No yellow ribbons from this ex-marine

...We can and should support troops-to-be, but do so before they become troops. We should post a warning sign, and disclaimer, in all recruiting stations. Prospective enlistees should be told that their new employer will not be the Department of Defense, but the Department of War; and that their service will not be in the defense of freedom and democracy, but in the building of an empire for America's powerful elite. And that their countrymen, for all the yellow ribbons and pseudo-patriotic talk, will ultimately blame them for the added terrorism they instigate with their wars. Just like there is truth in lending, we should demand truth in recruitment...

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Thoughts on Foreign Policy

[Become a member of the Frog Pond].

Chris Bowers has a great piece up about a renewed and concerted effort by the Liberal Hawks to marginalize the netroots. He takes particular note of a column by David Greenberg, wherein he draws a dichotomy within the party:

The vision Bayh and Warner offered is one being heard increasingly from a host of younger journalists and policy mavens-from newly formed groups like the Truman National Security Project and the Foreign Policy Leadership Council to New Republic editor-at-large Peter Beinart, the author of a much-discussed new manifesto. It's an approach that repudiates the Democrats' post-Vietnam reluctance to use military power.(...)

Such a vision would seem quite appealing, especially in a global age when there's no drawbridge for America to pull up. Yet no sooner had reports of Bayh and Warner's remarks appeared than they-and their way of thinking-came under fire from the bloggers and pundits whose influence among party activists they were seeking to curb. Across the Web, the politicians and their ilk were slammed as ''warmongers," ''Vichy Democrats," and ''enablers" of a Republican regime. And such attacks are nothing new. For months the left has been belittling the thinking of the internationalists, scoffing at how many of them backed Bush's invasion of Iraq, with The Nation-the flagship magazine of the antiwar faction-refusing to support any Democratic office-seeker who won't seek a speedy pullout.

Beneath this internecine party warfare lies a fundamental, and possibly debilitating, ideological divide. Liberals, who tend to view terrorism as the chief foreign policy concern, have been trying to revive the philosophy of internationalism-the belief that US intervention abroad can be noble in intent and beneficial in its results. Leftists, on the other hand, viewing the Iraq War as the most urgent problem, more often subscribe to a philosophy that might be called anti-imperialism-the belief that US intervention abroad is typically avaricious in intent and malign in its results.

I could write a dissertation on this and I don't want to make this into a history of U.S. intervention since World War Two. So, right from the start I am going to avoid debating whether U.S. intervention is typically avaricious in intent and malign in results. Instead, I will stipulate that our intervention has often been avaricious in intent and malign in results...but not always. I'm not even sure that the net effect of U.S. international policy hasn't been positive. To determine that conclusively one would have to know what would have happened in the absence of U.S. interventionism, and that is unknowable.

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The Cost of War and Peace in the Next World Order

According to the CIA World Factbook, the U.S. spent an estimated $518 billion on its military in 2005.  Second was scary old China, which spent a paltry $81.5 billion.  Following behind the big two were Japan, England, Germany, Italy and South Korea, ranging between $21 billion and $45 billion.  (CIA figures for England, Germany and Italy are from 2003, but you get an idea of the proportions.)

Below the fold: fighting the entire world?

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Order in the Next World Order

If you want to know what the Next World Order will look like, just take a look around.  It's already here.  The last world order--the one in which the United States served the function of "global hegemon"--was over in less time than it took the American neoconservatives to cook up the idea, due in large part to our disastrous experiment in Iraq.

Our foreign policy aims should now be to land in a position as the first among nations in a fluid, multi-tiered global power structure.  

At present, the world's state and non-state political entities are roughly divided into five levels of power.  For the sake of creating a common vocabulary, we'll tentatively define those tiers as major powers, balance powers, regional powers, wild cards, and others.

Below the fold: a model for sane foreign policy in the Next World Order...

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Watching Patton

front-paged at Booman Tribune]

Last night I watched Patton (1970) for, I don't know, the sixth time?  In any case, it was the first time I'd watched the movie since George W. Bush became President.  For those of you that don't know, the movie chronicles the exploits of General George Patton during World War Two.  The story is told largely through the eyes of the G.I.s general, Omar Bradley.  Bradley is alternately admiring of Patton's virtuosity and disgusted by his willingness to sacrifice men to his quest for glory.  I've known men that served under Patton, and they were equally ambivalent.  They hated the man, but serving under him was their proudest achievement.  Even in a war where the cause is indisputably just, war is a moral quagmire.

Patton spoke as a man that knew our cause was just.

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Diaries

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