Monday, June 27, 2011

Coming to Our Senses

Andrew Bacevich, a retired US Army Colonel, professor of History and International Relations at Boston University, and author most recently of Washington Rules, talks about voices of dissent regarding national security policy, and how likely the US to change course.

mp3 available for download at


Anonymous said...

With due respect to Col. Bacevich, I don't think America's war with Spain was precipitous. I think there was an influential coterie that awaited the opportunity in order to seize control of Spain's Carribean and Pacific possessions. People like Elihu Root and Teddy Roosevelt were greatly influenced, for example, by the writings of Capt Alfred Mahan that the US must establish itself with a two ocean navy and required coaling stations in the Pacific (Guam, the Phillipines). Right-wing people of influence, Hearst, Boston brahmins were just waiting in the wings for a proper event. Earlier, we almost started a war with Britain over the Venezuela boundary with Guiana, just to show the flag.
Luckily for us, the British were too much occupied with the Boers to swat the American fly.

rayjohnstex said...

"Henry Adams worked tirelessly and more successfully for Cuban independence from Spain, and indeed fought European imperialism on all fronts. He was greatly distressed by the US occupation of the Philippines, feeling that it was counter to the principle of the self-determination of peoples. Cuban and Philippine emissaries clandestinely visited him to seek advice. Adams also spent a great deal of time in Tahiti researching just how much European diseases, zealous missionaries and English aggression had desiccated a culture that no imperialist "care[d] to know": In 1769 there were 200,000 Tahitians; in 1803, 5,000. Adams had to know all, and so, between 1893 and 1901, wrote and revised a history of Tahiti titled Memoirs of Marau Taaroa. Among other things, it outlined the devastation wrought by Captain Cook's imposition of English notions of kingship on the native tribes."

"Aside from the ever-energetic Teddy Roosevelt, who was, in Adams's inimitable phrase, "pure act" (i.e., untroubled by the vicissitudes of thought),.." Re-education on Henry Adams | The Nation-