Monday, August 18, 2008

Putin takes Euston signatory's advice

Obsessives with long memories (like me) will remember that Michael Ledeen, of the American Enterprise Institute, is a signatory of the American version of the Euston Manifeso. Ledeen famously advised:


"Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business."


So how come the Eustonites are so upset with Putin?

22 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, what did happen to the Euston Manifesto project?

Anyway, glory be, the new addition of Democratiya is out.

Blimey, they’re promoting that 100 Club thing a bit heavily, with a logo that looks like it’s adapted from the US dollar bill.

Change the world one posh dinner at a time. Yep, join chattering media types Aaro and Cohen in the 100 Club - nothing like a financial hurdle to ensure proper sophisticated conversation!

(100 quid is not a massive amount, but its certainly something to think about.)

Can’t see any ragged trousered contributors to Harry's Place in there yet. Come on, it’s only half the price of ticket to ride intercity on the UK’s weirdly privatised botch job railways.

By the way, anybody notice that the approving, gushing reviews of the books Democratiya flog (daubed all over the website) all seem to be from their mates - folk who contribute to the Democratiya project in some way.

I don't care how professorial and august these folks are - I question their independence.

8/18/2008 06:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So how come the Eustonites are so upset with Putin?

Because he's a president (or was a president) that got elected with rather more obvious levels of election fraud and dodgy practices than George W Bush in Florida and Ohio.

No, that's not 'moral equivalence', chaps.

I freely admit that journalists have a better chance of staying alive in the USA compared to Russia, for example. Or possibly even compared to the UK for that matter, judging by the number of dodgy Russians knocking about London.

8/18/2008 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Captain Cabernet said...

So, anonymous #2, you're saying that it is ok "to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall", just so long as your internal democratic credentials pass muster? Yes, that does see to be the Euston line, come to think of it.

8/18/2008 09:09:00 AM  
Blogger Alex said...

Ledeenology - he's just quit the AEI, I see. Not clear what he's doing now, but after the Phase II report's revelations that he was being investigated by military intelligence, I wonder if he might be leaving the country?

8/18/2008 09:19:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

he's a president (or was a president) that got elected with rather more obvious levels of election fraud and dodgy practices than George W Bush in Florida and Ohio.

and Saakashvili fits into this how...?

8/18/2008 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

That's not a new Decentiya, is it? I think the sidebar is new.

8/18/2008 10:27:00 AM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

They're still giving that grad student Zarnett an awful lot of space, despite the utter awfulness of his writing (the majority of his 'rebuttal' is spent complaining that the response to his article is written in an 'intemperate' manner, despite the original article being far more snide and intemperate), and they're still clearly not editing any contributions either. The writing is consequently so utterly wretched that I can't really understand what 'route they offer out of the swamp' - the whole journal reads like a swamp of barely-digested ideology and terminology, repeated ad nauseam.

where exactly does the £100 go?

8/18/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

Yes - that Summer 2008 Democratiya's been up for a couple of months now. Either that or the new edition contains exactly the same articles as the previous one. Which is not, admittedly, beyond the bounds of possibility.

8/18/2008 10:41:00 AM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Have you seen those clips of Alan "Not The Minister" Johnson introducing the Democratiya book at the Houses of Parliament?

Go to YouTube and search for Democratiya.

Alan goes on a bit, lots of terminology, while the assembled worthies stare on. One of the worthies is Michael "Not The American Documentary Maker"
Moore, the Liberal Democrat International Development chap.

Moore wonders, somewhat pithily, how he is going to follow "the bright guy in the class" - referring directly to Alan.

8/18/2008 01:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Most predictably Denis "No Longer a Minister" MacShane has gone for the Europe 1930s Chamberlain appeasment comparison over at CiF:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/aug/18/russia.georgia1

"Bien pensants" are all for ignoring Georgia, apparently. He doesn't say whether the good folk of Rotherham are clamoring for "something to be done".

8/18/2008 02:10:00 PM  
Anonymous bubby said...

Anybody see Neal Ascherson's piece in yesterday's Observer? I thought it was pretty good. What I thought particularly strong about it was it recognition that in these sorts of conflicts atrocities and massacres are part and parcel of warfare. Clean Decent wars exist only hypothetically. If the Russians hadn't intervened then it would have been the South Ossetians being ethnically cleansed. Although he didn't mean it as such the last paragraph seems a pithy summation of the problems inherent in the Decent approach to the crisis.

Nato, with the Americans, can protect its own members against blackmail by standing firm. But the brutal truth is that if Nato is to survive, it must not sign up nations for which at heart it is not prepared to fight. The best way to prevent war is not windy condemnation, but clear, credible rules of engagement. Bluffing can be fatal.

8/18/2008 02:35:00 PM  
Blogger The Couscous Kid said...

I got as far as MacShane's claim in the fourth (short) paragraph that Napoleon "failed to conquer Moscow" and then gave up.

8/18/2008 02:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The good folk of Rotherham are presumably more interested in Pakistan, and I seem to remember that MacShane once proposed to create a Labour Friends of Pakistan. Then it all went silent. Where does MacShane stand on the unfolding story in Pakistan?


Moussaka Man

8/18/2008 02:47:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Acherson. "Clear, credible rules of engagement". Precisely. Reduce uncertainty, build trust - probably in the best interests of all, including States like Georgia. Alan NTM Johnson would probably decry this as Finlandisation.

Moussaka Man

8/18/2008 02:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"...if Nato is to survive, it must not sign up nations for which at heart it is not prepared to fight."

I thought the Ascherson piece was good too. But the above is the purpose of Johnson's piece, ie to create the will to fight the Russians over the "Finlandization" of Georgia - not to mention the strangling of Khazakstan. You don't want Khazakstan to be strangled, do you? You Khazak strangling appeaser. See also Denis MacShane's feeble efforts to convince people that the world is stempeding to the recue of Georgia, with only London bien pensants and the German Foreign Office standing in the way.

Incidentally, I suggest that Khazak stranglers become the official Aaro watch substitute for appeasers, which even its proponents must think is getting old by now.

rioja kid

8/18/2008 03:39:00 PM  
Blogger FlyingRodent said...

I freely admit that journalists have a better chance of staying alive in the USA compared to Russia, for example.

This is entirely true, mostly because of Russia's sudden outbreak of "random" journalist murders.

Of course, journalists on the sharp end of America's glorious crusade for freedom will find that their chances of survival plummet - IIRC, American forces managed to rub out at least sixteen journalists from a variety of nations in the first five years of the Iraq war. I don't remember whether that includes the USAF's unfortunate habit of "accidentally" bombing media outlets they see as propagandists for the enemy.

It definitely doesn't include the ones killed by Sunni and Shi'ite death squads, anyway. Perhaps the Americans could ask them about that, since most of them are now on the payroll.

It's not a competition, of course, but I'm a bit of a fan of relativism generally. As an analytical tool, there's none finer for helping people stop and think for a bit before they mount their high horses and charge off in hot pursuit of evil-doers.

8/18/2008 03:50:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

MacShane accuses Putin of sweeping the Georgian pawn off the chessboard. I must have missed whatever it is he is referring to: Georgia still appears to me to be on the chessboard.

(Maybe EJH can help us with some other chess metaphors for the events of the last 10 days.)

8/18/2008 04:15:00 PM  
Anonymous dsquared said...

"If the Russians hadn't intervened then it would have been the South Ossetians being ethnically cleansed."

Marko Attila Hoare has the answer to this one in his darkly hilarious "troops can achive nothing - we must send troops!" piece; the ethnic cleansing of the Russian-speaking Ossetians doesn't really matter because bla bla Serbia in the 1990s.

8/19/2008 12:29:00 AM  
Anonymous dd said...

note, by the way, that the US dollar option ($200) for joining the Democratiya 100 Club is now substantially cheaper than either the £100 or the EUR130 options. From the consumer advice department.

8/19/2008 12:32:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew said...

More expensively, surely?

8/19/2008 09:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Simon said...

Does Decentiya's fixed exchange rate policy amount to a call for a return to the Bretton Woods system? I think we should be told.

8/19/2008 09:53:00 AM  
Anonymous dsquared said...

Ace currency trader Matthew is correct, and I have once more made my trademark error. The £100 option is now the cheapest as the EUR130 option costs £106 and the USD200 version costs £107. There is now no way to join the Democratiya 100 Club for less than £100; this rampant inflation surely underlines the failure of New Labour.

btw, Oliver Kamm's new blog at the Times refers to his status as a "investment banker and co-founder of a hedge fund"[1] in the past tense; although his FSA registration is still marked "Active", I would regard this as the last word on the matter.

8/19/2008 10:03:00 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home