Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Cooler Head on Ukraine

I have recently been introduced to a blog by David Stockman, who has been, among other things, Director of the OMB under President Reagan. Perhaps simply because, like me, he's too old to get excited by anything that starts with "neo" he is not a fan of neocons or neoliberals.

He wrote a post a few days ago regarding the situation in Ukraine, how it matters to US national interests (it doesn't), and why everyone screaming for US intervention are wrong. By way of background he described the US Warfare State, which struck me as a rather apt term, and said that,

The post-1991 absurdity of bolstering NATO and extending it into eastern Europe, rather than liquidating it after attaining “mission accomplished”, is just another manifestation of [the Warfare State's] baleful impact. In truth, the expansion of NATO is one of the underlying causes of America’s needless tension with Russia and Putin’s paranoia about his borders and neighbors. Indeed, what juvenile minds actually determined that America needs a military alliance with Slovenia, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Romania!

The last sentence should have ended with a question mark rather than an exclamation mark, or perhaps both, but the sentiment of the entire paragraph is so powerful that I'm not going to quibble. Well, okay, I just did, but you get my point. As to Crimea, he points out that Crimea was actually annexed by Catherine the Great in 1783 and goes on to say that,

For the next 171 years Crimea was an integral part of Russia—a span that exceeds the 166 years that have elapsed since California was annexed by a similar thrust of “Manifest Destiny” on this continent, thereby providing, incidentally, the United States Navy with its own warm-water port in San Diego. While no foreign forces subsequently invaded the California coasts, it was most definitely not Ukrainian and Polish rifles, artillery and blood which famously annihilated The Charge Of The Light Brigade at the Crimean city of Balaclava in 1854; they were Russians defending the homeland from Turks, Europeans and Brits.

I am bookmarking his blog, because the guy can write the ears off a Missouri mule. You should read the whole piece. Even if you don't agree with him. He is antertaining and enlightening.

PS: in case you don't go thers, I loved his description of the Warfare State as, "the existence of vast machinery of military, diplomatic and economic maneuver that is ever on the prowl for missions and mandates and that can mobilize a massive propaganda campaign on the slightest excitement." Awesome.

1 comment:

bruce said...

Didn't President/General Eisenhower warn against this in his farewell address (the famous military-industrial alliance)? Pres. Washington warned against entanglement in foreign affairs, too. Sage wisdom indeed.

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