Bush Doctrine Enabled Putin's Georgia War

Iraq action opened Pandora's box of unilateralism
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 1:48 PM CDT
Smoke from burning houses is seen as a Russian armored vehicle passes by the village of Kikhva, in the breakaway province of South Ossetia, Georgia, Wednesday, Aug. 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Dmitry Lovetsky)
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(Newser) – President Bush's "howls of outrage" at Russia's unilateral action and calls for regime change in the Caucasus ring more than a little hollow to Juan Cole of Salon, who remembers all too well a similar situation not long ago. "Vladimir Putin's invoking Bush's Iraq adventure points directly to the way in which Bush has enabled other world powers to act impulsively," Cole writes.

The Bush administration's defiance of international law was "implicitly predicated on the notion that all challengers would be weaker than the United States throughout the 21st century," Cole writes. With Russia and China in the ascendancy, he contends, Bush and Dick Cheney are "getting a glimpse of a multipolar world in which other powers can adopt their modus operandi with impunity."