McCain, though, went with his instinct and with a sense of moral clarity that seems to have been borne out by Russia’s widening campaign. ~Ben Smith

So now McCain is trying to claim that he foresaw what Russia is currently doing in Georgia, when the only reason McCain “knew” what Russia would do is that he always assumes that Russians have the very worst motives and goals and then declares himself prescient when Russia does something objectionable.  At least Smith’s use of the word instinct is correct–McCain is viscerally opposed to Russia, and so instinctively lurches to whatever the anti-Russian position is on any given issue.  The video Smith digs up includes (the videos are being circulated by McCain aides) shows how fanatically anti-Russian McCain has been for at least the last decade and includes one of the many Shevardnadze references that McCain made during the 1999-2000 campaign.  Before he was the corrupt, dictatorial ruler who had to go (to make way for the reckless despotic one), Shevardnadze was, in McCain’s estimation, “one of the great men in the history of the world.”  Seriously. 

In the clip McCain imagines that the Second Chechen War was part of an agenda of reconquest aimed at former Soviet states, despite the rather important detail that Chechnya was within Russia’s borders all along and the war involved the suppression of a separatist movement that employed terrorist tactics.  By all means, let’s track down every pro-Chechen and pro-Shevardnadze thing McCain has ever said and look over his record on Russia very carefully.  Let’s remember how supportive of the Chechens he and those around him were, and how many excuses they used to make for anti-Russian terrorism.  That will, or should, scare enough people that it might finally start to undermine the media’s acceptance that he has foreign policy expertise, and it should draw a good, useful contrast between the two candidates by showing one of them to be possessed of a strange hatred for Russia that ensures that all of his policy proposals concerning Russia are hostile and dangerous.