A world-size crisis, and McCain gets it right 0

 From the Financial Times:

It was Mr McCain who set the initial tone with a strong statement last Friday several hours before official word from the administration – and then again on Monday morning with a shopping list of tough policy responses for Mr Bush. These included shoring up support for Ukraine, which hosts Russia’s Crimean fleet, and steps to protect the Caspian pipeline that runs from Azerbaijan to Turkey via Georgia – all allies of the US.

“Russia’s aggression against Georgia is both a matter of urgent moral and strategic importance to the United States,” said Mr McCain. “The implications go beyond their threat to a democratic Georgia. Russia is using violence against Georgia, in part, to intimidate other neighbours such as Ukraine, for choosing to associate with the West.”

In this time of crisis McCain is the only intelligent choice for President.  

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 11, 2008

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Obama’s idiotic idea in a time of crisis 1

 From Little Green Footballs – as usual, bang on the nail:

An astoundingly bone-headed statement from Barack Obama today, as he calls for the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Georgia.

Memo to the Obama campaign: Russia has veto power in the United Nations Security Council.

Oops!

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 11, 2008

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The Ukraine enters the fray 0

Ed Morrissey in Front Page Magazine reports:

 Ukraine delivered a diplomatic bombshell across Russia’s bow today, escalating tensions in the region over their invasion of South Ossetia.  The Kiev government announced that they may bar the Russian Navy from using their ports in the Crimea as part of its effort to maintain neutrality.  Moscow had negotiated leases through 2017 with Kiev, and needs the ports to support its war on Georgia:

Ukraine’s Foreign Ministry said the deployment of a Russian naval squadron to Georgia’s Black sea coast has the potential of drawing Ukraine into the conflict.

“In order to prevent the circumstances in which Ukraine could be drawn into a military conflict … Ukraine reserves the right to bar ships which may take part in these actions from returning to the Ukrainian territory until the conflict is solved,” said the statement which was posted on the ministry’s Web site.

The Ukraine government didn’t need a reminder of how Russia treats its former satellites when they get too independent, but they’re certainly learning from the Georgian example.  Ukraine’s move makes it clear to Vladimir Putin that Russia will pay a steep political and military price for their adventure in the Caucasus.  It also sends a signal of support to the beleaguered government in Tbilisi, which can use all the friends it can get at the moment.

Russia seemed surprised at the statement.  Their defense minister called the warning “quite unexpected”, but it follows normal diplomatic protocols.  Any nation providing military support for a belligerent during an armed conflict is a de facto belligerent themselves, unless they cut off that support.  Ukraine’s action isn’t just expected but a normal response for any nation wishing to remain at least neutral.

Russia may gain South Ossetia and Abkhazia in this grab, but Putin has let the mask slip.  Former Soviet republics will learn to to fear Russia and to gravitate to the West for protection — as long as we stand firmly for Georgia.  Fortunately, the Bush administration is now following John McCain’s lead on this issue and sending exactly that signal.

Posted under Uncategorized by Jillian Becker on Monday, August 11, 2008

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Obama’s inadequacy 0

 Obama will never be ready to be president. He is not the man for the job. 

Power Line shares and substantiates this opinion:

McCain has strongly and unequivocally come out in support of our ally Georgia, while placing the onus for the war squarely where it belongs, on Russia. In this, he has aligned himself with our most loyal European allies. Obama, on the other hand, issued the sort of vapid statement that would ingratiate him with the State Department while not requiring any distraction from his Hawaii vacation. An interesting point, by the way: McCain is supposed to be the old guy, but Obama is the one who needs a vacation.

Here is the latest from the McCain campaign:

This afternoon I spoke, for the second time since the crisis began, with Georgian President Saakashvili. It is clear the situation is dire. Russian aggression against Georgia continues, with attacks occurring far beyond the Georgian region of South Ossetia. As casualties continue to mount, the international community must do all it can to avert further escalations. Tensions and hostilities between Georgians and Ossetians are in no way justification for Russian troops crossing an internationally recognized border. I again call on the Government of Russia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its forces from the territory of Georgia.

Given this threat to Euro-Atlantic security, I am pleased to see the United States, the European Union, and NATO acting together by sending a delegation to the region, in an effort to broker a cease fire. This is an important first step.

The United Nations has been prevented from taking any meaningful action by Russian objections. In view of this, I welcome the statements of democratic nations defending the sovereignty of Georgia and condemning Russian actions.

I strongly support the declaration issued by the Presidents of Poland, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, and their commitment that ‘aggression against a small country in Europe will not be passed over in silence or with meaningless statements equating the victims with the victimizers.

 

I doubt that the Europeans were thinking of Obama when they wrote this, but who knows? Maybe they had seen this "meaningless statement equating the victims with the victimizers" from the Obama campaign:

It’s both sides’ fault — both have been somewhat provocative with each other.

McCain’s statement continues:

I share their regret that NATO’s decision to withhold from Georgia a Membership Action Plan may have been viewed as a green light for aggression in the region. As they propose, a new international peacekeeping force should be created, in light of – as they observe – the ‘obvious bankruptcy of Russian "peacekeeping operations" in its immediate neighborhood.’ In addition, Finnish Foreign Minister Stubb, the Chairman of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, has said there can be no return to the status quo in South Ossetia and that Russia cannot serve as a mediator in the South Ossetian conflict. Each of these leaders represents a country that has undergone what Georgia is now experiencing.

That last is a key point, but one that is no doubt lost on Obama and his advisers. It is often said that Obama is not ready to be President, but I don’t think this is exactly right. It seems pretty obvious that Obama, given his temperament, his self-regard, his blithe ignorance of history and of the material conditions of life on this planet, will never be ready to be President. He is not unready: he is unsuited for, and inadequate to, the office.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Sunday, August 10, 2008

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War-War 0

Western interference in Yugoslavia in order to ‘protect’ Kosovo was always a bad idea.

It was unjustified in that no Western interests were involved; it was bad as a precedent;  bad in its immediate results, spreading war throughout the region; and it continues to be bad in its longer-term effects.

This is from an article in the Telegraph today:

Two key events well beyond Georgia’s borders have triggered Russia’s fury. The first was Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February and the new country’s subsequent recognition by many Western states. This brought a public warning from Moscow that Kosovo’s move to independence could set a precedent for Georgia’s two breakaway regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia.

The second was Nato’s pledge at the Bucharest summit in April that membership of the Atlantic Alliance for both Georgia and Ukraine was not a matter of "if" but "when", although in deference to Russian objections, no timetable for entry was granted. This provoked Vladimir Putin, then still Russia’s president, to promise more support for Georgia’s breakaway regions.

Now Russia has invaded Georgia. Russia is at fault, as John McCain made instantly clear. Barack Obama put out a statement implying moral equivalence between the invading Great Power and the small independency.

Posted under Commentary by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 8, 2008

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