Thursday, August 14, 2008

Really, Andrew Sullivan?

Now, it looks like President Sockpuppet Dmitri was lying the other day when he agreed to the cease fire. Looks like the Russians have decided that they can do whatever they want, and have invaded Gori and have also bomb Georgian military installations- in addition to killing civilians. Luverly!

Andrew Sullivan says that this is not a return to the Soviet Union days. He is also shocked that so many Americans do feel sympathy and understanding for the Georgians, and the response has been so very visceral- yes, even amongst those who are Obama supporters, and why yes, Obama himself (who, as a good Senator, supports Bush/Condi Rice's insistaence that Russia quit the fooling around).

Part of Andrew's misunderstanding comes from the fact that he is an Englishman, I think. He grew up with the memory of Empire, and was probably taught in school that Britain gave India the postal service, railroads, parlimentary law and all that.

Most Americans, on the other hand, were taught that this country was the result of a band of people protesting against an Imperial power who treated it's own wealth generating subjects like second class citizens. The protesting against this arrogant power turned into a declaration of war, and a desperate search for aid- to the Dutch,the Polish, the Austrians and to the powerful, wealthy French- who gave money, weapons, generals and strategic military advice.

That Imperial power was the same power that Andrew grew up as seeing benevolent. No matter how wealthy, how arrogant Americans may seem to others, part of our legacy is that remembering how nasty, how utter degrading being a client nation can be, how enraging to be treated as a second class being , how angering an Imperial power who stomps on you can be.

Yes, we lost a lot of our way with the Iraq war- and by having corrupt practices and breaking our own laws in regards to torture it ios hard to protest Russia's nastiness. But Andrew needs to understand that this is not the point.

The point is, a democratic country, who has set about it's way to be an independent, Western country, is being stomped on by people who have tradition seeing other countries as nothing more than toilet paper. Their European neighbors has cowardly chosen oil and cheap coal over liberty, and this country is asking for help. Like
France in the 1770/80s, we are embroiled in war. That does not mean we cannot give aid, moral support and if necessary freezing out Russia in key economic deals.

The memory of a faded Empire vs The Empire who stomps on you. That's Andrew's misunderstanding.

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