Who is Randy Scheunemann?
He is the principal foreign policy adviser to John McCain and potential successor to Henry Kissinger and Zbigniew Brzezinski as national security adviser to the president of the United States.
But Randy Scheunemann has another identity, another role.
He is a dual loyalist, a foreign agent whose assignment is to get America committed to spilling the blood of her sons for client regimes who have made this moral mercenary a rich man.
From January 2007 to March 2008, the McCain campaign paid Scheunemann $70,000 — pocket change compared to the $290,000 his Orion Strategies banked in those same 15 months from the Georgian regime of Mikheil Saakashvili.
What were Mikheil’s marching orders to Tbilisi’s man in Washington? Get Georgia a NATO war guarantee. Get America committed to fight Russia, if necessary, on behalf of Georgia.
Scheunemann came close to succeeding.
Had he done so, U.S. soldiers and Marines from Idaho and West Virginia would be killing Russians in the Caucasus, and dying to protect Scheunemann’s client, who launched this idiotic war the night of Aug. 7. That people like Scheunemann hire themselves out to put American lives on the line for their clients is a classic corruption of American democracy.
U.S. backing for his campaign to retrieve his lost provinces is what Saakashvili paid Scheunemann to produce. But why should Americans fight Russians to force 70,000 South Ossetians back into the custody of a regime they detest? Why not let the South Ossetians decide their own future in free elections?
Not only is the folly of the Bush interventionist policy on display in the Caucasus, so, too, is its manifest incoherence.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates says we have sought for 45 years to stay out of a shooting war with Russia and we are not going to get into one now. President Bush assured us there will be no U.S. military response to the Russian move into Georgia.
That is a recognition of, and a bowing to, reality — namely, that Russia’s control of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and occupation of a strip of Georgia cannot be a casus belli for the United States. We may deplore it, but it cannot justify war with Russia.
If that be true, and it transparently is, what are McCain, Barack Obama, Bush, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel doing committing the United States and Germany to bringing Georgia into NATO? For that would commit us to war for a cause we have already conceded, by our paralysis, does not justify a war.
Not only did Scheunemann’s two-man lobbying firm receive $730,000 since 2001 to get Georgia a NATO war guarantee, he was paid by Romania and Latvia to do the same. And he succeeded.
Latvia, a tiny Baltic republic annexed by Joseph Stalin in June 1940 during his pact with Adolf Hitler, was set free at the end of the Cold War. Yet hundreds of thousands of Russians had been moved into Latvia by Stalin, and as Riga served as a base of the Baltic Sea fleet, many Russian naval officers retired there.
The children and grandchildren of these Russians are Latvian citizens. They are a cause of constant tension with ethnic Letts and of strife with Moscow, which has assumed the role of protector of Russians left behind in the “near abroad” when the Soviet Union broke apart.
Thanks to the lobbying of Scheunemann and friends, Latvia has been brought into NATO and given a U.S. war guarantee. If Russia intervenes to halt some nasty ethnic violence in Riga, the United States is committed to come in and drive the Russians out.
This is the situation in which the interventionists have placed our country: committed to go to war for countries and causes that do not justify war, against a Russia that is re-emerging as a great power only to find NATO squatting on her doorstep.
Scheunemann’s rsum as a War Party apparatchik is lengthy. He signed the PNAC (Project for the New American Century) letter to President Clinton urging war on Iraq, four years before 9-11. He signed the PNAC ultimatum to Bush, nine days after 9-11, threatening him with political reprisal if he did not go to war against Iraq. He was executive director of the “Committee for the Liberation of Iraq,” a propaganda front for Ahmad Chalabi and his pack of liars who deceived us into war.
Now Scheunemann is the neocon agent in place in McCain’s camp.
The neocons got their war with Iraq. They are pushing for war on Iran. And they are now baiting the Russian Bear.
Is this what McCain has on offer? Endless war?
Why would McCain seek foreign policy counsel from the same discredited crowd that has all but destroyed the presidency of George Bush?
“Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence … a free people ought to be constantly awake,” Washington warned in his Farewell Address. Our Founding Father was warning against the Randy Scheunemanns among us, agents hired by foreign powers to deceive Americans into fighting their wars. And none dare call it treason.
Patrick J. Buchanan [send him mail] is co-founder and editor of The American Conservative. He is also the author of seven books, including Where the Right Went Wrong, and A Republic Not An Empire. His latest book is Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War.