From yesterday's New Republic:

This is Stephen Wertheim's piece:

https://newrepublic.com/article/153239/end-endless-war-case-against-amer...

Here is the money quote:

Few Democrats will admit, for example, that not one power in the Middle East poses an existential threat to the United States, not one merits devoting precious lives and scarce resources to such misadventures as Saudi Arabia’s proxy war in Yemen.

Well, OK. But first, before we argue that "not one power in the Middle East poses an existential threat to the United States," we should be able to argue, convincingly, that Saudi Arabia does not pose an existential threat to the United States. Can the US survive another OPEC embargo? Last I checked, America was universally still addicted to fossil fuels. And there's been an OPEC embargo before. So Trump pals with the Saudis, like all the Presidents.

Folks, war isn't just some "failed policy." War has a strong economic foundation. In short, the New Republic article would have benefited from a discussion of the economic foundation (i.e. global capital) that drives endless war.

Wertheim's article would also have benefited from something stronger than the conclusion it offers:

True, the United States should retain a potent military, and other instruments, to pursue the genuine interests of its people. And it matters what powers might take the place of a hegemonic America. But endless supremacy must itself end.

Every excuse justifying every war includes the argument that war is a good thing for "the genuine interests of (America's) people. Wertheim doesn't address this. And endless supremacy isn't going away unless the economic interests driving it are also excluded from running the world.

Now, I'm guessing that there are a lot of people here who could be better New Republic writers than Stephen Wertheim. Right?

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detroitmechworks's picture

Far as I know, they're the only one in that neighborhood who can start off the apocalypse with a bang.

That's kinda my metric for whether somebody is a threat or not. If they have nukes they're dangerous, and I don't trust them.

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I do not pretend I know what I do not know.

Cassiodorus's picture

@detroitmechworks You're a better writer than this Wertheim hack. Perhaps you could send New Republic something?

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Big Al's picture

U.S. is trying to rule the world by military supremacy, that must end because the world and Amerika would be better off, liberals have been silent for decades, but now the rising left can do something about it.
Got it, where's the meeting for the left? Or is this a recruiting pitch for the democratic party?

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Cassiodorus's picture

@Big Al It's all make-believe and there's no concept of agency.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

Big Al's picture

@Cassiodorus while it's good he's calling for an end to the insane quest for global military supremacy, yes, he does leave a lot out. Like the role of Zionist Israel in the middle east wars for one. But I don't know what his real point is other than that. He alludes to a rising left and that the opportunity is now but doesn't elaborate on what that means. That's why I asked about the dem party, he seems to be referring to the so called progressive resistance in the dem party and taking down Trump, but I don't know. I guess you'd have to know his overall pov and what his purpose is writing for that magazine.

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thanatokephaloides's picture

@Big Al

But I don't know what his real point is other than that.

"His real point" is that what goes on in the Muslim world is none of our fucking business.

And on that point, he's dead on.

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg

anti-ethical tribalism that permits our institutions (e.g., our nation-states) to take actions against other tribes that we would universally condemn. as unacceptable amongst members of our own tribe.

This is the essence of your contempt for the justification of war (or other crimes) as long as it's "in the genuine interest" of "our" people. In the purely economic sense -- if our only yardstick is commerce and material luxury -- it's pretty clearly "in the genuine interest" of our people to annihilate all other people, so we can have their lands and their resources.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Cassiodorus's picture

@UntimelyRippd One thinks, first off, of the great land grab of the Americas, first for the greater glory of Spain after the Conquistadores spread smallpox across the Americas and subjugated the Aztecs and Incas, and then later for the doctrine of Manifest Destiny and the greater glory of the United States. Perhaps the state of Israel is trying to continue the tradition in its own way by chopping up the West Bank and throwing settlements at it.

One also thinks, however, of the just-a-bit-too-late influence of Heinrich Himmler upon the government of Adolf Hitler in Germany (1931-1945). Himmler wanted to turn the Ukraine into a new home for the German people, wiping out the Ukrainians and settling Germans in the resultant wilderness. Hitler gave his approval, of course, at some point during the German conquest of the Ukraine, but the Nazis couldn't really get very many recruits for Himmler's version of lebensraum.

The thing is, though, that the concept of lebensraum can't be generalized to all people and all times. It really depends upon when and where and whom and upon what's going on.

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"The degree to which liberals are coming to inhabit an alternate reality, impenetrable by facts or reason, is actually frightening." -- Steve Maher

thanatokephaloides's picture

Well, OK. But first, before we argue that "not one power in the Middle East poses an existential threat to the United States," we should be able to argue, convincingly, that Saudi Arabia does not pose an existential threat to the United States. Can the US survive another OPEC embargo? Last I checked, America was universally still addicted to fossil fuels. And there's been an OPEC embargo before. So Trump pals with the Saudis, like all the Presidents.

We could easily survive another Saudi embargo.

All we'd have to do is get our heads out of our asses regarding el socialismo in our neighbors like Mexico and Venezuela. And, of course, migration to an all-renewable energy system.

The writer is correct: there is nothing in the entire Arab world worth the life or limb of any American to America. We have less than no business intervening there.

Diablo

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"I say enough! If Israel wants to be the only superpower in the Middle East then they can put their own asses on the line and do it themselves. I want to continue to eat."
-- snoopydawg