Skip to main content

View Diary: One Soldier's thoughts on the funding compromise (174 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  cynicism vs idealism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    davidincleveland, zbctj52

    Excellent comment, fat old man!

    You've put your finger on why I was so angry at those 77 Senators who voted for the Iraq war Resolution.

    They not only enabled Bush's preventive war, they said FU to our soldiers, innocent Iraqis, American taxpayers and the principles of our democracy.

    And you reminded me of what Wes Clark said at the Johns Hopkins SAIS the other day about expediency trumping principle. Although he says that in the long run, it really just robs us of our legitimacy and is a very sad way to run things.
    Why should we settle for leaders who are so psychopathic that they don't care about those they hurt? Bush was just more extreme than most but it seems not all that different.

    To be fair, the Bush administration wasn't the first to trim around the edges of U.S. compliance with the principles of international law and the requirements for legitimacy. you can look back over the Cold War and find our exceptions, but you can't take much pride in it. The coups that we fomented, the politicians we attempted to pay off, the efforts that we made in covert action, our occasional support of expediency over principles - most of them came to a bad end.

    They don't justify the realist critique. They help condemn it. And in the light of history, they stand not out- they stand out not just as aberrations, but as mistakes. They're just of a lesser magnitude than the kind of mistake we made with the invasion of Iraq.

    You can go back and trace these uneasy compromises we've made where we had to sacrifice our adherence to international law and international standards when it's suited our realist aims. You can trace it back. But by and large, in the court of public opinion, we got away with them in the Cold War. Our adversaries were much worse, and we were on the right side of the equation of history and human judgment in the most part.

    By and large, we escaped with our reputation mostly intact, but this time, this time, we've gone too far.

    The administration's approach is robbing every American of the legitimacy of aim and method which once made our nation the unquestionable leader of choice for mankind and which helped make every American safer and more secure.

    •  unquestionable? legitimacy of method? (0+ / 0-)

      I beg to differ.

      robbing every American of the legitimacy of aim and method which once made our nation the unquestionable leader of choice for mankind and which helped make every American safer and more secure

      The entire package of pseudo-legit aims and motives is bunk on its face.

      May I gently suggest that you go back and reread your nation's history?

      IMPEACH THEM NOW! It only takes One State.

      by arbortender on Thu May 24, 2007 at 08:44:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well I think there's a disconnect (0+ / 0-)

        between our ideals as expressed by the constitution, the bill of rights, the opinions rendered by Supreme Court Justices such as William O'Douglas, etc and the real world corruption of these ideals by powerful financial interests who hide behind these ideals while using the political system to benefit themselves at the expense of everyone else including third world indigenous people.

        Historical violence will just be repeated IMO by either igniting another revolution to "wipe the slate clean" or continuing to ignore the corruption.

        We should be working to put runaway corporate power back in the box.

        A starting point would be to legislate the diffusion of energy power away from the oligopolies and toward renewable sustainable wind/solar technolgy that individual households and communities could use and trade back to a grid.

        It's the concentration of money and power that has caused so much evil in the world and kept our ideals from being realized. And it's a failure to hold accountable those who have hidden under a mantle of respectability (like Exxon) to break our laws - such as the Clean Air Act and wars for oil.

        I think Bush is only different in degree not kind from what's gone on under recent presidents.

        The difference is that more of us now see it thanks to Bush's blatant violence.

        As Sterling Newberry said in Truthout, I think Clark and Dean as insiders know how everything works and what must be done to set it right.:

          In short, too few people have understood that the reason the message of a different kind of citizenship that creates a new politics has awaited messengers is because there are too many entrenched interests busy smearing any messenger who manages to rise to the forefront. This does not change the basic reality - the new politics has consistently selected politicians of a particular type, with a particular personality. The type is not the true outsider who comes in with completely radical notions about the system but, instead, the intellectual maverick who has risen within the system and who has succeeded by "thinking outside the box."

           The cardinal examples are Howard Dean and Wesley Clark. Dean was a centrist governor from moderately conservative Vermont, Clark a NATO commander and US Army general who had retired after losing the support of his president. Each one had a resume that spoke, not of the intellectual maverick, but of the individual who avidly embraced the system. Dean was a medical doctor, Clark a top-of-his-class West Pointer. Each one rose through the system. Dean by being Lt. Governor, Clark by serving in Vietnam and rising through the officer ranks.

           Publicly, both have a robust enthusiasm and "follow me" charisma which is often opaque to those who have not seen it. They are both team players, and demand team loyalty from those who follow them. They are both men who, despite a willingness to push the envelope, play very close to the chest with their personal ambitions, tactical intuitions and private thoughts. But what is only obvious from listening to the two men in more restricted settings is a wide-ranging and voracious willingness to examine every situation afresh, and seek solutions that fall outside conventional thinking. Not as outsiders, mind you, but as insiders who have mastered the game as it is, and are all too painfully aware of its limitations. To take examples: Dean's plan on school funding, and Clark's drive for non-lethal warfare both come from intimate knowledge of the failures of the current system and a desire to jump over the points of failure with which they have dealt first hand.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site