“That description applies to the United States as a whole, especially when Americans tire of a misguided war.”
No not everyone, not “the United States as a whole.” Not all of us supported the Vietnam debacle or the other misguided adventurism instigated by the powers that be including Afghanistan.
Responsibility should be put right on the doorstep of those elected officials that supported those follies and made those disasters possible.
The “war is a racket” testimonial written by one Smedley Butler has been around long enough in the USA any American who is informed should be well aware of what these wars really about. As such while acknowledging that there have always been Americans opposed to these wars (and not these I am for Obama’s wars but not Trumps wars types) , there also blame to be cast on persons who volunteer to join the Military.
While the political leaders bear ultimate responsibility , the enablers of the War Culture extend well past them.
After “leaving” Viet Nam the military industrial complex (MIC) realized that ending wars and occupations negatively impacts their revenue stream. MIC then morphed into the military industrial media infotainment complex (MIMIC) to soft sell eternal occupations and wars that would guarantee an eternal revenue stream. Relabeling civilian deaths as “collateral damage” and other propaganda launched during the Gulf War provided the momentum needed for the eternal revenue program to become the resounding success it is today.
Nobody reading this will live long enough to see a demise of MIMIC’s Afghanistan profit center.
That’s what makes me wary of Tulsi: she gratuitously signed up in 2004, after everything had long since, predictably, turned into the usual endless quagmire “over there.” What in the hell is anyone uninvited doing “over there” anyways? Makes me wary of Bacevich too, truth be told. I know from family experience that basic training is designed for and effective at permanent brain damage. Might as well call it Slave-ication.
Now Trump tweeted out that he fired Bolton.
How is he going to find an even more insane National Security Advisor?
“Rule number one of statecraft ought to be: when you’re doing something really stupid, stop”.
The Taliban running Afghanistan is no skin off my nose. From year one, the reasons given the public for remaining in Afghanistan were patently stupid (“we don’t want Afghanistan to be a breeding ground for terrorists” - as if the Taliban doing their breeding in Pakistan would be OK). I’ve thought that those in office were not stupid, they’re really, really smart and informed, so there must have been some hidden agenda. i’ve never been able to find out what the hidden agenda was or is.
He’ll just designate yet another interim acting temporary fall-guy director of this, that, and the other. I make this prediction with high confidence. Also, he’ll continue breaking every law in sight (including meteorological laws, ferkryzakes) while the placeholder opposition continues studying their options and, mainly, worrying out loud about Russia. They call me “Aleph the prophetic, but in a really boring way.”
No, the insane idiot is out now. Hundreds of millions of peoples can take a deep breath. He is a nuke em all guy. Probably disagrees with U.S. army leaving Afghan. He needed them there to invade Iran from the east.
The author, Andrew simply has regret and a guilty conscience.
Eisenhower provided military gear. And much was ‘donated’ by American active duty soldiers.
For the following, you may credit our army, CIA or both.
1962 we had viet cong whipped. They took a six month vacation to regroup, resupply, re-strategize. We protected villages, the farmers. Helped them get their produce to markets.
Summer of 1963, we murdered their president and his brother.
Prez Kennedy was murderd a few months later.
LBJ added more soldiers and marines anytime RFK disagreed with him.
Had we not murdered their president. Had we maintained the defensive posture there, the north army may have stayed home. Off limits for bombing in Northern harbors, rail yards, wharehouses of the north military remains a real question of strategy.
The hidden agenda is hiding in plain sight:
It starts with M and ends with oney.
Mr. Trump indicated that he fired John Bolton because he often contradicted the President and was harming the President’s credibility. That’s great news on two fronts. First, it is important to keep John Bolton’s hawkish views away from any foreign policy making decision. Secondly, this must mean that the President will surely resign immediately. Nobody harms the President’s credibility more than Donald Trump.
Oddly enough, the one area Trump has been consistent in is his commitment to limiting US military entanglements. He rattles the ole saber and sanctions virtually everyone, yet he hasn’t started a war.
On that front, I’ll give him some credit. And in the case of firing Bolton, I’m downright relieved.
I give zero credit - remember that amongst other things he has removed what little safeguards the previous administration had on killing civilians in drone strikes which has resulted in sharp increases in such deaths (e.g. U.S. caused civilian deaths now higher than those caused by the Taliban in Afghanistan).
Well, Trump called off an airstrike against Iran, supposedly concerned about casualties. And I was worried as hell that he’d be listening to Bolton whispering “bomb em” in his ear every day.
So I’ll stick with giving him a modicum of credit.
Thanks Andrew Bacevich - for that heartfelt summary - from experience you speak.
The only thing to do here is GET OUT!. Get out of all of our wars and military misadventures around the World. Close 99% of our overseas bases, which supposedly number around 800, slash the “defense” budget in half, and abolish all 16 or 17 of our so-called “intelligence” agencies as nothing but enforcers for the corporate elite. Quit being an international bully that invades and kills for our own economic and strategic interests and join the family of peaceful nations. Never going to happen, but one can only imagine it.
Andrew B. says: “…The United States and its armed forces had made a gargantuan effort to impart legitimacy to the Republic of Vietnam and to coerce the Democratic Republic of Vietnam to its north into giving up its determination to exercise sovereignty over the entirety of the country.”
It should be the other way around: The North Vietnamese made a gargantuan effort to unify a Viet Nam that had been conquered by the Japanese, colonized by the French, and divided into North and South in 1949 by the Geneva Accords at the behest of the West. The actual Republic of South Vietnam did not exist until 1955–well into our McCarthyite years, almost contemporaneous with the war on Korea–and its purpose was to prevent the Chinese from “stealing the Chevrolets out of our garages” (AlanGinsberg). More lies. More needless deaths.
The “Vietnam War” is a misnomer: it was a colonialist, capitalist War ON Vietnam. The French imperialists were defeated at Dien Bien Phu by the Viet Cong and then America stepped in to continue its illegal domination. Ho Chih Minh finally succeeded in unifying the country.
Just goes to show the truth of Becker’s remark: The urge to overcome Evil is often its father.
Once again, Andrew Bacevich offers a compelling and intense, rueful and even sorrowful accounting of our government’s murderous devotion to telling other countries how they should govern and who they should emulate in their development and allegiance. What I admire about his historical accounting of our government’s lust for war and overlordship, is that he includes himself and his actions as a soldier and in his long-time military career, in his account of the stupid, bloody U.S. history in Vietnam, and now, in the Middle east and Afghanistan. I hope many Americans can come to know his writing, perhaps to gain a different perspective, and maybe decide to support different leaders who have humility and want to pursue a better foreign policy. I am a child of the Vietnam era, tried with my peers to help end it. It marked so many of us. I will always mourn all the dead, ours and theirs…
So what. Send the children of the MIC to die there. Enough is enough.
As they say, it’s complicated.
For whatever reason, young males are attracted to the military, myself included.
Also one must be a bit older often before one realizes one’s government is a corrupt organization run by war criminals. One might need to reach the age of 20 something before one realizes that.
Tulsi and many others bought into the fraud that was 911 and enlisted for the very best of reasons, a defense of country. There is nothing wrong with that. Sadly, war and aggression are part of the human condition. Every person does not join the military to rape and pillage. Some do, but not all.
The country was taken to war under the fraud of 911, and many good and well-intentioned people did not realize that for years. Many still believe the lie, but I digress.