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The Jehoshua Novels


Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

William “ Grinning Death’s Head” Kristol pines for multiple wars at The Weekly Standard:

the world unravels on Barack Obama’s watch, conservatives might want to take some solace in saying​—​We told you so! But they shouldn’t. First of all, it’s not as if the Romney campaign or the GOP congressional leadership or most conservative organizations really spent much time bothering to warn of the consequences of Obama’s foreign policy. And in any case, there’s not much solace to be had, as the world coming apart threatens the well-being of America, not just the success of Barack Obama’s second term.

So what can conservatives do? They can explain that decline has been a choice, and that weakness has consequences. They can explain that Obama’s inaction in Syria now is of a piece with his inaction in Iran in 2009, that the abandonment of Iraq in 2011 prefigured the prospective abandonment of Afghanistan over the next couple of years, and that defense cuts at home go hand in hand with an oh-so-light footprint abroad. The Obama administration has chosen a course of American retrenchment and retreat. Conservatives can urge the president to reverse course. They can try to minimize the damage he can cause over the next four years. And, as important, they can prepare to be ready to repair the damage from the Obama years.

We’ve recovered before. In the late 1940s, a war-weary nation looked the other way as the Soviet Union occupied Eastern Europe and China went Communist. It was only after the North Korean invasion of the South that the United States, first under Harry Truman and then Dwight Eisenhower, faced up to its responsibilities​—​but at considerable cost in lives and treasure over the next decades as we fought wars that perhaps could have been avoided and endured a Cold War that needn’t have been as threatening as it was. In the late 1970s, a war-weary nation watched as Khomeini took over Iran and the Sandinistas Nicaragua. This time, the Iranian hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan served as the wake-up call, answered first (to a degree) by Jimmy Carter, then resoundingly by Ronald Reagan.

And on and on and on like that, lamenting the wars of yesteryear and the new wars that could be if only we had a President who understood the Importance of War.

3 comments to Waist Deep in the Big Muddy

  • Folk like Kristol understand that demographics eventually become economics and that therefore nations like China and India will eventually surpass the US economically. They’re betting that the US can remain pre-eminent by having a far bigger military stick to wave even though they will have more money to pay for their own bigger sticks should they decide to compete on that field too. Kristol advocates this strategy without without ever noting that we know how that turns out – the USSR tried it on the US and got bankrupted.

    Obama and other hawkish Dems also believe that the US can remain “first among equals” by virtue solely of military strength, but they base their strategy on encouraging the competition not to compete with the US in the military field by not being overly threatening except at the useful margins. Time will tell if that’s any more successful a strategy. I suspect not – there are Kristols in those other nations too.

  • Interesting comments on the Cold War. Just finished reading “The Untold History Of The United States” (Stone/Kuznick) and got a whole different view on the subject – and lost a lot of respect for Truman et al. Basically, it was avoidable but the PTB of the day steamrolled HST and manipulated him just as they did Reagan.

    Alternate history buffs have to wonder what the world would be like now if the machine politicians hadn’t replaced Wallace with Truman…

  • dwelchnz

    Kristol is the adolescent that equates diplomacy and tolerance with weakness. We are clearly weaker now than we were before our greatest of adolescent presidents, George Bush, took us into an illegal war and gutted the treasury as well as what was left of our moral standing in the world. Wars of choice, wherein we chose to impose our bully selves on another people, will always fail and will always leave us weaker.

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