Cowardice of the Right Wing

2008/11/13

I can’t imagine why rightwingers are always in a tizzy over some imaginary or grossly exaggerated threats. And further why do they pat themselves on the back when their fears mark them as cowards? Our country must be resilient, and true, not resolutely irrational. The Rightwing Worldview of the last three decades has failed, as some predicted. It was only the ‘when’ that was hard to predict, it was easy to predict that foolish polices will have a bad outcome.

How crazy of them is it to fail over and over, be rejected at the polls, and then conclude failure could have been avoided by doing more and greater amounts of the same wacky policies. Their worldview has failed. Lets move on.


Reagan and the Cold War

2007/11/14

Reagan did not win the Cold War. It was over by 1965. We put a wall around Cuba, they put a wall around Berlin, and both sides removed the leadership that almost started a war in the early 60’s, and a de facto borders became de jure borders. Then we began mucking about on the margins, Africa, SE Asia, and Central Asia.

I would say that the post 1965 Soviet government was all about the corrupt enjoyment of power. We each made the other the bogeyman for our own domestic political reasons. When the USSR collapsed there was a scramble for a new bogeyman. China wasn’t credible, Iraq and Iran weren’t credible, but the illusive “terrorist” was: reminds me of an H.G. Wells story
Reagan was a pussycat militarily. He took no significant action and was obviously unnerved by causalities. Witness his lame pull out from Lebanon, and his inability to free American hostages. And his comic invasion of Lilliput aka Grenada. But, Reagan did one good thing, because he believed in redemption, because his foreign policy abhorred aggression, he put the USSR on the spot. Though we still acted like nuclear war could come at any time, the Russians realized, the game was long past over, they wearied of their imperial burden, and knew that the US would not attack them while they reorganized. A ridiculous claim by Reagan hagiographers notwithstanding, it was Reagan’s humanity not foolish defense expenditures that allowed for the USSR’s collapse. Senator Webb was right. Reagan’s defense policy was pusillanimous. But that was the best thing Reagan did for national security: he gave Gorbachev reason to believe the U.S. & NATO would remain passive and peaceful should the USSR reduce its military commitments and reform. Reagan also raised taxes more than any previous president and let foreigners loot our domestic markets and industries. But we loved him, because he made us feel good.

Yes we miss the USSR, our old bogeyman. The U.S. conquered Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. We beat the USSR in the contest of political supremacy; they relied on armed force, a security apparatus, and will. And yet we have now adopted those methods. Still we have inchoate, irresolvable fears of a never ending struggle with and irrational fear of ‘terror, climate change, and eternal damnation.’ To butcher Shakespeare: “The fault, dear reader, is not in our enemies, But in ourselves, that we lack virtue.” Hmmm. Still, it is kind of interesting that it was Carter and not Reagan who began our overt intervention in the Middle East.


Reagan was a Pussycat

2007/09/06

Reagan did not win the Cold War. And I don’t mean because many others had a hand in a contest that lasted for a long time. It was simply over by 1965. We put a wall around Cuba, the Soviets put a wall around Berlin, and both sides removed the leadership, Kennedy and Khrushchev, that almost started a war in the early 60’s. De facto borders became de jure borders. Then we both began mucking about on the margins, Africa, SE Asia, and Central Asia.

We would never have sent 500,000 troops to Vietnam if we thought the USSR would launch a surprise attack. We lost our first war there, and no dominoes fell, and we didn’t have to fight them again over here. As we prepare to lose our second war, we would do well to look at it rationally. The contest we call the Cold War, which lasted from 1947 to 1965 was largely due to a mutual incomprehension and fear.

Reagan in fact was a pussycat militarily, pusillanimous you might say. He took no significant military action and was obviously unnerved by causalities. Witness his lame pull out from Lebanon, his inability to free American hostages in Lebanon, and his comic invasion of Lilliput, aka Grenada. His support for child killers (Contras) versus thugs (Sandinistas.)

But, Reagan did one good thing, because he believed in redemption, because his foreign policy abhorred aggression, he put the USSR on the spot. Though many here still feared that nuclear war could come at any time, the Russians realized finally, the game was long past over, they wearied of their imperial burden, and knew by then that the US would not attack them while they reorganized, and quite rationally moved to ratchet down the rhetoric. A ridiculous claim by Reagan hagiographers notwithstanding, it was Reagan’s humanity not foolish defense expenditures that was his contribution to the USSR’s collapse.

The post 1965 Soviet government of Brezhnev was all about the corrupt enjoyment of power. We each made the other the bogeyman for our own domestic political reasons. When the USSR collapsed there was a scramble for a new bogeyman. China wasn’t credible, Iraq and Iran weren’t credible, but the illusive “terrorist” was: reminds me of an H.G. Wells story