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Your host, PM 'Papa' Carpenter


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June 21, 2005


I had understood that the Brits were willing to go, over the Rhineland, but France was not willing.

Nothing in history is inevitable...a man so learned as Kagan should know that. He also should know, "Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it." They could have saved us a lot of trouble if they'd have just opened a damn history book.

"A good war justifies any cause"

As an American Indian, what if Christopher Colombus never found America, which was never lost to us in the first place?

I have often thought that the outcome of the Vietnam war would have been pretty much the same if the U.S. had stayed out of it. All the arguments for getting in---the domino theory, the manufactured Gulf of Tonkin incident---all amounted to nothing. Lyndon Johnson lost credibility with his increasingly desparate justifications for staying in, but he at least had the sense to see what was coming and he declined to run for a second term. Nixon thought he could do it and his struggles to achieve victory got more and more frantic until finally he had to declare a victory and bail out. We lost 40,000 soldiers, and the Vietnamese lost 10 times as many soldiers plus civilians. Both Johnson and Nixon were deluded by visions of greatness, but they were not deluded nearly as thoroughly as Bush and his band of neoconservatives appear to be.

As I write this, we have the Vietnamese prime minister asking the U.S. for help in joining the world trade organization. Bush is praising Vietnam and promising help.

The given reasons for attacking Iraq were every bit as phony as those for attacking Vietnam, but I don't think the outcome of the war in Iraq will be nearly as benign.

I fear that, as a result of Bush's colossal foreign policy blunder, our inevitable retreat from Iraq will deny us access to oil in that part of the world, and probably from the Caspian Sea as well. Both India and China boast armies in the millions, who are presently on the ground in Asia. This will leave us with what remains in Saudi Arabia -- and it appears those oil fields are approaching exhaustion -- along with Nigeria, Ecuador and Venezuela as suppliers. The output of the latter is not sufficient to sustain our current level of consumption. Not only has Bush shipwrecked what was once the most powerful military on the planet, but his unconscionable idiocy probably means the end of our entire way of life.

It's NOT neo-con, it is the same old con that the right wingers have been doing for decades.

The administration is staging a repeat performance, right now, on Iran. Keep your ears peeled for the eerily familiar rhetoric, now focused on the subject of foisting democracy on Iran and the subsequent liberation of its people. Notice the timing, as currently the media and the public are (finally!) paying heed, however lukewarm, to the marketing mechanizations of the Iraq debacle.

Mr. Kagan's understanding of history is feeble. The arrow of causality is not from the fall of Saddam Hussein (who incidentally was sold precursor chemicals and other nasty weapons of war by a guy named George H.W. Bush) to the rise of radical Islamists. That is a fundamental misunderstanding of the root causes of the rise of Wahabbism. Hence, the presumed analog to WWI or WWI is a false one.

Mr. Carpenter correctly vents his spleen upon Poppy's idiot miscreant son who now besmirches the Oval Office with his "kill your way to peace" policies.

Maybe Mr. Kagan should ask himself - how, in our zeal to extinguish communism, a foe that scared us all to death for 50 years, did we end up creating a new foe, radical Islamism, that will likely preoccupy us and drain our blood and treasure for at least 50 years to come?

Do you suppose there is a moral lesson in that?

"the equally popular bugaboo of appeasement at Munich -- a bit of rhetorical artillery rolled out every time some armchair warrior wishes to cast extreme dubiousness as profundity."
My response to this has always been, maybe so but the real appeasement to Hitler was by the German people, who in exchange for the security he offered as a strong leader, threw away their republican form of government. It really was as simple as putting their faith in an unelected tyrant who despised republican rules and had no intention of surrendering power once it was possessed. This is exactly what we are on the verge of doing. Concentrating all the power in the executive, giving away our civil liberties, contracting the voting franchise, placating the theocrats and making fortunes for the merchants of war. In the end, we will be no safer then the Germans were. Like the man said "trust us".
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin,

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