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How about "Europeans Should Bleed for Europeans"?

It's this mindset that will doom Europe. I could swear Madrid was hit by al Qaeda. And what about London? Didn't Rome narrowly miss a mass chemical attack? OK Europe, we'll foot the bill, do the dying, kill the bad guys for you, as usual. In the meantime, throw your tiny-fisted tantrum like the ungrateful teenager who has no problem using all of mom and dad's food, money, cars, housing, etc., but then claims the parents are tyrants because they might ask the kid to take out the trash.

You think you hate the U.S. now? Wait until we shrug the next time you are in it up to your necks, and most likely at your own doing.

What really pisses me off about most Germans, especially their media is the attitude they express towards "those dumb Amis".
Germans want to have everyone else do the dirty work and then stab them in the back.
Steinmeier went to Iraq to ask for german participation in their rebuilding. (if I was an Iraqi, I would tell them to kiss my ass)
Steinmeier went to Afghanistan and complained about the fact that he doesn't feel safe. Duh
Have you ever noticed that if an American invents something, they go back to see if their great-great grandparents camr from Germany and then consider him/her a German?
If a french, italian or british person does something good, he/she is declared a European. If they do something bad, a spaghetti fresser, frog or limey.
The public still thinks that all good inventions and electronics originate from Germany. Who has the most inventions, who has 80% of nobel prizes? ...... America
America does nothing for the ecology. Wrong again. We do, Germany talks.
To Germans, diplomacy is talk, if that doesn't work, talk again and again and again. After all, we can't offend anyone with consequenses?

America has only gas guzzlers. The American fleet uses less gas than the German fleet of cars
Why is there no negative reporting about Russia and China? The Germans are afraid that there would be a backlash. (No oil, Gas and in respect to China, no Trade)
Let's sum it up neatly: Germany good, America bad

I would love to see a divorce from this " Friend"

Two things that we could do tomorrow to improve our standing in the world are: Drill for oil and Gas. We have more than anyone else. This would bring prices down and negate our our deficit since we could be energy self sufficient. Our deficit is approximately the amount we pay foreign Governments for our oil imports.

Enact the fair tax. We would have full employment and would attract foreign firms production into the US, as well as getting our own firms back to America.
While the first item will be an election discussion this year, the fair tax will ahve to wait another 4-8 years, unfortunately

the Germans always want someone else to do their dirtywork and take the risks. Afghanistan--- We stay in the safe zone, all other nations fight.
France--- You build those nuclear reactors and take the risks. We don't want it on our soil. We will buy electricity frm you.
A German life must bed at least 5 times as valuable as another European, at least 10 times as high as an AMI.

Parasites comes to mind. Heuchler allesamt.

The German Obamamaniacs are dropping like Fliegen already. A lot of them aren't even quite aware of it yet. He accidentally said something that could be construed as being konkret - that tax thing - and implied that he would want something from them, or better, that they would have to give something, of themselves. Like, for nothing. Bad idea here.

A German life must be at least 5 times as valuable as another European, at least 10 times as high as an AMI.

Taking other Europeans out of the equation, and just comparing Germans with Amis, there is a certain amount of truth to that. Look at the difference in the fertility rates of the two countries: 1.4 for Germany and 2.1 for the US. The increasing relative rareness of Germans with respect to Amis will give the Germans greater relative value. Unfortunately, the low fertility rate can also lead to cultural extinction.

German politics never cease to amaze me.
Clement was just thrown out of the SPD.
I give you Mc Cain, 40% of his rhetoric and Senate votes were against his own Party. Of course, this is protected under our first amendment. (Freedom of expression.
It does fly in the face of countless German Anti-Americans who always claim that in the US Democracy and freedom of speech has disapeared?
At least I could make the claim that Bush uses hair color, without being dragged into court. Unlike the "Schroeder incident".
It makes you wonder who is really pulling the strings in the German political environment? Nicht wahr?

@americanbychoice
Enact the fair tax

What is this fair tax of which you speak?

@Pamela
Go Congressman John Linders Web site and click on Fair Tax. This will explain it all.
Thanks for your interest.
The only thing I am a little concerned about is the fact that 23% may not be sufficient?

@Pamela
Go to John Linders Web site and click on Fair Tax.
This will explain it all.
Thanks for your interest.
The only thing I am not sure about is the fact that 23% may not be sufficient?

@americanbychoice

Ok, now I get it. I've always heard of it as "the consumption only tax".

Not sure if it would work, tho'. And one thing I disagree with is no tax on business-to-business transactions. So when Whirlpool sells a fridge to BestBuy, BB doesn't pay a tax? I'd keep it really low - like 2% - but still.

@ pamela
It sure would entice companies to manufacture in the USA. Also most of our own manufacturers would come home. It would be a boom to our GDP.
It would however require a repeal of the 16th amendment.

In the interest of telling a funny story, I am copying this from a thread about regional stereotypes.

I grew up in Oklahoma, and when I was in High School, my mom opted to take in an exchange student from Germany named Meike. Before she came to live with our family, we had a number of phone dates to get to know one another.
During one conversation, Meike's father described their life to my mother. He told her about their community, their house, her school, etc.
When my mom began describing our life, he interrupted her to ask if his daughter would be in any danger living with us in Oklahoma. Confused, she asked him to explain. He expressed honest concern that his daughter would be attacked by Indians -- you know, the ones who rode horses, lived in teepees, and scalped people. In 1992.
It is but one story from one person. But it does illustrate the point I have made many times: that many Germans know much less about the US than they think they know. But note that the German father was most likely conversing in English. In one sense, the German father was spot on about Oklahoma: lot of Indians in the former Indian Nation. My Okie mother's siblings both had spouses who were 1/8 Indian.

Germans aren't the only ones who stereotype. Come the annual UT- OU football game, there are many satirical reports from Texas about the cousin-marrying, trailer-dwelling propensities of those residing in Oklahoma. Just as amusing and as accurate as the German father's description of Oklahoma.OTOH, they are made in jest, while the German father was dead serious. Of course, all the stereotypes about Texas are true!


@americanbychoice
It sure would entice companies to manufacture in the USA.

Maybe. Maybe not. There are other costs that would have to be taken into consideration. Labor. Transport. Raw materials. Insurance.

The Germans are doing their best to ensure that their voice is heard in the American election. The justification is that "whatever happens here . . . affects them too!
They may be onto something. After all look at all of the things the USA has done in the world that impacted them. We asked them to stop building bunkers for the criminal Hussein regime, asked them to stop selling centrifuges to the Iranians... we demanded they support Desert Storm, oh, that's right, no we didn't. Well, we demanded they support Iraqi Freedom, oh, that's right, no we didn't. Well, I am certain we have done any number of things that have hurt their delicate sensibilities.

Still, we probably should follow their example, since Germany has never done anything that affected anybody else in this world, oh, that's right...
I wonder if the American medias initiated a campaign in 1938 to get a vote in the German elections?

Europeans have to continually accuse the USA of arrogance, otherwise somebody might notice the pot calling the kettle black.
http://www.linktv.org/dearamericanvoter

You just have to be willing to forget so much for what they say to make any sense.

@pamela
skilled and productive Labor is avilable here.
Transport, no problem good infrastructure.
Insurance, just like everywhere else.
Raw materials, more plentiful than in Europe.
Labor costs are much lower here than Germany.

@americanbychoice

Let me give you a few examples. A few years ago the major maker of Christmas candy canes moved the entire ops to Mexico. Why? Cheaper labor, but still a work force qualified enough to do the work. The biggie was sugar subsidies the U.S. gives to domestic suppliers.

Transport: It seems to me you're taking the view that 'transport' applies only to domestic markets. Not true. We ship stuff globally and shipping costs are becoming prohibitive, especially as bunker fuel has to be phased out over the next few years (thank the International Maritime Organization of the U.N. for that one.)

The other thing I would predict is state taxes. If the Feds crank it down, I guarantee you some states in bad shape, e.g. Michigan, Ohio, would crank their own up, figuring the companies can handle it since the Feds are giving them a break.

Basically, I like the idea in theory, but the implementation and actual experience could be a bitch.

@pamela
State Taxes are independent nnow and they will be then.
We have the second highest corporate tax in the world.
Transport, no, it is expensive. If we utilize our energy resources (We have more oil and gas than anyone else), one year of Oil purchases from other countries would negate our federal deficit. Dollar would again get stronger, etc. etc. Too many advantages to list

americanbychoice-Why would the 16th Amendment need to be repealed considering it gives the power to Congress pretty much to tax directly or by apportionment? But I do see quite a bit of merit in the proposal.

@Pat Patterson

Didn't you just answer your own question? :)
Americans would be very skeptical about any proposal that gives us a new system without getting rid of the old.

"Let's sum it up neatly: Germany good, America bad"

it seems like most people here play the same game the other way around.

@ antieublog :"Let's sum it up neatly: Germany good, America bad." It seems like most people here play the same game the other way around.

Then please explain why years ago I had a positive opinion of Germany based on knowing Germans as fellow tourists, co-workers and housemates in Latin America. I much preferred Germans to Brits or French. Not as cold and inadaptable to Latin America as the Brits, not so full of themselves as the French. Not to mention a German roommate in grad school in the US. Not to mention my brother-in-law who immigrated from Germany as a child. Not to mention my own German surname, and as a child learning at home some German folksongs and a smattering of the German language ( via records, though my father did know German from doctoral requirements.).

My opinion has changed in later years. Why? Today many Germans seem to me to be 1) less self-critical and 2) eager to find things to criticize about the US to burnish a self-righteous view of Germany, as opposed to having a balanced view of the US.

Example: many Germans who know much less about the US than they think they know.

Example: self-righteousness from many Germans towards the US about not having the death penalty, which ignores the origins of the abolishment of the death penalty in Germany.

Contrasting their nation's policy with that of the Americans, Germans point proudly to Article 102 of their Basic Law, adopted in 1949. It reads, simply: "The death penalty is abolished." They often say that this 56-year-old provision shows how thoroughly the postwar Federal Republic has learned -- and applied -- the lessons of Nazi state-sponsored killing. (Communist East Germany kept the death penalty until 1987.)

But the actual history of the German death penalty ban casts this claim in a different light. Article 102 was in fact the brainchild of a right-wing politician who sympathized with convicted Nazi war criminals -- and sought to prevent their execution by British and American occupation authorities. Far from intending to repudiate the barbarism of Hitler, the author of Article 102 wanted to make a statement about the supposed excesses of Allied victors' justice….
Germans began the formal process of writing the new Basic Law in August 1948. Initial drafts submitted to a 65-member Parliamentary Council contemplated retention of capital punishment. It was not until a meeting of a special subcommittee on Dec. 6 that a single delegate, Hans-Christoph Seebohm, surprised everyone by proposing to get rid of the death penalty. Seebohm, who ran various industrial enterprises under the Nazis, led the tiny, far-right German Party -- which also advocated using "German Reich" instead of "Federal Republic."
Addressing the council, Seebohm equated executions "in the period before 1945 and in the period since 1945." As British historian Richard J. Evans notes in "Rituals of Retribution: Capital Punishment in Germany, 1600-1987," the rightist politician was "thinking above all of the execution of war criminals, to which he and his party were bitterly opposed. Preventing Nazi war criminals from being sentenced to death would certainly help the German Party in its search for voters on the far right."

OK, Germany doesn’t have the death penalty, and its orgins are nothing to be proud of. So be it. It really wouldn’t concern me all that much. However, it really rankles me as an Ami for Germans to criticize us for our having the death penalty- some states have abolished it- given the sordid origins of the abolishment of the death penalty in Germany.

Example: Harridan Herta Däubler-Gmelin, who compared Bush to Hitler/Adolf Nazi, while keeping in the background her Standartenführer father's participation in the Holocaust. Get it through your heads, Germans. Amis do not appreciate being used as punching bags in lieu of therapy sessions. Harridan Herta undoubtedly has issues with her father’s role in WW2. Instead of comparing Bush to Hitler/Adolf Nazi, she should have had some therapy sessions to work out the issues she has with her father’s role in WW2.

Quite often, when Germans criticize the US, there is a skeleton in the closet. In the case of self righteousness about the death penalty, and with Harridan Herta Däubler-Gmelin, there are very prominent skeletons.

GringoTex says: "OK, Germany doesn’t have the death penalty, and its orgins are nothing to be proud of. So be it. It really wouldn’t concern me all that much. However, it really rankles me as an Ami for Germans to criticize us for our having the death penalty- some states have abolished it- given the sordid origins of the abolishment of the death penalty in Germany."

Another interesting point is that -- for whatever the reason -- it was directed from on high without a challenge from a subdued populace. My old German polizei friend Deiter tells me that if it was put on the ballot he thinks the death penalty would be reinstated in Germany!?!?! But the death penalty in Germany went the way of the deutsch Mark, the German Constitution and much of the nation's sovereignty . . . to Brussels and all with the inconvenient input of German citizens.

PS: Putin does not scare Europe because they recognize what he is doing, and they countenance it in their own countrries to a large, but lesser, degree.

Tyranno: Another interesting point is that -- for whatever the reason -- it was directed from on high without a challenge from a subdued populace. My old German polizei friend Deiter tells me that if it was put on the ballot he thinks the death penalty would be reinstated in Germany!?!?!
In support of Tyranno's statement,the WaPo article shows that there was popular support for the death penalty for criminals.

“Meanwhile, there was little opposition in West Germany to capital punishment for ordinary criminals. A poll by the Allensbach Institute in February 1949 showed that 77 percent of West Germany's population favored it. The largest left-wing party, the Social Democrats, had a long anti-death-penalty tradition, but, given the political climate, it did not campaign on it….
The death penalty for common murderers, as opposed to war criminals, remained popular in West Germany. Polls showed 71 percent in favor as late as 1960.”
Regarding how much popular support there is now for the death penalty in Germany, I don't know. That is for the Germans to decide. While many Germans consider it their right and obligation to impose their views about the death penalty on the US, such as taking it up with the World Court (see WaPo article), Amis don't feel a similar obligation to proselytize re the death penalty in Germany. Interestingly enough, a “Clark Rockefeller” recently arrested for the kidnapping of his daughter appears to be a German citizen originally named Christian Gerhartsreiter , who may also gone by the name of a Christian Chichester wanted for the killing of a couple in California. So, “Clark Rockefeller” may eventually elicit protests from Germany regarding the death penalty. Con men are con men the world over. Sad that some well-intentioned Germans may end up taking the case of such a person, if he ends up on Death Row.

Allow me to digress somewhat from the topic of this thread. First, a couple of caveats - I am a patriotic US citizen, and I think Russia's invasion of Georgia is wrong.

That said, it is very clear that the US is reaping in Georgia what it sowed in Kosovo. Let us review what happened in that conflict. The US attacked a sovereign state, and one that happened to be an ally of Russia, for actions that took place entirely within its own borders, and could in no way be construed as aggression against another state. It devastated the infrastructure of Serbia, seized a piece of its territory, and then elevated Kosovo to the status of an independent puppet state. The European powers now shedding big crocodile tears about Russian "immorality" in Georgia went along every step of the way. One wonders, what principle of international law are they attempting to vindicate, that applies to them as well as to Russia. How can one possibly see their past actions combined with their current verbal attacks on Russia as anything but the grossest hypocrisy?

Again, what principle are the US and its allies applying here? By what twisted logic can they defend their attack on Serbia and condemn Russia at the same time? Are we to elevate the claim that the US is more virtuous and possessed of a more sublime morality than the rest of the countries of the world to an accepted principle of international law? Are we to use this "principle" of superior virtue to vindicate any US aggression, while we condemn similar aggression by others? It sounds like a perfect recipe for World War III to me.

Based on everything the US has said and done since at least the time of its war of aggression against Serbia, it was and is Russia's perfect right to attack Georgia and detach South Ossetia, Abkhazia, and any other ethnic minorities it chooses, and elevate them to the status of independent states. The US government has absolutely no logical basis for claiming otherwise.

If I had any say about the matter in Russia, I would meet every self-righteous condemnation from the US standing in front of a collage of images of dead Serbian civilians, bombed out Serbian infrastructure, and collapsed Serbian bridges, and demand to know before any further discussion of the matter, by what right or principle the US can conceivably justify its actions against Serbia and, at the same time, condemn Russia for her actions in Georgia.

For years, Russia has been pointing out, with inescapable logic, that the US attack and violation of the territorial integrity of Serbia justifies any ethnic or other minority anywhere in unilaterally deciding that they want to seize a chunk of territory and set up their own state, regardless of the wishes of the other citizens of the country to which they happen to belong. Unfortunately, their cries have fallen on the deaf ears of those in charge of a self-defeating and bankrupt US foreign policy, in Kosovo and elsewhere. Why, one might ask, should Hispanics in the US not have the right to seize a large portion of our southwest, declare it independent, and demand that the US get out? Which of the "principles" we used to attack Serbia would they be violating? Would they, also, not be perfectly within their rights?

Allow me to suggest a more reasonable principle. In a world full of nuclear weapons, no war of aggression should be tolerated, period, for any reason. Let the US apply this principle to its own actions before striking pious poses and throwing temper tantrums of virtuous indignation directed at Russia for actions in Georgia that differ in no substantial way whatsoever from US actions in Kosovo.

Re: Helian's last entry. Georgia is hardly equivalent to Serbia. This equivalency spiel is tiring. Just because Hitler had a mustache and Teddy Roosevelt had one doesn't make Teddy Roosevelt like Hitler. "Russia," in the words of Georg Kennan, "can have at its borders only vassals or enemies." The United States is not on this level. Everywhere, from their economy to their politics, the Russians are playing by their own rules. It was Germany that fatally obstructed Georgia from NATO membership. The Germans didn't want to provoke the Russians. In the end, the U.S. gets blamed. I wonder why. And I expect this will be the tenor of many German journalists' opinion pieces -- or, in the case of German journalism, their heavy-handed opinions and comments that are mixed in with their "original reporting." I didn't expect an American to write like you do.

This is what I mean in terms of German journalists -- in this case, somebody named Jens Mühling, a younger journalist who is commenting on the Russians in Georgia vis-a-vis the U.S.A. and Kosovo. This is the moral equivalency these German journalists are so adept at. The article is in German and was on the front page of yesterday's Tagesspiegel. Do Americans want really to sound like this guy? See:
http://www.tagesspiegel.de/zeitung/Titelseite-Kaukasus-Georgien;art692,2590965

Helian,
I think creating the break-away country of Kosovo was a mistake, like the Treaty of Versaille after WWI and appeasement prior to WWII. This too simply creates the excuse for the next altercation.
However, I still don’t see the clear parallel here that you attempt to paint. You are wrong on a couple of points. For starters, it is patently false to portray Kosovo as a US operation. The US acted as part of a NATO coalition that conducted Operation ALLIED FORCE from 24 March to 11 June 1999. The USA did the majority of the bombing, as it always does, because … it is able to. Nevertheless, the NATO air war also included the Air Forces of Belgian, Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Turkey. It was the German Luftwaffe’s first combat missions since WWII. So if your intention is to be vitriolic ~ call it a US operation, if you want to be honest and factual it was a NATO operation.

I am guessing you view them separately, but the Kosovo situation was generally seen as the follow on/ continuation of NATO Operation DELIBERATE FORCE with all the “Genocide” and “war crimes” justification/ baggage that the European and USA MSMs had generated to prep the publics mind for a potential intervention.
I know it is more complex but the narrative at the time was that Serbia had attacked Croatia and then Bosnia-Herzegovina and was conducting an ethnic cleansing of the region. Kosovo appeared to be more of the same a very few years later. I don’t say this to justify, only to provide context.
To formulate the equivalency you are attempting here strikes me as convoluted thinking. On the one hand NATO’s UN sanctioned actions were an external group with little or nothing to gain, seeking to stop (alleged) genocide and impose a workable solution into an historically volatile region. This was in accordance with the UN Human Rights agenda and the evolving concept of “a Responsibility to Protect.” There will be no long term occupation.

The Soviet Union, on the other hand, was the last European empire to finally fall in 1990. Georgia was one of numerous countries reemerging out from under the Soviet imperialist jackboot. The Russian actions betray that they intend to claim the right to aggressively re-impose themselves, reimpose their empire ~ as they did in Chechnya, on any periphery nation they choose. To watch another despotic, former European colonial power reassert a bloody hegemony around its borders … well, in the end this is what your argument supports. Are you sure this is something you wish to help them justify? Was that your intention?
You are obviously angry about what happened in Kosovo but I am not sure there is anything to be gained by countenancing the resubjugation of a third nation as some sort of bitter just desserts.

I see the Russian situation as follows:
They will make an effort to recreate the Soviet Union. The simple reason is that they need people. Russia is the largest country on Earth with a population of 147 million people and declining fast.
Enter the country next door. Smaller and a population of 1.3 Billion. It is inevitable that a conflict between China and Russia will occur within the next 20 years. That is where the next huge conflict will gappen. Just look at the demographics and Geographics.

The more countries (People) russia has under her control, the better. The Eu, especially Germany, is almost at their disposal. They are so Dependant on resources that soon anything goes as an act of pure survival. Germany as usual, will not care about their allies. They will care about being fed raw materials, especially energy.

They are already comitting suicide in the name of correctness by getting rid of Nuclear, coal, etc. They are beginning to enact stupid laws that will drive their entire industry out of the country.


At least we have enough oil, gas and other raw materials to sustain ourselves. We just need to get the congress to act on drilling.

This is what you get when a country doesn´t produce a single politician with the balls to abolish the draft once and for all.

Would the Bundeswehr continue to exist as an all volunteer army, or would everybody just go home? Give it a try, entering unknown territory is better than getting stuck on duplicity. And the draft always has been the most duplicitous thing in military affairs.

I Think It's Time To Ask: Will Barack Obama Institute A Draft?

@Tyranno

"Kosovo appeared to be more of the same a very few years later. I don’t say this to justify, only to provide context. To formulate the equivalency you are attempting here strikes me as convoluted thinking. On the one hand NATO’s UN sanctioned actions were an external group with little or nothing to gain, seeking to stop (alleged) genocide and impose a workable solution into an historically volatile region. This was in accordance with the UN Human Rights agenda and the evolving concept of “a Responsibility to Protect.” There will be no long term occupation."

The ones doing the convoluted thinking here are the US and its sadly misguided allies. All the finely parsed pettifogging about why Kosovo was SO-O-O different from South Ossetia or Abkhazia really amounts to nothing but a bald-faced claim that the US is morally superior to its enemies, and therefore, it is justified in launching wars of aggression against sovereign states for actions that happen entirely within their borders, but Russia and any other nation it chooses to brand as "evil" are not. In other words, based on their own, unilateral interpretation of what is "moral" and "virtuous," the US and its allies assume the right to dictate to the rest of the world, carving it up as they please as long as they strike suitably self-righteous poses while they do it. They assume the right to launch wars of aggression whenever and wherever they please, without recourse to any competent international organization, based on their assumed right to impose their moral judgments on the rest of the world. Gott mit uns!! This, my friends, is a perfect recipe for World War III.

Has everyone in the world really become so ideologically hidebound that they simply are incapable of intelligent thought anymore? It seems the number of people who can actually think for themselves is becoming vanishingly small. It was refreshing to read this article by Larry Derfner in the Jerusalem Post:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1218446195149&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFul

but it is startling how few people are capable of even his minimal level of introspection. The "intellectual" response of all but this tiny minority can be reliably predicted based simply on which ideological box they happen to live in. The movie "Team America" had it exactly right. The world is divided into "pussies" and "assholes," liberals and conservatives. They mouth the shibboleths and slogans appropriate for the box they live in, congratulate each other on their wisdom, and they never, ever, think. One draws certain conclusions from this. When one's nation is at war, one realizes that it is better to have the "assholes" in power, because of the "pussies'" tendency to turn tail and run at the first opportunity. The situation in Georgia is different. Once again, the conservatives are their bellicose selves, making stirring, Nathan Hale speeches about the need to take a firm stand against the "bullies," the "aggressors.” We are told we must “punish” Russia, hem her in with enemies on all sides, and make alliances with those enemies that will force us to support them with military force, allowing them to humiliate her at will, just as Georgia would have humiliated her if she had been allowed to attack and overrun minorities dependent on her while she stood idly by.

Allow me to remind you all of what happened in 1914 after Russia was subjected to a series of similar humiliations in the Balkans. Wasn’t the result horrendous enough that time? Must we now repeat it with nuclear weapons? Is Georgia’s “right” to attack ethnic minorities so important to us that we are willing to risk a nuclear holocaust, and with it, the devastation not only of the cities of Russia and the US, but of Europe as well, to defend it? Think, people! Try for a moment to reason a centimeter outside the bars of the ideological boxes you live in!

Nothing could have been more blindly stupid, more willfully self-destructive than our attack on Serbia in defense of the Kosovars. Oh, I know, it was S-O-O-O different from the situation in Georgia. It was officially approved by 9,239 different sovereign independent states, the pope, the grand mufti of Constantinople, and Spiegel’s entire menagerie of “Friedensforscher.” What lying cant! Kosovo is case law, my friends, it established a precedent. There is no substantial difference whatsoever between Kosovo and Georgia that does not amount to a claim by the US and its allies to superior righteousness and moral virtue, and, consequently, the right to dictate “international law” to the rest of the world. “Gott mit uns!”

Kosovo “different” from Georgia? You got that right! Unlike the dear, “democratic,” morally pure Georgians, Serbia never unleashed area effect weapons against a defenseless civilian population in an urban center before she was attacked. Given what we have now seen of the free reign Georgia gave and continues to give to undisciplined and heavily armed “militia,” and her unleashing of unguided rockets against civilians, it is hardly a stretch to suggest that, if her aggression had succeeded, ethnic cleansing would have been the result. “Differences,” you say? Don’t make me laugh. You can heap up your manure piles of “differences” to the rafters if you like. It doesn’t matter. Who, exactly, is to be the judge of whether these “differences” are substantial enough to permit a US attack on Serbia, but not Russian retaliation against Georgia? The UN? The UN did not approve our attack on Serbia. The International Criminal Court? The ICC didn’t approve our attack on Serbia. Who is to adjudicate these disputes? No one, of course, except the United States and its allies, by default. They assume the right to dictate morality to the rest of the world. They need only wrap themselves in a haze of self-righteous propaganda, strike pious poses, and, Voila!, any bald-faced aggression is instantly transmuted into an expression of the most sublime virtue.

Baring international acceptance by such nations as Russia, China, and India that the United States, or any combination of the US and its allies, is so morally superior to the rest of the world, such a paragon of virtue, that it can unilaterally decide when an act of aggression is “good” or “evil,” there is no difference, in principle between Kosovo and Georgia whatsoever. Our attack on Serbia was an act of such sublime and profound stupidity that it was bound to blow up in our faces. The only question was, when? What we did in Kosovo was establish the precedent that any ethnic minority has the right, regardless of the wishes of the citizens of the country as a whole, to unilaterally seize a chunk of territory and elevate themselves to the status of an independent state. It has that right even if, like the Kosovars, they were not the original occupants of that territory, but became a majority there by immigration and a faster rate of reproduction than the original inhabitants. Remember all the mealy-mouthed pronouncements by the US government about “respecting the territorial integrity of Serbia,” that were bandied about at the time? What a joke! Was anyone really stupid enough to believe them? Was anyone really stupid enough to believe that the creation of a rump Serbia and an independent Kosovar state was not the inevitable result of our actions?

Why, exactly, did we fight our own Civil War? What was the point of those 650,000 deaths? Based on the Kosovar precedent, what conceivable right do we have to preserve our Union? What conceivable right have we to object if Hispanic immigrants decide to claim the territory of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and establish their own independent state? Based on the Kosovar precedent, none whatsoever.

Think! Reason! Must we rush blindly forward to a nuclear holocaust like so many lemmings? Must we really mouth all the usual hackneyed slogans about “appeasement” as we trip merrily along on the road to disaster, even though the only ones we are appeasing are the Georgian aggressors? In spite of that aggression, Russia did not take over Georgia, or depose her government. How, then are we to judge all the idiotic propaganda equating her to Nazi Germany as other than the blather of fools? For once, let us listen to the wise words of our first President. Let us avoid entangling alliances. Let us cease poking sticks into the Russian hornets’ nest, risking our own annihilation and that of hundreds of millions of other innocents, based on a non-existent “right” to dictate the future of the former republics of the Soviet Union.

*grabs popcorn*

This war has to be the dumbest thing I've ever seen. OF COURSE the Russians are royally pissed off. They've been signalling that for months - and our support of an independent Kosovar was the last straw. Kosovo, S. Ossietia and Abkashia had all been granted 'autonomous province' status within sovereign states. Why the West supported independence for Kosovo, I will never understand. The only possible result was a Russia more antagnonized than ever.

So who started the current mess? No clue. There apparently was a cross-border incursion of some kind, but who crossed first will probably never be known. However, I find it suspicious that Russia was able to act so quickly, which leads me to think they were prepared in advance. Either Georgia took proffered bait, or magnificantly overreached. What a stupendous miscalculation.

As for Helian's moral equivalency/hypocrisy argument: No thanks. The contexts are too different. I remember the photos of the camps, the massacres, the mass rapes, the slaughter perpetrated in exhultation at avenging centuries-old grudges. The world was right to do something to stop that, regardless of the geopolitical situation extant at the time.

There's another difference between then and now.

The jihadis. If I'm not mistaken, Russia seems to be arming states that support them. Why, given their problems with Chechnya? Do Russia and the West not have a common enemy there? That's a calculation on Russia's part I'm still thinking about.

Ah! Another point of light!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/comment/columnists/guest_contributors/article4525885.ece

It seems it has dawned on someone at the stodgy but sure "London Times" that Russian action to stop dear, democratic, morally pure Georgia as she was in the process of annihilating an ethnic minority may not have been such a manifestation of unalloyed evil as is generally portrayed by such shameless US "poodles" and "vassals" as "Der Spiegel." ;-)

South Ossetia isn't like Kosovo. It's a region with a population of a different ethnicity than the country it's a part of, with a powerful neighbor fomenting an irredentist movement. (Remember, Russia gave all these people Russian passports.)

Sounds less like Kosovo and more like the Sudetenland.

Oyoyoyoyoy... has anyone bombed the Chinese embassy yet?

@German Observer

*grabs popcorn*

Don’t do this to me! When I saw this at work I cracked up and started cackling uncontrollably. The people there already suspected I had “issues.”

@Pamela

"As for Helian's moral equivalency/hypocrisy argument: No thanks. The contexts are too different. I remember the photos of the camps, the massacres, the mass rapes, the slaughter perpetrated in exhultation at avenging centuries-old grudges. The world was right to do something to stop that, regardless of the geopolitical situation extant at the time."

I'm not making a moral equivalency argument, and reject them in general. What I'm saying is that the U.S. attack on Kosovo should be considered grossly immoral. It should be considered more immoral and evil than either the Milosevic regime’s actions in Kosovo, even if all the atrocity stories are true, or the Russian invasion of Georgia.

Why do I say the US actions “should be considered” immoral rather than simply claiming that they are immoral? It is because my statement is based on my own conclusions regarding the nature of morality.

Behold, I tell you a mystery! I consider morality to be an aspect of our consciousness that affects the way we interact with other human beings. We have an innate predisposition, hard wired in our brains, to develop a system of morality, modified by environmental factors. “Good” and “evil” are not objective things with an existence and reality of their own outside of human consciousness. They are subjective concepts, and a part of our nature. Like everything else about us they exist as a result of the process of evolution that culminated in our appearance on the planet. They are there because, at some point in our past, at least, they helped us to survive. In spite of their subjective nature, we do not perceive them in a subjective fashion. I, and every other human on the planet perceive them as absolutes, as real, objective things, with an existence of their own. Therein lies the problem.

Morality is pointless unless it contributes to our survival. It is an evolutionary artifact without a purpose, like an appendix. However, it evolved at a time when we existed as small groups of hunter gatherers. We now live in a world of large nation states armed with nuclear weapons. It behooves us to occasionally reevaluate our notions of good and evil to make sure they have not become disconnected from reality. We have already done so repeatedly in the past, as for example, in the matter of slavery. Once the adjustment is made, we still perceive the revamped versions of “good” and “evil” in the same old way, as absolutes. That’s as it should be.

What modifications to our notions of “good” and “evil” are appropriate in a world armed to the teeth with nuclear weapons? Nuclear war is the greatest threat to our survival. So are atrocities committed against ethnic and other minorities, but the magnitude of those threats pales by comparison. Under the circumstances, it seems to me that the sine qua non for our continued survival is the elimination, to the greatest extent possible, of all wars of aggression. By “war of aggression” I mean any war launched for reasons other than self defense or in defense of another nation that is the victim of attack by an aggressor state. Wars of aggression must become the ultimate evil, trumping all others. They must be avoided at all costs.

That is the basis of my judgment of the US attack on Serbia. We have seen the result. Not only was it pernicious in itself, but it can be used as a legitimate and logical precedent to justify wars of aggression by others. Again, such wars must be avoided, period. It’s not likely we will avoid nuclear war forever. Let us, at least, try to put it off as long as possible, and hope against hope that we can put it off forever.

My conclusions regarding the nature of morality must be considered in the context of my lack of belief in supernatural beings. It doesn’t change matters if one happens to be a Christian, Moslem, Jew, or whatever. They have all used faith to justify the mass slaughter of other human beings in the past, and they have all, in one way or another, been able to modify their perception of “good” and “evil,” in spite of the fact that believers have an emotional tendency to perceive morality in terms of absolutes, just as I do.

Helian says: “finely parsed pettifogging,” “bald-faced claims” that the US is morally superior to its enemies, and therefore, it is justified in launching “US wars of aggression” “Russia is evil.” . . .
Me; So I guess apologizing for the Russians was your intention here, eh? My mistake.

Helian says: “Is Georgia’s “right” to attack ethnic minorities so important to us that we are willing to risk a nuclear holocaust”
Me: You are saying that all we have to do is leave Georgia to its Russian fate and we will have . . . peace in our time? You may not like the Munich parallels but you sure sound like modern day Chamberlain grinning and waving your blog around here.

I don’t see the need to go through point by point because all of your arguments are still built on the same fundamental falsehood, that being your notion of an equivalency of the two situations.
While I think you are right that the correct parallel with Georgia is not Iraq (as the US MSM seeks to make it) but rather Clinton’s illegal war in the Balkans.

The non-equivalency is:

Russia is a re-emergent criminal authoritarian regime internally, that externally has invaded a sovereign nation to impose its own imperialist non-democratic agenda over it. (Real empires do not go quietly into that dark night.)

Kosovo is much more complex but; it was not invaded by an authoritarian regime with a nationalist agenda. There was empirical evidence of genocide. The only agenda imposed was that elections would be held and the results will be respected and implemented. And finally, every nation in the coalition will be out of there as soon as they can safely do so.

If you believe there is an equivalency than when do you suppose Russia will request international peacekeepers to stabilize the situation in Georgia? I am sure you know that since the liberation of Georgia Russia has only allowed “Russian peacekeepers” into Georgia and Abkhazia? That as opposed to Iraq where the US has requested international support from the beginning.

I am a strong believer in state sovereignty, but that doesn’t translate into supporting or looking the other way when any criminal, non-representative, thugocracy seek to avail itself to the cover and protection sovereignty provides. I agree with Natan Schransky’s contention in his book “The Case for Democracy” that democracies should not naively fall for the self-serving, partyline BS from authoritarian leaders. I would take it a step further and say that representative democracies don’t need to respect the sovereignty of criminal dictators who have stepped over the line abusing human rights. The problems begin when the perpetrator is as large as Russia

I know the definition is problematic, but the reason a common sense redefinition of state sovereignty doesn’t get a full and honest airing in the UN (and why the "responsibility to protect" is reduced to just another UN buzz phrase) is because a majority of entities in the UN are criminal dictators and self appointed kings and are not about to let that happen.

"Will a German Speak at the Washington Monument in 2009?". The painful answer: Would anyone in the United States - other than a select band of media, diplomats and foreign policy wonks - really care? "

ROFL!! Now do you German college students get it?? You've been getting a free ride for too long AND THAT'S WHY WE DON'T LIKE YOU OR RESPECT YOU. You wanted Obama so badly because he offers a more compatible form of government, but you failed to realize what this means for Germany.. YES, you will bleed for US tax cuts. It's our turn to be a nanny state. Have fun with Russians while we stick our thumbs in our mouths.

The slippery slope?? You're about to completely slide off of it.

@Tyranno

“Helian says: “finely parsed pettifogging,” “bald-faced claims” that the US is morally superior to its enemies, and therefore, it is justified in launching “US wars of aggression” “Russia is evil.” . . .
Me; So I guess apologizing for the Russians was your intention here, eh? My mistake.”

It seems to me that the fact I volunteered to serve my country in Vietnam at a time when that was hardly a popular or fashionable thing to do would disqualify me as an “apologist for Russia.”

In fact, my point was that Kosovo established a precedent justifying military attack on sovereign states for reasons other than self defense, seizing the territory of those states, and establishing separate independent states on those territories. Russia has logically pointed out that she was justified in attacking Georgia based on this precedent. My own opinion is that the Kosovo precedent should never have been set, that the US was wrong to attack Serbia, and that Russia was also wrong to attack Georgia. However, my opinion doesn’t matter. The precedent has been set. If one accepts the legitimacy of that precedent, then Russia was justified in attacking Georgia.

We are told there are differences between Kosovo and Georgia so substantial that the US attack on Serbia was justified, but not the Russian attack on Georgia. In fact, there are many differences. However, if we are to accept the conclusion above, there must be some rule or set of rules according to which we can make the judgment that military attack was justified in one case, but not the other. In a world full of nuclear weapons, in which military attack by one state against another may escalate and lead to a general nuclear exchange, it seems reasonable to demand that the rules be simple, crystal clear and accepted by all. In fact, no such rules exist.

The only rules the US can cite to justify its own attacks, while claiming at the same time that similar attacks by other states are not justified, are rules it has made up itself, or that have been made up by the US and some set of allies. They are hardly clear cut and simple, nor have they been legitimized by the acceptance of the rest of the nations in the world. The claim that these rules, to the extent that they even exist, apply to the rest of the world, and that the US, or the US and some set of its allies, have the right not only to make up the rules, but to interpret them and apply them to the actions of other states as they please, amounts to a demand that the rest of the nations of the world surrender their sovereignty to the US and its allies. They will never accept such a claim. If the US continues to assert a non-existent right to make up and apply its own rules at will, automatically justifying its attacks on other states, as in Panama, Grenada, Kosovo, Iraq, etc., for reasons other than self defense, while at the same time condemning similar attacks by others, again, applying its own rules to do so, it will eventually and inevitably lead to a nuclear holocaust.

“Me: You are saying that all we have to do is leave Georgia to its Russian fate and we will have . . . peace in our time? You may not like the Munich parallels but you sure sound like modern day Chamberlain grinning and waving your blog around here.”

Munich parallels are fine with me. You are saying that all we have to do is leave Grenada to its US fate and we will have…peace in our time? You are saying that all we have to do is leave Panama to its US fate and we will have…peace in our time. You are saying that all we have to do is leave Serbia to its US fate and we will have…peace in our time? You are saying that all we have to do is leave Iraq to its US fate and we will have…peace in our time? How long are you expecting the rest of the world to appease the United States before she finally provokes the next world war?

“I don’t see the need to go through point by point because all of your arguments are still built on the same fundamental falsehood, that being your notion of an equivalency of the two situations.”

This claim is completely wrong. There are differences between the two situations that are obvious to me and everyone else. However, in neither case was attack on a sovereign state justified by the accepted right of self defense, or by any other clear, generally accepted rule of international conduct. Therefore, in claiming that the differences noted above are so substantial that they justify its attack, but not the Russian attack, the US is arrogating to itself the right to dictate rules of international conduct to the rest of the world. No independent state can accept this claim without surrendering its sovereignty to the United States.

“ Russia is a re-emergent criminal authoritarian regime internally, that externally has invaded a sovereign nation to impose its own imperialist non-democratic agenda over it. (Real empires do not go quietly into that dark night.)”

Jingoist propaganda is unlikely to be useful in a world full of nuclear weapons.

“Kosovo is much more complex but; it was not invaded by an authoritarian regime with a nationalist agenda.”

I believe that, and you believe that, but it is hardly universally accepted by the rest of the world. The idea that the rest of the world should accept our right to invade other countries because we assert that we are not authoritarian or nationalistic is absurd.

“There was empirical evidence of genocide.”

There was, in fact, much less evidence of genocide prior to our attack on Kosovo than prior to the Russian attack on Georgia. The Georgians were attacking an urban center full of civilians with unguided rockets and other area effect weapons. Given the small size of the population of South Ossetia, if this does not amount to genocide, I don’t know what does. Having witnessed their unprovoked attacks on journalists, we now know that Georgia certainly tolerated and probably abetted the existence of “militias,” consisting of numerous gangs of heavily armed, undisciplined thugs. In fact, there is every reason to believe that the result of a successful Georgian attack would have been genocide and ethnic cleansing.

“The only agenda imposed was that elections would be held and the results will be respected and implemented.”

In fact the only elections held were on Kosovar territory, where the outcome was a foregone conclusion. There were no elections in Serbia as a whole. This legitimized the completely unacceptable claim that any ethnic or other minority can seize part of the territory of a sovereign state and set up a separate independent state whenever it chooses to do so, regardless of the will of the people as a whole, as long as it observes the formality of holding an election among its own members first.

“And finally, every nation in the coalition will be out of there as soon as they can safely do so.”

Ridiculous! They have seized part of the territory of Serbia, elevated it to the status of an independent state, and will surely prevent Serbia from reclaiming her territory by attacking her again if she attempts to do so.

“I would take it a step further and say that representative democracies don’t need to respect the sovereignty of criminal dictators who have stepped over the line abusing human rights. The problems begin when the perpetrator is as large as Russia.”

Again, a perfect recipe for a nuclear holocaust. Who gets to decide which regimes are ruled by “criminal dictators,” and can, therefore, be attacked at will? You? The US government? Some combination of the US and its allies? What, after all, is a dictator? Is it not a person or government that arrogates the right to dictate rules to others. In what way would such behavior by the US not amount to an international dictatorship?

In the interest of preventing a nuclear holocaust in which we are all vaporized in the act of mouthing heroic patriotic slogans about the goodness and purity of the US and the evil and criminality of Russia or some other enemy, I suggest we establish and maintain a clear, simple rule; No state shall attack another state except in self defense, or in defense of another state that is the victim of attack by an aggressor.

Note: I have some idea of the work Helian does. I can vouch that he is pretty much dedicated to the security of the U.S. and the rest of civilization. And, based on some reading he suggested for me, I can also say he is EXTREMELY concerned about nuclear events. Unfortunately for my peace of mind, I now know why.

Helian, this is going to be sloppier than you deserve - I'm pressed for time today with a sick dog. But just for starters:

If it is true that the moral sense evolved in humans in order to promote the survival of the species, all I can say is that Darwin was wrong. I base that on the observation that a good many of us over the centuries have spent much energy on killing each other. Also, I would note that many species seem to survive quite well without it. Humans seem to be born with some capacity for empathy. But anyone who has been around small children for any length of time - and certainly those who have dedicated themselves to raising them - knows that they are not born good - the little monsters! And may I present http://www.vhemt.org/.

A quick question: Has it occurred to you that if wanton killing is permitted to take place w/o interference because it is an internal matter, over time - and not that time much if you think about Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., that perhaps MORE people die than if nukes went off?

And that rule you want? No state shall attack another state except in self defense, or in defense of another state that is the victim of attack by an aggressor.

Good luck. Unfortunately, the likes of Putin, Jihadis, etc., don't give a flying fuck. So, let me ask this: If,when Finland was still under the yoke of the USSR, and the Poliboro decided for whatever reason to take out the entire male population, is it your reasoning that because it is an internal matter the rest of the world should shrug because the USSR has nukes?

More tomorrow I hope.

Hey! What happened to my html?! That link is to the Voluntary Human Extinction Movement.

Gotto go. Time for the beagle's meds.

Off topic, but still of interest. It’s not only the Germans that think they know more about the US then they actually know. British anti-Americanism 'based on misconceptions

A poll of nearly 2,000 Britons by YouGov/PHI found that 70 per cent of respondents incorrectly said it was true that the US had done a worse job than the European Union in reducing carbon emissions since 2000. The survey showed that a majority agreed with the false statement that since the Second World War the US had more often sided with non-Muslims when they had come into conflict with Muslims. In fact in 11 out of 12 major conflicts between Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslims and secular forces, or Arabs and non-Arabs, the US has sided with the former group. Those conflicts included Turkey and Greece, Bosnia and Yugoslavia, and Kosovo and Yugoslavia. Asked if it was true that "from 1973 to 1990 the United States sold Saddam Hussein more than a quarter of his weapons," 80 per cent of British respondents said yes. However the US sold just 0.46 per cent of Saddam's arsenal to him, compared to Russia's 57 per cent, France's 13 per cent and China's 12 per cent. Almost a third of Britons believe that "Americans who have not paid their hospitals fees or insurance premiums are not entitled to emergency medical care"; by law such treatment must be provided. More than half the respondents believed that polygamy is legal in some US states, while it is illegal in all US states. Most Britons were unaware of positive aspects of the US, such as the robust environmental movement or the social justice work of evangelical churches, he said.
Again, the stereotype of the informed Euros versus the ignorant Amis gets smashed. We are both ignorant.

@Gringotex

There are many more inaccuracies about America.

The fact that we have the strongest anti pollution laws goes totally unnoticed. The German manufacturers even had to develop better, cleaner engines in order to be able to sell their cars in California, New York, etc. Those aren't available in "Clean" Germany.

We have to realize that 80-85% of readers only teke in the headlines or 2-3 sentences pat that.
The Goebbels style German media knows that all too well. Therefore they do a masterful job with their headlines. The more inflammatory, the better.
They are truly the "world Champions" in rhetoric.

@Texas Blueblood - I suppose he would have to speak at the Alamo to catch your attention?

@Pamela

“If it is true that the moral sense evolved in humans in order to promote the survival of the species, all I can say is that Darwin was wrong. I base that on the observation that a good many of us over the centuries have spent much energy on killing each other. Also, I would note that many species seem to survive quite well without it. Humans seem to be born with some capacity for empathy. But anyone who has been around small children for any length of time - and certainly those who have dedicated themselves to raising them - knows that they are not born good - the little monsters! And may I present http://www.vhemt.org/.”

A most inspired website! Convince others they shouldn’t have children, thereby insuring that your own children get a bigger share of the available resources. Do they have a tip jar?

As for killing each other, it’s just Mother Nature doing her thing. She didn’t come up with a “one size fits all” morality, like some “simplistic” American. Don’t lose sight of the point of the whole thing; survival. To survive, it was necessary for us to spread out, to cover as much territory as possible, taking maximum advantage of the available resources. Solution – a predisposition to develop a bipolar system of morality, with an “in group” (love thy neighbor as theyself) and an “out group” (“Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him. But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves.” Numbers 31, vs. 17-18)

“A quick question: Has it occurred to you that if wanton killing is permitted to take place w/o interference because it is an internal matter, over time - and not that time much if you think about Stalin, Pol Pot, etc., that perhaps MORE people die than if nukes went off?”

Maybe, and, given the rather profound genetic changes affecting our brains over the last 20,000 years or so, resulting in greatly increased intelligence and, apparently, the capacity to develop sophisticated “civilized” states, etc., it appears that our habit of slaughtering each other may have had a not altogether insalubrious affect on our “fitness” as a species. One would hope, however, that, at some point, we might actually become intelligent enough to continue this improvement via a process more logical and less wasteful than nuclear war.

“So, let me ask this: If,when Finland was still under the yoke of the USSR, and the Poliboro decided for whatever reason to take out the entire male population, is it your reasoning that because it is an internal matter the rest of the world should shrug because the USSR has nukes?”

They key here is that morality exists because it has helped us to survive. It is pointless unless it continues to help us to survive. Morality is subjective. It has no real existence outside of human brains, and, perhaps, the brains of other more or less advanced animals. It is not really objective, real, or absolute. However, we perceive it as objective, real and absolute. Furthermore, we can’t “finesse” or “trick” Mother Nature. We must experience right and wrong as objective, real and absolute, and act accordingly, or it won’t “work.” We won’t survive. However, it was not evolved in the context of huge nation states with nuclear weapons. Occasionally, then, as in the case of deciding the fate of the male population of Finland, we must disengage our minds from the absolute imperatives of morality, and do our best to think logically in order to decide what course of action best promotes our own survival (“our” survival, of course, being the survival of the genetic material we carry). Whether that entails the “lady or the tiger” as far as the unfortunate male population of Finland is concerned, I leave as an exercise for the student.

@americanbychoice
"The German manufacturers even had to develop better, cleaner engines in order to be able to sell their cars in California, New York, etc. Those aren't available in "Clean" Germany."

I haven't heard of that, can you give me some sources?

Helian,
As a returning student ... I have been surprised how often the dialectic(s) created by my professors about the world today always left us/me/ the west on the losing end in a lose~lose equation. I have to allow others their aggression or "I" will cause a nuclear holocaust? This stirred a memory of in my youth hearing members of the American left and Europeans making the case (trying to convince us?) for "better red than dead!"

I think you have set up a false set of very stark alternatives. Your argument here leaves the civilized (moral) people at the mercy of the uncivilized (immoral) peoples of the earth.
It is the circular losing argument your enemy offers you; or in the west, the argument our self loathing fifth column offers for our enemies. We must accept terrorism because fighing back only creates more terrorists! We must accept a re-emergent Russian imperial aggression because fighting back risks a nuclear war!
Is this sort of nihilistic thinking the reason behind Europe's attempt to redefine power? It is to our peril that so many among us don't recognize that Russia, Al Qaeda, Mugabe, et al ... are not encumbered with any doubts about the defintion or efficacy of aggression/ violence/ military power. So, leaving aside your philosophizing on the construct of morality, I still find your initial argument wrong-headed.

Call it creative destruction if that makes it easier to understand, but to deny a difference between 1) Stopping a criminal regime violently seeking lebensraum to connect with its populace in other nations, and 2) Russian imperial aggrandizement, wins you the t-shirt, "It's a democracy thing ~ You wouldn't understand!"
To your question of morality. I would suggest that it is a lack of moral grounding that causes an inability to distinguish the Cop from the criminal. Violence is not always negative. A little violence strategically applied now may preclude massive violence at some point in the near, to middle future. Granted, when you are standing in a room half full of criminals (The UN) it isn't hard to find cohorts willing to point fingers and confuse the definitions with you; but personally, I take no comfort from the approval of well over half of them.

The loss of Kosovo which I think was as wrong headed as your argument, was the unfortunate price Milosevic forced the Serbian nation to pay for his nationalistic misadventures.

PS: Pat Buchanan and Thomas Sowell have each written columns that, by degrees, support your side
of the conversation.

PSS: As someone who considers himself a Realist . . . reading this, maybe my Marxist professors have had an effect on me.

@Tyranno

"I think you have set up a false set of very stark alternatives. Your argument here leaves the civilized (moral) people at the mercy of the uncivilized (immoral) peoples of the earth.
It is the circular losing argument your enemy offers you; or in the west, the argument our self loathing fifth column offers for our enemies. We must accept terrorism because fighing back only creates more terrorists! We must accept a re-emergent Russian imperial aggression because fighting back risks a nuclear war!"

Is that really the best you can do, Tyranno, the "Helian has suddenly morphed into a self-loathing leftist" argument? Tell me, if that's true, if I've suddenly become a "moral relativist," if I'm one of those who would leave the "good" people to the mercy of the "evil" people, if I'm too cowardly to take a stand,

Why did I volunteer to put my life on the line to fight for my country in Vietnam against what I assume you would also regard as "evil?"

Why did I so loudly condemn those real "self-loathing leftists" who threw our allies to the wolves in Vietnam and Cambodia?

Why, at the time of the first gulf war, which I supported, and continue to support, did I wade alone into a mob of shrieking peace demonstrators in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and shout them down to their faces until the police led me away?

Why did I support the U.S. use of force in Afghanistan?

Why did I bother fighting back against the real self-loathing leftists on this blog and on many other forums for so long?

I submit that it is because I have not actually become a "self-loathing leftist." Rather, you have become the very evil you bleat so loudly about. I doubt at this point there could be any arbitrary use of force by the US government for some entirely self-serving reason that you would not immediately perceive as an embodiment of the most sublime principles of righteousness. There have already been a great many intelligent thinkers not usually identified with the "self-loathing left" who have questioned, as I do, the notions that Georgia is a pure, paragon of democracy whose use of area effect weapons against a civilian population could only be characterized as "resistance" to the Russian "bully." Far from addressing the arguments these people are making, you are entirely oblivious to them. Instead, if anyone dares to question your good guy/bad guy version of reality, you simply throw them in with the bad guys, and drive on, mouthing the same old, worn out slogans about "moral relativism," and "self-loathing leftists." Calm and reason in dealing with international disagreements are merely a sign of "weakness." If we don't react with threats, bellicose speaches, and ham-handed attempts to humiliate any nation that crosses us, we are "appeasers."

In a word, I may well be wasting my breath here. Perhaps the best advice one can give is to acquire a few civil defense manuals from the late 50's and early 60's on eBay, hope for the best, and prepare for the worst.

Helian,
I read the first paragraph of your post and stopped to write this. Let go of your emotions, depersonalize the argument and go back and re-read my posts. For some reason you seem to assume that disagreement is immediately disrespect or an attack. I haven't questioned you, your patriotism or anything else besides . . . your argument, and the specific point around a Kosovo Georgia parallel that you bring up. Your argument as I perceive it, of course.
Go back and re-read with a more objective, less emotional, frame of mind and I think you will see this.

Tyranno

PS: Ok, after writing the paragraph above I went back and finished your letter. There is just so much there (the majority?) that is purely your (victimized?) inference, very little of what I have said! I am "oblivious to arguments" other than my own but ... mention the Buchanan and Sowell articles supporting your contention??? ... fill my prior posts with questions in an attempt to understand the point you are making that I disagree with???
Take a chill pill brother, climb down off of your cross and instead ... fisk my post. (that is what I am here for:)

Ok, one last point comes to mind before I go run. Do you really not perceive a difference between a representative democracy overthrowing an authoritarian regime and, an authoritarian regime overthrowing a representative democracy. These two situations represent an equivalency for you???

(Not to question the validity of the last Russian election. After all, President Medvedev has been everywhere, on the evening news articulating, in the OPS center strategizing, on the frontlines spearheading the Russian invasion of Georgia . . . right?)

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