|The conventional wisdom about the Russo-Georgian conflict has been blown to smithereens|
The Obama-oids aren't talking too much about foreign policy these days, although that was their candidate's ticket to the White House. Iraq was the winning issue that gave Obama's primary campaign the oomph it needed to oust the putative front-runner from her perch as the anointed one, but it fails to evoke the interest it once did on account of the rapid deterioration of the economy. It doesn't matter that the costs of the Iraq and Afghan wars amount to at least three more bank bailouts – and you can throw in what's left of the American auto industry for good measure.
For all the focus on domestic politics and economics, the rest of the world has a way of intruding without much regard for our schedule or context. The announcement of Obama's victory was still reverberating globally, amid a chorus of media-hyped hosannas, when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev made a speech in which Obama was not so much as alluded to: instead, the stern-faced successor to Vladimir Putin delivered a tongue-lashing in which he described the global financial crisis as having started as "a local extraordinary event in the U.S. markets," the result of "erroneous, egotistical, and sometimes even dangerous decisions by some members of the global community," i.e., the West. This was prefaced by a declaration that "to neutralize – if necessary – the anti-missile system, an Iskander missile system will be deployed in the Kaliningrad region. Naturally, we also consider using for the same purpose the resources of Russia's navy."
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