Of course, this being the NYT, there is the obligatory bleeding craven Russian cat's paw, in this case a victim of academicide named Steel, who argues that we should not treat Putin like the previous czars, dictators, and authorized terrorists [poison was Stalin's and remains Putin's chief agent of terror].
And David Remnick has a bleating warning not to regard Georgia, a democratic state like Czechoslovakia, as a test case for Bush's democracy/politics just because Neville C famously waved what Hitler called "a scrap of paper" proclaiming "peace in our time."
But Montefiori has a more measured response than the BDS reflexive surrender of the Left Coasts:
If we are returning to cold war, the Berlin Crisis is the most useful precedent. Stalin tested the West in Berlin 1948 much as Mr. Putin is doing in Georgia today. Once again, in Georgia the daunting challenge for America is to maintain and restore a fragile entity, to defend a line, without going to war. Beleaguered Georgia will need American resolve, ingenuity and daring equal to that of the Berlin Airlift if it is to be restored.
Montefiori goes on to detail just how Putin thinks [he has Stalin's entire annotated personal library in his personal Kremlin office & shows off Djugashvili's handwriting in the volumes to all visitors who read Russian.]
Thank God for Ronald Reagan, who had the guts and the courage of his convictions. The B-List Repubs may be able to hold the line, but the intramural amateurs on the Dumbo-rat team, led by an Obambi/Biden pair of senatorial chumps, would destroy NATO & probably pull up the rug outside the USA----in response to those NAFTA-hating unions.