Posted by: quiscus | March 24, 2011

March 24, 2011

1.  “Neocon Foreign Policy

One of the enduring mysteries is why neoconservative foreign policy continues to dominate the Republican Party and also large parts of the Democratic Party even though that policy has been disastrous for the United States.  No one – not even Secretary of Defense Robert Gates – is willing to call the two land wars currently underway in Asia successful and the hemorrhage of more than $12 billion a month to support the conflicts does nothing whatsoever for a struggling US economy unless one is a defense contractor.  Yet the view that the United States must use its waning power to remake much of the globe prevails.  The policy is in some circles underwritten by the myth that the United States is a special nation that makes it somehow immune to the history of the decline and fall of past empires.  The catch phrase “American exceptionalism” persists in the minds of presidential wannabes like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, both of whom conflate the country’s genuinely unique national qualities with a divine right to intervene militarily anywhere and at any time, a continuation in perpetuity of the nearly forgotten Bush Doctrine.

The neocon wordspinners are always ready with a glib turn of phrase to mask reality.  America is not poised to intervene or invade in their minds.  It is instead pursuing a “freedom agenda” and who can criticize freedom?  Tunisia, Egypt, and now even Libya are being welcomed as democracies in the making, though with the usual caveats lest democracy proceed too fast and in the wrong direction.  Hillary Clinton has made it clear that the Obama administration wants to see the proper kind of democratic development even as she privately moves to reassure remaining friendly despots in the Persian Gulf that the United States is not eager to embrace any more regime changes after Gadhafi goes.

2.  “It has become fashionable since 2001 or so to call the situation in America”Orwellian,” but before long, we will need another term, one that refers specifically to post-9/11 America and can be used to describe other phenomena of a similarly creepy and dystopian nature. Even Orwell could not predict what the U.S. has become—the military spies on the American people, federal officials irradiate and molest airline passengers en masse, the state borrows and inflates and spends to undo a crisis caused by borrowing, inflating and spending, and, by the way, we have always been at war with Libya.


The bright side? Their typical propaganda apparatuses are not sufficiently working, perhaps. Even with the corporate media, big business, big labor, both political parties, the public school system, higher education, the press corps and their tentacles on the grip of most organs of the conservative movement and many of the left-liberal ones, the War Party must resort to ever more desperate attempts to shore up support for its wars.”

3.  “ In a breathtaking statement delivered in an official court proceeding, the federal Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims authority to strip search every airline passenger; and to begin such a practice without even soliciting comment from the public.”


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