måndag 11 augusti 2008

Georgia crisis triggers war of words on White House trail

Obamas och McCains kampanjer har fullt upp med att försöka kommentera händelserna i Georgien, där de utmålar varandras brister. Sägas bör dock är att jag tror att konflikten i fråga kommer att gynna McCain genom att föra upp utrikespolitiken på dagordningen:

by Jitendra JoshiSun Aug 10, 3:21 PM ET

Prominent supporters of White House runners John McCain and Barack Obama clashed Sunday over the crisis in Georgia as a McCain adviser came under fire for his links to the government in Tbilisi.

As the Russian military seized control of the breakaway Georgian region of South Ossetia, the campaign of Democratic hopeful Obama defended its attacks on McCain foreign policy adviser Randy Scheunemann.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson said McCain's campaign "is run by lobbyists that represent Georgia and other countries."

"He takes huge amounts of money from oil companies that are profiting in the (former) Soviet Union and many parts of the world," the Democrat told ABC News, attempting to depict a conflict of interest for McCain.

Richardson, a former US ambassador to the United Nations, said the crisis vindicated Obama's pledge to rebuild US alliances in Europe that were strained under President George W. Bush.

"This has been one of the failures of the Bush administration, failing to build a strong relationship, a mutually beneficial relationship with Russia, so we'd have the kind of influence to persuade them to stop some of these very, very dangerous efforts within their territory," he said.

Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, who is touted as a prospective running mate for Obama, denied that the crisis might drive US voters to the more experienced McCain.

"Experience is only positive insofar as it creates good judgment," he said on CBS News.

"And I think Senator Obama's strong case to the American people is that he will have the right judgment about how to balance America's military force with strong diplomacy to protect our interests abroad," Kaine said.

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, one of the names mentioned as McCain's vice presidential pick, said on ABC that the Republican's warnings about Russian expansionism had been borne out by events in Georgia.

"They're an example of Senator McCain's push to spread democracy in that part of the world as a very important advance of America's interest, as well as being good for international stability," he said.

"I think it was wrong for Senator Obama to try to focus on a McCain adviser, rather than actually listening to what McCain had to say about the policy, rather than recognizing McCain's years and years of experience when it comes to international affairs."

Richardson, however, said that McCain's frequent calls to expel Russia from the G8 club of powerful nations would prove disastrous if enacted.

"I believe what Senator McCain is proposing is totally, totally wrong," he said, stressing the United States needs Russia's help with Iran, with Middle East peace and in Iraq.

McCain and Obama both said Saturday they had spoken to Georgia's pro-Western President Mikheil Saakashvili, and called for an end to Russia's military campaign launched after Georgian forces had moved into South Ossetia.

McCain urged Russia to "immediately" halt military operations while Obama demanded that Georgia's territorial integrity be respected.

The Obama campaign, attacking McCain as a creature of Washington because of his reliance on several former lobbyists high up in his operation, highlighted Scheunemann's work for the Georgian government.

"John McCain's top foreign policy adviser lobbied for and has a vested interest in the Republic of Georgia, and McCain has mirrored the position advocated by the government," Obama spokesman Hari Sevugan said Saturday.

There was outrage from the McCain campaign, which said the attacks on Scheunemann were "disgraceful" and showed Obama to be a stooge of Moscow indulging in "cheap and petty political attacks."

"Mr Scheunemann proudly represented a small democracy that is one of our closest allies in a very dangerous region," McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds said in a statement late Saturday.

"The reaction of the Obama campaign to this crisis, so at odds with our democratic allies and yet so bizarrely in sync with Moscow, doesn't merely raise questions about Senator Obama's judgment -- it answers them."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20080810/pl_afp/usvotegeorgiarussiaunrest 2008-08-11

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