A Signal of What to Expect
McCain came right out and said that the Russian invasion of Georgia would have "significant consequences" for Russia. Short of actually bombing Russia into the past, there isn't much that the United States can do militarily. McCain knows that, both from a military and from a congressional viewpoint. He also knows that there are indirect ways to curb Russia short of all-out war. He knows how to push, and where to push. There ARE a few things - military things - that can be done, but those are best left unmentioned - either in this blog or from the lips of either contender. John McCain knows that. I doubt Barrack Obama could even come up with the same kind of ideas.
Barrack Obama has done what he does best - talk. Not only has he talked, he's pushed for a solution that is based strictly on talking. Diplomats encourage matters be handled by talks, because that's all they know or understand. Talk by itself is worthless: it requires some form of power behind the talk to ensure that talks happen, and that they achieve some results. Somehow, Obama believes that if we all get together and talk the issue out, things will be peachy keen. Neville Chamberlain tried that with Adolph Hitler. We all know how THAT turned out. On the other hand, John Kennedy used both diplomacy and military force, called Russia's bluff in 1962 over missiles in Cuba, and Russia backed down.
I'll still have to wait and see what happens, but I doubt that any amount of rhetoric will cause Russia to pull out of Georgia. Russia MUST be made to pay for their blatant aggression, but there are more ways to achieve that than military confrontation. It's going to have to take a serious counter-threat - such as the banning of all Russian-made products in Europe and the United States, ejecting Russia from the Group of 8 (and maybe replacing them with India?), or some equally effective economic and/or political activity - to get Russia to back down. Without the ability to confront Russia militarily, collateral action is all that's possible, but it still can cause the Bear to feel some severe pain.