George Handlery about the week that was. Pies in faces. Preventive nuclear war plans. Principle for oil? Palin and Obama. Economics and blame. Good guy: his bomb was for elsewhere. Not lies are the problem: believing them is.
1. Pie-in-the-face. It is reported that M. Sobel, convicted in the Rosenberg case for spying for the Soviets, admits now what he has been denying. He really was a Soviet spy. Along with the convicted and executed Rosenbergs. Even this will hardly convince those who have made the innocence of the Rosenbergs into their dogma. The correctness of such positions – as are causes such as “Cuba” and “Viet Nam” which after his release Sobel “fought for” – are articles of faith. The main effect of the regret-free admission is not going to be the clarification of a case whose rational proof has been solid all along. What Sobel’s role and his causes do is to put the unrepentant Hanoi Janes and those chanting “ho, ho, ho Ho Chi Minh” once again, with a pie in their face, into the company they deserve.
2. More pie-in-the-face. This time it is worn by the transatlantic Peace Activists. These are the people that have foolishly done their insufficient best to deprive us of the means of self-defense. Even if the USSR’s succession state still guards the secret, stunning information emerges from some ex Warsaw Pact states. Until the late ’80s, WP’s planning assumed a nuclear and not a conventional war in Europe. The war was to begin with its unprovoked preventive tactical nuclear blow. NATO presumed the conflict to be avoided would grow out of a crisis and be initially conventional due to the Soviets’ massive superiority in this area. The WP’s first strike would have aimed at the nuclear “disarmament” of Western Europe by destroying its nuclear arsenal with the unanticipable preventive surprise attack. Contrary to expectations, conventional operations – always practiced in maneuvers, as offensives – were to be only a mopping up operation. The presumed quick march to the Channel had its makeability in the nuclear crushing of organized resistance. In the waning decade of the Soviet system its military, cognizant of losing the high-tech armament race, felt that this trend justifies and necessitates the unleashing of preventive nuclear war.
The first inference is that NATO’s planning was strategically wrong. It assumed a Soviet conflict management that was not even near to their real concept. Nowadays, in new contexts, we are still repeating this mistake. It comes about by projecting on the enemy one’s own thinking that is the product of a political culture which is not theirs. The second insight regards the West’s Left. As in the Rosenberg case, it is naïve to expect that the ageing activists will now do what they should. Those who went on the street for “détente” had it “all wrong” and, had they been successful, they would have improved the chances of Soviet strategy. Obviously, this would have made the implementation of the plans more likely. So they wind up through the revelations with a pie in their face. Accordingly, since they have “merely” misjudged the enemy and their own side, they should start to eat humble pie and cease self-celebrating their glorious “68”.
3. The containment of the operations of an offensive force is no aggression. If you find reason to reckon that it will provoke the other side then you have just admitted how dangerous that opponent is. One of the current dangers is that Germany and some others might use the isolation of Russia to strike a separate deal. The justification: Russia’s fears of the world are nurtured by isolation and that makes her more aggressive. The motive: its isolation might make Moscow offer a better deal. Call all this “rational principle traded for oil.”
4. There is little doubt that Moscow will, in the future, exploit Europe’s energy dependence and threaten with the reduction of deliveries. Yes, ultimately Russia needs the revenue. Cold rooms and ovens are, however, immediate.
5. Tactical advise. Begin with using “wise old” Biden’s experience to disqualify “young immature” Palin. Then shift gears. Use Obama’s “youthful innocence” to demolish that old-hand, “fogy” McCain as a candidate. Say that you are pressed for time to do this before he is mummified.
6. Palin and Obama share some characteristics. Like Obama, Palin conveys a good gut feeling to audiences. Even if the writer does not share all her views, her charisma matches the taste of several segments of the electorate. At the same time, her candidacy contains defined positions of substance. Therefore, in Palin’s case, going up in vapor if exposed to light is unlikely. Palin has been presented to the public months after Obama started his sales efforts. The conformist’s non-conformist’s attraction is emotional rather than substantive. Therefore, voters are less likely to tire of Palin than of Obama. As things are, the public might be showing signs of having its fill of Obama’s celebrity show.
7. Quite unrelated to the sub-prime crisis, the industrialized world is in the midst of a cyclical adjustment. This is neither unprecedented nor unexpected. A complicating factor accompanies the process of selective contraction and general expansion and that, being a renewal, is the foundation of rising welfare. The complicating factor is a public that, being illiterate in economic matters, is unable to asses the causes and the purpose of the movement in which it is caught. The bewilderment is not accidental. Schools do not deal adequately with the subject. Furthermore, the instructors – being themselves old-fashioned products of a dated system – are intellectually an emotionally unprepared to deal rationally with the process that channels economic activity.
8. There is an upshot of the above. Once accelerated change and its (creative) dislocation alert the public, it reacts with the confusion that is to be expected from the uninformed. Whether a country is governed some mutation of the Left – Britain, Spain and even Germany – or what passes as the “Right,” such as the USA, those in power are blamed for the dislocation. In case we would be in a generally upward-expansive phase – as under the Clintons – the same people would be credited for the good times. A lesson should be learned in order to be able to chide or extol those that deserve it and not only the ones on whose watch “it” happens. The thing to know is that that the power of government and of politics over the economy is limited. Government’s role is the most effective when – even if it means well – it ruins the environment in which the economy unfolds.
9. The publications I see like to point out that O. J. Simpson will be tried before an all-white jury. Would an all-black jury have been prominently mentioned? Alternatively, how about a jury of blacks in case of an accused white?
10. Momin Khawarja, now a Canadian citizen, was caught with a remote controlled trigger device to detonate explosives. His ingenious defense is that he did not mean to detonate in London but in Afghanistan. More dangerous than the bomb would have been is that such a defense can be mounted.
11. The Spiegel (Mirror) is the leading weekly of the German speaking countries – their population is around 100 million. Issue 35 was dedicated to McCain and the cover page had his picture titled “The Cold Warrior.” The next issue carries nine letters regarding the candidate. Seven are negative. Their totality suggests not only that Europe wants Obama. He is wanted for attributed traits attributed and because these are assumed to be the opposites of McCain’s. Ironically, Obama is trying to convince his electorate that these traits do not represent his values and his program. Now, to a blended summary of what McCain is said to be:
McCain got himself shot down while bombing a city full of civilians.
True, McCain might have suffered in Nam; nevertheless, he has helped to wage a war of destruction against a defenseless civilian population. Therefore, one has to ask what else (but mistreatment) he could expect.
May our good fortune save the world of a President McCain who dreams of the US ruling the world!
The already existing instrument of domination is NATO. With the help of its new members the US succeeded to get Europe’s support for the encirclement of Russia.
It is also clear why Obama will not become President. What else could happen in a country ruled by gun-maniacs and conceit: moderates do not have the least chance there.
The Americans do not have enough blacks to finally white wash that country as a vast majority of the whites will never vote for a man of color!
The good news regarding these views would be if their sources would know that these are falsifications and simplifications made to prevail in a political contest. The real bad news is that the letter writers honestly believe what they say.
12. One more thing. Mickey Mouse must die. There must be a shortage of Christians, Jews, Hindus, Animists and Buddhists to kill. When will the Religion of Peace go after Donald D.?