The Netroots: America And Georgia To Blame For Russia’s War Of Aggression

Liberals, being liberals, make certain assumptions when it comes to foreign affairs. Among them are,

#1) Whatever happens in the world, if it’s bad, must somehow be the fault of the Bush Administration and/or America.

#2) Any country that is allied with America, by virtue of being allied with America, must be in the wrong if it gets into a conflict with a nation that is not allied with America.

That brings us to Russia’s war of aggression on Georgia. Russia has spent years engineering this conflict, cared nothing about the civilians it killed, and aimed to thwart democracy, intimidate other free states in the region, and to destroy an alternate route for oil outside of its borders. There were no good intentions, no higher purposes — just the Russians attacking a smaller, weaker neighbor because it was to their advantage and no one was in a position to stop them.

So, is the “anti-war” left railing against Russia? No. To the contrary, their reactions tend to be either muted or they’re bending over backwards to try to find ways to blame George Bush and the Georgians for Russia’s murderous attacks.

Don’t buy it? Well, here are just a few reactions from the netroots to Russia’s rampage,

“Is it possible that this time the October surprise was tried in August, and that the garbage issue of brave little Georgia struggling for its survival from the grasp of the Russian bear was stoked to influence the U.S. presidential election?” — Robert Scheer at The Huffington Post

“Since Cheney has exactly the same view about the use of American military power as Putin does about Russian power, I’m not sure what grounds he has to complain. Maybe we should start complaining when as many Georgians have perished as Iraqis – and when Putin throws thousands of innocent Georgians into torture chambers.” — Andrew Sullivan

“If Bill Clinton were still President and the Republicans still controlled Congress, I think they’d skip the impeachment hearings and proceed directly to a Bill of Attainder. As Kevin Drum says, this explains why the Beloved Leader stayed in Beijing and the Secretary of State stayed on vacation as the Russian tanks rolled into South Ossetia; that wasn’t actually a surprise. The only surprise was that the tanks didn’t stop at the provincial border.

Clearly, if we were going to tell the Russians they were free to clobber the Georgians, we should have told the Georgians the same thing. “Please be restrained” isn’t at all the same thing as “You’re on your own, buddy.” If Saakashvili had known that the Russians had the green light from us, he wouldn’t have tried to take Tskhinvali.” — Mark Kleiman at The Daily Kos

“NATO, the US and Europe broke their word. They expanded NATO further and further, into what Russia considers its buffer states, states which cannot be allowed to fall into the hands of potential enemies. Russian geopolitics has been obsessed with controlling those states for centuries (along with getting a warm water port). This is not a short term, minor issue. It is at the heart of what Russia believes it needs to be defensible–lots and lots of space.

Next, US and Western policy towards Russia in the 90’s was based around a shock therapy transition to a free market. The result of that was an actual decline in the Russian population. US neo-liberal economics applied to Russia killed millions of people. No exaggeration. It wasn’t the only cause, but when you’ve promised the sky (and the free-marketers did) and the result is hell on earth, well, people remember that.” — Ian Welsh, Firedoglake

“Washington’s bloody fingerprints are all over the invasion of South Ossetia. Georgia President Mikhail Saakashvili would never dream of launching a massive military attack unless he got explicit orders from his bosses at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. After all, Saakashvili owes his entire political career to American power-brokers and US intelligence agencies. If he disobeyed them, he’d be gone in a fortnight. Besides an operation like this takes months of planning and logistical support; especially if it’s perfectly timed to coincide with the beginning of the Olympic games. (another petty neocon touch) That means Pentagon planners must have been working hand in hand with Georgian generals for months in advance. Nothing was left to chance

…Putin has played his cards very wisely, which makes it look like the fighting in South Ossetia may be Washington’s way of trying to win through military force what they could not achieve via the free market.” — Mike Whitney, The Smirking Chimp

Give it a few weeks and the comments you’ve just read will be the conventional wisdom on the Left…

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