Missing the Cold War

Speaking of “OK, So Vietnam Wasn’t Do-or-Die, but We Promise This War Is“…

Arnold Beichman’s featured Opinon piece in Tuesday’s Wall Street Journal is titled “Why I Miss the Cold War.”

Am I being wholly rational when I say that I miss the Cold War?

“There was a time, say a decade ago, when I wouldn’t have hesitated for a minute to answer that I most certainly do not miss the Cold War. But as I pull my shoes back on at Sea-Tac airport, rebuckle by belt, repack my laptop, mourn the confiscation of my metal money clip (with a tiny, hidden knife blade) and watch female airport security agents pass their wands over the bras of female passengers, I have a curious thought: In the worst days of the Cold War, even during the Cuban missile crisis, you simply showed your ticket and marched onto the plane. And if your plane was hijacked to Cuba, it might only mean a short delay for refueling and back home without a scratch.”

According to Condoleeza Rice, the Cold War cost the US taxpayers $15,000,000,000,000. Which is over $150,000 per American household. And more than twice the US national debt. And it’s about the same as the US housing stock; that is, the value of every house, duplex, condo, apartment and trailer in the USA. If you counted one dollar per second non-stop it would take about 3 million years to count $15 Trillion dollars.

According to a Rand study released this year, there’s a greater risk of accidental nuclear holocaust now than during the Cold War: “the United States and Russia retain large nuclear forces on ‘hair-trigger’ alert, meaning they could be launched in minutes and destroy both societies in an hour.”

More Evidence of Bush’s Eroding Influence

Senate Confirms Bush Error on Indonesia Military Aid

Earlier this month President Bush said that Congress had “changed their attitude” toward resuming the US program to train Indonesia’s military, and was ready to “go forward with” funding the program.

Last week a senior official said that Bush misspoke.

Today the US Senate voted to block this military aid. Jim Lobe reports.

Take Your Daughter to War Day

As a supplement to Bill Kauffman’s excellent “An Empire of Widows and Orphans,” the posting of which at Hit & Run sparked a conflagration of stunning comparisons between moms and dads going to war in Iraq and moms and dads commuting to the office, I offer this article from Stars & Stripes:

AL KUT, IRAQ — Glued to the stock of Army Sgt. Benjamin Kaye’s M-16 is a photograph of his 10-month-old daughter, Brittany.

She has blond hair, blue eyes … and spina bifida, a condition in which her spinal cord is underdeveloped.

“I could have stayed home but I decided to do my duty and deploy,” said Kaye, a nuclear power plant engineer whose Army Reserve unit was activated in December.

Before the war began, Brittany’s condition worsened. Kaye’s wife took the baby from their Buffalo, N.Y., home and went to The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. There Brittany had spinal surgery that left her paralyzed from the waist down. Doctors do not know if she will ever walk.

A Red Cross letter arrived in February and Kaye completed the form to return home. But his battalion commander, Lt. Col. Christopher Holshek, denied the request. Despite more queries to return home, intervention by the Red Cross and an end to major combat, Kaye remained in Iraq.

“I would no longer recommend anyone join the Army,” said Kaye, who still has three years’ Reserve duty left. “My commander simply refused to care.”

Pay special attention to that first sentence, and make sure you check out the surreal photo that accompanies the article. Child’s picture on stock of M-16 = child’s picture on desk. Militarism = normalcy.

OK, So Vietnam Wasn’t Do-or-Die, but We Promise This War Is

Linda Chavez on Townhall.com today:

Iraq is not Vietnam, no matter how much Howard Dean, John Kerry, Al Sharpton, and the other Democratic presidential wannabes would like to pretend it is. As despicable as Ho Chi Minh was, he did not pose a direct threat to the United States. The Vietnam War was part of the larger struggle against communism. The ultimate adversary was the Soviet Union. Despite our withdrawal from Vietnam, we won the larger war, vanquishing communism and defeating the Soviet Union without firing a direct shot. History proved we could afford to lose Vietnam no matter how ignoble or humiliating it was. However, we cannot afford to lose Iraq.

Crystal ball, crystal ball, what will the neocons (or postcons, or hypercons, or whatever they morph into next) be writing in thirty years?

China is not Iraq, no matter how much the president’s detractors would like to pretend it is. As despicable as Saddam Hussein was, he did not pose a direct threat to the United States. The Iraq War was part of the larger struggle against Islamofascism. The ultimate adversary was Saudi Arabia…

We’ll Show You Freedom

According to the FBI, 613,986 Americans were arrested in 2002 for mere possession of marijuana. Nathaniel Heatwole faces up to 10 years in prison for demonstrating how porous airport security remains. The National Park Service has blockaded an Alaska family in an attempt to grab their land.

All those who pray for some free country to lead the planet into libertopia (at gunpoint, if necessary) should at least pick a free country to do the leading.