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Stick to facts in Georgia debate

Emmet Dunphy (Letters, August 19) accuses me of being "anti-American", and making "ludicrous" and "laughable" claims about the links between the McCain presidential campaign and the South Ossetia invasion -- while not being able to refute any of the facts contained in my letter (August 16).

For the record, I am not anti-American or pro-Russian, but let me note that:

1. My letter drew attention to the documented close personal and financial links between the McCain presidential campaign and the president of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili -- and said nothing, good, bad or indifferent, about the US as whole.

2. My letter said nothing about Mr Putin's intentions, or whether the Russian intervention can be construed as reasonable or opportunistic over-reaction

3. Given that almost all commentators, from all sides, seem to agree that a Russian response to the Georgian attack on South Ossetia was forseeable, if not inevitable, it seems reasonable to ask why Mikheil Saakashvili would engage in such an adventure.

4. Mr Dunphy then claims that I am a beneficiary of the invasion of South Ossetia in that it enables me to spin my "anti-American" agenda and that "concern or solidarity for the ordinary civilians caught up in the conflict are conspicuous only by their absence" in my letter and that I should "cease masquerading" as anti-war.

I would have thought that sympathy for the innocent civilians caught up in this conflict was the obvious primary concern expressed in my letter, together with a fear that their misfortune might have been occasioned, at least in part, by the dynamics of the US presidential campaign.

That is the nub of my letter which Emmet Dunphy dismisses as "ludicrous" and "laughable if they weren't so serious".

Yet he does not challenge any of the facts which I listed in support of my argument.


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