Friday, June 12, 2015

The Limits of American Exceptionalism


Andrew Bacevich discusses the diminishing returns of America's long-held foreign policy of expansionism, the dangers of rampant consumerism at home and a imperial executive president.

Debt And The New American Exceptionalism

"As America’s efforts to “degrade and ultimately destroy” Islamic State militants extent into Syria, Iraq War III has seamlessly morphed into Greater Middle East Battlefield XIV. That is, Syria has become at least the 14th country in the Islamic world that U.S. forces have invaded or occupied or bombed, and in which American soldiers have killed or been killed. And that’s just since 1980.

Let’s tick them off: Iran (1980, 1987-1988), Libya (1981, 1986, 1989, 2011), Lebanon (1983), Kuwait (1991), Iraq (1991-2011, 2014-), Somalia (1992-1993, 2007-), Bosnia (1995), Saudi Arabia (1991, 1996), Afghanistan (1998, 2001-), Sudan (1998), Kosovo (1999), Yemen (2000, 2002-), Pakistan (2004-) and now Syria. Whew." ~ Andrew J. Bacevich, Washington Post


"After 9/11, the United States launched a military effort vaguely intended to pacify or democratize or otherwise “fix” the Greater Middle East, thereby supposedly reducing the Islamist threat emanating from that quarter. Based on the outcomes achieved in Iraq and Afghanistan that military effort must rate as an utter failure. Indeed, if anything, wars waged in the Islamic world only serve to exacerbate the sense of angry alienation felt by at least some Muslims residing in the West. War is making matters worse.
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As for the West’s ongoing war in the Islamic world, surely the time has come to acknowledge its futility. The application of military power will not change “them.” At best, it may be able to protect “us.” The central tenet of US military policy in the Islamic world should be to butt out, and the sooner the better.

We have arrived at a teachable moment. Whether we will learn what that moment has to offer remains to be seen." ~ Andrew J. Bacevich, Boston Globe

The American Exceptionalism Sweepstakes
"Andrew Bacevich explains how our ‘empire of consumption’ contains the seeds of its own destruction and why our foreign policy establishment in Washington is totally incapable of coming to grips with it.” ~ Chalmers Johnson, author of the Blowback Trilogy
Podcast source: YouTube: The Limits of Power and the End of American Exceptionalism

Radioactive Risks From Fracking Waste

New techniques allow companies to extract oil and gas from deep in the ground, but as Matt Richmond of WSKS and the Allegheny Front tells Steve Curwood, naturally radioactive rocks above the Marcellus shale in the eastern U.S. can create a dangerous waste product.
Podcast source: living on earth: Radioactive Risks From Fracking Waste

Americans Are Disappointed About The Economic Recovery

Scott Horsley reports on a survey by Rutgers University that found two out of three Americans felt no improvement in the last year. Only about one in four expect things to get better in the year to come.
Podcast source: npr: Survey: Americans Are Grumpy About Economic Recovery

Download or Play American Exceptionalism Part 1
Download or Play American Exceptionalism Part 2
Download or Play American Exceptionalism Part 3
Download or Play Radioactive Risks


Music includes Black Eyed Peas Ft Justin Timberlake - Where Is The Love, Peacesong - Enemy Me, Capitol Steps - I Like Big Cuts And I Cannot Lie, Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings - What If We All Stopped Paying Taxes, Capitol Steps - Monster Cash, The New Lost City Ramblers - How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live, Terry Gangstad - Make Money, Mamavibe - Reggae Vibration, Capitol Steps - Look Away, Roy Zimmerman / Sandy Riccardi - My Conservative Girlfriend, Capitol Steps - Newt Newt Newt Goin' Out My Back Door, Larry Estridge - Spirits of the Revolution, The Producers(Movie) - Springtime for Hitler, The Beatles - Your Mother Should Know, Ira Newborn - Police Squad, Also Sprach Zarathustra - 2001 A Space Odyssey

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