Sunday, September 8, 2013


How I wish for President Obama, Secretaries Kerry and Hagel, and every member of Congress would to watch and listen to Andrew Bacevich's brilliant and articulate commentary on the present decision facing the president and Congress with regard to launching missile attacks in Syria.  How I wish for every citizen in the country to watch.  Even those who disagree with Bacevich, might come away better informed.
ANDREW BACEVICH: Well, I mean, if I could have five minutes of the president's time, I'd say, "Mr. President, the issue really is not Syria. I mean, you're being told that it's Syria. You're being told you have to do something about Syria, that you have to make a decision about Syria. That somehow your credibility is on the line."

But I'd say, "Mr. President, that's not true. The issue really here is whether or not an effort over the course of several decades, dating back to the promulgation of the Carter Doctrine in 1980, an effort that extends over several decades to employ American power, military power, overt, covert military power exercise through proxies, an effort to use military power to somehow stabilize or fix or liberate or transform the greater Middle East hasn't worked.

“And if you think back to 1980, and just sort of tick off the number of military enterprises that we have been engaged in that part of the world, large and small, you know, Beirut, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, and on and on, and ask yourself, 'What have we got done? What have we achieved? Is the region becoming more stable? Is it becoming more Democratic? Are we enhancing America's standing in the eyes of the people of the Islamic world?'

"The answers are, 'No, no, and no.' So why, Mr. President, do you think that initiating yet another war, 'cause if we bomb Syria, it's a war, why do you think that initiating yet another war in this protracted enterprise is going to produce a different outcome? Wouldn't it be perhaps wise to ask ourselves if this militarized approach to the region maybe is a fool’s errand.

"Maybe it's fundamentally misguided. Maybe the questions are not tactical and operational, but strategic and political."
From the transcript.


Russ Manley said...

Thank you for posting this, it certainly clarified for me what is going on with Syria. Never heard of Bacevich before, but he seems very trustworthy, and has no political advantage to be gained by speaking his mind. Most enlightening. I'm reblogging this at the Blue Truck.

BTW, I haven't seen Donohue in many years, and OMG now he's an old man! Very strange - but then I say the same thing every time I glance in the mirror.

Prairie Soul said...

Very powerful words. Thanks for posting this, Grandmère. I agree that the entire Congress, as well as anyone involved in the decision to go to war, should hear this interview. It's as intelligent, thoughtful, and fair as anything I've heard on the subject of our country's militarization.

Grandmère Mimi said...

Thanks, Russ and Prairie Soul. I agree with everything Bacevich said. He articulated my thoughts and a good many of my words, except he is more eloquent. He describes himself as a conservative, but he is surely one of the old school, from the time when I respected the views of principled conservatives, even when I didn't agree, a group that now appears to be close to extinct.