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Thread: Welcome back to the 19th century

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    Default Welcome back to the 19th century

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1218...googlenews_wsj



    Welcome Back to the 19th Century
    By JOSEF JOFFE
    FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE
    August 12, 2008

    Wait a minute, isn't this the 21st? Chronologically, it is. But last Friday, Russia -- like the mad scientist Emmett Brown in "Back to the Future" -- thrust us backward by about 150 years in the Caucasus: into the age of imperialism and geopolitics, resource wars and spheres of influence.

    It was strictly 19th-century when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin casually announced that "war has started." In the old days, such pronunciamentos were routine; war, to recall Clausewitz, was just the "continuation of politics with the admixture of other means." (For the specifics, look up: the Crimean War, Prussia's conquest of Germany, the Balkan Wars; then go farther afield to the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars.)
    [Welcome to the 19th Century.]

    But this is the 21st century, isn't it? At least in that vast swath extending from Berkeley to Berlin and to Beijing (with an outrigger in Moscow), anything "geo" could only refer to "economics." Welfare had replaced warfare. Tankers had replaced tanks, balance of payments the balance of power. At least in the Berlin-Berkeley Belt, all of us were playing win-win games, wheeling, dealing and consuming.

    Chanting "no more war," we worried about "soft politics" and "soft power": how to battle AIDS and desertification, SARS and subprime crises. Sure, in international politics, it was still hardball -- the eternal struggle for influence and advantage, but without the ultima ratio. Basically, we in the West didn't think that somebody in the bleachers would empty an AK-47 at us.

    Say hello to Vladimir Putin and his stand-in Dmitry Medvedev. By attacking Georgia, they have raised the curtain on a post-World War II premiere. They have launched the first real war in "Greater Europe" since 1945. (The 1990s clashes in the Balkans were secessionist/internal wars; the invasion of Prague in 1968 was, if you pardon the expression, an act of "bloc recentralization.")

    More at link...
    Last edited by FUCK THE POLICE; 08-12-2008 at 04:38 PM.
    "Do not think that I came to bring peace... I did not come to bring peace, but a sword." - Matthew 10:34

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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Watermark View Post
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1218...googlenews_wsj



    Welcome Back to the 19th Century
    By JOSEF JOFFE
    FROM THE WALL STREET JOURNAL EUROPE
    August 12, 2008

    Wait a minute, isn't this the 21st? Chronologically, it is. But last Friday, Russia -- like the mad scientist Emmett Brown in "Back to the Future" -- thrust us backward by about 150 years in the Caucasus: into the age of imperialism and geopolitics, resource wars and spheres of influence.

    It was strictly 19th-century when Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin casually announced that "war has started." In the old days, such pronunciamentos were routine; war, to recall Clausewitz, was just the "continuation of politics with the admixture of other means." (For the specifics, look up: the Crimean War, Prussia's conquest of Germany, the Balkan Wars; then go farther afield to the Spanish-American and Russo-Japanese wars.)
    [Welcome to the 19th Century.]

    But this is the 21st century, isn't it? At least in that vast swath extending from Berkeley to Berlin and to Beijing (with an outrigger in Moscow), anything "geo" could only refer to "economics." Welfare had replaced warfare. Tankers had replaced tanks, balance of payments the balance of power. At least in the Berlin-Berkeley Belt, all of us were playing win-win games, wheeling, dealing and consuming.

    Chanting "no more war," we worried about "soft politics" and "soft power": how to battle AIDS and desertification, SARS and subprime crises. Sure, in international politics, it was still hardball -- the eternal struggle for influence and advantage, but without the ultima ratio. Basically, we in the West didn't think that somebody in the bleachers would empty an AK-47 at us.

    Say hello to Vladimir Putin and his stand-in Dmitry Medvedev. By attacking Georgia, they have raised the curtain on a post-World War II premiere. They have launched the first real war in "Greater Europe" since 1945. (The 1990s clashes in the Balkans were secessionist/internal wars; the invasion of Prague in 1968 was, if you pardon the expression, an act of "bloc recentralization.")
    Damn, if this site allowed props, I'd give them to you. You're quite correct here.

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