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Fox News accidentally lets family tell the truth about South Ossetia. News Team

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John McCain adviser received over a quarter million from Georgian government! – LA Times.

So where did the Georgians get the silly idea that the U.S. would bail them out?

Maybe from John McCain, Republican heir apparent, whose top foreign policy advisor, Randy Scheunemann, also just happens to be a highly paid lobbyist for the Georgian government. Whoops — correction! Scheunemann usedto be a highly paid lobbyist for Georgia. The McCain campaign says Scheunemann hasn’t taken a dime from the Georgians since May 15. (Which is lucky for the Georgians, who are going to need all the spare cash they can get to rebuild all the stuff the Russians just bombed.)

According to the Washington Post, the relationship between Scheunemann and Georgia used to be very cozy (not to mention lucrative for Scheunemann). Between Jan. 1, 2007, and May 15, 2008, while Scheunemann was also a paid McCain advisor, “Georgia paid his firm $290,000 in lobbying fees.”

And what did Georgia get in return? Well, no troops, that’s for sure. But they got Scheunemann’s (expensive) pledge to garner U.S. support for Georgia’s admission to NATO and for its claims to South Ossetia, and his commitment to use his ties to politicians such as McCain to advance Georgia’s causes. McCain has sponsored legislation supporting Georgia’s claims over South Ossetia, an issue on which he was lobbied by Scheunemann’s firm. And as recently as mid-April, Scheunemann was simultaneously taking money from Georgia and actively preparing McCain for supportive calls with Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili.

Is it any wonder that Saakashvili concluded that he had the backing of the U.S. Republican power structure when it came to South Ossetia?

Israel’s folly. The Israeli role in arming Georgia could be Israel’s second major foreign policy blunder in a row since the short lived invasion of Lebanon two years ago. Many Israelis are demanding to know why Israel risked making enemies with Russia at a time when Israel is threatening to bomb Iran. According to news reports 1,000 Israelis are commissioned as trainers and advisers to the Georgian military. Israel sold Georgia advanced electronics to upgrade their air force. Israel halted the sale of some weapons systems when the Georgian military launched a surprise attack on South Ossetia and Russian peacekeepers.

From Asia Times…

Israel’s immediate concern is that Russia will proceed with the sale of the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, which would help it defend its nuclear installations from aerial attack. Israel, like the US, believes that Iran’s nuclear program is aimed at developing a bomb, and Israeli leaders have refused to rule out the possibility of a pre-emptive strike aimed at derailing Iran’s nuclear aspirations.

Israel recently conducted a major aerial exercise over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece that was widely viewed as a rehearsal for a possible strike against Iran’s nuclear installations. But with the US and Europe resorting to diplomatic pressure in the form of sanctions to deter Iran, Israel is loathe to anger Russia, which until now has opposed harsher sanctions on Tehran.

Israel’s relations with Georgia have been close, partly because there is a large Georgian Jewish community in Israel. In recent years, ties have also taken on a military dimension, with military industries in Israel supplying Georgia with some US$200 million worth of equipment since 2000. This has included remotely piloted planes, rockets, night-vision equipment, other electronic systems and training by former senior Israeli officers.

“Israel should be proud of its military, which trained Georgian soldiers,” Georgian Minister Temur Yakobashvili told Israel’s Army Radio in Hebrew shortly after the fighting erupted.

The United States is the largest supplier of armaments to Georgia. Money taken from the American taxpayers is subsidizing arms for the Georgian military. It is reported in the international media that the US may have had military advisers in Georgia when the attack began.