Bolt makes use of the current rising body count in Georgia’s South Ossetia region to consider, “How the next president would handle a war.” On the face of it, his proposal is a reasonable one:
How would the next president of the US react in a crisis – say, a war unexpectedly unleashed by a superpower? Barack Obama and John McCain have been set a test with Russia’s attack on Georgia
Fortunately, a savvy blogger such as Bolt can save himself the effort involved in actually analysing what the respective candidates said by simply linking to and quoting from his fellow Rightards. And that is exactly what Andy does, drawing firstly on a comparison by Roger Kimball that concludes:
To recap: John McCain forthrightly condemns Russia’s behavior and demands that Russia withdraw unconditionally. Obama wants to turn the mess over to the UN.
Andrew has to save his brainpower for the gymnastic contortions involved in maintaining an worldview in which all major problems (such as the moral decay of modern society) and non-problems (such as global warming) can be accounted for by a single entity. But let’s exert the mental energy that Andrew was unwilling to expend – let’s conduct our own analysis of the statements made by McCain and Obama.
These quotations are taken from the statements made by the Presidential candidates, as reproduced on their respective campaign web sites. We’ll just take the parts of what each candidate said that weren’t mentioned in the source Bolt took his content from.
Over the last two days, Russia has escalated the crisis in Georgia through it’s [sic] clear and continued violation of Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. On Friday, August 8, Russian military forces invaded Georgia. I condemn Russia’s aggressive actions and reiterate my call for an immediate ceasefire. Russia must stop its bombing campaign, cease flights of Russian aircraft in Georgian airspace, and withdraw its ground forces from Georgia … Russia also must end its cyber war against Georgian government websites. Georgia’s territorial integrity must be respected.
The U.S. should immediately convene an emergency session of the United Nations Security Council to call on Russia to reverse course. The US should immediately work with the EU and the OSCE to put diplomatic pressure on Russia to reverse this perilous course it has chosen. We should immediately call a meeting of the North Atlantic Council to assess Georgia’s security and review measures NATO can take to contribute to stabilizing this very dangerous situation. Finally, the international community needs to establish a truly independent and neutral peacekeeping force in South Ossetia.
To recap: Barack Obama forthrightly condemns Russia’s behavior and demands that Russia withdraw unconditionally. McCain wants to turn the mess over to – well, not just the UN, but pretty much every multilateral body of which the US is a member.
The lesson in this is simple – Bolt, or anyone else, can make a statement on a complex issue such as foreign policy in relation to a warzone look however they like, by SNIPping the parts they don’t want to acknowledge. Bolt can save himself having to even do that by quoting his fellow travellers instead. But such truncations are inevitably going to be flawed. Whether you agree or disagree with what Bolt says, it is worth taking the time to read the whole of the source he is criticising.
P.S.: Just out of interest, let’s see what the actual President had to say, if we chop out most of the content of his statement in a Bolt-like manner:
The United States is working with our European partners to launch international mediation, and with the parties to restart their dialogue.
UPDATE: Bolt has propagated the same rubbish in his Hun column today. I have posted a comment to his site and pasted it in the comments below.