Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Earlybird Aaro update

Thoughts on the Berlin wall, or possibly Cuba - it's a hell of a mess, this one. We must let Ukraine into NATO because cough, mumble, Douglas Hurd.

I think another version of the sofa rule can be coined, by the way; whenever a Decent columnist starts to mention Douglas Hurd, he's likely to be bullshitting pretty hard. Talking about Douglas Hurd is meant to be a refutation of realism in international relations, but nobody knows why.

More to come ...

(conoisseurs will note that Aaro is likely to pick up a lecture from Oliver Kamm for the following:

According to Sir Christopher, what turned the 1919 Treaty of Versailles into a Second World War-creating catastrophe, was the idealism of the League of Nations, not the absurdly short-term, self-interested nature of the Allied war reparations and the territorial demands made on the defeated powers.

OK, recall, believes that the problem with the Treaty of Versailles was that it wasn't draconian enough, didn't humiliate the Germans enough and in general was too timid in pushing a bumptious and imperial Anglosphere agenda on Europe. Strangely, Oliver not only believes this to be the case, but believes it to be the consensus view, and so widely shared that only fools, incompetents and cranks think any different. (a reasonable summary which gives fair airtime to both the Niall Ferguson view and the more orthodox one is here)


Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

OK may be pleased to learn that his belief that WWII wasn't created by Versailles is shared by fellow bold seeker after uncontroversial truth, Steve Fuller. Shorter SF: Nazis caused by these sentences in the old Weimar Constitution: Every German is entitled, within the bounds set by general law, to express his opinion freely in word, writing, print, image or otherwise. No job contract may obstruct him in the exercise of this right; nobody may put him at a disadvantage if he makes use of this right. Hitler inevitably followed! I'd sort of like to argue with Fuller, but I've found that he doesn't argue back in a meaningful way.

I think I'll resist the temptation to follow the link to Aaro's piece. Does anyone know much about Ukraine? I suspect it's a long way from being acceptably democratic.

11/10/2009 04:36:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not claiming to be the world's greatest expert on Ukraine, but my Russian is serviceable enough to keep half an eye on it when required. The regime there isn't as awful as the cowboys in Georgia, but it's no great shakes when it comes to democracy. Note also that the "pro-western" president the Decents are mad about is currently running at 4% in the polls. Even Mugabe gets 40%.

11/10/2009 10:29:00 PM  
Anonymous organic cheeseboard said...

Yes - Ukraine isn't as dodgy as Georgia but it's still pretty dodgy and the regime that was so lauded by Decents et al is now immensely unpopular.

aaro is also wilfully misreading Meyer - surely Meyer's point in the part aaro quotes is not that Britain SHOULD only ever help people if it's in the national interest, but that the history of foreign policy shows that Britain HAS always, to whatever degree, acted with national interest in mind?

Iraq, one of Aaro's key examples, only became a pro-democracy invasion after the event; and as for pushing democracy on Afghanistan, it would help if the elctions there weren't as dodgy as those in Aaro's beloved Iran; if we're going to 'push democracy on middle eastern countries' we could have gone for, I dunno, Saudi instead of Iraq, but we didn't; he doesn't mention pushing democracy on China for some reason - there's a pattern here, I think... There's also that pretty dodgy 'no matter what their inhabitants might want' comment which, again, is surely immensely dodgy.

11/11/2009 01:33:00 PM  
Blogger Chardonnay Chap said...

What is it about WWI that sends men mad? Today's other tragic anniversary: the fall of the Habsburg Empire and true European civilisation in the Torygraph. Woodrow Wilson, the founder of the Third Reich,... (nb not quote out of context; that's what he means to say). I agree the Versailles Treaty was a catastrophic mistake, but that's unhinged.

Later, in the wake of the Second World War, the Left did a U-turn – a manoeuvre at which it excels – and decided we needed a supranational bureaucracy based in Brussels to eliminate European wars.

Via Caitlin Moran.

11/13/2009 10:25:00 AM  

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