Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Defeating the Red Army: All in a Day's Work

Friends, don't miss this week's Newsmaker Show with me and Brian O'Neil.  We take a historical detour to the all-important Seven Years' War of 1756-63, and to the defeat of the Red Army in Afghanistan in the 1980s, which paved the way for the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Naturally, we also cover the naming of John Durham as the lead prosecutor investigating the surveillance of the Trump campaign in 2016, and we hit on the currents wars in Afghanistan and Syria, Robert Mueller's blindspot, i.e. Democratic "collusion" with Russian intel agents, whether there can be obstruction without an underlying crime, the case of the fired Harvard Dean who represents Harvey Weinstein, Biden-mania in the Democratic Party, the likely reaction of progressives to a Biden nomination, and the future of David Hogg.

Check it out!


  1. Dr. Waddy: As always, so very much of substance in your broadcasts; I must needs butt in.

    That was an intriguing take on the French and Indian War, which I have not heard before. After the British triumph there was yet a large French population in the former French North American entity and some were very tough customers indeed. I think George III, through his advisers, saw a real need for British troops to remain and defend the frontier of the colonies from their vindictive incursion and the coordinated onslaught of some still very puissant tribes. He thought it just and meet that the colonies contribute to the cost of maintaining these troops. Perhaps if some of those colonists on the very frontier who faced such threats had had their way, the Crown's sincere wishes might have prevailed. Of course some of them wanted to cross the Alleghenies and the Crown forbade that and that might have excited their 18th century style resentment. Massachusetts and Virginia had little fear by then of depredation and they were the heart of the subsequent Revolution. So they may well have thought there to be no need to honor the Crown's views. A Massachusetts Revolutionary War vet, interviewed by a reporter in the 1850's said "Son, we had always ruled ourselves and they meant that we shouldn't". Perhaps they saw the French and Indian war as a police action from which they expected the withdrawal of the essentially foreign police. Its reasonable to think that they did think they should be free of the Crown's troops, some of them not the most savory of men.

  2. Dr. Waddy: The only prior instance of protracted warfare I can recall in American history is the war against the tribes and that is unbearably painful to recall, inevitable as it was.

    Those American Presidents lacking military command experience, as does President Trump, have been unpredictable in overall command. President Trump suggests to us some military acumen
    and backbone in retaining our troops in Afghanistan in order to prevent the triumph of a Taliban which enabled the murderers of 3000 Americans in 2001.

    Bush I was a wishy washy domestic leader but he was a superb war commander in Desert Shield/Desert Storm. How would President Trump be? I'm optimistic; he has guts and grit and he believes in his country. So, I support his decisions so far, including in Syria. Remember Lincoln; he had little more military experience than President Trump and he led us to painful victory in our most critical conflict.

  3. Dr. Waddy: I completely agree with you in that if Mueller's investigation was justified, then a Special Prosecutor to investigate the motives and methods of the now discredited investigators, is required. And you are right in saying he will need the cooperation of AG Barr.

  4. Jack, there's nothing like a common enemy to make people see eye to eye, so I really do think the eviction of the French from North America was a mixed blessing from the British imperial perspective. It made a colonial rebellion far more likely. That quotation about "we had always ruled ourselves and they meant that we shouldn't" is spot on too, though. The British had practiced "benign neglect" in the Colonies up to the 1760s, and their sudden decision to exert control and lay taxes caused predictable outrage. That's what mildness gets you, I guess. Give people an inch, and they take a mile.

    President Trump, to be fair, doesn't have any easy decisions to make in Afghanistan/Iran/Iraq/Syria. Whatever he chooses to do, the risks will be high, and the potential for disaster will loom. Personally, I believe we're right to keep a hand in Afghanistan and Iraq, but Syria scares me. As I said in the broadcast, I don't like us being in close proximity to Russian troops in the field. Can you imagine what a Democratic President might do with that situation, or a Russophobic CIA or Pentagon chief? The potential for mischief is vast.

    I agree that Bush the First did us proud in the Gulf War, but his task was essentially diplomatic rather than military. It still pains me that he formed such a mighty coalition, won such a mighty victory, and then fizzled as President and squandered his popularity. What a waste.

  5. Dr. Waddy: It was especially disturbing to me to see Bush I lose to a casual boomer draft dodger. Bush I was a genuine WWII hombre. But he was also an apologetic Conservative and the amoral, realpolitik Dems eat that up, to this day.

    You've crossed that wild ocean, as have I; it must have seemed immensely vast in the 1700's. Communication was necessarily prolix and unreliable and it may have been no wonder that the colonists gladly embraced a freedom of action not possible for them in any Old World state. Too: success in facing the dangers and demands of a land so vast and in one which the toughest among them had enjoyed a redeeming and complete freedom unavailable to anyone in their Old Countries and consequently unrelinquishable, may have inspired in them an irresistable animus to overcontrol still very evident in the U.S. today.George III cannot have comprehended this, though it appears some in Parliament did. I like the quote in Howard Fast's Citizen Tom Paine in which a prominent Brit, upon Paine's post revolutionary visit to his native England, said to him: "Sir, yes, you rejected us but it was a thoroughly British reproach". That makes sense to me, the Brits had asserted themselves many times and Brit colonists may understandably have seen themselves able and justified to do so again.

    I would expect that any Dem President, who would surely be thoroughly radical or at least an apologist and enabler for that unapologetic faction, might see an artificially and disingenuously constructed Russophobia as a tool in distracting the U.S. public from his/her radical social agenda. I still think Russia's main concern is unendurable NATO incursion into Ukraine.

  6. Jack, I couldn't agree more: the American Revolution WAS a "thoroughly British reproach". To anyone who studies the Founding Fathers closely, the essentially British character of their views and goals will be obvious. To put it another way, the British Empire sowed the seeds of its own demise. Freedom is an aspirational doctrine that often leads to...unanticipated consequences, to say the least!

  7. Dr. Waddy: Very true. American and to some extent even British democracy are ongoing experiments, both of which may be facing critical moments and decisions.