Bill Kristol’s op ed “Will Russia Get Away With It?” in today’s The New York Times is a beauty even by his admittedly low standards. Our corrupt thugs in Tbilisi are apparently being bullied by an “autocratic aggressor” from Moscow and we can’t let the bad guys get away with it, particularly as the brave Georgians have been bribed and bullied into sharing our imperial mission in Iraq, which is, by the way, on the “verge of a strategic victory over the jihadists.”
Bill also manages to mention Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas (murderers); Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (either a dictator aggressor or a fanatic depending on how one reads the following sentence); Iran (messianic) and, lest one think that his argument is not serious, Nazi Germany. I thought Bill would avoid citing Hitler, but he managed to squeeze him in in the next-to-last sentence. China also gets some of the Bill Kristol treatment, and it’s not pretty.
Brave little Georgia, which started the fighting by sending troops into Ossetia, is beginning to sound like brave little Belgium before it was raped by the Kaiser’s army in 1914. Predictably, John McCain, whose principal foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann was a lobbyist for Georgia, has jumped on board the neocon bandwagon.
As Pat Buchanan warned, the expansion of NATO up to the borders of Russia has produced a predictable and completely avoidable reaction from Moscow. If Georgia were a full member of NATO right now, which thank God it is not, the US would be facing the Russians over Tbilisi’s determination to control two breakaway enclaves that are inhabited mostly by Russians.
Reports that Russia has moved SS21 medium range missiles close to the front armed with tactical nuclear weapons have been hard to find in the US media. The Russian General Staff believes that it can only offset the huge advantage that the US and NATO have in precision guided weapons by using battlefield nukes if attacked by western forces. Is this really a quarrel that Bill Kristol and his buddies want us to get into?