Politics

On McCain's Russian Response

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Greg Djerejian echoes what many in the blogosphere are saying about McCain’s hardline stance

An honorable man who served his country well, it is clear his time has past and his grasp on the most basic foreign policy calls we’ll need to make in the coming years is very tentative indeed. He’ll be surrounded by second-tier ‘yes-man’ realists and residual neo-con swill, few with any ideas worth pursuing if we mean to take the national interest seriously with sobriety and freshness of perspective. So let us help him exit off-stage gracefully, as he served his country with dignity when called upon, but let us not sacrifice our children’s future to ignorants with deludely romantic notions of empire. Been there, done that.

Indeed, we have a President who has announced a pre-emptive doctrine which allows us to, willy-nilly, instigate regime change when and where we deem appropriate. Who are we to lecture Putin now? What standing do we have to do so? And what parochial and self-satisfied myopia has us indignantly thinking we are some unimpeachable arbitrer of right and wrong in the international system after the disastrous missteps of the past eight sordid years?

To back up Djerejian, I hope everybody knows that even before this situation McCain had suggested that Russia should be kicked out of the G8. That stance is so hardline that even with this latest overreaching, there’s no way Russia would get booted. That hasn’t stopped McCain from proposing it again. So why on earth would one push such an impotent plan? And not just once, but twice?

As mentioned here and virtually every other corner of the blogosphere, there are no good options when dealing with this situation. However, what I think is extremely easy to dismiss are the options presented by those who don’t realize or appreciate our diminished stature on the world stage and our need to regain credibility in a post Neo Con foreign policy era. McCain’s proposals offers us nothing but more talk tough Bush Doctrine nonsense, which Bush himself has all but abandoned at this point.

Russia outmaneuvered us on this one, plain and simple. Chalk it up to bad planning and laughable foreign policy naivete. But that’s just how it is, and we’re just going to have to grin and bear it.

  • ExiledIndependent

    Here’s fun exercise: Imagine we had not invaded Iraq. What would be the appropriate US response to Russia’s current actions in Georgia then? While we don’t have the moral high ground to denounce Russia’s activity, they’re engaged in a land grab that isn’t too dissimilar from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait–invading a neighboring sovereign nation for oil. Is it impossible to act without a position of moral superiority? Discuss.

    And BTW, just another reason to find a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels immediately.

  • http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com Jimmy the Dhimmi

    Are anti-Bush, anti-Iraq war people gonna start advocating a position whereby we should enter a war against Russia, but we can’t because Bush lost the moral high ground and our troops are bogged down in Iraq? Please.

  • ExiledIndependent

    I don’t know about that, but I hear writers, pudits, et. al. indicating that we “can’t” have any sort of response because of a lack of the moral high ground.

    And I’ll be honest–this move by Russia is…disturbing. What should the US reaction be if Russia decides to annex Georgia?

  • Mudsucker

    Sanctions could prove formidable against Russian aggression. No grains or coal exported from Canada would create a cold, hungry Russian population over the winter and the Russian army is likely to turn on Putin as a result.

  • Snoop-Diggity-DANG-Dawg

    “What should the US reaction be if Russia decides to annex Georgia?”

    Better question: “What should the European Union’s response be?”

    How about for once the EU gets off its collective cheese-nibbling ass and draws a frigging line in the sand for once, instead of eternally expecting the U.S. to do all the heavy lifting?
    Risk something.
    Stand-up for something.
    Lead for once.

    Why do we need to solve this? I see no compelling strategic interest.

    And as for the U.S. not having thee moral high-ground? Please.

    The U.N. authorized action against Iraq after 12 years of failed sanctions and diplomacy. We invaded Iraq with tacit authorization of the security council, so spare me the ‘illegal war’ BS.

    Russia has unilaterally invaded a sovereign state with zero U.N. input.