When will America confront its blood-spilling predators and end this addiction to war?
There will never be an end to the blood spilling until We the People wake up, in mass, to the fact that the parties of the Duopoly are inextricably tied to the Military Industrial Complex, and that “Peace on Earth” are “Dirty Words” to both.
Dear Mr. Bacevich, How shall I begin? I want to get to the meat of your piece about our military oppression and disaster, all over the world, now, and for what seems like forever. However, I must object to your term “high jinks” to describe Weinstein’s behavior, and all the rest reported lately. Webster’s defines high jinks as “boisterous or rambunctious carryings-on” and Wikipedia says it’s “a prank or frolic–carefree antics, or horseplay.” An unfortunate choice of words by you. The ‘METoo’ phenomena is long overdue. Women are gaining in some economic and professional power, in our country, and so, perhaps have the chance to address this male dominance and behavior at long last, and on the stage of popular culture.
And maybe sex and the power it confers, or does not confer, is related to our US All war-- All the time status in the world. A subject for long discussion and fraught with so much, I think. The one, though should not be evaluated and compared to the other, as to its seriousness to engage us, I hope you agree?
So, I for one, am sick to death of calling, marching, making signs, writing letters, meeting with my Congressperson and Senator’s offices, solo and with my peace group, about: Vietnam, Dominican Republic, Panama, Chile, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Yugoslavia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, --all of those benighted places., where people are denied the right to live a normal life, and children to know something besides war. Maybe the two subjects are related, by the assumption of power, and the fear of not being top dog in the world, the idea that our predation is assured and assumed to be rational and approved of? But now, it’s all unleashed on the world, and has such a structure and we all assume it’s not overturnable, that diplomacy will not be used, and is not valued. And we give up, in our hopes for less war and more ‘jar-jar’, as Winston Churchill, I think, called it? I admire your mind and writing, and the persistence you show in keeping on with it, for our benefit. Maybe you should visit young people’s peace and justice groups a bit, interact with them, since they and their peers inherit the war-making status quo you so seriously and eloquently decry? And then, report back, write on your experiences. (And don’t forget the issues of race and police violence, and Black Lives Matter–also related to power and dominance).
The old white generals, Congressional enablers and funders-- even the greedy contractors will die out at some point. Maybe you can have a part in encouraging the young in a way out of this morass. Sorry for the length of this; you always make me think.
“So, too, did attempts to reduce the production of the opium that has funded the Taliban insurgency, alas with essentially no effect whatsoever.”
*For some reason, that reminds me of the photo I saw about a year ago of US troops guarding a poppy field. The CIA, amongst others, thrives on poppy juice. They just don’t want it going to other distributors. They don’t like competition on the streets.
We’ve practically canonized various military leaders at the Pentagon and the Whitehouse, sure they are the adults in the room. Over the years, same story.
Why cannot we listen to Andrew Bacevich?
He knows all the restraining factors that prevent this change from occurring but war, more than any other single thing, is hurting our country, our youth, our budget.
Time to face the music and give it up.
It isn’t that most people in the U.S. don’t care, more that they are more fully aware of the control the MIMIC has over our so-called ‘government’ and its foreign policy on behalf of the corporate masters and ultimate beneficiaries of same.
We’re in a war? why haven’t the American people been informed? The media TV and print or social media don’t talk about being in a war, I mean it wasn’t declared. We don’t see body bags coming home, rarely see a devastating consequences of war, don’t talk about men/women coming home crippled et al.
Oh, the defense industry i.e. bombs, more bombs, Humvees, bullets, armor, fossil fuel industry all making billions off this 16 year continual waring and death and destruction.
But we Americans (most of us but not those serving) still can party like it is 1990 and shop til we drop.
There is more truth, honesty and wisdom in the words of this article than there is in the combined total of every word that has been spoken by this Administration, this Congress and all of the media pundits. I wish this man were President, or at least Secretary of State!
Thank you, Mr. Bacevich, for telling the truth! If only the people would listen! If only they cared! The truth is here before them. To ignore it will be a tragedy of epic proportions.
America’s addition to war is intertwined with the addiction to TV. TV is an electronic box which often screams loud, overt war messages, but mostly delivers a constant steam of semi-subliminal war messages, presenting the a fictional world view where the US is peaceful & sane, surrounded by hoards of violent brown people.
Also: Obama, Bill Maher & Rachel Maddow taught liberals to love war, and no matter they say, they do love it.
Well, if I were president, I’d first want from my generals an historical list of wars fought and problems forever solved in the fighting thereof.
Then they could lull me to sleep with their fantasies.
Important piece, but left out the fact that rape and the selective mass murder of women and children have become standard operating procedures in all wars by all sides - including our “warriors.”
The only part of this where I could disagree with Bacevich is when he says that Trump’s version of the Afghan war will be more of the same. What most US media reports miss about the recent victory over ISIS is that, with Trump’s approval, Mattis supervised a mass slaughter of civilians in Mosul, Raqqa and smaller towns. This also is the strategy of US-supported Saudis in Yemen, with the addition of famine and epidemic disease to complete the mass killing initiated by air attacks and naval blockades. By directly targeting civilians, it is possible to wipe out any insurgency. I hope I am wrong but it appears that the new “winning” US strategy is deliberate, rather than accidental, massacre of innocent people in the Muslim world.
Very, very important point.
Whilst I heartily applaud most of what Bacevich has written, I have some questions for him:
- Which part of Eisenhower’s Valedictory did he not understand? The MIC is not about winning wars, only about waging wars - in fact the last thing they want s to win because then the game is over. Only constant war guarantees constant profit.
- Why don’t you admit what any fool can see. Control of Opium (Cocaine etc.) production is also part of the profits to accrue to the MIC. Opium prouction was almost wiped out under the Taliban.
- The same old CIA disinformation/red herring about JFK’s sexual predations. What happens between consenting adults is their business. From my understanding of JFK (best encapsulated in James Douglass’ book , “JFK & The Unspeakable” he knowingly put his neck on the block in opposing the MIC. So the fact that JFK averted nuclear holocaust and saved the whole of Humanity is surely a positive note to balance against the moral turpitude claimed by his enemies?
To drag JFK into the wrong side of this argument, when he was the most powerful and eloquent champion of Peace is a tragedy for the general public, but a serious flaw in a historian who espouses peace. Has he not heard of the Peace Speech to the American University of June 10th 1963?https://www.jfklibrary.org/Asset-Viewer/BWC7I4C9QUmLG9J6I8oy8w.aspx
Having read a couple of Mr. Bacevich’s books and many of his articles I find much to admire but, I continue to be amazed that he blames the American people for their insensitivity and stupidity which allows these wars to continue. Surely, Mr. Bacevich should know that Americans are purposely kept in the dark by the skillful manipulation of propaganda by the military-industrial complex, “deep state”, or “billionaire oligarchy” that actually runs this country. Mr. Bacevich would have more credibility if he, in addition to pointing out the problem, also placed the blame where it belongs. That might create some enemies that Mr Bacevich does not want to make but, a risk, in my opinion, he should take for the sake of our country.
the military has been supplying drugs since Vietnam. no surprise . The country has gone downhill since 11/22/63. Peace could NEVER be on the agenda. War and weapons is what we do. God bless America indeed !
Andrew Bacevich is awesome. Thank you!
How long will it take before the public concludes that they have had enough of wars that don’t work?
As opposed to what? Wars that do work? As if winning in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and all the other endless war theaters justifies the destruction and carnage. Bacevich is right on many points, but not on this one.
First, he’s subscribing to the justifiable war myth, as in the war to end all wars, peace though strength, democracy at the point of a gun and all the other nauseating justifications for war down through the ages. As long as any peace movement allows for the concept of a justifiable war, it is doomed from the start. Not only does it justify the murder of civilians in such a war, a la collateral damage, it also gives the war lobby an opportunity to present their case and present it they will, through the mainstream media they control.
Second, Bacevich’s cynicism regarding the public’s obsession with shopping, aside, there is a seldom discussed, very ugly root to much of that indifference. It’s the myth of American Exceptionalism. Once you strip it of its phony nobility to see what is embedded within, you begin to see it for the racist, exploitive, age old de-humnaizing ploy that it is. It’s a belief that Americans are warned never to question or risk being branded a traitor. As with the justifiable war myth, this one needs to be thoroughly exposed for the filth that it is before any peace movement can hope to succeed.
The two evils are intimately related; both are products of male depravity.
My neighbor’s dog is able to see the folly of these wars and the reasons given for starting and continuing them. Sensing that those in control of the government are more savvy than my neighbor’s dog, it follows that the reasons given to us, the people, by those in control, for pursuing these wars are what is known as bullshit.
Moral: Don’t write off to incompetence, or even inertia, what should more correctly be attributed to the pursuit of ulterior hidden goals, goals that the American people would not support.
On the horizon: Israel and its neocons acolytes want Iran enfeebled or regime changed, so expect to see bullshit demonization of, and rationalizations for actions against, Iran. If we get in a quagmire there, our actions may seem like failure to us, while what Israel and the neocons wanted is achieved.