Yesterday we had the 3 AM moment described by Ben Smith of The Politico when the McCain and Obama camps released their initial statements responding to the violence in Georgia. Yesterday's theme as presented by Mr. Smith - Obama showed his statesmanship by offering the same mush as the White House and the Euros; McCain showed an unbecoming bellicosity by backing Georgia. I was broadly sympathetic (unlike the TigerHawk) but noted that Condi Rice was on the same page as McCain.
Well now it is 4 AM and one camp is wondering whether we will still respect them in the morning. In their latest emanation Team Obama has figured out which side we are on and rivals the bellicosity of McCain and Rice in backing Georgia and calling on Russia to withdraw its troops. Geez, this is almost like watching "Follow The Leader". Too bad it's not a game.
No worries. Once we elect Obama I'm sure he'll be able to get stuff like this right the first time. Hmm, my confidence is not shared by the PowerGuys. Hope they enjoy the re-education camp! (I know I did.)
Dare I sound-bite it? Well, Georgia is an ethnically/culturally/religiously (and currently democratic and pro-Western) separate province that was incorporated into the Russian Empire in 1801 but always Kept Hope Alive and went its own way when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. However, Georgia has a couple of restive provinces itself - Ossetia and Abkhazia are part of Georgia but have their own separatist aspirations.
So the analogy (setting aside the nastiness of the Milosevic) is that Georgia is Serbia trying to keep its grip on Ossetia, which is cast in the role of Kosovo. The key wrinkle is that Russia is happy to foment Ossetian separatism in order to strengthen its own hand in the area; an immediate superpower analogy to Serbia/Kosovo eludes me (although the quick German recognition of breakaway Croatia and Slovenia springs to mind, at least in terms of big power meddling.)