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Secretary Clinton Talks Tough on Russia

4:15 PM, Jul 7, 2010 • By JOHN NOONAN
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"Baited or provoked" into any actions that would encourage future aggression? That's a strange logic, odd to the point where it almost sounds as if Clinton is blaming the Georgians for being invaded. 

It's wholly understandable that America's chief diplomat has to be diplomatic. Georgia is a sensitive issue and, as such, engaging Tbilisi does require a certain degree of caution. The problem here isn't necessarily what Clinton said publicly, but what she's failing to accomplish behind the lace curtain niceties of an official State Department visit. The fact is, Georgia is fighting shoulder to shoulder with the United States in Afghanistan, and--like any important ally--has a legitimate expectation that they'll receive some political and international top cover when Russia tightens the screws. To date, we've left them empty handed. 

So while parts of Clinton's speech were praiseworthy, a few lofty statements about U.S.-Georgia friendship shouldn't be allowed to mask President Obama's serious--and potentially dangerous--foreign policy shortcomings.

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