Vladimir Putin, Neo-Con, Redux

The New York Times has just published an article calling into strong question Georgian claims that it was acting defensively and against Russian and separatist aggression. 

Nice work:  I didn’t do so bad, for free, in September in this essay.

You do not have to be an apologist for Russia to wonder how the nation’s paper of record, along with a whole bunch of other American papers and so-called public intellectuals, could get something of this magnitude so wrong.  If you read the article, you will note that all that had to be done was talk to OSCE (Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe) monitors (who are in the article generally described as current or former military officers (the Polish civilian is very likely former military, intelligence, or both).  And that some of this information was provided in a briefing back in August. 

One of the striking things about American foreign policy is our hypocrisy.  We talk a good line and then we do horrible, hideous things like start unnecessary and profoundly badly executed wars (Iraq, Vietnam) and badly botching necessary ones (Afghanistan) while the anti-war movement (or what remains of it) has never had a serious, adult thought about war, the military, defense or foreign policy in its life.  And that’s a major reason why Iraq was able to happen.  We talk about nation building, and then do not only do not do it overseas, we wreck our own home.  We refuse to act out of enlightened self-interest (I am not talking about piggish brutality here, with apologies to real pigs), then throw a hissy-fit when other nations do.  I have said before, nations pay a high price for tolerating insolence and provocation on their borders (which Georgian behavior was), yet we do, and we dress it up as either the free market at work or some kind of humanitarian impulse, when all our Mexican immigration policy has done is depress American wages and destroy the low end of the economy. 

No wonder we are surprised when other nations refuse to allow themselves to be trifled with.  No wonder our only response is to demonize either them or ourselves when we act in a rational and adult manner. 

This is something that cuts across all political lines in America, although I suppose that as someone who has always considered herself liberal, or leftist, or progressive, it is an enormous disappointment to me that this is a hallmark of, as it were, that side of the aisle.  And it is increasingly a sterile dead end, the blind end of the Republic.


2 thoughts on “Vladimir Putin, Neo-Con, Redux”

  1. I always get the sense these neocons could not move on after the Cold War and are scared of a nationalist Russia because of stories Grandma Gettleman told them about the Cossacks growing up. Russia is a great power, and the neocons need to understand that its desire to be free from Islamic extremism is no less worthy than Israel’s.

  2. Mr. Roach:

    I suspect there is a great deal of quiet cooperation between Israel and Russia. Every now and then, we see a hint of it in the press.

    Why do not just the neo-cons, but some conservatives generally (although not typically the paleo-cons) refuse to move on after the Cold War? Because as long as the Soviet Union and now Russia was The Enemy, they didn’t have to think too much. I’m sure a lot of these folks are very smart but they don’t ahve a thought in their pretty little heads.

    Only thing that grows in a DC think tank is anaerobic bacteria.

    Happy New Year (and if you’re reading The Doves, enjoy!)


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