Richard Cohen Is Making Sense

I know, I'm as shocked as you are:

I'd like to ask who among us is willing to fight to bring South Ossetia back into the Georgian fold? How about Abkhazia? These are the ethnic enclaves that Georgia claims and Russia — not to put too fine a point on it — supports. They are the immediate reasons for the recent war.

I ask my nasty little questions because it has been the policy of the current Bush administration to have Georgia as well as Ukraine admitted to NATO. This would mean that if either country got into a dust-up with its neighbor Russia, we would scramble the jets, stoke up the usual talk radio personalities and sally into yet another lovely war. Before this happens, can we at least debate whether this is a good idea? Cynic that I am, I have my doubts.

Right. Russia's behavior has been ghastly, but in human rights terms it's far less brutal than their conduct in Chechnya. The latter conflict has been treated, rightly, as a regional affair conducted by an actor too powerful for us to challenge based on such concerns, but because of Georgia's morally arbitrary status as a Soviet province that won its war of independence we get all huffy this time around.

More importantly though, this has been the standard blogospheric argument against overly bellicose rhetoric on Georgia, and here it's being made by the wanker of all wankers, the only man capable of out-Brodering Broder, albeit with less subtlety and intellect. Good behavior should be rewarded, especially when it's an exception, so good on Cohen for writing this.

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