Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2019/10/31/why-those-endless-wars-must-never-end
From the article:
“The real issue, according to McConnell, is preserving ‘the post-World War II international system’ that, he asserts, ‘has sustained an unprecedented era of peace, prosperity, and technological development.’”
Does anyone need further proof that McConnell is either delusional or a mendacious hack? Twump, in his own broken-clock way–as Bacevich notes–has become the little boy who wouldn’t be fooled about the Emperor’s bare ass.
I wonder Andy, what hope there is in any president, even
a sane one, ending the military-industrial complex required
endless wars. Look what happened to JFK (Nov.1963),
when he suggested that very thing in his June 10th American
University Address, signaling the end of the Cold War.
I would argue that the assassinations of JFK;MLK; and RFK sent the message loud and clear that endless wars must never end.
Bacevich is one of the most intelligent and imaginative writers on public affairs we have, and he is not often mistaken. The Taliban, however, DID surrender, unconditionally, and offered to disarm completely.
Here is the story, from Anand Gopal’s well-received but little noticed book, No Good Men Among the Living:
"His back to the wall, Mullah Omar [leader of the Taliban] drew up a letter to Hamid Karzai, acknowledging his selection as interim president. The letter also granted Omar’s ministers, deputies, and aides the right to surrender.
…On December 5  a Taliban delegation arrived at the US special forces camp north of Kandahar city to officially relinquish power…[The Taliban]…pledged to retire from politics and return to their home villages. Crucially, they also agreed that their movement would surrender arms, effectively ensuring the Taliban could no longer function as a military entity. There would be no jihad, no resistance from the Taliban to the new order…1
1See, Anand Gopal, No Good Men Among the Living , New York: Picador, 2014. p 47.
President Bush refused the offer, so here we are 18 years later, still fighting.
I don’t mean this correction to be a stupid “gotcha:” in fact, Gopal’s book reinforces Bacevich’s argument–that the momentum of endless war seems unstoppable. It CAN be stopped eventually, however, but only if its tragic folly is first recognized and shouted out, and Bacevich has done that in his brilliant piece.
I wonder if the fat one’s sycophants will turn on him for impeachment, so the reins will be handed to Pence, who is Armageddon Boy and will no doubt push for war until he gets to push the button and stand on a mountain top to be whisked into the clouds. Boy, is he in for a surprise!
I’d say, support Bernie, the Green New Deal, Single Payer, and help return the world to sanity.
Just one old man’s opinion, but my memories go back to pre-WW-II.
great article, but I am left wondering, with Bernie’s knee jerk reaction in a previous debate to the question about Maduro in Venezuela, how could he possibly reign in these endless wars? Bernie called Maduro a criminal and all but advocated for his removal, sounding really, like an ordinary US politician
“Thou shalt not prevent the commander-in-chief from doing what he deems necessary. Give that thread a good yank and the entire moth-eaten fabric of U.S. national security policy just might become undone. Yet it will take someone with greater determination, consistency, and strength of character than Donald Trump to perform this necessary task.”
My often preference Commandment in King James “to not bear false witness” - Catholics won that one. Without ‘technically’ lying, one can deceive or knowingly (possibly unknowingly) mislead others to believe lies. “Thou shalt not kill” somehow does not apply in tactical destruction. Maybe God wanted his heirs to say “No thank you, we’d rather wander aimlessly instead of kill.” Most veterans oppose war, too many for worst imaginable memory block.
I’d like everyone to believe me when I rant on about self-driving AV tech as an “actual fraud” committed daily in Bezos and fellow futurist BS artists scam. Oh sure, we’d rather “ONE” of their semi-freight truck get battery/solar array resources OR as many as “200” Prius category weight class Asian/European hybrid (PHEV) household and system/mini-grids. Amazon buying up battery supply is scary, BOOoooOOoooo. (yeh, yew heard wut I sayd raht)
John Sebastian “I had a dream last night” comes to mind.
Those miniature tanks in the accompanying photo emphasize trump’s hands and brain.
Of COURSE the never ending wars are a racket. Anyone doubt it?
We create terrorists so there is ample reason for the continuation, and expansion of the MIC. Bigger defense budgets, and political cover.
Not to worry. We’ve had a war every 20 years throughout our short existence.
And I would agree Shan,
Andrew has nailed it. Despite all - here is the first glimmer of ending the current paradigm.
As I see it, the MIT has simply disregarded Trump, and carried on - a certain look at who is really in charge.
Is it possible there is some wisdom in Trump voters ?
I’ll venture further. Trump is disarmingly honest in his dishonesty. He is a wheeler dealer, and doesn’t deny it.
Who is more dishonest - Obama, purportedly a constitutional lawyer - or Trump ?
A race to the bottom - maybe the wave’s trough has been sounded, and up is possible ?? Sure hope so ~
I think Bacevich is talking about an idealized strategic minded version of Trump rather than the actual one that we actually have occupying the office. It isn’t that the real Trump has conned Bacevich into thing that there is method to his bumbling, it is that Bacevich can’t bring himself to believe that anyone could occupy the most powerful political office and not be strategically minded. So Bacevich tries to impart a behind the scenes gravitas of intent to a posturing demagogue’s public persona.
To put it another way, Bacevich just can’t accept that a vainglorious buffoon is actually the President… but he tries.
My heart goes out to the Kurds who thought the US was an ally.
1st trump pulls our troops and and invites Turkey to kill the Kurds and take the land they lived on. The US promised them freedom and land to live on. Now they have no land as Turkey has decided to expand the land they told trump they would take.
2nd None of this would have happened if the US didn’t attack Iraq and ask for the Kurds’ help. Yes Saddam was a bad guy, but then again our ‘allies’ the Saudis are not very good at all.
3rd We didn’t need to attack the taliban, they were willing to offer up Bin Laden if we didn’t attack them. And sure the taliban are not very nice either. But if the US was going to say that all bad groups that control a country were removed, a number of our allies would have to go.
We have spent decades in the ME interfering in the affairs of so many countries. We put the Shah into power in Iran. We put the Saudis into power. We put Saddam into power. and on and on. Because as trump made obvious, it’s about the oil.
I guess mitch lives in an alternative reality, because peace has been lacking. And the prosperity is only for the rich. I will give him the technology. But 1 out of 3 is not a winning %.
You are one of the few people who have brought up the fact that the Taliban was willing to surrender and Bush said no. I have been telling people for years that we didn’t need to continue the war against them. They also offered to give up Bin Laden.
The only reason I can think of why Bush decided to continue the war was because he promised to bring democracy to the ME. And they had made him mad.
Of course he was quite willing to let the dictators on our side remain in power. Which meant no democracy for our ‘friends’. And it was our ‘friends’ where the suicide 9/11 people came from, the Saudis being the majority.
And it was US policy that led Bin Laden to attack the US.
this “buffoon” is trying to end these wars. The village idiot lied us into these wars. HE, the idiot, was never confronted by the media because he did the bidding of the country that rules America.
I don’t believe that. First off, he wants to start a war with Iran and substituting one forever war for a new one is not ending much of anything. I sincerely doubt that Trump has a good grasp of the situation. Likely as not he probably imagines that he does however simply because he surrounds himself with flatterers and yes men who scramble to cover his blundering and try desperately to keep him from making things worse or just f’ing things up in general based on one of his whims and hunches. Odd how autocratic personalities always think that they know best even when it is obvious to everyone else that they don’t!
I suggest that Trump doesn’t really want to end forever wars as much as to concentrate our forces to fight a bigger conflict in the Middle East.
You bet Shan !
I’m up early - been thinking on this article by Andrew Bacevich - thinking hard.
Only a man with Andrew’s credentials could write this and get away with it. Vietnam vet, rose to colonel but NOT to general. Why - I suspect he is too decent a man. After '63 & '68, no one who went on to become a general could have failed to notice the role of the CIA/FBI/Pentagon/MIC/Swamp in the assassinations and cover-ups - it is simply beyond belief that they could have.
Professor of history - American to the core.
Donald Trump and his followers ARE The Revolution ! Trump is the meanest junk yard dog on the planet, and that’s saying something. Irrational, unpredictable, and electable.
If the American political system can see Bernie to THE candidate to confront Trump - all to the good.
If not - the junk yard dog is the only person who can show the world what America has become after the takeover of the Jeffersonian Republic in the sixties.
A pretty sad comment on the world today - but at least there is some reality in it.
A race to the bottom - a gig economy - essentially everyone for themselves - law of the jungle.
I would love to be proven wrong, but from my perspective, Bernie has absolutely no chance to be nominated by the dems. for POTUS in 2020.