Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Senatorial Posturing on Georgia

I've been reading the summary of the visit of various U.S. Senators to Georgia at Civil Georgia.

Neutral peacekeepers for Abkhazia and Ossetia. Great. We've heard that proposal for more than ten years. It's a great proposal on paper. Like Aesop's mice wanting to put the bell on the cat, just one small problem: someone has to want to do it. The Europeans have passed up the opportunity to send forces to the Caucasus for years. Senators Graham, McCain, Chambliss, Sununu and others: ready to argue for U.S. peacekeepers to go? Not holding my breath.

Georgia in NATO. Senator Graham says Georgia will be a great addition and that the alliance will be strengthened. For once, please move beyond the easy rhetoric and explain. Do we expect a Georgia in NATO to become part of our toolbox to use against Iran? (Have the Georgians thought this through--NATO as a hedge against Russia is one thing, getting involved in a conflict with Iran--when the Georgian government has energy deals with Tehran--may be another thing altogether). How is the alliance "strengthened" when we have Chirac's speech of last week which seems to indicate a different view for NATO?

On a related note, while the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi stated no one shot at Senator McCain's helicopter, it is apparently too good of a story to pass up, as it continues to circulate. Perhaps it can be broadened so that Vladimir Putin is trying to assassinate the next President of the United States.

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