No Lesson To Be Learned?

George Will’s must read column on Georgia explains:

But Russia’s aggression is really about the subordination of Georgia, a democratic, market-oriented U.S. ally. This is the recrudescence of Russia’s dominance in what it calls the “near abroad.” Ukraine, another nation guilty of being provocatively democratic near Russia, should tremble because there is not much America can do. It is a bystander at the bullying of an ally that might be about to undergo regime change.

And then he queries whether Barack Obama (and implicitly the voters) will learn anything:

This crisis illustrates, redundantly, the paralysis of the United Nations regarding major powers, hence regarding major events, and the fictitiousness of the European Union regarding foreign policy. Does this disturb Obama’s serenity about the efficacy of diplomacy? Obama’s second statement about the crisis, in which he tardily acknowledged Russia’s invasion, underscored the folly of his first, which echoed the Bush administration’s initial evenhandedness. “Now,” said Obama, “is the time for Georgia and Russia to show restraint.”

But, of course, Obama’s subsequent statement may simply have been an effort to mimic John McCain (and nearly every other mainstream foreign policy guru) without evidencing any real understanding. (Goodness knows, his latest comment was filled with vague appeals to “peace” and efforts to “remind” the Russians that “the civilized world require[s] their respect for the values, stability and peace of that world.” Had all that simply slipped Medvedev’s mind?) It seems unlikely that an event, even one as serious as this, could provoke a re-evaluation of Obama’s unbridled faith in diplomacy.

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No Lesson To Be Learned?

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