"The historian Robert Kagan writes this today in the Washington Post about the Russian attack in Georgia : 'Historians,' he writes, 'will come to view August 8, 2008 as a turning point no less significant than November 9, 1989 when the Berlin Wall fell. Russia's attack on sovereign Georgian territory marked the official return of history, indeed to an almost 19th century style of great power competition complete with virulent nationalisms, battles for resources, struggles over spheres of influence and territory, and even - though it shocks our 21st century sensibilities - the use of military power to obtain geopolitical objectives.' "Poor Kagan can't even get his dates right. You don't have to sympathize with Russia's actions to note that the attacks of August 8th were launched not by Russia, but Georgia. And you don't need more sense than a fool to note that there is this other country in the world that - every now and then - likes to throw its military might around to "obtain geopolitical objectives." What a sad reflection on US academe that Dr. Kagan is what Yale and Harvard churn out (of course nothing new there, really).
Siegel's interview with Kagan only gets more ludicrous. Jumping on the Russia-as-Nazi-threat invocation that is sweeping the Homeland (e.g. see NYT, WSJ, and Newsweek ), Siegel notes,
"You invoke a chilling analogy: Russia...is like Germany after WWI....Not to belabor the analogy too much, as you would say, in the 1930s the US, Britain and France have been faulted by historians for failing to contain similar ambitions of Nazi Germany - what should those same countries and the rest of western Europe be doing now to confront Russia?"Funny, but I just don't recall Siegel or NPR raising concerns about how to confront naked aggression during all those birth pangs in Lebanon just 2 short years ago!
If you read any of the Russia-as-Nazi-threat pieces cited above, it's interesting to note how the 19th century vs. 21st century meme gets worked into their "logic." Of course, in these pieces the US is the hip and with-it 21st century power, while Russia is the 19th century bad boy. The concept even crops up in the Decider's remarks: "Such an action is unacceptable in the 21st century...." I guess the Lord intervened to put the invasion of Afghanistan and Iraq in a special non-21st century exemption zone so that the US could never be slandered with the accusation of being - OMG - 19th century!