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Stumping the War at the DNC

Medvedev probably couldn’t have picked a better day to bury the news of Russia’s recognition of Georgia’s breakaway territories, as the American media begins its long and often disappointingly selfish journey into solipsism with the elections season as the Democratic National Convention kicked off in Denver this week. However, like every other issue imaginable, the war lobbyists are busy on the sidelines attempting to convince the party to shape its line on the Russia-Georgia issue. An interesting bit on the “shadow struggle” from veteran correspondent Peter Baker in the New York Times: dnc082608.jpg

The shadow struggle in Denver got under way with envoys from both Georgia and Russia seeking out influential players. “It is important for us to meet the key politicians in this country to make sure they have the right sense of what’s happening in our country and the right sense of what happened,” David Bakradze, the chairman of the Georgian Parliament and a former foreign minister, said by telephone from Denver. Among those Mr. Bakradze and his compatriots met with on Monday were Madeleine K. Albright, former secretary of state; Richard C. Holbrooke, former ambassador to the United Nations; and Susan E. Rice, senior foreign policy adviser to Mr. Obama. (A session with Howard Dean, the party chairman, was postponed.) In all their discussions, the Georgians argued for bipartisan firmness against Moscow. “It’s not about Georgia,” Mr. Bakradze said. “It’s a much higher risk at stake. It’s about Russia forcefully changing the borders of the post-Soviet space.”

Photo: a Convention attendee enjoys a hot dog, and is likely not concentrating on war in the Caucasus (Photo credit: Rick Wilking/Reuters, source).