"having a bit of fun, the swines"

In an earlier post about the Georgia situation, I agreed with Victor Davis Hanson's characterization of the moral bankruptcy of the Western Left.

From Chomsky on down, the ability of the Left to both scold the United States while obsequiously apologizing for villainous regimes (as long as they're anti-American) never ceases to amaze me.

But the above is a generalization. In fairness, I have to admit that not all apologists for anti-American villainy are on the left. This morning, Pat Buchanan (who sounds for the world like a newly minted Russian lobbyist) reminded me that I shouldn't be too quick to assume that "only the Left" would cozy up to the Bear at a time like this:

American charges of Russian aggression ring hollow. Georgia started this fight -- Russia finished it. People who start wars don't get to decide how and when they end.

Russia's response was "disproportionate" and "brutal," wailed Bush.

True. But did we not authorize Israel to bomb Lebanon for 35 days in response to a border skirmish where several Israel soldiers were killed and two captured? Was that not many times more "disproportionate"?

Nice. That gratuitous swipe at Israel is vintage Buchanan, who's getting warmed up for another one of his time-honored hallmarks -- a reference to Weimar Germany:
That Putin took the occasion of Saakashvili's provocative and stupid stunt to administer an extra dose of punishment is undeniable. But is not Russian anger understandable? For years the West has rubbed Russia's nose in her Cold War defeat and treated her like Weimar Germany.
Read it all. Especially if you're in the mood to have your stereotypical thinking about the left annoyingly shattered as mine was.

The problem with Buchanan is that he's such a good writer that I enjoy being annoyed -- even tortured -- by him. Almost as much as I enjoy being annoyed and tortured by James Wolcott (who these days is "light[ing] a little candle each evening that McCain will choose Joe Lieberman as his all-bran vice presidential sidekick--the Sunshine Boys of Cold War II.")

Such a paradox is nothing new. In Dr. Strangelove, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake admitted that his swinish torturers made good cameras:

...when they tortured you did you talk?

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Ah, oh, no... well, I don't think they wanted me to talk really. I don't think they wanted me to say anything. It was just their way of having a bit of fun, the swines. Strange thing is they make such bloody good cameras.

posted by Eric on 08.16.08 at 09:30 AM


Buchanan is such a loathsome toad that I can't even bring myself to read his stuff any more.

He isn't really a conservative, or on the right except to the extent that Lyndon LaRouche is. He occupies a fringe of his own making. By now I expect him to claim that Poland started WWII by having their troops cross the border and assault a German radio station.

Steve Skubinna   ·  August 16, 2008 11:39 AM


I get his newsletter just to keep track of him. I was going to do a post on this edition. Glad you beat me to it.


My bet is that the Russians killed a bunch of "passport" Russians and blamed it on the Georgians.

M. Simon   ·  August 16, 2008 11:46 AM

@Steve: you mean Buchanan didn't already claim exactly that ? Oh wait, never mind, it was the other Goebbels who did.

Peter   ·  August 16, 2008 12:14 PM

Steve Skubinna said it right. Buchanan is a loathsome toad. I will not even read his crap. Never, ever claim that idiot is a conservative.

Robohobo   ·  August 16, 2008 3:17 PM

Thank you for pointing out this article; I suspected that Pat and the traditionalists might have a different perspective on this issue, than the prevailing "conservative" and "Republican" perspective.

I remember when a Democrat was in the White House, and the overwhelming majority of Republicans and conservatives were anti-imperialism, while echoing Mr. Buchanan and "leading the anti-war movement." The virtues of national sovereignty and non-interventionism were espoused, by most Republicans and conservatives, including the national leaders and organizations of our movement.

Russia was an issue at that time as well, and most conservatives and Republicans recognized the folly of riling the "bear," and possibly re-igniting the Cold War, which President Ronald Reagan so shrewdly ended.

This latest controversy is just another skirmish in the battle for authentic conservatism. It is sad how the statist and utopian philosophy of liberal internationalism has been allowed to creep into, and then become dominant within, the American conservative movement and the Republican Party.


Myself and others have been fighting this battle for some time now. We will continue to do so.

Aakash   ·  August 16, 2008 4:24 PM

Wow. Buchanan has lost it. Based on his closing paragraphs alone, he's lost it. I grew up during the Reagan administration, and I seem to remember the general strategy as publically stated by the Soviet government as one of creating a sphere of influence in Latin America based on military power. No, the influence was not just a navy base in Cuba and some advisors for FARC in Colombia, but let's see, there were the Sandinistas who were getting Soviet support, Salvadoran rebels who were getting Soviet support, to name two right off the top of my head. We were opposing the very things that Buchanan mentions, and I'm quite happy that we spoiled Soviet fun there. Had Reagan not been there, we'd probably be keeping quiet and pretending that "revolutionary socialism" was exactly what the people of Latin America wanted and needed.

The "democratic imperialism" sobriquet is laughable. Only someone who thinks that isolating one's nation from the rest of the world is the best foreign policy ever would come up with such a oxymoron.

JC   ·  August 18, 2008 12:28 PM

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