War

Chairman Mao and the Cosmopirates

If I could stand above the heavens,
I would draw my sword
And cut you in three parts:
One piece for Europe,
One piece for America,
One piece left for China.
Then peace would rule the world.

Posted in Books, Featured, History, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Philosophy, War Tagged with: , ,

The Brilliant Failure of the Afghan Surge (So Far)

So, yes, a larger number of people died, and many more were injured, and a lot of time and money was wasted protecting a fighting retreat, because the political-military risks of an attempted immediate retreat – both within Afghanistan and far beyond, and for many years – were unacceptable, just as the decision for it, given the real existing correlation of political interests and forces in 2009, was actually impossible. Instead, the Afghan Surge worked – politically. Politically, it was a tremendous success. Militarily, it never had very good prospects, but its narrowly military-political failure – its inability to transform Afghanistan into Japan at bargain prices – has the further benefit of removing further illusions about what is and isn’t possible even for the best data-driven school-building expeditionary killing machine the world has ever seen.

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The Libya Intervention: another worst decision except for all the others

The Libya decision will be revealed, predictably, to have been a very American decision – instrumentalizing military force on behalf of political-economic popular sovereignty (i.e., “freedom”) against a vulnerable tyranny, in cooperation with allies, with “respect for the opinions of mankind.” It entailed risks and real human costs while shifting them from one group to another – as would every other decision. It may even have been the “wrong” decision from other perspectives. If so, that conclusion would not necessarily imply that there was a simply “right” or “better” decision to be made, or that the American president can be asked or expected to give every or any other perspective higher or equal priority.

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It’s the War, Intellectuals (not the Drones)

Regardless of where we come down in the end on the wisdom and justifiability of the administration’s war policies, criticism that does not take the full debate and its real subject into consideration, that merely repeats what we already know – that war is awful and morally, culturally, and politically deforming; that it exceeds the terms of normal, lawful policy; that it makes us act like “barbarians” all on the way to Hell – does not deserve to be and likely will not be taken seriously.

Posted in Featured, Philosophy, Politics, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

What they do not want to know about American democracy

The social contract is signed in blood.

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Abuse and real use of the first drafts of history (liberalism vs the exception 3)

We are hostages to the decision, including our own collective decision on one “decider” as opposed to another. Articles like Lewis’, if they reinforce our confidence in the existent rather than the ideal executive, help us to accommodate ourselves to a void in the law and its effects: The existence of this void can serve our needs; or it can be hemmed in politically – which is to say partially and provisionally; or it can be survived until the day it happens to kill us – but it cannot be legislated or reasoned way. So we can expand our general observation on liberalism – including the liberalism that advertises its libertarian purism or its republican virtues or its partisan conservatism, with or without the tri-corner hats and Minuteman costumes: As we know, it has nothing interesting to say about these issues. It does, however, very much like to pretend that it does.

Posted in Philosophy, Politics, The Exception, War Tagged with: , ,

non-ideally realistic is the ideal realism and real idealism etc.

Realistically, a merely more rather than ideally realistic policy may be as much as is really achievable, and for any realist president will remain the ideal.

Posted in International Relations, Politics, War Tagged with: , , , ,

Iran and the Re-Legalization of War

We seem to be moving gradually toward a more sustainable spheres of influence structure, an uneven geopolitical web to be intermittently traversed by ad hoc coalitions acting on interpretations of their own particular and joint interests, or regional interests, or global economic or ecological or humanitarian interests. In some ways, this result is what conservative opponents of American internationalism (whether liberal idealist, hegemonist, or just imperialist) have always wanted, but, as those same internationalists have often warned their critics, escaping global-governance idealism may not equate with more conservative outcomes. Less political globalism does not necessarily mean less global activism, least of all for a maritime military-economic power like the USA.

Posted in Featured, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , , ,

The Israel-Iran debate is over – so now it can begin

Seems what really keeps the debate alive is ANY determination that it’s over. It seems to be a debate whose beginning is its end, and vice versa, ad infinitum, ad nauseam, til kingdom or caliphate or chaos come.

Posted in International Relations, War Tagged with: , ,

Comments On Ecology and War

I am not asserting that conquering the will to conquer nature, or conquering human nature, or ending conquering, etc., whichever or whatever it comes to, must entail great violence, nor am I calling for it. I am however recognizing that violence would in some sense be normal, because whether or not you or I call for it, many seem fully prepared to demand it. Even and especially the most committed pacifists would therefore still be asked to risk their lives at least, and to be entangled in risks of life borne by others. In another sense, we, or some of us, are already undergoing or engaging in violence. The catastrophe is indeed very well under way if, along with acts that cause human suffering as normally understood, we treat habitat destruction, species extinction, factory slaughter, and so on, as forms of industrialized warfare against natural life. In that sense, it’s too late for “peaceful change,” though it may not be too late for less violent change, or even for less and less violent change.

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