You Got to Be Kidding Me!

Putin Begins to Overplay His Hand

Posted in 2008 Election, Politics by Stacy McMahon on August 28, 2008

Direct interference in US elections is bad juju:

Putin told CNN his defense officials had told him it was done to benefit a presidential candidate — Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama are competing to succeed George W. Bush — although he presented no evidence to back it up.

If he keeps that up and it gains traction in the US media (and this is already CNN reporting it) then a lot of people will vote for McCain just to spite Russia. Of course Putin can count on some folks, like Andrew Sullivan:

America needs Russia right now.

On a slightly different note, someone or other linked an article yesterday (too lazy to look it up right now) calling it a scary development that a strong US Navy squadron is carrying humanitarian supplies directly to the (Russian-occupied) Georgian port of Poti. It’s actually a brilliant peacekeeping maneuver – the US has been humiliated once already by being helpless in the face of Russia invading a close ally (Georgia has made a huge effort in Iraq, relative to its size). If foreign aid sailed for Georgia in unarmed civilian ships and was impounded by Russian forces, US and NATO credibility would be directly on the line, and could only be restored by a pissing contest; pissing contest here having the meaning of a full-on shooting war. So, sending the aid on warships that Russia won’t dare to attack actually prevents war, at least for another few days.

And that might just be long enough, since Russia may be approaching the end of its leash:

But Russia’s hopes of winning international support for its actions in Georgia were dashed Thursday, when China and other Asian nations expressed concern about tension in the region.

The joint declaration from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which includes China, Russia, Tajikistan, Kyrgystan, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan, said the countries hoped any further conflict could be resolved peacefully.


2 Responses

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  1. Clint said, on August 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Interesting. I had considered it provocation from the warmongers, myself. But this adds some fresh new perspective for me. The “warship means it stops war” smacks of “we had to destroy the village to save it” … except you very well may be right in the way things would play out with an unarmed ship.

    It’s an interesting game of poker we’re all playing. And the chips are innocent peoples’ lives…

  2. Stacy McMahon said, on August 28, 2008 at 1:07 pm

    It’s an interesting game of poker we’re all playing. And the chips are innocent peoples’ lives…

    Pretty much. I have to hang this one directly on Putin, though. If he was really interested in peacekeeping, he’d have brought in UN observers ASAP and made a big show of internationalizing the situation. Instead, he’s not even trying to CYA. There’s a semi-ridiculous Soviet-style propaganda campaign, and then Russian troops keeping everyone else out of their sandbox. I think the goal is to establish a precedent and then move on to other former SSRs.

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