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The Books

Base Nation: How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
Base Nation

How U.S. Military Bases Abroad Harm America and the World
by David Vine

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes by Anand Gopal
No Good Men Among the Living

America, the Taliban, and the War through Afghan Eyes
by Anand Gopal

Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country by Andrew J. Bacevich
Breach of Trust

How Americans Failed Their Soldiers and Their Country
by Andrew J. Bacevich

Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian
Power Systems

Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and the New Challenges to U.S. Empire
by Noam Chomsky and David Barsamian

Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam by Nick Turse
Kill Anything That Moves

The Real American War in Vietnam
by Nick Turse

We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People by Peter Van Buren
We Meant Well

How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People
by Peter Van Buren

Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War by Andrew BacevichWashington Rules
America's Path to Permanent War
by Andrew Bacevich


Dismantling The Empire: America's Last Best Hope by Chalmers JohnsonDismantling The Empire
America's Last Best Hope
by Chalmers Johnson


The Limits Of Power: The End of American Exceptionalism by Andrew Bacevich
The Limits Of Power

The End of American Exceptionalism
by Andrew Bacevich


Imperial Ambitions: Conversations on the Post-9/11 World by Noam Chomsky
Imperial Ambitions

Conversations on the Post-9/11 World
by Noam Chomsky


Empire's Workshop: Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism by Greg Grandin
Empire's Workshop

Latin America, the United States, and the Rise of the New Imperialism
by Greg Grandin

A Question Of Torture: CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror by Alfred McCoy
A Question of Torture

CIA Interrogation, from the Cold War to the War on Terror
by Alfred McCoy

Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency by Michael Klare
Blood and Oil

The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency
by Michael T. Klare

« Dead, White, and Blue | Main | Emperor Weather »

December 03, 2015

Comments

One of the very few contemporary observers of the effects of militarized foreign policy on domestic policy and social structure still has his thinking cap firmly on. Our civil culture grows more and more militarized as we rely almost exclusively on military-first (and only) solution sets for foreign differences of opinion. As usual, thought-provoking, well-argued, and based on a keen sense of what the US should stand for. Bacevich's work in this area should be at the center of public discussion, which unfortunately does not exist to any meaningful extent.

There is book titled THE FOLLY OF EMPIRE* What George W. Bush Could Learn from Theodore Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, by John B. Judis (c.2004). When has this not be true in United States history? This folly? Hubris,arrogance, manifest destiny, war is a racket, addicted to war, perpetual war and more. Not much of this is found in or taught in our schools at most any level and where it is, is there much in the way of debate. Our history has a lot of blood on in its past, on our hands to speak. I look forward to his new booking coming out in April. Just wish it was sooner.

What is it about our "American way of life" that we will not, indeed refuse, to examine, to re-examine? Cannot the systems[s] within which we live, less freely than ever before, be re-programmed, re-considered, re-evaluated? Your essay is remarkable for its honesty looking outside; can you deliver the same acumen in an essay that looks inside?

Bravo, Col. Bacevich! You hold a mirror to America's face.

Compounding the military insanity you reveal is the strange recrudescence of racism and xenophobia now manifested in hatred of refugees.

Dear TomDispatch:

The analysis of the horrific consequences of further intervention in the Middle East and Central Asia convincingly outlined by Bacevich should give pause to even the most zealous among the warriors on the Christian right.
But this opposition among the right might have given Bacevich pause to speculate on what drives the warriors seeking to restore, so they say, the caliphate.
The Treaty of Versailles abolished the caliphate putting in its place secular democracies reduced to appeasing the western appetite for oil.
So the same sort of rage that inspires the Christian right could well be at the bottom of ISIS and related groups desire for vengeance. It stems from common themes, perhaps, of dispossession woven into a religious fabric.

People like Cohen talk about "hard choices", particularly in Syria, while blandly ignoring the very hard choice that was available right from the start, the choice that is still so unthinkable that it can't be mentioned: support Assad.

His is the army on the ground that can occupy and rule Raqua, where no one else can. But of course that would be unthinkable, because it would dismay and upset the real authors of this war: Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and of course, Israel; and worst of all, it just might work.

So get behind Assad; give his army the means to defeat ISIS, and work out a deal to moderate the excesses of his regime later with the kind of incentives the West can easily offer.

He would then put a fist on the extremists, and the problem, as far as Syria is concerned, as far as the West is concerned, would be over.

But this would not suit the Turks, the Saudis, the Israelis.

So it's unthinkable. This is the true hard choice that our leaders won't make on our behalf, the one choice that would make us safe: defy our so-called allies and thereby protect us.

That's the hard choice that'll never get made.

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