Friday, February 16, 2007

duck and cover!

IOZ has another installment in his ongoing project to make the rest of the anti-war blogosphere redundant.

Vladimir Putin went to Munich and said what everyone was already thinking: that the United States is fucking shit up. Robert Gates, the United States Secretary of Defense, said in response, "As an old Cold Warrior, one of yesterday's speeches almost filled me with nostalgia for a less complex time." He paused, as the saying goes, for effect. "Almost." That he would refer to himself as a "Cold Warrior" and speak of "nostaligia for a less complex time" is telling. The idea of the "Cold Warrior" is a classic of the Reaganite habit of conflating rhetoric with action--to make a speech calling something an "Evil Empire" is to in some sense combat it; to say "tear down this wall" is to tear it down, and so on. The newly acquired habit of referring to the Cold War era as "a less complex time" is a clumsy bit of verbal flippery meant to obfuscate charges that the relative dangers of "terrorism" or "jihadism" or "Islamofascism" are insignificant compared to a half-century of nuclear brinkmanship between two paranoid continental empires sitting atop tens of thousands of nuclear warheads, each ruled fitfully by crazy people with varying penchants for bouts of bellicose grandiosity.

How I miss those simple bygone days of innocence and security.

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