Victor Davis Hanson has the take of current events bereft of history.
Few people today like to bother with studying History, it does after all, involve capital 'R' Reading - that reading that is done with capital 'R' Reason employed, and if you've been edumacated to little 'r''s, that can seem difficult. And it tends to tell you unpleasant things, like nations that are ruled by tyrants, behave like criminals and bullies, and criminals and bullies don't behave by rules, at best they refrain from their natural inclinations out of fear... but even that is only for awhile - if you doubt me, see if you can find any empty prisons.
From Histories headlines 2,500 years ago, Thucydides saw the outbreak of the Peloponessian war, sparked by the actions of pen upon a treaty The History of the Peloponnesian War, from end of Chp. 1 - every bit as new as today's NEWS, and far more relevant:
"To the question why they broke the treaty, I answer by placing first an account of their grounds of complaint and points of difference, that no one may ever have to ask the immediate cause which plunged the Hellenes into a war of such magnitude. The real cause I consider to be the one which was formally most kept out of sight. The growth of the power of Athens, and the alarm which this inspired in Lacedaemon, made war inevitable. Still it is well to give the grounds alleged by either side which led to the dissolution of the treaty and the breaking out of the war."
So how about we just stick to our current events? That is, after all, what those committed to Action! pay attention to, since those are the only events they can take advantage of. Here's the take of the gang of current events, "... an account of their grounds of complaint and points of difference"
Chorus of Current Events - 911 led to the invasion and toppling of Afghanistan & Iraq... hmmm... yeah... but still, the lasting effects have been at best... mixed. Yeah, Libya caved, some troubles with Syria and Lebanon... but they soon caved too, the oh so pious West seemed to think thy could cover that caving with 'civil talk', politics, 'free elections', oh, and 'democracy' (tee-hee!), as if 'r'ight might overrule 'M'ight. They say they're against terrorists... lets see, what happened when Hamas 'won' an 'election' in Palestine? HA! They let it stand! al-Sadr in Iraq? Ha! They let him negotiate out! Ok, one last check, Iran... they've been caught selling, donating and delivering weapons for IED's killing U.S. Troops... anything? Ha! No Way!
Uh-oh... Israel blew the hell out of Syria's reactor... crap... North Korea's caught red handed (go figure)... ok, lets watch... talks or no talks? Ha! Talking again! Ok, on with the show.
What, after all, does a tyrant like Putin see when looking at what they know they hold together by might alone, by emotion and the fist keeping the pieces knocked together, there's no inner cohesion of integrated truth to rely upon, no rights or laws people can trust in and with you, only emotion for mother russia overcoming the shame of defeat, and the might to enforce it. With that perspective, what is the status of the Republic of Georgia on it's borders? No matter the corruption present, they stand for Republicanism, for Freedom... that dear friends, is a poisonous threat! Poland? Latvia? Lithuania? Estonia? Threats! How can Putin possibly use his fists from the outside, to hold together what is pulling apart from the inside? And as the KGB knows only too well, such thoughts spread across borders sooo fast.
Russia - Ukraine's trying freedom and independence? Risk it, poison the sob! Crap, caught & failed! Reactions? Ha! 'Condemned'! What the hell do we who condemn ourselves three times a minute, care for the condemnation of a pious world? Takeover the oil companies...more 'condemnation'! Hey, when you write the laws, what you want is lawful, gotta love it. Georgia... push 'em, push 'em, let a jet strafe and bomb... reactions? Na, more 'Russia must be a good world citizen' (Heh... must is for those who do, not those who talk). Push 'em... goad 'em... come on, they'll react... a little more... There! GO! GO! GO!
Ok... hold on... pause (crap we hate this part)... any jets in the air? Anything redirecting towards us from Iraq or Afghanistan? NO!... uh-oh... wait a minute... Rice is going to see Shakisvilli... OH MAN! You've got to be kidding me! After his speech, she practically kow-towed to the godz of diplomacy! Look at Shakisvilli's face! He knows he's screwed! Ha! Ok now, do the North Korean table dance, agree and swear not to, and do it anyway... deny it while you're doing it... it's working 'Be a good world citizen' talk! Amazing! Grab the rest, wreck it all! Threaten the damn Polish... they've got to be getting the picture about the West now. Damn'd if we're gonna let them get anywhere nearer our borders or interests, they've had us on the run for too damn long, threatening us with their damn democrazies and republics. They're soft and we know it, and won't give another inch to the damn metrosexual banter!
Crazy little Kim Jong il - You see how the big bad eagle reacted to the bear? Eagle?! Pah! Canary! Stop that nuke plant dismantling, gear it back up, tell Syria the shops open for business again!
China - hmmm... 'reunificaiton' is looking closer and closer....
West - what we in the west see is that 'we aren't interested in threatening anybody, hell, we don't even want to defend anybody, why should anybody fear us? Lets be friends!'
Tyrants are threatened by opposition. Period. They know, better than we, that it is their people who they fear the most, and any notions of 'freedom', any idea of limits upon their power... THATS a threat! Defensive actions? Treaties? Leagues? Such things are sources of fear for them, nothing less, and anybody that transmits fear, without the willingness and ability to back it up, there's only one thing to do, can do, push them back! Now!
Any response to Russia that didn't involve immediate military response, was nothing but displaying that we could be pushed back from their borders.
What does my oh so wise opinion say should have happened?
Bush should have said 'Vlad, here's the deal. No F'ing way this stands. You have 8 hours to remove your people & eqpt from every square inch of Georgia, 8 hrs to do it without the world knowing of our talk here. After that, we publicly state you have 8hrs to leave, totaly and completely. Anything remaining on Georgian soil 1 second after, will soon cease to exist, just like sadams highway of death, you will be humiliated worldwide in living color on every international network news channel. Any moves towards any other country, ally of ours or not, and whatever you make the move with will soon cease to exist. Mobilize any missiles towards us, and Russia will soon cease to exist. Period. Nice talkin' to ya Vlad, Goodnight'
If we can't or aren't willing to say and DO THAT, then we should get the F off the world stage, and stop giving our friends a false sense of safety, let them know they live with bullies ready, willing and able to pummel them without fear of retribution from any of their friends... which is perhaps their actual situation.
Let us live out a few more years or decades within our current borders, before they're eaten away from without and within... at least Mt. Rushmore ought to remain for future ages to marvel at what once was.
Unless the Taliban has a say... but that's a concern for the future, not for current events.