In today's pages: Russia v. Georgia, Goldberg v. Obama
Georgia was on the minds of the editorial board and contributing editor Max Boot. The board points fingers at the U.S. and its NATO allies for ignoring the signs of trouble coming and blunting their own abilities to respond. Boot, meanwhile, calls on the West to come more tangibly to Georgia's aid with military equipment and the threat of economic sanctions if Russian troops do not withdraw.
At a time like this, it is vital for the leaders of the West to stand together and make clear that this aggression will not stand. This is no time for weaselly statements of moral equivalence claiming that Georgia brought this war on itself or that Russia's response is merely "disproportionate" -- as if there were a "proportionate" level of aggression that would be justified.
Adding to the op-ed page's conservative slant, Jonah Goldberg uses the Russian incursion into Georgia as the jumping-off point for another critique of Barack Obama's fitness for the presidency:
The invasion of Georgia elicited a wan written communique instead of the sort of exciting rhetoric we've come to expect from his make-believe presidency. But he did make it in front of the cameras the next day for a rally celebrating his vacation in Hawaii. He promised "to go body surfing at some undisclosed location."
The editorial board also calls for the Bush Administration to release Guantanamo detainee Salim Ahmed Hamdan at the completion of his sentence in January, rather than returning him to indefinite detention. In case you've lost track, Hamdan -- the former Osama bin Laden driver who was recently convicted by a U.S. military jury of providing material support for terrorism -- was sentenced last week to 66 months in prison, with credit for the 61 months already spent behind bars. And the board discusses what "catharsis" might mean to frustrated supporters of Hillary Clinton's failed presidential bid.
The illustration of Russian tanks rolling through the Georgian flag is by the Times' Wes Bausmith.