A great piece by Fred Kaplan in Slate recalls of all the reckless assurances that Bush had already given the Georgians, as if saying something makes it true:
If the Europeans had let Bush have his way, we would now be obligated by treaty to send troops in Georgia's defense. That is to say, we would now be in a shooting war with the Russians. Those who might oppose entering such a war would be accused of "weakening our credibility" and "destroying the unity of the Western alliance."
And the over-reach is still going on:
The sad truth is thatin part because the Cold War is over, in part because skyrocketing oil prices have engorged the Russians' cofferswe have very little leverage over what the Russians do, at least in what they see as their own security sphere. And our top officials only announce this fact loud and clear when they issue ultimatums that go ignored without consequences.
My only fear at this point is that by pointing this out, we may goad the Bushies and neocons into finding some kind of military escalation that would bring in the US. The US has no rational basis to be as committed to Georgia as Russia is; and has very little moral standing to protest an invasion of a sovereign country.