A few days ago, in consideration of the military hostilities in Georgia, between that country and Russia, Senator John McCain opined, “We are all Georgians now.”
There can be no confusion over the intention of the expressed sentiment: Russia bad, Georgia good; Russia big and bullying, Georgia small and innocent; America good, therefore America and all Americans must side with Georgia, and be willing to pay what price might be exacted for siding on the right. It is an example of a simple tautology, intended for simple, poorly informed and easily malleable minds. And it is entirely false.
And by the utterance of it, John McCain has proven himself to once again be an extraordinarily dangerous fellow, were he to gain the presidency.
It is a logically false statement, with a logically false conclusion, because the first premise is untrue.
Russia may have gone too far. But I learned growing up that little twerps are well advised to not tweak the noses of the “big kids,” and Georgia is a little twerp of a country, and they taunted their big bear of a neighbor in a way that, had they been the little twerp on my block, would have resulted in their getting their butts bloodied, which in fact is what happened to them. And, in my opinion, justifiably so.
Here’s how the stage was set. South Ossetians are somewhat like the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey. They don’t feel they are truly part of Iraq and they don’t feel they’re part of Turkey, although elements of their population have greater affinities for the former over the latter, and vice-versa. Well, some of the South Ossetians have more of an identity with Russia, some with Georgia, but an overwhelmingly greater majority align with neither; a circumstance that Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili stubbornly refused to care much about.
The Georgian president, with full knowledge South Ossetia would oppose the endeavor, and that Russia was just looking for an excuse to flex its muscles, sent his troops in anyway. (On the block, in my youth, we’d have called that arrogant . . . and just damned stupid.) Thing is, Senator McCain has long called the Georgian leader “my close friend.” The Arizona senator’s top foreign policy advisor was a paid lobbyist of Georgia, and the presumptive GOP presidential candidate even went jet-skiing with the guy, which naturally would lead Saakashvili to believe the US had his back; especially understandable as the photos of McCain and Bush hugging each other at every opportunity for the past four years have been ubiquitous.
Here’s how McCain’s sentiments prove so dangerous to our health: it’s the little S**T with the big brother thing, where the little S**T thinks it can provoke the much bigger fellows with impunity all it wants; “Mess with me and my bro will kick your ass.” Back on the block, sometimes Bro would pull the little twerp’s butt from the fire, sometimes he’d just say, “Hey! your smart mouth got you into trouble, now let’s see how your smart mouth will save your butt.” In other words, sometimes Bro didn’t see the profit of him mixing it up with one of the other big kids.
That’s the question, or the hazard, McCain’s attitude and perceived near-filial relationship with Saakashvili exposes all of us to, and to what profit?
The senator’s rep for an underlying hair-trigger eagerness to “let’s get it on” is as notorious as it is longstanding. In a world, not of fisticuffs, but of nuclear missiles and oil and gas (The one resource Russia has an abundance of and that all Europe depends on.), can the world really afford to be led into heated, possibly turning military, exchanges by the juvenile antics of a little twerp, one egged on by a hot-headed Big Bro?
I’m not at all sorry to disagree with you senator. Not today, not yesterday, not tomorrow will I be a Georgian. Today, as I was yesterday and will be tomorrow, I’m an American. And who I jet-ski with won’t change that.
— Ed Tubbs
PS — Of course I welcome responses, those that disagree as well as those that agree. But I’ve got to insist that only those retaining the courage of their convictions to include their real name and the city where they reside, exactly as they would for any letter to the editor, will be read or responded to. Now is the time for all of us to live up to the words and sentiments in our National Anthem.