Fact Check

Russia

Obama said that Russia has to remove itself from South Ossetia and Abkhazia, but the Europeans, who negotiated the six point peace plan between Russia and Georgia, don't have quite that clear a deal. The Russians did have "peacekeepers in the region beforehand" and they will remain.

McCain called Obama naive for calling on both sides to be calm. Even the Bush administration had been warning Georgia in the weeks leading up to this not to take the Russian bait. The Russians say they were responding to Georgian aggression against South Ossetia. McCain also seemed to suggest that Russia is behind the political turmoil inside Ukraine. That is possible, but these are states that are always at odds.

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Yeah, but Russia also suggested McCain was behind the Georgian attack. So figure they both did?

Sent by Christopher M. Brown | 10:34 PM | 9-26-2008

Since when has it become a bad Idea for the both sides in a conflict to show restraint?
Besides we cant threaten any sort of real action when our hands are tied in the middle east?

Sent by Jay McPherson | 10:54 PM | 9-26-2008

Read Spiegel Online and you will see how Europeans look at the Georgia-Russian conflict -- both sides are at fault. The U.S. should warn the small states not to provoke Russia and warn Russia not to bully its neighbors. There is a Chinese saying, "a small state should deal with a big state with wisdom; a big state should deal with a small state with restraint."

--Y.A. Liu

Sent by Y.A. Liu | 11:03 PM | 9-26-2008

In a public forum that was broadcasted earlier today,5 former Secretaries of State essentially ruled out the outright military support of Georgia against Russia. Henry Kissinger went as far as to directly contradict Georgia's claims on South Ossetia and Abkhazia saying that not only Georgia officially fired first but most importantly that since the first moment of the break-up of the old Soviet Union the 2 provinces had clearly declared that they wanted to remain with Russia. It is sad and dangerous that Mr McCain chose to promote an alternative reality in order to score some points with some hard core elements of the American right, while Mr Obama tried to follow a little more cautiously obviously in order to avoid the criticism that he is "weak" in foreign policy.

Sent by Tassos Koumbourlis | 11:07 PM | 9-26-2008

And if Russia doesn't behave in South Ossetia tht way the US would like, what would we do about it? Nothing, that's what. We've got all we can handle with insurgents in Iraq and Afghanistan. Pitiful as it might seem, the mighty American military is stretched to the limit, and this aspect of the Bush legacy has given two weak countries, Russia and Iran, a new lease on life. McCain's manly bellicosity is hollow. His boss President Bush has thoroughly emasculated the war machine. All McCain can do rattle the scabbard: the saber is otherewise engaged.

Sent by George Eager | 11:12 PM | 9-26-2008

Bush, by the accounts in the press- which may not be entirely clear on the subject- has been antagonizing and goading Russia into making itself a political and military force to be reckoned with. By demanding a missile defense system, which has not been demonstrated to shoot down missiles as it was intended, in Eastern Europe, and by ham-handedly dismantling Russian coalitions and interests, G.W. Bush has shown the Russian political establishment that it needs to stand firmly against the political ambitions of the United States, or Russia will cease to exist. The real question here is who will continue the misguided foreign policies of the Bush administration, or how will the policies of a future President be different from those of President Bush?

Sent by Kevin | 11:18 PM | 9-26-2008

McCain's sadly and no less dnagerously still echoes Randy Scheunemann, McCain's top foreign policy and national security advisor, whose two-member lobbying firm, Orion Strategies has been paid $830,000 since 2004, according to records at the Justice Department's foreign agents registration office.
Scheeuneman also is the President of the Committee for the Liberation of Iraq, which was created by the Project for the New American Century (PNAC), of which he is a board member.

Sent by Dan Doos | 11:28 PM | 9-26-2008

I have a friend who lives in South Ossetia and she says Georgia has long terrorized the people there in an attempt to force them to become part of Georgia. They were grateful when Russia came to their rescue.

Sent by Sherry | 11:32 PM | 9-26-2008

You are right, George! But even if the saber were not engaged,would we go around the world engaging it with whomever we don't agree, just to prove that we are the strongest machos around? Let's face it, McCain and his anachronistic view of the world have no room in today's world.

Sent by leonel a urdaneta | 11:34 PM | 9-26-2008

how close are we to s ossetia? how's about how close are we to havana? we ought to get a regional plan in order before we go after the big tuna? yes?

Sent by tcs | 11:39 PM | 9-26-2008

Okay, end game. Obama is our next President. I predict it now, but to focus on this debate -- did anyone notice that McCain never looked at Barack? Ya scared John... what's the deal?

Sent by Bombaycowgirl | 11:46 PM | 9-26-2008

Sweet goodness! Can you people please write in coherent sentences. Capitals do not go in the middle of sentences and make sure that you know when you are asking a question. Your posts are starting to look like that of four year olds, which makes it very hard for me, or anyone to take you seriously. Idea. Read, review, revise, press send. And by the way, no it is not a bad idea for both sides in a conflict to show restraint.

Sent by Chris Caldwell | 12:19 AM | 9-27-2008

Leaving aside what are largely symbolic arguments, there was very little substantive difference in foreign policy of the two candidates. They are both committed to an aggressive foreign policy, with no real "change".

In response to George Eager, even if we were not engaged in Iraq or anywhere else, we could not have done anything militarily to protect Georgia. There are practical limits to any nations military power. Not every bad thing is due to the war in Iraq though many would like to believe it to be so.

Sent by Kevin L. | 12:35 AM | 9-27-2008