Anti-Vietnam war protesters march down Fifth Avenue near to 81st Street in New York City on April 27, 1968, in protest of the U.S. involvement in the Vietnamese war. The demonstrators were en route to nearby Central Park for mass “Stop the war” rally. (AP Photo)
Utter madness the war then~~yet utter madness~~ the war unceasing since then.
Curiously, we think the only solution to killing the war machine is to re-introduce the Draft–which almost killed the war machine then and will finish off the job now–if we’ve but the will to be~~bold and determined in our actions, my dears~~
Protest~~ A young man in Boston burns his draft card in November ,1966.
Foreign Policy magazine and Mr. David Rothkopf remind us this lesson today~~The final solution to the American war machine is to re-introduce the DRAFT~~without any deferments~~nothing else will stop the madness~~and the madness must be stopped~~before it consumes us all~
American war machine policy long ago crossed the Rubicon into clinical lunacy. Lunacy. Sheer, unadulterated insanity.
Thankfully, there is a final solution in a democracy–but the Americans must be bold and determined to bring that solution off~~so~~let the Americans be~~both bold and determined~
American war machine policy is universally bi-partisan at Washington, at all levels, in all Parties. When someone says to you “These Parties today cannot agree on anything,” answer them–“would that only be so–unfortunately, on the most important of issues–the issue of life and death–there is no break in ranks at all–there is utter unanimity–collegiality–complete bi-partisanship.”
All parties at Washington agree to be insane when it comes to the war machine~~
All the grey suits and blues suits agree–squabble about non-issues like poverty and unemployment–but as to the sacred cow of Washington~~the war machine–let not a peep of opposition be heard on either side of the fence~~nobody questions this orthodoxy~~nobody.
But for us–we challenge that orthodoxy–we dare challenge that machine–we dare plan to bring it to its knees.
That rigid devotion to American war machine policy must change right away~~or we will destroy ourselves.
The quickest way to destroy the American war machine is to reinstitute the Draft~~without deferments of any kind. The draft came very close to shutting down the machine during Vietnam, but the machine is ice-cold and ruthless in protecting itself.
Nixon–the ameliorator–the co-opter extraordinaire–hand in hand with Kissinger~~divined the solution–do away with the Draft and there will be no more anti-war movement. And, that policy worked–and keeps working even as we write this note this morning.
If any Imperial American foreign policy has worked~~and never failed~~ it is Her war machine policy–without fail the machine adapts~~and we are always at war.
Today word reaches of the drumbeat getting louder from the striped pants brigade in Foggy Bottom. Like a re-hash of a nightmare you might have thought was over–the ponces of the war machine have sensed their newest prey–Syria.
We will be fighting in Damascus very soon–and it’ll be all sorts of a swell affair~~as we now read from Foreign Policy magazine and Mr. David Rothkopf–both of whom we now quote until noted by us ceased quote~~
Why America will be paying for decades for a foreign policy based on fear.
BY DAVID ROTHKOPF | JUNE 18, 2013
Behind closed doors but with language and intonation that ensured his remarks would be heard around the world, Bill Clinton last week said that U.S. President Barack Obama risks looking like a “wuss” and a “fool” by letting politics and a search for ideal solutions keep him from taking action to stop the slaughter in Syria.
Days later, speaking before a congressional committee on June 18, Gen. Keith Alexander, top man at the National Security Agency, and a phalanx of other top administration terror-fighters argued that the unprecedentedly sweeping measures undertaken by the U.S. government to gather telephone metadata, email communications, and Internet records had resulted in thwarting over 50 terrorism threats against the United States.
The two sets of statements might appear at first glance to be unrelated. But they hint at a shift that has taken place in U.S. policymaking in the years since the 9/11 attacks. The country has crossed the fine line that separates national security from national insecurity. Fear now seems to drive more of the country’s policies than the vision, self-awareness, and courage that used to be the recipe for protecting and advancing U.S. interests internationally.
That is not to say that U.S. soldiers in the field or American law enforcement officers or the members of the intelligence community do not individually and collectively regularly display extraordinary courage. Nor is it to say that fear plays no role in sound policymaking. Sound risk assessment and management are as essential to getting approaches right as bravado and overconfidence are deadly.
But at the highest level, throughout George W. Bush’s administration and continuing in a number of key instances during the Obama years, we have too often seen policy promulgated as a consequence of our fear of overstated risks and worst-case scenarios, and, most disturbingly of all, as Clinton alluded to, as a result of the fear of politicians that they might suffer in opinion polls or at the ballot box as a consequence of a misstep or unpopular action.
From the invasion of Iraq to the Patriot Act to the embrace of torture to the expansion of domestic surveillance programs to the failure to intervene earlier in Syria to the constant shifting of “red lines” in that country or Iran to the bumbling and lack of follow-through in Libya to the failure to stand up to abuses by “allies” in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iraq or by rivals like Russia or Iran, fear has warped Americans’ perspectives, justified alternatively both overreaction and inaction, and enabled the United States to rationalize bad policies into prudent ones on an ongoing basis for over a decade.
Against the existential threats of Nazism and Soviet communism, the United States faced oblivion squarely in the eye and did not flinch, recognizing that steadfastness, clear goals, and the willingness to undertake both political and military risks were crucial to defending the American way of life. There were times in those eras when Americans did let their fears drive them, however, and in every instance — from internment camps for Japanese-Americans to the incineration of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki, from McCarthyism to the miscalculations in Vietnam — the United States harmed its national standing and took actions that are debated to this day.
Of course, as Clinton suggested in his remarks before the McCain Institute, fear of culpability carries its own risks. Thus far, the administration has failed to successfully mobilize its allies to take action to contain the humanitarian catastrophe in Syria and effectively weaken Bashar al-Assad’s regime because it has noted the absence of a clear, coherent, virtuous opposition to which the United States could be allied. The irony that this is America’s stance in a country that borders Iraq and is in the same neighborhood as Afghanistan and Libya (where the United States placed bets on the most dubious sorts of “frenemies”) is pointed. That said, the risks of inaction should the crisis spill more dangerously into Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, or Turkey also pose a risk for Obama. In short, the absence of an easy answer does not obviate the need for an answer — some effective way to contain the real risks to national interests posed by spread of chaos in Syria, its spillover to the region, a possible future government in Damascus hostile to a Washington seen as abetting that chaos, and U.S. failure to take advantage of the potential to seriously limit Iranian influence in a vital part of the Middle East.
Former Secretary of State Colin Powell once observed “you break it, you own it,” but he should have added a corollary: If failure to act invites a greater calamity, you own that too. As few have observed more persuasively than Samantha Power, America’s next ambassador to the United Nations and the author of the profound A Problem from Hell (one of the 10 greatest books on international relations I have ever read), we have a century of genocides for which our inaction was partially responsible that should be on our consciences — even if they are not. Clinton, of course, when speaking at the McCain event, noted that these issues certainly still weigh heavily on his mind given his own inaction in Rwanda. It should be interesting to see how Obama addresses this point when he visits Africa this month.
Prudence is a term often invoked by the fearful for doing too much or too little. But it shouldn’t obscure what is really happening. Our insecurity rather than our goals is too often playing too great a role in driving our actions. Whether this is a momentary anomaly or longer-term symptom common to declining nations that have lost confidence in important aspects of themselves remains to be seen.
Moi, moi–plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, Mr. Rothkopf and your myriad companions in both Parties and in the press services.
By all means dears~~Let’s start another war—an even better war–an even more splendid little war–let’s just, shan’t we just?
Here, we say–mais, NON!! No, Sir.
Mr. Rothkopf and his mates need to read a bit of history of the American war machine~~an unbroken policy extending from The Great War unto the very present–with clear signs of, permanent, future plans.
For instance–America did not enter the last war to defeat an “existential threat from Nazism.”
In point of fact, we did not enter into a war with Nazi Germany at all. FDR easily got war declarations against The Empire of Japan soon after his speech of December 8, 1941–but getting such articles of war through the Congress against Germany~~ stood no chance.
The Americans had just finished burying their dead sons from 1918 when FDR started to agitate for war with Germany. There was no popular appetite for that adventure–even after Pearl Harbor.
Luckily enough for Frank Delano, Mr. Hitler truly was a lunatic–who–having started up in the summer and fall of 1941 invading Russia, ended that year declaring war on the Americans.
Hitler declared war on us–we did not declare war on him, Mr Rothkopf. The Americans of 1941 certainly did not perceive there to be any sort of “existential threat from Nazism.”
The plain truth is that, left to their own devices, the Russians would have destroyed Hitler~~and the Americans never needed to fight in Europe at all.
How many American boys died in that European War, Sirs? How many? What sort of existentialism can you offer as salve to their widows and orphans? Well, Sirs?
But off we went–and thanks to Foreign Policy Magazine, Mr. Rothkopf and their bi-partisan supporters on the Hill, in the think tanks and in the press services–off to more and more and more~~war we shall go march~~ ad infinitum–unless–we–
~~Re-introduce the Draft and kill the war machine.~~
Let’s do that–let’s call the War Machine’s bluff and re-introduce the Draft–that will kill the war machine–and no more of our troops~~
So, instead of marching on Damascus, quick, double time~~we say~~first, let’s re-introduce the DRAFT and see how loud the howls from the pretty, pretty cream shoe set~~when you march their boys off to Damascus. The sound will be deafening, rest assured, sirs.
The Draft in Vietnam shut down the war machine–let us agitate to shut it down again–once and for all–very quickly–by re-introducing the Draft.
This would be a great moral victory with a most beneficial by-product.~~
The savings from Mr. Rothkopf’s planned misadventure at Damascus can instead be put to use here at home~~
~~Employing the millions of the now unemployed and hungry here in America in most necessary WPA~~related infrastructure projects~~a most pleasing initiative to the Other Party~~at ZERO net additional cost~~a splendid idea for My Party.
Now, that idea will make for, lightening fast, bipartisanship, Sirs. Hands across the ailses~~olive branches on the Hill~~gentleman’s agreements all around there~~no more moaning of Washington gridlock~~
The Americans can, and indeed must, get that final solution to the American war machine that so vexes us all–but the Americans must be bold and determined to bring that off. Can the Americans be as bold and determined as all that?
We say yes–and our bet is on the Americans to win against~~ their own~~ truly existential threat~~Mr. Rothkopf~~against your perpetual War Machine~~
Rejoice and Glad!!
John Daniel Begg
Washington, District of Columbia
Wednesday, 19th Juin, Anno Domini Nostri Iesu Christi, 2013
Bettmann / Corbis~~Time photo credits
Free Speech In 1965, Mary Beth Tinker and her brother John were suspended from classes at North High School in Des Moines, Iowa for wearing black armbands to protest the war in Vietnam. They went to court to challenge the school’s policy. When this picture was taken, three years later, their case had just been accepted by the Supreme Court, which eventually ruled 7-2 in their favor.