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View Diary: Why Did "Rebels" Use Chemicals? We Finally Have an Answer (81 comments)

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  •  I'm going to post this in a few places as it's (2+ / 0-)
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    Sandino, arendt

    relevant to war debates, and I believe, relevant here:

    Pro-war statements and speeches—as well as more coercive measures—gradually captured American public discourse in 1917. Fairly quickly, those who rejected the rationales for United States participation in the war found themselves increasingly isolated. Liberals, intellectuals, and even many socialists soon supported American intervention. A youthful critic in his twenties, Randolph Bourne wrote a bitter essay in the intellectual magazine Seven Arts, lambasting his fellow intellectuals for lining up so readily behind the war effort.

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:09:13 PM PDT

    •  An excerpt: (1+ / 0-)
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      The results of war on the intellectual class are already apparent. Their thought becomes little more than a description and justification of what is going on. They turn upon any rash one who continues idly to speculate. Once the war is on, the conviction spreads that individual thought is helpless, that the only way one can count is as a cog in the great wheel. There is no good holding back. We are told to dry our unnoticed and ineffective tears and plunge into the great work. Not only is everyone forced into line but the new certitude becomes idealized. It is a noble realism which opposes itself to futile obstruction and the cowardly refusal to face facts. This realistic boast is so loud and sonorous that one wonders whether realism is always a stern and intelligent grappling with realities. May it not be sometimes a mere surrender to the actual, an abdication of the ideal through a sheer fatigue from intellectual suspense? The pacifist is roundly scolded for refusing to face the facts and for retiring into his own world of sentimental desire. But is the realist, who refuses to challenge or criticize facts, entitled to any more credit than that which comes from following the line of least resistance? The realist thinks he at least can control events by linking himself to the forces that are moving. Perhaps he can. But, if it is a question of controlling war, it is difficult to see how the child on the back of a mad elephant is to be any more effective in stopping the beast than is the child who tries to stop him from the ground. The ex-humanitarian, turned realist, sneers at the snobbish neutrality, colossal conceit, crooked thinking, dazed sensibilities, of those who are still unable to find any balm of consolation for this war. We manufacture consolations here in America while there are probably not a dozen men fighting in Europe who did not long ago give up every reason for their being there except that nobody knew how to get them away.

      Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

      by k9disc on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 01:20:54 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  so the US should have stayed out of WWI? (0+ / 0-)

      the consensus is that the US tipped the balance and helped push the Axis powers back and trigger a revolution in Germany. Ending that war was a positive. The peace that followed did not work mainly because of Republicans in the US congress failing to support things like joining the League of nations... and Britain and France insisting on the overly punitive peace treaty with Germany...

      But the long term bad results of WWI did not stem from helping end it... and the ending brought about an overdue toppling of many monarchies and some modernization politically... a mixed result with many nations taking the long way to democracy via fascist or communist regimes...

      But in the final analysis the US did have to go in - the developments that led to WWII could not have been foreseen and the two wars in the larger sense were part of the evolution from imperial and colonial world systems...

      Staying out of WWI would probably led to a stalemate among the combatants at best and worse a Germany forcing France to sue for peace on terms that would have been problematical for future world peace but differently than it turned out... no league of nations attempt etc... and the longer term economic and political landscape allowed to linger longer in empire and colonialism... with a different possibly more dangerous trajectory for the Soviet Union... with the US a neutral bystander with less influence and slower development.

      Pogo & Murphy's Law, every time. Also "Trust but verify" - St. Ronnie (hah...)

      by IreGyre on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:28:40 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You a time agent or something? (1+ / 0-)
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        arendt much conjecture and hypothetical in your comment.

        I take it you didn't read the piece, and if you did and that's what you took from it, bummer.


        Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

        by k9disc on Sat Aug 31, 2013 at 02:35:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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