Monday, March 24, 2014

Seriously? There are putative adults that think like this?

So, like I always do of a Sunday AM, yesterday morning I donned my hair shirt, rubbed myself with ashes, and sat down to watch Meet the Press. Then I got up and left the room because they were going on at length about the non-news of the Flying Malayman, the plane that remains resolutely unfound. I'll suffer for my sins, but not enough to put up with that nonsense.

When I returned, discussion had turned to events in Ukraine. Metrocon David Brooks thought that America should show willing by providing the Ukrainian military with arms and other supplies, and that this would bolster the ability of the gutted Ukrainian military to be more than a speed bump and perhaps send a signal that Ukraine would resist further expansion.

This sent David Gregory into a spasm of pearl-clutching:
"But here's the thing. Nobody wants a shooting war in Ukraine. If you're this administration, you don't want that. Why? Prospect of civil war, prospect of giving a cause célèbre to the Russian leader. What you want, the message, is to have a strong, prosperous Ukraine. That's the real tough message to Vladimir Putin, isn't it?"
 (emphasis emphatically mine) This pretzeled logic caused Alan Greenspan's main squeeze to emote in harmony:
"It is. And a couple of things, our Congress has still not voted even on the basic Ukrainian economic package because of a dispute over the I.M.F. unrelated. That sends a terrible signal."
Yeah, being prosperous is a much better way to thwart foreign aggression than having tanks; just ask the Kuwaitis. I mean, doesn't every New Yorker know that having hundred-dollar bills hanging out of your trouser pockets in a bad neighborhood is the best way to ward off a mugging? (And the land between Berlin and Moscow is pretty much history's definition of a bad neighborhood..)

For Vishnu's sake, were these people hitting a bong in the green room during commercial breaks?

I left the TV room shaking my head in disbelief and told Roomie what Gregory had just said, and her reply was perfect:
"What color is the sky up his ass?"
I came back in at the tail end of some folderol about NCAA athletes and how they don't have any money for food. That must be horrible; you can look at the front four of any Division I defense and see they're practically wasting away. I think one panelist thought they should be allowed to join the SEIU.

Then David Gregory said "Next, Andrea Mitchell is going to come back. She talks to Former President Jimmy Carter. And he doesn't mince words about his relationship with President Obama." and the only thing that saved the television was Rule Four and the fact that it would cost money to replace it.

I love you guys, but not enough to listen to Jimmy Carter before beer o'clock. Now that we've seen unfiltered Jimmy, Billy's alcoholism makes a whole lot more sense.
.

38 comments:

texascarl said...

Do what I do. Go buy a big bag of smallish sponges, and throw 'em at the TV. You'll feel better, and they haven't hurt mine yet. Seriously, watching that particular TV show will cause hemorrhoids AND heart attacks. That's a combo you really don't want.

Chad said...

"Foreign Policy is Hard!!!!!!"

Eric said...

"Now that we've seen unfiltered Jimmy, Billy's alcoholism makes a whole lot more sense."

For the win!

Knucklehead said...

Why give the Ukranian military any weapons? What does it matter if they drop what they have and run away or drop what we send them and run away? Same same, save the money.

Anonymous said...

again, thank you for throwing yourself on that particular media grenade.

Tam said...

Knucklehead,

"Why give the Ukranian military any weapons?"

I dunno, why do you think we should give the Ukrainian military weapons?

Scott J said...

I haven't watch Sunday talking head shows (or any other day's) since Bush's 16 words got spun into such nonsense.

global village idiot said...

That made my brain cry.

It seems there are a class of people who use language differently than you or I. When we use language, we use words we know in their proper order and the emphasis is on getting the words right because the important thing to us is the thought we're trying to share.

With others, the important thing to convey is the emotion that they want you to know they're feeling about the subject. The meanings of the words aren't what's important - the stridency of tone and language is used only to convey the intensity of the emotion.

This wouldn't be a problem if those people who use language in this way confined themselves to bars, sports radio, hair salons and daytime television. But they're allowed on policy talkers too, and this is undesirable.

gvi

AM said...

The land between Berlin and Moscow being the equivalent of a "rough neighborhood" is pure understated comedy genius.

I think that as a culture we American's generally suck at history, and only learn geography as it applies to war.

As far as giving the Ukrainian military weapons, that won't matter. Georgians hit above their weight class very well and were quite handily trounced despite their effort. What they need are more actual allies, not more weapons. But the threat to join NATO was one of the reasons this whole situation started in the first place, occupying the Crimea made it politically impossible for the Ukraine to join NATO as a foreign occupier was already on Ukraine soil.

Best thing Ukraine can do now is give up Crimea and petition to join NATO before Russia gets hungrier. Because it is a zero sum game, and Russia will not be convinced to give up what it has gained.

Old NFO said...

Gah... I'd have blown up the TV at that... One of the reasons I can't watch those clowns...

rickn8or said...

"I love you guys, but not enough to listen to Jimmy Carter before beer o'clock. "

There are just some bullets I wouldn't ask you to take for me.

The Raving Prophet said...

Maybe I'm just cold hearted, but I've yet to hear one compelling reason why we ought to be all that concerned about Ukraine's independence in the face of Russian expansionism.

Even loading down the Ukraine with F-18s, AH-64s, and even Reaper drones isn't going to do squat to stall Russia. Actual military intervention there is so astonishingly stupid (from just a practical standpoint) that it doesn't bear consideration. Diplomatic leverage is nonexistent; we might as well try to use a Twizzler as a pry bar.

Given Russia's history with the near abroad, there's just bugger all we might be willing to do compared to what they're willing to do. May as well just focus our efforts on containment by helping out nations we CAN defend effectively (and have signed agreements to do so). While Obama has not exactly covered himself in glory in this event, there just wasn't much success to be had in it to begin with. Even Kissinger would have found himself walking away and muttering about how it was kinda pointless anyway. We're just bystanders with the Crimea and the rest of the Ukraine and everybody knows it.

The Raving Prophet said...

Maybe I'm just cold hearted, but I've yet to hear one compelling reason why we ought to be all that concerned about Ukraine's independence in the face of Russian expansionism.

Even loading down the Ukraine with F-18s, AH-64s, and even Reaper drones isn't going to do squat to stall Russia. Actual military intervention there is so astonishingly stupid (from just a practical standpoint) that it doesn't bear consideration. Diplomatic leverage is nonexistent; we might as well try to use a Twizzler as a pry bar.

Given Russia's history with the near abroad, there's just bugger all we might be willing to do compared to what they're willing to do. May as well just focus our efforts on containment by helping out nations we CAN defend effectively (and have signed agreements to do so). While Obama has not exactly covered himself in glory in this event, there just wasn't much success to be had in it to begin with. Even Kissinger would have found himself walking away and muttering about how it was kinda pointless anyway. We're just bystanders with the Crimea and the rest of the Ukraine and everybody knows it.

Anonymous said...

The MSM should stop encouraging Jimmy Carter's delusions of adequacy.

Anonymous said...

Such Insanity exists to mock and derail humanity. Your irritation is it's goal. It is best to spend as little time in its midst as is possible, except in study of how evil weaves it's subtle webs. I know that quite well enough already, and so, having nothing more to learn from it, I no longer watch that drivel. There's simply nothing there to be gained. -- Lyle

Paul said...

One of my Brothers in Law went from Marines to reserve army and got task for some UN time in Kosovo. He did not have many good things to say about that deployment.

We have been trying to keep peace in that part of the world since 1945. I say we let putin have what he wants. Then maybe some one will decide he is taking too much and we can have a good war again. Just what we need to finish our decline into socialism.

Backwoods Engineer said...

"the only thing that saved the television was Rule Four"

LOL! I need to clean the sweet tea off the monitor now!

Good one!

rremington said...

Thank you Tam. Your sacrifice on our behalf is much appreciated.

And I needed the laugh. You are a rare gift.

Windy Wilson said...

I stopped watching Meet the Press and the other shows of that ilk in early 2009 when the episode spontaneously turned into "What Obama needs to do to get elected."

This program you suffered through sounds as if it had been scripted at least to the level of Steve Allen's Meeting of the Minds, only David Gregory doesn't fill out a period dress as well as Jayne Meadows did.

billy.harvey said...

"What color is the sky up his ass?"

That is pure poetry.

azmountaintroll said...

Re: Jimmy Carter

"Jimmy Carter was a redneck just like we're all trying to be, but he was a sober redneck. Most of us had never seen a sober redneck, and we have the Reagan landslide to testify that none of us ever want to see one again. It was a horrifying apparition." - PJ O'Rourke

Scout26 said...

And that Boys and Girls is why the TV at Festung Scout is only attached to the DVD player that shows movies and documentaries from the Library.

Kristophr said...

The Raving Prophet:

Drones would be a bad idea against a technologically competent power.

One of the Air Force's spendy Global Hawk drones was downed a week ago over the Ukraine by Russian jamming.

This, besides the fact that you don't seriously screw with the Near Abroad unless you want a shooting war with the Russians. Bush had no clue how badly he pissed them off by allying with Uzbekistan and Tadzhikistan.

Anonymous said...

Here's a little video of the to-and-fro over the past thousand years in Europe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFYKrNptzXw

Al_in_Ottawa

Anonymous said...

Here's a little video of the to-and-fro over the past thousand years in Europe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFYKrNptzXw

Al_in_Ottawa

batchainpuller said...

The politics of that rant were ephemeral. Ephemera aside, that was pure fuckin' gold...I wish I could do that off the cuff.

Rob K said...

I believe Shakespeare stood up in his grave and genuflected to Roberta X when she made that comment. It is perfectly evocative of everything that need be said. I cannot believe the truth could have been stated in any more clear or concise fashion. My compliments.

Robin said...

Andrea Mitchell and David Gregory is a critical mass of stupid.

There are a lot of intermediate steps we could take in Ukraine but pearl clutching clowns like the aforementioned twits would get all aflutter.

I would like to see a bunch of A10's get sold off as surplus, repainted in Ukraine colors overnight and show up in Kiev with some pilots with poor Ukrainian ala Flying Tigers.

fast richard said...

Part of the reason why Ukraine got talked into greatly reducing it's weapons and ammunition stocks, was an international guarantee of its territorial integrity. I don't expect to see any more countries trusting their security to international guarantees any time soon. For better or worse, any concept of a Pax Americana is over.

Coconut said...

I'm guessing the cocaine was truly exquisite that morning.

Discobobby said...

Fast Richard, specifically they gave up their nuclear weapons in return for guarantees of territorial integrity - or a promise to talk about it. No country in their right mind will ever give up or fail to pursue a nuclear capability again. Ever. Our promises mean nothing, our threats mean nothing, our sanctions are meant to be meaningless. We are living in the days of neo-Chamberlin and Iran will be happy to call our bluff, and if they don't, China will. I stare out into the distance a lot these days, and know that there will be a terrible price to pay for our feckless leaders.

staghounds said...

I'm trying to think of a place whose territorial integrity has been "guaranteed" by the United States and it stuck.

South Korea and Kuwait since 1945. Before 1945, Venezuela maybe?

Only one of them required a serious effort.

Three examples over two centuries do not a trustworthy guarantor make.

RandyGC said...

South Korea and Kuwait since 1945. Before 1945, Venezuela maybe?

Only one of them required a serious effort.


Whut? The Korean "police action" took a lot of "serious effort" in the 50's and still has a good portion of our forces dedicated. Including units I was in and supported in the 80's

When I was helping support DESERT SHIELD/STORM it certainly seemed like a serious effort to us considering the resources we had to pull to support those ops.

Just curious on your logic train there.

Kristophr said...

I think he wasn't aware of the fact that NORKS still like shooting at US troops, Randy.

Cory said...

Korea required serious effort. Shield/Storm, while we allocated major resources, did not require nearly as much effort as we expected. We still threw a lot of resources at it, but considering we were expecting major losses just in the air before any ground troops rolled, let alone the expected tank battles, it was much, much easier than anyone expected. Effort required was much lower than effort expended. Honestly, it gave us a much inflated sense of what we could accomplish

global village idiot said...

Tsar Nicholas I fought a war to acquire the Ukraine and Crimea. Within 60 years the empire collapsed spectacularly.

The Soviet Union undertook massive "social engineering" to Russify the Ukraine and Crimea. Within 60 years the Soviet Union collapsed spectacularly.

Vladimir Putin is undertaking a risky gambit with the economies of his nation, Europe and Asia at stake...

I'll surely be dead by the 60-year mark, but I wonder what my grandkids will make of the eventual outcome.

gvi

Uno Mas (SASS #80082) said...

"I love you guys, but not enough to listen to Jimmy Carter before beer o'clock. "

Funny, after five years under l'Empereur, Jihma Carter and even Bubba Clinton are a lot easier on the ears. They're still fools and frauds, but they're now rehabilitated; now that we've seen just how bad it can be.

staghounds said...

Randy, what Cory said.

And Kristopher, yes I was.

Thank you for your service. I meant a sustained, noticeable national effort. The Gulf War cost about a thousand casualties from a country of 300,000,000. Each one was all sorts of tragedy.

And at the same time, that's the annual crime or MVA total from a year in Chicago or New York.

The armed forces were at war, America was at the mall.

Would we have engaged in a big war for Kuwait? A real mobilization, a draft, sunken aircraft carriers and slaughtered divisions?

No. The United States has only done that once for foreigners and made it stick. This idea that the United States protects others' sovereignty counters historical experience. I pity anyone who bets his farm on America's steadfastness.