August 13, 2008

A suggestion

Although George W. Bush and John McCain* disagree with me, I have a hunch it's probably not prudent for the U.S. to enter into a formal military alliance with a country with a 29-year-old defense minister:

Davit Kezerashvili (Georgian: დავით კეზერაშვილი) (born September 22, 1978) is the Georgian Minister of Defence.

* Ah, jeez, now that I went and looked it up, it turns out that Obama says he more or less wants Georgia in NATO too. Obama just said:

"Going forward, the United States and Europe must support the people of Georgia. Beyond immediate humanitarian assistance, we must provide economic assistance, and help rebuild what has been destroyed. I have consistently called for deepening relations between Georgia and transatlantic institutions, including a Membership Action Plan for NATO, and we must continue to press for that deeper relationship."

Georgia's current status visa-vis NATO is at the level of Individual Partnership Action Plan. The Membership Action Plan would be the next level, followed by full membership.

This is a concern about Obama. Unlike Yosemite Sam McCain, Obama doesn't really care much about foreign policy (his whole career was devoted to burrowing inward from the exotic margins), so you'd expect him to be sensible about foreign countries. His cold-blooded yuppie personality should be good for avoiding getting us into absurd situations like this.

And, I suspect he is sensible, deep down. But, he hasn't shown much courage lately in taking on the DC-NY Establishment Axis of Insanity. With his lack of a military record, long history of youthful anti-American radicalism, and his one degree of separation from anti-Semite Louis Farrakhan, he seems to feel he has to prove himself unthreatening to the same kind of influential wackos who had such a disastrous impact on GW Bush.

I guess Obama's unstated campaign slogan on foreign policy is going to be:

Less Insane than McCain!

Granted, that is a rather persuasive reason to vote for Obama, but, still, does the difference have to be quite so relative?

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer


Anonymous said...

Oh come on, he's almost 30. -- Jeremy Lott

Anonymous said...

what does georgia actually expect to get out of all of this? seems like the objective was to get the US to engage. very dangerous, very strange.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it's prudent for president bush to choose an alliance with a country with a population of 4.4 over normal relations with a nuclear power that controls europe's gas and possibly has the largest oil reserves. but I don't think anything bush does is prudent, so I might be a little biased

Robert said...

The Georgian Army, commanded by their Minister of Defense (who is also an Israeli citizen), launched a surprise invasion and attack that caused the deaths of at least a thousand people in its first 24 hours. This attack was committed while the attention of the world was on the Olympics.

Robert said...,7340,L-3580136,00.html

The fact that Georgia's defense minister, Davit Kezerashvili, is a former Israeli who is fluent in Hebrew contributed to this cooperation.

Georgia's Minister tasked with the conflict zones is Temuri Yakobashvili. Yakobashvili is a Jew and is fluent in Hebrew. "We are now in a fight against the great Russia," he said, "and our hope is to receive assistance from the White House, because Georgia cannot survive on its own.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if Efraim Diveroli has met this guy. They both were in the arms business, after all.

btw, why is everyone ganging up on Israel here? Israel is not out to get Russia. Who do you think is supplying Russia with its defense-related intelligence needs? Middleman minorities don't pick sides.

Anonymous said...

what does georgia actually expect to get out of all of this?

NATO membership

Anonymous said...

Steve -- here's your problem with foreign affairs: you see things in the 90's. The 1890's.

Like it or not, the American (and Chinese) economy runs on oil, and cheap oil. It is in the interest of the US to have alternate routes to Central Asian oil outside Russia's control (and high prices). Russia has a habit of turning off the spigot on various whims or to jack up the price in violation of contracts, etc.

That's what this is all about. All other routes are through hostile nations: Iran, etc.

Your comments are perfectly appropriate to a nation powered by horses and coal. They are not responsive to current reality.

I will say I am impressed at how well, initially, Russian forces basically copied US tactics from Operation Iraqi Freedom, including combined air/land forces, high operational tempo, rapid movement, total tactical surprise, various "thunder runs" and various daring probing attacks. This strongly suggests that the US military advantage is eroding, given how closely our successes have been studied and copied by various hostile forces.

Georgia's Defense Minister is beside the point, what matters is if oil will be north of $145 a barrel (so Putin and Ahmadinejad can pay their thug-patronage network) or lower (so average people can get by and the economy grows).

Anonymous said...

Obama doesn't really care much about foreign policy...His cold-blooded yuppie personality should be good for avoiding getting us into absurd situations like this.

Oh, for God's sake, Steve, he's not a "yuppie," he's a Bobo. And what's not a basic dogma of Boboism if not the idea that we should follow policies which lead to the US having declining power over the rest of the world?

That's the worst foreign policy of all, and it's the kind people like Obama - hell, people like Bill Clinton - are inclined to pursue.

Just ask yourself this one single question: if the next Congress were to send President Obama a bill devoting 5% of US GNP (i.e., $700 billion) to foreign aid each year, can you seriously, possibly, in any way imagine Obama vetoing the thing, unless it was because he thought too little of it were going to Africa?

Say what you will about McCain - and I can't stand the guy; I think, in fact, it's better for the country and for the GOP that he loses - but his foreign policy positions, even if wrong, are clearly based on his desire for a stronger America.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone investigated the Devaroli-Georgia connection?

Anonymous said...

"Going forward, the United States and Europe must support the people of Georgia. Beyond immediate humanitarian assistance, we must provide"

There's that futuristic stuff again "Going forward". Well, the fact that time just moves along by itself, even without Obama!, I guess we have no choice but to move forward. But maybe Obama has figured out something Einstein didn't know?

Anyway, I love the way Obama says we "must". We betta listens to the kid on the block, to the village chief, to the messiah, or else...

But I guess Obama couldn’t give a shit about Georgia. He muffles all the nonsense that his masters want him to say about these things, in order to protect their interests there, whatever they may truly be. For him it’s all about being the first truly black prez (sorta). As long as he gives them what they want, they'll give him that (false) grandeur.

Anonymous said...

bjdouble said...
" Has anyone investigated the Devaroli-Georgia connection?"

Ha ha ha ha, I was thinking the same. These guys pop up everywhere where there's a buck to be made. In Angola the South African Forces kept running into a mulatto Portuguese who was selling them everything from cars, booze, cigarettes, and diamonds to even a swimming pool! This Georgia thing reminded me of this. War begets funny situations.

Anonymous said...

The Israeli press is already commenting on Jews trying to escape Georgia and make aliyah. I don't blame them. I would want to get out, too.

As other have written long ago, things get dangerous for Jews when The Prince they have been advising screws up big time.

And I imagine this is going to look like one giant screwup on S'vili's part: the Russians are not total military screwups like the Arabs, it is not 1948, and (perhaps most importantly) the Georgians are not the Jews. Georgians do not have a network or rich and well-connected folks all over the world they can rely on to persuade others to help them.

I do hope the Georgian Jews get out and get to Israel where they can live a normal life as normal people and not be held hostage by their leader's mistakes. Living in the galut messes up Jews' heads big time.

Anonymous said...

Georgia's Defense Minister is beside the point, what matters is if oil will be north of $145 a barrel

Not if, but when. Because when you print money to pay your obligations, like the pensions of retired soldiers and diesel for all those humvees in Baghdad, prices rise.

--Senor Doug

Anonymous said...

Georgia's Defense Minister is beside the point [No it is not], what matters is if oil will be north of $145 a barrel (so Putin and Ahmadinejad can pay their thug-patronage network) or lower (so average people can get by and the economy grows).

The only people increasing the price of oil are the neocons and people like you testing99. Look how the price is FALLING as we get closer to the election and the prospect of attacking Iran lessens.

Iran wants to see the world its oil. It is AIPAC that is pushing for an embargo on Iran in the Senate as we speak. Talk about increasing the price of oil.

Notice how the price of oil has NOT increased since Russia invaded. That is because everyone knows that Russia will sell us all the oil they can.

It is only the neo-crazies that are willing to exact any price (including high oil prices) to affect their foreign policy goals.

Anonymous said...

Looking at what is happening in Georgia from Finland...

I really hope US would understand Georgia is just the first step for Russia. Next one is Ukraina. At some phase you have to say "no". I hope at least.

I understand there are lot of isolationist feelings in US because some European countries are so critical on US. And because Bush administration has maybe been even too active in countries like Irak.

But Georgia, Ukraina and many other countries with common border with Russia are the best friends of US in Europe. Hope you do no forget them.

Anonymous said...

There is no upside for the US for being involved with Georgia. The Caucasus, like the Balkans, like the Middle East, like much of Africa, is an ethnic hodgepodge, full of tribal conflicts. It is beyond me how anyone other than neocons can think we can improve these messes.

That said, I am terrified that Obama will prove even worse than McCain in getting us involved in these pointless conflicts. That's because national security issues have always proved a weak area for Democrats, who then respond to Republican charges of wussism by going out and starting wars. Except for the Kuwait dustup, every US war in the 20th century started with a Democrat in the White House. Remember how Bill Clinton got us involved in Somalia and the Balkans? Or how Johnson and Kennedy sent us into Viet Nam? Don't be so sure Obama won't do the same. John Quincy Adams said the, "we should go not abroad in search of monsters to destroy." It's worth remembering.

Anonymous said...

And, I suspect he is sensible, deep down.

Really? You suspect a socialist academic who never held a real job and has a chip on his shoulder the size of California is sensible? That doesn't reflect well on your intuition at all.

Anonymous said...

This guy's no Alexander the Great, but Alexander the Great was 23 when he first fought Darius, so I don't see how youth is a disqualification for military leadership.

Of course if you do want an old guy with actual military experience to lead you, there's always John McCain