RUSH: Now, the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, just had a joint press conference with Mikheil Saakashvili. It was a pretty powerful press conference. We’re working on audio sound bites of that. One of the things that Secretary Rice said was, ‘All Russian forces and irregular units with them must leave Georgia immediately, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in the Georgian capital Tbilisi Friday. Speaking at a joint press conference with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili after he had signed a ceasefire deal, Rice said: ‘With the signing of this accord, all Russian troops, and any paramilitary and irregular troops…” Irregular troops. Let me define ‘irregular troops’ for you. These are ‘volunteers,’ quote, unquote.
They’re still the Russian Red Army. They’re just in different uniforms. They’re supposedly volunteers, but it’s the Russian Red Army in there, irregulars, mercenaries, paramilitary, what have you. Condi says, ‘You gotta get out now. We’ve signed a peace accord.’ Now, if you’re going to say that — if you are going to say to Vladimir Putin and the KGB, ‘Okay, Saakashvili signed this thing. You must get out immediately’ — if he doesn’t get out immediately, then what? Some of this is troubling to a lot of people. I would throw myself in that contingent because if you’re going to start throwing these demands and words around, and you’re ignored, what do you do next? If you’re not… This is really… The West and the European Union are demonstrating here that there’s not much they can do.
You know, when this business happened in 1968, when Russians went into Czechoslovakia, LBJ had the Vietnam War going on. We had a presidential election at the time they did it, and didn’t do anything then, either. So there is more going on here than I think people realize. Just because it’s half a world away, people think it’s not all of that relevant. What’s funny — and I know it shouldn’t be funny, but it is. From the UK Times Online, the headline of the story: ‘Kremlin Dusts Off Cold War Lexicon to Make US villain in Georgia — Russians were told over breakfast [via their media] what really happened in Georgia: The conflict in South Ossetia was part of a plot by Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, to stop Barack Obama being elected president of the United States.’
This is what Putin’s media is telling the Russian citizenry. It sounds like it’s right off the pages of the Daily Kos. It sounds like it’s right out of a kook, fringe website on the left in this country. By the way, let’s not forget, Obama’s foreign policy advisors are on the same page. This is Bush’s fault — or, in the Obama campaign’s case, it is McCain’s fault. Let’s go back. The audio sound bite, Tuesday night on Hardball, David Shuster talking to Susan Rice, The Messiah’s foreign policy advisor, and Shuster says, ‘Would the campaign support imposing economic sanctions on Russia as some Republicans are calling for?’
SUSAN RICE: By reviewing all aspects of our bilateral relationship with Russia, as Senator Obama has advocated, we’ll be able to take account of what steps are appropriate. But here’s the thing, David, we cannot shoot from the hip. We cannot act on the basis of ideology or preconceived notions. When this crisis began, Barack Obama, the administration indeed, and all of our NATO allies took a very measured and reasoned approach because we were dealing with the facts as we knew them. John McCain shot from the hip, very aggressive, very belligerent statement, and he may or may not have complicated the situation.
RUSH: Okay, so the Kremlin and the Obama camp are on the same page. They are blaming Republicans for what the Russians did. This is… (laughing) It’s masterful. At the same time, it is mind-boggling to watch this thing. Obama’s hacks and his media press secretaries have embraced the Russian spin, and this Times Online story is just fascinating. ‘Russians were told over breakfast … on the main news of Vesti FM, a state radio station that — like the Government and much of Russia’s media — has reverted to the old habits of Soviet years, in which a sinister American hand was held to lie behind every conflict, especially those embarrassing to Moscow. Modern Russia may be plugged into the Internet and the global marketplace but in the battle for world opinion the Kremlin is replaying the old black-and-white movie.’ From the Times Online in the UK: ‘The Obama angle is getting wide play. It was aired on Wednesday by Sergei Markov, a senior political scientist who is close to Vladimir Putin…
”George Bush’s Administration is promoting interests of candidate John McCain,’ said Dr. Markov,’ to the Russian people. ”Defeated by Barak Obama on all fronts, McCain has one last card to play yet — the creation of a virtual Cold War with Russia … Bush himself did not want a war in South Ossetia but his Republican Party did not leave him any choice.’ The Americans were now engineering an armed conflict between Ukraine and Russia, Dr. Markov added.’ So the Russian people are being told by Putin’s media that we are next preparing a war in Ukraine with Russia and the Obama people are on the same page — and the Russian media is quoting the Obama people to give the report credibility! It’s just amazing how often the American left is on the side of our enemies. It just is incredible. And I’ll tell you something, folks, when you start using the words of your enemy, you’re in deep trouble.
When you start believing what your enemy believes, you’re dead. When you allow the enemy to use your words to their benefit, you’re dead. In the meantime, The Messiah is nowhere to be found, other than on the waves out in Hawaii. It’s almost strategic. How can Obama be blamed for what’s happening in Georgia, if he’s out surfing? McCain’s out giving speeches about this stuff, and so they can point fingers at McCain, how he’s worsening the conflict. He’s in a big conspiracy with Cheney to get himself elected so that Obama won’t be.
RUSH: To the audio sound bites: President Bush this morning in Washington on his way to Crawford, Texas.
THE PRESIDENT: Russia has damaged its credibility and its relations with the nations of the free world. Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century. Only Russia can decide whether it will now put itself back on the path of responsible nations or continue to pursue a policy that promises only confrontation and isolation.
RUSH: Stop bullying. If you’re going to say these things, what are you going to do to back ’em up? I mean, ’cause if you say — like if Rice says — you gotta get outta here now, we’ve signed the accords, stop bullying… Look, we know who Putin is; he’s KGB. Do you think Putin is just going to say, ‘Oh, okay. You want us to stop bullying? Fine, we’ll stop bullying. Oh, oh, you want us to leave now simply ’cause you signed a peace accord? Fine, we’ll leave.’ That’s not what’s Putin’s going to do. We start issuing these demands and if they aren’t heard or met, we’re going to have to do something. I’ll tell you what, this economic sanction business is not gonna work because if people try to economically sanction Russia, they’re just going to freeze the pipeline and they’re going to freeze Western Europe out of energy. One of these days, we’re going to find out how this stuff is going to be dealt with. This is tyranny on the march, and it’s happening a lot of places around the world, and it’s going to have to be dealt with at some point. It just is. Gorbachev, last night, was on Larry King Live. We have it with a translator here. Larry said, ‘Are you saying that Georgia started this?’
GORBACHEV (via translator): Yes, indeed. There is no doubt about it. … Tskhinvali was attacked by a powerful force, by an armada. … Russia was responding to what happened in Tskhinvali. … There is just no doubt about it. And I don’t know why it’s happened that it has been presented that Russia invaded Georgia. This is really disinformation. This is all lies.
RUSH: Yes, Mikhail Gorbachev — citizen of the world, darling of the left — now sees fit to cozy up to his old buds in Russia, the old Soviet Union. Now, it is true that Georgia did make a move into South Ossetia last Thursday night, a week ago yesterday, but the fact remains that the Russians were going to do this at some point no matter what. They had amassed all of this military armor and manpower, and it took awhile to do this. The Caucasus Mountains, again, are not easy to traverse. It took them quite a while to get everything in position so that when something happened that they could claim was a provocation they were in place and ready to roll. If they had not amassed any of these forces anywhere near the region and the Georgians had still made their little move into South Ossetia on Thursday night, the Russians couldn’t have been there long.
This took a long time to set up, and they were going to do this at some point anyway. They were going to invade. They were going to come up with some excuse where they’d been provoked. There can be little doubt here what Putin wants to do. They want to rebuild the Russian Empire, there’s no question. Not as the old Soviet Union. I think they have grander scheme designs than that. Putin, people are already calling him ‘the New Czar of Russia,’ and of course czars preceded the prime ministers, the presidents, and so forth back in the old Soviet days. Larry King then followed up. He said, ‘The foreign minister, Lavrov, has asserted that the president of Georgia ‘can no longer be our partner in negotiations. It would better if he went.’ Do you want a change of leadership in Georgia?’
GORBACHEV: … Saakashvili had misled Europe. He misled the United States, unless we’re to think that it was all an American project and that Saakashvili just implemented it. This was a total surprise as regards the peacekeeping contingent there. So he’s a person who certainly does not deserve trust.
RUSH: Saakashvili is a liar, doesn’t deserve any trust. This coming from Mikhail Gorbachev, once and present communist, speaking on behalf of once and present communist and KGB chieftain Vladimir Putin. So Larry King, ever, ever persevering, asks, ‘Do you fear, Mr. President, the world is moving toward a new cold war?’
GORBACHEV: [T]his is a big danger…. The United States armed Georgia with sophisticated weapons — aircraft, land weapons. Mountains of weapons were supplied to Georgia. … [W]when weapons budgets — military budgets grow, when weapons pile up, it works one day. It actually shoots one day. And this is what happened. … I think that the signs of a cold war are present.
RUSH: There you have it! Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev basically signaling, ‘Yep, there’s a Cold War,’ and he wouldn’t be saying this if he weren’t excited about it and if he weren’t thinking that it was actually going to be happen. You know, some people are now saying that we fooled ourselves, that the Cold War never actually ‘ended.’ The wall came down and there were some democratic reforms in Russia, but then Putin showed up and the KGB started asserting itself. Saakashvili was also on Larry King Live last night after Gorbachev. Larry King said, ‘What’s your overall reaction to what Gorbachev had to say? He said that you were the aggressor.’
SAAKASHVILI: I’m not shocked to hear it from former KGB operatives like Vladimir Putin or his former defense minister, Sergei Ivanov. Those people come from the Orwellian world, where lying is just an instrument of communication. But I’m profoundly shocked that somebody like Mikhail Gorbachev, for whom I had lots of respect in the past, well, would use his appearance on your show for basically vindicating lies and deceptions. … This is the man, Mr. Gorbachev, who helped to drag — you know, bring down KGB kingdom. And he is the one who is, you know, justifying the KGB — what the KGB people are doing right now in my country. … Shame on you, Mr. Gorbachev, for perpetuating the very regime you helped to defeat and you put against at the head of the Soviet Union.
RUSH: Well, you got Saakashvili now calling him KGB. Is it possible, folks, that Gorbachev always hated what happened when his Soviet Union went away and his presidency went away, and likes what’s happening now?
RUSH: We’ll start in Kansas City. This is Stephanie. Great to have you here. Welcome.
CALLER: Thank you, Rush. Thank you so much for taking my call. I’m a longtime listener and I just love your show.
RUSH: Thank you.
CALLER: I think that you’re right in almost every way about Russia. I have to disagree with you when you say that we have no pressure that we can bring to bear because the West needs their on oil and gas so badly. I don’t think their reserves — their money reserves — are what you think they are. I think they’re probably overstated and I think they’re spending their petrodollars as soon as they get them in, and therefore I think that they need us more than we need them because —
CALLER: — oil is their only export. It’s all they’ve got.
RUSH: Yeah, but wait a second. They are spending the petrodollars as they come in, but on what? They’re spending it on new weapons, they’re spending it the military that they are deploying now. I’m not saying we don’t have any options. I’m saying if we’re going to talk tough, we better be able to follow up the talk with something, and I don’t know… They’re thinking we can kick ’em out of G8. We can humiliate them. We can just deconstitute the G8 and reconstitute it as the G7 with them out of it. We can keep them out of the World Trade Organization. There are things that we can do, but would you not agree that the last thing on anybody’s list here is any kind of military action?
CALLER: I would agree, but I also don’t think that… They may be spending money on their military but I thought it was really interesting what President Saakashvili said this morning that they called up their old age pensioners in Moscow and got them to fly the planes. I wonder where he got that information, but if they’re actually bring their military people out of retirement to fly the planes that they have now, that would tell me that their military actually is in horrendous shape. I don’t know where their dollars are going, but I actually think Russia is in a bad way. I think that the Russian bear is actually made of paper.
RUSH: This is interesting that you have this opinion. From what is it derived? Don’t misunderstand the question, but you sound almost like a scholarly authority, and I want to know if you have such scholarly credentials. There’s nothing wrong if you don’t. You just sound very assertive, very bright, very intelligent and very knowledgeable. I’m impressed when people are very certain about what they say. There’s gotta be a reason for certitude. What is yours?
CALLER: I listen to you a lot. I read the Wall Street Journal. I read the Financial Times. And in reading about Russia, the billionaires, I think, are the ones — the oil billionaires and the other oligarchs in Russia — I think the wins that have benefited the most. I also have a couple Russian friends — who did leave the country, admittedly, you know, seven to ten years ago, but — from what I understand from them, living there, it’s actually a rather poor country to live in.
RUSH: Oh, it always was.
CALLER: Services are not good. The infrastructure is extremely decrepit. I just think they are relying very heavily on the petrodollars just to keep their country running on a day-to-day basis and I don’t think that they have a lot of reserves, which is why I felt that we could bring more pressure to bear. Even if we did something like say that the West still takes their oil but they would say something — and maybe this is to an extreme but maybe say something — like, ‘We’re going to put the payments that we owe you in reserve and we’re not actually going to be submitting them right now,’ you know?
RUSH: That’s —
CALLER: ‘We’re gonna hold them until we feel like you’re going to cooperate.’
RUSH: I know. People are talking about economic sanctions. All I’m saying… There’s a lot of bluster here. There’s no question about it. But the Russians are putting action behind the bluster, and nobody else is. Look, back in the days of the Soviet Union, it was always a decrepit country. It was always a Third World country with a first-rate military. And there’s no question that they’re trying to reestablish that, that Putin is, in the same way. They do have a lot of really brand-new, rich Russians. One of them just bought a house where I live, up the road, for $95 million from Donald Trump, and he may never even live in it. They’re invading us here, Snerdley! They’re right here across the bridge. They haven’t closed it yet. I think they did close. Some Russian, I think, just bought the most expensive house in the world: $750 million, in the Cote d’Azur.
CALLER: It was in France, yeah. I saw that in the paper.
RUSH: Yeah, $750 million for a house.
CALLER: Yeah, I think those people have basically raped that country of the wealth that maybe should belong to Russia, and that’s it. So, I am in no way a scholar. It’s just in reading and having the few friends that I have it came from, left there, albeit almost a decade ago. I just think that we don’t really know what it’s like there unless you travel there and you’re in there, and I still think we could bring some pressure to bear. So I was just disagreeing with your one statement, which is that we can’t bring them any pressure to bear against them economically. I just was saying, you know, I think maybe we could because I think really they need those petrodollars desperately because it’s the only thing they’ve got to sell the rest of the world.
RUSH: True, but you’re giving them a little credit here that you would assign to rational people, and what Putin and the boys are doing here in Georgia is rational only when you look at their definition of it. There’s nothing rational about going into a neighboring country and conquering it and taking it, a country that doesn’t threaten you.
RUSH: But yet they do it. Why? Well, their rationale is, ‘We never thought this country should have been busted up and we’re going to rebuild our empire and we don’t care if we rob banks in the process and kill citizens and fire on journalists. We’re going to do it, and we’re going to scare the hell outta everybody and we’re going to make ’em think they’re next and we’re gonna use these bullying tactics to bluff our way through this,’ if you’re right that they don’t have the money to keep up this. But see, I think to them it would be totally rational to shut off the energy pipelines to the West just to show what kind of incredible harm and damage they could cause to nations in Western Europe all the way through the European Union; and I think that they’d sit there and they would gradually sacrifice a week’s worth of petrodollars to common sense their power, ’cause that’s what this is all about. This is all about flexing anywhere muscle while the rest of the world is distracted and fighting back with words.
CALLER: Well, you’re right, because obviously they don’t care if their own people suffer. I think you could say that easily, the Russian people, I don’t think the Russian government cares, and you’re right, they did do it, what was it, last year to Ukraine where they shut off the gas pipeline that went to the Ukraine ’cause they were, you know, again using bluster and, you know they were (garbled) on that.
RUSH: Exactly right. All right. Well, look, Stephanie, it’s been fascinating to talk to you. I’m glad you called. I hope you’ll try to get through again on some future occasion.
CALLER: Thank you so much. I really appreciate it.
RUSH: You bet.
RUSH: This is Jeremy in Los Angeles. Glad you called, sir. You are on Open Line Friday.
CALLER: Hey, man.
CALLER: I called to disagree with you, but not to defend Vladimir Pew-tin or to come off as some commie lefty. But I think there are some things that are missing here. One: Less than a month ago, we had a thousand Special Forces on the ground. That’s been documented in mainstream press. The Israelis had their Special Forces on the ground. We have been funding and training and arming Georgia. There’s no way Georgia made this move without approval from Washington. So we know Pew-tin and Bush were out of the country, it happened when all eyes were on Beijing. There’s no doubt that there was an entity in Washington that gave some type of green light. They would not —
RUSH: Wait. Wait a second. Let me take these things in order.
CALLER: All right.
RUSH: Georgia is an ally. What is wrong, when everybody knows that they are in the crosshairs of Russia, already…?
CALLER: Right, they made a move into a region, though, that was a Russian —
RUSH: No, no. I want to stick to this. I’ll get to that in a minute.
RUSH: What is wrong — and what’s even provocative — about training the Georgian military? They are an ally. What’s wrong with the Israelis being there and doing the same thing? We train the militaries of a lot of countries?
CALLER: Well, I think what’s interesting though is that we had that much personnel on the ground. Nobody’s asked… There’s been reports out of European media that — that there — that soldiers have been on the ground, they’ve seen… For example, there was a lady who was being interviewed, she said she saw a black soldier in a black uniform. Now, there’s not too many black folks over in Eastern Europe. I would like to know, have we lost anybody? Did we lose any of our Special Forces there, or did DynCorp or Blackwater have any of their people there?
RUSH: (laughing) Gee whiz, man, what are you doing here?
CALLER: Come on.
RUSH: You don’t want to come off as a commie lefty and you just managed to do it in three words.
CALLER: It’s about telling the whole story.
RUSH: People are trying. The whole story is happening right before your very eyes, and it’s just typical of you guys to sit and blame us. I’m getting irritated again. The start of this day irritated, and now I’m starting to get irritated again. It’s one thing for you guys to have your little conspiratorial beliefs about Blackwater and some sin being committed with a thousand US troops training an allied military, but to then go on and start down the path that we caused it, that it’s our fault and that somebody in Washington had to authorize it? You’re just speculating that, as though it’s certitude. We don’t know that this was authorized by anybody, and we don’t even know that what happened was significant enough. The Russians were there anyway. Why am I not being listened to on this? It took months to get that attack force in position! This was going to happen at some point. The Russians are who there, and there’s no moral equivalence. We’re not the Russians. You guys are more like the Russians.
RUSH: John Bolton has a column in the Daily Telegraph, and he’s pretty much on the same page that we are here at the EIB Network. It’s a scalding piece. It’s very tough on Bush, with what we’re doing with Russia, with Georgia. The last two paragraphs have some fascinating things to say about Obama. But before reading those last two paragraphs, the last guy that called in the last hour, Jeremy from Los Angeles, who said he didn’t want to come off as a commie lefty, but it didn’t take long for him to get close to coming off as a commie lefty. In this piece by John Bolton, he says, ‘It profits us little to blame Georgia for ‘provoking’ the Russian attack. Nor is it becoming of the United States to have anonymous officials from its State Department telling reporters, as they did earlier this week, that they had warned Georgia not to provoke Russia.’
Every bit of information that we have says that we were totally not ready for a Russian invasion and that we have been trying to tell Georgia not to ‘provoke’ Putin. Now, you can argue that both of those things are bad, but how on earth do these lunatics argue that we orchestrated this when we tried to discourage it and weren’t ready for it? There’s a story being fabricated out there, and the Russians have picked up on it. The Russians are putting it all over their media. The Russian media sounds exactly like the Daily Kos. It sounds like the Democrat Underground. It sounds like the Obama campaign. ‘All this was McCain’s fault. All this was Bush’s fault. The Americans started this by telling the Georgians to do some things and tacitly approved of the Georgian move into South Ossetia last Thursday night, a week ago.’ But again, when you look at this, every bit of information we have says that we were totally not ready for this invasion. We were dumbfounded by it.
It’s not easy to say this. It’s not something about which we can take great pride that we got surprised because we’re supposed to have intelligence that tells us that all this armor and manpower has been amassed over the Caucasus and is poised to go. I think we had all the information. Once again the pieces weren’t put together, but the point is, we were shocked. We were totally not ready for this — and we have been telling the Georgians not to ‘provoke’ Putin. Now, you can say that both things are bad, but how on earth do these lunatics on the left in this country argue that we orchestrated this when we tried to discourage it and had no idea it was coming? Look, it sounds bad no matter how but the lunatic fringe version of this does not stand up in any type of analysis.
Now let me share with you what Bolton wrote in his piece in the Daily Telegraph, the last two paragraphs here on Obama: ‘Finally, the most important step will take place right here in the United States. With a Presidential election on November 4, Americans have an opportunity to take our own national pulse, given the widely differing reactions to Russia’s blitzkrieg from Senator McCain and (at least initially) Senator Obama. First reactions, before the campaigns’ pollsters and consultants get involved, are always the best indicators of a candidate’s real views. McCain at once grasped the larger, geostrategic significance of Russia’s attack, and the need for a strong response, whereas Obama at first sounded as timorous and tentative as the Bush Administration. Ironically, Obama later moved closer to McCain’s more robust approach, followed only belatedly by Bush.
‘In any event, let us have a full general election debate over the implications of Russia’s march through Georgia. Even before this incident, McCain had suggested expelling Russia from the G8; others have proposed blocking Russia’s application to join the World Trade Organisation or imposing economic sanctions as long as Russian troops remain in Georgia. Obama has assiduously avoided specifics in foreign policy — other than withdrawing speedily from Iraq — but that luxury should no longer be available to him. We need to know if Obama’s reprise of George McGovern’s 1972 campaign theme, ‘Come home, America’, is really what [American] voters want, or if we remain willing to persevere in difficult circumstances, as McCain has consistently advocated. Querulous Europe should hope, for its own sake, that America makes the latter choice,’ because as Saakashvili said yesterday: Who else is there that can stop this type of aggression but the United States?
Dead-on right. Who else is there that can stop it? But if we’re not going to stop it, then let’s find out what the American people think about this. I’ll tell you, Obama is out there on vacation while all this is shaking out, and the Drive-By Media is actually putting out the notion — as are the Russians, the same thing Obama’s people are saying — that McCain aggravated this, that Bush caused this. So you got the Obama campaign and the American left almost word-for-word with what’s coming out of the Russian media, while Obama is over there surfing and doing all this. Now, he’s running for the presidency of the United States, and he’s The Messiah, and he’s the guy. He’s the ‘Citizen of the World.’ He’s the guy whose very presence is going to make other nations stop this kind of aggressive action. Where is he? The press isn’t even interested in tracking him down to ask him about this.
They’re content to go to his stupid advisors — ’cause, frankly, I don’t think Obama knows what to say about this ’til the advisors do take a poll and do a focus group, and then he’ll put some words in his mouth and he’ll come out and make some sort of a statement — and that will change. He’ll say two or three or four different things about this. So he’ll be able to go back and say, ‘Well, I previously said,’ and cite whichever version that fits the day that he’s making the comment. You know, they’re doing everything they can to cover up this guy’s incompetence, his inexperience. They’re doing everything they can to avoid having him address a serious issue, one that he has said will change drastically if he ever becomes president because he’s going to go talk to these madmen like Putin and Ahmadinejad; and he’s going to make sure they’re going to understand that we don’t hate ’em and that we’ve gotten rid of Bush and everything is fine now and America going to be loved and trusted and respected.
‘We understand you hate us now. We haven’t been what we could be but we’re going to change that just because I’m here,’ and that’s Obama’s theory. Well, let him come out and say this now! You know, other presidents in situations like this — and they’ve portrayed him as acting president. I remember George Bush 41 went and played golf shortly after the invasion, the first Gulf War, and the Drive-Bys had a cow. They were all over the place. And then Bush got spotted on his recreational speedboat off the coast of Maine, of Kennebunkport up there, and the Drive-Bys went nuts, and they were shouting, ‘No blood for oil,’ and all that sort of stuff, and basically ripping Bush for ‘sending people off to die’ while not caring about it himself. No such demands from or for Obama, and there should be because he’s running for president. The Democrats have nominated this guy.
That takes us, of course, to their convention. Now the Democrats are worrying if Obama was actually taken for a ride by the Clintons. Did he cave to them too soon? Some people are saying, ‘Look, if Obama caved to the demands of two losers — and out of a four-day Democrat convention the Clintons own two of them — if he caved to the Clintons (for peace, or for whatever reason) then how in the world is this guy going to stand up to people like Putin or Ahmadinejad or others?’