In almost every liberal analysis of the Georgian fiasco, there appears that qualifier BUT, usually in the context of something like “of course, what Russia did was inexcusable, BUT…”
Then follows the expected (fill in the blanks):
a) moral equivalence: BUT we invaded Iraq [attacking a dictatorship and fostering democracy is the same as attacking democracy to foster dictatorship];
b) Those neocons: BUT once again those neocons are looking for new dragons to slay in their quest for perennial war [encouraging Georgian democracy is of course bad];
c) Bush Derangement Syndrome; BUT once again Bush’s strutting got us into another jam abroad [Bush is both responsible for courting Putin and unnecessarily offending him].