Also, the days in our view, and this is what we want to make sure our Russian
colleagues understand, that the days of overthrowing leaders by military means
in Europe, those days are gone.
Really?! You'd have to ignore two big things to believe him: (1) Ossetia and Georgia are technically in Asia, no matter how pale Georgians might be, and (2) all of recorded history indicates otherwise.
The EU might arguably have changed the paradigm in Europe. While the EU has no military, its effect of intertwining economies likely prevents armed conflict by its members. Of course, the EU is only about a decade old; more importantly, Georgia isn't part of it, and the EU has neither the motive or the ability to reach out to save it. Remember NATO? That's a shell now.
Second, since when is strife in the region 'gone'? What about Bosnia? The Kurds in Turkey (which is actively applying for EU membership, thank you very much)? The Basque separatists? Chechnya? This isn't exactly the Pax Romana.
Third, the U.S. is in no position to stop the Russians. Thank you W.
Fourth, I am not sure what the U.S. stands to gain from stopping Russia. The former Bear has long shown hints of bringing the Iron Curtain out of storage, re-covering both free speech and areas of former Soviet Union. The U.S. has stayed mum on the topic for a while. The contested areas of Georgia don't seem to contain anything we want, so why make a stink?
* I guess we are making progress. When Bolton was U.S. representative in the U.N., Khalilzad was likely doing little more than going from one extra airport screening to the next.