In response to President Putin’s “tough talk” (which as I pointed out, was merely a reality-based version of the neo-cons’ own tough talk), newbie Secretary of Defense Gates tries to suggest that this is Putin’s attempt to restart the Cold War. Again, Putin’s merely paraphrasing from the neo-cons’ own handbook, so I’m not sure why they’re so offended, but at least Gates suggests that he wants to deescalate things, which would indicate that his neo-con masters aren’t completely stupid. Let’s see how he does.
He starts with a joke, saying:
As an old Cold Warrior, one of yesterday's speeches almost filled me with nostalgia for a less complex time. Almost.
Yes, it’s amazing how simple nuclear annihilation makes things. Except, it really wasn’t. The neo-cons saw Soviet conspiracies all over the world, including many places where they didn’t exist, and it really fucked with our foreign policy. We supported ruthless dictators, stomped down democratic movements, and did all kinds of mean and nasty things that we should all be ashamed of. And let’s not forget that simple of all wars, Vietnam; where we just kept stumbling from bad to worse and created a communist threat where there didn’t need to be one. How simple was that?
Overall, I’d have to say that our terrorists don’t even approach the complexity and, dare I say, mindfuckability of our old Soviet enemies. So we’ll count that little joke of his as Strike One.
Partnership with Russia
Let’s move on to his next quote:
We all face many common problems and challenges that must be addressed in partnership with other countries, including Russia. One Cold War was quite enough.
This would seem to be a repudiation of the neo-cons’ unilateral, unipolar policies; and if taken seriously, an indication that he has understood Putin’s underlying complaint by suggesting that we’ll adapt accordingly. But without any kind of explicit admission that this is a change in policy, I fear that this is merely empty rhetoric, designed to undercut Putin’s criticism by pretending it was incorrect. So we’ll count that as a foul-tip, which all you baseball fans should know, puts us firmly at Strike Two.
So we move on to a third quote:
For the past century, he said, most people believed that "while we might from time to time do something stupid, that we were a force for good in the world."
While not a solid hit, I have to agree with that remark. That has been our policy in the past; that we make mistakes, but usually strive for goodness. I once had a German teacher who was from Germany, and he often remarked how odd the whole Vietnam thing was from their perspective. Germans loved us, thanks to our post-WWII good-guyness; but he and his people just couldn’t fathom how we became such bad guys in Vietnam.
But we recovered from that, and mostly stayed on a path of good. As much as we stumbled, it was often due to bad elements within our government (eg, the neo-cons), and didn’t represent us as a whole. But acknowledging our past policy of stumbling goodness isn’t necessarily an acknowledgement that this policy remains in effect, so I’ll have to count this as yet another foul-tip; a little straighter than the last one, but still not a fair ball. And that keeps us at Strike Two.
Lipsticking the Pig
Let’s see the next pitch:
I think we also have made some mistakes and have not presented our case as well as we might in many instances. I think we have to work on that.
Omigod, it looks like Gates struck out swinging. And what a mistake. Rather than admitting real error, Gates thinks he can placate us by suggesting that a better PR campaign is all that’s needed to waylay our fears that our government is acting unilaterally in a unipolar world.
And that’s exactly how we got into this mess in the first place; being led by people who believe they can do anything they want, just as long as the marketing campaign is good enough. And long after they are forced to admit that their policies failed, all they can do is to continue to blame their marketing people for not doing a better job in sales.
But as we all know, putting lipstick on a pig ain’t going to make it more attractive, and the people of the world aren’t nearly as stupid as these jerks like to believe. We know when we’re seeing one-sided aggression and a dismissal of international norms. And as I said in my previous post on this subject, these are exact policies the neo-cons insist they’re doing. They don’t think they need to follow international standards. They don’t think they’re accountable to anyone but themselves, and that they have power simply because they believe they have it. And that’s the exact kind of thing Putin was talking about.
The Mighty Gates Struck Out
And so it looks like Gates completely blew this at-bat. Putin is a mighty tough pitcher and Gates didn’t even come close to getting a solid hit. The closest Gates got was an acknowledgement of America’s old foreign policy, of allowing neo-cons to screw up our nice-guy policy; which naturally is no longer applicable now that the neo-cons have hijacked our government. We changed from being good guys who occasionally screw-up to bad guys who screw-up everything, and Gates said nothing to indicate any change in that policy.
And perhaps this is an example of the media filtering out the good stuff, but I have yet to hear anyone even try to dispute Putin’s claims. Instead, they merely attack him for denouncing our policies, without even addressing anything he said. But how could they dispute what he said, when it was nothing but a rewording of the neo-cons’ stated agenda? They can’t. So they just attack Putin for “talking tough”, which is yet another of the blunders that these boobs continue to make.
And because of that, they can’t even handle a simple diplomatic mission. Their SOP is to attack anyone who criticizes them, and still haven’t learned that it almost always makes things worse. Even in this case, where Gates admits that he’d like to deescalate tensions, he can’t do it. Hell, he didn’t even have to change policies; but rather just admit to mistakes and pretend we’re doing things differently now. But he couldn’t even perform that simple lie, but rather had to resort to obvious deceptions that only make him look even more foolish.
Gates and the neo-cons know perfectly well that Putin’s criticisms were correct, as it’s something the neo-cons brag about. For them, it’s immoral to not use America’s position of dominance to our advantage. They thought we should do it back when there were two superpowers, and they think it even more now that we’re the only one. And so for as much as Gates may have wanted to “rebuke” Putin’s tough talk, he did nothing but confirm it. And this becomes all the more obvious as we watch the marketing campaign for the next war ramp-up. Gates may have wanted to knock one out for the hometeam, but as long as he’s taking orders from the neo-cons, we’ll all keep striking out.