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The Nutball the Neocons Wanted in NATO
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Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.

Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria’s civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.

Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin’s Russia. And the “neo-isolationists” who won those arguments served America well.

What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday’s New York Times that read in its entirety:

“Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4”

Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a “Rose Revolution” we backed during George W. Bush’s crusade for global democracy.

During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.

In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili’s troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin’s tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili’s army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.

As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of “Russian aggression” and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.

“We are all Georgians!” thundered John McCain.

Not quite. When an outcry arose against getting into a collision with Russia, Bush, reading the nation right, decided to confine U.S. protests to the nonviolent. A wise call.

And Saakashvili? He held power until 2013, and then saw his party defeated, was charged with corruption, and fled to Ukraine. There, President Boris Poroshenko, beneficiary of the Kiev coup the U.S. had backed in 2014, put him in charge of Odessa, one of the most corrupt provinces in a country rife with corruption.

In 2016, an exasperated Saakashvili quit, charged his patron Poroshenko with corruption, and fled Ukraine. In September, with a band of supporters, he made a forced entry back across the border.

Here is the Times’ Andrew Higgins on his latest antics:

“On Tuesday … Saakashvili, onetime darling of the West, took his high-wire political career to bizarre new heights when he climbed onto the roof of his five-story apartment building in the center of Kiev…

“As … hundreds of supporters gathered below, he shouted insults at Ukraine’s leaders … and threatened to jump if security agents tried to grab him.


“Dragged from the roof after denouncing Mr. Poroshenko as a traitor and a thief, the former Georgian leader was detained but then freed by his supporters, who … blocked a security service van before it could take Mr. Saakashvili to a Kiev detention center and allowed him to escape.

“With a Ukrainian flag draped across his shoulders and a pair of handcuffs still attached to one of his wrists, Mr. Saakashvili then led hundreds of supporters in a march across Kiev toward Parliament. Speaking through a bullhorn he called for ‘peaceful protests’ to remove Mr. Poroshenko from office, just as protests had toppled the former President, Victor F. Yanukovych, in February 2014.”

This reads like a script for a Peter Sellers movie in the ’60s.

Yet this clown was president of Georgia, for whose cause in South Ossetia some in our foreign policy elite thought we should go to the brink of war with Russia.

And there was broad support for bringing Georgia into NATO. This would have given Saakashvili an ability to ignite a confrontation with Russia, which could have forced U.S. intervention.

Consider Ukraine. Three years ago, McCain was declaring, in support of the overthrow of the elected pro-Russian government in Kiev, “We are all Ukrainians now.”

Following that coup, U.S. elites were urging us to confront Putin in Crimea, bring Ukraine, as well as Georgia, into NATO, and send Kiev the lethal weapons needed to defeat Russian-backed rebels in the East.

This could have led straight to a Ukraine-Russia war, precipitated by our sending of U.S. arms.

Do we really want to cede to folks of the temperament of Mikhail Saakashvili an ability to instigate a war with a nuclear-armed Russia, which every Cold War president was resolved to avoid, even if it meant accepting Moscow’s hegemony in Eastern Europe all the way to the Elbe?

Watching Saakashvili losing it in the streets of Kiev like some blitzed college student should cause us to reassess the stability of all these allies to whom we have ceded a capacity to drag us into war.

Alliances, after all, are the transmission belts of war.

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of a new book, “Nixon’s White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever.”

Copyright 2017

• Category: Foreign Policy • Tags: Neocons, Russia-Georgia War, Saakashvili 
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  1. As colourful as Saakashvili is, the real story is McCain, the best doomsday weapon Vietnam could have ever hoped for. They didn’t just beat us in 1975 … they’ve been destroying us from within since the early ’80s.

    • Replies: @yeah
  2. Yet this clown was president of Georgia,

    Oh, he was more than that–he, at some point of time, ended up a Senior Statesman of Tuft’s University School of Government and Diplomacy. It, then, should not be surprising to observe American Russian “expertise” being in a gutter, together with US foreign policy–it is inevitable when one collects all kinds of weirdos to shape US foreign policy towards Russia.

  3. It speaks for the crookedness of the US political class that they supported a thug, weirdo, and gangster such as Saakashvili. This coward should have jumped. Nobody should have rescued him.

    That the corrupt Ukrainian regime led by Poroschenko hired a crook such as Saakashvili speaks volumes. At the same time, it tells a lot about abysmal judgment by the US political class. That John McCain belongs to the most jaded warmongers in D. C. is widely known.

    In the beginning, Trump could have reversed the expansionist US foreign policy, but the Deep State in cooperation with the media and the Dems invented the Russian meddling spin. Now Trump can only move in the direction of further wars.

    One for Israel against Iran and God forbid, against North Korea. One can only hope that some reasonable people can reign him in. Changes are not that bright, considering his blunder recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The Russians were much smarter; they recognized West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Rightly so, because Jerusalem is occupied territory and according to international law a Corpus seperatum. The US hypocrites should keep silent about Russia’s taking back of Crimea. In international relations, the word of the US is not worth a damn anymore, and the US elite can’t be trusted as the Iranian case shows.

  4. Jim says:

    “We are all Georgians”. The Main Stream Media presumably decides that Ossetians are Georgians. Ossetians themselves are not entitled to any input on this.

  5. I read somewhere that this clown is actually a useful idiot…a CIA asset….

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  6. @notlurking

    I read somewhere that this clown is actually a useful idiot…a CIA asset….

    Obviously, somebody forgot to tell the CIA that their asset is toxic and is an ass, both as a hole and as a jack.

    • Replies: @MEexpert
  7. yeah says:
    @The Alarmist

    LOL! Hilarious! What more can anyone say?

  8. yeah says:

    Oh my, Hillary, what company you keep!

    And what company does Mr. Saakashvilli keep!

    Both need guidance on avoiding bad company.

  9. MEexpert says:
    @Andrei Martyanov

    Obviously, somebody forgot to tell the CIA that their asset is toxic and is an ass, both as a hole and as a jack.

    What else is knew? He is not the only one. CIA has a history of hiring “useful idiots.”

    • Replies: @Andrei Martyanov
  10. @Rurik

    Both pictures show two crooks united in criminal undertakings.

  11. anonymous • Disclaimer says:


  12. Benny says:

    All these different places, and all I can think is that we Americans would be much better off if McCain was a Senator from Georgia or a Senator from Ukraine. And we’ll throw in Hillary and the whole Clinton family as sweetener to close the deal.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
  13. Anonymous [AKA "Charlie Rex"] says:

    What’s hillarious is watch Exxon-Rex act as if its all Russia’s fault that there is no peace in the Ukraine. Meanwhile, the ‘right sector’, which can’t be mentioned in the corporate media as they are too much of real fascists to acknowledge, had given Der Porky Fuhrer a 72 hour deadline to clean up his mess or he was out. Meanwhile, the US puppet is leading protests in the streets, backed by a previous US puppet who like Saashkavili has been charged with corruption.

    Any fascists system, which lives on the rule that might makes right and that grabbing power is all that counts, always has featured internal fights between its thugs as they scramble to get that power all to themselves. We are seeing that now in the fascist state called Ukraine. And of course, we are told by billionaires and a corrupt, fake media that its all Russia’s fault.

    Pretty soon now, we’ll be told that Ukraine’s ‘democracy’ has push a new (or old) US puppet to the top of the pile.

  14. all well said -though on McCain – like a dumb dog that barks up every tree for no reason – he is that dumb dog – though obviosuly his handlers trained him to bark up the wrong tree – so maybe that is all he knows.

  15. I am still baffled why no President didn’t go after Insane McCain for treason for his Tokyo Rose Broadcasts from Vietnam.

    It would have done a great deal of good in terms of supporting the rule of law.

  16. MEexpert says:

    I am still baffled why no President didn’t go after Insane McCain for treason for his Tokyo Rose Broadcasts from Vietnam.

    Because we have double standards. G.W. Bush jailed a Pakistani businessman for selling Hezbollah TV station Al-Manar in a cable package citing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization. John McCain and Lindsay Graham were photographed with the terrorists in Syria and are still serving in the US senate.

  17. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    Clinton family as sweetener

    Ouch. Even as a joke, phrases like that risk tearing the universe apart. Thread carefully.

  18. Svigor says:


    “We are all Georgians now.”
    “We are all Ukrainians now.”
    “We are all South Koreans now.”
    “We are all Syrians now.”
    “We are all Crimeans now.”


    What you will never hear from McCain:

    “We are all Palestinians now.”

    No Johnny, we aren’t all stooges kneeling for shekels now.

    • Agree: Dan Hayes
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @MEexpert
  19. Anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    True. Never thought I’d be cheering for cancer.

  20. MEexpert says:

    What you will never hear from McCain:
    “We are all Palestinians now.”

    Before McCain reaches “Pa….”
    AIPAC will have a choke hold on him.

    • LOL: geokat62
  21. Suckisvili is just a Georgian thug bandit in expensive Western suit.

  22. @MEexpert

    CIA has a history of hiring “useful idiots.”

    If Saak was “useful” then I don’t know what CIA counts as a success. American geopolitical track record via Russia, or, in general, globally is atrocious.

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