Correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't John McCain, Chuck Hagel, and Colin Powell about the only Republicans (of national standing) of age who actually went to war? You can make fun of Al Gore's Mickey Spillane duty or John Kerry's Swift Boat patrols all you want, but at least they went. There is a difference, and all the pale, feckless attempts to qualify their service by the armchair generals won't change that.
And any of them that did support Vietnam, and found the usual lame excuses not to go, are utterly beneath contempt, and probably know it, deep down inside. They're cowards who were content to let someone else get forced to fight their battles for them, and cowards die a thousand deaths.
Speaking of contemptible douchebags, Pat Buchanan has some interesting historical revisionism for the kids:
Ah. And here I thought that was why we spent 40 years fighting a Cold War, under the constant threat of mutually assured destruction.
By the time Yalta took place, the world was exhausted, and it is ridiculous to presume that FDR and Churchill should have divined Stalin's intent or willingness to subsequently starve tens of millions of Russians. Buchanan doesn't seem to proffer a viable alternative here. Perhaps we should have just kept going until we pushed the Russkies back across the Urals, or at least to Minsk.
These are stupid questions, inaptly framed, perhaps deliberately. Britain didn't "win the war" so much as fight on the side that ultimately won. And the West went to war to stop all the Axis powers, not just Germany. It succeeded in this endeavor, at a tremendous cost. There was simply nothing left with which to turn back the Soviets, and again, hindsight is always 20/20.
In the long run, Western civilization did win the Cold War. Did Yalta give the Soviets an opportunity to rebuild and challenge the West? Sure. It also gave us the chance to do the same, from a better geopolitical position.
Don't worry. Pat is working to his point, slowly, surely, insanely.
Get that? It wasn't "worth it" to destroy Hitler, because he was democratically elected. And the objective of the European campaign most certainly was to eliminate the vicious, aggressive, vile Nazi regime. That Pat even has to ask this question speaks volumes. Yes, stupid, Hitler had to go. He was a pretty bad guy, as you may have heard.
Hitler was already ramping up the Wehrmacht to start encircling Western Europe by the time we got in. Buchanan is asking circular, tautological questions. The only real question here is whether he's too ignorant to realize it, or too venal to care.
FDR -- and subsequently, Truman -- knew they were in for the long haul with containing communism and Soviet expansionism. One could hypothesize that if not for the Cold War, Stalin and Mao would not have starved tens of millions to feed their own war machines and revolutionary expansionism.
One can play these "what if" games forever. The bottom line is that Buchanan's scenarios veer between preposterous and repulsive, and his over-arching contention that a fourth-rate intellect like George W. Bush would have any merit in second-guessing FDR and Churchill sixty years later -- on anything whatsoever -- is utterly ludicrous and self-serving.
The bodaciously talented and propitiously named Lance Mannion has an excellent Oedipal take on all this.
Freedom continues to march in Uzbekistan, uncomfortably, inexorably, toward a confrontation with the vile dictator who runs the place. Chances are there are more Uzbeks than Iraqis involved in anti-US terrorism, as Uzbekistan is considered something of a hotbed of Islamic radicalism.
(Afghan warlord Rashid Dostum, also a murderous scumbag who is known for fun things like skinning people alive, or strapping them to tank treads and driving the tanks forward a foot or so at a time, is an ethnic Uzbek. But he, like Islam Karimov, is working with the big dog, so we leave him be.)
Then again, Karimov considers growing a beard "Islamic radicalism". Uh-oh. Guess I better cross Tashkent off my list of travel destinations.
Pravda takes a break from sniffing Condi Rice's unmentionables and actually reports something useful. Surely a plague of locusts and a mark of blood on the door of every male Midianite can't be far behind.
So the majority of the jihadists is not Iraqi at all? Well, I suppose the braintrust deserves some credit for so-called "Operation Flypaper" -- the notion that the occupation of Iraq is more likely to send terrorists there than to the US. Fine by me -- the world won't miss these assholes, and it's hard to argue that we're making them crazy. They're crazy to begin with, though the occupation is inciting them to act.
The hardcore jihad brigade supposedly makes up only 10% of the overall insurgency, but accounts for a majority of the suicide bombing attacks. The real problem here is the civilian toll these bastards take -- again, the world is better off without fundamentalists of all stripes, but these fuckers don't care whom they take with them, or whom they behead on camera.
The thing that really gets me is the preponderance of Saudis involved in this shit. Our good buddies, once again. Well, not really -- the House of Saud are our good buddies, but the civilian population is much more conservative and militant, rightly sees their rulers as decadent and corrupt, but unfortunately sees us as the enablers of this decadence and corruption.
The silver lining of rising gas prices is that Americans may finally be seeing the light here -- the demand for the gargantuan fuck-you-mobiles has dropped off to the point where General Motors and Ford are trading at junk-bond status, and GM is going to close either the Buick or Pontiac division by the end of the year. Which is too bad -- thousands of jobs will be lost, and none of the gas-guzzlers were rolling out of Buick or Pontiac.
The demise of the American auto industry should be a cautionary tale for the country at large. Our current rate of consumption is simply unsustainable with finite resources. The free market does not always know best, if it is simply used to exploit and profit from hopelessly self-destructive, short-sighted trends.
Right now we are operating on the principle that we are simply too big to fail; as the #1 economy, we are the engine that drives the rest of the world. But that's right now. This will not always be true. We need to start making hay while the sun is still shining.
Finally, you may recall in our recent deconstruction of Pat Sajak's font of political wisdom, we mentioned the likelihood of a South American power bloc forming that could serve to effectively counter our interests in the region, and indeed thwart our already waning hegemony.
Well, that didn't take long.
Yeah, I'd guess that when they won't even let you observe, much less participate, it's not just a diplomatic slight. ¿Como se dice "fuck you Yanqui" en Español?
Somehow, Talabani's attendance seems huge. I find it hard to believe that we'd sign off on him attending something in our backyard that we'd been overtly disinvited from. This is something that merits further watching, one of those little things that's bound to develop.
Dickhead, eh? Hey, what a coincidence -- that's what we call him!
This is no doubt the main reason behind the attempted Chavez coup in 2002 -- because his prickly autocratic methods provide a bad example for neighboring regimes that we've just taken for granted as being in our orbit.
Da Silva seems intent on turning Brazil from a quaint, overly religious Carnaval backwater into a technological and economic dynamo, and he has his country behind him. He could be a real force to reckon with, especially if Brazil escalates its tech development to the extent it becomes an infotech destination like India, or even a stem-cell R&D base.
Regardless, in diplomatic terms, it's like having your neighbor shove you and pimp-slap you in front of your wife and the whole neighborhood. It ain't good. It's another regional headache, in a world already chock-full of them. Stay tuned.