February 26, 2014

Bacevich on World War G

From Bill Moyers' website:
Andrew Bacevich on Washington’s Tacit Consensus
February 21, 2014

What words best describe present-day Washington politics? The commonplace answer, endlessly repeated by politicians themselves and media observers alike, is this: dysfunction, gridlock, partisanship and incivility. Yet here’s a far more accurate term: tacit consensus. Where Republicans and Democrats disagree, however loudly, matters less than where their views align. Differences entertain. Yet like-mindedness, even if unacknowledged, determines both action and inaction. 
In the ‘Bill-W.-Obama’ era, a neoliberal consensus defines American politics. ...
Although the Cold War has long since ended, this emphasis on an expansive, militarized foreign policy persists. If there’s a fresh element in today’s neoliberal consensus, it’s found in the realm of culture. As neoliberals see it, received norms related to family, gender and sexuality ought to be optional. What Hofstadter in his time described as a “democracy in cupidity rather than a democracy of fraternity” has become in our day a democracy combining cupidity with individual autonomy at the expense of fraternity and self-restraint, all backed by the world’s most powerful, widely deployed and busily employed military establishment. 
... Are the troops in Afghanistan fighting for our freedom? If so, the package of things they fight for includes the prerogative of dispatching US forces to wherever it pleases Washington to send them, along with no-fault divorce, abortion on demand, gay marriage, and an economic system that manifestly privileges the interests of the affluent at the expense of those hard-pressed to make ends meet.  
Andrew Bacevich is a professor of history and international relations at Boston University. A graduate of the US Military Academy, he received his PhD in American diplomatic history from Princeton University. Before joining the faculty of Boston University, he taught at West Point and Johns Hopkins University.
 

65 comments:

anony-mouse said...

While its nice to see Lyndon Johnson's press secretary objecting by proxy to sending US forces hither and yon, I really don't believe he actually objects in any way to abortion-on-demand etc.

Maguro said...

Bacevich's son was killed in Iraq.

Anonymous said...

"U.S. eyes push against anti-gay laws worldwide"

http://news.yahoo.com/us-eyes-push-against-anti-gay-laws-worldwide-223412634--politics.html

"Troubled by an anti-gay movement in Uganda and across much of the world, the U.S. is launching a new effort to combat what Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday as a threat to human rights.

Comparing a harsh Uganda law to oppressive government crackdowns on German Jews in the 1930s and black South Africans during apartheid, Kerry said he was going to direct American ambassadors to look at "how we deal with this human rights challenge on a global basis." He said 80 nations worldwide have anti-gay laws on some levels, and he called the one in Uganda — which punishes gay sex with up to life in prison — "atrocious" and "flat out morally wrong."

"You could change the focus of this legislation to black or Jewish, and you could be in 1930s Germany, or you could be in 1950s or '60s apartheid South Africa," Kerry told reporters during a 55-minute question-and-answer session at the State Department. "It was wrong there, egregiously, in both places, and it is wrong here."

He said the issue would be a major focus of discussion when U.S. ambassadors from across the world return to Washington for meetings in the weeks ahead."

Sequester Grundleplith said...

What do people here think it would take for an authentic right-wing populism to emerge in the US? As with our host, Bacevich's writing often implicitly raises this question. What has to happen for the people getting screwed by the neoliberal consensus (i.e. almost all of us) to act?

sunbeam said...

"all backed by the world’s most powerful, widely deployed and busily employed military establishment. "

Okay:

Widely Deployed - check
Busily Employed - check

Most Powerful - What does this mean?

I want someone to explain to me how we use our military to kick Russia's ass. Or China's.

Or how we make a nation in Europe an offer they can't refuse.

If no one has been keeping track, our conventional forces haven't exactly been marvels at warfare for ... well ever actually.

Look we talk a good game, and pull for the home team.

But literally this country has had incredible luck in either the situation or the enemy in virtually every war it has ever fought.

We have had one serious war that was a real threat, the Civil War.

The rest of them, it was always something. Britain busy in lots of places in the Revolutionary War. Britain not sure exactly what they wanted or what they were actually doing in the War of 1812.

Mexico in the Mexican-American War.

A decrepit Spain in the Spanish American War. Assorted involvements in Latin America, and fighting indigenous tribes in the West that were never numerous, organized, or well armed to pose a serious threat.

WWI we come in late, and do very little compared to the powers that had been waging war since 1914. Although the fact that another major power was aligned against it is probably what made Germany throw in the towel in that one.

WWII, again a latecomer, Russia carries most of the war, and we somehow emerge from it as the preeminent power in the world.

Korea? A draw, and you can argue a mistake in it ever starting.

Vietnam? If you look at who we were facing, and the way it played out, it might be a draw technically, but it sure felt like a loss.

Desert Storm? Well we finally did something right.

Assorted Crap since 2001 - I have my opinions. "Full of Sound and Fury and Signifying Nothing" probably describes what I think of it.

We suck at war. At least compared to the Brits, the Russians, the French, the Germans when they are interested.

Two oceans and a lot of dumb luck describe our military history. Call it skill if you want.

We have one super power. We can nuke stuff. But lots of other people can say the same, so it's no real power at all.

rightsaidfred said...

What's the point of having this superb military that you're always talking about if we can't use it?--Madeleine Albright, 1990, prior to the Bosnian good times.

Bert said...

I think most African nations would rather refuse foreign aid than cave to Western homosexuals.

A couple years ago the UK tried something similar, only to sheepishly backtrack when Ghana told them to shove it.

Noah172 said...

The divide in American politics is less left-right as it is globalist-nationalist. Immigration, international trade, foreign affairs, affirmative action, the power of elites in business, culture, and education: middle-class white (and native black) Americans are on one side, represented by "fringe" "kooky" people like Ross Perot, Pat Buchanan, Ron Paul, and even to some degree the Naders and Kuciniches of the left; on the other side are the elites, the moneybags, the coastal cities and top universities, the celebrities and trendsetters, who have the "mainstream" figures of both major parties on very short leashes.

Anonymous said...

Bill Moyers published this?

BILL MOYERS?!?

Lemme run look out my window and check for the levitating swine.

The snowballs in Hades.

Mountain Maven said...

A neoliberal is an old line socialist trying to say he' not.

Anonymous said...

I told someone once that, outside of the USA, I was beginning to root for the Al-Qaeda types in their home countries. I don't want them here, but I can sympathize with their struggle to preserve their culture at home. I actually hope they and other muslims are able to stand up against the cosmopolitan elite.

I also hope Ukrainian gladiators don't go away quietly in the night.

Anonymous said...

If World War G had a website, would it be this?

http://www.globalequality.org/who-we-are/organizational-members

Dan said...

America: the gayest country in the world?

That's what you got for electing Obama.

5371 said...

John "Kerry" Kohn is doing his best to rebrand the US as Big Homo. It will backfire. The more bizarre an adversary's demand, the more stubbornly it is resisted.

Maxwell Power said...

Moyers, a guy who lives off the transfer state and belongs to the "permanent committee" for the Bilderberg dinner club, is no one's idea of a paleo iconoclast but most Internet publishing revolves around enemy-of-my-enemy considerations

Anonymous said...

The Ukraine and Venezuela provide two examples of why our Deep State Elites might like ethnic and religious diversity. Even if there were to be a Great-Awakening-like Christian religious revival here among the various races, our elites can use the immigration of competing religions and encouraging a sort of secular religion for the non-religious by legal enforcement of folkaways such as gay marriage to divide and discourage potential usurpation. What nation on Earth seems to be imposing its will on others the most? Our diverse one, or ethnically traditional ones? Democratic peoples aren't supposed to be so conflict seeking as our foreign policy might suggest as of late. If John McCain had won in '08, there is no telling how many deployed soldiers we'd have now.

Dan said...

See Roger Scruton... He's mapped most of this out already.

Jon said...

They're creating enemies that will fight to the death rather than surrender:

WWII, Korea, Vietnam and before: It won't be a picnic but you'll probably be treated decent as war prisoners go and go home after the end of the conflict.

War on terror: you might be tortured if they think you have info or can pin a war crime on you and kept prisoner indefinitely

Obama and after: you'll be locked up forever, tortured and buggered

mutually assured civil war said...

If "Invade-the-World-Invite-the-World" is getting shortened to "InviteWorld" the way the Anglo-Iranian Oil Co. became BP then there's a real test of partisan dudgeon power coming. Taking Bryan Caplan's sermon that it's immoral (monstrous) not to look after foreigners' well-being, ergo keep up our regimen of compulsory gay-pride hospitality to draw in as many of them as possible, because vibrancy, etc. there remains the problem that our "competitive leverage" from being so tolerant may not register with the troglodytes of Uganda or wherever, or much worse these folks might now be satisfied just not by having homos on TV everywhere 24/7. Sure there will still be gung-ho consultants arguing to bring Gay Democracy to Kiev via the USAF but how will they get the wannabe-Quaker "speak truth to power" white university employees on board? The latter could plausibly argue that the military is obsolete, due to abrogating the borders, or at least should fund itself by bake sales, etc. Pace Steven Pinker, something's gonna have to give--we can't expect to win over the homophobic Russian grizzly by our superior mash-up DJs and interior design advantage. Has anyone worked out the contingency simulations?

no logo for old men said...

InviteWorld(tm) will become "The IW Pledge" or something public-spirited like that; roll out the campaign "I am IW" with various hued Eskimos and Dinka and colorful Hindus. They can have TV spots like those HealthCare ads running now, looking like a dash-cam about to show an old woman getting mowed down in the crosswalk, but out of nowhere to help her emerges this huge vato with tats (or better yet, a Dinka herdsman). I'm kind of stoked to have lived long enough to see reality fully resembling the plots of Max Headroom or Robocop.

leftist conservative said...

world war G, world war T, etc is all another manifestation of mass hysteria.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you read too much into it again - overcomplicating a situation is just as fatal to analysis as undercomplicating it.

The USA got mired in Afghanistan purely out of revenge for 9/11 and the urget to get Bin Laden - (who in the end was being sheleterd by a load of duplicitous and wily Pakistamis).
All this talk of 'women's rights' was and is pure guff to cover the aggressive intervention.

Similarly, the Iraq debacle was purely the backwash of the 1991 conflict, which was all about securing oil supplies. All the talk about 'spreading democracy' was just a load of shit too.

Peter the Shark said...

@sunbeam -

Arguably no country has been good at conventional war since the 19th century, which is probably why conventional warfare is obsolete. WWI was an unmitigated disaster for every European power involved. The US and Japan did well because they sat on the sidelines and then picked up scraps at the end. WWII was a disaster for Germany, obviously, but took a heavy toll on France and England and resulted in the final collapse of their empires. Russia "won" but at a tremendous human cost that resulted in their empire simply imploding within 45 years of victory. Again the US "won" by mostly sitting out the difficult bits, and coming in as a relief pitcher. Since WWII no major power has been able to accomplish much of anything militarily. You outlined the US misadventures, but the Russian/USSR track record is even more pathetic - a huge death count in Afghanistan for no purpose, barely holding on in the Caucuses, some farcial interventions in Africa in the 60s/70s, that's about it. China flailed around in Vietnam to no purpose in the 80s, the UK had the Falklands, that's about it. The point of a military in the 21st century is to pacify civilian populations within one's own sphere of interest. Attempts to expand one's sphere militarily generally go badly. The modern strategy is to expand one's sphere through economic and cultural levers, and then send in troops afterwards to clean up. Putin gets this - he has been far more succesful at bringing Kazakhstan back into the fold through economic pressure than Yeltsin was in Chechnya with tanks. The war in Ukraine between the West and Russia is being waged with economic and cultural levers as well. If Putin is patient he will probably win that war.

Anonymous said...

"What do people here think it would take for an authentic right-wing populism to emerge in the US?"

Nothing imo. America is so big it makes it easy for TPTB to replace the white population one neighborhood at a time so long as they control the media.

The strategy in the US needs to be the other way round i.e. promote individual intellectual and emotional secession from USUK. If this reaches a tipping point people will start building lifeboats automatically.

Eric said...

...and an economic system that manifestly privileges the interests of the affluent at the expense of those hard-pressed to make ends meet.

I was with him until there. I don't see that the system "privileges" the affluent except to the extent they're connected to the government.

Anonymous said...

Ukraine

Putin's problem with playing the Great Game in the surrounding countries is he has a choice between using nationalists who are by definition going to be anti-Russian and corrupt crooks.

This means the neocons and EUSUK have a built in advantage as they can use their selection of corrupt crooks plus the nationalists while Putin only has his selection of corrupt crooks.

The judo move here is very counter-intuitive.

In reality Putin can offer the nationalists more as both EUSUK and the neocons want to destroy all the European nations and are only using the nationalists as streetmeat.

The thing is it doesn't matter if the nationalists are anti-Russian as long as they are equally or more anti EUSUK, neocon and banking mafia.

If Russia gets all the people who feel Russian in one nation-state then having a wedge of smaller countries ruled by the most virulent nationalists possible creates an excellent buffer zone that can be extended westwards like a reverse NATO.

So outside Russia proper Putin should support the most virulent pro self-determination nationalists as long as they are equally or more anti all outsiders as they are anti Russian.

Chicago said...

Bacevich's son was killed in Iraq so it's probable that he regrets not having done something to prevent him from going there in the first place. His son died for nothing and the realization of that must be very painful, something he likely feels every single day along with all the rest of the affected families.

Anonymous said...

@sunbeam

More skill than luck, I'd day.

Fighting strong enemies when they
are already been properly softened up, or presenting weak enemies as juggernauts to win glorious victories.

Just imagine how D-Day would have gone if the Germans had concluded a separate peace with the Russians a few months earlier.

The Anti-Gnostic said...

Is it just me, or does the Left seem to be getting more shrill and manic?

The social experimentation with the military is especially disturbing. It's becoming a gay, female pageant. And what women and their homosexual friends enter, men leave.

Anonymous said...

Kerry is a bungling buffoon who makes me guffaw whenever I see this imbecile's face on television. Fortunately, I am not American.

I hope Putin sends troops into Ukraine (nothing against anti-Russia Ukrainians) but it will show Obama to be the hapless misfit that he really is.

Big Bill said...

I swear, the only thing that is going to stop this endless warmongering is to start drafting Jewish college boys.

That is what got us out of Vietnam.

And that is what is close to tearing Israel apart.

David said...

Evolution hasn't stopped. Mutants are still appearing, including neuro-mutants. Nature would dispose of them; meanwhile the "tacit consensus" promotes them worldwide by coercion.

It has been observed that psychopathy is endemic to neoliberal institutions such as the modern corporation.

Mr. Anon said...


"Troubled by an anti-gay movement in Uganda and across much of the world, the U.S. is launching a new effort to combat what Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday as a threat to human rights."

Of course if the USA had not started agressively pushing the homosexual agenda - if we had not become gay-this, gay-that, gay-the-other, gay-all-the-time-24-7, Uganda would not have enacted that law.

Mr. Anon said...

Jon said...

They're creating enemies that will fight to the death rather than surrender:

WWII, Korea, Vietnam and before: It won't be a picnic but you'll probably be treated decent as war prisoners go and go home after the end of the conflict.

War on terror: you might be tortured if they think you have info or can pin a war crime on you and kept prisoner indefinitely

Obama and after: you'll be locked up forever, tortured and buggered."

Quite true. It kind of reminds me of the punchline to an old joke:

"Death...........by Bula Bula!"

Mr. Anon said...

"Sequester Grundleplith said...

What do people here think it would take for an authentic right-wing populism to emerge in the US?"

The cessation of all professional sports (including college sports) and video games.

Possibly? A new populace.

Power Child said...

I don't know if this is a coincidence or not, but Progressives are pursuing WWG the same way they pursued the War on Drugs. I find that interesting.

-Scapegoat domestic opponents and label all opposition as extremist ("There are no moderate/temperate drug users." "There are no reasonable, non-bigoted objections to LBGTQXYZ causes.")

-Immediately hard-code globalism into the cause ("Let's organize the Shanghai Opium Convention, and let's deny support to any allies who don't enact copies of our drug laws!" "Let's boycott Russia for being homophobic!")

-Escalate and expand rhetoric ("Opium was just the beginning, now we need bans on morphine, heroin, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, LSD, marijuana, crack, cough medicine, bath salts..." "World War G was so last year, now we need World War T!")

The Neocons, recognizing the Invade the World/Invite the World potential of the cause, will jump on board and convince respectable Republicans that WWG is part of the conservative identity. Many conservatives will dutifully offer up the Neocons' pro-LGBTQWXYZ* talking points. Libertarians and young liberals will push back. People will believe this is always how viewpoints have been aligned.

SFG said...

"What do people here think it would take for an authentic right-wing populism to emerge in the US? As with our host, Bacevich's writing often implicitly raises this question. What has to happen for the people getting screwed by the neoliberal consensus (i.e. almost all of us) to act?"

That's the advantage of diversity--you have the black and white masses fighting each other. Closest you've got is evangelical Christianity.

David M. said...

"Bacevich's son was killed in Iraq so it's probable that he regrets not having done something to prevent him from going there in the first place."

He was already opposed to the Iraq war well before that. I haven't looked into it that closely, but I think his opinions seem pretty much the same as before the loss of his son.

Luke Lea said...

Also tacitly agreed: to keep immigration and a frank appraisal to the effects of free trade with China on American wages off the table. Ditto for new statutory limitations on wages and hours, wage subsidies to compensate for the effects of trade and immigration, the possibilities of a graduated expenditure tax.

In short, the agenda of the next generation.

Jennifer said...

Is it just me, or does the Left seem to be getting more shrill and manic?

It's not just you. One interesting trend is the cultural left doing to white women now what it did to white men in the 70s and 80s. On Twitter and Tumblr you can be as misogynist as you want as long as you cloak it in anti-racism, i.e. aim it at white women. The anti-white histrionics are getting more extreme, and curiously they're aimed more often now at white women than white men.

Liberal feminist websites are roiling with denunciations of "white feminism" for not accepting that World War T and World War P (legalized prostitution) are the urgent issues of the day. Never mind that most nonwhites outside the liberal online bubble either don't give a rat's ass about these issues, or disagree with liberal nonwhites.

Unsurprisingly, nonwhite liberal feminists feel no solidarity with white women at all, and hate them more than they ever could white men. I saw one even say that they're waging a "war on white women". Even the POC bootlick Laurie Penny came in for a beatdown last week.

I think it's going to take a while to shake out, but I predict quite a bit of white female flight from liberal feminism and the cultural left in general. Regarding the left's control mechanism of reproductive rights, recall that smarter white women don't get that many abortions.

Believe it or not, I see signs of white libfems getting tired of kissing black ass and realizing lefty men have a ton of unacknowledged misogyny themselves.

Sequester Grundleplith said...

@Dan

What has Roger Scruton written about this? I like him on aesthetics and the history of philosophy; I wasn't aware he had done anything about neoliberalism and contemporary politics. TIA

By way of answering my own question: I don't think anything short of economic or environmental catastrophe will touch off an effective right-populist movement (i.e. one whose foot soldiers aren't middle-aged supply-chain managers in tricorn hats). One doesn't wish for disaster, but current policy makes it well-nigh inevitable so in my book this is hoping for the best.

Hacienda said...

America: the gayest country in the world?

That's what you got for electing Obama.
----------------

Comments like these are why neoconservatives never win.

Anonymous said...

I hear 1/3 of young people who reject Christianity do so cuz they don't like what the Church says about homos.

So, they'd rather believe in fairies than in God.

It used to be only kids believed in fairies. Today, adults seem to worship them.

Anonymous said...

WWG is just smokescreen for WWJ. It's been nothing but WWJ in the middle east and elsewhere.

Without the backing of Jewish power, does anyone really think homos would be exerting all this pressure in US, EU, and Eastern Europe? I mean come on.

Anonymous said...

We should forget all about the Gays because we owe slaves a huge debt.

Anonymous said...

American soldiers deployed abroad are not and never have been fighting for America's freedom. This is pure propaganda.

jody said...

"I told someone once that, outside of the USA, I was beginning to root for the Al-Qaeda types in their home countries. I don't want them here, but I can sympathize with their struggle to preserve their culture at home. I actually hope they and other muslims are able to stand up against the cosmopolitan elite."

this is what's behind the recent putin admiration. putin is not a good guy. but he does tell obama to shove it.

"John "Kerry" Kohn is doing his best to rebrand the US as Big Homo."

lol. big homo. good stuff. first we had big oil. then big gov. now, big homo. compliance with big homo is not voluntary, as we're finding out.

i bet the current administration really does wish it could get rid of big oil and turn the US into big homo, big marijuana, big brown. everything they do suggests it.

government monopoly (by force, of course) on marijuana production. no, you're NOT allowed to grow your own. MORE law enforcement, not less. and NO imports. it's not a free market. when you buy alcohol or tobacco, you have a choice of producers. won't be the case with drugs. no competition, high prices, high taxes, central government decides who can produce and sell, violators are stopped under the threat of government guns.

can barely even fit big healthcare into this post, but it's humorous if nothing else how democrats don't want their own 'settled' law, and keep pushing it back, yet hope to implement it in a totalitarian way as well, whenever they do get around to not pushing it back anymore.

Anonymous said...

"I don't see that the system "privileges" the affluent except to the extent they're connected to the government."

Well you see it then. It's called regulatory capture or corporatism. The government is bought by the rich to rig the game in their favor.

Anonymous said...

I think the Military Industrial Complex screwed up when it allowed the USSR to be driven to bankruptcy.

Anonymous said...

Bacevich is the type that should be a senator, governor, or president if our country had not gotten all f'ed up since Ike. He is a Midwestern-Catholic soldier-scholar.

A decent man. Which means that he is lucky to have attained as much as he has. But if he keeps criticizing abortion and homosex, his tenure may not save him from defenestration.

As to our host Sailer, in a just world he would host a weekly show on PBS like Dick Cavett or Charlie Rose. But Sailer is also a good man and he speaks truth, which are hindrances to having a career.

Anonymous said...

"Comments like these are why neoconservatives never win."

Neocons don't care if they don't win as long as Jews win.

If neocons had to choose between Liberal Jewish victory and conservative Christian victory, they'll choose the former.
Neocons didn't come over to conservatism to serve conservatism but to make conservatism serve Jewish interests.

In fact, if neocons feel that destroying American conservatism from within will aid Jewish power, they will do just that.

So, neoconism is just ONE instrument of Jewish power among many others.
Notice how neocons attack Liberalism but never Jewish Liberalism.
And they agree with Liberal Jews about the wasp golfocaust.

Neoconism is a shtick. Neocon Jews are Jews firs and ideologues second. They USE neoconism than ARE neocons.

Jews are odd in being both the most theoretical/abstract people in the world of ideas and the most tribal people in terms of identity.

But this has origins in their religion: universal formless God but One who favors the Jews as the 'Chosen'.

Anonymous said...

I'm grateful my father was a prisoner of the Luftwaffe.

Those who were held by the Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Vietnamese didn't come home in anything like the same numbers.

goatweed

Rohan Swee said...

Jennifer: I think it's going to take a while to shake out, but I predict quite a bit of white female flight from liberal feminism and the cultural left in general[...]

Believe it or not, I see signs of white libfems getting tired of kissing black ass and realizing lefty men have a ton of unacknowledged misogyny themselves.


One can hope. On the one hand, the pool of "ex-liberals" will always replenish at a natural rate due to age, marriage, the arrival of children, etc. (And the women among these ex-liberals have been complaining of the misogyny of leftist men since my college days.) On the other hand, in the past the distasteful necessity of having constantly to kiss vibrant ass didn't exist for most feminists and liberals, because all said and done their lives were as lily-white as any cartoon reactionaries - so maybe you're right and the wheel is turning. If so, viva feminist "white flight". It should be highly entertaining, if nothing else. Speaking of which:

Even the POC bootlick Laurie Penny came in for a beatdown last week.

Almost makes me want to break down and search twitter and tumblr for the highlights. I did enjoy David Starkey's smackdown of this "jumped up public school girl".

Anonymous said...

WW G: http://dailycaller.com/2014/02/27/harlem-pastor-says-obama-is-turning-black-men-gay/

Simon in London said...

sunbeam:
"We suck at war. At least compared to the Brits, the Russians, the French, the Germans when they are interested."

America is really good at logistics and supply, better than anyone else. There are a lot of things you're not the best at, all else being equal, but America is pretty good at ensuring that all else is rarely equal.

Whiskey said...

It looks like Putin will use force to take the Ukraine as a puppet state. The US and the West has neither the will nor the ability to stop him.

And the issue is ... GAS. Ukraine has even more natural gas reserves than the US, and has signed massive fracking agreements with Chevron and so forth. Putin is in the habit of turning off the gas taps to the Ukraine and Western Europe in the middle of winter to jack up prices. Since Russia has only Gas and Oil to export, and nothing else of any value that anyone will pay for, this is his only play.

The genius of the Russian people is handcuffed by the gangster regime that Russia has always produced. Putin even if he wanted to, and likely he does not because it would create a power challenge to himself, cannot allow an ordinary civil society with non-exploitation resources to emerge. Because a Silicon Valley in Russia, or Ikea, or Wal-Mart, or GM, or Boeing, would challenge the exploitation oligarchs and their whole power structure.

So the whole thing in the Ukraine was mostly about Ukranians wanting to Frack to get money and stop being poor; overlaid with Ukraine vs. Russian ethnic conflict. And Putin wanting to crush that to maintain the money flow.

ricpic said...

Authentic right wing populism will only emerge after a horrific economic implosion. Only under conditions of extreme pressure will the enraged and utterly decimated middle class white majority turn ferociously on the tormentor ruling class and that class's pet rock the blacks. When the ruling class yoke and its transfer payments become not a pain in the butt, when they become absolutely insupportable and therefore intolerable, then and only then will the yoke be thrown off violently. And for the generations that follow that revolt there will be none zero nada tolerance for any hint of the welfare state.

Well, that was a nice fantasy. What's more likely to come will be a thousand year reich by and for the beautiful with-it anointed ones, i.e. the same ruling class that sits on our heads today.

Anonymous said...

"Troubled by an anti-gay movement in Uganda and across much of the world, the U.S. is launching a new effort to combat what Secretary of State John Kerry described Wednesday as a threat to human rights."

What better way for the party to accumulate lots of cash for the 2016 election?

RonMexico said...

sunbeam:
"We suck at war. At least compared to the Brits, the Russians, the French, the Germans when they are interested."

Tough to measure that when we haven't fought anyone besides ourselves within the US for 200 years. We play every game on someone else's field.

Brent A. said...

"Anonymous" at 2/27/14, 12:56 PM is absolutely correct about Bacevich. He is a decent, dutiful pillar-of-society type who in an earlier era would be a senator, governor, or something of the sort.

Today, I am happy he is not a senator. With his honest, ethical nature I don't think he belongs in our sordid Congress. Can you imagine him having to deal with Feinstein/McCain all day?

And yes, Steve should definitely have a Charlie Rose-like perch on TV somewhere in a just world.

Anonymous said...

It looks like Putin will use force to take the Ukraine as a puppet state. The US and the West has neither the will nor the ability to stop him.

Actually I would like to see a conventional showdown. I don't want to see any more Slavs get hurt since they have suffered as much or more than anyone. But if conflict happens, I'd love to see the sissified Europeans take it on the chin. I'd like to see the EU and Nato broken. The Russians would probably be willing to take some casualties because Ukraine is important to them and part of the cradle of their history. To the Europeans and Americans it is just a plaything that our bankster want to control. I doubt the West would have much of a stomach for casualties. And if a defeat could hasten the disintegration of the EU, and maybe the collapse of Nato, so much the better.

jody said...

"Since Russia has only Gas and Oil to export, and nothing else of any value that anyone will pay for, this is his only play."

lol ok. russia is only the world's chief weapons supplier. how do you think EVERY insurgency in the entire world ends up with AKs and RPGs. is that magic?

i'm pretty sure somebody is paying for all that russian military hardware which seems to show up whenever something is going down. heavy machineguns, missile batteries, tanks, jets have a strange habit of finding their way across the globe.

they have a lot of coal too. not that they need to step it up on the coal export front. australia and the US are already exporting millions of tons of coal to china every year. but if russia wanted to start exporting coal it could do that too. it has the second largest reserves in the world.

did you know the US purchases 10% of it's nuclear reactor fuel...from russia? in a program called megatons to megawatts. people are also buying russian nuclear reactors. russia is building about 15 VVER reactors for other countries.

weird thing i discovered: russia is the leading producer of diamonds.

Anonymous said...

Bacevich found the campus most amenable to someone like him: Boston University under the late John Silber.

Silber was a very smart and interesting guy, and brooked no nonsense while building BU into the respected school it is now, not an easy thing in Boston's atmosphere of academic arrogance. I'll always love him for his harassment and regular verbal beatdowns of pompous ass Howard Zinn, even denying him pay raises and a sabbatical.

Anonymous said...

And no...women are just as interesting as men. What your seeing today is simply a reflection of who is in control of Hollywood.

Lucille Ball getting in trouble all the time was way better than watching Ricky work :) hehehehe

Brent A. said...

I'd like to see a (at least nominally) Catholic school like Boston College or Georgetown or Catholic U. bring in Andrew Bacevich as provost or president.