Was Georgia’s Aggression An August Surprise?

I was at the gym yesterday when I saw the live broadcast of John McSame‘s press conference, during which he made his risible pronouncement that:

[I]n the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations.

In my subsequent blog, I missed this angle mentioned by Greg Sargent over at TPM (so many hard bodies to ogle, so little time):

At a press conference just now, John McCain redoubled his efforts to thrust himself into a leadership role on the Russia-Georgia crisis front, announcing that two top campaign surrogates, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham, are going on a visit to Georgia.

Hunter at Daily Kos picks up the ball and runs with it:

So if merely giving a speech in Germany is “presumptuous”, how freakin’ “presumptuous” is it for a candidate to send their own diplomatic team into a foreign conflict? Isn’t that, you know, a job for the President, not a candidate?

Why no outrage on this? I think it’s safe to say that if another candidate did this, conservatives would burst into flames from fury, and the talking heads would be beside themselves talking about how unprecedented it was for a candidate to inject themselves into an international crisis — politics should stop at the water’s edge, and all that. Instead, McCain is using a shooting war to buff his credentials? Seriously? And nobody in Washington sees a problem with that?

Indeed. Why is our corporatist media, who were all over Barack Obama for daring to even look presidential during his recent trip abroad, not covering this angle?

Perhaps because it would expose a fundamental flaw in their narrative of St. John, that lobbyist slaying maverick, and the role that lobbyists and registered foreign agents like Randy Scheunemann are playing in his campaign for the White House. On Tuesday, WAPO noted that:

Sen. John McCain’s top foreign policy adviser prepped his boss for an April 17 phone call with the president of Georgia and then helped the presumptive Repubican presidential nominee prepare a strong statement of support for the fledgling republic.

The day of the call, a lobbying firm partly owned by the adviser, Randy Scheunemann, signed a $200,000 contract to continue providing strategic advice to the Georgian government in Washington.

Randi Rhodes reports that he has received an additional $600,,000 more. Recall that Scheunemann was the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq and a board member of Project for the New American Century (PNAC), responsible for pushing the country into the ruinous ruinous Iraq war and occupation.

McSame’s media enabled hypocrisy is bad enough, but more important is how such relationships work out in the real world. Case in point: emptywheel over at Firedoglake wonders whether Georgia’s aggression in South Ossetia was arranged beforehand between the White House and the McCain Campaign, using Karl Rove as the go-between. Rove was in Yalta at a conference attended by Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili a few days after Secretary of State Condolezza Rice‘s [Georgia] visit:

I mean, given that Rove was talking about the upcoming election as Saakashvili was walking in the room, it sure does make you wonder whether Rove said anything to Saakashvili about how a firmer hand in South Ossetia might help Georgia ensure its strong relationship with the US going forward…

I’ll say this: the Administration is even more desperate to push back against claims that they encouraged Georgia’s initial crackdown than you’d think they would be (compare, for example, their response to claims we gave Israel the go-ahead to invade Lebanon in 2006 or bomb Syria in 2007, and their response to claims that we encouraged Maliki to crack down on Basra). There’s something going on–and given Karl Rove’s presence close to the scene of the crime, I’ve got my suspicions.

“Scene of the crime” has an additional meaning— Rove was on the lam at the time, ducking a Congressional subpoena. But I digress. Hunter gets the last word:

Honestly. Take all the worst things about the Bush administration, double them, then add Joe Lieberman. A McCain administration would be the presidential equivalent of a slasher flick.

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