Obama also wants a U.N. mediator "to address the crisis" and he even called for "other international forums" to be convened "to condemn this aggression." Not only that, Obama said multilateral and bilateral arrangements with Russia need to be "reviewed," including "Russia's interest in joining the World Trade Organization." Is that tough, or what? It's or what.
John McCain's "or else" was far more specific, credible and has the potential to produce results. McCain warned Russia of "severe, long-term negative consequences" from the Georgia invasion, charged Moscow with intending to topple Georgia's pro-Western government and urged NATO to "convene an emergency session to demand a cease-fire" (apparently achieved through the intervention of France) "and begin discussions on the deployment of an international peacekeeping force to South Ossetia and the implications for NATO's future relationship with Russia."
McCain has long been a critic of what he regards as Russia's retreat on human rights and democratic reforms. If elected president, he said he would push to exclude Russia from membership in the G-8 group of industrial nations.
Whatever the political outcome of Russia's invasion of Georgia, the incident has reminded American voters that in uncertain times it is dangerous to choose a rookie with no foreign policy experience and a juvenile approach to world affairs over one tempered by war who understands that U.N. resolutions might as well be written in disappearing ink.
John McCain knows that peace through strength is what defeated the Soviet Union and that it's peace through strength that will best preserve free nations and advance their interests.
Cal Thomas is co-author (with Bob Beckel) of the book, "Common Ground: How to Stop the Partisan War That is Destroying America".
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