AUGUST BLUES — “August is the month when wars start,” wrote the late Al Aronowitz, the rock writer. Both World War I and II started in August, and now the Georgia-Russia conflagration has followed suit. In planning their attempt to retake South Ossetia, did the Georgians think the Russians would all be on vacation and not notice? Their second miscalculation was to forget the lesson of the Hungarian Uprising of 1956 and somehow believe that their patron, the United States, would step in. That’s what the Hungarians believed when they launched their revolution against the Soviet presence, based mainly on [...]
August is when official Washington shuts down and heads off for vacation. Congressmen and senators travel to their districts to politick, especially in these even-numbered years, and presidents travel to their ranches or beach houses or, this year, to the Olympics. But that wasn’t the case during the administration of George H.W. Bush. In fact, it was during these dog days of summer that the elder Bush was busiest. The next president could learn a thing or two from the 41st — about what to do and what not to do. It’s regrettable that Bush’s presidency is usually mentioned in [...]
For those looking to make sense of the Russia-Georgia conflict, we’ve published three commentary/analysis pieces on the subject today. —Richard Weitz looks at Moscow’s motives; —Frida Ghitis says Russia is sending a message; and —Peter Doran says Moscow has been allowed to play both mediator and spoiler.