Archive for June 28th, 2008
Four links to Chicago Boyz in one day; such is the life of a shill. Carl has a great post up on, as he calls it, “the age of unreliability“. One link he missed, I think, is how much infrastructure could have been built up in the last seventy years if socialism wasn’t fucking our economy over.
Take a look at the early 1960s, for example. If one is to go by the Boomer nostalgia for the period, the assassination of Kennedy is the watershed event for the period. In fact, the most likely (and I do not presume to have the final world on this) candidate for the seminal event of 1960 – 1964 is Kennedy’s commitment of troops to Vietnam. From this flowed a tremendous amount of history, and not just the further commitments of LBJ and the subsequent social upheaval in the US. If the officers I talked to in the late Soviet period are correct, the Vietnam War bankrupted the Soviet Union.
But at the time, what were the great news stories, which still to a large extent dominate the thinking of historians about the period of 1960 – 1964? The assassination. The Bay of Pigs. Camelot. Useless drivel and a distraction to the serious study of history.
John then argues the most pivotal battle of World War II was one you have most likely never heard of:
“I remember well how, in the spring and summer of 1939, my curiosity was gripped by short newspaper accounts of an undeclared war that was raging between the Japanese and Soviet armies on a desolate stretch of disputed frontier lying between the client states of Manchukuo and Outer Mongolia.”
– Alvin D. Coox, Nomonhan
All of this in terms of preface to his central thesis: what is most important is often not visible (at the time) in the media. If you recall (and I only have a fuzzy memory of it myself), there was a missing 727 somewhere in Africa after 11 September. John details the work of one man, Viktor Bout, and his behind-the-scenes lubrication of many of the armed conflicts since 11 September. Bout is either an arm of Soviet policy, taking money from all sides of all conflicts (including both sides of the Iraq war); a drug and arms smuggler working without explicit or implicit support of any state; or somewhere in between. I won’t steal John’s thunder; hopefully, you’ll find all three articles worth your time to read.