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Georgia Crushed, US Humiliated, NATO and Europe Split: It Was a Good Week for McCain

If you were the loudest, most belligerent shoot from the hip advocate of a foreign policy that had just ended in disaster for the US, NATO, Europe and Georgia after everyone followed your policy advice, do you think the media would be proclaiming that you had a “very good week”?

Well, yes, if you’re John McCain and the media were as mindless as our MSM.

This searing must-read article by the Guardian’s Ian Traynor decribes the devastation to US, NATO and European security interests wrought by this week’s little war. But our Beltway media seem to view this as a spectator sport, opining that what is clearly another US foreign policy calamity is good for Repubicans and McCain. In which bizarre universe?

This is what our unthinking MSM, starting with Ruth Marcus and Rich Lowry on last night’s PBS News Hour (but you could have heard the same absurdities from Michael O’Hanlon and Robert Kagan on CNN, or others on any channel), defines as a “very good week” for McCain:

— McCain’s good friend and our supposed ally in Georgia sent its US-armed and trained troops into South Ossetia (which never wanted to be part of Georgia), destroying it’s capital [but see Sunday’s McClatchy update: looks like earlier reports of destruction were overblown], killing many and forcing thousands of Ossetians to flee into Russia (and Georgians flee Russians in Georgia), while provoking/excusing a massive counter invasion into Georgia by Russian forces.

— Provocative calls by McCain for the US to support and identify with Georgia’s actions – “we are all Georgians” — constituted repeated, direct interference in the conduct of American foreign policy, complicating efforts to obtain a cease fire and the removal of invading troops.

— Bush’s and McCain’s overblown rhetoric may have created unrealistic expectations of US help, despite the fact the US never had any intention of rescuing Georgia.

— The Russians now occupy strategic points in Georgia and move at will, intimidating Georgian towns and pressuring its elected leaders to abdicate.

— The US Secretary of State was forced to impose on Georgia’s President a "cease fire" agreement that, while calling for eventual withdrawal, also allows the Russians to continue security operations inside Georgia.

— Hundreds of millions of dollars in US military aid to George have now been seized or destroyed by the Russians, and the Russians aren’t leaving until they’re finished.

— US policies to encourage an independent country on Russia’s borders, to include Georgia in NATO and to extend NATO to other nations surrounding Russia are now in shambles.

— US policy to engage Russian cooperation regarding European economic and energy security is now in shambles; Europeans are much more vulnerable to Russian control of energy supplies than before because of potential Russian control of major pipelines through Georgia.

— US policy to enlist Russian cooperation in preventing Iranian nuclear proliferation is now in shambles.

— US policy to secure loose nuclear materials in Russia is now threatened.

— US-Russian relations have deteriorated to their worst point in two decades, reminiscent of the Cold War.

— By following the policies advocated by Bush/McCain, the US has been exposed as a reckless, toothless tiger, with it’s forces bogged down in disastrous wars elsewhere.

— The US has shown itself willing to allow an undisciplined ally to provoke Russia but unable to protect them when Russia reacts in a predictable fashion. As a result, US prestige and influence, as well as claims that it acts responsibly, have suffered yet another serious setback.

How is it possible that America’s media elite can confuse a series of unmitigated disasters with a “good week” for anyone in America, let alone for a Presidential candidate whose rhetoric and policies helped foster and exacerbate the conditions that led to these disasters?

How is it possible for reporters and pundits who view the world in this down is up, night is day, catastrophic failure = "a good week" to be allowed on national television?

Is it too much to ask that our media invite clear-headed analysts who can explain that US and European interests and policies just suffered a disastrous week whose adverse consequences could be felt for years? Then we can ask them whose policies are responsible rather than whose candidacy is helped by juvenile reporting.

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John has been writing for Firedoglake since 2006 or so, on whatever interests him. He has a law degree, worked as legal counsel and energy policy adviser for a state energy agency for 20 years and then as a consultant on electricity systems and markets. He's now retired, living in Massachusetts.

You can follow John on twitter: @JohnChandley