Once again Jonathan Kulick provides us with the sort of grown-up analysis of the Georgian situation we can’t expect from the public press.
1. When Obama called for mutual restraint, he was precisely echoing official statements from Washington. Unlike his opponent, he seems to understand that he’s not President yet.
2. Perhaps the advice Scheunemann offered McCain wasn’t problematic, even though he was doing so as a paid agent of a foreign government whose interests, though they run with those of the United States, are not identical. But what about the advice Scheunemann offered Saakashvili? Something fooled Saakashvili into thinking either that the Russians would be restrained or that the U.S. would intervene. Was Scheunemann hyping his own influence, as lobbyists often do to keep the checks rolling in? And did that lead Saakashvili to discount the warnings he was getting from the State Department?
Note that from a neocon viewpoint, the outcome in Georgia wasn’t bad: the bogey-man value of Russia just went up. Yes, a bunch of Georgians died, but neocons have always been brave when it comes to shedding other people’s blood.