Team Obama blames Georgia on McCain?

posted at 10:04 am on August 13, 2008 by Ed Morrissey

Susan Rice wanders far out of reality in her appearance on Hardball last night.  Desperate to salvage Barack Obama’s feckless response to the Russian invasion of Georgia, his senior foreign-policy adviser said that John McCain’s strong response may have “complicated” the situation in the Caucasus.  With Russian tanks and airplanes slamming into apartment houses in Gori, that would have taken some kind of wordsmithing:

John McCain shot from the hip, [with a] very aggressive, very belligerent statement …He may or may not have complicated the situation.

I understand that Rice wants to spin this for Obama, but even this is flat-out ridiculous. McCain didn’t “shoot from the hip” — unlike Obama, he actually knew the situation and understood its implications.  In fact, one need look no further for confirmation of this than Obama’s later statements, in which he agreed with McCain’s original statement on the subject.

Obama’s campaign seems to agree with this.  Richard Holbrooke, another of Obama’s 300 foreign policy advisers, told CNN that Obama and McCain agree on the response to Georgia, and that the Bush administration was “behind the curve”.  Actually, the Bush admistration heightened its response before the Obama campaign did.  Besides, which is it?  Did McCain get it right, or did Obama get it wrong later?

Other critics have derided McCain’s supposed “saber rattling” and said calm diplomacy is what was needed.  I’d suggest they read McCain’s statements again.  Nowhere in them does he hint at retaliatory American military action, but instead suggests strong diplomatic and economic consequences for Russia’s invasion of a sovereign democracy.  Guess what?  That is diplomacy, and a lot more effective than condemning the victim of the invasion at the same time as the invader himself.

Besides, it seems the definition of obtuseness in accusing McCain of “saber rattling” while Russian tanks rolled all over northern Georgia.  Who’s rattling the saber, and in fact using it to kill hundreds of civilians?

Barack Obama apparently doesn’t understand the full range of diplomacy, nor did he have a clue as to the situation in Georgia.  He wasn’t prepared to handle this crisis, as his first statements showed.  John McCain understands Russia better than most people in Washington, and had diagnosed Russian intentions in the Caucasus and elsewhere years before Russian tanks rolled across the border into Georgia.  Blaming McCain for getting it right represents a new low in desperation from Team Obama, especially while at the same time praising Obama for finally catching up to McCain.

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Sergei said it absolutely the best.
Entelechy on August 13, 2008 at 1:48 PM

Thanks for posting that. I hadn’t seen it. Excellent commentary.

wise_man on August 13, 2008 at 1:53 PM

Last night Susan Rice said Iraq had been a diversion from the problems in Georgia.
I’m not kidding.

MayBee on August 13, 2008 at 2:47 PM

If these people stepped in a puddle they’d be in over their heads.

Mike Honcho on August 13, 2008 at 2:57 PM

Oh, here it is in the WaPo story:

Since becoming a candidate, he has warned that the U.S. preoccupation with Iraq has distracted policymakers.

I don’t know when he has actually said it in the past, or what his Senate Foreign Relations Committee ever did about it, but there you go. I’m also not sure if ‘our’ preoccupation with Afghanistan has distracted us.

If only we’d pulled out of Iraq, Russia would respect us more. Or something.

MayBee on August 13, 2008 at 3:26 PM

Did Mr. “The US is too Preoccupied with Iraq” go to Russia or Georgia on his overseas jaunt?
Or was he too preoccupied with Berlin?

MayBee on August 13, 2008 at 3:28 PM

Let me make this quick point. If you were to call Ms. Rice and the Obama campaign’s response one of appeasement you’d probably get a strong rebuke.

So I ask them, if you wanted to respond in a manner that would be considered appeasement what exactly would you have said or done differently?

You see, the response to this conflict by the Obama campaign doesn’t consider America’s best interest before they act. They consider what’s in the best interest of getting along. Even if getting along will get you killed.

I read somewhere where an Obama supporter argued for the election of Obama saying, “Obama is committed to aggressively going after anybody who attacks America.”

My response to that is, while “Obama is committed to aggressively going after anybody who attacks America.” McCain is committed to aggressively stopping such attacks.

coffee260 on August 13, 2008 at 4:01 PM

coffee nailed it.
This Barry handiwipe just verifies everyones’ knowledge of the chicken-bleep Left. When they hear the truth from someone who knows about Putin and the history of the Russian mindset, they call it ‘aggression’ and ‘belligerence’. At least she offers a 50-50 percent chance for it to “complicate the situation”.
I see this as another obvious projection. Barry and his minions see him already as POTUS, so they jump to the conclusion that McCain (thinks he’s the CIC too) has that kind of clout.

Christine on August 13, 2008 at 4:27 PM

The media continues to carry Bambi’s water. Evil McCain dares to hire someone audacious enough to work for a small struggling democracy trying emerge from years of totalitarianism.

tommylotto on August 13, 2008 at 4:40 PM

This woman is just silly. I am a believer in diplomacy myself, but there has to be some firmness, some sort of commitment to prevail, or the other guy will just run right over you.

Terrye on August 13, 2008 at 5:15 PM

Rice is a perfect example of the inadequacy and lack experience in Obama’s circle even while they revel in their allegedly superior understanding of policy and foreign and domestic affairs. In Susan Rice, you are looking at someone who will be a close advisor in some capacity, to the presumptive President, should Obama make it to the White House. Terrifying.

ultracon on August 13, 2008 at 5:32 PM

Wait, wait! Has Jawn Cary weighed in yet? This situation calls for gravitas.

onlineanalyst on August 13, 2008 at 5:35 PM

Clueless is as clueless does? could be!

DannoJyd on August 13, 2008 at 6:23 PM

I recall that geo t patton’s most brilliant moves could only be criticised by the other American Generals as “shooting from the hip”. What that revealed was Patton’s superior knowledge from years of study which made the other generals methods of prolonged hesitation while they tried to think of what to do “carefully” look bad. Remember friends will forgive you for being wrong but they will never forgive you for being right and showing them up.

jimw on August 13, 2008 at 6:46 PM

The Obama people don’t have a clue. Their attack on John McCain at this point is dumb. Their inabiilty to say an intelligent thing about the situation reflects their incompetence.

John McCain is the adult who is experienced and knowledgeable. Barack Obama is the youngster who is inexperienced and clueless. There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind who we need as our next President.

Phil Byler on August 13, 2008 at 6:57 PM

Team Obama blames Georgia on McCain?

Susan Rice, is just another Biraq Hussein Oblahblah Hope-nosis dupe, that’s bonged out on donkey dung!

byteshredder on August 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM

I would say this mouthpiece for The Chosen One is a dou**e, but that would be an insult to dou**es.

MsUnderestimated on August 13, 2008 at 9:27 PM

coffee260 on August 13, 2008 at 4:01 PM

Read your post…went straight to your site…
ahhh…did I miss something?
Where have you been???
I’ve been reading HA almost from the beginning…
Did you slip through the cracks on me?

jerrytbg on August 13, 2008 at 9:49 PM

Wow! MDS is starting early. He hasn’t even been elected yet.

4shoes on August 13, 2008 at 9:50 PM

coffee260 on August 13, 2008 at 4:01 PM

coffee260, I love your site. I hope you don’t mind, I copied and sent the historic list of Democrats and Republicans to my husband. It was great! I didn’t know the extent of it all.

4shoes on August 13, 2008 at 11:02 PM

I always get to these things late, anyhoo, I was looking for the olympics tonight and caught Olberman talking to a political analyst, and Olberman was saying the exact same stuff as Rice was.

4shoes on August 13, 2008 at 11:05 PM

Wow, the Obama camp has yet to suggest that one or more countries needs to “enter into a dialogue”, which is codespeak for “Go cowardly limp and do nothing”.

Off topic: The next time criminals threaten you, your family, property or neighborhood, you should go and “enter into a dialogue” with them. It’s so effective (NOT!)

electric-rascal on August 14, 2008 at 1:01 AM

I had a friend once who told me that he’d had the misfortune of calling THIS “Susan Rice” when trying to look me up, and the misfortune occured when he then had to listen to her “yell and scream at (him)” about me and all the people who’d apparently contacted her when also trying to contact me.

I was so proud. My friends and I actually caused THIS “Susan Rice” to rant in disgust on the phone.

S on August 14, 2008 at 9:22 AM

In defense of us Rice’s, however, please do not hold this “Susan Rice” against the rest of us. Please.

She’s no relation that I know of, and I’ve looked back through all the generations of Rices in the U.S. since pre-Constitutional times and even farther back from there into countries of origin.

S on August 14, 2008 at 9:24 AM


That’s the depth of thinking of Barry’s 200 person diploacy working group.

Carrot and stick, it solves everything.

Maybe Barry is blown over by jargon and high handed BS garbage from morons like this person.

benrand on August 14, 2008 at 9:43 AM