June 22, 2006


Bush visit marks Hungary uprising (BBC, 22 June 2006)

US President George W Bush is on a state visit to Hungary to mark 50 years since the country's uprising against Soviet occupation.

After talks with Hungarian leaders, the president laid flowers in memory of the victims of the 1956 uprising.

He is delivering a speech acknowledging the high cost Hungary paid in its struggle for independence.

Mr Bush is expected to use his visit to promote a vision of democratic regimes triumphing with US encouragement. [...]

Soviet tanks rolled into Budapest in 1956 after a national uprising and then Prime Minister Imre Nagy's call for the country to pull out of the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact.

Thousands of people died in the ensuing crackdown by Soviet forces, while hundreds of thousands more fled the country. In 1958, Soviet authorities announced Mr Nagy had been executed.

The failure to settle the Soviets' hash right then extracted costs we're still recovering from.

Posted by Orrin Judd at June 22, 2006 10:58 AM

Agreed. I remember being ashamed that our country didn't come to their aid.

Posted by: erp at June 22, 2006 11:44 AM

Yes, but would the costs of "settling their hash" have been less than the "costs we're still recovering from?"

Posted by: Brandon at June 22, 2006 12:39 PM

What costs?

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2006 12:43 PM

The Russian occupation of central Europe is the worst thing that has happened to that area since the plague. Even worse than the Mongol Horde. The Mongols just came and went but the Russians stayed, eradicated a half-dozen unique European cultures and infected the rest with Russian culture (i.e. drunken violence). All over central Europe the lingering effects of forced Russia culture can still be seen. It makes it very difficult to have a prosperous country when the ideas of 'work ethic' and 'civility' have been forcibly replaced with only the Russian desire to drink vodka and kick your neighbor in the head. How can a country prosper when its people aspire to nothing more? Every country in central Europe now has a sharpe conflict between people who act culturally traditional (Polish, Lithuanian, Hungarian, etc.) and people who act culturally Russian. The traditional ones tend to be very compatible with American values, the Russianized ones degrade their countries and spread havoc.

Posted by: lebeaux at June 22, 2006 1:46 PM


What costs? How about all the people who might have died in the ensuing nuclear war? Including my own father who was on alert in Germany in 1956.

Posted by: Brandon at June 22, 2006 1:56 PM

The Russian bluff worked then and continued to work until Reagan called them on it.

Posted by: erp at June 22, 2006 3:37 PM

Brandon, you have to understand that a nuclear war with the Soviets in the '50s is something that OJ sees as a missed opportunity, and that he seems to see no downside. Sort of like illegal immigration.

Posted by: PapayaSF at June 22, 2006 3:39 PM

What ensuing war?

This was the Soviet Union--they were incapable.

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2006 3:50 PM

I knew a guy who had served at a missile base in the Soviet Union. They worked.

Posted by: Brandon at June 22, 2006 4:11 PM

Not in '56, heck, not even at the time of Missle Crisis.

At any rate, dead Germans isn't a cost.

Posted by: oj at June 22, 2006 4:21 PM

"At any rate, dead Germans isn't a cost"

Its a benefit.

Posted by: Bob at June 22, 2006 5:08 PM

Hungarians would side with OJ.

Posted by: lebeaux at June 23, 2006 1:40 AM