Georgia Gets Its War On… McCain Gets His Brain Plaque… By Mark Ames
"The invasion was backed up by a PR offensive so layered and sophisticated that I even got an hysterical call today from a hedge fund manager in New York, screaming about an 'investor call' that Georgian Prime Minister Lado Gurgenidze made this morning with some fifty leading Western investment bank managers and analysts. I’ve since seen a J.P. Morgan summary of the conference call, which pretty much reflects the talking points later picked up by the US media.
These kinds of conference calls are generally conducted by the heads of companies in order to give banking analysts guidance. But as the hedge fund manager told me today, 'The reason Lado did this is because he knew the enormous PR value that Georgia would gain by going to the money people and analysts, particularly since Georgia is clearly the aggressor this time.' As a former investment banker who worked in London and who used to head the Bank of Georgia, Gurgenidze knew what he was doing. 'Lado is a former banker himself, so he knew that by framing the conflict for the most influential bankers and analysts in New York, that these power bankers would then write up reports and go on CNBC and argue Lado Gurgenidze’s talking points. It was brilliant, and now you’re starting to see the American media shift its coverage from calling it Georgia invading Ossetian territory, to the new spin, that it’s Russian imperial aggression against tiny little Georgia.'
The really scary thing about this investor conference call is that it suggests real planning. As the hedge fund manager told me, 'These things aren’t set up on an hour’s notice.' Where this war is leading is impossible to say, but as Iraq and Afghanistan, not to mention Chechnya, have shown, wars have a funny way of lasting longer, costing more in money and lives, and snuffing out whatever individual liberties the affected populations may have. As good as this war is for Saakashvili, who has become increasingly unpopular at home and abroad, or for McCain, whose poll numbers seem to rise every time the plaque devours another lobe of his brain, it also bodes well for the resurgent Prime Minister Putin, who seems to have become increasingly peeved with his hand-picked successor, President Dmitry Medvedev’s flickering independence and his liberalizer shtick. There’s nothing like a good war to snuff out an uppity sois-disant liberal who’s getting in your way–even McCain, frozen in an antiperspirant-induced fog, can still grasp this basic reptilian concept."