Monday, May 16, 2016

Response to The Deadly Background Noise

(See: Just Above Sunset: The Deadly Background Noise)

I'm not convinced this Colonel Andrew Bacevich, author of "America’s War for the Greater Middle East: A Military History", who comes very highly recommended as an expert in military affairs, knows what he's talking about in the area of international relations -- although maybe the real problem was not with Bacevich but instead with Steve Donoghue, who reviewed his book.

For one thing, about that description given of what the Carter Doctrine did:
"... in which the leader of one country peremptorily laid claim to the natural resources of a sprawling region on the other side of the world, was a breathtaking act of imperial belligerence."
Whoever it was who said this seems to have totally misstated what it was that Carter actually said, which was this:
"Let our position be absolutely clear: An attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."
To me, this sounds like Carter was just extending the Monroe Doctrine to the Persian Gulf, rather than avariciously "laying claim to natural resources" that didn't belong to us, a harsh criticism of Jimmy Carter that is rarely, if ever, heard anywhere. But what do I know?

Also, that statement, that "the military is in a position, not entirely but to a very considerable extent, to call the shots regardless of what the president wants", seems to overlook the fact that Obama, for different reasons, later found himself firing both generals McChrystal and Petreus.

I still think Obama did fairly well these last eight years, especially under the circumstances of having to keep the country open for business and out of default, and with very little assistance from the opposition party, but just try telling that to anybody who doesn't like the guy.

Although it's odd enough to see history itself drastically changing direction right before our eyes -- as has been happening with Donald Trump and the Republican Party -- but what we're seeing here is not so much history in transition, but instead, something much more disconcerting: historiography in revision.

To put that another way, in this age of ubiquitous shenanigans, history is no longer what actually happened, it tends to be what Republicans say actually happened.

No comments:

Post a Comment

(No trolls, please! As a rule of thumb, don't get any nastier in your comments than I do in my posts. Thanks.)