The nutball the neocons wanted in NATO
Even interventionists are regretting some of the wars into which they helped plunge the United States in this century.
Among those wars are Afghanistan and Iraq, the longest in our history; Libya, which was left without a stable government; Syria's civil war, a six-year human rights disaster we helped kick off by arming rebels to overthrow Bashar Assad; and Yemen, where a U.S.-backed Saudi bombing campaign and starvation blockade is causing a humanitarian catastrophe.
Yet, twice this century, the War Party was beaten back when seeking a clash with Putin's Russia. And the "neo-isolationists" who won those arguments served America well.
What triggered this observation was an item on Page 1 of Wednesday's New York Times that read in its entirety:
"Mikheil Saakashvili, former president of Georgia, led marchers through Kiev after threatening to jump from a five-story building to evade arrest. Page A4"
Who is Saakashvili? The wunderkind elected in 2004 in Tbilisi after a "Rose Revolution" we backed during George W. Bush's crusade for global democracy.
During the Beijing Olympics in August 2008, Saakashvili sent his army crashing into the tiny enclave of South Ossetia, which had broken free of Georgia when Georgia broke free of Russia.
In overrunning the enclave, however, Saakashvili's troops killed Russian peacekeepers. Big mistake. Within 24 hours, Putin's tanks and troops were pouring through Roki Tunnel, running Saakashvili's army out of South Ossetia, and occupying parts of Georgia itself.
As defeat loomed for the neocon hero, U.S. foreign policy elites were alive with denunciations of "Russian aggression" and calls to send in the 82nd Airborne, bring Georgia into NATO, and station U.S. forces in the Caucasus.
"We are all Georgians!" thundered John McCain.