|The Nossiter Net
The net that shall enmesh them all
Edited, Written, and Published by J.C. Nossiter
|The Morning Mendacity
Wednesday, September 8th, 2004
|The Nossiter Net is cast to snare some of the riper rascalities of the day. Comments? firstname.lastname@example.org|
|The Russian Army has a well-deserved and long-standing reputation for barbarism. Military historian Anthony Beevor, in The Fall of Berlin 1945, chronicles the flight of seven million refugees fleeing the Red Army’s westward march as Nazi Germany collapsed. Millions of the “liberated” were brutalized by the Soviets. The mass rape of German women by Soviet troops is one of WWII’s less discussed atrocities. The savagery of the Soviet army so disgusted General George Patton that he urged his superiors to stop fighting the Germans and instead turn on our erstwhile allies.
Russian willingness to resort to savagery to protect their interests is something of a source of national pride. The Russians are convinced to this day that while the U.S. suffered the humiliation (and, thanks to the probable connivance of Vice Presidential candidate George Bush Sr., the electoral disruption) of having our diplomats taken hostage in Teheran in 1979, that fate was avoided by the Russian embassy because of their treatment of a potential Iranian troublemaker. Tortured and murdered, his grotesquely mutilated body was dropped on the doorstep of the militant students responsible for the U.S. Embassy attack. That, claim the Russians, was enough to deter any would-be hostage-takers.
But unrestrained savagery doesn’t always lead to such happy outcomes. The hundreds of Russian dead in the subway and airliner bombings and school takeover over the past ten days, many of them children, perished at the hands of Chechen terrorists. Chechnya itself has been laid waste by Russian troops; its capital, Grozny, is a smoldering ruin. The Russians, intent on retaining their Caucasian route to Caspian Sea oil and natural gas reserves, have done their best to squash the Chechen independence movement with all their old ferocity. Their foes, celebrated for their own ferocity, are hardly about to give up. Tolstoy wrote about a Chechen village pondering retaliation for a brutal Russian assault in his novel Hadji Murat, and that was a hundred years ago.
Does savagery beget savagery? It appears to for the Russians, who claim to be standing shoulder to shoulder with us in the war on terror. Indeed, the Russian justification for their war on Chechnya is that it is another important front in the war on terror. As we contemplate the ruins of Najaf and Fallujah, as we strike uncomfortable alliances with barbarous Afghan warlords, as the Abu Ghraib photos are shown ceaselessly on Arab television, it behooves us to bear the Russian experience in mind. General Patton was reviled for his views about the Russians as allies in WWII, but history may be catching up with his position.
The Afternoon Affront
Dr. Henry Kissinger posed the $200 billion question on NPR’s Newshour yesterday: “Ve must ask ourzelfs vere vould ve be if Saddam vere shtill in place.” At least I think that’s what he asked; odd that such a long-time resident of this country still cannot speak the language. Unfortunately neither Madeleine Albright, the other guest, or host Jim Lehrer bothered to answer him, so I’ll do it for them. “Herr Doktor, if Saddam were still bullying Iraq, thousands of our soldiers would be alive and uninjured, our treasury would be $200 billion richer, and our honor and reputation would be unimpaired. Otherwise, we would be exactly where we are right now.” I would resist the temptation to add “you dummkopf” because that would be uncivil.
The Evening Effrontery
How does the male politician with the largest breasts of any male politician in the world have the gall to call any other male politician a "girlie man"?
©J.C. Nossiter 2004
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