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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Once again, The Soviets


If you ask many Americans how the Soviet system fell, they will tell you it was the will and determination of Ronald Reagan that brought the corrupt system to its knees. This is a problem with many Americans. They believe that if the United States is dancing, it must be leading.

Here is another explanation.


Support for the Soviet Army was never in question. The unimaginable price paid by the Soviet solider in World War II cemented the idea that the army was responsible for the preservation of the way of life for all the people. So what if most of the recent uses of the army had been to quell rebellions in client states? They were still the brave heroes of the republic.


No matter how bad the economy was, there was always money for the military.


But then, the Soviets decided to invade a troublesome client state in Asia. This country was no more of an actual threat to the national security than any of the other client states invaded in recent years, but authority had to be maintained.

But unlike other countries invaded by the Soviet Army, this small Asian nation resisted. Some of the resistance was local, some was foreign fighters. Some of the funding came from the true enemies of the Soviet state, but the manpower was a force that barely met the requirements needed to be called ragtag.


The Soviets sent in their own people to be in charge. They also propped up local puppet governments. These people were completely incompetent and corrupt, but that didn't stop the buffoonish leaders back home from heaping praise upon them.


The army did what was asked of them. They didn't lose battles, largely because there weren't many battles in the traditional sense of the word after the first few weeks. It was just that they never put out the fire, they never brought real normal life back to the invaded country. They were hardly to blame for this. The job of making political progress is always outside the army's jurisdiction.

But whatever the reasons for inability to achieve victory, the army paid the price.


Eventually, more than ten years after the first Soviet troops arrived in the small Asian nation, they left, brought home by new leaders that did not send them in. Never having securing victory, they were seen by the world as being defeated. The cost paid in human life, though dear, was a tiny fraction of the sacrifice of World War II. The cost paid in money to fight assymmetrical warfare was very high, and the demoralized army was no longer the political force in the country it once had been, and the nation's economy suffered even more than usual. Leaders who spoke of another way won the day, but they were unable to keep on top of the reforms they tried to implement, and the Soviet Union collapsed.

I ask again: How could these crooked cretins, once defeated, ever make a comeback?

8 comments:

Zoey & Me said...

They come back because the majority of voters don't care. Look at the front page of my newspaper this morning, Florida Today, if the election were held today Giuliani would beat Clinton by 20%. You gotta wonder what it takes to wake these assholes up.

no_slappz said...

It is hardly news that osama bin laden was hired by the US to plague the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The decision to use him was one of the most brilliant moves in our history. We defeated the Soviet Union without a direct military confrontation.

Brilliant. Absolutely brilliant.

But we should have killed bin laden the next day. However, islamic hate for the US, the West and Israel was not born and will not die with bin laden.

By the way, the situation in Iraq is improving. How would you feel if the US pacified the country and got Iraqi life going in the right direction?

What's your view on South Korea? We fought a three-year war in Korea. About 38,000 US troops died in that brief war. About 40,000 US troops have stood guard on the border between North and South Korea since 1953.

Was it worth it? Would it matter if South Korea was the same wasteland as North Korea?

dguzman said...

Glad to see someone else sees the parallels between the fall of the Soviet Union and the eventual fall of the American Empire. All our invasions of supposedly weaker nations, supporting puppet regimes, bankrupting our country a million times over, and generally thinking we'll always have the upper hand -- these things will add up to a fall, as they always have. The Greeks, the Romans, the Nazis, the Soviets--we are following in some well-worn footpaths.

Matty Boy said...

Hi, no_slappz. You are right about some of the things you say. Other places, important information is left out.

While the violence situation is improving, there are a lot of factors, the "surge" being only one. Violence is down in Basra, for instance, because the British, the main targets of the violence, have pulled out.

Even an "improved" Baghdad is 50 times the size of Compton, CA, (shorthand for American urban hellscape) with about three times the level of violent death. Is this "success" worth the hundreds of billions, if not trillions, we have spent so far?

Still, clean water and reliable electricity are hard to find in Iraq, and cholera is making a comeback. The political situation is still a mess, as a de facto Kurdistan is as much an anathema to the Turks as a de facto Palestine is to the Israelis. The corruption of the provisional authority and the Iraqis now in charge makes the worst puppets we ever put in charge in South Vietnam look like sticklers for clean government and transparent transaction.

As for South Korea in comparison to Iraq, a small but telling difference is that in Korea, we stopped an invasion and brokered peace from there. The upkeep of that peace is not free, but the cost is manageable.

In Iraq, we invaded and crippled their country. This puts us in the role formerly played in other wars by the Nazis, the Italian fascists, the imperial Japanese, the Soviets and the Red Chinese.

For decades, Iraq will be dominated by their stronger neighbors, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia. We may currently think of some of these countries as allies and others as enemies, but they are all players with own agenda, and we have made a mess on their doorstep that they will naturally try to exploit.

If we stay in Iraq for decades, we will not have a nice big demilitarized zone to sit behind. A lot more dead soldiers will be coming back in this situation, much as we still have people dying in Afghanistan, though in numbers small enough to keep off the front page.

FranIAm said...

Matty this is some extra specially good 'splainin here.

Scary, but good.

no_slappz said...

matty boy, you wrote:

"While the violence situation is improving, there are a lot of factors..."

There's always a lot of factors to everything in this world, especially when the situation involves massive human interaction. Nevertheless, violence is down and life is improving in Iraq. I know that's bad news for anyone supporting Democratic candidates these days. But, what can you do?

You asked:

"Is this "success" worth the hundreds of billions...we have spent so far?"

This question veers between the concrete and the conceptual. It also depends upon whom you ask. But a free Iraq pumping oil at top speed would pump out more far global benefits than the US is likely to spend securing Iraq.

You said:

"Still, clean water and reliable electricity are hard to find in Iraq, and cholera is making a comeback."

For this you can blame the muslims who oppose freedom and prosperity. Cleaning water, making electricity and defeating cholera are simple tasks for free societies. But, those pesky anti-freedom muslims believe misery for everybody beats freedom for all. Swell bunch.

You wrote:

"The political situation is still a mess..."

As though no country is history has been in similar straits. But, then again, it's muslims we're dealing with here. They've pretty much perfected the concept of Pyrrhic Loss.

You added:

"...as a de facto Kurdistan is as much an anathema to the Turks as a de facto Palestine is to the Israelis."

That analogy is utter nonsense.

You wrote:

"The corruption of the provisional authority and the Iraqis now in charge makes the worst puppets we ever put in charge in South Vietnam look like sticklers for clean government and transparent transaction."

Yeah, well, says you. Things are getting better in Iraq. It's just possible the average Iraqi is coming around to the idea that the bad guys are muslim fundamentalists who disapprove of democracy, freedom, prosperity and capitalism.

You wrote:

"As for South Korea in comparison to Iraq, a small but telling difference is that in Korea, we stopped an invasion and brokered peace from there."

Yeah, we stopped an invasion from China. That's a substantially bigger deal than you seem to suggest.

You wrote:

"In Iraq, we invaded and crippled their country."

We removed a despot who was sending the country down the road to ruination. Among many matters, Saddam had invested nothing in the maintenance and repair, and the expansion of the Iraqi oil industry. Consequently, oil production was falling every year.

Like most muslims, he and his crowd of henchmen were technical incompetents. If our arrival led to added damage, thank mainly those pesky muslims who prefer suffering for everybody.

You wrote:

"This puts us in the role formerly played in other wars by the Nazis, the Italian fascists, the imperial Japanese, the Soviets and the Red Chinese."

Utterly ridiculous. The US wants a free, capitalistic Iraq that produces as much oil as its fields can offer. Why? Because the entire world benefits from a top-notch Iraqi oil industry.

Iraq is probably producing around 2 million barrels a day these days. But with expert management -- which does not exist among Iraqis -- the fields could pump 6 million barrels a day. At current prices of almost $100 a barrel, that $600 million a day flowing into the Iraqi economy. However, if higher production knocked down prices, as it should, even $50 a barrel brings in $110 billion a year.

Iraq can finance a great future for itself and improve the world simultaneously. Tough to beat that combo.

You wrote:

"For decades, Iraq will be dominated by their stronger neighbors, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia."

Says you. They can all co-exist in an edgy peace. As if anything else exists in the middle east.

You wrote:

"We may currently think of some of these countries as allies and others as enemies, but they are all players with own agenda, and we have made a mess on their doorstep that they will naturally try to exploit."

None of them are "allies". We may have alliances with some of them, but there is no Great Britain among them. We do what we must, though I believe we are far too kind.

You wrote:

"If we stay in Iraq for decades, we will not have a nice big demilitarized zone to sit behind."

Oh sure. The idiots in Damascus and Tehran want real trouble with the US. Iraq is not like Korea, where China is standing behind the nut running North Korea.

A prosperous Iraq threatens the neighboring dictators, but not to the neighboring people. Meanwhile, Iraqis are expected to handle their internal security. They will develop a military and a police force to handle much of the military work and all of the police work.

You wrote:

"A lot more dead soldiers will be coming back in this situation..."

Yeah. Sure. Says you.

You wrote:

"...much as we still have people dying in Afghanistan, though in numbers small enough to keep off the front page."

I think we are going to beat the idiot muslims and fundamentally change that part of the world. If it happens more-or-less as I believe, our win should count as one of the history's greatest triumphs.

Matty Boy said...

No_slappz, I am undone. Your use of "says you" and "that's ridiculous" and "things will be wonderful" have completely left me speechless.

Now I see why some people think of Bush as an idealist. Wishful thinking as foreign policy is clearly still popular with the bottom 25% of the gene pool.

no_slappz said...

Matty boy, you wrote:

"For decades, Iraq will be dominated by their stronger neighbors, Turkey, Iran and Saudi Arabia."

and

"A lot more dead soldiers will be coming back in this situation..."

To which I repllied, "says you."

Those statements represent your view of the future, which, as at least I know, is extraordinarily hard to predict, especially when the future of nations is in play.

It is certainly possible your vision is the one the world will experience. But, as you should know, the probability of your vision proving accurate is low, very low.

With respect to the "domination" of the new Iraq by Iran, well, within two years, Iran might experience a regime change. Then what? I'd say the new Iraq would have an edge over Iran.

Moreover, Iran is another muslim country of technical idiots. Like Iraq under saddam, Iran's oil industry is suffering from mismanagement. Thus, it is experiencing problems related to its bad practices and the negative effects will increase over the life of the existing regime.

You have made outright speculations about the future of nations in the middle east. Moreover, you have asserted that the outcome you have predicted will prevail "for decades."

If, on the other hand, Iraq develops a sustaining democracy and capitalistic free markets arise, the odds favor Iraq becoming the regional powerhouse while the other nations contemplate their relative backslide. Since your prediction stretches over "decades", there's sufficient time for my expectation to prevail.

Based on what you've written, the logical foundations of your predictions emerge from the "proof by assertion" school of thinking.