Friday, September 24, 2004
Obviously, from the title, we're talking about Rush Limbaugh. At one time a conservative, yet independent, voice. Now, a GOP shill who will say anything and do anything for his masters. A man who finds no irony is decrying drug users on his show while downing more painkillers than Joe Theismann after LT broke his leg.
So, I was listening to this blowhole as I was moving items from my house into storage as our new home is being built. The topic was Kerry (duh) and his pledge to hold a summit between us and our allies to discuss how to make things better in Iraq. And this is what Lim-bore had to say:
A summit has never solved anything during a war.
Oh, really? Are you sure? Want to rethink that?
Okay. Now, summits (a.k.a. conferences, congresses or councils) are actually a common occurrence during times of war. Sometimes between enemies, more often between allies. Here are just a few:
- Casablanca War Conference (1/14 - 1/29, 1943): Held between Churchill and Roosevelt during WW II. Solved issues of re-deployment of British assets following surrender of Italy; called for un-conditional surrender of Germany.
- Tehran War Conference (11/28 - 12/1, 1944): Held between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Discussed co-ordinating European invasion with Soviet assault in East; Soviet involvement in Japan; creation of an "international organization" to maintain peace (future UN).
- Yalta War Conference (2/4 - 2/11, 1945): Held between Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin. Stalin agreed to enter war against Japan; Stalin agreed to collaborate in creating the UN; Churchill secured a zone of occupation for France in the soon-to-be defeated Germany; Stalin agreed to border settlements with Poland. (Note: This conference was criticized at the time for "giving" Eastern Europe to Stalin. In reality, he already controlled it and there was little the US/UK could so. Nevertheless, it is notable for advancing the creation of the UN and making France an official co-belligerent.)
- Potsdam Conference (7/16 - 8/2, 1945: Held between Truman, Stalin and Churchill/Atlee (a UK election was held during the conference (!). Churchill lost and Atlee stepped in on 7/24). Truman hinted at creation of atom bomb; discussions over allied control of Germany and reparations.
Obviously, those all occurred during WW II. But here are a few more. And yes, the "Cold War" does count, especially since conservative Republicans and others (like myself), believed it was a war.
- Reykjavik Summit (October, 1986): Held between US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Key if only because Reagan realized he had someone with whom he could actually negotiate, it is important for numerous other reasons. Cooled off a "hot period" in the Cold War (bombing of Libya, Zakharov arrest by FBI in New York, Soviet retaliatory arrest of journalist Nicholas Daniloff). Closest US/USSR came to eliminating an entire class of nuclear weapons. Established SDI as the key to breaking the USSR economically.
- Malta Summit (December 2-3, 1989): Held between US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev. Aboard the Maxim Gorky, the two leaders met at what is now considered the end of the Cold War. Bush expressed his support for perestroika and other reforms. Both leaders discussed the abating tensions between the two countries. Marked the end of a 44-year standoff between the two most powerful countries on the face of the earth.
And that doesn't include the myriad other conference during the Cold War, let alone the hundreds in history. Hell, the landmark Congress of Vienna was finished nine days before the Battle of Waterloo in 1815.
The point of this is that not only have productive summits been held in times of war, but it has happened so many times that its effectiveness is beyond question.
Limbaugh was flat-out lying in his statement because the truth is secondary to his slavish devotion to the GOP.
The fact is that a summit between the US, UK, Germany, France, Russia, Australia and Poland would go a LONG way towards a cohesive plan to rebuild Iraq. Kerry is right to propose this idea.