming claim that Palin’s in the pocket of big-oil? Her ethics complaints were filed against people who really were in the pocket of big oil – she was on the outside, investigating.
Lastly, separate from her success rooting out corruption, she’s proven to be a very competent governor of Alaska.  And to to those who are snarky about Alaska’s small population, it’s worth pointing out that, while it comes in at 47 out of 50, Joe Biden’s Delaware comes in at 45 out of 50 — and he’s never managed anything in his state anyway.

So unconventional was McCain’s choice that it left students of the presidency literally “stunned,” in the words of Joel Goldstein, a St. Louis University law professor and scholar of the vice presidency. “Being governor of a small state for less than two years is not consistent with the normal criteria for determining who’s of presidential caliber,” said Goldstein.

“I think she is the most inexperienced person on a major-party ticket in modern history,” said presidential historian Matthew Dallek.

Have these “scholars” been sleeping through the last year of so of Obama’s candidacy?  The man has job-hopped a lot but, despite his busy resume, he doesn’t emerge with experience any more significant than Palin’s.  More importantly, while he’s good at getting the position (law review, charity manager, state senator, etc.), once there, he vanishes and, instead, focuses only on his next resume building item.

Or maybe these “scholars” haven’t been sleeping at all, they’re just so blinded by partisanship, they don’t realize how stupid they sound.  As to the partisanship, that’s not me talking, that’s the McCain campaign.  Because respectable Left-leaning blogs are more honest than the MSM, Politico, in which the “scholar’s take” first appeared, updated it post with this statement from the McCain camp:

“The authors quote four scholars attacking Gov. Palin’s fitness for the office of vice president. Among them, David Kennedy is a maxed-out Obama donor, Joel Goldstein is also an Obama donor, and Doris Kearns Goodwin has donated exclusively to Democrats this cycle. Finally, Matthew Dallek is a former speech writer for Dick Gephardt. This is not a story about scholars questioning Gov. Palin’s credentials so much as partisan Democrats who would find a reason to disqualify or discount any nominee put forward by Sen. McCain.”

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

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  • David Foster

    1)As a matter of ethics, shouldn’t “experts,” when interviewed about political candidates, always disclose any relevant contributions they have made? Just as writers on stocks usually disclose their own position in the companies about which they are writing?

    2)Again, I don’t think the average professor or journalist has a clue about the nature of managerial responsibility. They really don’t understand why thinking about it and doing it are not the same thing.

  • Ozzie

    Add Charles Krauthammer’s name to the list “journalists” concerned with the Palin pick and the question of inexperience.

    . . . The Palin selection completely undercuts the argument about Obama’s inexperience and readiness to lead — on the theory that because Palin is a maverick and a corruption fighter, she bolsters McCain’s claim to be the reformer in this campaign. In her rollout today, Palin spoke a lot about change. McCain is now trying to steal “change” from Obama, a contest McCain will lose in an overwhelmingly Democratic year with an overwhelmingly unpopular incumbent Republican administration. At the same time, he’s weakening his strong suit — readiness vs. unreadiness.

    The McCain campaign is reveling in the fact that Palin is a game changer. But why a game changer when you’ve been gaining? To gratuitously undercut the remarkably successful “Is he ready to lead” line of attack seems near suicidal.”

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2008/08/the_palin_puzzle.html?hpid=opinionsbox1

  • http://bookwormroom.com Bookworm

    So many people are missing a fundamental difference here: Obama the inexperienced is running for the chief executive office in the land — and has claimed all along that mere experience is irrelevant. Palin, the slightly more experienced (when it comes to executive work and achieving actual outcomes), is running for the understudy job, where she’ll be able to learn on the job. This means two things. First, any attacks on her inexperience create an apples and oranges comparison, because they’re going for two different jobs and, second, because he’s going for the job where experience actually counts, any attacks on her ability to be an understudy must undercut his ability to be CEO of the most powerful country in the world.

  • Ozzie

    Palin, the slightly more experienced (when it comes to executive work and achieving actual outcomes), is running for the understudy job, where she’ll be able to learn on the job. – Book

    But in 2004, didn’t the GOP argue that John Edwards was too “inexperienced” to be VP?

    I understand your point, but a lot of people are asking “What if McCain becomes ill or keels over?” (Expect to hear the phrase “a heartbeat away” frequently in the coming months). Just days ago Bill Kristol used the phrase “ready to take over, if need be, as commander in chief,” which is a much more delicate way of putting it, I suppose.

    I take issue with Brian’s assertion that the Palin pick is not a political ploy (I read today that Mccain actually wanted Lieberman, but chose Palin to cater to Por-Lifers) and your assertion that journalists with ties to the Democrats are the ones raising questions about Palin’s inexperience. (Hence the Krauthammer example).

    Last week, Bill Kristol raised the experience question and worried that Palin has “been governor for less than two years,” but seems to have changed his tune.

    Bill Kristol, five days ago:

    [W]ith Biden’s foreign policy experience as a contrast, could McCain assure voters that the young Pawlenty is ready to take over, if need be, as commander in chief? Also, Biden is a strong and experienced debater. Pawlenty is unproven. If he is the choice, there will be many anxious Republicans in the run-up to the vice presidential debate in St. Louis on Oct. 2. …

    If not Pawlenty or Romney, how about a woman, whose selection would presumably appeal to the aforementioned anguished Hillary supporters? It’s awfully tempting for the McCain camp to revisit the possibility of tapping Meg Whitman, the former eBay C.E.O., Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, or Gov. Sarah Palin of Alaska. But the first two have never run for office, and Palin has been governor for less than two years.

    Bill Kristol, today:

    “Palin is potentially a huge asset to McCain. He took the gamble–wisely, we think–of putting her on the ticket. …

    A key moment for Palin will be the vice presidential debate, to be held at Washington University in St. Louis on October 2. … And if Palin holds her own against Biden, as she is fully capable of doing? McCain will then have succeeded in combining with his own huge advantage in experience and judgment, a politician of great promise in his vice presidential slot who will make Joe Biden look like a tiresome relic.”

    When you ask, “Do they realize how stupid they sound?”, you could be talking about a whole SLEW of people.

  • BrianE

    We are going to hear more about McCain’s age– democrats will put one of McCain’s feet in the grave, threading the needle against charges of ageism.
    Looking at some life expectancy tables, at 70 life expectancy for white males in the US is 83.4, and at 75 it is 85.4.
    In an ideal world, Palin would have been given a keynote speech in this convention, and groomed for a run in 2012 as she had been identified as a rising Republican superstar.
    What is no doubt giving the intellectual chattering class apoplexy is that a potential president isn’t one of them. It’s so incredibly refreshing to see someone who actually knows what physical labor is– and doesn’t pick up a shovel just long enough for a photo-op.
    Democrats will minimize her business experience, yet the difference between running a small business and a large business is the number of zeros in the operating statement. Business principles are the same. Most of those folks critical of her have never run anything.

  • Mike Devx

    As for me, it does appear clear that Senator McCain’s choice of Governer Sarah Palin does – at least somewhat – devalue the experience issue for McCain. That seems clear to me. It also appears to me that conservative attempts to say that Palin has foreign policy experience because her state borders Canada and Alaska is really quite a stretch; it is a stretch that to Independents may seem ludicrous. We should perhaps avoid that argument completely.

    Make no mistake: I love this pick and I think Sarah Palin is truly awesome. I see her as a young Margaret Thatcher who in time (not 2012) could become the first female President of the United States. Her speech was excellent. The video/audio combination showed extraordinary, off-the-chart political ability to me, simply extraordinary. (Usual caveat disclaimers: She must now show what she can do without a teleprompter, especially since we have seen such unscripted failure repeatedly from Senator Obama. There is always the potential for scandal. And she will be under the gun in debates and in press interviews, and she’s gonna have to show her stuff. I am, at this point, wildly optimistic; I see no evidence that she’ll disappoint.)

    I’m commenting now because I’ve just got off the phone with my family in Michigan. They are hard-core FDR-style Democrats, and I have never been able to move them an inch. They were very ambivalent toward Obama but my parents and my sister are now solidly behind him. The McCain/Palin pick, and this ticket, has now moved them fiercely off the fence into the Obama camp. At least for now. This pick has startled them and, I believe, frightened the living daylights out of them. To me this means only one thing: that they are, for the first time, taking McCain SERIOUSLY.

    Is this sudden sharp movement into the Obama camp something to be concerned about – meaning, is my particular family an indicator of a wider impulse? I myself do not think it is anything to be concerned with. Mine is a family that has never voted for a Republican. Never. The best you might have hoped for is that they would stay home. The Palin pick will, at worst, push more progressives AND conservatives to the polls, making that perhaps a wash. Time will tell. In addition, my family pays attention solely to liberal talking points, so as the Palin biography gets out there, and they see more of her, this weekend
    s near-Pavlovian reaction may in fact recede.

    Governor Palin has qualities and issues in her favor that will pull doubters to her side. In addition to that, when they find out that she fought corruption in her own Republican party – to the point that the party tried to destroy her, and she then continued to fight and won! – and compare that with Obama who immersed himself in the corrupt mudsty of Chicago politics and made himself quite a nice little wallow there, kissing the *ss of every corrupt leftist Chicago pol he could find… the comparison in how they related to the corrupt within their own party will be simply stunning.

    The key will be how Independents react, not liberals. (Though it has been entertaining to watch the liberals foam at the mouth all weekend!) I didn’t think this year could get any more interesting and compelling. And here we are! Far more interesting; far more compelling. My faith in McCain is restored and I am wildly enthusiastic about seeing the real Sarah Palin emerge over the next few months. I’ve pulled out my checkbook already and made my first donation since 2000. I hope my optimism matches the reality.

  • David Foster

    Experience is valuable to the extent that an individual has demonstrated success or at least an ability to learn. Joe Biden’s “foreign policy experience” includes making the suggestion, right after 9/11, that this country should send a large check to Iran with no strings attached. His leadership experience includes a demonstrated bullying attitude toward people who have less power than himself: see his obnoxious behavior toward Scott Ritter as an example.

  • http://OgBlog.net Earl

    EVERY candidate for VP in my lifetime has been chosen with the political implications foremost. This year isn’t any different.

    As for experience, the GOP certainly DID question John Edwards’ level of experience as next in line for an executive position — and why not? Did he have ANY? Sarah Palin ran a family, a town, and Alaska – I heartily agree that she hasn’t got loads of executive experience, but she has more than the other three people running COMBINED, folks!

    I love the pick, but there are certainly problems with it. Her qualities will or will not overcome those, and I surely hope McCain and his people know more about her qualities than the rest of us do at this point. Someone at the Corner wrote that we’re going to learn a LOT about Sarah Palin as we watch who she chooses for her advisers, on foreign policy in particular. Since “people are policy”, in large part, I think that this is correct.

    As for those who are hyperventilating…..take a deep breath. Honestly, would you REALLY rather have Barack Obama as President than Sarah Palin? Or, heaven forfend, Joe (freaking) Biden than Sarah Palin? I wouldn’t.

  • Ozzie

    We are going to hear more about McCain’s age– democrats will put one of McCain’s feet in the grave, threading the needle against charges of ageism.- Brian

    I predict they’ll be far more subtle and use phrases like “a heartbeat away” or “an incident away.”.

    A quick glance back at the 2004 campaign reveals exactly how it’s done:

    President Bush. . . bluntly dismissed the one-term North Carolina Democrat as too inexperienced to be a heartbeat away from the presidency

    http://www.washtimes.com/news/2004/jul/08/20040708-121756-9142r/

    Mr.[ Mitt] Romney says the North Carolina freshman senator is too inexperienced to be vice president – let alone only an incident away from the presidency.

    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/summary_0199-494807_ITM

    Though, admittedly, Fox News was classier with the phrase “death, resignation or removal”:

    “But others express concern that Edwards, whose only political credential is a single term in the Senate, lacks the experience in international affairs, particularly in wartime, to be a credible candidate to assume the presidency in the case of death, resignation or removal.
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,124740,00.html

  • Ellie2

    Right on Book!

    We need to insist that the opposition define “experience.” I think we are back to “word people” vs “deeds people”. In all of our history the people have valued individuals who have actually accomplished something, over those who merely talk a good story. Yak, yak, yak.

    Those who are concerned about Gov Palin being “a heartbeat away” can hardly support a man whose career has entirely consisted of law school, a member in good standing of the Chicago Machine, and “the world’s greatest debating society.” Yak, yak, yak,

    For President, Americans have always taken the measure of the candidate, instinctively knowing that — as President Clinton recently said — “no one is ever ‘ready’ to be President.” We elect a person based on our assessment that he or she has the basic substance, courage and character for the assignment.

    Not that long ago, Obama said you should pick him, not for his experience, but for his judgement. In her short career, Gov Palin has already shown better judgement than Obama. She is popular because she has fought corruption and waste in her own Party. Obama never did. She fought to get a gas pipeline approved to benefit her state and our country. In doing so she provided high paying jobs for her people and energy for her country.

    What has The One done? Obama has run for President since he arrived in the Senate. And but for the collapse of his opponents’ Senate campaigns in Illinois, he’d still be in the Illinois State Senate. And but for his lawyer getting his opponents thrown off the ballot, he’d still be a “Community Organizer” (whatever that is.) He did write two books. Yak, yak, yak.

    In Sarah Palin we do not have to **hope** that she can relate to the average American: her husband works two jobs, is a Union member; she got her start in public life at the PTA and has 5 kids, one of whom is a special needs child. Her eldest is about to ship out to Iraq. And she’s a gun-toting, Bible believing, outdoorsman to boot.

    The word people are in a panic: how are they going to compete with an authentic frontier-American female?

  • Deana

    Ellie2 –

    You are right on the money. Obama DID say we should pick him based on his judgment and not experience (or lack thereof). Palin has a history of showing extraordinary judgment that Obama and Biden simply cannot match. The McCain folks could effectively use this angle in an ad.

    I am trying very hard right now to rein in my enthusiasm. I realize that it is a long way to the election and there could be surprises and unexpected events in store. But I am absolutely thrilled at McCain’s choice and would be that way even if Palin were a man. But the fact that she is a woman is just icing on the cake.

    I’ve always admired McCain but there have been times when I have been exasperated with him for his lack of adherence to conservative principles. He had my vote when it became obvious that he was going to be the Republican candidate. But if he keeps this up, he will have my full, unreserved support.

    Deana

    P.S. The ad on YouTube making the rounds that shows Palin shooting that rifle is worth a million bucks. Too bad something similar isn’t already on TV!

  • Oldflyer

    When I hear the “heartbeat” mantra I usually hearken to Truman and LBJ. Truman was considered a buffoon. Roosevelt kept him totally isolated from war stategy and international affairs. He had been so isolated he did not even know we were on the verge of the atomic bomb. He had no conception of the deals FDR had cut with Stalin and Churchill. Suddenly he was President.

    LBJ was the consumate Washington politician who had all of the “experience” one could ask for. Suddenly he was President.

    Truman’s strength of character and decision making ability brought us through some of the most dangerous times in our history. LBJ, despite all of his experience, led us into one of the most debilitating and humiliating situations we have ever experienced.

    I don’t give a twit about the kind of experience the Pundits cite. I want to know about (personal and intellectual) honesty, judgement, decisiveness and strength of will.

    I am very excited. For the first time in several months I am energized about this election

  • BobK

    Ozzie,

    You have yet to respond to the distinction Book makes, and Ellie2 explicitly identifies, regarding the *type* of experience we’re speaking of here. I think we can all stipulate that in our form of democracy, the primary occupation of a federal legislator is self-promotion and re-election. You run a small staff, but their primary task is to make you appear well-informed, knowledgeable, and – above all – worthy of yet another term or a higher office.

    (My editorial opinion… the results a legislator obtains rarely PRODUCE anything – at best they create a framework wherein someone with executive skills can step in and produce actual results).

    So, how does the legislative experience of Senators Edwards (or Obama or Biden) compare to experience in an executive position – whether it’s the mayoralty of a town of 9,000 people, the command of a squadron of 5,400 personnel, or the governorship of the 47th most populous state (approx. 670,000 in population)?

    Perhaps it would be more helpful to discuss the *relevant* experience of the various candidates for the executive branch.

  • Ozzie

    You have yet to respond to the distinction Book makes, and Ellie2 explicitly identifies, regarding the *type* of experience we’re speaking of here. – Book

    I’ve heard the arguments regarding her exective experience, and after reading what bloggers and newspaper in Alaska have to say, (not to mention her own mother-in-law) am not comfortable.

    The thing that bothers me the MOST is that, as late as Dec. 2006, Palin admitted that she didnt know that much about Iraq. And as recently as two weeks ago, she didnt seem to know McCain’s stance on the issue.

    And Palin’s interviews on the subject are downright painful

    Another thing that troubles me is that McCain only met her once, and and that it’s become pretty obvious that she was chosen to appeal to the base. The 2000 McCain rejected the Religious Right and the 2008 candidate caters to it.

    I try to read a variety of sources and look at things from all different angles and the more I read, the less comfortable I become.

    That Brookhiser piece I posted on another thread said that the pick shows that McCain isnt serious about the vice presidency, which is how it appears to me.

  • BrianE

    I’ve heard the arguments regarding her exective experience, and after reading what bloggers and newspaper in Alaska have to say, (not to mention her own mother-in-law) am not comfortable.

    You’re too funny.

    Let’s see– actual real life governor managing a $5 billion budget on one hand… newspaper general interest columnist (not even a political columnist mind you) on the other hand. Yea, let’s go with the author of “Fairbanks, A Pictoral History” who had this to say in that nasty editorial he wrote:

    She is an engaging and charming politician and I have nothing negative to say about her character, her tenacity or her service to our state.

    I don’t even have major concerns about her performance as governor. She is smart and excels in dealing with people one-on-one.

    I like what she did on oil taxes and think her gas line plan may work in the long run, though that won’t be clear for years.

    Yeah, I’d be uncomfortable too.

  • Ozzie

    Let’s see– actual real life governor managing a $5 billion budget on one hand… newspaper general interest columnist (not even a political columnist mind you) on the other hand— Brian

    No. 1:

    Jimmy Carter was a governor, too.

    No. 2:

    Where on earth do you get the idea that i’ve only read “a newspaper general interest columnist”?

  • Gringo

    Ozzie
    The thing that bothers me the MOST is that, as late as Dec. 2006, Palin admitted that she didn’t know that much about Iraq.

    Yes, we should have followed the advice of someone who KNOWS A LOT ABOUT IRAQ, such as Senator Obama. Not only did Senator Obama oppose the Surge in Iraq, in contrast to Senator McCain, he tried to cut the Surge off at its knees with the Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 which in Senator Obama’s own words on the Senate floor on January 30, 2007 called for

    “a phased redeployment of U.S. forces with the goal of removing of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by March 31st, 2008 – consistent with the expectations of the bipartisan Iraq study group that the President has so assiduously ignored.”

    That is evidence of very poor judgment in foreign policy. I shudder to think what would have happened had we followed the suggestion of the very-knowledgeable Senator Obama and made his Iraq War De-escalation Act of 2007 our policy for Iraq.

    What Obama said about Georgia brings forth Hoagy Carmichael, the songwriter of “Georgia on My Mind,” more than it does Henry Kissinger. Bring the Georgia issue to the UN? With Russia having a Security Council veto? That thinking reflects “solid foreign policy experience?”

    Someone who pretends to know more than they actually know is more dangerous than someone who admits they don’t know something. If you wish to have a pretentious , ignorant fool operating our foreign policy, I strongly suggest that you vote for Obama.

    And you are NOT bothered by such pretension, ignorance, and poor judgment on the part of a PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, Ozzie?

    Just wondering.

  • Gringo

    Apparently Sarah Barracuda, a.k.a.Governor Palin, is not as much a naif in foreign affairs as many would think.
    HT: Grim’s Hall

  • Ozzie

    Yes, we should have followed the advice of someone who KNOWS A LOT ABOUT IRAQ, such as Senator Obama. — Gringo

    What I like about Obama is that in 2002, when it was decidely uncool to be against this war, he spoke out against it. As one of the people who oppossed the war from the start, I realize that it takes a lot of guts to stand your ground and say what you believe to be the truth, when the majority of the population disagrees with you. (Since he is a politician, however, I have no illusions that he speaks the truth on a regular basis. That goes for anyone aspiring for public office, however).

    Back then, I wrote to my Democratic Congressman on a weekly basis, sending him links to show the myriad of credible, credentialed people who were saying that the WMD threats were being exaggerated. I received a form letter, reiterating the bogus list of WMD.

    When said Congressman ran for the Senate, I voted for the Republican incumbant instead, who has been much more thoughtful about this war – and was downright pro-Constitution when Clinton commited troops to Kosovo. Funny how that works, no?

    To me, and many others, this war is, and has been, a collosal blunder, and I feel that we should have not have gone in there in the first place. But with a mega
    embassy and mega bases, complete with swimming pools, movie theaters and bowling lanes, I doubt we’ll be leaving, regardless who’s president. (Many apre-war articles pointed to this fact, even as Donald Rumsfeld SWORE there would be no “permanent bases in Iraq.” Did I mention how I think public servants are liars?)

    Every politican makes mistakes. Every politician says stupid things. And, now this might surpise you, every last one of them lies. MOST of them voted for this war, which makes them reckless in my book.

    That said, given that I belevie we’re stuck there, John McCain’s argument regarding Obama’s lack of experience was pretty powerful.

    As an Independent who sees “smoke and mirrors” where others see heroines and Messiahs, I think it was the wrong choice for him to make.

    To me, he diluted his greatest strength.

  • Ozzie

    What Obama said about Georgia brings forth Hoagy Carmichael, the songwriter of “Georgia on My Mind,” more than it does Henry Kissinger. Bring the Georgia issue to the UN? With Russia having a Security Council veto? That thinking reflects “solid foreign policy experience?” – Gringo

    On the other hand, John McCain’s “We’re all Georgians now” comment sounds stupid, too. And the fact that one of his advisors received money from Georgia stinks to high heaven, as well.

    And hasnt the Bush adminstration been pushing to admit Georgia to NATO? And do you think oil might have SOMETHING to do with it?

    Covert action in Georgia has been going on since 2002. Today Putin accused the U.S was delivering arms along with humantarian packages. In the past, I would have thought he was a lying bastard. Now, sad to say, I dont doubt it.

    But I dont think we’ll know the truth about the U.S role in Georgia for quite some.
    Here’s my prediction: We wont know the truth because whoever becomes president will spin the truth.

    Obama supporters will only see what they want to see and McCain supporters wil see what they want to see. And, in the end, Democras will wonder why Republicans are so stupid and Republicans will wonder why Democrats are so stupid.

  • BrianE

    What Ozzie thinks:

    And hasnt the Bush adminstration been pushing to admit Georgia to NATO? And do you think oil might have SOMETHING to do with it?

    What Sam Nunn thinks:

    The most influential member of Congress on military affairs said Sunday that the West should respond to any expansionist tendencies in Russia by expanding NATO’s security umbrella.

    At present, said Senator Sam Nunn, Democrat of Georgia, there is too little discussion among NATO members of either the financial resources needed to expand the alliance or the military strategy necessary to protect countries in the former East bloc.

    These issues need to be raised in Brussels next month when the NATO leaders meet, the senator, who is chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a broadcast interview. Mr. Nunn is considered a leading expert on U.S-Russian relations and NATO.

    This is an old article (1993) and the expansion of Nato to include Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, Poland, Czech Republic was probably all about oil also.

    This link lists how much oil we import from any country in the world:

    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_move_impcus_a1_NGG_ep00_im0_mbbl_m.htm

    In 2007 we imported 157,000,000 barrells of oil from Russia and 669,000 barrells from Georgia. If it were only about the oil, we should be sucking up to Russia, not Georgia.

  • Ozzie

    In 2007 we imported 157,000,000 barrells of oil from Russia and 669,000 barrells from Georgia. If it were only about the oil, we should be sucking up to Russia, not Georgia.- Brian

    Google “Baku-Ceyhan pipeline” and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

    From the Christian Science Monitor in 2002:

    Terror war and oil expand US sphere of influence
    GIs build bases on Russia’s energy-rich flank
    By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    “. . . Firmly in the Russian and later Soviet sphere of influence since Napoleon’s day, these strategic regions, along with their Middle Eastern ramparts to the south, are now home to 60,000 American troops.

    Some of these soldiers are building what appear to be long-term bases at remote Central Asian outposts, raising critical questions about America’s future role.
    One aim is the containment of Islamic extremism, a goal shared by Russia on its vulnerable southern flank. Looking to challenge OPEC leader Saudi Arabia in the oil markets, Russia is also worried about protecting its growing economic interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which are crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines – and potentially lucrative new routes.

    But the new nearness of America is triggering heated debate in Moscow, where President Vladimir Putin, by permitting US deployments, is being widely blamed for “losing” Central Asia and succumbing to a new American imperialism.. . .

    “The Russians have every reason to be worried” about US intentions in their “soft underbelly,” says Thomas Stauffer, an energy strategist and former Harvard professor in Washington. . . . ”
    http://www.csmonitor.com/2002/0319/p01s04-wosc.html

    And then there’s this from the Chicago Tribune:

    Pipeline Politics Taint US War By Salim Muwakkil
    Chicago Tribune
    March 18, 2002

    “. . . The Asia Times reported in January that the U.S. is developing “a network of multiple Caspian pipelines,” and that people close to the Bush administration stand to benefit.

    For example, the proposed Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, linking Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey, is represented by the law firm Baker & Botts. The principal attorney is James Baker, former secretary of state and chief spokesman for the Bush campaign in the Florida vote controversy.

    In 1997, the now disgraced Enron Corp. conducted the feasibility study for the $2.5 billion Trans-Caspian pipeline being built under a joint venture between Turkmenistan, Bechtel Corp. and General Electric, the article noted. There are many other connections, too numerous to recount here. No wonder the rest of the world is a bit skeptical about our war on evildoers. “

  • Ozzie

    Apparently Sarah Barracuda, a.k.a.Governor Palin, is not as much a naif in foreign affairs as many would think.- Gringo

    Thanks for the link. I actually scoured over it searching to find any signs that she has an understanding and/or interest in the war in Iraq.

    When she speaks of her son’s deployment, she sounds like any other parent concerned about his or her child’s safety and hoping that his or her kid isn’t going in without an “exit plan.”

    So far, from that list, this is the only statement that stands out:

    “Don’t tell me that we should ever be on our knees to any dictator because of our desperation for energy, not when we have supplied here at home? – Plain

    I’ve read several quotes now where she suggests that the war Iraq – and other wars — are about “energy supplies,” but none where she shows a deeper understanding.

    As I said, as late as Dec. 2006, she said she had not paid attention to the war in Iraq.

    It shows.

  • Gringo

    Ozzie:
    What I like about Obama is that in 2002, when it was decidely uncool to be against this war, he spoke out against it. As one of the people who oppossed the war from the start, I realize that it takes a lot of guts to stand your ground and say what you believe to be the truth, when the majority of the population disagrees with you.

    Guts? Had Obama made such a speech in a rock-ribbed conservative place like Amarillo, where I was once beaten up for having long hair instead of consenting to a haircut, I would concede that Obama had guts. However, in his Hyde Park neighborhood, a bastion of “cool” liberalism, speaking out against the war was about as controversial as speaking out against the Klan. He was simply preaching to the choir, as the saying goes. In Congress, 61% of Democratic Representatives and 42% of Democratic Senators voted against the Iraq War Resolution. So, it is not as if Obama was taking a stance that was exceptional within the Democratic Party. His stance was certainly NOT exceptional in his Hyde Park neighborhood. IMHO, it took about as much guts to do so in Hyde Park as to order a latte at Starbucks.

    Note that Obama has not been exactly resolute since then.
    Here is Obama in 2004.

    “There’s not that much difference between my position and George Bush’s position at this stage. The difference, in my mind, is who’s in a position to execute.”

    IOW, when things are going not so bad to good for the US in Iraq, he is willing to say that he basically agrees with Dubya. So principled!

    Here he is in a 2004 NYT interview.

    In a recent interview, he declined to criticize Senators Kerry and Edwards for voting to authorize the war, although he said he would not have done the same based on the information he had at the time.
    ”But, I’m not privy to Senate intelligence reports,” Mr. Obama said. ”What would I have done? I don’t know. What I know is that from my vantage point the case was not made.”

    Nuance, schmuance.
    We do not agree on Iraq, among other matters. My basis for deciding on Iraq was the 23-point Iraq War Resolution. That is apparently not yours. I vowed to never again vote for a Democratic presidential candidate after 82% of the Democrats in the Senate voted against the Gulf War I resolution. They apparently wanted to “give peace a chance.” I “gave peace a chance” when I was a Conscientious Objector during the Vietnam War. The genocide in Cambodia, while we stood on the sidelines with “clean hands,” changed my mind. As a former Democrat, I do admit to a bias against the Democratic Party.

  • Ozzie

    We do not agree on Iraq, among other matters. My basis for deciding on Iraq was the 23-point Iraq War Resolution. That is apparently not yours- Gringo

    I went back and researched the current drive to war, (i.e when did it start? Who was for it? Who opposed it?) as well as the first Bush administration’s reasons for not taking out Saddam.

    I also researched the WMD rationale, along with geopolitical reasons that werent aired on American TV, but were discussed in magazines and newspapers across the globe.

    I concluded early on that the war in Iraq was not in the nation’s best interest, but also recall quite clearly that anyone who opposed it or questioned the WMD rationale were painted as loons — or worse.

    That was back in 2002, when very few politicians or “anaylsts” were speaking out against the war.

  • Zhombre

    I grew in Chicago and I’ll corroborate what Gringo says. I know Hyde Park and that area adjacent to U.of Chi. It’s an affluent & liberal enclave and speaking out against the Iraq war, or any Bush Admin policy for that matter, is de rigueur. This is part of the city where, mind you, Bill Ayers is “jes folks.”

  • BrianE

    Ozzie said:

    Google “Baku-Ceyhan pipeline” and you’ll see where I’m coming from.

    From Wikipedia:

    On October 18, 1991, Supreme Council of Azerbaijan adopted a Declaration of Independence which was affirmed by a nationwide referendum in December 1991, when the Soviet Union was officially dissolved.

    After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Georgia had a brief period of independence as a Democratic Republic (1918-1921), which was terminated by the Red Army invasion of Georgia. Georgia became part of the Soviet Union in 1922.
    After regaining its independence in 1991, the early post-Soviet years were marked by civil unrest and economic crisis. Georgia began to gradually stabilize in 1995, and achieved more effective functioning of state institutions following a bloodless change of power in the so-called Rose Revolution of 2003.[4]

    The pipeline runs 443km through Azerbaijan, 249km through Georgia and 1,076km through Turkey to the Ceyhan Marine Terminal.

    I’m not sure what your issue is. It appears that Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are independent sovereign nations that are free to contract with whomever they wish to build a pipeline that will benefit Europe.

    I agree that NATO expansion is designed to give countries next to Russia cover. If you think there is no difference between life in Russia, or China, or the West, then you probably won’t care what happens to these folks. I’m kinda on the side of signing them up now, before Russia invades them. Oh, too late, Russia invaded Georgia.

    And as an aside, BP has a stake in the pipeline.

  • Ozzie

    I grew in Chicago and I’ll corroborate what Gringo says. I know Hyde Park and that area adjacent to U.of Chi. It’s an affluent & liberal enclave and speaking out against the Iraq war, or any Bush Admin policy for that matter, is de rigueur- Zhombre

    Point taken. Thanks.

  • Ozzie

    I’m not sure what your issue is. It appears that Azerbaijan, Georgia and Turkey are independent sovereign nations that are free to contract with whomever they wish to build a pipeline that will benefit Europe – Brian

    My point is that the U.S. is supporting a pipeline that goes through Georgia and bypasses Russia, which has created tension in the religion.

    1991 was a long time ago, Brian.

    The U.S started covert operations in Georgia in 2002, but this is a pretty concise analysis, from 2006:

    Starting this summer, a new $4 billion pipeline is expected to begin pumping crude oil from the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan to a Turkish port on the Mediterranean Sea. To get there, the pipeline passes through neighboring Georgia, a small, impoverished republic that has no energy resources of its own.

    Analysts say Georgia is the weakest link in this energy project, which has strong support from the U.S. government.

    Georgia’s leaders hope the pipeline will help transform the country from an impoverished backwater to a member of NATO and a vital supplier of energy to the West.

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5350046

    And then this from earlier this year:

    Arriving here for his final NATO summit as president, Bush framed the emerging battle over eventual membership for the former Soviet republics of Ukraine and Georgia as a defining test for Europe and a vital step in building a new security framework. Although Russia has threatened to target both nations with nuclear missiles if they join, Bush said Moscow “will not have a veto” over NATO’s decisions.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2008/04/01/ST2008040100995.html

    And then this from Aug, 2008:

    “So where did the Georgians get the silly idea that the U.S. would bail them out?

    Maybe from John McCain, Republican heir apparent, whose top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, also just happens to be a highly paid lobbyist for the Georgian government. Whoops — correction! Scheunemann usedto be a highly paid lobbyist for Georgia. The McCain campaign says Scheunemann hasn’t taken a dime from the Georgians since May 15. (Which is lucky for the Georgians, who are going to need all the spare cash they can get to rebuild all the stuff the Russians just bombed.)

    According to the Washington Post, the relationship between Scheunemann and Georgia used to be very cozy (not to mention lucrative for Scheunemann). Between Jan. 1, 2007, and May 15, 2008, while Scheunemann was also a paid McCain advisor, “Georgia paid his firm $290,000 in lobbying fees.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-oe-brooks14-2008aug14,0,663565.column

  • BrianE

    My point is that the U.S. is supporting a pipeline that goes through Georgia and bypasses Russia, which has created tension in the religion.

    Granted, Georgia has been a sovreign state since 1991. What claim does Russia make to their sovereignty?

    Georgia’s leaders hope the pipeline will help transform the country from an impoverished backwater to a member of NATO and a vital supplier of energy to the West.

    So do I!
    Again, what’s your point. That countries bordering Russia don’t have a right to conduct their own business?
    From the LATimes article:

    “So where did the Georgians get the silly idea that the U.S. would bail them out?

    Besides being silly, it’s highly flawed analysis. Unless the Georgians were ready to be occupied for say 6-8 months while McCain wins the presidency and then implements the strategy that Bush is already pushing– kicking Russia out of the G8. They don’t need McCain to get Bush on board for that, along with other NATO countries.
    From the same article:

    The administration also aggressively pushed policies that couldn’t have been better designed to enrage the Russians. At the April NATO summit in Romania, Bush urged a fast track to NATO membership for Georgia.

    That’s justification for invading a sovereign country?
    From the same article:

    Moscow will stop pummeling Georgia when it decides the Georgians have truly been punished enough. And this being the real world, punishment will rain down on the pawns — but those who egged them on (to score political points, seek power or gain profit) will, of course, face no punishment at all.

    So the moral is, don’t become friends with the US? And tell me again how we egged them on? The fact is Russia has been meddling in South Ossetia for some time, granting Russian passports to residents there. During that time, more than 200,000 Georgians were driven out of South Ossetia by the separatists. Next you’ll be arguing that the North had no right to prevent the South from seceding.
    So we egged them on for what? The pipeline was going through.
    Wow, that quite a journey to get to her point– it’s all our fault.

  • Ozzie

    So we egged them on for what? The pipeline was going through.
    Wow, that quite a journey to get to her point– it’s all our fault.- Brian

    The CIA has been in Georgia since 2002 and we’ve had troops there, too.

    This has caused tension with Russia, especially since the pipleine we are supporting is undercutting their interests.

    From the LA Times:

    “For Russia, control of Georgia and the pipeline would restore much of its influence over many of the former satellites of the U.S.S.R.,” he said. “It would have the clear benefit of increasing Russia’s energy chokehold on Europe.”

    http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fi-pipelines13-2008aug13,0,3564413.story

    That’s just stating the obvious.

    Why is that hard to see?

    By your logic, it seems you are saying that America would be A-Ok if the Russians had 60,000 troops at the U.S/ Mexican border and was trying to undercut U.S interests. We wouldnt.

    Once again from the Christian Science Monitor in 2002:

    Terror war and oil expand US sphere of influence
    GIs build bases on Russia’s energy-rich flank
    By Scott Peterson | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

    “. . . Firmly in the Russian and later Soviet sphere of influence since Napoleon’s day, these strategic regions, along with their Middle Eastern ramparts to the south, are now home to 60,000 American troops.

    Some of these soldiers are building what appear to be long-term bases at remote Central Asian outposts, raising critical questions about America’s future role.
    One aim is the containment of Islamic extremism, a goal shared by Russia on its vulnerable southern flank. Looking to challenge OPEC leader Saudi Arabia in the oil markets, Russia is also worried about protecting its growing economic interests in Central Asia and the Caucasus, which are crisscrossed by oil and gas pipelines – and potentially lucrative new routes.”

  • Ozzie

    So we egged them on for what? – Brian

    I never said we egged anyone on.

    Russia believes we are providing Georgia with arms, however, and I dont doubt that.

    And it seems that Bush promised Georgia NATO membership and wasn’t able to deliver.

    http://www.newsmax.com/borchgrave/russia_invades_georgia/2008/08/12/121206.html

    There’s a lot going on here, Brian. And I surely dont grasp the full picture.

    But we’re living in a time when trying to undertstand something is seen as “blaming America first.”

  • BrianE

    “For Russia, control of Georgia and the pipeline would restore much of its influence over many of the former satellites of the U.S.S.R.,” he said. “It would have the clear benefit of increasing Russia’s energy chokehold on Europe.”

    This isn’t something we should work to prevent?

    I never said we egged anyone on.

    No, Rosa Brooks did in that dopey opinion piece.

    And it seems that Bush promised Georgia NATO membership and wasn’t able to deliver.

    Europe wasn’t going to let Georgia in until the status of the breakaway provinces was decided. Georgia was negotiating with Russia, but I guess Russia is more comfortable negotiating with tanks.

    But now that Russia aggression has changed the equation, fighting them economically is our best strategy. Whether or not we were in Iraq, we’re not going to engage the Russians directly unless WWIII is imminent.

  • Danny Lemieux

    So, let me get try to understand this, Ozzie.

    The U.S. is involved with Georgia, an independent sovereign nation, because “it’s all about oil”, even though we don’t important any significant quantities of oil from Georgia.

    Russia is NOT involved with Georgia because of oil. Rather, it is because they are terrified of Georgian soldiers armed with U.S. weapons and training that happen to be friendly to the U.S., not to mention that Georgians might have the temerity to compete with Russia in the oil markets, which is highly unfair.

    That’s why it’s OK for the Russians to invade Georgia, because it’s self defense. Russia good, U.S. bad.

    Or, it it because the Georgians just aren’t grateful enough to the Russians for those rollicking grand ol’ Soviet days?

    Help us out here?

  • Ozzie

    The U.S. is involved with Georgia, an independent sovereign nation, because “it’s all about oil”, even though we don’t important any significant quantities of oil from Georgia- Danny

    You could research this yourself. Have you truly never read anything about any of this?

    From the Independent:
    Battle for Oil: EU’s hope to bypass Russian energy may be a pipe dream
    By Claire Soares
    Tuesday, 12 August 2008

    The pipeline which will draw oil for the Caspain basin, will bypass Russia and go through Georgia, diminshing Russia’s control.

    Georgia may have no natural resources to speak of, yet it has become a key player for Europe, due to 155 miles of pipeline that snake across its territory.

    The Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is the only practical route for carrying Caspian oil to Western markets that avoids Russia – a treasured asset for the a European Union trying to reduce energy dependence on Moscow.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/battle-for-oil-eursquos-hope-to-bypass-russian-energy-may-be-a-pipe-dream-891499.html

    “Russia is NOT involved with Georgia because of oil.” – Danny

    Um, I believe the links I provided explained that is about oil for Russia, too. Russia wants to retain control and is not happy with what they view as U.S. meddling.

    In case you missed it:

    “For Russia, control of Georgia and the pipeline would restore much of its influence over many of the former satellites of the U.S.S.R.,” he said. “It would have the clear benefit of increasing Russia’s energy chokehold on Europe.”

    But honestly, Danny, it’s in the news just about every day.

    “That’s why it’s OK for the Russians to invade Georgia, because it’s self defense. Russia good, U.S. bad”

    Cant you get past black or white thinking? Russia and the U.S are involved in startegic manuevering. The U.S paints Russia while Russia paints the U.S. as bad. It’s always more complicated than that.

    When Geogia attacked, Putin found the opening he needed. And yes, it’s about the oil for him, too.

    “This isn’t something we should work to prevent?” – Brian

    We are working on it. And have been for quite some time.

    But, for some reason, Americans get mad when you say that oil is involved.

  • Ymarsakar

    And it seems that Bush promised Georgia NATO membership and wasn’t able to deliver.

    America doesn’t get to decide who will or will not get to use America’s military assets in NATO. That is the responsibility of France and Germany.

  • Ymarsakar

    But, for some reason, Americans get mad when you say that oil is involved.

    Cause America is the only nation that is accused of this. It’s called injustice and being prejudiced, Oz. Americans don’t like that and they do get mad about such things.

  • Danny Lemieux

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, Ozzie. I left off the /sarc at the end of my last posting.

    Point is, this isn’t about America’s “oil” – neither was Iraq. America has more-than enough sources from which to obtain oil, including continental North America. And, it isn’t about American oil companies, which collectively are relatively small players in the world oil market.

    Fact is, the Baku pipeline is about the rest of the world’s oil supply, especially Europe, and it is the U.S. that (once again) is committing itself to the stability of world supplies and the world economy. The Euros, of course, are once again worse than useless in standing up for their own interests.

    That being said, why is so-called “world opinion” not outraged that for Russia and unlike for the U.S. (including in Iraq), it really IS all about the oil? Russia’s move is economic imperialism at its most blatant and should have been recognized as such right away. Instead, the world MSM falls over itself trying to find justifications for Russia’s actions. The charge that somehow the U.S. was arming Georgia as a threat to Russia is ludicrous.

    That was the point of my posting.

  • Ozzie

    Sorry for the misunderstanding, Ozzie- Danny

    No problem, Danny.

    “The charge that somehow the U.S. was arming Georgia as a threat to Russia is ludicrous. – Danny

    I dont think Russia views it as an existential threat, if that’s what you mean, but I do believe they see it as a financial and strategic threat.

    I came across this article this morning, which is saying what I’ve been trying to say, only more concisely – and with more pizazz:

    “But first, let us be clear about what has happened. In recent years, the United States has been providing military aid and advice to an increasingly militaristic Georgia, whose military budget has increased 30 fold since 2003 (much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the Georgian taxpayer). US intelligence services played a fundamental role in the 2004 election of its pro-Western president, Mikheil Saakashvili, who, in turn, has been aggressively courting Georgian membership in NATO.

    None of these developments have been exactly welcomed by the Russians, who share a huge border with Georgia and run important natural-gas pipelines through the region. To understand why, Americans should consider how the US government would react if (say) Texas declared its independence and received massive amounts of military aid and advice from the Russians, all while the Texas president feted his Russian counterpart at state dinners in Austin and promoted Texan membership in a post–Cold War Warsaw Pact that had already expanded greatly in the previous 15 years.”

    http://www.mises.org/story/3074

  • BrianE

    To understand why, Americans should consider how the US government would react if (say) Texas declared its independence and received massive amounts of military aid and advice from the Russians,

    Not a good analogy. Georgia didn’t secede from the Soviet Union, the Soviet Union dissolved. Russia has no claim on Georgia. This is a naked power grab by Russia.
    New report 8/25:

    Russia’s parliament voted unanimously to recognise the independence of Georgia’s two breakaway regions today in a direct challenge to the West.

    The Federation Council voted 130-0 to ask President Dmitri Medvedev to recognise South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent states. Russia’s lower house of parliament, the Duma, followed shortly after with a 447-0 vote in favour of recognition.

    Independence means Russian control, since the residents of South Ossetia were granted Russian passports.

    The better analogy would be Cuba, a Soviet satellite spreading the disease of Marxism to Latin and South America.

    What is puzzling Ozzie is the attitude I read in your posts, and please correct me if I’m wrong. I sense you are saying we should just accept Russian control of Southwest Asia and the Warsaw pact countries and not worry about a potential Russian energy stranglehold on Europe.

    As I said before, if you believe there’s no difference living in Russia or the US, then it’s no big deal.

  • BrianE

    Ozzie said:

    In recent years, the United States has been providing military aid and advice to an increasingly militaristic Georgia, whose military budget has increased 30 fold since 2003 (much to the chagrin, I am sure, of the Georgian taxpayer).

    I’m assuming the parentheses are yours. Ask the Georgians, facing the Russian Bear, how they feel about military assistance from anyone. They might have a different take on it.

    Found this on a blog. Can’t verify the accuracy of it, though the sentiment is what’s relevant:
    “There has been a lot of talk about change lately. And after eight
    years of Republican rule, it’s definitely time for some.
    I will vote for Barack Obama and the Democrats because I know that
    they are our only real chance to move this country back on the right
    path.
    But change doesn’t just mean kicking this dumb ass out of the white
    house. if we change presidents without changing policies, our country
    will keep slipping away from us. We have to hold the new people we
    elect accountable, and make sure they move away from the failed
    militaristic policies of the last eight years.
    That’s why Joe Biden’s recent tough talk about the war in Georgia is
    disturbing. It just doesn’t sound like the change I am hoping for.
    But Mr. Biden has done more than just talk tough. He has offered
    Georgia a billion of our tax dollars. With huge deficits here at home,
    change should mean that we think very carefully about offering any far-
    away nation our tax money. But the facts about Georgia’s current ruler
    give us good reason to flatly reject giving aid to the country for as
    long as he remains president.”

  • Ozzie

    What is puzzling Ozzie is the attitude I read in your posts, and please correct me if I’m wrong. I sense you are saying we should just accept Russian control of Southwest Asia and the Warsaw pact countries and not worry about a potential Russian energy stranglehold on Europe.
    ” Brian

    I’m just trying to figure out what the situtation is, Brian, to the best of my ability with the infomration tht’s there..

    At this point, the “shoulds” or “shouldn’t’ are over my head and out of my hands.

  • Ozzie

    I’m assuming the parentheses are yours- Brian

    They’re not.

  • BrianE

    http://engforum.pravda.ru/showthread.php?p=2556069

    If your interested in Russian expansionism, this is a short primer.

    The Powell Doctrine of overwhelming force has just been used effectively — and not by the U.S., which tried to prevail on the cheap with its 2003 invasion of Iraq. This time around, it might as well be rechristened the Putin Doctrine, given what the Russian military has done to Georgia over the past two weeks.

    Another point strategists have taken note of: the Russians’ apparent use of computer-generated attacks on Georgian servers and websites in the days before the invasion. While much of the hacking sounded like old-time Soviet agitprop — particularly reports of alleged Georgian genocide against ethnic minorities in South Ossetia — military schools will be studying the fact that such an electronic assault moved in tandem with the real invasion.

    The other lessons: don’t tease the bear, because it may just be smarter than you. It appears the Georgians fell into the yawning trap set for them by the Russians. For years both sides had fired on the other, and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili decided that this summer was the time to root out the separatists — many with freshly issued Russian passports — in South Ossetia. When his forces moved into the province on Aug. 7, the Russian bear pounced.

    Whether or not a renewed Cold War works in Moscow’s favor in the long term remains to be seen. Moscow may not be able to halt expanding NATO, as former members of the Warsaw Pact do not seem less eager to join the Western Alliance. While Putin and his troops have succeeded in lashing out at Georgia, such action against former Warsaw Pact allies like the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland — all now NATO members — would be suicidal. But for the near term, the Putin Doctrine is now in play.