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When the Irish Times didn't publish my initial draft, I sent a longer version substantiating my contention that Randy Sheeunemann played a key role in encouraging Georgia to invade South Ossetia by reference to an absolutely scathing article by Pat Buchanan which is well worth reading and also referenced by ARGeezer.

The additional paragraphs (not published) which I inserted read as follows:


Well, if he doesn't believe me, perhaps he will believe Pat Buchanan, doyen of US conservatives since Ronald Reagan, who has accused Randy Sheeunemann of Treason  and written that Sheeunemann " is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man".  ..Not only did Scheunemann's two-man lobbying firm receive $730,000 since 2001 to get Georgia a NATO war guarantee, he was paid by Romania and Latvia to do the same. And he succeeded"

Scheunemann also came close to succeeding with Georgia. "Had he done so, U.S. soldiers and Marines from Idaho and West Virginia would be killing Russians in the Caucasus, and dying to protect Scheunemann's client, who launched this idiotic war the night of Aug. 7. That people like Scheunemann hire themselves out to put American lives on the line for their clients is a classic corruption of American democracy. " Pat Buchanan - Yahoo news, 22 August



Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 24th, 2008 at 09:23:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A fuller quote reads as follows:

And None Dare Call It Treason - Yahoo! News

Who is Randy Scheunemann?  

He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States.

But Randy Scheunemann has another identity, another role.

He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man.

From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 -- pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili.

What were Mikheil's marching orders to Tbilisi's man in Washington? Get Georgia a NATO war guarantee. Get America committed to fight Russia, if necessary, on behalf of Georgia.

Scheunemann came close to succeeding.

Had he done so, U.S. soldiers and Marines from Idaho and West Virginia would be killing Russians in the Caucasus, and dying to protect Scheunemann's client, who launched this idiotic war the night of Aug. 7. That people like Scheunemann hire themselves out to put American lives on the line for their clients is a classic corruption of American democracy.

U.S. backing for his campaign to retrieve his lost provinces is what Saakashvili paid Scheunemann to produce. But why should Americans fight Russians to force 70,000 South Ossetians back into the custody of a regime they detest? Why not let the South Ossetians decide their own future in free elections?

Not only is the folly of the Bush interventionist policy on display in the Caucasus, so, too, is its manifest incoherence.



Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Aug 24th, 2008 at 09:31:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Problem is that Buchanan doesn't have much credibility, like a great many of the paleocons he's pretty openly racist.
by MarekNYC on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 02:29:39 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No credibility to people in the reality-based community, certainly. No credibility to the letter's target audience? I'm not so sure.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 02:52:21 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I quote Pat Buchanan because:

  1. Of all the articles on Scheunemann that I have read, his is the most scathing

  2.  It is precisely because his politics is so far removed from the progressive/reality based community that makes his scathing critique of McCain and his advisor so interesting.  Had it been written by a "progressive", it would just have been par for the course, if rather more outspoken than usual.

  3. Obama and the progressive left seem to have given McCain a pass on this one.  I find the lack of moral outrage astonishing.

  4.  Discredited in the US or no, he is one of the few conservatives in the US who is well enough known this side of the pond to ring a few bells.  Given my credibility on this issue was called into question in both the Irish Times, and Irish Independent, it seriously undermines charges that I am pro-Russian if someone like Buchanan is making the same or similar argument.

  5.  I fund it interesting that many of the older conservatives (non-neo) seem to be moving to Obama.


Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 07:01:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Well, given that Buchanan is so isolationist that he believes that we shouldn't have fought Nazi Germany, I'm not sure how much credibility we're talking about.
by MarekNYC on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 12:19:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I obviously don't agree with Buchanan on Nazi Germany, but right now, a little more isolationist influence in the USA would be quite welcome - given that US interventions abroad under Cheney/Bush have been almost wholly negative.

Vote McCain for war without gain
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 12:59:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Actually Buchanan was on the McLaughlin Group this week emphasizing the need for cooperation, not isolations, between Russia and the US.  I really don't see any truth in the assertion that Buchanan has no credibilty on this issue.  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 01:05:34 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Are you suggesting his argument is racially motivated?  

"Pretending that you already know the answer when you don't is not actually very helpful." ~Migeru.
by poemless on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 01:10:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Quite possibly - not necessarily this specific one, but his general stance on the neocons. White supremacists with a history of loving human rights violating US allies who get all exercised about Israel's human rights violations and the neocons... well let's just say I'm a bit suspicious.
by MarekNYC on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 02:12:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's both interesting and informative. However, the target audience of the LTE cannot be expected to know this. I doubt that most Europeans could tell the difference between Buchanan's brand of US wingnuttery and the Bush/Cheney line.

My own first association when I hear the name is "just another fundagelical" - if I didn't know better, I'd mark him down as being in Bush/Cheney's camp. And judging by what gets published plagiarised in the Danish press, that's probably the reaction of most Danes...

My guess would be that it doesn't make much difference that Buchannan is not an authority on the matter: Anybody in the target audience who's sufficiently well informed about US politics to recognise the difference between Cheney and Buchannan would probably recognise that argument from authority isn't a valid way of arguing in the first place. So bothering to dig out a bona fide authority is a waste of time.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 02:51:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not living in America, and not bing close to US domestic politics, I obviously can't speak to Buchanan's current level of influence or credibility, or even where he is coming from politically, except insofar as it is from some very conservative place.

However his criticisms of Scheunemann seemed to me to be consistent with the realist school of international relations - that Nations should act in their own self-interest - and that Scheunemann's activities were tantamount to Treason because they were encouraging the US to put its lives and treasure at risk in the interests of a rather rash regime in Georgia, which arguably has no great democratic legitimacy even in Georgia, and certainly no great claim the American loyalty except perhaps on the basis of the "the enemy of my enemy is my friend".

It has been characteristic of the neo-con project that the US Government has been suborned to act in the interests of a small commercial/political/industrial and military elite - and not in the interests of the US as a whole.  Surely, in that context, a return to real politique is an improvement?

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Aug 25th, 2008 at 02:01:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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