Campaigning in my home state of Pennsylvania today, Republican presidential candidate John McCain told attendees of a rally that he had assured Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili that he had the support of all Americans:
“I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, today, we are all Georgians.”
Of course, whitewashed from McCain’s account of the poor, defenseless Georgia besieged by the evil Ruskies is the inconvenient fact that, well, the Georgian government itself invaded the separatist, pro-Russian region of South Ossetia, but I digress.
I will say that it is darkly humorous to hear U.S. politicians — apparently with no sense of irony — wax eloquent about the sanctity of “international law” five years after the leaders of the both major political parties endorsed a criminal, illegal act of aggression against Iraq that has left hundreds of thousands of dead.
That said, there’s no doubt that there has been plenty of crimes perpetrated by both sides in the Georgian-Russian conflict. Important from a U.S. perspective, however, is that one side — Georgia — has been armed with the finest in American military equipment as payback for its own participation in the occupation of Iraq.
That, of course, is why McCain claims to speak for all Americans in expressing solidarity for the corrupt thug Saakashvilli (the fact that his chief foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann was a lobbyist for Georgia until earlier this year doesn’t hurt either), for the Georgian government, like its benefactors in the U.S. government, has no qualms about using violence to achieve its ends — including against its own people, as evidenced in this video of Georgian police brutally suppressing an opposition rally:
(via Liberty & Power)
For more on the hypocrisy of the U.S. government’s stance on the Russian-Georgian conflict, check out Chris Floyd’s insightful take on recent events.