Mark Kleiman wonders: “If McCain has really been talking to Saakashvili “daily,” what advice has McCain been giving him? Did he reinforce the urgent advice of the State Department and the White House that Saakashvili avoid allowing himself to be provoked into giving the Russians a pretext for invasion, or was McCain encouraging the imprudence that handed Putin the victory we and the Georgians are now trying to recover from?”
McCain should answer this question directly, but his record strongly suggests the possibility that he was encouraging imprudence. And why shouldn’t he? Most pundits seem to think that foreign crises provoked by bad conservative policies are politically beneficial to conservative politicians and, certainly, the McCain campaign sees things that way and is trying to milk the crisis for all it’s worth politically. Under the circumstances, doing what he can to promote international instability seems canny.