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Wagging the dog in Georgia

August 20, 2008

Re "Who got Georgia into this?," Opinion, Aug. 14

Rosa Brooks' excellent column points out the connection between Randy Scheunemann, John McCain's foreign policy advisor, and the current hostilities between Russia and Georgia. Scheunemann's lobbying firm is being paid handsomely by Georgia, which obviously expected the U.S. to rescue it when it picked a fight with Russia.

I see another, more sinister connection. The U.S. has nothing to gain in Georgia. Our cozying up to Georgia, and McCain's supporting their claim to South Ossetia, are only aimed at provoking Russia. The U.S. is being drawn into a local tiff on the other side of the world to further McCain's presidential ambitions. McCain hopes the public will see him as the next wartime president.

We should worry that this lame-duck administration will see a political advantage in pushing us into a local argument. This affair has the odor of another Iraq.

Robert Feinstein

West Hills

Bravo to Brooks for her probing column on Scheunemann and his ties to the McCain campaign and the Georgian government.

I also read the little item on this unsavory alliance buried on Page A18. As a voter, I count on the media to report such conflicts of interest, to document the presence and the effect lobbyists are having on our elections, our nation and the world.

I hope The Times is planning a full expose of this tangled web, catching the leading players with their pants down. This story belongs on Page 1 in the very near future -- before these leaders have a chance to drag us into even more trouble.

Ellen Switkes

Sherman Oaks

Is there anything bad that has happened in the world in the last century that Brooks doesn't blame on the United States -- and particularly the Republican Party, with special emphasis on George Bush?

I haven't done the research, but I feel confident that she blames the U.S. for the Soviet invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan and probably the downing of Korean Air Lines Flight 007 too.

Kevin Shepherd

Corona del Mar

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