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And, yes, I DO take it personally: Fiddling While Rome Burns
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Friday, August 15, 2008

Fiddling While Rome Burns

I feel like Yogi Berra. "This is like deja vu all over again".

As the tensions build in the Georgia/Russia conflict, it seems the bloggers are working harder for a resolution than our government officials.

For the first 5 days, Secretary of State, Condiliesalot Rice, couldn't be bothered, because she was on vacation. Fercryinoutloud, this kind of situation is exactly what the Secretary of State's job is all about.

Since she is a pianist, I'm assuming she's accompanying the Three Fiddlers, Bush, Cheney, and Gates.

The WaPo did it's journalistic fiddling with the story, After Warnings to Moscow, U.S. Has Few Options, burying it on page A-11.

President Bush announced the start of a humanitarian aid program for Georgia using U.S. military airplanes and ships, although officials said the effort so far includes only two scheduled flights. One shipment arrived later yesterday and another is to land today. He also dispatched Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for a diplomatic trip that will take her to Paris and then to Georgia's capital of Tbilisi to show "America's unwavering support."

"The United States stands with the democratically elected government of Georgia," Bush said during an appearance at the White House. "We insist that the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Georgia be respected."

Then, further into the story, 'ole Johnny proves, once again, that his brain and his mouth reside on opposite ends of the continent.

McCain, speaking to reporters in Birmingham, Mich., also praised Bush's announcement but said he was concerned the cease-fire did not do enough to guarantee Georgia's "territorial integrity."

"I'm interested in good relations between the United States and Russia," he said. "But in the 21st century, nations don't invade other nations.''

He has mastered his proclivity for speaking out of both sides of his mouth at the same time. With all his fiery rhetoric against Russia for the last 5 or 6 days, the first part of that statement is laughable, at best. As for the second part, is he saying that March 19, 2003 is not in the 21st century? Or is he saying the United States, Afghanistan, and Iraq, are not considered nations?

The best part of this buried story is buried in the final paragraphs.

Bush said he spoke yesterday morning with Saakashvili and with French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who brokered the cease-fire agreement. Rice will have lunch with Sarkozy at an official summer residence in the south of France, then will stay overnight in Paris before traveling to Georgia, officials said.

Apparently, Paris must have some great shoe sales going on, or she's afraid they don't sell Ferragamos in Tbilisi.

The haste with which Rice's trip was put together -- the decision was made at the White House yesterday morning just before Bush emerged in the Rose Garden -- meant that the Boeing 757 aircraft normally used by the secretary of state was unavailable. Vice President Cheney used it yesterday for a fundraising trip to Colorado, and Rice was relegated to a smaller Air Force C-40, with limits on staff, security and reporters, officials said.

The conflict in Georgia also upended Bush's travel plans. He decided to postpone by one or two days a planned vacation beginning today at his ranch in Crawford, Tex.

Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates, who is overseeing the aid efforts, plans to proceed with his vacation at the end of the week, the senior defense official said. He is not scheduled to return to the Pentagon until almost Labor Day.

So Cheney misappropriates the 757 for a fundraiser in Denver. Bush, who just got back from his Volleyball Back-Slapping Vacation in Beijing, sacrificially postpones the second half of his vacation in Crawford for a day or two. And Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates of Hell goes on vacation till Labor Day.

................and Rome continues to burn.

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