State personnel and policies are not intertwined with the huge dollar industries that mark the Pentagon's activities. One might claim these connections are innocent (at the peril of sounding credulous, clearly, as Ike wasn't one to see boogy men) but regardless, that's a deep and real difference.
You suggest a particular and very specific reason (Rumsfeld pushing to control foreign aid) things have come to a head. May I ask what data you are privy to in making the claim? It doesn't square with what I've been reading and I'm not at all sure it can account for what we are seeing.
Re resignations...of course, I'm talking about resignations from State, not the Pentagon, made publically, and for reasons specifically related to America's present course of unilateral and pre-emptive war.
One is the loss of language. Calling these guys conservatives when they are really fundamentalist radicals is the first big mistake.
...But Mr. Powell sought to quell fears that, as some in the region have said, Syria might be next on the list for military attention after Iraq.
"There is no list," he said, "there is no war plan right now to attack someone else either for the purpose of overthrowing their leadership or for the purpose of imposing democratic values."
On Monday, Mr. Powell had spoken of imposing diplomatic or economic pressure on Damascus, but also referred to unspecified "other options," and White House aides have pointedly declined to rule out military force...
Before I settle back in comfort, feet up, all being right with the world...are you truly going to insist that the (at least) potential for corruption is equal in all three department interactions with the weapons industry? (we are old friends, and I know I am being a bit flip here for the fun of it, but what's your honest take? And, I ought to further enquire, does this eliminate valid anxieties about the MIC or merely diffuse them over a larger area?)
Re Rumsfeld and Powell....I'm still not convinced. Coincidence of events in time doesn't show causation. That's why I brought up the resignation letters, to demonstrate a clear disagreement within State for Rumsfeld's internationalist policies. Might it be that the disagreement you refer to is something in the craw of Pentagon folks. I confess (you suggest some desired conclusion on my part) that I am much more interested in why State is in disagreement with Rumsfeld's activities than I am with Pentagon folks angry at State for a territorial matter, but that is for all the reasons that everyone is discussing Rumsfeld's motives and actions - it is an extraordinary change in US international policy.
Thanks for clarification. My assumption though, and correct me if I'm wrong, is that the big boys of American military industry(Raytheon, Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, etc) have the DoD as their main customer.
Your last paragraph on State shows a touch of color. More ego driven than Pentagon personnel? And in suggesting this is simply territorial, with attendant loss of budget dollars, you seem to also imply that principle is irrelevant.
perception wrote:perception wrote:
My feeling of vindication is dampened by the exhibition of nihilism displayed by the more fanatical negative participants of this thread. [..]
Anyone desiring more detailed information about this potential force refer to this link:
This is from the link you gave:
"Political Nihilism, as noted, is associated with the belief that the destruction of all existing political, social, and religious order is a prerequisite for any future improvement."
So let us look at the existing political, social, and religious order before this war erupted. There was a totalitarian dictatorship in Iraq. It possibly had WMD, though there was no proof of that. The regime had been curtailed by US and UN as no-fly zones were imposed and Kurds got their autonomy. On the international level, the world had gotten to the point where any country aiming for a military intervention would be expected to seek authorisation from the UN. The UN, with its veto-wielding permanent SC members, was a bit of a hybrid mix of idealism and realpolitik, and had achieved, let's say, mixed results. In case of Iraq, too: the regime had been contained and largely disarmed, but it hadnt been incapacitated and was still able to commit harm against its own citizens and possibly, though there was no conclusive proof of it yet, those of other countries.
We agree on that summary, mostly, I think?
Now a nihilist would look at that existing order and see nothing of hope or value. He would be convinced that things were not just bad - "things" represented a social order that was so corrupted or worthless that only its total destruction would bring any hope of improvement.
Going back to before the war. The multilateralists argued that, though Saddam was bad, he was negotiating, that there was hope for a diplomatic solution. That the UN was perhaps not perfect, but in all its weakness still the closest this world had come to a civilised manner of conflict-resolution. That the current reality was flawed, but that there was enough worth preserving in it - that any course for destruction would risk just that - the destruction of the fragile results achieved thus far. They were idealist - naively idealist even, perhaps, in thinking that with the baby steps of diplomacy peace and freedom could eventually both be achieved; or they were of the realist kind, that would argue that we just had to take the bad (Saddam) with the good (partial disarmament, regional stability, a functioning UN) if the alternative seemed to involve the destruction of most of the latter. Those supporting the UN course were the ones pleading for little steps, caution, consensus ... whether they were right or wrong to argue so, revolutionaries they were not. No destruction of all order for them.
The true revolutionaries of the story, I am increasingly convinced, are Rumsfeld c.s. Now here are people who looked at "existing political, social, and religious order" and said - this is no good, we're gonna change all of that. No patience. They argued war could be defended because the havoc it would wreck would be made up for by the fresh start in true freedom after the war had ended. Kind of a rebirth in fire. Now there's an attitude reminiscent of, say, Bakunin (anarchist of nihilist origins). You've got to tear it all down first, for subsequent freedom to really be true. The UN was imperfect - could it be gradually improved on? No, is what Rumsfeld c.s. seem to say - it should be torn apart and reinvented from scratch. Same with the Middle East. No more tortuous peace processes. Reinvention of the region.
It's in their world that there are no "greys". Iran fits in the same category as Iraq. All those in the world who refuse to be "with us" are thus "against us", whether they're rogue states or trusted allies. There is no hope of improving on the weak little bit by little bit, no reason to go out of one's way to protect the historically grown - the world's only hope is an all-out offensive, rooting out the existent for something all new - something rather ill-defined for now, but by its very nature of being all new by definition also all good. Tear down all the corrupted constructions from the now and build these countries - this world! - up from the ground again, with a new plan! For better or for worse, we won't know for a while to come ...
Your nihilism connotation is in fact an extremely productive metaphor. You just got the sides mixed up.
" No more tortuous peace processes. Reinvention of the region." (Fishin')
But I'd argue that the urge towards revolutionary dismantling of existing structures or policy isn't solely to be found on the 'far left'.
It seems we might go in a couple of directions; try to be hard nosed in understanding how these guys might be more honestly facing something we liberals are not, and/or looking at what these guys have actually said and done previously, as Tartarin suggests.