By Muhammad Sahimi
August 15, 2008
Much has been written about the war between Russia and Georgia. Neoconservatives, as Justin Raimondo pointed out, have suddenly discovered the "democratic" republic of Georgia, which has been a historical "victim" of the Russian "empire." Never mind that not only was Georgia not a democracy before it was devoured by the Soviet Union in 1921, but also that the war, started by Georgia's forces, was a strategic blunder by Georgia's president, the confrontational, demagogic, American-trained lawyer Mikheil Saakashvili, who dared foolishly to take on his giant neighbor, thinking naively that NATO would rush to help him.
William Kristol, the "little Lenin" of the neoconservatives, who now has another outlet in the op-ed page of the New York Times, opines that the U.S. must not only give aid to Georgia, but must also help it become a member of the "League of Democracies" that John McCain has proposed. Never mind that in the Georgian "democracy" Saakashvili used police brutality to stop huge demonstrations after hotly disputed elections and shut down opposition publications, and never mind that when democratic elections in Palestine and Lebanon yielded results deemed undesirable by the U.S. (and people like Kristol), they were not only dismissed, but the voters were also punished by U.S. sanctions.
And, as Robert Parry noted, the same neoconservatives who backed the illegal invasion of Iraq, and are now threatening to attack Iran over its nonexistent nuclear threat, are suddenly discovering respect for the rule of law and international agreements. Even Bill Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, who supported the Iraq invasion, got into the act, writing in the Washington Post that "Whatever mistakes Tbilisi has made, they cannot justify Russia's actions."