The Big Red can not afford another war. Putin’s ego is going to bring
serious trouble and heart ache to his people. The Russian economy
is on the cliff and playing Russian Roulette with too many bullets.
It’s suicidal. See what Wall Street says.
“Where have all the flowers gone?”
You must read this compelling article at Salon
Salon.com SUNDAY, FEB 23, 2014 12:00 PM EST
Why not ask George W. Bush about invading a sovereign nation?
Learn from W.’s mistakes. Vladimir don’t make W’s boner.
Conservative rhetoric about honoring our soldiers conceals their staggering disregard for the loss of life in Iraq
Since Vietnam all media organizations had imbibed the conventional wisdom about the public’s apparent averseness to casualties. Leading political scientists, they knew, taught that the public was casualty-intolerant; that popular support would inevitably ebb when the country lost a particular number of troops. Whatever the accuracy of this thesis—and a number of political scientists were in the process of offering refinements or serious challenges—its eye-catching simplicity made it a staple of the media discourse. Whenever troops were committed to war and the first casualties were sustained, many editors turned to John Mueller and his followers for comment. They also published polls that sought to establish if casualties were influencing domestic levels of support for the fight. And they sent reporters on to the streets to monitor the public’s sensitivity to losses in the current fight. What did the average voter think about the present casualty totals? What if casualties rose precipitously? What level did they think was acceptable?
At first, the Bush administration found the results reassuring. Before the invasion, opinion polls found that a majority of Americans thought that removing Saddam from power was “worth the potential loss of American life.” In early April, when the death toll was eighty-eight, a voter-in-the-street interview found the dominant mood even more robust. “Casualties had not eroded . . . support for the war,” the interviewer recorded, and most people “could accept two, three, or even ten times as many deaths in the coming weeks, as long as success was in sight.” These last six words were a potentially significant caveat, but they were by no means the only warning sign. The new type of media coverage also appeared to be exerting an impact. “Many people,” the interviewer added, “said the limited number of casualties, as recorded by the twenty-four-hour news coverage, has made each life lost seem more poignant.” It remained to be seen how the public would react to such poignancy, especially if success in Iraq no longer appeared imminent.
On May 1 this did not seem a problem. That day, in a speech aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, Bush declared that the Iraq mission had been accomplished. After praising the skill and devotion of America’s soldiers, as well as mourning those who would never return, Bush went on to emphasize the advantages of his new type of warfare. In the world war era, he observed, the United States had relied on massive military power “to end a regime by breaking a nation.” Now, he declared, “with new tactics and precision weapons, we can achieve military objectives without directing violence against civilians. No device of man can remove the tragedy from war; yet it is a great advance when the guilty have far more to fear from war than the innocent.”