March 11, 2002
Unilateralism? Not Exactly

I wish the Euroweenies (and even sometimes their opponents) would stop calling American interventions in the Philippines and formerly-Soviet Georgia 'unilateral'. Thanks to the qualms and 'complexifications' of our European allies, they're certainly not multilateral, but they're sure as Hell bilateral. It's hard to tell for sure what's going on behind the scenes, and diplomats and press secretaries are appropriately circumspect in their comments, but it appears that the Filipinos and Georgians begged us to send troops to their countries. In Yemen today, as in Pakistan and the other Stans last fall, most of the arm-twisting seems to have been the other way around. Even so, the forms of diplomatic decency have been preserved and we operate only from bases in countries that allow it (Turkey and the Stans -- good name for a band?), while not using bases in countries that refuse, even when those bases have been bought and paid for by us and are located in countries that continue to call themselves our friends and allies. (You know who you are, ungrateful bastards. Mene mene tekal upharsin: you have been weighed in the balance and found wanting. If you allowed Bibles or Johnny Cash albums in your pathetic excuse for a country, maybe you'd understand the allusion.) Despite the bleats of the ignorant -- 'what gives America the right to bomb Afghanistan?' --, our troops were sent there with the express consent of the only government recognized by the U.N., the so-called Northern Alliance, correctly known as 'the government of Afghanistan' (de jure if not de facto) even before 9/11, again, according to the U.N. Not that I give a damn what the U.N. says, but people who care about international law should.

Tangential Note:

Having two Georgias is almost as confusing as having two kinds of Indians. (I once heard someone say 'not American Indians -- you know, Indian Indians'.) When teaching students in Mythology 101 about Prometheus, I used to be able to locate the scene of his punishment by calling it 'Soviet Georgia'. Now I have to call it 'formerly Soviet Georgia', as if it were 'the artist formerly known as Prince'. At least the two Galicias, the one in northwest Spain and the one in southern Poland or western Ukraine or wherever the Hell it is now, have managed to keep themselves out of the news since World War I, when the latter was the scene of heavy fighting between invading Russians and defending Austro-Hungarians.

Maybe we could call it 'Eurasian Georgia', though leftie Simpsons fans might start carrying around signs reading 'Get Eurass out of Eurasia'. At least they would if they had any sense of humor. 'European Georgia' won't do, since it's on the south slope of the Caucasus, which is the traditional continental boundary. 'Asian Georgia' may be geographically correct, but doesn't sound right, since the country is culturally more European than Asian or Middle Eastern. So maybe they should just change their damned name. (Note to patriotic Georgians: I'm kidding! This is a parody of the cliché of the ignorant American imperialist. No need for angry e-mails.)

Sorry about all the cussin': I'm in a bad mood tonight. Maybe it's because my toes are sore. (Lots more posts coming later tonight.)

Posted by Dr. Weevil at March 11, 2002 10:10 PM