Friday, September 05, 2008
Defending The Ukrain
Now Vice President Cheney is in Kiev, promising to protect the Ukrainians from those awful Russians. Last week President Bush was promising to protect the Georgians from those same Russians. It’s as though we have at our disposal a large, well-armed Army with nothing to do, as though our army is not bogged down in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Both Bush administrations were big on promising help, but not following through. The first President Bush encouraged the Shia to revolt and overthrow Saddam Hussein with the promise of American military aid. They revolted and Saddam crushed them and the Bush administration could do nothing.
A more successful Republican President once said that his policy was to “speak softly and carry a big stick.” That was Theodore Roosevelt. The Bush policy is “speak loudly and carry a toy gun.” If the enemy thinks the gun is real, we will succeed. That sort of thinking has led to an enthusiasm for the ballistic missile shield, a system of small missiles that would shoot down the incoming missiles before they hit their targets. The system has been shown to work as well as a toy gun. However, Donald Rumsfeld famously advised that the Russians (or North Koreans? Iranians?) won’t know that the system won’t work if we don’t let them know.