Let’s not forget that recent fossil fuel prices have boosted Russia’s power considerably, and without any of the messy work required to empower an independent judiciary or build democratic institutions. Let’s also not forget that Georgia houses two large oil pipelines.

If John McCain really wants to constrain Russia, he’ll help lead America and the rest of the developed world to a post-fossil-fuel energy system, ASAP. That will accomplish a hell of a lot more than chest-thumping (and offshore drilling).