Colin Powell Says Georgia Provoked Russian Crisis, Hints McCain's Response Was Hasty, Reckless

On CNN Sunday, former Secretary of State Colin Powell offered some "straight-talk" on the Georgia/Russia conflict, and not-so-subtly insinuated that McCain's rather belligerent response was careless and unnecessarily provocative.

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POWELL: And I think it was foolhardy on the part of President Saakashvili and the Georgian government to kick over this can, to light a match in a roomful of gas fumes.

SESNO: So you're saying the Georgians provoked this?

POWELL: They did. I mean, there was a lot of reasons to have provocations in the area, but the match that started the conflagration was from the Georgian side.

AMANPOUR: And yet...

POWELL: And that's a given.

AMANPOUR: And some debate in the presidential elections has basically been, "We are all Georgians now." What does that mean? It's the same as was said after 9/11.

POWELL: One candidate said that, and I'll let the candidate explain it for himself. [...] You have to be very careful in a situation like this not just to leap to one side or the other until you've taken a good analysis of the whole situation.

If I were a betting man, I would wager that Powell will throw his support behind Obama. Powell is rightfully criticized for pushing the administration's bogus case for war with Iraq, but there's no denying he is a respected voice of foreign affairs. The message an Obama endorsement would send would be a huge blow to McCain.


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