consultants are sandburs

Friday, July 25, 2014

"... to combine military power with moral purpose. This we no longer seem to be able to do--largely, in my opinion, because we have lost our broader moral purpose in politics at home."

Wes Volkenant gets credit for pointing out a web resource, where the closing item published last month [dated May 30,2014], among other things, concludes:

And over all this hangs the ever-growing power of capital, of powerful economic institutions led by banks and energy companies, who everywhere now tend to hold sway over their governments. For the last month I have been discussing the economic effects of this situation, drawing on Thomas Piketty's new book. And while the western nations, such as the United States, have state organizations that dispose of more money than ever, most of that money now goes towards education, health care, and pensions. Those are worthy causes, but in a world in which third world populations continue to grow relative to the rest, they do not leave sufficient resources to intervene effectively in any of the conflicts taking place around the world. The American adventures in Iraq and Afghanistan have shown, in my opinion, that even the strongest modern state lacks the manpower and political resources to impose order upon a conflict-ridden third world nation of tens of millions of people. One reason the American political order is in so much trouble is that we have wasted trillions of dollars on essentially futile enterprises, enterprises which did not increase confidence in the government.

John Kerry spoke at his Yale commencement in 1966 about an excess of interventionism. The other day he spoke of an excess of isolationism. It is true that the younger generations (which now means anyone under 53) are not showing their elders' appetite for American world power. But more important, I think, is our inability to affect the course of events around the world, either militarily, or by offering a compelling political example at home and a vision of international affairs to which everyone can subscribe. Franklin Roosevelt's genius, as both I in my book and my friend Nigel Hamilton in his complementary volume, The Mantle of Command, was to combine military power with moral purpose. This we no longer seem to be able to do--largely, in my opinion, because we have lost our broader moral purpose in politics at home.

Yes that last sentence in the quote and the headline talking of "moral purpose" clearly has a higher meaning than the sense of pulpit propagandists' "moral" rhetoric centering on abortion and contraception; a misdirection ruse when "morality" of distribution of wealth and a moral stance toward government service of the needs of the least prosperous in our nation is becoming missing in action in a way that is obscene; Paul Ryan being a standard bearer in that direction. If not evil in intention, then that man is advocating morally evil policies; for whatever motivates him to do that besides reelection in Wisconsin's CD1, and the paycheck and the power. The glory of listening to himself and seeing it taken seriously.

Then there is moral purpose and foreign policy. Remember Bismark noted war was but one instrument of foreign policy, and then he lost his war. Thus proving a policy deficit that would not have accompanied victory.

Readers are urged to follow the link. To explore published opinion by David Kaiser, that site's author.

Bookmark it.

That's the post, for now, except for noting the latest History Unfolding post at this time, "Friday, July 18, 2014 - Who Lost Iraq?" The question coming to mind is whether "lost" is a correct parallel to who lost China, or who lost Vietnam, as the apparent US policy in those situations was Chaing over Mao in the first instance, and in the second mopping up after Dien Bien Phu where an imperial intent of those leading our nation then was multifaceted; in part with an eye to the lack of unification in Korea as well as domino theories that appear as absurd to everyone now as they appeared to the anti-war activist camp then.

Robert McNamara, with guys in suits like this, our moral purpose was lost long ago, in far-off intrigues, drowned in very muddy water, well before Bush II wars and Obama follow-up:

Who Lost Iraq? "Lost" in that context implies an outcome was foreseen and wanted other than what is going on in Iraq now, which as an outcome possibly was a planned scenario from the start. The footing around that who-lost question is as unsure to "us" ordinary outsiders as is the makeup and head count of the Cheney energy policy savants assembled to set oil/geo politics going into the Bush II years. Of the three gentlemen pictured above, only Scowcroft could possibly illuminate any such who-lost questions, by not like the other two being now too dead to talk; never mind the interesting circumstances under which each death happened.

A Post Script - if you go to that History Unfolding resource, and read an item, do not ignore the comment streams. Commenters reach at times, but more often offer a range of dessert courses.

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