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August 16, 2008

McCain Speaks for Every American?


by Gordon Prather

Addressing fellow Americans in Pennsylvania, John McCain, presumptive Republican candidate for the Presidency of the United States, said he had spoken by telephone earlier that day with President Mikheil Saakashvili, of Georgia, then still a member – along with Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikstan, Uzbekistan, and the Russian Federation – of the Commonwealth of Independent States.

"I told him that I know I speak for every American when I say to him, today, we are all Georgians."

Georgia promptly "quit" the CIS; the Russians say they were fired.

You may wonder how McCain can possibly think he speaks for you and yours.

Well, he says that two years ago he traveled to South Ossetia (the part of Ossetia that is now in Georgia, just South of North Ossetia, the part of Ossetia that is now in Russia) and "saw an enormous billboard that read 'Vladimir Putin, Our President.'"

That made him furious and he just knew it would make you furious, too.

Would it have?

South Ossetia had long ago been declared a semi-autonomous region, administratively controlled by Russian 'peacekeepers.' Furthermore, most of its inhabitants had been offered citizenship in the neighboring Russian Federation, many even issued Russian passports.

But of course, McCain already knew all that. Randall Scheunemann, now McCain's top foreign policy adviser – and until March 2008 a registered lobbyist for the Republic of Georgia – accompanied McCain on that 2006 trip.

Furthermore, according to Salon.com's Mark Benjamin, as a result of intense lobbying by Scheunemann, in 2006 McCain co-sponsored legislation endorsing an expansion of NATO to include not only Georgia, but Albania, Croatia and Macedonia, as well. Scheunemann had previously successfully lobbied for NATO membership for Latvia and Romania.

Now, it's obvious why Scheunemann wanted NATO membership for Latvia, Romania, Albania, Croatia, Macedonia and Georgia; they were paying him millions of dollars to achieve it.

But why did McCain want NATO membership for these countries, especially Georgia, a CIS member, having within it two provinces originally given cultural and administrative autonomy by Stalin, a Georgian, each bordering on Russia, each containing majorities to whom Russian citizenship has now been extended, and to whom Russia continues to provide cultural and administrative autonomy?

Well, as McCain, himself, explains it, he intends – if elected President – to move forward "at the right time" with the application for membership in NATO by Georgia.

"As you know, through NATO membership, that if a member nation is attacked, it is viewed as an attack on all [members]. We don't have, I think, right now, the ability to intervene in any way except in a humanitarian, economic way, and do what we can to help the Georgians."

Apparently McCain has read Pat Buchanan's latest book, Churchill, Hitler and the Unnecessary War.

Buchanan convincingly argues that the Brit guarantee to come to Poland's aid, in the event the Danzig Corridor crisis of 1939 could not be settled diplomatically – which could have merely involved the agreement by Poland to establish the Danzig Corridor, heavily populated by Germans, as a culturally and administratively autonomous region – was absolute madness.

Furthermore, many of the Brits in and out of His Majesty's Government at the time knew it was madness.

Why is Buchanan's documentation of the madness of the Brits – offering gratuitous guarantees to Poland they could not honor – important today to you and yours?

Because, first Clinton-Gore, and now Bush-Cheney, have already made similar guarantees to Poland as well as to Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovenia.

Worse, McCain, potentially the next President, is hell-bent on making those guarantees to Georgia and Ukraine!

But, fortunately for us and the rest of the world, McCain says he doesn't think it's yet the "right time" for Georgia to become a NATO member.

You see, McCain doesn't think that we're ready, "right now", to intervene, militarily, in Georgia, as he believes the NATO Charter would have required us to do had Georgia been a NATO member.

Evidently, McCain doesn't want to give Georgia or Ukraine guarantees until he feels he's in a position to honor them.

So, what can we expect McCain to do in his first term – other than to "bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb Iran" and its Russian-built nuclear power plant from permanent bases in Iraq?

Well, first of all, kick Russia out of the G-8.

Then re-institute the draft and vastly increase the size of our conventional ground forces and that of our NATO allies.

Finally, make Georgia and Ukraine members of NATO and wait for Russia to make some move – such as raising the price of natural gas to Ukraine – that McCain can use as an excuse to "bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb-bomb" Da Bear.

President Bush has been aggressively pushing for Georgia and Ukraine to be allowed to take the first step towards becoming bona-fide NATO members. And in the view of the neo-crazies in Washington – in and out of government – the refusal thus far by France, Germany and others to initiate the NATO membership process "might have been viewed as a green light by Russia for its attacks on Georgia."

But according to Time magazine, many NATO members draw the opposite conclusion. Their view is that the aggressive pushing by Bush-Cheney to grant Georgia NATO membership emboldened Saskashvili to launch his "reckless attack" on South Ossetia.

That's what Time said; "reckless attack"!

Another thing: NATO's force of 70,000 troops is barely managing to "tread water" in Afghanistan, battling the same tribesmen who fought to a standstill a Soviet force three or four times as large.

Then, of course, there's the price – even availability – of heating oil, natural gas and gasoline, which Russia is in such a unique position to influence, especially in Europe.

That won't be much of a consideration for President McCain, but you "nation of whiners" might think about it, more than somewhat, before November.

As for that billboard in South Ossetia that upset McCain so much; it probably now reads "Vladimir Putin; Our Saviour."


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Physicist James Gordon Prather has served as a policy implementing official for national security-related technical matters in the Federal Energy Agency, the Energy Research and Development Administration, the Department of Energy, the Office of the Secretary of Defense and the Department of the Army. Dr. Prather also served as legislative assistant for national security affairs to U.S. Sen. Henry Bellmon, R-Okla. -- ranking member of the Senate Budget Committee and member of the Senate Energy Committee and Appropriations Committee. Dr. Prather had earlier worked as a nuclear weapons physicist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California and Sandia National Laboratory in New Mexico.

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