Thursday, March 20, 2014

WaPo: We Own the World, Obama, Start Acting Like It

Fred Hiatt: an editorial philosophy
only a neocon could love.
According to the editorial board of the Washington Post -- by which we mean war-lovin' Fred Hiatt -- we should press our NATO noses right up against the glass of Moscow and give Vladimir Putin a real reason to squirm, and Obama is a chump for not thinking that way.

What's more, the thought that we invited Putin's adventurism by taking the Baltics and stuffing them in NATO's pocket, that's somehow anathema to Fred Hiatt's sensibilities, so we should just ignore that. After all, it's up to us to realign Europe. How in hell could that make the skin on the back of Putin's neck crawl? Buck up, Vlad, because, you know, freedom!

Sorry, Fred, but some Russian experts feel we did provoke him (though others dispute that). You know that cornering a rattlesnake is a sure-fire way to make it strike. Putin just did just that. It was a small strike but just enough to upend the balancing act that was a New Europe. Putin more or less said, 'No, this is the New Europe, and we're in it, asshole." Not very polite of him, I admit, the little brat. But you know the saying: He did it because he could.

Okay, we get it, Vlad. It's interesting to note that little land grabs -- most likely all that Putin's Russia dares to do -- are the price the West must pay for pushing up against Russia's borders. Hiatt says Obama doesn't get it. Hell, even John McCain gets it, as Atrios noted today. Here's quintessential McCain, and by extension neocons from DC to the end of time:
I do not see a military option and it’s tragic.
Think Progress catches the Weekly Standard's Bill Kristol hoping that America can catch war fever again because it's always so much fun. We must find our way back home, to war, where we belong!
Bill Kristol: C'mon, America,
rediscover your love of war!
“American war-weariness isn’t new,” Kristol wrote in a piece published on Monday. “Using it as an excuse to avoid maintaining our defenses or shouldering our responsibilities isn’t new, either. But that doesn’t make it admirable.” 
So that's what's wrong with Obama. He doesn't want war in Europe, even though, according to John McCain, it's "tragic" that it's not an option. Which is it, guys? Admit it, you don't even know. But Obama's weak because there's nothing to be done about Putin's playing chicken. It's not like he bombed Wichita. He grabbed a small province that once did belong to Russia, and it's halfway around the world, and we can't do a damned thing about it, militarily at least. And it's "tragic."

It is a violation of international norms and laws, and the West has to act. But the fact is Russia and Putin are going to pay a higher price than Putin can currently foresee for this little adventure, and down the road the price he pays will be revealed. That it doesn't amount to much now makes all these chicken hawks have little face twitches. Sorry, chicken hawks, but twitches is all you get this time.

What did Fred Hiatt say the last time he saw a war coming his way? Let's see:
During the past decade the United States vowed many times to disarm Saddam Hussein, who made no secret of his hatred and enmity toward the United States; but when the Iraqi dictator resisted, the United States chose to abandon its vows rather than use the force that would have been needed to enforce them. In every case, the calculation, stated or unstated, was the same: Pay tribute, don't make trouble, and maybe nothing worse will happen.
In the ruins of Lower Manhattan in September 2001, most Americans saw evidence that this calculation was incorrect as well as craven. The nation's enemies would not be deterred or mollified by a gentle response; they would be emboldened. President Bush rightly concluded that the nation had to defend itself more vigilantly but also that no defense could succeed unless accompanied by an offensive against the terrorists and the states that sheltered them.
Washington Post, 2/13/03
I know how bad you must feel, Fred, when you try to come to terms with what a fucking idiot that statement made you look like. Iraq didn't have anything to do with 9/11, and we actually did disarm him long before we invaded him, just like Hans Blix and Scott Ritter said we did.

So, according to your logic, Senator, if
we could go to war, it wouldn't be tragic?
Acting like a bonehead now on Ukraine, Fred, by saying that Obama doesn't understand Putin isn't going to fix what a bonehead you were on Iraq. It just reminds us of your responsibility in the run-up to the war. People died, Fred, a lot of them, and a lot of young men and women don't have hands or legs or both. Congratulations on your tough stands!

But you can stop now. Please.

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