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Thursday, August 14, 2008

McCain Shows Bad Judgement in Russia-Georgia Conflict

George Wenschhof

In what can only be explained as a "not ready for prime time" moment, Senator John McCain has shown how ill prepared he is to assume the commander-in-chief position that comes with being elected the President of the United States.

While his opponent, Senator Barack Obama vacations in Hawaii, one would think McCain would have the advantage in responding to the recent events in Georgia. Instead, anxious to be the focus of attention, he has shown voters how ill equipped he is in handling an international crisis.

He began with rattling sabers by issuing statements that Russia Prime Minister Putin intended to go back to the cold war days. This after Russia came to the aid of South Ossetia who had come under attack by Georgia who was seeking to unify it's borders.

McCain also made a colossal failure to disclose that one of his top foreign policy advisers had been a paid lobbyist for Georgia. The reports that Randy Scheunmann, presently a top foreign policy adviser for the McCain campaign, lobbied McCain on behalf of the Georgian government for years prior to taking a leave of absence to work on the McCain campaign. His firm continues to work for the Georgian government. Senator McCain should realize that there should be no doubt to the American people as to who he represents and that is the interest of the United States. He should ask his advisor to resign from his position with the campaign.

But, that was not enough for Senator McCain. He had to add this ridiculous statement pertaining to this conflict, "In the 21st century, Nations don't invade other Nations". Aah, let's see, does Iraq and Afghanistan come to mind? Watch it here.

Yesterday, McCain issued a statement "we are all Georgians now" which invoked a response today from Georgia President Mikheil Saakashvili who said to McCain he needs to "move from words to deeds". has more here - notice who is giving McCain campaign statements to the Press - Randy Scheunmann.

In addition, McCain has announced that campaign surrogate Senators Lindsey Graham and Joe Leiberman are off to visit firsthand the nation of Georgia.

Senator Barack Obama, realizing we already have a President of the United States, issued a measured response calling for Russia to end their hostilities and agree to a cease fire. He also called for humanitarian aid for the residents of Georgia.

In fact, President Bush has sent Secretary of State, Condoleeza Rice to Georgia and has ordered the airlifting of humanitarian aid to Georgia.

The New York Times reports today that the cease fire agreement negotiated by French President Sarkozy included a point which allowed Russia to expand its forces within Georgia outside of the original positions, in a peacekeeper role with the intention of international peacekeepers assuming this role at a later date. Read more here.

As a live 3 AM moment, Senator McCain's words and actions have given many voters cause to wonder.

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