The new issue of World Affairs includes a symposium on the American election as seen from abroad. And guess where the first entry comes from? That’s right–Raphael Glucksmann gushes from Tbilisi, where John McCain is very popular indeed, at least among the cronies of President Mikheil Saakashvili:
I headed back to my hotel where an adviser to Saakashvili confided: ‘It’s incredible, one after another, our friends have turned their backs on us–but John McCain has managed almost single-handedly to be the one to boost our morale. It’s as if he has put his presidential campaign on hold to support us. By doing this , he is already influencing the course of events, even before assuming the presidency.’
Apparently, “what disturbs some people about this survivor of Vietnam’s prison camps is precisely what appeals to Georgians … McCain shares their fear and the certainty of a coming conflagration” (emphasis added). Indeed, Glucksmann can hardly contain his enthusiasm for the next war (and the next, and the one after that): “In a chaotic and Hobbesian world, we ought not try to reconcile the irreconcilable, but instead take up and confront these immense dangers, which might soon threaten us as concretely as they have the Georgians or the other fiends we abandon so quickly.”
McCain has said he thinks of himself–and the rest of us–as Georgian. Mikheil Saakashvili’s invasion of South Ossetia suggests a certain affinity for the Bush doctrine, of which McCain is so avid a champion. And McCain’s chief foreign-policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, already has experience working for Georgia. So how about it? A certain Arizona senator might be looking for a new line of work after Nov. 4, and there could be an opening for Mr. Saakashvili’s position before too long. It’s a perfect match: McCain for president of Georgia.