Gordon, how right you are about the American response. In her weightiest symbolic gesture yet, Condoleezza Rice has decided–get ready for it–not to attend the closing Olympic ceremonies in Beijing. Doubtless Putin quakes.
However, it seems that U.S. diplomats at the emergency NATO summit did push for the alliance to cut ties with Russia. Depressingly, other states–including the UK–refused to go along with the American plan. Apparently instead of isolating Russia, a clever French diplomat decided to confuse Moscow with deceptively meaningless verbiage:
We are at risk of entering, if there is not a very rapid evolution on the ground, into a relationship which will be of a different nature to what it was until now.
Speaking of entering into risky relationships, I wonder how the 22 Georgian prisoners taken in Poti this morning are getting on with their new Russian captors.