McCain’s ‘No Surrender’…

OVER at Jewcy, Mr Eugenides ponders over how different cultures often look at the past through rose-tinted glasses, without much regard to how others view celebrations of the past. And while he isn’t exactly wearing a sash, could McCain’s ‘No Surrender’ bus really alienate enough Irish-American voters to make a difference? Or is pushing the Scots-Irish button going to attract votes in the states he needs? Hat-tip to Unionist Lite.

  • Harry Flashman

    Look CS you can continue in your delusion that the USSR just kinda fell apart in Gorbachev’s hands without any assistance from Reagan but in doing so you are simply ignoring the facts.

    It’s funny when there are problems around the world you and Greenflag will immediately point out that it’s not the fault the people who are living in those societies but rather the malign influence of the Americans and Brits yet when after a decade of Thatcher and Reagan working actively and openly to undermine the Soviet Union the USSR did indeed collapse you say “oh it was all just a terrible accident”.

    Bollox and you know it.

    Reagan set out from day one to destroy Communism, it was his guiding political principal since the 1950’s, his theory on the Cold War was simple; “we win, they lose”. Thatcher too hated state socialism and wanted to stand up to the USSR being christened the Iron Lady by the Red Army in 1975.

    In the 1970’s the west favoured ‘detente’, a way in which they could ‘rub along’ as it were with the Marxist tyrannies. Reagan utterly rejected that theory, he knew the USSR was a paper tiger and that with the vast wealth and resources of the United States he could easily bring them down. He ended subsidised exports of American grain to them and refused to support any US government assistance to the decrepit Soviet state.

    But most importantly he re-armed, massively. He rearmed in a way that he knew the clapped out Russian could never match. Against immense Soviet backed “anti-nuclear” protests in Europe he installed huge numbers of cruise missiles right on the Iron Curtain, he expanded US bases in the UK and allowed Maggie to acquire the Trident submarine system. He was upping the ante and he knew the USSR hadn’t the cards to match.

    He invaded Grenada, seen at the time as some sort of odd little Quixotic gesture but in fact it was the first time since the Viet Nam war that Soviet expansion was countered, he was to do so again in El Salvador and Nicaragua. He funded and equipped the Afghan resistance (not Al Queda as is often alleged). He actively supported any opposition to Soviet Rule within their occupied territories, most notably Poland which sent a huge earthquake right down the Warsaw Pact.

    All of this was done long before anyone had heard of Gorbachev.

    Finally he proposed Star Wars, lampooned in the west as crazy Ronnie’s Raygun it terrified the shit out of the geriatric Politburo, they knew they hadn’t a hope in hell of ever matching the US. They elected pretty boy Gorby in the hope that the west would soften its stance but Ronnie out played him at Reykjavik. All this time the same people like you were criticising Reagan and telling us how there was nothing inherently wrong with the Marxist tyranny of the USSR.

    Gorbachev finally threw the towel in, the hopeless, useless, brutal, clapped out facade of the Soviet Union collapsed precisely as Reagan always said it would.

    All of the above are well known facts CS, you can stick your fingers in your ears and go “Na Na not listening!” all you want but Ronnie Reagan with the assistance of Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul and to a lesser extent the governments of nations like West Germany and Canada ended decades of western decline and accommodation with the Soviets and replaced it with active confrontation.

    They won, there are no two ways about it.

    We’ll see in twenty years time whether accommodating Islamist thugs a la Carter or the Bush doctrine of actively confronting and undermining them proves to be the more successful and morally correct option.

    I know which I’d opt for, I think you seem to prefer craven submission just like detente with the oh so mighty Soviets in the 1970’s.

  • Still avoiding the crucial facts, Harry Flashman, in your long-winded, biased explanation of the fall of the USSR.

    Even admitting your case, you still fail to mention the assassination of Olof Palme (Operation Tree) and its follow-up (Operation Armageddon)- what was intended to end the Cold War without a nuclear one, and what Joseph Nye and other Washington political thinkers required in any conflict conclusion of the confrontation.

    The whole idea of starting to sink the Soviet boomers after Moscow, it seems, pulled off some surprise, like killing the statsminister, was that it would so degrade the Soviet second-strike capability, the sub nuclear-armed missiles, that they would throw in the towel.

    The only trouble with these calculations was that they were ignorant of the intermediate nuclear force, the 82 SS-23 missiles that they had in the USSR and East Germany, which would have completely wiped out Western Europe in any war, leaving Moscow still with enough land-based ICBMs to inflict most serious damage to the USA itself.

    In sum, if North, Navy Secretary John Lehman, CNO Admiral James Wakins, David Walker’s KMS people had started a war – what the spying of Ames, Hanssen, Jonathan Pollard for the Israelis et al. prevented – it would have been a nuclear goodbye for all of us.

    So, start living and thinking in the real world.

  • Comrade Stalin

    Harry,

    I do not see the need why you need to resort to the ad-hominem stuff. It spoils an otherwise worthwhile discussion.

    How can anyone accept your argument that the soviets were scared of the well-armed US ? Any direct conflict would lead to a nuclear war and mutual destruction. Several of the previous military confrontations (indirectly) with communism failed; and invading Vietnam is a slightly different matter from invading the USSR. The idea that Reagan or anyone else would have risked a direct military confrontation with them is laughable, and the Russians would have known that as well as anyone else.

    The soviet system was broken, bankrupt and could not work. Khrushchev showed signs of realizing this, but could not let go of the ideology that brought him to power; Gorbachev was the first to confront the reality. Gorbachev spent much of his early days in power isolating the conservatives who still existed within the CPSU and who would have resisted his reform plans (he missed out a few key individuals sadly). But these facts were true long before Reagan or Thatcher were involved. The only thing holding it all together was the military, and as soon as that was taken away, the collapse was inevitable. Gorbachev’s mistake was to underestimate this situation. He believed that the USSR could live on in a different form as a kind of voluntary union.

    I would highlight that detente is alive and well, and is being used with China, because the USA simply does not have the balls or the resources to actually stand up to them despite their shameful record on human rights, their propping up of nasty regimes and their history of indirect military intervention with the US. Personally, I do not agree with detente or propping up nasty regimes, and for that reason I do not agree with the current policy towards North Korea. Comparing the American approach to North Korea and Iraq or Iran is an interesting exercise perhaps best left for the reader at home.

    I cannot see Bush confronting the Islamist thugs; he has pursued alliances with the countries whose governments had links with the Taleban and who provided aid and support to the 9/11 attackers. Pakistan has not properly accounted for it’s role in the 9/11 attack, and neither has Saudi Arabia, and I cannot understand why anyone who thinks that the “Islamist thugs” need to be confronted believes that pursuing unconditional alliances with these dangerous and tyrannical countries is going to help.

    The idea that an entire religion is dangerous and must be confronted before it wipes us out is straight out of Nazi ideology. I do not accept that Islam is responsible for terrorism inherently, and neither does the Bush administration, at least not publicly (and certainly not in terms of foreign policy given it’s strategic relationship with Pakistan, the UAE and Saudi Arabia).

    Confronting terrorism cannot be done by invading countries and toppling governments who are too weak to respond, any more than American foreign policy can be changed by terrorist attacks on it’s home soil. Instead, it requires us to engage in a thorough review of our entire policy towards the middle east, accounting for the causes that lead to terrorist attacks. Most of the existing trouble out there is a consequence of earlier interference in those governments by the USA, the UK and other European countries. The 9/11 attacks did not occur in a vacuum.

  • BfB

    ‘requires us to engage in a thorough review of our entire policy towards the middle east, accounting for the causes that lead to terrorist attacks’

    HA!!!
    Stalin has a sense of humour….(for a misinformed windbag).

  • Greenflag

    Gregory,

    ‘It is natural, that over a period of centuries, for North Africa to be Christian again, I believe that, I want that.’

    You may want that . You may even believe that but that’s not what the people who live there want. Just because you want something does’nt mean you get it . Perhaps you have been watching too much TV or attending one of those churches that tells the ‘suckers’ that they too can be ‘rich’ and have their own oil well if they will only hand over 10% of their earnings to the minister ?

    BTW you might want to consider the ‘re christianisation of Europe as a first step before your ‘reconquest’ of North Africa .

    ‘Conquest, lacks equality, has racism, alienates, that was the mistake of British, Spanish, Italian and French.’

    So not a mistake for the Germans , Japanese , Russians , Chinese or Americans ? I see .

    So the G is for Gobshite then:(

  • Harry Flashman

    *Harry,

    Ido not see the need why you need to resort to the ad-hominem stuff.*

    My apologies, I didn’t really think I had, well not more so than our usual knockabout standard.

    As regards Reagan’s role in the downfall of the downfall of the USSR, Reagan never had to propose invading the USSR, he merely had to keep upping the ante until the point where the Soviets simply couldn’t sustain their military spending. They tried and they failed, as you rightly point out once the Soviet military was then shown to be a worthless charade the whole rotten house of cards could come crashing down.

    Reagan’s gamble paid off, Gorbachev thought he could hold on to Communist supremacy but he finally was forced to admit defeat. The old B movie actor proved to be a much shrewder judge of political reality and statesmanship than the much praised Chairman Gorbachev and most of the liberal intelligentsia of the western world.

    As regards Islam, I am not a Nazi, I happen to be a Muslim married to a Muslim so I need no lectures on how I should view Islam and right now it is imperative for the Islamic world that the USA ultimately wins the struggle against Islamist terrorism, for if they fail the toll of millions dead and enslaved will outnumber that of the Marxist tyrannies and the victims will for the main part not be Americans but Muslims.

    Bush has chosen an unpopular option to fight for freedom in Muslim societies, he’s had to pick some uncomfortable allies (who I hope will be irrevocably changed for the better in the future) but please God he’s successful, the results of American failure in this new war don’t even bear thinking about.

  • Greenflag

    harry flashman,

    ‘but please God he’s successful’

    Eh so not please Allah then ?

    Communism failed primarily because of the inherent deficiencies in it’s ‘economics’ and in it’s mistaken view of man’s nature . Reagan I’ll grant helped expedite the process.

    Unfortunately the raw unbridled ‘capitalism’ which the victory over communism spawned is now being seen to have it’s own downside in particular in the USA,but also in other countries of the West and soon to come in the fast developing East Asian wanna be economic giants of China and India .

    The first phase of the ‘new awareness’ grabbing the attention of voters in the western democracies is already underway . The ‘internet’ will speed up the process .

    Islamic countries will find their own way to democracy when they’re ready . Imposing it on them from the West will have the opposite effect . Iran , Iraq, UAE, Saudi Arabia etc are not early 21st century versions of 1945 Germany or Japan . Just because the latter absorbed ‘democratic ‘ principles relatively easily is because they were already well on the way, before both powers were ‘hijacked’ by the ultra fascist militaristic , imperialist and xenophobic elements in their ‘elites’!

    Some would say that the same process is happening again , except now it’s in the USA. The mix of xenophobia towards immigrants plus the pursuit of foreign policy objectives by warfare has been the hallmark of the Bush era , plus the proliferation of insane -end of days -rapture -Armageddon rubbish of the fundamentalist loonies added enough fuel to Bush’s warmongering to give him a second term.

    Americans will be focused come November.
    The Islamic States are going to have to learn the hardway that economic prosperity for their countries goes hand in hand with more individual freedom and with full equality across the gender divide.

    If Bush truly believed in his ‘democracy’ export program he could tell the Saudis for example that Christians should be free to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia and that if US citizens want to carry a personal bible with them into the country they will not be arrested and the ‘bible’ confiscated.

    But we all know why Mr Bush (the born again Christian ) would never pull such a stunt eh ? It’s a 3 letter word beginning with O and ending in L and even or especially you Harry given your community background should be able to supply the missing vowel !

  • Comrade Stalin

    BfB,

    Please keep your contributions coming. It’s important that everyone understands exactly what your attitude is.

    Harry,

    I still can’t see much in terms of actual specific actions that Reagan (or Thatcher .. or the Pope ..) took to bring down communism. I accept the part about him stopping grain exports to the USSR, but communism wasn’t stopped by that. Indeed it has survived several famines of it’s own making. I also accept that the Afghanistan war played a significant role in bleeding resources out of the USSR and greatly assisted in the downfall, but I can’t see Reagan’s role, other than (at best) OKing a policy dreamt up by others. Surely Henry Kissinger, Charlie Wilson (the movie was great) were then men of the match on that front ?

    I am also having trouble understanding why you think that US foreign policy at the moment involves a struggle with Islamic terrorism. It is presented as such but the reality seems different, given that the USA is actively maintaining alliances with the countries who (in the background) funded and provided support for Al Quaida and the 9/11 attacks. Why was Iraq (a place where Islamic fundamentalism was ruthlessly crushed by Hussein) invaded if this was the objective ? Why the focus on Iran, instead of the insane regime in Saudi Arabia ? Pakistan’s intelligence service was closely tied up with Al Quaida, and I seem to recall evidence of money being wired to one of the hijackers in New York shortly before the attacks. I don’t recall these matters ever being pursued. And of course, Bin Laden is still at large.

    If US foreign policy is all about exporting freedom and democracy, why the friendly relations with the warmongering, rights abusing administration in China, a country which is openly interfering in our stock markets and economic system, and which maintains a massive military, has a record of threatening activity and has nuclear arms ? Why the touchy-feely approach to North Korea ? Going further, why does the USA conspire to undermine democratically elected governments in Central and South America ?

    Regarding the attitude to Gorbachev, my recollection is that both Thatcher and Reagan, far from showing him the door, welcomed him and talked him up as a breath of fresh air, a “different kind of soviet leader”, “a man with whom we can do business” etc. Gorbachev still speaks of Reagan and Thatcher in favourable terms and credits them with helping secure freedom in Europe, but I have a hard time believing that he thinks this because they were confrontational with him. My impression is that both leaders kept in touch with the USSR and helped bolster support for Gorbachev at home. Like I said, not much to go on here in terms of your suggestion of a “standing up to the USSR caused them to fall” scenario.

  • Gregory

    “Unfortunately the raw unbridled ‘capitalism’ which the victory over communism spawned is now being seen to have it’s own downside in particular in the USA,but also in other countries of the West and soon to come in the fast developing East Asian wanna be economic giants of China and India . ”

    In the east it was pretty bad, at that point definitely had more prostitutes in east Germany than industrial workers.

    In Budapest, we had people making cookery programmes in studio 1 and child pornography in studio 2.

    One cameraman didn’t think it was child pornography if it was two 14 year olds doing stuff together.

    Such is our (liberated) species.

    G.

  • Gregory

    “So the G is for Gobshite then:( ”

    Oh, just missed that ball, he’s on the ground, bucket and sponge, he’s up again, darn it,

    he’s looking at the referee now, the ref is writing it off as a same sex encounter.

    G.

  • BfB

    If Bush truly believed in his ‘democracy’ export program he could tell the Saudis for example that Christians should be free to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia and that if US citizens want to carry a personal bible with them into the country they will not be arrested and the ‘bible’ confiscated.

    But we all know why Mr Bush (the born again Christian ) would never pull such a stunt eh ? It’s a 3 letter word beginning with O and ending in L and even or especially you Harry given your community background should be able to supply the missing vowel !

    Mr. Flag

    It’s particular drivel like that which keeps the flags on one end of the line and the Bush’s on the other….but I know you feel good writing it. Reality at lofty levels of this world takes far more will power and belief in oneself than you could bear. great men like Bush have the courage of their convictions, and while your ilk nibble at the lint between his toes he, is staring evil in the eye and winning!! In spite of all the beta male, feminazi, coward fools, screeching like banshees at every turn. In spite of a twisted culture that turns out this, he sticks to his guns, and goes after the bad guys. You children have no idea what it takes to make decisions like this in the real, adult world. Your age isn’t a factor, either.
    Amadans, now I know what my grandfather meant.

  • Harry Flashman

    [b]GF[/b]

    *‘but please God he’s successful’

    Eh so not please Allah then ? *

    “Allah” is the Arab word for God and if I was writing in Arabic I would have written “Insh’allah” but I wasn’t, I was writing in English (albeit with a Hibernian syntax).

    *Some would say that the same process is happening again , except now it’s in the USA. The mix of xenophobia towards immigrants plus the pursuit of foreign policy objectives by warfare has been the hallmark of the Bush era , plus the proliferation of insane -end of days -rapture -Armageddon rubbish of the fundamentalist loonies added enough fuel to Bush’s warmongering to give him a second term.*

    That is such simplistic undergraduate nonsense and in no way can be regarded as a proper reflection of mainstream American society today. If you wrote such drivel about Islamic societies you’d be rightly howled down as an ‘islamaphobe’, if you really have such ridiculous ideas about what is really going on in US politics and society I don’t see any need to take anything else you say seriously.

    As for the oh so dreary “it’s all about oil” business why wouldn’t Bush have merely bought the stuff off Saddam at fifteen bucks a barrel, instead of invading the country at horrendous expense and then watching oil go to $115 pb? Why does Bush vehemently resist calls to start drilling the vast oil reserves in Alaska and North Dakota, why does he refuse licenses for new refineries, why is he promoting biofuels so assiduously?

    Why? Because it ain’t all about oil, otherwise Vladimir Putin and Hugo Chavez would be always welcome guests in the Lincoln Bedroom of the White House.

    Try to raise the standard of debate above feverish student union level.

    [b]CS[/b]

    Let me draw you an analogy, imagine an old decrepit house which is being assailed at all sides by wreckers, inside the owners are desperately trying to shore it up but the wreckers keep chipping away at it. Eventually they persuade and cajole one of the owners to pull away one of the major struts holding the thing up and bingo down it comes, crash!

    Who is responsible for bringing that house down, the eejit standing amid the ruins or the rather smug crew smirking outside?

    Your ignorance about the massive role played by the life-long anti-Communist Pope (think Poland, think Solidarity, think Latin America) in helping bring down Communism tells me that you’ve spent too long looking at the situation through the wrong end of the telescope.

    Put down the left leaning commentators who assure you that socialists have nothing to worry about, that Communism was simply mishandled in Russia and that there’s no need to worry about the victory of free market liberal democracy and instead read some of the books written about the victors in the Cold War, it would be extremely enlightening for you to discover who won and how they did it.

  • Greenflag

    BfB

    ‘It’s particular drivel like that’

    So Christians are allowed to practice their religion in Saudi Arabia. News to me and to anybody who has ever been there. Saudi Arabia is Bush’s biggest ally in the Middle East. These are facts not drivel .

    ‘great men like Bush have the courage of their convictions’

    Convictions are like opinions . You may have them or not . You may be convinced that the world is flat , that oil is 20 dollars a barrel and the ‘bad guys’ will be rounded up at the last showdown between good and evil.

    The world is round , Oil is 117 dollars a barrel heading for 150 dollars a barrel . The ‘bad guys’ are still holed up in the mountains of a country which is supposed to be a US ally for the past 5 years and you maintain Bush is winning ?

  • Greenflag

    ‘in no way can be regarded as a proper reflection of mainstream American society today.’

    It was’nt a reflection of today . The reference was to 2004 when Bush won re-election . Since then the situation has worsened . Bush is fortunate that he personnally is not seeking re-election . He would probably get the lowest percentage vote of any losing candidate since the establishment of the office .

    ‘if you really have such ridiculous ideas about what is really going on in US politics and society ‘

    The USA is going through the biggest financial crisis since 1929 . Unlike that time it’s also involved in a trillion dollar war and it’s currency is going down the proverbial tube .

    Even Republican candidate McCain is now on a ‘Poverty tour’. He’s even begun to talk about ‘health care’.Somebody must have told him that Americans are not enamoured of any more trillions going into a hole in the deserts of Iraq. By the time November comes around McCain will be pursuing a ‘Nixon’ peace with honour strategy or he’ll be resigned to losing the election.

    ‘I don’t see any need to take anything else you say seriously’

    Suit yourself – I’ll be saying it anyway.

  • Greenflag

    Gregory,

    ‘Oh, just missed that ball, he’s on the ground, bucket and sponge, he’s up again, darn it,’

    Good one 🙂 I’m not defending ‘communism’. I happen to believe that ‘capitalism’ works better. Not however in the areas of health care or education in which the private sector has been allowed to gouge the consumer while undermining the values which underpin our ‘democracies’.

  • Steve

    Ronnie Raygun brought down communism by simply outspending them militarily. Not a brilliant move as it nearly brought down america along with it. It left americans with an enormous public debt rivalled only by the debt that will be left by Bush. Funny it took Clinton a democrat to right the balance sheet and 2 republicans to throw it into a vat of red ink, wonder who really is the responsable government party?

    Saudi Arabia: has always been a large financial supporter of the Bush family and have always given generously to the election campaigns of all the bushes including the read my lips guy

    China: the united states is no longer in any position to challenge china on any topic from human rights to economic policies. China frankly holds much too large a position in the american public debt and are the first country in 60 years capable of utterly destroying the american imperial dollar. Every 2 months the us sends about 13 billion in profits to china who then lends the money back to the us so that they can buy more chinese junk and send more profits back so they can relend it to the us. Its a death spiral for american dominance but they cant seem to spot the trend. Unfortunately bush’s little tantrum in the desert played perfectly into this scenario, ultimately china will win the war in Iraq whith out ever having fired a shot or put their heads above the parapet

    As for calling chinese junk, when they first started exporting thats exactly what it was but the quality has improved dramatically, mores the pity if americans ever hope to recover