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John Kerry: Useful Idiot
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Tell me if you've ever seen words similar to this:
During the Vietnam War we spread vitriolic stories around the world, pretending that America's presidents sent Genghis Khan-style barbarian soldiers to Vietnam who raped at random, taped electrical wires to human genitals, cut off limbs, blew up bodies and razed entire villages. Those weren't facts. They were our tales, but some seven million Americans ended up being convinced their own president, not communism, was the enemy. As Yuri Andropov, who conceived this dezinformatsiya war against the U.S., used to tell me, people are more willing to believe smut than holiness.
You've seen them once today if you read the first post on Beauchamp when I reminded you of a certain witness before the Senate 30+ years ago:
"They told stories at times they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Genghis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam in addition to the normal ravage of war, and the normal and particular ravaging which is done by the applied bombing power of this country."
Who wrote the first paragraph? Lt. Gen. Ion Mihai Pacepa who happens to be the highest-ranking intelligence official ever to have defected from the Soviet bloc. And his job?
Sowing the seeds of anti-Americanism by discrediting the American president was one of the main tasks of the Soviet-bloc intelligence community during the years I worked at its top levels.
Now you know whose "stories" Kerry was really telling. And Pacepa found the John Kerrys and Jane Fondas of the era to be just perfect for his purposes:
The final goal of our anti-American offensive was to discourage the U.S. from protecting the world against communist terrorism and expansion. Sadly, we succeeded. After U.S. forces precipitously pulled out of Vietnam, the victorious communists massacred some two million people in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Another million tried to escape, but many died in the attempt. This tragedy also created a credibility gap between America and the rest of the world, damaged the cohesion of American foreign policy, and poisoned domestic debate in the U.S.
I'm sure the usual commenter will again deny reality and give us his revisionist history of Vietnam. But it again stresses the point I made earlier of why I don't intend to let the John Kerrys of this generation get an unchallenged start at destroying this generation of the military.
 
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Some people think that only the USA is an actor, and that other countries merely react (at best) to our actions. This is where you get some of the "its all America’s fault" thinking, because they just assume foreign countries mind their own business and don’t actively pursue their own policies. If we just left them alone, they would leave us alone, etc.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I was watching some of Yon’s video interviews last night and they had one where the mayor of Baqubah was talking about Al-Qaeda making sheep wear diapers. Yon said he heard that story in Anbar, too.

Then there were the stories of the carrots/cabbages can’t be side by side, etc.

They sort of remind me of the Soviet-spread lies (USA made AIDS, etc.) I don’t even know if they are really true, but they do show that people in Iraq are willing to make fun of Al-Qaeda - a very good sign if you ask me.

I’d like to think our guys came up with some of these stories to spread, but I doubt we are that competent.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
I read that piece by Pacepa earlier today, and all I could think was "why haven’t I heard of this guy before?"
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
The new book on Nixon by Dallek finds that the Nixon Whitehouse concluded the Vietnam war was unwinnable in 1971. Yet the real reason why the argument that Vietnam was necessary to fight communism is wrong is because George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable. Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union. Communism never was viable for the long run — North Korea is proof of where that system leads. We were more scared of it than needed to be the case.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sure, Communism was/is destined to peter out, but it could take a damn long time. It depends entirely on how long and how broad its viable "run" is to know if it were worth fighting in Vietnam. Realizing that Communism cannot last and will run its course at some undetermined time in the future doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have been actively opposed. There are people still suffering in your example of North Korea. I bet they wish someone would come fight a "pointless" war there tomorrow.
 
Written By: Fyro
URL: http://
Kinda like it has died out in Cuba, oh so quickly?
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
... George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable. Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union. Communism never was viable for the long run — North Korea is proof of where that system leads. We were more scared of it than needed to be the case.
This would of course make sense if communism was an organic, bottom-up organization. Since it is instead, a top-down, tyrannically enforce organization, we find evidence all over the world that gives the lie to Kennan’s argument. Our existence (and that of the generally free West) does nothing in and of itself to retard the growth of communism, although we may contribute to its sclerosis. The question that the anti-Vietnam War folks never seem to ask themsleves is: "what if the US had been allowed to win?"
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
’I read that piece by Pacepa earlier today, and all I could think was "why haven’t I heard of this guy before?"
He wrote a very good book about the Romanian tyranny of the Ceaucescus. "Red Horizons", 1987. Very good.

brain-sushi:
"The real reason why the argument that Vietnam was necessary to fight communism is wrong is because George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable."
...not to mention the deaths of tens of millions of individuals along the way, you disgusting jackass.
Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union.
Bullsh1t.

Are you people reading this creep carefully? Do you know the territory?

Look, Erb: stop trying to insinuate that Kennan was against "fight[ing] communism" because it’s not true. His Foreign Affairs article called for "adroit and vigilant application of counterforce at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points." That’s a direct quote with emphasis added. That’s what he called "containment". It is certainly true that he exempted mainland Asia: his backstop was the Philippines and Japan as the "cornerstone of a Pacific security system". (The Joint Chiefs of Staff were very much behind this concept c. 1950.) During the Fulbright Hearings, Kennan testified that Vietnam was compromising other U.S. commitments. He didn’t like the war in Vietnam, but that’s nothing in the world like not being interested to fight communism.

So, just stop it already before this gets ugly.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
The new book on Nixon by Dallek finds that the Nixon Whitehouse concluded the Vietnam war was unwinnable in 1971. Yet the real reason why the argument that Vietnam was necessary to fight communism is wrong is because George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable. Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union. Communism never was viable for the long run — North Korea is proof of where that system leads. We were more scared of it than needed to be the case.
Amazing.

There is no part of this that doesn’t make you sound like a f*cking retard.

And where are my 5 links, you god damn fraud?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable. Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union.
These points attributed to George Kennan are contradicting. If assume the communist system was doomed collapse then any conflict they entered into with US and the West was thus more difficult for the communists to sustain. The US engaging in less conflicts or withdrawing early from would have been more beneficial to the weaker communist system, not advantageous to the stronger US and Western system.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://warisforwinning.blogspot.com/
The new book on Nixon by Dallek finds that the Nixon Whitehouse concluded the Vietnam war was unwinnable in 1971. Yet the real reason why the argument that Vietnam was necessary to fight communism is wrong is because George Kennan was right: communism was incompatible with basic human nature and as long as the US and the West maintained a viable and vibrant alternative, the death of communism was inevitable. Kennan argued against the kind of strategy that brought Vietnam because he understood that this simply made the US vulnerable to getting sucked into pointless wars that were of little cost to the Soviet Union. Communism never was viable for the long run — North Korea is proof of where that system leads. We were more scared of it than needed to be the case.
Yes. Look at North Korea. 23 million people living under the communist jackboot for fifty years and counting, on the brink of starvation and death from the elements (to say nothing of the secret police). If, in the end, Vietnam could not save the RVN, Laos, and Cambodia, it may well have saved Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia... Our escalation in Vietnam at the very least drew a line in the sand against communist expansion. We demonstrated again that we were serious about fighting it with more than vitriolic words, after we had sat by during the invasion of Hungary, for instance.

You act like communism was an innocuous little social experiment, that had it succeeded, ’oh well, it’ll all work itself out in the end’. Let’s not forget, in our cheery revisionism, that communism murdered 90 million people in the process.
 
Written By: J
URL: http://
Look, Erb: stop trying to insinuate that Kennan was against "fight[ing] communism" because it’s not true. His Foreign Affairs article called for "adroit and vigilant application of counterforce at a series of constantly shifting geographical and political points." That’s a direct quote with emphasis added. That’s what he called "containment". It is certainly true that he exempted mainland Asia: his backstop was the Philippines and Japan as the "cornerstone of a Pacific security system". (The Joint Chiefs of Staff were very much behind this concept c. 1950.) During the Fulbright Hearings, Kennan testified that Vietnam was compromising other U.S. commitments. He didn’t like the war in Vietnam, but that’s nothing in the world like not being interested to fight communism.
Kennan was very much against communism, but his notion of containment was a carrot and stick approach, and a strong point rather than perimeter defense. He understood communism could not survive, and opposed the militarization of containment as recommended by Nitze and others in NSC-68. I think Kennan’s approach was sound. Communism was evil, but it was an evil that could be contained and brought to change without having gone through the risks and costs of the Cold War.

Vietnam weakeend the US immensely, and helped the Soviets achieve short term parity. It was a foreign policy disaster, but due to the strength of the American system vis-a-vis Soviet communism, not a fatal one.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Sure, Communism was/is destined to peter out, but it could take a damn long time. It depends entirely on how long and how broad its viable "run" is to know if it were worth fighting in Vietnam. Realizing that Communism cannot last and will run its course at some undetermined time in the future doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t have been actively opposed. There are people still suffering in your example of North Korea. I bet they wish someone would come fight a "pointless" war there tomorrow.
I doubt they want their country bombed and decimated more so, they’d rally behind their leader — even though we’d consider that irrational.

Kennan thought a carrot and stick approach would bring change to the Soviet Union, and argued that if we took a harsh militarist response they’d be able to last much longer than they should. One wonders if we may not have spared a lot of risks, proxy wars whose after effects still decimate Africa and much of the third world, and costs if we had taken Kennan’s approach. We’ll never know.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"We were more scared of it than needed to be the case. "

SCREW THOSE BROWN PEOPLE!

People with darker skin than me DESERVE to live in slavery of communism (or islamism)...

Progressivism....racist then, racist now...
 
Written By: Erb-Fan
URL: http://
You working on those five links there, bucko?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
From "Gramscian damage":

"In a previous post on Suicidalism, I identified some of the most important of the Soviet Union’s memetic weapons. Here is that list again:

* There is no truth, only competing agendas.
* All Western (and especially American) claims to moral superiority over Communism/Fascism/Islam are vitiated by the West’s history of racism and colonialism.
* There are no objective standards by which we may judge one culture to be better than another. Anyone who claims that there are such standards is an evil oppressor.
* The prosperity of the West is built on ruthless exploitation of the Third World; therefore Westerners actually deserve to be impoverished and miserable.
* Crime is the fault of society, not the individual criminal. Poor criminals are entitled to what they take. Submitting to criminal predation is more virtuous than resisting it.
* The poor are victims. Criminals are victims. And only victims are virtuous. Therefore only the poor and criminals are virtuous. (Rich people can borrow some virtue by identifying with poor people and criminals.)
* For a virtuous person, violence and war are never justified. It is always better to be a victim than to fight, or even to defend oneself. But ‘oppressed’ people are allowed to use violence anyway; they are merely reflecting the evil of their oppressors.
* When confronted with terror, the only moral course for a Westerner is to apologize for past sins, understand the terrorist’s point of view, and make concessions.

As I previously observed, if you trace any of these back far enough, you’ll find a Stalinist intellectual at the bottom. (The last two items on the list, for example, came to us courtesy of Frantz Fanon. The fourth item is the Baran-Wallerstein “world system” thesis.) Most were staples of Soviet propaganda at the same time they were being promoted by “progressives” (read: Marxists and the dupes of Marxists) within the Western intelligentsia."



 
Written By: Erb-Fan
URL: http://
Wow... It’s like reading a Liberal’s mind...
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
SCREW THOSE BROWN PEOPLE!

People with darker skin than me DESERVE to live in slavery of communism (or islamism)..
Of course not — but in Vietnam a million people died due to our "help." War kills. War also pushes populations often to embrace their own leaders against an outside force. War strengthens extremists who thrive in chaos. War is mass killings, and not an effective tool for political reform. Kennan’s point was that communism might have ended more quickly through stable reform if it hadn’t been militarized through the Cold War. He came up with the doctrine of containment, and a plan to implement it.

3 steps
1. Restore balance of power by encouraging self-confidence in nations threatened by Soviet behavior.
2. Reduce Soviet ability to project influence by exploiting tension between Moscow and international communist movement. (China)
3. Modification, over time, of Soviet concept of international relations, view of creating a settlement, make them a status quo power.

This had three stages
1. US had to abandon universalism.
Universalism: US belief that US always right, and that because it is within our traditions and political philosophy, the rest of the world should do it our way. To historians like Kennan, this was understandable, but an intolerable attitude for any state offering world leadership.
2. Fragment communist movement. Tito and China were a start. Kennan wanted anti-totalitarianism to replace anti-Communisim, so that the U.S. could support non-totalitarian Communists. Nationalism was the key to understanding movements of liberation, and not anti-Communism.
3. Change in Time in Soviet Union. Positive and negative behavior modification. Soviet system untenable in the long run. If pressure kept up, along with positive incentives for change, then sometime the Soviet Union would give up its separate path. He feared that if it was just pressure or (as it came to ultimately become) militarized containment, then the Soviets would resist change and could continue until the system absolutely collapsed (which happened). Kennan opposed a cold war, his knowledge of Russian history suggested that this would simply lead them to look inward and compete, hurting both countries and risking a hot war.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
You got those links yet?
 
Written By: Scott Jacobs
URL: http://
Kennan’s point was that communism might have ended more quickly through stable reform if it hadn’t been militarized through the Cold War.
Note: Communism was militarised through WW2 not the Cold War - resultant of mostly German action.
Kennan wanted anti-totalitarianism to replace anti-Communisim, so that the U.S. could support non-totalitarian Communists. Nationalism was the key to understanding movements of liberation, and not anti-Communism.
Well then what he wanted and what he suggested were two different things. Unfortunately supporting anti-Communist totalitarian nationalists is a function of the retreat from universalism, because if there is no value in supporting universal American-type ideals (liberty, democracy, freedom) then all that remains is to contain rival internationalist ideals - communism is internationalist and nationalism is not, so a despotic nationalist is preferred to a humane communist.

 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
Unaha: Sorry, I was carelss. Containment wasn’t militarized until Korea. Acheson and Truman were unsure whether Nitze’s perimeter defense focused on potential Soviet capacities or Kennan’s strongpoint defense, based on actual Soviet interests and abilities made more sense. Korea seemed to confirm Nitze’s argument (Kennan didn’t believe it did) and the Korean war led NATO to become a military rather than political organization (Acheson stressed to GOP Senators that NATO did not require the US defense of Europe — it wasn’t an alliance that bound members to mutual defense).

Kennan was a quintessential realist who believed that no state, even our own, should try to impose our values on others. At the same time, he did not believe the US need work with or cooperate with states that we find abhorrent (hence his Long Telegram/X article). Anti-totalitarianism as a doctrine made sense to Kennan since he believed totalitarianism was inherently a threat to international stability. He was, I think, correct.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"War kills."

Sure.

And it also liberated slaves in the U.S. Civil War.

And liberated Jews from slavery and genocide in WW2.

Running away in Vietnam led to slavery for a majority of Vietnamese. Those enslaved had darker skin than you.

Are you pro-slavery? Or a racist?
 
Written By: Erb-Fan
URL: http://
Communism was evil, but it was an evil that could be contained and brought to change without having gone through the risks and costs of the Cold War.
IS evil, Scott. IS, as in it’s still around.
Vietnam weakeend the US immensely, and helped the Soviets achieve short term parity. It was a foreign policy disaster, but due to the strength of the American system vis-a-vis Soviet communism, not a fatal one.
Once again, it wasn’t the war that weakened the US immensely, but the Soviet-backed anti-war/anti-US movement. Militarily the communists could not win, so instead they sought to divide the enemy from within. It worked. Sympathetic anti-capitalists agitated against the US, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and precipitated the abandonment of our duties and responsibilities to South Vietnam soon thereafter.
 
Written By: MichaelW
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Bypassing Scott Erb for a second, the General writes in the referenced article:
Competition is indeed the engine that has driven the American dream forward, but unity in time of war has made America the leader of the world. During World War II, 405,399 Americans died to defeat Nazism, but their country of immigrants remained sturdily united.
That would be a time of war against Germany and Italy and Japan.
Now we are again at war. It is not the president’s war. It is America’s war, authorized by 296 House members and 76 senators. I do not intend to join the armchair experts on the Iraq war.
No, that would be the Iraq War against Iraq which ended 4 years ago. Not at war against anyone at this time. This is the occupation phase of Iraq corrosponding to the occupation phase of WW2 when McCarthy (& Nixon) were smearing the President as wilfully protecting spies and traitors at the state department.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
Back to Scott Erb:
Kennan was a quintessential realist who believed that no state, even our own, should try to impose our values on others. At the same time, he did not believe the US need work with or cooperate with states that we find abhorrent (hence his Long Telegram/X article). Anti-totalitarianism as a doctrine made sense to Kennan since he believed totalitarianism was inherently a threat to international stability. He was, I think, correct.
They do have a lot of oil which you need or they have a quite a large amount of investment capital which will come in handy or they have a large pool of eductated production technicians able to produce TVs so easily - he was wrong, you need to work within these constraints. To do otherwise sounds dangerously and unrealistically isolationist.
 
Written By: unaha-closp
URL: http://
Containment wasn’t militarized until Korea.
Do military airlifts to Berlin count??

A brief history of containment might be useful...

It would seem the Greek Civil War could be considered the first instance of militarization of the policy...

Of course, what this has to do with the Soviet Unions use of propaganda during the Vietnam War, and who parroted that propaganda here at home, is beyond me.

A particularly virulent virus is not viable in the long run, sooner or later it’s potential hosts will either die, or be immunized against its effects. So, you have choices to make in fighting this virus. And you don’t have to choose just one path. Any choice you make, more people are going to die until the spread of the virus is under control.

Of course, if you don’t care about the people who die from the virus, then you really don’t have to do anything but try to isolate yourself, and create an immunity for yourself.

You throw up your hands and say, there’s nothing we can do to make it better that might not have risks involved. Giving vaccines after all will cause some people to get sick and possible die from the vaccine.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
"We were more scared of it than needed to be the case. "

As in "...we are now free of that inordinate fear of communism..."?

***************8

"Note: Communism was militarised through WW2 not the Cold War"

An argument could be made that Communism was militarized before WWII, because of its very nature. The SU was certainly militarized before WWII.

****************************
"(Acheson stressed to GOP Senators that NATO did not require the US defense of Europe — it wasn’t an alliance that bound members to mutual defense)."
"it wasn’t an alliance that bound members to mutual defense)."

From Article V of the Nato Charter;

"The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:gTZc_FsO4pYJ:www.nato.int/docu/basictxt/treaty.htm+nato,+charter&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us

Most of its writing here betrays at best a superficial knowledge of whatever it is yammering about, and would require too much work(I confess to being very lazy) to refute, but this particular idiocy demands comment, is clear cut, and takes less effort. It claims that its field of "expertise" is European politics, yet it doesn’t seem to know the contents of one of the basic documents of European post-war politics. Its knowledge of Communism, also a fairly important factor in European politics, is laughable. What does it say about its expertise if I, whose only course in poly sci. was a half-semester of ps 100, know more about this than it does?



 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
"...it was an evil that could be contained and brought to change without having gone through the risks and costs of the Cold War."
You are the most ridiculous ignoramus that anyone has ever seen anywhere near this subject, Erb.

It’s an outrage that you’re a university professor.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Someone really ought to make this cretinous fraud’s words available to its students and administration.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Erb,

You know, the Nazis weren’t really a threat to the West as long as we existed as a viable alternative...

The Cold War is called the Cold War for a reason...because we didn’t go to a hot war to end communism.

Take a long, hard look at GDP/capita for Taiwan/Korea vs. Vietnam in the year 2007. It looks like the war was costly to the Vietnamese people just as it was to the USA.

p.s. You can contain all you want, but when Indonesia has the largest communist party in the world in 1965, you better hope some of the locals decide they don’t want to be communist and use force against the party, i.e. if we sit back and wait for our model to win, it essentially means locals have to do the dirty war fighting. Fine by you I guess.
 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
Someone really ought to make this cretinous fraud’s words available to its students and administration. — timactual
Search engines make finding his drivel here and about as easy as type type enter for anyone who’s curious. It seems wishful thinking to suppose that Erbie’s academic co-conspirators and enablers would care in the least or that any of his more alert classroom victims would be at all surprised.
 
Written By: Linda Morgan
URL: http://
Harun, Kennan’s argument, based on his understanding of Russian history and his realist approach to world affairs, was that the focus on communism was misguided. Communism that was not totalitarian would quickly morph into something else because it could not work. The problem was totalitarianism, and that we had to contain. He opposed perimeter defense because that would be given the Soviets control over our foreign policy — they could give resources to fund a revolution in the third world, and we’d be forced to respond. In fact, Vietnam is an example of what Kennan feared would happen. Kissinger, also a realist (but not sharing Kennan’s strongpoint defense), managed to work out an unwritten agreement with the Soviets that proxy wars would not be allowed to became all out super power war. That helped save us from a ’hot war,’ but this also led to the support of a myriad of authoritarian regimes on our part, totalitarian and authoritarian regimes on the part of the Soviets, and much of the third world still suffers the after affects (including the arms sent to places like Somalia, etc.).

Billy, you are not competent to determine who should be a university professor if you think that anyone who finds George Kennan’s ideas to be worthy of consideration or persuasive hence disqualifies himself.

Keith, most historians (including conservative historian John L. Gaddis) consider the Korean war to be what militarized containment. Despite the Berlin airlift and the Greek civil war (which Stalin pretty much stayed out of due to his agreement with Churchill) led to aid, the Truman doctrine and the Marshall Plan. The 1947 National Security Act provided the governmental infrastructure for engaging in a foreign policy with a global reach, but within the White House Kennan’s ideas and Nitze’s (NSC-68) were still being debated. NATO had not yet become primarily a military organization, and a commitment to a massive arms build up and perimeter defense had not yet been made.

Dean Acheson on Jan. 12, 1950 outlined where the US would help defend against Communism. He gave Kennan’s basic strong point response which did not include Korea. Kim saw that and begged for permission to attack (something he’d been itching to do anyway), enlisting Mao on his side. Stalin ultimately agreed, though with some reluctance. The fact that less than a year after Acheson’s press conference communism expanded in an area outside the strong point defense convinced Truman and most decision makers that NSC-68 was right. NATO quickly became a military organization first, and the arms race took off.

For Kennan, the real opportunity was in 1953 when Stalin died. He thought new leadership might modify Soviet behavior, but by then the McCarthy era had begun and the US after Korea was convinced the Soviets could not change. Kennan’s ideas were thus rejected — though historians and foreign policy scholars still debate whether or not things could have turned out much differently. And Billy, the thing about academia is that we consider such debates good, we don’t have a dogma that you have to believe in.

Finally, read closely Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, particularly this phrase: such action as it deems necessary, . Acheson convinced wavering Republican isolationists that this gave the US an out, we didn’t have to engage in military action if Europe was attacked. Your read was a bit superficial, timactual, but if you spend more time learning the details and debates of the era you could develop your understanding.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Search engines make finding his drivel here and about as easy as type type enter for anyone who’s curious. It seems wishful thinking to suppose that Erbie’s academic co-conspirators and enablers would care in the least or that any of his more alert classroom victims would be at all surprised.
It’s interesting that you can only make generic insults, but can’t really counter what I write. In any event, I post publicly, both my blog and here, and am proud of the fact I seek out different perspectives and learn from them, even if that means enduring insults. Also, I suspect teaching awards, professional recognition, and public lectures count for more than insults from a small group of bloggers ;-)
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
It seems wishful thinking to suppose that Erbie’s academic co-conspirators and enablers would care in the least or that any of his more alert classroom victims would be at all surprised.
Heh - you guys are so funny.
He’s probably getting meritorius conduct awards for this stuff.

 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Also, I suspect teaching awards, professional recognition, and public lectures count for more than insults from a small group of bloggers ;-)
Heh, better yet, his comment indicates I was RIGHT.
How sad is that?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
"Billy, you are not competent to determine who should be a university professor if you think that anyone who finds George Kennan’s ideas to be worthy of consideration or persuasive hence disqualifies himself."
That’s not what I think, you delusional neuroid. I didn’t even remotely hint at anything like that. It’s merely what you just happened to bang into your keyboard, and your grasp of Kennan is worth even less.

George Kennan’s thinking — a notable amount of which history has proven wrong — is in no way inconsiderable to these affairs.

What is also true is that you don’t know what you’re talking about when you invoke him, which you do for all the wrong reasons lying in the bilge of your black little heart.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Sure, Billy, I don’t know what I’m talking about. But you are the expert — even though you aren’t posting anything of content, or countering what I write, but instead just calling names. Very persausive.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"...you are the expert..."
That’s your word, son. Not mine.
"...even though you aren’t posting anything of content..."
That is manifestly not true. Anyone can look right at this thread and see for themselves that that is not true. I referred to the Foreign Affairs article before you did, right up there where I pointed out important elements of Kennan’s thinking.

So, stop your impertinent sniveling.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
Billy, please don’t make him cry. He’ll pull out the Rush quote. I really don’t want to see it again.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Gee, the most famous article of the Cold War and you ’referred’ to it! Wow! That article, originally the "Long Telegram" was sent by Kennan to the White House in part because he thought Truman was likely to continue Roosevelt’s policies of engagement with Stalin. Kennan, who had been stationed in Riga before the war had seen what Stalin was and how evil his regime was. We couldn’t work with that kind of state, we had to contain it and get it to change behavior. But he didn’t want a Cold War or a military confrontation because he thought that would be too risky, costly, and could take decades.

Now, Billy, do you have anything at all to say, or do you just feel a need to insult, but are afraid to actually take a stand and actually defend your position?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
"Gee, the most famous article of the Cold War and you ’referred’ to it!"
It was a matter of patting-down your screeching-chimp routine, Erb.
"...do you have anything at all to say..."
I already have: up there where I took up the matter of your original reference to Kennan, which is largely nonsense. Of course, you’re morphing to different nonsense as you go, but that is a naturally different matter.
 
Written By: Billy Beck
URL: http://www.two—four.net/weblog.php
afraid to actually take a stand and actually defend your position
Erb, you never even notice the irony of your own words...

Provide the quotes that support your claim that you have criticized BDS on this blog. DEFEND YOUR POSITION!

Now your own words make you a liar AND a coward.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I already have: up there where I took up the matter of your original reference to Kennan, which is largely nonsense. Of course, you’re morphing to different nonsense as you go, but that is a naturally different matter.
Basically all you do is assert he was wrong in some of what he thought. Everyone is wrong on some things — even you! No, Billy, you’ve said nothing.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Once again, it wasn’t the war that weakened the US immensely, but the Soviet-backed anti-war/anti-US movement. Militarily the communists could not win, so instead they sought to divide the enemy from within. It worked. Sympathetic anti-capitalists agitated against the US, snatched defeat from the jaws of victory, and precipitated the abandonment of our duties and responsibilities to South Vietnam soon thereafter.
Wow, that’s a radically revisionist view of the conflict — I’ve not encountered that take on it in the scholarship on Vietnam. On what do you base this claim? Is there a study or analysis you’re working from?
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Provide the quotes that support your claim that you have criticized BDS on this blog.
JWG: Two quotes:

But really, that’s not enough to fall into some kind of hatred. It’s a lot like some on the left and President Bush. In fact, the right does it to Reid and Pelosi, and they did it to Daschle. The Left does it to Bush and Cheney, and they did it to Rumsfeld. For some reason I think all these people, left and right, are basically trying to do what they think best, often letting bias and self-interest get in the way. I’ll agree or disagree with them sometimes strongly, but I can’t find it in myself to really get emotionally angered or hateful of any of them. I mean, it’s not like we have a Stalin or Hitler in the mix.

And of course:

You should get checked for MDS. Its related to BDS, but strikes a different population.
Clearly if I’m thinking MDS is bad (in deference to SSHiell and Synova’s position, I’ve dropped accusing people of MDS), and I say it is like BDS, than I’m attacking BDS. Both from Q & O Comment entry 6589.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Both from Q & O Comment entry 6589.
F*ckwit...

You claimed in THAT thread that you had PREVIOUSLY criticized BDS within QandO.

You have to provide quotes from before entry 6589 to "defend your position."

Of course, you already know that, and you’ve been through that point with several commenters.

Thank you for more evidence that your are a liar and a coward.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Erb’s quote that he keeps running from:
I have made those criticisms in this thread [6589] and many times in comments on Q & O
Erb lies. Erb is afraid. Erb’s own words haunt him.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
I tell you what, JWG, if you want me to go find quotes I want you to state clearly that I have never criticized people who smear President Bush, and that I never criticize smears from the left. And I want you to say that if I have, and produce a number of quotes, then you will apologize for calling me a liar. Moreover, you will note that there is a difference between someone lying, and someone simply not documenting a claim. If you promise to do those things, then maybe in the next few days I can find time to grab a few examples.

If you won’t do that, then you are the one afraid.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
it wasn’t the war that weakened the US immensely, but the Soviet-backed anti-war/anti-US movement.
Well, this is partly true. The war didn’t weaken us economically, it was the reaction to the war, and the social fracturing which weakened us. Much the same as the war in Iraq isn’t weakening us economically, the social fracturing is.

Certainly, in both cases, we’ve used up precious resources, the military being the largest resource.

It’s our internal political/social divisions which will do us in though.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
It’s our internal political/social divisions which will do us in though.
That’s inherent in our democratic system. The danger of social divisions has to be taken into account before choosing military conflict — that’s a core principle of the Weinberger and Powell doctrines. In Iraq the war was sold as easy (pundits were proclaiming that oil revenues would pay for it and reconstruction, and that Iraqis were ready for a modern democracy), necessary due to WMD threats (later proven untrue) and pushed under the belief that it would succeed and the public would follow. I’m certain the White House believed that, and thought that once the reality of the victory settled in, Bush (and Blair) would be on top politiclaly, while critics at home and abroad would have to eat crow.

The lesson: don’t sell a war based on optimistic projections and assumptions of easy success. If you’re going to engage in military action, make sure the public is behind it and supportive even if things might become extremely difficult.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Erb is trying to wiggle away from his own words:
Note that I’m just as critical of the left for the personal vitriol against the President.
I have made those criticisms in this thread [6589] and many times in comments on Q & O
afraid to actually take a stand and actually defend your position
Erb is a liar and a coward. His own words haunt him.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
" Moreover, you will note that there is a difference between someone lying, and someone simply not documenting a claim"

How about someone who claims to be documenting a claim when they aren’t?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Afraid of something JWG (chuckle)? You’re wiggling, sliding and oozing all around because you are trying to prove something that’s not true. Worse, you know it.

Again: I tell you what, JWG, if you want me to go find quotes I want you to state clearly that I have never criticized people who smear President Bush, and that I never criticize smears from the left. And I want you to say that if I have, and produce a number of quotes, then you will apologize for calling me a liar. Moreover, you will note that there is a difference between someone lying, and someone simply not documenting a claim. If you promise to do those things, then maybe in the next few days I can find time to grab a few examples.

If you won’t do that, then you prove yourself the coward.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
I want you to state clearly that I have never criticized people who smear President Bush
*ERB LOGIC ALERT*
I have never made that claim, and I won’t make it now.

My assertion that I have stated CLEARLY several times is that you lied when you said:
Note that I’m just as critical of the left for the personal vitriol against the President.
and
I have made those criticisms in this thread [6589] and many times in comments on Q & O
Those are YOUR words and they are lies. I am very clear about that.
If you promise to do those things...If you won’t do that, then you prove yourself the coward.
F*ckwit...

You made the claims (quoted above)...You also made the claim that
afraid to actually take a stand and actually defend your position
That is YOUR definition. By your OWN definition, YOU are a coward until YOU provide evidence that you have been just as critical of the left many times in the comments of QandO.
You’re wiggling, sliding and oozing
F*ckwit...

I’m using YOUR words as my criteria and my definitions. They are direct quotes. They haunt you.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
LOL! If I’m going to do unnecessary work to prove to someone who is rude and insulting that what I said is true, then you have to meet my conditions. Because when all is said and done, it doesn’t matter one iota to me if you think I’m a liar so long as I know I’m telling the truth. I know that’s egoistic of me, but c’est la vie.

Now if you want me to do work and get quotes from you, I will be kind enough to do what most people would not do for someone like you. But you have to state publicly that should I produce quotes from Q&O comments that show me critical of the left when it launches personal attacks against Republicans you will publicly apologize for calling me a liar and admit you were wrong.

Unless you meet those conditions, this is my last comment on the matter.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
Unless you meet those conditions, this is my last comment on the matter
Yeah, like no one would predict that you would run away:

Condition 1) I have REPEATEDLY and clearly stated that you have not been just as critical of the left for the personal vitriol against the President many times in comments on Q & O.

Condition 1 has been met several times. I’ll say it again — YOU HAVE LIED IN MAKING THIS CLAIM.

Condition 2) If you provide 5 quotes from QandO comments previous to thread 6589 (that are not at the very end of the thread since you can go back right now and add them) in which you demonstrate condition 1 is in fact true, then I’ll apologize for calling you a liar in this matter.

If you find 5 quotes to be an unsatisfactory demand, then feel free to offer a different definition for "many" (5 quotes/links was the original challenge).

PREDICTION:
1) You will never produce the quotes.
2) You will run away from your own quoted words defining cowardice.
3) Your own words will haunt you.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Limited time today so I’ll start with three. I can get two more later.

From comment 6408:

"Keith, I’m also afraid the big business of our political fights actually hides the lack of true alternatives. Americans disagree on issues (Iraq, abortion, health care), but even then the differences are more about the proper means to achieve particular goals rather than core values. So the big business gives us talking heads yelling each other on CNN, or talk radio, or Michael Moore’s movies, or blogs on the left and right ranting about how evil George W. Bush or Hillary Clinton are, and how one is ruining the counry, or will ruin it if elected. The good news is that we aren’t as divided as we seem, and if you get past the politically active there is a common sense moderate middle that represents the vast majority. The bad news is that this middle often feels alienated by leftists on one side yelling "impeach Bush" and talk radio jocks on the other saying "liberals are evil." They see the money being spent on campaigns, with the result being that candidates are scripted via focus groups, and with Youtube now only the most careful to stick to the script survive, and don’t really see much room for debate and discussion. It’s all marketing."

Comment 5271:

"I see that on the left too — people attacking Rumsfeld, Bush, Rice, etc., with the same kind of personal hatred. It would be ridiculously funny — people caught up emotionally in politics as if it were a wrestling match with one side good the other side evil — if not for the fact it really is contrary to the spirit of what makes democracy work."

Comment 6266:

"And the Left does the same thing (emotional personal attacks) to Bush, Rice, etc. I guess I understand that emotion is stronger than reason, but still..."




 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
From comment 6408
Your comment criticizes the marketing of emotion and only mentions it as a negative because it alienates others in a third group. However, since it is at least as critical of the Left as it is of the Right, I will concede that it fits the criteria.
Comment 5271
Since you start off the thread saying, "you’re dipping to silliness" and "This ’attack’ is laughable" while listing all the things you see as positive from Carter, I find it ridiculous that you want to say you’re just as critical of the left with this point.

However, I will concede that you made an attempt to be critical of the Left.
Comment 6266
I completely disagree with your comparison in that thread that "the Left does the same thing" — however, I can understand how you think you were being balanced by making the statement.

All in all, this is how I see it:
Clearly you have made some comments that you believed were critical of the Left within an overwhelming ocean of comments critical of the Right.

You are by no means "just as critical of the left" (at least on this blog). However, I can understand how you thought you were making attempts to be "the man in the middle" in your Erb-like way.

Therefore, at this point I am willing to withdraw my claim that you were lying. Clearly, you did not make your claims knowing they were false and I apologize. I do not agree with the accuracy of your claims, but you were not lying and I was wrong to repeatedly use that terminology.

I will also withdraw my claim that you were a coward (based on your definition) on this point. You made the effort to provide evidence, and though we disagree on the value of that evidence, you did not simply disappear.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Vietnam weakeend the US immensely, and helped the Soviets achieve short term parity. It was a foreign policy disaster, but due to the strength of the American system vis-a-vis Soviet communism, not a fatal one.
You say ’the American system’ which I assume you to mean economic system, yet you say it was a foreign policy disaster absorbed by American ’strength’. Speaking in military terms....

Quite the opposite, the Soviet Union was stronger than the US, and considerably so, at the time of Vietnam, and the gap was growing. If they had launched a conventional invasion of Western Europe, the only hope of even stalemate would have been rapid escalation to nuclear weapons. Soviet weapons in virtually every field were vastly superior in both quantity and quality to those of the US. It was not until the Reagan era that his aggressive expansion and modernization of the American military, in conjunction with a concurrent decline in Soviet power and control, that the US would achieve something close to ’parity’ with the USSR.

Our M113 APCs and M60 MBTs were far inferior to the Soviet BMP and T-72 and T-64. In the Yom Kippur War, the Egyptians filled the sky with their ’suitcase’-packed AT-3 Sagger missiles and almost wiped the Israeli armor force from the field in the Sinai (they killed maybe a thousand western-made tanks). The Soviets wouldn’t even have dreamed of SALT until the fielding of the Lance missile in the ’70s scared the bejeezus out of them. Even in the ’80s, our dearth of helicopter-, vehicle-borne, and man-packed anti-tank missiles and (albeit superior) armor would have probably still lost in the overwhelming onslaught of a massed conventional assault by the Soviets.

The final Soviet collapse is largely credited by the United States ’outspending’ them in the arms race. Had the US not taken a hardline with Soviet expansionism and put forth a credible military force ready to confront them on the field of battle, who is to say when the USSR would have crumbled? In the meantime Europe and much of the outside world may have fallen. And how many more lives would have been lost fighting and living under communism?
Kennan’s point was that communism might have ended more quickly through stable reform if it hadn’t been militarized through the Cold War.
The Cold War was militarized by the Soviet Union, not the United States. Vietnam was escalated in the face of increasing escalation worldwide at the behest and direct action of the Soviets. In Southeast Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe nations were falling to communism or had pro-communist or sympathetic insurgencies and insurrections raging. Containment was not working.

You say "war kills", and that the Vietnam conflict killed "a million" people. Well, two million people were killed by the communists, including 200,000 in post-war liquidations. Are you equally ashamed of Western support of the government counter-insurgencies in the Philippines, Malaya, and Indonesia then? How many million would have been purged in those nations had they fallen to communism?

The notion that the Soviet Union was a paper tiger and hollow within is nothing more than a revisionist myth. I suppose history really is written by the victors. Few people seem to realize how close we really were to losing the Cold War. Triumph was never pre-ordained, at the very least not without a massive toll in lives and liberty over many, many years. The Soviet Union fell at the cost of the lives of countless innocents and heroic men. It did not simply collapse under its own weight.

Yes, Scott, "war kills". But we live in the real world here, and it is unfortunately part and parcel of that that liberty costs blood. And the loss of liberty can cost much more.
 
Written By: J
URL: http://
J: I disagree that the Soviet Union could be considered stronger. They had more conventional weapons in Europe, but they were weaker strategically, and their European strength relied on East Europeans not turning against them should war break out. Despite the flaws in extended deterrence, I think the Soviets also realized the cost of trying to take Europe compared to any gains were simply too high. I suspect they were most concerned simply with making sure Germany could never attack again. And, of course, before the sixties the Soviets lacked second strike capacity.

I disagree completely about your claim US spending was the main cause of the Soviet collapse. Ronald Reagan stopped his spending increases (in real terms) after Gorbachev came to power; the KGB had noted in the 70s that the USSR was facing economic collapse if they didn’t alter course. Andropov tried, but he got sick, and his feeble attempts scared the bureaucracy enough to have them choose Chernenko as his replacement — the ultimate stagnate bureaucrat. But by then the economic situation was so bad they realized they needed change, and choose Andropov’s protege, Gorbachev. The fact is, communism was economically unviable. Detente had opened up enough to the West that the Soviet people could make comparisons. Moreover, as globalization took off in the eighties, the Soviet economy’s vulnerabilities were doubly exposed. Communism was, as Kennan noted, untenable in the long run. Economically and psychologically, communism was destructive to a society. Finally, in the time just after 1953 when Malenkov took over, there might have been a chance to defuse the Cold War and save a lot of lives and money. We’ll never know, there was no attempt made.

Also, what if Truman had recognized Ho Chi Minh in the late forties as Ho requested? What if we had listened to people like Kennan and Morgenthau on Vietnam — it’s almost impossible to argue that the war aided American interests in the Cold War. And if there hadn’t been a long, bitter war, there wouldn’t have been as much post-war violence and atrocities as took place.

Both sides were equally "militaristic" during the Cold War, intevening and treating the third world as a chess board. The Soviets truly feared that the US wanted to destroy communism, and we certainly undertook a global policy reach, even before the Soviets countered with their support of wars of liberation. The US of course, feared the spread of communism.

There was only one point where the Soviets could have really turned things around. If in Iran in 1979 the Soviets had managed to install a communist government, straddling the Persian Gulf and straights of Hormuz, then they could have had the capacity to hit the western economy hard. That’s why President Carter’s doctrine basically said we would fight a war for oil. There was real fear in the Carter White House in 1979 of that possibility — and, to be sure, Carter started the defense build up and Reagan’s spending was below Carter’s projections. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan, that convinced many close to Carter (esp. Brzezinski) that the Soviets might have their eyes on Iran. We know now, of course, that wasn’t the case.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
JWG: I understand your point of disagreement, but I appreciate your integrity in taking back some of the comments.

I think if you really want to see where I disagree with the left, it would be in stances I’ve taken on a variety of issues. My politics (including foreign policy) is more libertarian than leftist. I was, for instance, so opposed to Clinton’s war in Kosovo that I had a letter to the editor published in TIME, and started my first blog (though at that time I didn’t know the term blog. The longer I study politics, the more I’m convinced that governments, while at least at this point in human history inevitable, are dangerous and prone to corruption and abuse of power. Hillary Clinton is as in bed with big business as is any Republican, and big business here wants government advantages not a free market. I tend to agree with Republicans more on issues of federalism (I’d even prefer a confederation), and judicial issues (I oppose judicial activism — while I am pro-choice, I would not have ruled in Roe v. Wade in favor of abortion rights simply because as much as I’d like it to be in the constitution, it’s simply not there — and thus that’s an issue that should be decided by the states).
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
One cannot trust public opinion polls to gauge whether a course of action is the right thing to do, or not. Success is popular, failing is not.
And a recent CBS/NYT poll showed an increase in the percentage of Americans who think the U.S. did the right thing in going to war with Iraq, up to 42 percent from 35 percent in May.
One thing the administration did very, very badly, was selling the occupation after the heavy hitting was over. Granted that there was a lot of bad news, but there was good news all along the way. Biggest failing was not adapting quick enough to the realities on the ground, but that’s hindsight analysis. And no plan is guaranteed to succeed when human nature is involved.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Universalism is bad. War is chaos. OH LEAD US MR REASONABLE.
 
Written By: John Sabotta
URL: www.superbad.com

 
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