Tuesday, July 7, 2009

"The future does not belong to those who gather armies on a field of battle or bury missiles in the ground. "

calling on the U.S. and Russia to overcome Cold War mistrust and reduce nuclear arsenals, in his commencement speech before graduates of Moscow's New Economic School

I guess they didn't teach history at Columbia.


my name is Amanda said...

Ah, but perhaps his point may be that we ought to learn from history?

Gino said...

amanda, it is exactly learning from history that proves the imbecility of his proclaimation.

Mark Heuring said...

And if you want to see the future, first you have to get through the present. And those who disarm (or are disarmed) tend to have a lot of trouble with those who are armed. Ask an Iranian.

Brian said...

I think a wide enough sampling would suggest that the correlation between militarism and longevity of a nation-state is rather flat. There's the US and China, but then there's also the USSR (big military, no longer around, and there wasn't even a shooting war) and Switzerland (which has gotten along rather well with a militia).

Don't let Obama's grandiose rhetoric distract you from the essential truth that a world with fewer planet-killing missiles being aimed at each other is a good thing to strive for.

Gino said...

dont let an unrelated truth distract you from recognizing bullshit dressed up in grandiosity.

as for the swiss: nobody is looking to invade them. and if they did, there will be hell to pay in terms of the entire armed citizenry(an army that can be gathered to a battlefield), and topography.
they've had a future for a reason. and it wasnt from their easy willingness to sing kumbaya.

Brian said...

How is the good of disarmament unrelated? Is that not what he was talking about?

Gino said...

he was speaking in platitudes, and not in facts, or lessons learned from history.

just as he always does.

he can get elected speaking like that in this country, but before russians, he's just another naive fool.

Bike Bubba said...

The guy reminds me of Carter more and more every day--SALT 1, right? How many Ivy League degrees, and how little understanding of history or economics, can a man get?

I fear that time will tell, and we'll all be paying a heavy price for it for a while.

Brian said...

By all means, call Obama out for speaking in pretty, fluffy platitudes. I find them nearly as grating as Bush's mangling of the English language, myself.

The fact remains that what we spend on defense is fucking insane. We spend more than every other county on earth combined, and nearly 10x as much as China, which is number 2, unless you count the EU as one country, (which I guess you could for defense purposes) which still spends less than half of what we do (and are rather unlikely to threaten us.)

That's before you take into account that during the Bush administration much of the funding for Iraq and Afghanistan came out of "emergency" appropriations, i.e., they weren't even counted in the military budget, and our nukes are funded primarily through the DOE.

Look, I'm not saying we should completely empty our our armories and trust the Russians to do the same. The country is run by ruthless criminals (and always has been...every Russian I've ever met has said as much themselves.) But we have LOTS of room to take a few more steps back from the Cold War status quo of MAD.