All Munichs, Nary a Sarajevo

And editor at a conservative website mentioned online that today he had already received four pieces titled "Obama's Munich." With the large number of "Munichs" we have had in the last decade, we should up to about World War VI by now.

It is odd that for people who keep telling us we must "learn from history," in the world of the war hawks there never seem to arise any new "Sarajevos," where an empire is brought low by responding too aggressively to a terrorist attack. Apparently, "Munichs" occur every few months, while Sarajevo will never, ever repeat itself.


  1. I agree that invading Iraq, trying to introduce "democracy" into Iraq and Afghanistan, and becoming hysterical over the Russian invasion of places like Georgia and Ukraine were all mistakes. But none of that means we should acquiesce in the Iranian regime going nuclear, no matter how foolish some "neocons" have been from time to time.

    I suppose it's a cheap, low-calorie thrill to beat up on washed-up, discredited, out-of-touch neocons for overusing a tired historical analogy. That does not really address whether we should make the mullahs our new best friends and confer nuclear status on them, as this agreement will, in at most about a decade. Not even Obama denies that.

    You bring up Sarajevo as an example of an empire being brought low by overreaction. Fair enough. It seems to me, however, that it is a deliberate policy goal of the current administration and its supporters (cheered on by many libertarians and "traditionalist" conservatives) to reduce American power, influence and freedom of action.

    1. Well, Ian, I think you are very misguided: this agreement certainly does not make the mullahs our "new best friends"... what, because we are not economically attacking the Iranian populace, that means "best friends"? It certainly does not "confer" nuclear status on Iran: it tries to assure they won't have it for AT LEAST a decade.

      And America was having no influence on Iranian policy before this agreement. Now we have SOME.

      What do you want to do: invade? bomb?

    2. Here is Thoreau's commentary from Unqualified Offerings:
      "OK, the Obama Administration gets my respect on the Iran deal. From my understanding of the outline, it seems like a reasonable deal. More importantly, while I don’t approve of entanglement in the Middle East, if we’re going to stick our noses in there, the country whose interests most overlap ours is actually Iran. Not Israel (they’re 99*11 problems), not Egypt, and certainly not Saudi Arabia. Also, Iranian culture is, by the standards of the region, more liberal than anything you’ll find in Gulf Arab countries, and their economy, while heavily dependent on oil, is not as much of a monoculture as the Gulf Arab economies. The more we talk to Iran, the more we cooperate with them, the better off we’ll be."

      Some people just seem to want more wars, however.

    3. "washed-up, discredited, out-of-touch neocons"

      And Say what? Basically, almost every GOP presidential candidate is toeing the neocon line. The neocons still get a voice in all the talk shows, etc. They OUGHT to be "washed-up, discredited", but it doesn't seem the word has gotten out, so I will continue to pursue these "cheap thrills" until Bill Kristol's face disappears from my TV set.

    4. OK, Ian, you're last two comments were too silly to be worth responding to, as well as containing stupid personal attacks on me. Bye!

    5. "Some people just seem to want more wars, however."

      I probably hate neoconservatives as much you, maybe even more, but I don't think they like war.

    6. I probably should have posted one of Ian's comments to illustrate what he was doing, but I was tired. In any case, he had claimed that the neocons were "washed-up, discredited." He then went on a rant about the current deal with Iran, something this post DOES NOT TRY TO EVALUATE AT ALL. So:

      1) Thread-jacking.

      When I noted that the neocons, far from being washed up and discredited, run the foreign policy of one party (and half of the other party!) and that they are still all over the media, Ian could have said, "Yes, I really overstated my case there." Instead, in the comment I didn't post, he said, "So, you are so full of hatred for the neocons that you don't care what Iran does with a nuclear weapon." Here he:

      2) Played whack-a-mole: proven wrong on one point, he merely switched points rather than admitting his mistake.

      3) Resorted to personal attack: I was so driven by "hatred" I don't care about the fate of millions who will be nuked by Iran.

      4) Non sequitur: rejecting neocon foreign policy does not equal "not caring about people getting nuked." In fact, I reject their policies BECAUSE I care whether or not people get nuked!

      I pointed out that

    7. @Samson: "I probably hate neoconservatives as much you, maybe even more, but I don't think they like war."

      Well, they like all the defense spending that comes with the constant war and threat of war we are engaged in. I suppose if they could get that without war, they'd be OK.

    8. Well, they like all the defense spending that comes with the constant war and threat of war we are engaged in. I suppose if they could get that without war, they'd be OK.

      I think there is a difference between "like" and "support" in this context.

  2. What neo-cons -- former leftists now rightists -- are there amongst the GOP field? None I can see. So you are using that term as a term of abuse aren't you?

    1. Ken, I never said any of the GOP candidates WERE neocons. I said the neocons control their foreign policy. Please don't start pulling this crap again.

    2. "former leftists now rightists"

      Also, you know damned well that while the ORIGINAL neocons were leftists turned rightists, that is hardly the defining characteristic of a neocon! It as though you tried to DEFINE "critical theorists" as "intellectuals who moved from Europe to the US in the 1930s" simply because that's what the original critical theorists happened to do. You know this, and what annoys me here is you are simply trying to play "gotcha" by using this "definition by origin."

    3. So Ian and Ken, I edited my original post so that it now doesn't mention "neocons" at all. And it turns out it makes no difference to my post whatsoever! Which shows all of your ridiculous carping about who exactly is a neocon and how much influence they have is just that: ridiculous carping. You can't really dispute the substance of my post, so you want to direct your fire at an irrelevant detail.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Central Planning Works!

The biggest intellectual nothing burger of the last century?