``Cheney's mission is to stiffen the spine'' of the countries' leaders, said Mark Parris, a former U.S. ambassador to Turkey who also served as a diplomat in Moscow. ``They'll want to know U.S. plans, and what's available, to ensure that Russia isn't able to throw its weight around more broadly in the region.''
"Stiffen the spine"??
With, precisely, what?!?
Russia's leadership (chess players, most of them) are quietly arranging for deals to transport oil and natural gas outside the sphere of western influence.
Forgive me, but such moves seem far more sane than invading and occupying foreign countries for their oil or oil routes, and killing millions of foreign nationals not to mention the thousands of US troops killed or maimed in these efforts.
Unless Cheney promises - and then can deliver - massive deliveries of troops (which we don't have) or materials (when Putin has stated that the rearming of Georgia will be considered an act of war), Cheney's raising on a busted flush!