Georgia-Russia: What Really Matters this Fall is Clear
I'm not enthused in any way about the fall election and for many, many, many reasons. The ham and jelly vs. peanut butter and cheese sandwich choices (from my POV anyway) when all I want is a damned "ham and cheese sandwich" leave me opting to skip lunch...so to speak. But, I guess all I can do is favor ham or cheese and tolerate the rest.
So, whether you want to label foreign policy "ham" or "cheese" is kind of irrelevant in the analogy but whichever it is is the one that matters more right now.
While neither Obama or McCain have given the ideal response, Bush's response is exactly the kind of pointless nonsense that I'm incredibly weary of. Why can't he just SHUT UP and veto idiotic bills from Congress for a few more months and just go back to Crawford? My God, enough already! This self-righteous, hard-headed, bumbling, fumbling, nonsensically fruitless posturing does not serve the people he's supposed to be serving nor does it really offer any constructive hope to the poor, innocent people trapped in this mess.
And speaking of hard-headed and self-righteous bumbling and posturing , McCain seems to be upping the ante and predictably so. But Mark over at Publius Endures hits the nail on the head with his assessment of what's really at stake in this election, what the real difference (of any real consequence) is and what REALLY MATTERS here:
As much as Obama has increasingly come to parrot the foreign policy establishment consensus that has held sway in Washington for, well, a really long time, Obama's consensus view is far less dangerous than the reflexive aggression characterized by the last eight years and, yes, Senator McCain. It is the rejection of this reflexive aggression...that I view as the single most important issue this fall.
And why? What's the problem with McCain? Well, it's something people in my neck of the woods call, with much disdain: National Greatness Conservatism...a worthless, otherwise innocuous POV, like believing the earth is some 4,000 years old or was really created in seven days, until it influences government policy. Then at that point, it can only be bad. Google it and you'll see of slew of scathing writing on it from a variety of libertarian/classical liberal sites and think tanks.
Never mind of course that this Georgia/Russia affair is far from clear or black and white and that it deserves no effort of side-taking from our government and for a variety of reasons. The front page of Cato is currently at the time of this writing awash with articles and commentary on the matter and the Independent Institute was quick with a detailed reaction on their blog.
Mark sums things up quite well about good ol' tough "National Greatness":
The fact is that the simplistic view of good and evil advocated by so many on the political Right results in a situation where all foreign policy follows the dictum "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." While unintended consequences are inevitable in almost anything government does, a foreign policy based on this dictum is a recipe and guarantor for the worst kinds of unintended consequences. It results in needless provocation of enemies or potential enemies; it further destroys American moral standing by propping up autocracies that are barely distinguishable from the enemy autocracies over which we claim moral superiority; it entangles us in foreign adventures that only minimally implicate American interests, if at all; and it ensures the ever-upward increase in military spending (and thus the national debt).
There's no inherent gain in taking some hard-line stance against Russia and with Georgia. As soon as our government does it, it's just dripping with incredible hypocrisy and unneeded potential dangers. We have no business taking sides or involving ourselves in this matter in any way other than as a neutral reminder of what we uniformly stand for as country while ready to offer true, peaceful assistance. We should not be pretending to convey some silly notion of one side being right and the other wrong. It's clearly not the case and thus no action we take should be on the side of either country nor should we be provoking potential danger or confrontation with countries we have no direct quarrel with...at least no quarrel that deserves any aggressive posturing.
The schizophrenia of conservatives toward government stupidity never ceases to amaze me....