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in a column for the Thursday New York Times titled Crimea and Punishment.

Blow manages to do a number of things well in this column.  For example, he does a very good job of pushing back against Mitt Romney's comments on Face the Nation, writing

The refused-to-be-vanquished insist on being vindicated.

But as is the case in many of these circumstances, the dance between diplomacy and force, between aggressive responses and appropriate ones, is more complicated than sound bites can convey.

He points out that while American may not be happy in the short term with Obama's handling of the Crimea crisis, they also in general approve of his handling of international relations.

What caught my eye however is the end of the column.  The set up is the fact that despite our recent experience of two simultaneous overseas wars, less than 1/2 of 1% of Americans have, according to the Department of Defense, served in the US Military in the past decade  -  I compare this to the experience of my generation and Vietnam, which of course for most of its tenure had a draft.

But I want you to read Blow, not me.

So here are his final two paragraphs, words which make clear that the war mongers on the right (and unfortunately a few on our side of the aisle) totally misread the mood of the American people, a mood well addressed in these words:  

There are too many of our soldiers still in distant lands, wading through the blood of the fallen or being shipped home broken or maimed or dead. The American ideal of being the world’s lone super power, with infinite influence and strong-arm leverage, is colliding with the reality that we are unable to police the world and that our influence has limits, as well as with our utter distaste for the morass of battle without clear objectives, time limits or exit strategies.

The drums of war have been beating on and off in this country for decades; Americans ache for a moment of silence.

Which is why in the context of this column I feel very comfortable offering my usual final salutation:


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Comment Preferences

  •  Chicken Hawks Like Cheney Love To Send Your Kid (13+ / 0-)

    to war.   Dick managed to get 5 deferments for himself during Viet Nam.   Mitt Romney skipped off to France....that of course, was after he participated in a student rally demonstrating FOR the draft.

    Even as a student, Mitt thought it was OK to send your kid to Viet Nam, but not him.  Instead, he served his country by going to France on a Mormon mission.  It was a good gig.  He even had a professional chef to cook him up a little something.  What do you want to bet, it wasn't MREs?


  •  National will is a strategic resource, like oil, (7+ / 0-)

    and iron, only more important.  Ours has been squandered by Bush's little GWOT and Obama's unhesitant continuation of it.  After 14 years of secret war on the credit card with no end in sight and no real goal we just will not support another military adventure. The polling on Obama's proposed military retaliation in Syria is what took that off the table.  We are weak because we are tired and we are tired because the war has been profitable to people who have bought our government. Putin is on the move because he can be. Get used to it because it will be long time before America feels ready for a tussle again.

    Rivers are horses and kayaks are their saddles

    by River Rover on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 07:58:30 PM PDT

  •  Thanks and hope all is well with you and ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Larsstephens, HoundDog

    Mrs. Teacherken, Leavesonthestream.

  •  If you buy this: (0+ / 0-)
    The American ideal of being the world’s lone super power, with infinite influence and strong-arm leverage,
    you are beyond talking to rationally.

    As for

    "...the reality that we are unable to police the world and that our influence has limits, as well as with our utter distaste for the morass of battle without clear objectives, time limits or exit strategies."
    tell it to the Libyans and Syrians and Afgans before we pull the rug out.
  •  Thanks for the link teacherken (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "Seriously, Folks, WTH?" - ("What the Heck? "h/t Joan McCarter, Seriously, Florida. WTF?)

    by HoundDog on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:19:05 PM PDT

  •  After Iraq announced it was approving child (0+ / 0-)

    marriages, I was kinda surprised the neocons would advocate for more war elsewhere, and then I remembered, Oh right, they're neocons. Silly me, thinking they're sane, rational people. Thanks for the diary.

    They Killed Will? Those Bastards!

    by blueoregon on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 10:37:28 PM PDT

  •  Why not mention the subject in the title? (0+ / 0-)

    Like, as a courtesy?

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 11:05:50 PM PDT

  •  something not appreciated about Obama (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes, contrariandy, salmo

    He wants Europe to do more to deal with the things that crop up in its neighbourhood. This was blatantly obvious during the Libya uprising, for example. Unless one were relying solely upon US mainstream media,  from which one hears little but cheap shots about weakness, etc. from the usual foaming toadies of doublespeak.

    Obama is of the give-enough-rope-to-hang-yourself school of relations, both international and other wise. ("Please proceed, governor.") He's not taking Putin's bait. The entire world is watching this and can see clearly that it's Putin who is the aggressor, and that his excuses are a sham. There's no need for any overt US aggression, and in fact that would be counter-productive. This is a situation which requires careful diplomacy.

    I've no doubt that plenty of covert activity is going on, as well. This situation is likely (imho) a result of an FSB operation, after all.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 12:21:27 AM PDT

  •  For some people, overseas military engagements (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    isabelle hayes, JohnB47, salmo

    are presumed to have a deterrent effect.

    "We fight them over there, so we don't have to fight them over here." What's not stated clearly in that pronouncement is that "them" actually refers not to terrorists or foreign invaders, but to the ordinary citizens who might be inclined to resist the rule of their "betters." In a similar vein, young men used to be drafted into the military to get them off the streets and out of the competition for their elders' jobs. Military service was a holding pattern and, just to keep them sharp, an engagement had to be orchestrated from time to time.

    If you organize an army, it will fight -- not all of them, but some.

    That the citizenry is not being effectively deterred from making demands is evidenced by the fact that elections are not turning out as planned. While progressives may be unhappy with the TEA Party success, the cons aren't pleased either because the radicals don't do what they are told. Boehner can't get any meaningful legislation passed because the radicals are unruly. Of course, the Democrats can't take advantage of that because traditional party hacks don't appreciate unruliness either. Neither major party is enthusiastic about citizen activation because, if the people are to govern, the parties are anachronistic, slated for the dung heap of history, unless they re-invent themselves and their mission.

    by hannah on Thu Mar 27, 2014 at 02:06:49 AM PDT

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