Mr Saakashvilli may also have banked on support from his closest ally, US president George W Bush, whose administration is said to have given tacit support for a Georgian assault on South Ossetia in the belief that the territory could be recaptured within 48 hours.Sweet. Another bit of geopolitical brilliance from the Administration that Couldn't Shoot Straight.
George, look. Let an old retired sergeant give you some his accumulated military wisdom:
1. You can't, couldn't, never did and never will want to fight Russia over their former Soviet territories. If they invaded France, yes. For Georgia, no. And since you never intended to fight alongside the man, you had no business getting your pal Saakashvili into a "let's you and him fight" deal.
2. You don't let your wogs write a military check that they - and you - can't cover. Oh, and by the way, how's that whole Georgia Military Assistance Command thing working out? Not so good, huh? Oh, dear.
3. And if they do, you make sure you tell your talking heads to STFU about "betrayal" or "Munich" when YOU got your country's - and theirs - ass jammed in a crack. You're supposed to be an adult; act like it. Admit you fucked up and move on.Christ, where have we got to when a platoon sergeant has to square away the "Commander-in-Chief"?
Just between you and me, this Dubya knucklehead looks like a real substandard troop.
He doesn't know it yet but he's got a date with me in the dayroom after close of business for a little "wall-to-wall" counseling.
Perhaps the solution was there all along and we just missed it because it was too obvious. We've been talking, advising, scolding, white-papering, commissioning, even discussing impeaching the man, while the simple answer to this gomer's attitude was a little dimension lumber applied upside the head.
Mmmmm, yeah. Dibs.
Update #1, 12:39pm: Bob Farley has a good post discussing the evidence for who said what to whom and concludes that it is unlikely that anyone in the U.S. gave Saakashvili the wink to go ahead with Pearl Harbor: The Trouble in Tiblisi Edition. I think there's enough dumb here to go around. I'm sure that the U.S. talking heads moved their lips in the right ways. But it seems pretty clear that 1) Saakashvili and his people heard what they wanted to hear, and 2) none of the Bushies said what needed to be said, which was, simply, "Saaki, baby, pull out your weenie and the Russians are gonna step all over it and we're going to pretend like we didn't see anything. Do NOT do anything militarily stupid." There's technically blameless and then there's "we should have seen this coming" sort of dumb. This is that kind of dumb.
Update #2, 2:00pm: Here's more support for the thesis that the Bushies did indeed try to keep Saakashvili from stepping on his poncho but were just flat out unable to keep the stupid from bursting out.
OK. So I'm willing to cut our boy Dubya slack on point #2. But that doesn't actually help him a lot. It just replaces Ol' Sarge's original #2 with another #2 bit of army wisdom:
2. You never go out drinking, dating or on any sort of activity likely to draw hostile interest with a guy you know is a dumbass, mouthy little butthead. We now know that Saakashvili is the sort of guy who, when you tell him something like "Damn, homes, that is one big-ass MP" will go over and kick that monster dead square in the ass. This makes you wonder: why did we want him in NATO so bad? So he could drag the rest of the West into a face-down with Russia? What, we've learned nothing from our relationship with Israel?
Sorry. This doesn't let BushCo off the hook: it just changes the shape of the hook.
Update #3, 2:15pm: Fred Kaplan says all of the above and better than I can, as usual.