Monday, June 20, 2011

War Is No Longer War

Jonathan Schell, an acclaimed scholar and writer, has a conversation with TomDispatch founding editor Tom Engelhardt about Jonathan's latest TomDispatch article "Attacking Libya -- and the Dictionary: If Americans Don't Get Hurt, War Is No Longer War."

mp3 available for download at


Anonymous said...

In trying to make sense of the failure of the power elite to learn from Vietnam, I consider they never drew the lesson that Messrs Schell and Englehardt cite: that "it is not within the power of the US to impose regime change, leave and expect it to stand." Recall, the loss of the southeast Asian war was blamed on "liberal" media and the draft. They argued as all militarists do: we were undermined on the home-front. The imperialists have learned something: to control the media and to avoid using conscripts.

With regard to Americans generally, this is no longer the country it was in the 1960s. Then, our country was at the peak of its economic leadership in the world. Now, we are an international debtor with a currency that is used for exchange but not for storing wealth. Then, we had an activist, political sub-culture created by the civil rights movement, an activism that was transformable to the anti-Vietnam War movement. Now, we have passivism and lethargy from a stagnant, depressing economy and a loss of the idealism that was once part of the American heritage. The Constitution is being shredded? Searches are being conducted without warrants? Bradley Manning is tortured in solitary at Quantico? Ho-hum.

Lessons were learned by the power elite: how to take advantage of weaknesses in the Constitution and in the national ethos to sustain the imperial presidency. The ruling elite have succeeded, but the nation is failing.

Anonymous said...

Obama, A law degree!
He states that we didn't declare war on Libya... we just bombed it a little and killed Libians. It's no war act because ther are no American soldiers invading on the ground.

Obama would then agree that if the USSR were to drop the bomb, it would not be an act of war because there are no Ruddian soldiers on that ground???

He scares me reading the script he been given lately.

Anonymous said...

The second commentator began with, "Obama, A (sic)law degree!"

I, too, am astounded that Harvard Law School could have graduated and U. of Chicago Law could have appointed as a lecturer in constitutional law a man with so little respect for the law and for our principal law, the Constitution, Barack Obama! I would think there are a great many red faces in those halls of ivy, especially in the deans' offices at the law schools. I would not feel good about retaining an attorney who is a graduate of Harvard Law or of the U. of Chicago Law.