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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman Headed To Geogia

The situation in Russia and Georgia is still tense and today John McCain says that his "colleagues Senator Lieberman and Senator Graham will be traveling to Georgia" in their Senate Armed Services Committee capacity.

Both men are strong supporters of John McCain and this is a move likely to generate ire on the left and show Americans that McCain as well as his surrogates are acting swiftly.

He also points out that he has been on the phone with Georgia's president every day.

From The Politico:

I think Greg Sargent is on to something regarding McCain's announcement at his press conference today that Sens. Lindsey Graham and Joe Lieberman — his two closest friends in the Senate — will be heading to Georgia soon.

Yes, they're both members of the Armed Services Committee. But McCain's declaration has something of a shadow government feel to it, as though he's sending his own emissaries into the war zone.

Georgia's president, "Misha" Saakashvili, also made mention in a speech that "Today, John McCain said that Americans are supporting Georgia. McCain said, we are Georgians today, everybody are Georgians today."

This is a very smart move by John McCain politically because from the second news came out about Russia attacking Georgia, he has been in front of the situation, leading the way on statements.

He called it right while Obama equated the victim with the aggressor by calling for restraint from Georgia and Russia, then Obama had to modify his position to sound more like McCain did the first time around.

McCain led Bush even by coming out with just the right statements, each day, staying in contact with Saakashvili each day and keeping on top of the information and situation..

McCain has shown leadership while Obama has been on vacation.

Now the timing of Russia's actions cannot be laid at Obama's feet, it was coincidental that Russia chose that moment to attack, but it certainly hasn't done Obama any good in the eyes of the public to have John McCain leading the way, very presidentially.

I am waiting for the tinfoil hat crowd to start slinging conspiracy theories out there about Russia and McCain planning this while Obama was on vacation to make him look bad.

Just wait, if no one has said it, someone will be idiotic enough to do so.

Hot Air brings the transcript of McCain's statement about Lieberman and Graham heading to Georgia.

“The situation in Georgia remains perilous. I am pleased by President Bush’s statement this morning, and I support the various steps he outlined including the dispatch of Secretary Rice to Georgia and Europe, the delivery of humanitarian supplies to Georgia by sea and air, and U.S. insistence on Russian compliance with the terms of the ceasefire, which includes the withdrawal of all of its military forces from Georgia. The President’s statement of support for Georgia at this time is of critical importance, not only to the Georgian people but to all countries that are closely monitoring Russian activities and actions.

“I welcome President Sarkozy’s mediation and that of the European Union. I am concerned that the ceasefire agreement omitted any reference to Georgia’s territorial integrity. And, it’s clear that Russia is continuing military operations against Georgian targets despite the agreement, including in areas far from South Ossetia. I am deeply disturbed by reports of looting, burning villages, and killings of civilians that are in areas under Russian control. Anyone committing human rights abuses or acts in violation of the laws of war should be held accountable.

“At a time of high energy prices and instability in global markets, it’s important to understand that events in Georgia — part of a strategic energy corridor — affects individual lives far beyond the Caucasus. Because of the fighting, the Baku-Supsa oil pipeline has been shut down at a time when the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline is also closed. Those pipelines are critical for transporting oil from sources in the Caspian to points west.

“The United States has canceled a planned joint military operation with Russia, but we will now need to review the full range of our relations. With our NATO allies, we must address the future of the alliance’s relationship with Russia and with our G7 partners. We should discuss whether it makes sense for Russia to continue its participation in the G8. We’ll also need to review Russia’s aspiration for membership in the World Trade Organization.

“In addition, I urge discussions about an international peacekeeping operation, including canvassing nations for possible contributions to such a force. NATO should also begin anew, the discussions about a membership track for both Georgia and Ukraine. After the events of the past six days, no one should wonder why countries on Russia’s periphery so ardently seek the security guarantees that alliance membership represents.

“The situation in Georgia remains fluid and dangerous. As soon as possible, my colleagues Senator Lieberman and Senator Graham will be traveling to Georgia. They’re both members of the Senate Armed Services Committee. I hope that other members of the Armed Services Committee in the Senate and they will go together and receive an assessment of the situation and what we need to do in the future to avoid further escalation and also to protect the independence and freedom of the people of this brave democratic ally, the country of Georgia. Thank you.”

McCain has been front and center on this issue and I would not be surprised if next weeks polling numbers reflected the public's awareness of that fact.