The irony is that, beneath that overweening campaign to contain Russian belligerence, American officials are still seething at Saakashvili. His impulsive and militarily foolhardy attack on the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 8 opened the way for Putin's aggression. True, provocations by Russian-controlled Ossetian militias preceded the Georgian move, and Russian troops' subsequent takeover of much of Georgia was clearly planned and prepared well in advance. But the mercurial Saakashvili disregarded direct American warnings that he not fall into Putin's trap. He embarrassed his staunchest defenders in Washington and plunged both his country and the United States into what has been a costly -- and so far losing -- battle.