Monday, September 28, 2015

Chuck Spinney — Why is US Foreign Policy a Shambles?

The only way to restore coherence in America’s dysfunctional foreign policy is to follow the money and change its flow.
The Blaster
Why is US Foreign Policy a Shambles?
Chuck Spinney


Daily Kos
Pope Francis: 'Many powerful people don't want peace because they live off war'
Jen Hayden

Gen. Smedely Butler, "War is a racket" (1935)

BTW, my current impression is that the US is no longer stumbling toward war but rushing headlong into it with no prospect in sight for changing course.


Unknown said...

I agree with Tom's assessment.

The US seems hell bent on enforcing it's will regardless of the consequences.

I am no expert by any stretch, however, I don't see any semblance of sanity in Washington's actions.

I hope I am wrong.

John said...

Well, I suppose Washington has been fighting a rearguard action ever since 1945. And now things are unravelling quickly. There are just too many forces at play, and Washington is looking more and more like a cornered wounded beast.

To quote from Yeats's great poem "The Second Coming":

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Bob Salsa said...

So much horse pucky of gloom and doom I thought I was reading Faux News.

Get a grip, people.

First, if the US needed to eliminate ANY player that was a real threat, it would be over in a few hours or days, except to the extent we consider, as we always do, collateral damage, then maybe months. Throw in the nation building, and we're now into years or decades, but that has nothing to do with our centre holding or blood-dimmed tides - I thought this might have gone out of style with the Mayan Calendar.

Second, yes, Bush triggered the latest open conflict between peoples that have been going after one another for 1500 years based on religious differences and much longer between Arabs and Persians. To think the US or the West controls this to some absolute degree puts you far beyond the egocentricity of Trump and approaching that of European empire builders of yore. Get over yourselves.

What we have is a barrel that's attracting the worse of what any religious fanaticism gives excuse to the insane, and we kill them like fish in the barrel. Yes, the barrel will leak out here and there but it mostly is contained. If Putin is stupid enough to insert himself into that which will make the Soviets in Afghanistan seem relatively brilliant, that's his problem.

We deal with refugees, the occasional leaks of violence, help the Kurds, negotiate with Iran, Russia and others to the extend we can, continue to kill as many wackos as we can - we muddle through. Grow up.

Again, I'm glad we've had an adult in the White House for the last 7 years.

Dan Lynch said...

The only question remains is whether our dysfunctional foreign policy is deliberate -- to enrich & empower the military-spy complex -- or simply incompetent.

The Beltway Bunch seem to believe their own bullshit. They are surrounded by yes men. The only internal disagreements are not over whether to bomb countries but how many countries to bomb. No matter how badly things end, the Beltway Bunch will retire with a generous pension, be paid speaking fees, and serve on corporate boards.

Dan Lynch said...

A more optimistic assessment from Moon of Alabama today.

That Kerry now says "Syria should be a unified country, united, that it needs to be secular" and "ISIL (Islamic State) needs to be taken on" is tantamount to admitting Obama's policy so far was always fundamentally wrong. If meant serious and backed by political and military means it is a huge turnaround.

Should this come to fruition it is not only the turn of the corner for Syria. It is the defeat of the failed neoconservative "democracy spreading" and neoliberal "responsibility to protect" infested ideologies in face of the straight realist policies represented by the Russian President Putin.

John said...

"First, if the US needed to eliminate ANY player that was a real threat, it would be over in a few hours or days, except to the extent we consider, as we always do, collateral damage, then maybe months."

ANY player? China? Russia? I don't think so. The US couldn't even hold Iraq - it was kicked out. Afghanistan is such a failure that the US is running for the door, leaving the country in such chaos it may fall to ISIS. This is utter failure, not success. The idea that Washington is muddling through to success doesn't hold. Washington is muddling through, but always conceding a lot of ground. Washington can't enforce its will in its own backyard with Venezuela, Bolivia, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, etc, which is unheard of, a totally new political phenomenon. Hilariously, having been read the riot act by Washington, the UK disobeyed and signed up to the new China-led development bank. When Washington can't count on its faithful poodle to do as it's told, things do not look good.

John said...


Let's hope that Washington just gets out of the way and lets anyone who wants to annihilate these evil motherfu**ers get on with it. And if they ever get their hands on the ISIS leadership, a bit of crucifixion wouldn't go amiss either.

Peter Pan said...

The US commitment to Israel and to the House of Saud has remained steadfast.