Video: Georgian president touts McCain’s solidarity in Tbilisi

posted at 7:00 pm on August 12, 2008 by Allahpundit

A nice moment, but much nicer still is who’s on stage with him here. Recognize the guy over his left shoulder? There are, I believe, five presidents of Russian satellite states on stage there — Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia — although Yushchenko’s the only one I know on sight.

McCain himself is calling for bipartisanship with Obama on the war, but it looks like endgame is near. Both sides have tentatively agreed to Sarkozy’s truce plan, but Georgia’s still objecting to some of the Russian demands. One of those demands, according to the Telegraph, is to make South Ossetia and Abkhazia a “buffer zone” from which all Georgian troops would be excluded, meaning the two areas would be de facto annexed by Moscow. Quote:

Observers believe Mr Saakashvili’s decision to move into South Ossetia last week followed about two weeks of provocation by Russian forces and their client militias. “Russia wanted to manoeuvre Saakashvili into a situation where he would be seen to be making the first move and then provide a pretext for Russian action,” said an observer.

Hence the amazing speed of Russia’s mobilization. Exit question: If the excursion into Georgia was to teach their military a lesson, how do we explain this?


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Sure hope Putin doesn’t take the opportunity to “accidently, and with great regret we apologize for our errant bomber who didn’t get the ceasefire message and just killed all those annoying presidents of all those countries.”

If this holds (and I doubt it will be more than a pause–why wouldn’t Russia invent some new “provocation” and just conquer the place?), then what next? Do we admit Georgia to NATO?

Vanceone on August 12, 2008 at 7:06 PM

Both sides have tentatively agreed to Sarkozy’s truce plan, but …

You made an error there Allah. Tim Caine says that Obama’s, strong, stern statement caused Russia to ceasefire.

carbon_footprint on August 12, 2008 at 7:07 PM

Thank God for John McCain and the six european leaders who were able to back down the crazed ruskies. Down with Putin!

kanda on August 12, 2008 at 7:10 PM

Love the giant American flag being waved there

William Amos on August 12, 2008 at 7:12 PM

I watched the speech. Impressive. Most impressive were the folks standing next to Saakashvili. Unless the interpeter bungled it, I understand all these leaders of former Soviet republics, now independent states, are planning on staying in Tblisi until this Russian invasion is resolved. Hope more European leaders do likewise. If John McCain could fly out there for a few days…he’d win in November by a landslide.

coldwarrior on August 12, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Where’s my spineless native country’s (Romania) president? Or did he skip the meeting because his coiffure somewhat resembles Putin’s?

Darth Executor on August 12, 2008 at 7:14 PM

worst interpreter evah..

saus on August 12, 2008 at 7:20 PM

To those who want freedom… we’re with ya!!!

Go Georgians!

tickleddragon on August 12, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Solidarity Poland,the 2008 Edition!

canopfor on August 12, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Lies! We all know the lobbyist connection McCain has with Georgia and McCain paid Saakashvili to say that, the neocons used this a photo-op for their imperialist agenda! The neocons started this war and now they are trying to take credit of various nations coming together as their objective to kill more innocent civilians.

[/end sarcasm]

DanStark on August 12, 2008 at 7:22 PM

It was funny hearing Estonia’s president speak. He was educated in the United States, worked in the United States, and you couldn’t have singled him out from a crowd of Americans by his accent.

amerpundit on August 12, 2008 at 7:22 PM

Good on them.

Dawnsblood on August 12, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Exit question: If the excursion into Georgia was to teach their military a lesson, how do we explain this?

If Saakashvili survives this, look for the lessons of incompetent, but psychologically effective, Russian bombing campaign to be put to use. A couple USAF advisers bearing gifts would be useful alongside the Army Corps of Engineers to help rebuild infrastructure.

In fact, as according to Stratfor, the Russian Air Force completely bypassed the current Georgian defense network, knowing they would take casualties but could still sustain ops tempo. If there is a next time, Georgians will be ready with more than 10 fighters and 300 out-date SAMs.

But then again, a lot of “ifs”.

TheEJS on August 12, 2008 at 7:23 PM

Too bad W wasn’t on that stage, too. He should be wearing a big cowboy hat and cowboy boots (shit kickers) and let them know that we are with them.

cjs1943 on August 12, 2008 at 7:26 PM

I am really hoping that during the RNC convention, the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will come out in satellite (or in person) in full support of McCain. I think these men are hoping that McCain wins for their countries’ sake.

Here’s hoping that the Obamination drones will wake up and vote for America’s sake and not some fashion statement!

jencab on August 12, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Where’s my spineless native country’s (Romania) president? Or did he skip the meeting because his coiffure somewhat resembles Putin’s?

Darth Executor on August 12, 2008 at 7:14 PM

Too busy celebrating National Pickpocket Day and putting curses on people.

(joking people, joking)

Hollowpoint on August 12, 2008 at 7:34 PM

worst interpreter evah..

saus on August 12, 2008 at 7:20 PM

no kidding! terrible.

CP on August 12, 2008 at 7:35 PM

I think these men are hoping that McCain wins for their countries’ sake.

I’m sure they are. But still, I think they should keep those thoughts to themselves. It’s generally a bad idea for political leaders to campaign in other nations’ elections.

sandberg on August 12, 2008 at 7:41 PM

So when McCain stands with European leaders, he stands with them in the face of an actual enemy, not “walls.” The difference between men and boys. Take note, voters!

Hollowpoint on August 12, 2008 at 7:34 PM

My fit of laughter could be considered a suicide attempt!

emailnuevo on August 12, 2008 at 7:42 PM

I remember that the Russians used to leave toys in the open for Afghan children that were rigged to explode when handled. The whole idea was to blow off limbs so they couldn’t fight when they got older.

The Russians will never change. They need to be dealt with the same as Islamic terrorists.

Hening on August 12, 2008 at 7:44 PM

Amazing. Georgia has absolutely no chance against Russia, and they’re still waving their flags and refusing to give into to tyranny. I hope when the hostilities finally die down we properly eqiupe the Georgians for the next round. The Russians have always relied on brute force over tactics, and some well placed SAMs could go a long ways towards keeping most of Georgia safe.

BadgerHawk on August 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM

The presidents are doing what VDH recommended: standing up to Russia together. (see lgf link) Good! Let’s hope McCain’s solidarity means something concrete.

PattyJ on August 12, 2008 at 7:51 PM

but but but… he was complying with Barack Obama’s request!

suck it up, libs.

jeff_from_mpls on August 12, 2008 at 7:53 PM

“They are punishing us,Kvachatze said of the Russian’s,
They are punishing us for trying to be Independant”

Do you see any military people here? Asked Nikoloz
Kvachatze,another doctor,”These are all civilians”

Taxi Driver:”Civilians were the only targets left.
They were just bombing and bombing the
city”.

“when the wounded and dying collapsed
as they begged him to take them to the
hospital”.

Yet explosions boomed across Gori and the valley around
it,and their toll was grimly evident.

Note to anti-war protesters,and Liberals:

Russia might as well dropped fuel/air devices,or carpet
bombed,this is nothing but “ETHNIC CLEANSING PERIOD”!

And Liberal Democrats have the balls to be b#tching the
way Israel or the United States military conduct war!

There is a huge difference between a a laser guided
munition to its target,then what Russia is doing,they
might as well ringed Georgia with artillery,a la the
end of Berlin and let er rip!

This is as barbaric as it gets Libs!

So the next time a US munition goes a tad awry,SHUT UP!

canopfor on August 12, 2008 at 8:02 PM

Video: Georgian president touts McCain’s solidarity in Tbilisi

I guess we all know who Vladimir Putin wants to win the US election in November.

Same guy that Fidel Castro wants to win.

Same guy that King Jong Il wants to win.

Same guy that the leaders of Iran, Syria, Venezuela, and all of the other despots around the world who hate the US … wants to win.

And that’s not McCain.

wise_man on August 12, 2008 at 8:03 PM

A good show of Solidarity.

But next time, better coordination would help.

(And Stingers, LAWS and Predator drones.)

profitsbeard on August 12, 2008 at 8:10 PM

I am really hoping that during the RNC convention, the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will come out in satellite (or in person) in full support

They can’t/won’t. It would be totally inappropriate for them to take sides in a foreign election.

aengus on August 12, 2008 at 8:24 PM

Brave, brave men. All of them. Without major media coverage, Putin would have them all buried under rubble.

Especially inspiring seeing Yuschenko there next to him. He’s had his shots from Russian “diplomacy” and seen it through.

MadisonConservative on August 12, 2008 at 8:24 PM

Wow it took some people a week to understand what happened? Russia just had 8,000 troops around the region just for shits and giggles. Of course it was Russia’s plan. the Georgian President had to act of be seen as weak. weakness in that region is a good way to lose power. Throw in the rebuilt railroad the russians made for the last three months and you understand how that many troops and tanks can get to that aera so quickly.

unseen on August 12, 2008 at 8:28 PM

I am really hoping that during the RNC convention, the presidents of Georgia, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia will come out in satellite (or in person) in full support of McCain.

jencab on August 12, 2008 at 7:31 PM

Amen, sistah.

MsUnderestimated on August 12, 2008 at 8:48 PM

how do we explain this?

One word, terrorism.

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 9:02 PM

The Russians will never change. They need to be dealt with the same as Islamic terrorists.

Hening on August 12, 2008 at 7:44 PM

In addition to his other amiable characteristics, the Russian has no regard for human life and they are all out sons-of-#itches, barbarians, and chronic drunks.
– George S. Patton

MB4 on August 12, 2008 at 9:08 PM

Great!! .. *standing ovation*

Too bad W wasn’t on that stage, too. He should be wearing a big cowboy hat and cowboy boots (shit kickers) and let them know that we are with them.

cjs1943 on August 12, 2008 at 7:26 PM

Oh W is there. Standing right behind them .. out of sight with America’s stong hand on their shoulders.

It a good day to be an American!!

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 9:25 PM

I dont think McCain will be THAT crazy Lieberman. McCain’s RINO creditials are unchallenged. He needs a conservative. And he would need every vote in the Senate especially Lieberman’s votes should he be President. Lieberman is good man – and a courageous one – but he is also wrong on so many issues. Now Zell Miller would be a good Democrat to get as VP :)

winged on August 12, 2008 at 9:30 PM

U.S., allies weigh punishment for Russia
Western leaders consider disbanding G-8; U.S. boycotts NATO meeting

It’s amazing how all those Leaders of New Europe were able to get into Georgia while Russian was still ruling the skies.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 9:45 PM

Perhaps the Kissinger-era idea of “linkage” is not dead after all.

coldwarrior on August 12, 2008 at 9:52 PM

Will Georgia’s entrance into NATO be fasttracked now? What about all the other neighboring states that want admission?
I hope so. That would be a great response.

redshirt on August 12, 2008 at 10:10 PM

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 9:45 PM

That is what I would call a …………… good start.

“In the medium term, the United States and its partners in the Group of Seven, or G-7, the club of the world’s leading industrialized nations that also includes Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Japan, are debating whether to effectively disband what is known as the “G-8,” which incorporates Russia, by throwing Moscow out, the officials said. “

Hit them in the pocket, immediately.

Next, admit the Ukraine into NATO…………. call his bluff to the world…..

Third, start to drill for our own oil tomorrow and promise to sell our excess to Europe…….

Fourth, you know those upcoming joint NATO-Russia military exercise, they could get interesting…………

Seven Percent Solution on August 12, 2008 at 10:12 PM

Mega kudos to Bush and Condi. They have been very busy putting together a show of strength by the Eastern European counties against Putin.

Bush knows he’s got only 4 months left and the possibility of Obama as (God help us) Leader of the Free World will not be able to provide the strength that America needs to continue to be the champion of democracy around the globe.

This is why Sarkozy was enlisted to negotiate the deal. If Obama is elected, Sarkozy will by default become the Leader of the Free World. There will be a shift in world power. It was so evident at that press conference. Obama will be the student and Sarkozy the master.

And the Eastern European countries do understand that this is their moment to take control of their future just in case America does choose to become the paper tiger in November.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 10:25 PM

Fourth, you know those upcoming joint NATO-Russia military exercise, they could get interesting…………

Based on that report, 7%, I don’t expect that those are going to happen.

I think Putin misunderestimated Bush.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 10:27 PM

Love the giant American flag being waved there

William Amos on August 12, 2008 at 7:12 PM

I noticed it too!

ballz2wallz on August 12, 2008 at 10:38 PM

I think Putin misunderestimated Bush.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 10:27 PM

Yeah…………….. our fleet was sent quietly months ago to the region from all over the world, a couple carrier battle groups to boot. The fact that it didn’t make it in the New York Times makes me believe in the accuracy of our intelligence of their build up before the strike……………….. Oh, by the way, they are armed, with battle hardened troops. I sure hope we don’t have to use them………

Seven Percent Solution on August 12, 2008 at 10:45 PM

Telling point about the readiness of the Russian forces.

I was giving them the benefit of the doubt, to be fair, but now I am on board with Russia orchestrating the whole situation – including under the table provocations in the two provinces.

I wish we had given Georgia more support.

greenLibertarian on August 12, 2008 at 11:48 PM

There was so much to read today and I’m only posting now.
Bottom line…sorry funkychichen…I believe there was some AIRBORNE diplomacy…
No commander would allow or agree to sending transport aircraft into a hostile theater without a few single seaters…
and maybe… just maybe they hung out for awhile…oh yea!

jerrytbg on August 13, 2008 at 12:20 AM

There was so much to read today and I’m only posting now.

Bottom line…sorry funkychichen…I believe there was some AIRBORNE diplomacy…
No commander would allow or agree to sending transport aircraft into a hostile theater without a few single seaters…
and maybe… just maybe they hung out for awhile…oh yea!

jerrytbg on August 13, 2008 at 12:20 AM

Didn’t need it. The C-17s carried all the diplomacy that was required at this point.

Unless you mean all the comm help we gave to these allies so they could coordinate their excellent response.

funky chicken on August 13, 2008 at 12:31 AM

And yeah, the Russians moved in lots of troops and materiel for their “exercise” and just kinda left a bunch of it behind. Whether or not our satellites saw them isn’t for any of us to know.

funky chicken on August 13, 2008 at 12:32 AM

I still wish it had been in the cards for us to stop their bombers or something.

Dr. Manhattan on August 13, 2008 at 12:33 AM

NPR is now saying that Russia engineered the whole thing. NPR. Good on those brave men and good on Sarkozy for brokering the peace (see, France isn’t totally useless!).

To be honest, I thought Russia would stop when Saakashvili was gone, Georgia conquered in all but name, and every other former Soviet republic cowed into submission. This gives some breathing room and time to retool and refit for the next round (and make no mistake, there WILL be a next round).

Si vis pacem, para bellum

Militant Bibliophile on August 13, 2008 at 12:36 AM

I gave up flying decades ago…I really don’t think the rules have changed much…
Having said that…I sure would like to hitch a ride in a Raptor… one last flight.
It is a good day to be an American…good nite.

jerrytbg on August 13, 2008 at 12:38 AM

I still wish it had been in the cards for us to stop their bombers or something.

Dr. Manhattan on August 13, 2008 at 12:33 AM

Their bombers have stopped, right? We helped with that a lot. But it’s better that the other former Soviet dominated nations get the credit for having stopped the rape of Georgia.

Evil bastards kill people. It’s horrible, but nobody can stop evil before it happens.

funky chicken on August 13, 2008 at 12:45 AM

Didn’t the media report a couple months ago that our fleet was heading that way, and they mistook it as a signal to Iran? Seems I read that somewhere…

PattyJ on August 13, 2008 at 12:45 AM

Links for news on Georgia. Enjoy folks –

From Beyond the Beyond – Cyberwar unsurprisingly rages in Georgia.

The official Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia blog. Importantly, there is a running timeline of what’s happened so far.

Official website of Lech Kaczynski, President of Poland. Scroll down and look on the right side for a Georgia dedicated column.

Suihei Deloi on August 13, 2008 at 1:43 AM

One more – Dancho Danchev’s Blog. Monday’s entry has details of the earlier cyber attacks against Georgian networks.

Suihei Deloi on August 13, 2008 at 1:48 AM

Hungary 1956! Remember that this is history repeating itself.I am not even Hungarian, but from Russian ancestry. Don’t trust the Russians on anything. Their paranoia stems from ancient ties to Czarist era from the lack of natural borders where the bordering countries needed to be part of mother Russia to protect her from the west and the East (China). My father was stationed in Mongolia in the 30’s to combat the eastern front. Putin is now acting like the Czar’s from the past. The irony is Stalin was Georgian.

Sergei on August 13, 2008 at 1:50 AM

I’ve seen a bunch of stuff about how Saakashvili miscalculated, and I’ve seen a bunch of stuff about how this was an intelligence failure. What if neither assertion is actually the case?

We know that Russia’s planned this out for a while. That railroad wasn’t rebuilt overnight, nor were the ships in the area by coincidence, and the troops and tanks weren’t loitering at a nearby rest stop when the call came in. What if the US knew this? What could be done about it? Preemptive blame games? Saber-rattling?

What if the US told Georgia — “look, it’s going down…3Q08 sometime…and we’ve got ROE that says we can’t shoot first. So it’s going to be bad or it’s going to be worse. If you can do a ‘ready, steady, go’ and close the Roki tunnel, you’ll likely only have air strikes; but if they make it through the tunnel with tanks, you’ll have skirmishes and arty as well. So, pick a time with care and see if you can run through the Russian advance guard in South Ossetia and get the tunnel. If not, fall back and make yourself scarce before your troops get caught in the meatgrinder.”

Fundamentally, the Russians’ biggest problem is that the nature of wealth is changing. It’s developed a half-life. Before, you could raid a country and grab its goods and haul them away — gold, furniture, artwork; now, modern consumerist societies’ goods are transitory — “oh, wow, you seized a bunch of Win98 computers, IKEA flatpacks, and 3rd-generation ipods loaded with songs from 2004…how impressive.” We got a glimpse of the difficulty that a “bandit and raider” mentality would have with modern life when Saddam’s armies went through Kuwaiti banks looking for stacks of gold.

So all the oil and gas shipments that are currently making Russia wealthy are traded for dollars that are either further traded for transitory goods or invested in Western enterprises….because, for the most part, the Russian economy is based on extraction. If you then attack the West, your investments get seized, your software maintenance plans get canceled, and your closet of fashionable accessories slowly go out of fashion.

The same problem, incidentally, is facing OPEC — and all indications show that it’s pretty much only Dubai that “gets it” and will prosper in the long term.

I suspect the reason that the shooting stopped — if it has — is that the US put a list of Politburo account numbers and amounts in front of Putin and said, “these are going to be seized for Georgian reparations tomorrow noon if there isn’t a cease-fire. And if you jack around the oil and gas prices, we’ll just pay you with the same money and take it away again.”

cthulhu on August 13, 2008 at 2:17 AM

I suspect the reason that the shooting stopped — if it has — is that the US put a list of Politburo account numbers and amounts in front of Putin and said, “these are going to be seized for Georgian reparations tomorrow noon if there isn’t a cease-fire. And if you jack around the oil and gas prices, we’ll just pay you with the same money and take it away again.”

cthulhu on August 13, 2008 at 2:17 AM

cthulhu.. I suggest you take a chill pill. All you have to do is go back and look.. really look .. at Bush’s demeanor in his comments to the American people and you ought to be able to clearly see just how pissed off he is. IF YOU CAN’T .. then you haven’t been paying attention for the last almost 8 years!

Take your conspiracy theory over to the tinfoil hat convention!

Texas Gal on August 13, 2008 at 3:08 AM

Actually, I’m just getting around to noticing that my first point had already been covered at Argghhh!!! a day earlier. Certainly, there was reason to suppose that the message to Georgia was: “you’re screwed, see if you can take the tunnel.”

My second point, though, still holds — if Russia wants to play with the real world, it has to adopt a modern theory of value — one that doesn’t fixate on the materials involved or the effort expended, and thus one that cannot be effectively stolen.

As to

Texas Gal on August 13, 2008 at 3:08 AM

— of course he’s pissed. Everyone’s pissed. We’ve been inviting Russia to a place at the table, and they’ve decided to behave like thugs at the banquet. Territory and resources are important, sure — but trust and culture are more so.

Modern goods are produced for pennies from sand (integrated circuits) and ooze (plastics), and our lowest pauper lives better than the kings of old. Electronic rivers of value flow around the world to such an extent that fortunes can be won or lost by dipping in at one time or another — no actual contact with physical goods necessary.

If you’re spending $200/month for your cable and cellphone bills, it’s an annoyance when the price of your food goes up by $20. That’s the modern world. In parts of the less-developed world, the same increase means that people die. Most of the value in our lives comes from community. Most of the value in their lives comes from basic survival.

After the breakup of the USSR, we treated the Russians as part of our community — a junior member, as befits a country with a GDP the size of Portugal’s, but we invited them within the G-8, into our markets, coordinated NATO exercises, etc.

And now they roll tanks. How could you not be pissed? Not only are they irritatingly bellicose, but they’re also squandering all the links and trusts you’ve taken years to create and extend. They might as well embrace shariah and roll themselves back to the 7th century.

If oil is king, or steel is king, or gold is king, or timber is king — then invasions make sense, territory makes sense, and possession is 9/10 of the law. If intellectual property, rule of law, and trust are supreme — then it doesn’t matter if you telecommute, quality production cannot be compelled, and cessation of trade can be a terrible weapon indeed.

cthulhu on August 13, 2008 at 4:21 AM

I hope it holds.

But when you look at Georgia, with two inland seas on the east and west and Russia to the north..it is plain to see that Russia could easily overwhelm the country.

Terrye on August 13, 2008 at 6:28 AM

I think Putin misunderestimated Bush.

Texas Gal on August 12, 2008 at 10:27 PM

I hope you did that on purpose. It made me chuckle.

BadgerHawk on August 13, 2008 at 8:43 AM

Seems like the Russians can be taken on their word…Russian armor is making feints and probes all across Georgia, today, still firing at Georgian positions and cities and towns, patrolling Gori in force…cease fire? Well, Medvedev said there was one, right?

coldwarrior on August 13, 2008 at 8:48 AM

Just heard that Bush is sending Condi to Georgia to show solidarity

ConservativePartyNow on August 13, 2008 at 11:44 AM