October 18, 2005
For most of my 23 years in uniform the Soviet Union was the enemy. During my years in the service we trained to fight and defeat the Russians (actually the Warsaw Pact). Every field grade officer suffering through Command and General Staff College fought the battle of the Ruhr Valley (with and without nukes�BTW: we only won when we used nukes).
Despite, perestroika, glasnost and the fall of the wall and dissolution of the Soviet empire I still don�t trust the evil empire.
Vladimir Putin was, is, and will always be KGB. �When you�re Jet you�re a Jet all the way from your first cigarette to your last dying day��
HOWEVER, the enemy of my enemy is my friend�Islamist/Jihadist/Crazies want my son, my family and friends, my country, and our way of life gone. They have perverted a religion as a tool in their dream quest.
You can�t reason with them. You can�t accomdate or appease them. Short of capitulation the only solution is to annihilate the adversary. But our white hat foggy bottom kumbaya sensitivities resist �lowering ourselves to their level.�
A recent Reuters story reported: �Putin: "We'll be ruthless with rebels�� Good!
�Rebels who try to attack Russian targets in future will be decisively crushed, President Vladimir Putin said on Friday after his security forces killed scores of gunmen who attacked the southern town of Nalchik.� Reuters wrote.
For years I have been grousing about the aid, comfort and support we as a country have provided the �new� Russians. We have showered them with Billions and for the most part lacked the common sense, reason, and practicality to require any substantive quid pro quo.
How about some payback for past accommodation, and some good ole fashion bribes for future �favors�?
In 1989 my first book was published (The Terrorist Killers). In it, the fictionalized solution to dealing with international terrorism was to aggressively preempt the terrorist and respond to acts with unbridled ruthlessness. Kill �em all and let God sort it out! They had an option: Be nice or be dead.
That is a very un-p.c. solution, and frankly anathema to American sensibilities. However, apparently it isn�t too draconian for the Russians.
An old friend and author kinda (reluctantly?) disagrees with me. He said, �I don't think so. Some, yes. The MSM, of course. At least they say so precisely because it is PC. But I do believe that the American people as a whole not only support a more draconian response but WANT it.�
The problem he said is �that point of view gets no widespread exposure and when it does, the medium is characterized, by definition, as extreme.�
And we agree it may well be extreme�okay, delete the qualifier�it IS extreme. But he touched a resonant cord when he quoted someone a lot of people have forgotten, or with whom they are unfamiliar. Once upon a time (not that long ago or far away) Barry Goldwater said, �Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.�
My skeptical friend notes the reaction to Goldwater�s empirical reality was politically disasterous. To which I respond, that was then�this is now.
Despite the attrition of shock, anger and universal call for revenge, many STILL remember 9/11.
The prospect of another (or worse) epic disaster suggests �extremism in the defense of liberty IS no vice.� Rather, it may well be a necessity. The other half of that famous/infamous Goldwater quote is, �And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.� Hell-o?!?
So, how about a �new glasnost�. Sure Putin is still a �Jet� but let�s get a little Don Corleone and �make him an offer he can�t refuse�.
A partnership of convenience in which we offer our significant resources and engage the Russians to do the dirty work. Hey, we could still cling to plausible deniability for those sensitive Foggy Bottom elitist�AND at the same time crush the jihadist.
Some will argue, �hey, the Russians LOST in Afghanistan�� Yeah, largely because WE (the USA) was doing for the mujahdeen exactly what I propose we now do for the Russians.
Are the negatives? You dambbetcha! However, a very basic cost benefit analysis yields significant gains, despite the eventual (inevitable) clean up that will be necessary subsequent to going �sling blade� on the Osama crowd. And �going sling blade� is exactly what I propose needs (and has needed) to be done.
"Our actions must be commensurate with all the threats that bandits pose for our country. We will act as toughly and consistently as we did on this occasion," Itar-Tass news agency quoted Putin as saying. HE has the will�we just may be able to assist him in finding the way.
� 2005 Geoff Metcalf - All Rights Reserved
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"Geoff Metcalf is a nationally syndicated radio talk show host for TALK AMERICA and a veteran media performer. He has had an eclectic professional background covering a wide spectrum of radio, television, magazine, and newspapers. A former Green Beret and retired Army officer he is in great demand as a speaker. Visit Geoff's