Aside from trashing Matt Funiello, this blog exists to bookmark articles I want to save.
Consider the following claims, each of which in Washington circles has attained quasi-canonical status.
* The presence of U.S. forces in the Islamic world contributes to regional stability and enhances American influence.
* The Persian Gulf constitutes a vital U.S. national security interest.
* Egypt and Saudi Arabia are valued and valuable American allies.
* The interests of the United States and Israel align.
* Terrorism poses an existential threat that the United States must defeat.
decades now, the first four of these assertions have formed the
foundation of U.S. policy in the Middle East. The events of 9/11 added
the fifth, without in any way prompting a reconsideration of the first
four. On each of these matters, no senior U.S. official (or anyone
aspiring to a position of influence) will dare say otherwise, at least
not on the record.
Yet subjected to even casual scrutiny, none of
the five will stand up. To take them at face value is the equivalent of
believing in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy — or that John Boehner and
Mitch McConnell really, really hope that the Obama administration and
the upcoming Republican-controlled Congress can find grounds to
It's too long for a label, but this might fall under the heading of "shit Funiello and I might agree on." And hey, here's something the neocons will agree with Jimmy Carter on.
Regardless, the assumed energy dependence and “vital interests” that inspired Jimmy Carter to declare back in 1980 that the Gulf is worth fighting for no longer pertain.
I can see why they don't care for Bacevich, tho.
Like crime and communicable diseases, terrorism will
always be with us. In the face of an outbreak of it, prompt, effective
action to reduce the danger permits normal life to continue. Wisdom lies
in striking a balance between the actually existing threat and
exertions undertaken to deal with that threat. Grown-ups understand
this. They don’t expect a crime rate of zero in American cities. They
don’t expect all people to enjoy perfect health all of the time. The
standard they seek is “tolerable.”
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