10 August 2008 - Russia, repeating history?
Russia invaded Georgia late last week in a premeditated invasion that combined diplomatic and military tactics against a pro-western democracy. Things are getting worse for the Georgians amidst preposterous claims of "genocide" by Vladimir Putin. From where I sit at the moment, in the Czech Republic, this is a sadly familiar scenario--as is the weakness of the world's democracies.
Much has been written about the difference between John McCain's determined response and Barack Obama's wishy-washy statement, which surprisingly echoed the lame-duck Bush statement, and which Obama is now backtracking from. He wants to sound hawkish and conciliatory at once. And, yes, the issue has its complexities. But to borrow from Hillary Clinton: that 3 a.m. call actually happened, but when the red phone rang Obama was on vacation. Was force really Russia's only option? Across an internationally recognized border? Ignoring the UN Security Council? History has had enough appeasement already.