May 13, 2005

Wolfowitzian History:

George F. Will writes a laudatory column about Paul Wolfowitz entitled "Paul Wolfowitz: A Realist -- Really" that begins:

As he retires as deputy secretary of defense and becomes head of the World Bank, the man most responsible for the doctrinal justification of the Iraq War, and who has been characterized as representing Woodrow Wilson's utopian, rather than the realist, strain in American foreign policy, begs to differ. The question, he says, is who has been realistic for almost four decades.

The sprouting of freedom through the fissures in the concrete of dictatorships began, he recalls, in Greece, Spain and Portugal in the mid-1970s. This, he believes, disturbed Soviet leaders, and should have;...

That's a ... novel interpretation of the history of the mid-1970s.

Uh, Paul, the mid-1970s were not disturbing times for the Brezhnev regime. No, 1974-1979 were the glory years.

Along with the communist takeover of Southeast Asia in 1975, which was not a triumph of freedom and a humiliating defeat for the U.S. besides, the leftist military coup that overthrew the right wing Portuguese dictatorship in 1974 allowed the Soviets to make Portugal's ex-colonies Mozambique and Angola into satellites, giving the Soviets an excuse to inject Cuban troops into Africa. (Granted, Mozambique and Angola are worthless countries to have on your side, but at the time that wasn't as clear, and picking them up gave the Soviets the appearance of having momentum and historical inevitability on their side. Indeed, the Kremlin almost turned Portugal itself into a satellite in 1975.

The Greek colonels who fell in 1974 had only been in power for seven years, and their regime collapsed due to their incompetent adventuring in Cyprus, which brought about the Turkish military seizure of the northern part of the island. That two NATO members were at the brink of all-out war with each other did not disturb the Kremlin.

Finally, Franco's dictatorship lasted his entire lifetime and expired only when he did in 1976. In contrast to the chaos that played into Soviet hands in Portugal and Greece, Franco's designated successor, King Juan Carlos, remains head of state today.

As Greg Cochran always says: nobody remembers anything. Apparently, George F. Will doesn't remember the 1970s because he doesn't call Wolfowitz on his BS.

Bloggers are constantly dislocating their shoulders patting themselves on the back about how they are checking up on the powers that be, but is their any evidence that public figures are less inclined to spout self-serving nonsense today than in the past?

My published articles are archived at -- Steve Sailer

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