thats pretty much the case Jack.
a lot of tough talk from McCain and Nato but really if anything this is more likely to lead to a breakup or weakening of Nato. Old Europe isnt so keen to do much against Russia, as they know they will freeze in the dark come winter. And they arent willing to go to war over a former soviet enclave.. Bush tried to buildup up Georgia as an ally, right in the Russian backyard, but when Sakashvili attacked Ossetia and the Russians hit back hard, it backfired. The Georgians feel betrayed - but the US certainly wasnt willing to escalate it.
and from the standpoint of Russian the west set the precedent with Kosovo. Basically there is no UN framework to break up a part of a country against its will - even though a part of its population might want to secede. Once that happened Russia said at the time it was going to back the same thing in Abkhazia and Ossetia.