McCain Says US Must Check Russian Aggression

'Today we are all Georgians', he writes
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 14, 2008 10:36 AM CDT
Russian President Dmitry Medvedev meets leader of South Ossetia's government, Eduard Kokoity, right, and Abkhazia's President Sergei Bagapsh, left, in Moscow's Kremlin on Thursday, Aug. 14, 2008.    (AP Photo/ RIA Novosti, Dmitry Astakhov, Presidential Press Service)
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(Newser) – The US and its allies must aggressively pressure Russia to take its troops out of Georgia including the breakaway province of South Ossetia, declares John McCain in the Wall Street Journal. "This small democracy, far away from our shores, is an inspiration to all those who cherish our deepest ideals," the candidate writes.  "As I told President Saakashvili on the day the ceasefire was declared, today we are all Georgians."

McCain charges that Russian aims extend beyond South Ossetia: "the Russian government stated that it was acting only to protect Ossetians. Yet regime change in Georgia appears to be the true Russian objective." He warns of the "price of allowing aggression against free nations to go unchecked," and advocates speeding NATO membership for both Georgia and Ukraine.