When John McCain proclaimed in 2008, “Today, we’re all Georgians,” unfortunately he was not talking about the Southern state. No, the 2008 Republican presidential nominee was declaring his — indeed, all of our — support for the nation of Georgia, which that year became involved in a brief military conflict with neighboring Russia over who had claim to the region of South Ossetia. Which country’s soldiers fired first became a matter of international dispute, but the Bush administration made clear that this would not become America’s dispute; there would be no military response by the United States. Defense Secretary Robert Gates stressed that America had successfully avoided a shooting war with Russia during the Cold War and he saw “no reason to change that approach today.”
A few days ago, some Republican senators attempted to lay the groundwork for a shooting war with Russia. I wish I were exaggerating.