Wednesday, 27 August 2008

MY CONDOLENCES TO YOU ALL...


"Russian president Dmitry Medvedev has warned that his country may respond
to a US missile shield in Europe through military means. Mr Medvedev said the
deployment of an anti-missile system close to Russian borders "will, of course,
create additional tensions. We will have to react somehow, to react, of course,
in a military way..."

Harsh words indeed - and worse is to follow...

Kennedy made just this point when he warned the Soviets about Cuba in 1962. A period
which has been condemned for recklessness and glamorised for its demonstration
of ultimate diplomacy. Though my own guess is that he built up the hype so high
that nothing less could meet the profligate expectations he had raised. It was
either fish or cut bait. So he broke a rule of diplomacy: “Get out or get
nuked!”

The result, of course, was The Cold War.

History has been stood on its head. There is something outrageously
hypocritical about the contrast between Cuba and Poland. And nothing proves
quite as inflammatory as US-led efforts to integrate post-Soviet territories
into the North-Atlantic Pact. But how come that we all accept this as evidence
of our own good will, when in fact it looks to me like the very opposite of it.
One is reminded of the proverb about people in glass houses. Such things rankle,
and worse is to come: so far as incorporating the Ukraine into Nato is
concerned, the Crimea has a Russian majority population just waiting to be
“freed”...

And who the heck is going to oppose it?

Sarkosy? The pint-sized little busybody with a chip on his shoulder
whose penchant for bling so well complements Carla’s rather more broad-minded
approach to ambassadorial activity...Or Miliband? The boy scout whose Clark
Kent-style transformation from geek to superman has yet to be ratified. For
until that happens, permit me to doubt!

George Brown? I am afraid that his limitations of expression (and my
own impatience) - have inevitably meant that his opinions are valued only on
matters of Olympic ceremony, low-energy lightbulbs and greenhouse gardensheds.
Or bring back Blair, perhaps, who gets as high as a kite on blueprints
describing weapons of mass destruction. Come home, sweet Bambie, all is
forgiven...

So what about Berlusconi, idling his way through wealth and corruption,
he is, even by Italian standards, unusually thick-skinned. But then, Mafia and
Medvedev are not synonymous. And Frau Angela Merkel? I am aware that my bias is
Anglo-Saxon; but a German woman turned war horse? God help us all - that may
well backfire...

All is not lost, however. For no one who knows about horses could ever
confuse Frau Merkel with Herr Paxman. A British institution that is steeped in
nothing but a distinguished voice, exceedingly high-brow manners and the tone of
an offended mandarin duck. Still, it is hard to argue with Paxos raised brow -
probably the best weapon we ever had...

And yet, help is at hand - it seems, in the veteran and near-incumbent shape of John McCain whose rugged,plain-speaking record is seen as a welcome boost to sagging Cold-War morale.
Besides, Barrack Obama has to be rendered ineffectual. You may talk a good game,
McCain, but don’t start messing with the Ruskies. They do not associate war
with pleasure! Bombing hapless mountain tribes in Afghanistan is one thing, but
to take on the might of the Mongols, already bruised by the loss of their
empire, is quite another. If you don’t think you’re Custer riding into Little
Big Horn, then let me warn you, nor are these Sioux and Cheyenne braves. These
are the boys that tore the heart out of Operation Barbarossa and put paid to the
Axis Powers; they’ll have your balls for breakfast...

My condolences to you all! Be prepared for some disappointment. Death
is not selective...

Dreamy

13 comments:

Richard Havers said...

The imagery of Millipede as Boy Scout is a goodun. David Boyband as he's known in this house is clearly a chap who uses a pencil case. Somehow calling him a chap is perfectly apposite. He just doesn't have leadership qualities nor does he exude a sense of confidence. Politics is more about the aura of leadership as it is intellect.

Selena Dreamy said...

My feeling exactly. Give me the likes of Thatcher or Palmerston anytime - either of whom brought a new and permanent value to the meaning of civis britannicus. The sophisticated, shrewdly-calculating charisma of the great statesman extends rather beyond the geek-like display of Miliband’s political puberty.

But what’s always baffled me, and what Miliband does not fully answer is, how indeed, an entire civilised nation continues to collaborate in the most extreme deficiency of our time - that of charismatic leadership!

mutleythedog said...

HA!

Well you know a lot about politics but unless you are suggesting a cataclysmic nuclear exchange then in a military sense the Russians lose every time. For Gods sake they deployed soldiers with AKs, antique tanks and trucks, and a lot of conscripted thugs to back up Ossetian robber barons and fat bastard paramilitaries! If Russia attacks NATO it signs its own death warrant. Regardless of politics...

mutleythedog said...

If we are going to talk about like weapons and war and stuff then I will win by the way - you have wandered into my territory. No room for epistyemology or that other thing you say in that debate...

Richard Havers said...

I've always liked what Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr said about FDR. “A second class intellect, but a first-class temperament.” We surrounded by first class intellects....and....

Jonathan said...

'how indeed, an entire civilised nation continues to collaborate in the most extreme deficiency of our time - that of charismatic leadership!'

Well, I can certainly agree with that. But what kind of charisma are we looking for Selena? In a post-ideological age, what is charisma to be rooted in and animated by?

Selena Dreamy said...

Neatly summed up, Jonathan. And a point I have made on a number of occasions.

Nietzsche put it well: "You will become smaller and smaller, you small people! You will crumble away, you comfortable people! You will yet perish - through your many small virtues, through your many small omissions, through your many small submissions!"

But even when looking at things in a matter-of-fact way, it is not difficult to see that without a new and enlarged vision of the world, a new and unifying purpose to give the world something to believe in, today's intellectual prodigy is rising to no great heights on fluttering wings...

Selena Dreamy said...

For Gods sake they deployed soldiers with AKs, antique tanks and trucks, and a lot of conscripted thugs to back up Ossetian robber barons and fat bastard paramilitaries!

My point, exactly, Mutley. They weren't even trying...!

But what if they are? What are Nato's parliamentary city boys going to do, against a ruthless renascent power willing to torture, bomb, burn, slaughter and invade in order to recuperate an oligarchically driven, one-size-fits-all ideological empire claiming historical inevitability?

Crap themselves, I suppose?

All Shook Up said...

If this was a poker game... Miliband is shovelling chips into the pot when everybody at the table knows he's got jack high. All Putin needs to do is keep raising.

"it is not difficult to see that without a new and enlarged vision of the world, a new and unifying purpose to give the world something to believe in, today's intellectual prodigy is rising to no great heights on fluttering wings..."

Isn't the new big unifying idea "Globalisation - the New World Order"? Trouble is with it, humans react best (i.e. at their most basic level) when their self-interest is invoked.. Britain, in particular, seems to need to feel a force to oppose before its sense of destiny kicks in.

Selena Dreamy said...

Miliband is shovelling chips into the pot when everybody at the table knows he's got jack high.

What’s more, he is a puppet on a string.

A sock puppet, in internet parlance, which is a fake identity created for deceptive purposes and possessed of all the theatrical characteristics of diplomatic oratory - but conscious deep down that he’s is only a facade and can only maintain his position by bluff...

Selena Dreamy said...

If we are going to talk about like weapons and war and stuff then I will win by the way -

...don't let me down Mut! Stay tuned for more...

Jonathan said...

'without a new and enlarged vision of the world, a new and unifying purpose to give the world something to believe in.'

This ties in with what Gordon McCabe has been discussing over at his website...(I would think these synchronicities remarkable if they didn't happen as often as they do) regarding National Socialism and Art, and the dangers that lie lurking for certain types of grand vision. And yet you are right, we do need one.

But we cannot healthily create such ex nihilo, out of thin air; it must be drawn from the wellsprings of tradition - even though it will undoubtedly also need to be in crucial ways unprecedented - because of the particular and peculiar demands and realities of our world.

Jonathan said...

'without a new and enlarged vision of the world, a new and unifying purpose to give the world something to believe in.'

This ties in with what Gordon McCabe has been discussing over at his website...(I would think these synchronicities remarkable if they didnt happen as often as they do) regarding National Socialism and Art, and the dangers that lie lurking for certain types of grand vision. And yet you are right, we do need one.

But we cannot healthily create such ex nihilo, out of thin air; it must be drawn from the wellsprings of tradition - even though it will undoubtedly also need to be in crucial ways unprecedented - because of the particular and peculiar demands and realities of our world.