By Dan Kennedy • The press, politics, technology, culture and other passions

First as tragedy … then as more tragedy

I’m reading Fred Kaplan by way of Josh Marshall on the Bush administration’s encouraging Georgia to stick its finger in Russia’s eye in recent years, only to find itself powerless to help now that Vladimir Putin has decided he’s had enough. (Not that that’s stopped the bellicose rhetoric emanating from the White House and the McCain campaign.)

It reminds me of President Bush’s father, who encouraged the Shiites in the southern part of Iraq to rise up against Saddam Hussein in 1991, only to stand by as they were slaughtered.

What’s happening now is a tragedy, but at least Russia isn’t Iraq. And Putin isn’t Saddam. This isn’t our fight, and it’s a shame we led the Georgians to think we would do more than we could. It’s a mistake we’ve made over and over again. (Hungary in 1956, anyone?)

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Medical precaution


Necessary but insufficient


  1. Dunwich

    Pat Buchanan has been warning for years that if you continue to ask for NATO admittance to countries without air and naval power, as well as missile positions in countries like Poland, this is what is going to result. Bush/Cheney have been putting the thumb in the eye of the Russian bear for years and Georgia is going to pay the price.

  2. The Arranger

    You can go back a lot farther than 1956. Try the Barbary Coast in the first decade of the 19th century, when we fomented a civil war in Tripoli, cut a deal with the king, and bailed out on the supporters of a brother/rival after a single battle, which they won.Bob in Peabody

  3. Bill Baar

    Or those Czechs tyranizing those Sudeten Germans….

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