The Daily Kos has the story from 2014/03/01, Sarah Palin, Wall Street Journal rewrite history of Russia-Georgia war.
After 9/11, however, President Bush changed the policy toward Georgia, introducing two elements that developed into serious strategic disadvantages. Mr. Bush not only made Georgia into a partner in the “war on terror,” but he promoted Mr. Saakashvili and Georgia into a centerpiece of his “promotion of democracy.” In Tbilisi in 2005, Mr. Bush proclaimed Mr. Saakashvili’s Georgia “a beacon of liberty.”
Even as President Bush became increasingly aware that he needed the Kremlin’s help in Iran and for other American interests, he was kept a prisoner by this exaggeration of Georgia’s importance for U.S. foreign policy.
Senior officials of the Bush administration claim they warned Mr. Saakashvili against using force against Russia. But having invested so much ideological importance in the Georgian president, Mr. Bush couldn’t warn him publicly — or, as it turned out, stop him. Having become so dependent on Mr. Saakashvili’s success, the United States lost the political influence to stop him.
As Wikileaks revealed in December 2010, the U.S. position was made worse by the fact that the Bush administration–and its allies like John McCain–gullibly believed everything Saakashvili told them. The leaked cables from Tblisi, the New York Times explained, “display some of the perils of a close relationship”:
A 2008 batch of American cables from another country once in the cold war’s grip — Georgia — showed a much different sort of access. In Tbilisi, Georgia’s capital, American officials had all but constant contact and an open door to President Mikheil Saakashvili and his young and militarily inexperienced advisers, who hoped the United States would help Georgia shake off its Soviet past and stand up to Russia’s regional influence…
The cables show that for several years, as Georgia entered an escalating contest with the Kremlin for the future of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two breakaway enclaves out of Georgian control that received Russian support, Washington relied heavily on the Saakashvili government’s accounts of its own behavior. In neighboring countries, American diplomats often maintained their professional distance, and privately detailed their misgivings of their host governments. In Georgia, diplomats appeared to set aside skepticism and embrace Georgian versions of important and disputed events.
By 2008, as the region slipped toward war, sources outside the Georgian government were played down or not included in important cables. Official Georgian versions of events were passed to Washington largely unchallenged.
The last cables before the eruption of the brief Russian-Georgian war showed an embassy relaying statements that would with time be proved wrong.
Proved wrong, that is, just like John McCain and Sarah Palin.
The connection between the incident in Georgia and the Ukraine seems to be the common thread of former member countries of the USSR trying to entice the USA into supporting them in their disagreements with Russia. Our problem seems to be our belief that we must solve all problems in the world, even ones that are so complicated it is hard to judge who is more right and who is more wrong. Of course, when oil and US political ideology get mixed in, it is hard to figure out what our own motives are.
When we get involved, we seem to encourage foolish actions on the part of our allies that they would not have the courage to undertake if we weren’t there.