Categories Grave The Naked and the Dead Post author By jp Post date February 4, 2004 40 Comments on The Naked and the Dead ← They also cut the full-frontal blow job from Chlo’ Sevigny → Meatball, R.I.P. 40 replies on “The Naked and the Dead” You see, soldiers die in every war, and hundreds of soldiers die every year on military bases, nowhere near combat. And where did you get your numbers? You’re not even making a distinction between combat and non-combat deaths. So your problem is either with any war, or that you have no historical or even contemporary perspective on war. And obviously you think very little of tens of thousands more Iraqi lives that would have been taken away by Saddam at this point had we not gone to war. Americans, valuable; Iraqis, who cares? What the fuck kind of liberalism is this? Forgot the quotes in the link above; here it is. Hey Greg, thanks for the comments and the links. I’m not going to quibble over the numbers because downgrading or upgrading deaths for political reasons is a vulgar activity and not very useful. I will, however, take umbrage with your inferring that JP doesn’t care about Iraqi deaths. That’s just out of nowhere, dude, and it’s an intentional misreading of his post, a conclusion jump into the void. I expect better of a reader of the august National Review. His point, which is as clear and simple as a cover of a magazine, is that all of those coalition soldiers (and many journalists and, yes, those Iraqi soldiers and civilians) died for a lie. (If you’re so inclined, you can see it as an ‘itty-bitty boo-boo,’ but it looks a lot like a lie.) This lie was told in front of the U.N., on the floor of Congress and on television during the State of the Union Address, and again and again in TV reports, articles, and speeches. Yes, soldiers are killed every year during training and in actions overseas, but in this case, these men and women did not have to die so far from home. They all died for a lie (or an ‘itty-bitty boo-boo’) and that’s a shame and sin. And finally, your use of the word “liberalism” as an epithet indicates to me a bit about where you’re coming from ideologically, so you probably weren’t inclined to agree with JP’s post to begin with. But I’d urge you to drop that term from your political vocabulary, as it’s essentially meaningless and used as a code word to create an us/them divide that clips debate, rather than improves it. Like David Brooks’s favorite “Red State/Blue State” formulation, it says more about the speaker than about the issue at hand and it’s too easy. He used the number 606 because the 600,000 who would have died two years after 9-11 from the Pakistani nuke with the German timing mechanism and the North Korean plutonium that was passed to the Saudi billionaire by Iraqi intelligence and blew up in Boston Harbor inside a container on the Liberian tanker if America had handled the last two years in the usual UN-approved fashion wouldn’t all fit on the cover of Newsweek. “What the fuck kind of liberalism is this?” Um, replace “liberalism” with “criticism” and I’d say valid. Replace “liberal” with “critic” when watching fox news, and it suddenly makes sense. The liberal/conservative dichotomy is all doublespeak by now anyway – are there really any “liberals” in power? Democrats and Republicans may as well be football teams… they wear different colors and spout different cheers, but they all play the same game. Mike G: You imply that ‘Iraqi intelligence’ is somehow the key point in this chain of events. To me, it seems rather insignificant to the issue of American safety. Somehow, Osama bin Laden is now prevented from buying nuclear weapons and commissioning tankers? Perhaps American intelligence would be better used if we take out the keystone of this sequence rather than poking around the edges. If you could talk to those dead servicemembers, they wouldn’t tell you they died for a lie. They died for an ideal (usually similar among military folks, but each one has their own version of that ideal). It’s the height of cynicism and a lack of understanding of why people join the military services (or in the case of hyper-political nutcases, it’s the height of cynicism and whoring one’s self to the political “cause”) to say that they died for a lie. I guarantee you that few soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines believe that their comrades died for a lie. Preston, I imply nothing of the sort. The world is full of shady regimes engaged in dirty business. We needed to take one down as an object lesson to the others, so that Syria would get nervous and Libya would have a change of heart and Pakistan would prosecute the beloved father of its nuke program (and of lots of other countries’) and even Saudi Arabia would kinda sorta do something about princes paying protection money to Osama. We took the easy one, the one few would actually be sorry to take down and that would be least likely to inflame the Arab street or result in a “quagmire.” If you object to the 606 dead from that, perhaps you’d like to share your war plan for, instead, invading Saudi Arabia, Pakistan or North Korea with fewer casualties. the revised cover (using figures culled from the clickable link embedded in the image itself, by the way) was more or less a riff on the lack of context provided by the current cover in its actual form, and, of course, the current cycle of news stories about this matter. there’s that invisible/ignored/underlying theme of what the so-called intelligence crisis means, namely, a substantial number of people died due to the force and denial exerted by members of the perle/feith/rumsfeld camp. these people who died may very well have believed that the cause for which they were riding around in their humvees for was in fact a noble one; regrettably, what they believed they were dying for, in those moments when they were hit by shrapnel or torn apart by roadside bombs, is well-nigh irrelevant. ultimately, as matt iterated above, they died under false pretexts. you’ll recall that prior to late fall/early winter 2003, the cause for their fighting/deaths was largely attributed to ‘protecting america’ and ‘hindering terrorism’ and ‘eliminating wmd’s’. now, of course, the language has been flipped and it’s a matter of having prevented an uncertain number of iraqi civilian deaths. so, by that argument, those who died prior to this re-contextualization of the iraqi invasion by US-led forces died for a false cause; those, then, who died most recently (i.e. after fall/winter 2003), again using this erroneous logic, died for a cause in which they believed, because, of course, the context changed, and they were alive long enough to be aware of that. all issues of conscription aside for the moment, however, you have to wonder how enthusiastic a significant portion of these enlisted men and women are about their current mission. i’m sure you’re aware, to some extent at least, of the morale problems going on over there right now; this, ironically, has only added to the deaths cited above, since a significant number of the so-called non-combat deaths are suicides. and you have to reckon that the morale problems play some role in that. it’s a tangled web of causality, but the threads are tied together regardless. mike g, meanwhile, seems to have read frum and perle’s “an end to evil” and taken it to heart. he might want to also look into reading some rudyard kipling, or some chalmers johnson. you know, something about covering all your bases, being aware of multiple angles, threads of causality, yadda yadda yadda. Since when did MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY and FIGHTING TO OVERTHROW FASCIST DICTATORS become an evil, conservative, Republican plot? If you can’t admit that Bush’s foreign policy is, on balance, good for the the U.S. and good for the world, maybe you should ask yourself: “Gee whiz…how come Bush is always wrong about everything and I’m always right? Is it because I’m so pure and brilliant? Or maybe it’s because I’m so fancy and pretty and well-informed?” What I’m saying is: even Republicans aren’t always wrong about everything. And don’t think you’ll win any hearts or minds by crying crocodile tears for soldiers who died fighting for a noble cause. Nor by slandering the cause to make their deaths seem worthless. wow, who knew that human language had so many limitations? i don’t recall ever mentioning ideas akin to “evil, conservative, Republican plots”. and i don’t recall making any ‘slanderous’ judgment that these deaths were ‘worthless’; rather, i tend to come from the other side of the camp, i.e., every death in this world is significant, and the one rule in life which we ought to follow is to prevent/minimize the occurrence of every and any death we can. this includes not adhering to theoretical/unproven policy gambles, where the chips on the table are 20-year-old kids from middle- and low-income families. this also includes not ignoring genocidal behavior, a la rwanda and the former yugoslavia. iraq? that’s, as you said, fascism, and tyranny and oppression, but the jury’s out on matters of genocidal behavior. instead, we’ve created the sequel to palestine, a US-sponsored problem region of our own concoction. and that, regrettably, will lead to potentially far more worldwide suffering over the coming years and potentially decades. we’re all but ignoring the geneva accord. we’re ignoring the construction of gargantuan walls across so-called palestinian land. we’re endorsing the privatizion of imperative supplies such as water; the fact that roughly 6,000 people, mostly africans, die a day due solely to unsanitary water and/or inability to access clean water isn’t an election year issue. but we’re ostensibly making the world safe for democracy. one hotspot at a time. and by ‘making the world safe for democracy,’ i mean, requiring the privatizion of water-type public utilities in places we conquer, errr, where we vanquish tyrants. and, no, i can’t admit that the bush doctrine is “on balance” good for the world, but that may be solely cos my interest lies in bettering people’s lives across the board, on balance, even, rather than ensuring that a small subset of members of my peer group get higher profits on their reconstruction contracts. “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?” Mahatma Gandhi (1869 – 1948), “Non-Violence in Peace and War” Many think pre-emptive war is right, especially for noble causes such as making the world safe for democracy. If there are threats, they should be taken out. Period. Never, ever before has the US acted in this way. When the UK and France invaded Suez in the 1950’s, to protect their oil interests, the US would not support them. It urged resolution through the UN. Whilst no fan of Egypt, Eisenhower abhorred the imperialist, gunboat diplomacy of the Europeans and they pulled out. Now, fifty years later, there’s no-one remind America of the lessons they once taught Europe. A country that acts on the international stage with the attitude of an empire gets treated in a very different way to that which acts with other countries by recognising it’s interdependence. Especially by the sort of people who consider attacking the US is a noble cause. But not only are you not making new friends, you are losing old ones. Kennedy once wrote: “The core of our middle east policy should be not the export of arms or the show of armed might but the export of ideas, of techniques and the rebirth of our traditional sympathy for and understanding of the desires of men to be free.” During the Cold War, perhaps, the US was run by men of cooler judgement, who recognised that pre-emptive war was a temptation best resisted. So it’s not me that disagrees with you, it’s every President but the current one. McClain, it’s not my site, so i don’t have to be nice: you are a moron, and your resorting to attacking JP in this way telegraphs that to all. i guess reasoning is not in your repetoire, but ooh those “fancy” insults! Bush IS in fact always wrong, when it comes to looking out for the welfare of the people who elected (well..) him, and in honoring their collective obligation be responsible world citizens. Not because he is so incredibly stupid, but rather because that is not his agenda. Unless your daddy’s the new CEO of Halliburton or perhaps an energy company stakeholder, you have been completely taken in, fed the most meagre diet of lies, and made a dupe for an agenda which cares nothing for your skin. It’s the deaf and blind footsoldiers like you who make the whole charade roll on. I don’t think “MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY and FIGHTING TO OVERTHROW FASCIST DICTATORS” is “an evil, conservative, Republican plot”, I think it’s the noble, progressive, (hopefully) Democratic plan to get bush the F- out of office. You know, every time I think maybe I shouldn’t go all the way over and vote for Bush, I take a look at the Democrats and others still talking Cold War principles and “losing our friends” (evidently we weren’t bribing Chiraq enough, unlike Saddam) and quoting pacifist twaddle (Hey, ask Gandhi how much difference the war made to the Jews who were 10 minutes from being gassed when we liberated them) and talking blowback (apparently you didn’t notice my sneering reference to the eternally un-uprisen Arab street) and all that stuff. And I realize, as much as there is to dislike about this administration on certain levels, there’s one side that’s fighting and thinking in the present, and one that’s still in the illusions of the past. It’s like if Neville Chamberlain had run again in 1943 on a platform of accepting Germany’s complete control of France (but no more). Bush is new Europe, the Dems are old Europe. Bush is OS X, the Dems are Windows 95. I say that in sadness but show me one Democrat– excepting maybe a certain Mr. Clinton, who had considerable praise for Bush at Davos– who has really shown much sign of understanding the world we live in now. They’re all still fighting the last peace, like a French general in 1940. Mike G: You’ve made some shakey statements, but I abolutely draw the line at your association of bush with OSX. Bush isn’t intuitive, slick or hip. Otherwise, your logic is unassailable and your grasp of global politics is both trenchant and incisive. well, the OS X analogy may not be so far off base, as that OS is derived from the decades-old unix platform, much like our current foreign policy recalls that of that same time period. good morning, vietnam! I direct you all to the bustling thread on slashdot about which candidates are analogies for which operating systems: who knew Joe Lieberman was actually a Wang? The amazing things you learn in unmoderated discussion boards! It is unamerican and perhaps even french to criticize OSX. Do you really think the “War on Terrorism” is a retrograde neocon scam to spend more money than ever on porkbarrel defense contracts? It’s a terrible thing to think that great patriots like bush, cheney & rove would deceive the american people so blatantly. Good thing that Newsweek printed the truth and put Kofi Annan (who believed that Iraq had WMDs), Bill Clinton (who believed that Iraq had WMDs), Al Gore (who believed that Iraq had WMDs) and even ole Saddam himself (who believed that HE had WMDs). What . . . they didn’t? Hmmmm. jean-paul: Uh, yeah, I guess I’m also in favor of big public works programs to supply clean water and prevent genocide in Rwanda, Palestine, and Yugoslavia. Or whatever. That sounds great! Now, does that mean we won’t ever have to fight any more wars? We can hammer all our guns into plowshares and just skip around the world distributing largesse to all the huddled masses? And, as long as no one makes a profit, everyone will romp happily amidst the duckies’n’bunnies forevermore? No, I’m not quoting you: I’m just needling you about what I take to be the gist of your arguments. mg / Gandhi: It makes no difference to the dead: it makes all the difference in the world to the living. andy: I’m sorry all the dead Presidents disagree with me. But, hey: they’re dead & I’m not! So I must know something they don’t…. Seriously, though: I’m all for speaking softly & carrying a big stick. But you can’t just wave the stick around and threaten and threaten and do nothing. Sometimes you gotta take some recalcitrant fascist bastard and beat him to a seeping ruin. Makes all the other fascist bastards a hell of a lot less recalcitrant. And no, we’re not an empire. And no, we don’t care if all the other l’il countries wanna be our buddies right now. If you don’t help me against my enemies then, BY DEFINITION, you’re NOT my ally. If that flushes a lot o’fair-weather friends out o’the system: good! Marshall: I’m sorry I’m a moron, but try not to hold it against me, OK? Morons are people too, y’know! But thank you for pointing out that Bush is always wrong about everything NOT because he’s a moron like me, but simply because he’s evil incarnate. Now that you’ve enlightened my simple little mind with that incisive analysis, I shall be sure to seek wisdom and guidance from those who think along your lines so that, henceforth, I may supplement the meager diet of lies to which I’ve previously been accustomed. 😉 Mike, The point is, they aren’t Cold War principles. They’re imperial principles. If you want to say “yes, we are an empire, we will do as we please” then my view is that you’re creating more problems than you can ever hope to solve. I absolutely do not think this adminstration thinks “in the present” at all. Their thinking is Victorian, based on a culture of client states and old school realism. They engage with the world like the British Empire, rather than the US in the Cold War. But the world doesn’t work like that. The threats today are very diffferent. I too am a big fan of Clinton’s diagnosis of this situation. But in a world where you can pull down an airliner with a plastic fork, you can’t hide behind a big wall and throw missiles at the countries you don’t like, whilst creating a climate of fear in your own country and squandering your international goodwill. At their best, the US have rebuilt Europe and sponsored the creation of genuine multilateral institutions. This administration, with foreign policy based on “bad men” and “evil doers”, demonstrates a child-like view of the world and a lack of sophistication concerning ends and causes. (Don’t get me started on the french. Let’s leave them in their place as the world’s most irrelevant nuclear power. (If we have any common ground at all, let it be regarding them.) “Sometimes you gotta take some recalcitrant fascist bastard and beat him to a seeping ruin.” “And no, we’re not an empire.” If the first is true, and no-one holds you to account, then you are an empire. The great moral crusade of the european empires was to christianise the recalcitrant african heathen bastards. They were empires, with imperial missions. At least they admitted it. And the view that “if you won’t beat up the people I don’t like, then you’re not my friend” is mafioso politics, better suited to the playground than an interdependent world. It just ain’t that simple. There are probably more people in America itself planning terror attacks against the mainland US than there are in Afghanistan. What do you do then? andy: Well, if Empire and Self-Defense are the same, then I guess we’re an Empire. Whoo-hoo! Don’t knock old-school realism! And which of our client states would you like to jettison? Do you really want a dated Cold War approach rather than a retro Victorian approach? What if neither is appropriate? And you DO believe, along with Bush, in the existence of bad men. Domestic terrorists will, one hopes, meet with appropriately harsh justice at the hands of their fellow citizens. Foreign evil-doers must be ushered into the flaming netherworld by the U.S. military. And those who have the right to hold us to account will, I trust, judge us to be justified and righteous. Not virginally innocent, to be sure, but justified in the end. Lunaville.org keeps very good track of coalition casualties in Iraq, including American deaths: http://lunaville.org/warcasualties/Details.aspx Matt — What exactly was the lie that you reference? I’m confused. “well, the OS X analogy may not be so far off base, as that OS is derived from the decades-old unix platform, much like our current foreign policy recalls that of that same time period” Now we’re just arguing in circles. Apparently the argument is that, ONLY IF the Bush administration is willing to maintain the Cold War paradigm (in the absence of a Cold War, the same enemy, etc.) are they being futuristic. If they pursue a new foreign policy based on a changed world, they’re stuck in 1950. I kinda think that was my point, wasn’t it? You’re saying we need to mend fences with France, a power of 1915, rather than make new alliances with the players of 2015 like Mexico, Poland, Turkey and India. You’re saying we need to pursue a crime prevention strategy toward terrorism, which is what failed to prevent 9-11, rather than pursue a military strategy which has let states that connive in terrorism know that they’re next if they don’t stop– which has led to cooperation from the most uncooperative states on earth. You’re saying we need to give Arafat his ten millionth handout and his ten millionth chance to stop murdering innocents instead of leaving him to his own willfully chosen ruin. What about any of this makes you think for one second that you have refuted my point that your side– which used to be my side, I’m one of those people who gave money to McCain in the primary and Gore in the general in 2000, and until 9-11 I did blame you if you voted for Nader– is just years behind and still doesn’t realize it? I’ll throw one more out there before I go. Is it entirely coincidence that it’s the party that’s full of CEOs that’s doing trendy business-book things like thinking “outside the box” here on the middle east, and the party full of union sluggards who are so desperate to keep the times from a-changing? I’ve known a fair number of CEOs and they were often a-holes, but I’d still take their energy and vision, however venal and cynically self-serving it sometimes was, over the clockwatchers whose main purpose in life was protecting their butts until their pensions kicked in. Bush is Toyota, the Dems are GM! Yeah, just look at how bad the economy was when that union-loving Clinton guy was in office! Yes, and as we all know it was the heavily unionized regions that drove that economic boom. 1. There is nowhere to hide from terrorism. 2. Pacifying terrorists does not work. (Bomb in Moscow today…)) 3. In a free country, it is harder to stop or catch terrorists because of civil rights and laws and stuff like that. 4. It is much easier to “get” terrorists in places like Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and China because the leadership there doesn’t give a damn about the Bill of Rights or the ACLU or Peter Jennings. 5. Pre-emptive action i.e. the Taliban, Uday’s bullet-ridden corpse and Saddam in a hole, sends the following message: If you guys want to continue to buy fancy cars and /or run your stables of German prostitutes (big Saudi favorite), then either you get the bastards or we will go over there and get them ourselves. Check the actions of the Saudi security forces since last year if you think this message hasn’t gotten through… The number of dead people does not matter. Losing one person is a tragedy. If the purpose of the cover was to blame the tragedy on those who were pictured on the cover, you are misleading your readers. Surely you are intelligent enough to understand that the war never would have happened if Saddam’s regime was not propped up. Look at the cause of the United States action today and you will find it rooted mostly in history. The Soviet Union created Saddam. The U.S. in a cynical use of the cold war mentality, proped Saddam up when we were worried about Iran. French and Russian leaders accepted bribes to support Saddam’s regime. The United Nations lacks the resolve to act in humanitarian disasters, plus they may be accepting bribes as well. The U.S. is not innocent of helping to create the murderous dictator’s regime, however eliminating the regime was one of the best things the Bush administration has done. Your criticism of the pre-war intelligence does not diminish this at all. Bush did the right act for the wrong reason. You can criticize the reason but do not try and criticize the act. At that point you risk looking as silly as the people you satire. this is the core thesis, here, iterated by ‘mahatma’ above, and as consistently proffered by members of the apologist-oriented hitchens/dennis miller camp, et al: “Bush did the right act for the wrong reason. You can criticize the reason but do not try and criticize the act.” the sentiment behind this idea is heartwarming, i.e., a bad bloke was taken out of power. however, the ultimate problem still remains–what have we replaced the bad bloke with? uncertainty. chaos. a penchant for the same religious fundamentalism and economic problems that inevitably breed the selfsame terrorism under whose name the initial stones were cast. ergo, the act CAN, and SHOULD, be criticized, since the act exists independent of any contigency plan. and you then need to ask, is the world in general, from a libertarian standpoint, better, or worse off as a result of the iraqi overthrow? this, unfortunately, can’t be answered right now, and only the coming years and decades will bear that out. but history doesn’t endorse a wholly positive outlook in this particular context, as most of us know. regrettably, though, in 2004 we lack the ability to see beyond any sort of specific time period, be it that of a ratings season, or an election cycle, or whatnot. history, however, is comprised of well more than a series of “here and nows”. “The ultimate problem still remains?” What Ultimate Problem did you have in mind? Human nature? Death? The fact that communism failed? You expected the U.S. to do away with uncertainty, chaos, religious fundamentalism, and Iraq’s economic problems? Sorry: our godlike powers don’t extend QUITE that far just yet. And what else could history possibly be other than a series of “heres and nows?” Oh, wait…I get it! You mean trends, patterns, perhaps even evolution or progress. Well, Bush’s actions have made Iraq, America, and the world a better place both now and for the foreseeable future. Isn’t that progress? But I’m just teasing; OF COURSE Bush and I are actually wrong about everything of consequence. How could it be otherwise? Go back to sleep. McClain, honestly, your tone is really patronizing and annoying. I don’t think anyone here suggested you and W are “wrong about everything of consequence.” The fact that Saddam’s Iraq, however repressive, was a stable government while what we have now is a huge mess–that’s kind of an important issue, isn’t it? Do you argue that there are not more terrorists in Iraq than there were before? If that means that it’ll be easier for us to take them out, well that’s fine with me, but the fact is, we don’t have bin Laden and our intelligence agencies suck. I don’t see how expending our energy in Iraq gets us closer to defeating terrorism. I just don’t. Sorry. hi, mcclain! here’s how i spell h-y-p-o-c-r-i-s-y: c-e-n-t-r-a-l a-s-i-a. from a relevant bit of investigative journalism by Lutz Kleveman in, admittedly, last week’s issue of the nation (which, i believe, may only be available to subscribers, hence my pasting content below): Besides raising the specter of interstate conflict, the Bush Administration’s energy imperialism jeopardizes the few successes in the war on terror. That is because the resentment US policies cause in Central Asia makes it easier for Al Qaeda-like organizations to recruit new fighters. They hate America because in its search for antiterrorist allies in the new Great Game, the Bush Administration has wooed some of the region’s most brutal autocrats, including Azerbaijan’s Heydar Aliyev, Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev and Pakistan’s Musharraf. The most tyrannical of Washington’s new allies is Islom Karimov, the ex-Communist dictator of Uzbekistan, who allowed US troops to set up a large and permanent military base on Uzbek soil during the Afghan campaign in late 2001. Ever since, the Bush Administration has turned a blind eye to the Karimov regime’s brutal suppression of opposition and Islamic groups. “Such people must be shot in the head. If necessary, I will shoot them myself,” Karimov once famously told his rubber-stamp Parliament. Although the US State Department acknowledges that Uzbek security forces use “torture as a routine investigation technique,” Washington last year gave the Karimov regime $500 million in aid and rent payments for the US air base in Khanabad. Though Uzbek Muslims can be arrested simply for wearing a long beard, the State Department also quietly removed Uzbekistan from its annual list of countries where freedom of religion is under threat. … Azerbaijan is known as “BP country,” as the company wields a budget of $15 billion to be invested off the Azeri coast over the coming years. “If we pulled out of Baku,” a former BP spokesman once told me, “the country would collapse overnight.” So Big Oil’s interests had to be taken into account when Azerbaijan’s late ruler, Heydar Aliyev, feeling that his death was nigh, rigged the presidential elections last October to pass on his crown to his playboy son Ilham. This establishment of the first dynasty in the former Soviet Union triggered popular protests in the capital that were brutally put down by Aliyev’s security forces. They arrested hundreds of opposition members and killed at least two people. The next day, US Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage officially congratulated the new baby dictator on his “strong showing.” Armitage is also a former board member of the US-Azerbaijan Chamber of Commerce in Washington, set up in 1995 to promote US companies’ interests in Azerbaijan’s multibillion-dollar oil industry. Democracy versus stability for oil investments–few Azeris will forget what side the US government took. It need not be that way. The US-supported overthrow in November of strongman Eduard Shevardnadze in neighboring Georgia, a linchpin country for the pipeline export of Caspian oil and gas, showed that protecting strategic energy interests can, however accidentally, go hand in hand with promoting democracy. To be sure, the Bush Administration’s motives for dropping Shevardnadze had less to do with a sudden pro-democracy epiphany than with hard-nosed realpolitik: Washington’s longtime pet ally–who had secured nearly $100 million in annual US aid for Georgia, which is more per capita than any other country except Israel–could no longer provide stability in Georgia and had recently allowed Russian companies to buy up most of the country’s energy sector, which increased Moscow’s clout on this crucial Great Game battleground at Washington’s expense. there you go, mcclain. embedded near the bottom of this snippet is one example of the bush admin doing something ‘good’ for, again, the wrong reasons. i guess we’re still looking for the bush admin to do something ‘good’ for the right reasons, that’s all, giving soldiers nobility and honor in death. Yeah, Free France! Didn’t we do that once already, though? Jean-Paul: Sounds like we’ll need to fix central asia once we get done fixing the middle-east. One step at a time, my friend. We used the commies against the nazis, the taliban against the commies, etc. I wish we could simultaneously invade all the evil dictatorships on earth. Once again: godlike powers; ours; not quite there just yet. Of course, once we DO get around to fixing central asia, you & your ilk will claim we’re violating their sovereignty out of greed for oil. Whereas, now, we’re respecting their sovereignty out of greed for oil. Nice “heads-I-win, tails-you-lose” construction. And I told you before: implying that our soldiers have not died nobly and honorably is not gonna win you any converts. > Since when did MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY and FIGHTING TO OVERTHROW FASCIST DICTATORS become an evil, conservative, Republican plot? Since it was built on a shitpile of FUCKING LIES, dumbass. Oh! I see. 🙂 OK, beerzie: thanks for setting me straight on that. Since when did MAKING THE WORLD SAFE FOR DEMOCRACY and FIGHTING TO OVERTHROW FASCIST DICTATORS become an evil, conservative, Republican plot? Since republicans started using “make the world safe for democracy” as code for “replace your evil dictator with our evil dictator” See Spain, Vietnam, Afghanistan (79 – 89), Afghanistan (2002 – present), El Salvador, Nicaragua, Chile, Congo/Zaire, Liberia. Getting rid of Saddam is unequivaically good. Convincing the rest of the world that the US will say anything, regardless of the truth, in starting the wars we want to start, is unequivically bad. BTW, anyone who has a Free Tibet sticker on their car should have a Bomb China one right next to it. Comments are closed.