Friday, July 9, 2010

War and Peace, Left and Right

  • Writing for Asia Times Online Ben Kiernan and Taylor Owen find "an important similarity links the current conflict in Afghanistan to the 1970-1975 Cambodian war: increasing US reliance on air power against a heterogeneous insurgency" — Bombs away! Remember Cambodia. "That Washington has yet to learn from its past crimes and mistakes is a failure of strategic as well as moral calculation," the authors conclude. "Until it does, America's hopes for Afghanistan and for its own improved security may be misplaced."

  • "Complaints about civilian casualties have also stirred concern among human rights advocates," said the New York Times, quoted by Robert C. Koehler, writing for Common Dreams, and described as "arguably a dead sentence, with a few quasi-facts entombed in an inert moral sensibility" — The War Drones On.

  • "Our political leaders, the media, and the military interpret enduring war as a measure of our national fitness, our global power, our grit in the face of eternal danger, and our seriousness," says Common Dreams' William J. Astore — Hope and Change Fade, but War Endures. "A desire to de-escalate and withdraw, on the other hand, is invariably seen as cut-and-run appeasement and discounted as weakness," he continues. "Withdrawal options are, in a pet phrase of Washington elites, invariably 'off the table' when global policy is at stake, as was true during the Obama administration's full-scale reconsideration of the Afghan war in the fall of 2009.

  • The American Conservative looks at what has "become a shorthand for the argumentum ad Hitlerum" in posting Paul Kennedy's auggestion of "an approach that lends itself well to finding an exit from America's present embroilment in Central Asia" — The Case for "Appeasement".

  • "Will the Tea Parties turn antiwar?" asks The American Conservative's W. James Antle III, poiting to "a candidate saying that if we want to balance the federal budget, we need to cut warfare as well as welfare," and "[t]hrow[ing] in some talk about the military-industrial complex" — Rand Plan.

  • The American Conservative's Matt Cockerill informs us of a surprising voice who "defends war-questioning Michael Steele’s Republican bonafides, and demands the immediate resignation of neocons Liz Cheney and Bill Kristol" — Ann Coulter Goes Antiwar?

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