In an essay in Claremont Review, one Michael Anton offers a view of history that conveniently rewrites the record, on behalf of right wing mania. And while there is certainly some erudition and fact-citing in the article: what a stunning pile of dreck! Let’s sample:
“The worst element of the present crisis, at least from our side, isn’t the virulent Russophobia emitting from the same people who scoffed at standing up to the Kremlin when it was controlled by zealots hell-bent on worldwide Communist revolution—by conquest if necessary. It’s not even the newfound war fever of former pacifists who once denounced military preparedness as reckless provocation. It’s the casual insouciance with which elites now speak of nuclear exchanges as an acceptable price to pay for stopping Russia and, really, not all that bad. Exhibit A is Anne Applebaum’s recent Atlantic column entitled “Fear of Nuclear War Has Warped the West’s Ukraine Strategy.” The West is not doing enough to escalate the conflict, she argues, because “[w]e feel relieved, somehow, that people will die because they have frozen in unheated apartments or drowned in an artificial flood, and not from nuclear fallout.” And, hey, what’s the difference?
“Seriously, the survival of the free world wasn’t grave enough to risk nuclear confrontation, but who controls the Donbass is? When MSNBC and CNN talking heads start making Curtis LeMay sound circumspect, the world has turned upside down.”
Oh where to begin on this pile of Kremlin-sourced agitptop? Perhaps by offering Mr. Anton a $$$ wager whether ‘military readiness’ was on average better at the completion of Democratic administrations or Republican ones? I stand ready with stakes, if he dares try to support that all-out lie. But to his key points:
1. The ignoramus actually asserts that Post WWII Republicans were the principal force for containment of Soviet expansionism. Bull. Until Reagan, a majority of Republicans favored return to pre 1941 isolationism. The aggressive containment policy (that alas also led to us being reflexively lured into a draining land war in Asia) was pushed ever since 1947 by the US labor movement and the AFL-CIO! Those Teamsters and factory workers never changed their volcanic hatred of Leninism/Stalinism, even after they shifted their party allegiance to the GOP (propelled by school busing and other lefty mistakes). That shift of party identity brought anti-Soviet fervor with them, leading to Reaganism. And a ‘Pundit’ who ignores that should have his “P” credential shredded.
In fact, the post WWII US left was NEVER (except for a few Angela Davis types), pro Kremlin! Ever. And that’s ever. In fact, more recent Foxite rages against George Soros cite him as “a fearsome manipulator” for having “toppled 8 foreign governments!” with his NGO meddling. Alas, none of the dittohead addicts watching Hannity ever asks him to NAME those “8 foreign governments toppled by George Soros!” (It’s true. He did! Can YOU name them? Michael Anton probably could. But his masters won’t let him.)
2. As for Mr. Anton’s assertion of today’s lefty “russophobia”? It’s a term used now by Putinist shills to undermine support for a current strategy in support of Ukraine that has proved correct in every respect, first by firming up and strengthening the NATO Alliance that Trumpists tried (at KGB orders) to destroy.
Comparatively inexpensively, we are resisting the most unambiguous evil we’ve see in a generation, effectively destroying what everyone had deemed a major threat – the Russian military – a potemkin husk, we now see, but horrifically dangerous, nonetheless. Till now.
Going almost entirely unmentioned is how we are thereby testing our own weapons systems in perfect field trials. Results that have surely daunted a major rising power to the southeast against even considering any aggressive move for a decade. Western weapons and doctrines have proved spectacularly correct and effective and these field trials will keep them that way…
3. …while helping a brave, underdog nation stand up to its goliath bully and planting seeds of doubt in a Russian public that may (at last) outgrow 2000 years of obeisance to brutal “strongman” czars.
4. Above all, garbage like this spew by Mr. Anton helps to unveil what the thoroughly corrupted GOP has become, essentially a mouthpiece for the worldwide campaign against Democracies and enlightenment values. An attempted putsch that’s subsidized by every oligarchy on the planet, from casino-owner mafiosi (all of them donors to the Republican Party that made one of them president) to petro-boyars, murder-sheiks, and drug cartels resisting legalization, all the way to hedge lords and inheritance brats, all of them united at targeting – especially – the professionals who stand between them and a return to feudal power.
The nerdy fact professions, from science and civil service to law, medicine, teaching and journalism to the FBI/Intel/military and diplomatic corps who won the Cold War and the War on Terror! All of the professionals who Tucker Carlson derides as “snobs” almost every evening and who a confederate senator just last month denounced as “high IQ stupid people.”
Our dedicated, brilliant and perseverant professionals, who now are displaying the kind of immense COMPETENCE that we pay them for, and for which the public almost never gives credit.
It is that dazzling competence we are seeing on display, right now, almost daily in the current crisis. Professional competence… and not Mr. Anton’s armchair heckling of “russophobia”… is what’s helping immensely brave Ukrainians to defeat injustice and evil.
And that competence – by those dedicated men and women whom we hire to be competent – plus political leaders who are smart and patriotic enough to use that competence wisely – is what we must count on, foremost, to navigate a path through the minefield of this decade.
A decade when history might at last (one way or the other) come to an ‘end.’