John McCain: “World history is often made in remote, obscure countries. It is being made in Georgia today.”
Really, no. An awful lot of bad idea about foreign policy over the past eight years have been driven by what Josh Marshall termed the “Orwell Temptation” — a desire to make our present-day situation seem as dramatic as possible, in order to serve the egomania of the analyst. But the starting point of wisdom here is simply to observe that world history, in the sense that McCain means it, just isn’t “often made” at all. In the neocon imagination a new Hitler pops up every six months, but in the real world the reason we all remember Hitler is that this stuff is rare while great powers smacking down nationalist leaders in small neighboring countries is common.