Tuesday, August 07, 2007

On Tangling Feet

Caroline Arnold, formerly a staff member for Ohio Senator John Glenn, has posted an essay about impeachment that makes some fairly astute observations. Here's one of them:

His supporters believed that Ronald Reagan planned to hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union by goading it to invest in military technology to circumvent our “Star Wars” missile interception system, (the Strategic Defense Initiative that never worked) and by undermining the Soviet economy to damage the civilian infrastructure and weaken ideological support for communism.

It may be that such was the plan. By the late 1980s the Soviets were running out of money and having trouble maintaining their civilian infrastructure; they had lost most of their ideological credibility and popular support: the system simply couldn’t keep operating and collapsed, though it’s debatable whether U.S. action caused it.

We might equally observe that Osama bin Laden planned the destruction of the United States by goading the Bush administration to invest in an economy-busting war on Iraq, by giving the neo-cons a pretext for abridging citizen’s rights and destroying public faith in democracy and government, by providing Bush an excuse to detain and torture suspects, by giving the US commercial media new opportunities to use fear and violence to sell more stuff, and by creating new markets for large corporations to sell weapons for destruction and expertise for reconstruction.

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