Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Sorrows of War and Empire

  • "If you take the word of our Afghan War commander, the secretary of defense, and top officials of the Obama administration and NATO," says Tom Engelhardt, "we’re not leaving any time soon," — How to Schedule a War. Mr Englehardt says that "one thing is certain: Afghans will once again pay with their homes, farms, livelihoods, and lives, while Americans, Europeans, and Canadians will pay with lives and treasure invested in a war that couldn’t be more bizarre, a war with no end in sight."

  • John Nichols remembers "a true son of the wisest and best of the founding generation, [who] spoke the language of James Madison, when he argued that a republic could not maintain more than 700 military bases on foreign soil and retain its own freedom" — Chalmers Johnson and the Patriotic Struggle Against Empire. Mr. Nichols concludes with Chalmers Johnson's dire warning that "as militarism, the arrogance of power, and the euphemisms required to justify imperialism inevitably conflict with America's democratic structure of government and distort its culture and basic values, I fear that we will lose our country."
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    3 Comments:

    Blogger Pints in NYC said...

    Afghanistan - which I maintain is still a good and righteous war since the Taliban harbored the organization that attacked my city and killed people I knew on 9/11 - should be declared a war by Congress.

    To me the logic is simple.

    You can't win a war that was never declared.

    By declaring war, the country commits itself to victory.

    That we didn't declare war on 9/11 leaves me to think we never will ever again.

    And as such, what should have been a "good war" has become yet another squandered imperial adventure.

    1:10 PM  
    Blogger The Western Confucian said...

    I'm a letters of marque and reprisal man myself when it comes to Afghanistan, but, yes, if you're going to have a war, declare it!

    One of our commenters, Mark in Spokane, recently made the right suggestion also that the Depart of Defense go back to it's original, pre-National Security State name: Department of War.

    6:19 PM  
    Blogger Pints in NYC said...

    Yep. It's Newspeak.

    We go from a Dept. of War to Dept. of Defense.

    And yet still then create a Dept. of Homeland Security.

    When will the Dept. of Redundant Redundancy officially be declared?

    7:42 PM  

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