Once upon a time, a few months ago, Western experts looked to newly elected President Medvedev as an individual who would be less aggressive than Prime Minister Putin, but those days now belong to a fairy tale rather than to reality. President Medvedev in a meeting with a group of Western political and academic specialists laid out a strong line defending his nation’s recent actions in Georgia that were pure Putinesque. he denounced American support for Saakashvili and warned the world might encounter further consequences from a Saakashvili who would “go nuts” and once again make decisions endangering world peace. The Russian leader urged a return to 20th century standards of careful attention to one another’s security issues. He described NATO’s decision to extend membership to Georgia as “unjust,” “humiliating,” and “intolerable” to Moscow.
Medvedev urged the West to think about what might have happened if Georgia was a member of NATO and called upon its membership to come to its aid when confronting Russia. He raised questions as to whether Saakashvili had been used by the United States to create tension with Russia. The Russian president said Saakashvili had wanted to meet with him, but after a Rice visit, changed his mind. He also completely rejected the Bush claim missile bases in Poland were aimed at rogue nations, they are “directed at us. No other variant is possible.”
It is rather interesting that neither John McCain nor Barack Obama has raised the Georgia conflict as an example of Bush incompetence.