Ok, the Actual Quote of the Day

20Aug08

The more likely explanation of what Bush and Rice are up to is that they don’t know what to do. Not just in Georgia but around the world, they are floundering. Bush suddenly turns pragmatic diplomat with the North Koreans (though only after they successfully test an atomic bomb), but he remains ideologically opposed to negotiations with the Syrians and Iranians. He urges the Israelis and Palestinians to talk, but he gives them no incentives, nothing to talk about. He and his aides and ambassadors tell the Russians their behavior in Georgia is “unacceptable,” that they’ve “crossed the line,” but no consequences are spelled out, in part because there aren’t any good ones available.

Great powers, and even not-so-great shrewd powers, are known to speak softly and carry big sticks (or offer big carrots). The Bush administration is talking very loudly and dangling nothing.

Aside from implying the Bush administration has no collective testicles, Fred Kaplan actually does argue a very good point in his article on our current policy with Russia. If we elect McCain, who hates Russia more than Bush, who apparently likes Putin, then World War III is within sight.

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