March 25, 2008

Leave the Scots Out of This, Ivan

Anatol Lieven has a pretty good critique of the foreign policy of a potential John McCain presidency going until he reaches this paragraph:

Mr McCain exemplifies “Jacksonian nationalism” – after Andrew Jackson, the 19th-century Indian-fighter and president – and the Scots-Irish military tradition from which both men sprung. As Mr McCain’s superb courage in North Vietnamese captivity and his honourable opposition to torture by US forces demonstrate, he also possesses the virtues of that tradition. Then again, some of the greatest catastrophes of the 20th century were caused by brave, honourable men with a passionate sense of national mission.

Okay, Vladimir*, there are many things wrong with America, but the Scots-Irish are not to be included on your list. Leave us out of it or we'll show up to your door, drunk as a matter of course, with that killin' look in our eye.**

*Lieven's mom, actually, is Irish. Abu Muqawama's knowledge of this fact accounts for Lieven's continuing good health.
**A story is told in Tennessee about Jackson. Once, when he was a judge, a man accused of beating his wife failed to show up in court. Jackson was incensed, adjourned the session and stormed off to the man's house. But this worried deputies as the accused was notoriously ill-tempered and powerfully built. When Jackson went to his front door, though, the man meekly followed Jackson to the courthouse. They asked why, later, and the man shrugged and replied: "He had the shootin' look in his eye."