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May 10, 2005

More More on Bush and Yalta

-- by Dave Johnson

Bigger players are picking this up. Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo today

In making this argument the president joins a rich tradition of maniacs who believe that at the end of World War II we should have joined with the defeated remainder of the German army and fought our way through Eastern Europe to the border of Russia and, in all likelihood, on to Moscow to overthrow the Soviet Union itself -- certainly not a difficult proposition considering what an insubstantial land Army the Soviet Union had at the time.

If that seems like an over-dramatic alternative scenario, then you just aren't familiar with the history of the period.

[. . .] The president also makes common cause, though whether he's familiar with the history he's wading into I don't know, with those who argued before the war and after that the US and the UK made their fundamental error in the war itself, by allying with the Soviets against Nazism rather than with Nazism against the Soviets. [emphasis added]

And Slate,

Last year, George W. Bush endorsed a revanchist view of the Vietnam War: that our political leaders undermined our military and denied us victory. Now, on his Baltic tour, he has endorsed a similar view of the Yalta accords, that great bugaboo of the old right.

[. . .] Bush's cavalier invocations of history for political purposes are not surprising. But for an American president to dredge up ugly old canards about Yalta stretches the boundaries of decency and should draw reprimands...

[. . .] Along with the myth of FDR's treachery in leading America into war, the "stab in the back" interpretation of Yalta became a cudgel with which the old right and their McCarthyite heirs tried to discredit a president they had long despised.

As I wrote the other day (and Josh also gets), Bush is lining up with those who say we fought on the wrong side in WWII, and wrote earlier today, We need to understand just how far to the right Bush's statement was. This is back to McCarthyism. And where will it go from here? Watch your backs. Obviously I'm a strong believer in repetition. Every blog should be on this -- it's waaaayyyy beyond just the usual Bush stuff that everyone ignores. This is so extreme that America should be told -- and warned.

Update - Kevin Drum has more.

Posted by Dave Johnson at May 10, 2005 5:58 PM

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The meme that Democrats are weak is so universally accepted (often for good reason) that it might be dangerous to make too much of this. I suspect Bush (read Rove) is HOPING Democrats will call more attention to it.

Remember the very first thing the Social Security killing wingers tried with AARP? Called them traitors. Had nothing to do with Social Security, of course, but that's their natural way of dealing with Democrats. And it works. Every time.

Posted by: richard at May 10, 2005 6:31 PM

I suspect that this is an early stage of the setup for a really vicious attack (I've been saying this for some time now, of course.) All his setbacks in the last 3 mos. just make the counterattack more necessary for him.

I think that if he coordinates his attack with a military or terrorism crisis it will be very hard to defend against. The decision will be in the hands of the sane conservatives, moderate Republicans, and independents, and those may be mythical beasts.

I read an interview with Chris Shays the other day, and he was unreal. I could only guess that he's representing a fairly liberal district which forces him to do the right thing occasionally, against his will.

Posted by: John Emerson at May 10, 2005 8:17 PM


Just curious....do you think BushCo has the balls to try to run him for a third term? As things stand now. Then, same question, but say there has been a "military or terrorism crisis"? Or do they prop up Cheney and hope his heart can stand it? Or is the system so secure they could run anybody....so long as they anybody took orders?

Posted by: jon st at May 11, 2005 5:33 AM

I think Cheney has congestive heart failure --- it's possible they'd stooge him in there, but it sure seems a stretch to me. I honestly don't think he'd be able to handle it physically, and I suspect these guys are smart enough to know that, whoever ges it will have to have lots of physical presence.

No matter, though --- it'll be someone just as noxious, if not Bush himself.

Posted by: cookie at May 12, 2005 7:54 PM

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