Guest Post by Fred Reed


Pickle Boy Steps Up

Dill, Sweet, or Kosher?

March 21, 2014

Now, about this Crimea thing: What I figure is, the top part of the Feddle Gummint got dropped on its head when it was little, and the rest is just asleep, or might as well be. We look to be ruled by a bus-station of dumb-ass rich brats in a constant state of martial priapism. I can’t understand it. Out of three hundred million Americans, and lots of them went to school and can pretty much read, we get a slick minor pol out of Chicago for President and Pickle-Boy Kerry for Secretary of State, God knows why. Before that, we had Hillary, former First Housewife. Even god couldn’t explain that. And they throw their weight around just like they had some.

Now Obama’s threatening Russia about the Crimea. He may know where it is. I admit the possibility. We live in a strange world, and unexpected things can happen. What I can’t see is, why he thinks the Ukraine is Washington’s business. Last I heard, the Crimea was hung off into the Black Sea by the Isthmus of Perekop, like a hornet’s nest from a peach tree.

Why do we care about it? I guess if it gets to be part of Russia, Arkansas is next to go.

Maybe it moved, though. Continental drift is a reality. It could be anywhere by now, maybe in the Gulf of Mexico. And even if it ain’t, I guess we need a war with Russia over a place that’s none of our business. I mean, I don’t see how we can get along without one.

Now, about being dropped oin their heads: : Pkcle Boy has said of the Crimea, “You don’t just, in the 21st century, behave in 19th century fashion by invading another country on a completely trumped-up pretext.” I reckon he hasn’t heard of Iraq either. The world is full of countries, and it’s hard to keep track of which ones you’ve wrecked.

I have a strategy. If we want to do those Russian rascals in, bring’em lower than dirt, we ought to arrange to have the American public elect their government. You know, on some kind of contract. Then they’d be ruled, like us, by a nursery full of pansies, milquetoasts, ethno-picks, growly feather-weights, diesel dykes, and sorry rich kids who never got into a school-yard fight. Russia would never recover.

We won’t either.

One thing you learn in the school yard is never call a tougher kid’s bluff. It might not be a bluff. Uh-oh. This Putin guy, I hear they call him Vlad the Hammer: I bet there’s a reason. And Pickle Boy looks to me like a bug on an anvil. It’s Little Lord Fauntleroy calling out Mike Tyson deep in the ‘hood. Where Mommy can’t help.

I see that Genghis Obama has sent a destroyer, the closest he can come I guess to a Golden Horde, to the Black Sea, grrr, woof. It’s going to conduct military exercises—push-ups, maybe. Now, that’s going to frighten Vlad. I guess a sense of humor is a good thing in a president. Maybe he can amuse Putin to death. I mean, by all the gods and little catfish, what does he think a tiny irritating boat like that is going to do—torpedo the Crimea? It doesn’t float, Barack. It’s stuck to the bottom. You can’t sink it.

To put it simply enough that even the hair-salon Napoleons in the Yankee Capital might be able to understand, but most likely  won’t, don’t make threats that the other guy knows you can’t follow through on. This idea is called “brains,” or sometimes “self-preservation.” Them days is gone when Washington could send the bathtub toys pretty much anywhere in the world and everybody would fall on his face and say, “Yassuh, bwana, yassuh.” Any third-grader in a country school in Georgia can see how things stand: Pickle Boy and the Jellyfish can (1) start a shooting war with Russia, or (2) back down and get laughed at by the whole world. Ain’t any other choices that I can see. God save us from little men with big egos and no judgement.

Now, I read a lot of history. It’s because I don’t have to spend all my time getting elected and posing for cameras and lying. A patch of history I’ve always liked is World War One. It teaches you how to get into a big war that doesn’t turn out like you think which is what usually happens in wars

You start by getting a toy president, or amateur Kaiser, who doesn’t know squat but you can’t tell him because that’s disloyal or, depending, racist. Besides, he can have you shot. Then you let the military get the upper hand—von Tirpitz, von Schlieffen, von Petraeus, von Hagel, they’re all the same. It helps if the amateur president or Kaiser wants to be a Wahhhhh! President or Kriegs Kaiser. You know how short men act. It would be less trouble to buy them a codpiece.

Then you surround him with incompetent toadies like von Bulow or Pickle Boy. Then you tell the public about German Exceptionalism and how God meant for Germany to rule and civilize the world and everybody hates Germany because it’s so wonderful so we need a bigger and bigger army. It works every time. It helps to tell people there’s a Serb under everybody’s bed, or an a Brit, or a commie or a Islam or terrorist or something. Pretty much anything will do. I figure it must get crowded under those beds.

The final part is to get yourself in trouble by having dam-fool mutual-defense treaties. You tell half the world that if anybody attacks anybody else, you are gonna jump in. Now the Kaiser had his own list of these traps. But Pickle Boy and the Obama Squad labor under the accreted load from years before.  So Washington has to defend Japan, Estonia, Korea, the Philippines, Georgia (bof’em), most all of Europe, Ukraine, and lots of other places nobody ever heard of or wants to..

It just might be smarter to let the rest of the world settle its own problems.

I’d like to set these milli-Talleyrands and micro-Metternichs down and see whether they know anything at all about, say, Russia. I mean, like where it came from, how it got to be what it is, and what it wants, and why it acts the way it does. I don’t mean hard questions, like what did Oleg nail to the gates of Constantinople. Could Relish Man tell me who Denikin, Kolchak, and Wrangel were? What was the NEP? Just simple Russian history. I’ll bet good money they wouldn’t have the tiniest underfed clue. But they can bark from under the sofa.

A wise old newspaper editor once told me: “A burro is an ass. A burrow is a hole in the ground. A reporter should know the difference.” Now, I wonder why that thought just came to mind.

I remember what my Uncle Hant told Burnside before the battle of Fredericksburg: “Jinral, if you got the brains of a goddamed retarded piss-ant, you won’t try to cross that river under all them guns.” You couldn’t take Hant anywhere in polite company. But he had a point.


  1. This post produced my belly laugh for the day…..the analogies were priceless. Too bad this country is full of history illiterates. They just wouldn’t get it.

  2. Why do we care about it? I guess if it gets to be part of Russia, Arkansas is next to go.

    Whoa now……….let’s leave the Natural State out of this mess.

  3. A burro is an ass… l!! Clearly Pat Buchanan was right in calling it crazy to make Latvia, Estonia and the other one part of NATO. Yeah, I know, Lithuania. NATO itself was a farce. It was always just the US with England and the rest just for show, like the black guy on the recruiting photo for North Dakota State University.

  4. One of the five best posts ever to appear on this site. Says everything I have to say on the subject, but with a lot more style and wit.

  5. Fred knocks it out of the park… brilliant, brilliant piece. Great way to start the weekend.

    On the same subject, there’s a great article in Salon, of all places.

    The New York Times manufactures ignorance: More half-truths about Ukraine

    Once again, the media and the foreign policy establishment are dangerously misreading history and current events

    Vladimir Putin was very Vlad this week, as 97 percent of voting Crimeans elected to quit the mess Ukraine has become and rejoin Russia. The world watched a Sphinx for weeks. In a trice, the Russian president then took command of a crisis Americans, Europeans and the provisional government in Kiev could not have made sloppier if they had put their minds to it.

    It is a little like pouring a resolving compound into a cloudy beaker, as in high school chemistry classes. The papers are signed, Crimea is once again part of Russia, and Putin’s adversaries are left to reject the proposition even as their protests and threats remind one more of the dandelion puffballs of spring with each passing day.

    It is time to draw lessons, as everyone seems to agree. The startling thing is how consistently Western leaders and the think-tank set behind them draw all the wrong ones.

    As I see it, the headline is that no one can stop history’s wheel from turning. If I were a copy editor writing display language, my subhead would be: “But the post-Cold War West nonetheless persists in forlorn effort to do so.”

    One can neither mourn nor cheer Crimea’s split from Ukraine and the Russian annexation Putin declared Tuesday, and there is no need to do either. It is not a tragedy; it is a calamity only for those invested in the post-Cold War order because this order has been to the advantage of the Western powers.

    It is a victory for those Russians — very many, it seems — invested in making their nation a prominent pole in a multipolar world. But it is their victory and they are to be left to it.

    For me, history has always had a greater claim to a sovereignty all its own than lines drawn on political maps. I see nothing sacred in the latter and much to celebrate in the former, which I understand in the French way — bottom-up history, dense with humanity and human bonds, full of culture, sociology and economics and made of language, engrained practice, locality — altogether “the dailiness of life,” in the poet Randall Jarrell’s phrase.

    There are centuries of this history behind the referendum held last weekend, and six decades to support the claim that Crimea is integral to Ukraine. So it comes to preference, and we now know the preferences of almost every Crimean who replied to the referendum’s question. More than 80 percent of them turned out to vote. For them, too, a victory in that they have self-determined.

    Something else must be added instantly. It is no good thinking that the vote was somehow forced by the barrels of Russian rifles. The imagery is familiar, time-tested Cold War stuff with obvious truth in a lot of cases. And scarcely would Putin be above intimidation. But it does not hold up this time, if only because there was no need of intimidation.

    The plain reality is that Putin knew well how the referendum would turn out and played the card with confidence. Washington and the European capitals knew, too, and this is why they were so unseemly and shamelessly hypocritical in their desperation to cover the world’s ears as Crimeans spoke.

    This raises the legality question. There is blur, certainly, but the legal grounding is clear: International law carefully avoids prohibiting unilateral declarations of independence. In any case, to stand on the law, especially Ukraine’s since the coup against President Viktor Yanukovych last month, is a weak case in the face of Crimeans’ expression of their will.

    There was a splendid image published in Wednesday’s New York Times. Take a look. You have a lady in Simferopol, the Crimean capital, on her way to something, probably work. Well-dressed, properly groomed, she navigates the sidewalk indifferently between a soldier and a tank.

    The shot was taken Tuesday, day of the annexation. No big one, she seems to say.

    This is the right position. If there is big stuff in Crimea’s change of status from the point of view of Crimeans, it is that the 2.2 million of them, 60 percent of them Russian, will leave behind a failed state now staring at the prospect of life under the neoliberal austerity regime those at the southern end of Europe love so much they simply cannot get enough of it.

    There are perspectives other than those of the Crimeans, of course. “This is an earthquake, and not a four-point earthquake,” a Russianist named Toby Gati told the Times Tuesday. Gati served in Bill Clinton’s State Department and now brokers business deals, correspondent Peter Baker tells us.

    Absolutely this is so. It is an earthquake high on the Richter scale for many in the West, but for none more than the strategists and architects of the neoliberal order, the lopsided “globalism” in vogue these past couple of decades. For them, a defeat has come, an outer boundary tested and now requiring retreat.

    You are not reading the above thought in the Western media as we speak. You are reading of the “defiant” Putin — this mess gets more ad hominem by the day — of a disrupted post-Cold War stability and “a new, more dangerous era,” of Russian anger and ressentiment (Secretary of State Kerry), of “this dark period” that may or may not last as long as the Cold War itself (Michael McFaul, a former ambassador to Moscow), and “nothing more than a land grab” (the inimitable Joe Biden, who “swept into Poland and the Baltics Tuesday.” Can you beat this phrasing?).

    I highly recommend reading the whole thing:

  6. I think a little war is exactly what is need right now. Think of the benefits:
    1. preempt collapse of Ponzi monetary policy
    2. bury evidence of financial irregularities. Nobody is going to dig through the rubble, especially if it is radioactive
    3. shore up support of the non-thinking peasantry (do they have a choice?/is there any other kind?)
    4. get rid of useless eaters we can no longer feed due to our asinine economic policies


  7. The NYT pretends to be left and right.

    Shocker. But at least with the NSA I know who they are funded by. =)

  8. De Scheisskerl – the “Little War” the military elite dream of will be a war using far more “effective” weaponry than that used to devastate Dresden. This time around it could easily (VERY easily) be scenes of complete “devastation to ground level” with “extra benefit” of long-term radiological problems.

    With the bluster and rhetoric emanating from the USA and the EU, both Blocs have rather committed themselves (politically) to getting “their” desired outcome. This isn’t going to happen, because Russia (and maybe now China too) won’t just roll over and play dead any more.

    So, what will be “the message to every other Country”, and what will be the consequences of this?

    Maybe –

    1. The World no longer “has to think The American Way” – so and immediate, permanent and progressive loss of US influence on the Global stage.

    2. “If we’re not thinking the American Way, do we really need or want the US Dollar as the Reserve Currency” ?? That will certainly lead to “interesting times” in the World’s most indebted nation!

    3. Now, about all this NSA activity Globally. How much of this information has been used for the US economic advantage? How much information from others has been in effect State-sanctioned industrial espionage? How much deliberate damage has been caused to the systems and infrastructure of other states in order to provide US advantage (Stuxnet, anyone)?

    The best realistic option is for all the US Neocons to just shut up, and leave the dust to settle. Not likely according to today’s rhetoric.

    The VERY best option would be for the President and his “Advisors” to admit publicly that they “mis-interpreted” the situation; they fully recognise the right of the Crimean people under International Law to chose their OWN destiny, and if that destiny is with Russia, then so be it. Minimal damage to US / EU / Russian relations, could be easily given a very positive spin in Obama’s favour (everyone likes a spot of humility in others), and we’d all be back to “business as usual” very quickly indeed – days or weeks.

    Going to happen?? Not on your Nellie is this going to happen. Someone, somewhere is really keen to “stir things up”, and throwing phrases like “The Worst Crisis since the height of The Cold War” around is NOT the way to defuse the current problem.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

You can add images to your comment by clicking here.