Thursday, August 14, 2008

Is that why Mikheil Saakashvili made a direct appeal to John McCain?

He thought he had the endorsement from the Senator? Promises from Bush to stand behind him?

So here comes McCain, trying to shove Obama aside as inexperienced and declaring that he knows these people personally:

BIRMINGHAM, Mich. — Senator John McCain turned aside questions today about whether Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, had strayed over the political line yesterday when he said that Senator Barack Obama had shown inexperience in his initial response to the war between Russia and Georgia.

And he tried to tamp down earlier charges from the Obama camp that he was responding to the Russian crisis with a belligerence that could only make the situation worse. He said he was taking a hard line on Russia but wasn’t trying to “reignite the Cold War.”

It was all part of a continuing effort by the McCain campaign to seize on the events overseas to appear presidential and in command on the world stage while at the same time not appearing to be political. At several points today, he emphasized that he had visited Georgia many times and was familiar with the players.

You know these players well, Senator? Could that be because of your lobbyist hired by your campaign for foreign relations? You know, the one who has Georgia as a client?:
WASHINGTON — John McCain's top foreign policy adviser, Randall Scheunemann, lobbied for the nation of Georgia for four years, including for about a year after he joined the Republican senator's presidential campaign staff in early 2007.

Georgia has paid Scheunemann's firm, Orion Strategies, LLC, nearly $900,000 since 2004, including $200,000 for an eight-month contract that began on May 1, two weeks after McCain issued a strong statement criticizing Russia and supporting Georgia.

Scheunemann took a leave from lobbying for Orion in March, two months before McCain barred active lobbyists from serving on his staff. He's still listed as Orion's president and owner.


Saakashvili has been criticized for authoritarian tendencies following a crackdown on demonstrators last year, but McCain has been a staunch ally, sternly criticizing Moscow for its backing of pro-Russian, separatists.

On April 17 of this year, McCain issued a stern statement assailing "Russia's moves to undermine Georgian sovereignty." Two weeks later, Georgia gave Orion a $200,000 contract extension.

Gee. All this begs the answer to why on earth Saakashvili thought he'd have the Western democracies behind him when he kicked Putin's shins.

Did he really think Bush would attack Russia on his behalf? Did he think McCain could demand military action? Could it possibly be for political purposes? (Here, you attack Russia and I'll look presidential and play the foreign policy card which will trump anything Obama's got...Then Bush will help out...) Really?

Then look at this: (my bold)
Bank analyst forecast Georgian crisis 2 days early By Guy Faulconbridge:

MOSCOW, Aug 14 (Reuters) - The outbreak of war between Georgia and Russia shocked most of the world last week, but an investment bank analyst predicted it two days in advance.

Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili sent troops into the breakaway, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia on Aug. 7, on the eve of the Beijing Olympic Games, and Russia responded with overwhelming military force.

Geoff Smith, a Kiev-based analyst for Renaissance Capital investment bank, had anticipated the Georgian move with uncanny prescience in an e-mail two days earlier to a fellow strategist.

"So whaddaya think? I say Saakashvili is going to 'restore the territorial integrity of Georgia' five minutes before the opening ceremony starts in Beijing and dare the Russians to invade while the games are on?" the note said.

Reuters has seen a copy of the e-mail and confirmed its validity with both the sender and recipient of the message.

The Kremlin swiftly asserted its vastly superior military might and thousands of Russian troops pushed out Georgian troops from the rebel region. Russian units are still operating inside Georgia proper.

Russian sovereign Eurobond spreads, a measure of investment risk, widened on the hostilities, and shares tumbled.

"It was just intuition," Smith said by telephone. "I said nothing about the possible Russian response, but if you had asked me I would say that Moscow could not have taken it lying down," Smith said.

Explaining his reasoning, the former journalist said the upcoming presidential election in the United States could have played a role in Saakashvili's decision to send troops into South Ossetia.

"Certainly the next White House will not be as supportive of Saakashvili as this one and so if Saakashvili wanted to reunite Georgia he really had to do it this year and he was probably hoping the Olympic Games gave him the right cover," he said.

He refused to forecast how the crisis would end.
I think we know how this will end. Innocents will die, communities will be destroyed, oil will be controlled, money will be made.

We've seen this plot before, haven't we?

crossposted at American Street

No comments: