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« Michael Winship: Andrew Bacevich, America and the World | Main | Michael Winship: Franklin Roosevelt, A Nation Turns Its Lonely Eyes to You »

The Imperial Presidency?

(Photo by Robin Holland)

In his conversation with Bill Moyers on this week’s JOURNAL, scholar and former army colonel Andrew Bacevich discussed his vision of what has gone wrong with American government and policy over the last several decades.

“The Congress, especially with regard to matters related to national security policy, has thrust power and authority to the executive branch. We have created an imperial presidency. The Congress no longer is able to articulate a vision of what is the common good. The Congress exists primarily to ensure the reelection of members of Congress... As the Congress has moved to the margins, as the President has moved to the center of our politics, the presidency itself has come to be less effective...

Because of this preoccupation, this fascination with the presidency, the President has become what we have instead of genuine politics, instead of genuine democracy... We look to the next President to fix things and, of course, that lifts all responsibility from me to fix things. So one of the real problems with the imperial presidency is that it has hollowed out our politics and, in many respects, has made our democracy a false one. We’re going through the motions of a democratic political system, but the fabric of democracy really has worn very thin.”

What do you think?

Do you agree with Bacevich’s assessment? If yes, how can we fix it? If no, explain.

Bacevich talks about the legislative and executive branches. How does the judicial branch relate to his discussion?


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Comments

Whatever happened to the imperial presidency? The president was able to get things done legally or not. You remember Viet Nam, The Shah, and Allende…
Now, there is stillness over the Capital and the Whitehouse. The only branch of government that seems to get things done is an activist judiciary.

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Bush and his Imperialists are the closest we have come to Nazism. The UN Should have a war crimes trial against the Haliburton Duo !!

I tried posting this the day I saw the broadcast, but is stubbornly refuses to appear.

Letter to Bill Moyers’ Journal Blog 15/16 August 2008.

I watched the interview with Colonel Bacevich this evening and I agreed with most of his conclusions on such things as the view by Americans in general that the "American Way of Life" will continue to dominate the world's cultural and economic expectations indefinitely; that Americans view their way of life as self-evidently superior to any other ("There are only two kinds of people in the world: Americans and foreigners who want to be Americans."); the resulting attitude that it is logically and morally justifiable to promote "Our Way of Life" (American interests) by any means from minor economic bullying to massive military intervention. I also agree that the latter method doesn't work for any meaningful length of time. I also have wondered at the Republican "Less government, less tax" Administration which has hugely expanded the size of the Federal Government, increased spending and consequently public debt almost to Argentinian proportions and seems to have forgotten that it was one of its own former Presidents (Reagan) who crowed that trying to outspend the US economy had destroyed the Soviet Union. President Bush seems determined to try to outspend the US economy from the inside.

I too have long shared the view that sometime soon the growth of the Imperial Presidency and the abrogation of political responsibility by the US Congress which occasioned it will result in the twin trauma of a major economic and a major political crisis, probably intertwined, unless some major course corrections and a fairly healthy dollop of good luck intervene and soon.

What surprised me was the fact that Colonel Bacevich managed to explain his reasoning without a single mention of parallels in the history of any other country. I am New Zealand-born and educated, lived in the US for a couple of years, lived for long enough in independent Samoa and Colombia to become familiar with their political systems, but for the last 27 years I have lived in the best place in the world to observe the US without living in it, namely Canada. Most Americans (and numbers of Canadians) seem unaware that the founders of Canada were Americans. These particular Americans were the ones who believed that the freedoms they valued most were best preserved by continued loyalty to the Crown and who felt strongly enough to go into exile as refugees. Their political ideals were expressed as "Peace, Order and Good Government." Since the 1780s, of course, the definitions of these ideals have evolved and all of those ideals imply a jealous defence of the democratic right of the Canadian People to define them.

On the one hand, Americans have pretty much settled into a two-party system which seems to be becoming, or as Colonel Bacevich said has become, a one-party system with two official faces, This is headed by a Head of State/Head of Government with his political Praetorian Guard doing their level best to make the elected Houses irrelevant and the Houses by and large letting them. It puts me in mind of a sort of slow-motion (thankfully) Augustus Caesar and his permanent sidelining of the Roman Senate. On the other hand, the other Americans have built a multi-party system which has kept the Head of State and Head of Government as separate offices: the Monarch or her Governor General largely ceremonial, but with a crucial constitutional democratic safety-valve role in a crisis and the everyday duty to “advise and warn;” the Prime Minister as the Head of the Executive, he and all the other members of which must be elected members of the Legislature and who must answer questions in the House on their actions on a weekly or even daily basis when Parliament is sitting.

The different approaches to the separation of powers by the two American nations speak to the way in which they separated from British colonial rule: the one by revolution, the other by evolution; one in a paroxysm occasioned by the actuality and perception of increased interference in their daily lives (remember that the "Intolerable Acts" included interference by the Crown in the colonists' "right" to exploit and dominate the recently conquered French Canadians and their land, and any and all Native Americans and their land); the other by the gradual assumption of increased responsibilities occasioned largely by benign neglect. Neither system is perfect nor has anyone made a convincing case to describe either as such. Both are based upon the rule of law in the form of the Common Law inherited from England plus a written Constitution and Bill of Rights (or Bill of Rights and Freedoms, in Canada's case).

I am somewhat bemused by the paucity of constitutional challenges to some of the measures brought into effect under the present US administration. I had always thought that one of the favourite freedoms most cherished by Americans and exercised at the drop of a hat was the right to submit almost anything to a constitutional challenge... These days I am constantly reminded of a quintessentially American dictum: "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
Benjamin Franklin, Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759

I am of the strong opinion that another influence on the apparent turning of the US Legislative Branch from a law-making group to a get-myself-re-elected-by-whatever-means-available gang of trough-guzzlers is something that at first glance seems to strengthen democracy. I refer to the fixed election dates that pertain in the American system. This makes it possible for a Congressman or Senator to lay out a carefully calculated re-election campaign gradually building from the the day he or she takes office to peak at exactly the right moment to have maximum impact on his or her constituency in time for a date known precisely four or six years in advance. This also makes it so expensive to get elected, because if you start spending just a little before your opponents, you will have an advantage. By now, of course, it has reached the point where you begin spending for the next election the moment the last one is over. That also gives the incumbent an advantage because he can point out to donors that he has just proved his ability to win an election. He is also in a position to begin doing favours for them right away with the whole term ahead of him.

Compare this with the parliamentary system as it obtains in Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand etc. There, a Member of Parliament cannot know when he may face re-election because, while there is a maximum term for each Parliament, there is no minimum. A Prime Minister may call an election at any time with as little as three weeks notice. This can be because he or she feels that the moment is most favourable for his or her party at the polls, although in practice it is usually close to maximum-term and is also no guarantee of success, as many governing parties have found out. Other reasons for a snap election include losing a Vote of Confidence in the House, or being defeated on a Money Bill. By long tradition, these circumstances force an election. If you wonder at the power of tradition in the Parliamentary system, that is where the monarch or Governor General (the monarch's representative in the realms overseas) comes in. The sole constitutional power that can be exercised by the monarch or viceroy, beyond the everyday duty to "advise and warn," is to dismiss Parliament, which automatically triggers a General Election. Thus any Prime Minister who wishes to defy tradition after losing a confidence vote or a money bill will be wasting his time and, at the same time, will probably wreck any chance at re-election.

The simple threat of this sanction is so effective that it has only been used twice in the last 100 years. Once in the Australian State of New South Wales in 1932, when the State Governor Sir Philip Game (who has an equivalent constitutional position in relation to the State as the GG has at the federal level) dismissed the Government of New South Wales, and in 1975 the Australian Governor General Sir John Kerr dismissed the Australian Commonwealth (federal) Government.

At first glance it seems undemocratic for the monarch or Governor General to have the power to dismiss a democratically elected Parliament, but two circumstances keep it from being anything but a last resort. The first of these is tradition backed up by public opinion and the second is that, in any case, the effect of such a dismissal is to have a General Election where the people make up their minds which side of the particular controversy has sufficient merit to put its proponents (back) in charge.

Because the next election date is not completely predictable, vacancies in individual seats created by death, illness etc. are filled by a by-election where the local electoral commission runs an election for that specific electoral district instead of someone appointing a temporary replacement. This has the added benefit, depending on the outcome, of often being a useful barometer of the current government’s approval.

The whole package, particularly the unsure actual date of the next election, tends to make MPs somewhat less focussed on plans for re-election and, at least it is hoped, more on the jobs they were elected to do.

The essay, "When it comes to the Imperial Presidency, has the Rubicon been crossed?" may be of interest:

http://cikehara.blogspot.com/2009/03/when-it-comes-to-imperial-presidency.html

I thought the most important part of the interview was when the conversation touched on the death of his son. He avoided this topic as if emotion would undermine his intellectual argument. Having watched this show for some time, and witnessed the parade of intellect, it has to beg the question at some point,why is there still such a division of opinion in the country? How can 'they' be so ignorant when such cogent arguments have been made over and over. It is exactly this artificial 'us' and 'them', 'democrats' and 'republicans' that is in such need of being bridged and dismantled. Intellectual arguments cannot bridge this divide, particularly when intellect is regarded as one of the defining characteristics separating these groups. Only by stepping back and coming to grips with reality can progress be made. In this case, highlighting the pain of the loss of a child is the common denominator to all of us as human beings. That is what can bring these groups together. It is the effort in this conversation and more widely by the government to sanitize the war which is preventing this realization.

Bill, the one reason to exist for these parties is that they claim they vet the candidate. The witless wonder that currently occupies the White House was an example of the best choice that the republican party came up with not once, but twice. Why would anyone of intelligence buy that the current choice of the republican masters be any different. The behavior characteristics of Bush that have led to this political and economic disaster were there for any 1st year psychology student to see. The Republican masters chose him because of exactly what he was. Anyone associating themselves with this party must accept their values; that includes McCain. Why would the American people go back to the well that has so poisoned us yet again. Think America for God's sake this is absolutely your last chance to do a turn around. "If you want more of the same, vote mcCain. If you want even a chance for change vote Obama.

When George Bush the Elder selected Dan Quayle for VP I noted that this was done as impeachment insurance. Any possible action by Congress to investigate George's role in the Iran Contra affair swiftly evaporated.

So now I understand the selection of Palin.

The next questions are: (1) What is John McCain planning? (2) Can we anticipate continuation of the Bush imperial presidency?

Where in the hell was the broadcast. The presidential debates cleared Oregon Public Broadcasting; but cleared it in such a way that the Bill Moyers journal was postponed until this week which was the Financial crisis; and not Bacevich at all.

I disagree with conservative politics but don't disagree with Bacevich's analysis of our democracy today. The American citizenry does a piss-poor job of examining itself and looking inward to identify those problems which contribute to the decline of this country's democracy. We (American electorate) are arrogant and the republican party champions and channels this arrogance to the detriment of the planet. The absence of humility in American politics is felt more now than ever before. I do not believe that Obama would become an imperial president as Bacevich fears. Obama is an intellectual (unlike our current plebeian and imperious president) and more a philosophical statesman. He is a far cry from what the republicans offer which is nothing but more war and fear. The republican party is so bereft of any wisdom so much like a good portion of the American electorate. In my studies of American history, I've come to the conclusion that the American electorate learned nothing from Vietnam and if weren't for the disdain of history so amply shown by our current president (and supported by the ignorant and arrogant electorate) we would never have found ourselves in the mess that we are in today. Surely a Gore presidency would never have invaded Iraq! Alas, the republican party has heightened a state of war, fear and constant emergency in this country and the American electorate never seems to tire of it. Or does it? Will electing Obama actually change the climate of fear and war in this country?? Congress is an abject failure of a democratic institution and I believe the constitution as written on paper is so far removed from reality today that it begs for the calling of a new constitutional convention to redesign our "democratic" government. For starters, adopting a partliamentary style of government as exemplified by Great Britain would be a great start. Forcing a president to defend his decisions in front of a congress that consistently demands that their president argue and defend his position and if he or she is incapable of doing that, then he can be voted out of office via a lack of confidence of vote. I could go and on but democracy in the United States is a joke and our constitution is a joke as it is implemented today. The United States will always remain a democratic "experiment" but a far cry from democracy itself.

The only reasons the "President" has become so imperious are (1) we allowed the Installation (not the Election) of an Imperious and intemperate man, (2) Congress has totally abdicated its responsibilities.

The Democrats could have stopped the war cold by defunding it, but were afraid of propaganda retaliation by the Right. They'd rather get re-elected than do the right thing. So if the President is a Thug and Congress won't stand up to him, then you get what we have gotten: a march toward Authoritarianism with a Supreme Leader (whose Crimes are Not Crimes), and NO APOLOGIES FOR THE DEATH OF DEMOCRACY.

Read David Brock's "The Republican Noise Machine" and read John W. Dean's "Conservatives without Conscience". See the bibiography under references at whatiwanttoknow.org.

When "they" say they need another war, you tell them: PROVE IT, with ALL THE EVIDENCE. Otherwise WE'LL IMPEACH YOU FOR WAR CRIMES. Even just threatening Iran is a crime under International Law.

Tired of the propaganda...

Believe it or not, economics is based on trust and fidelity not gold in the ground. Our ten trillion dollar debt proves that the size of the numbers has nothing to do with the function of the economy. As long as we can project the debt to the future and maintain faith in the system; the size of the numbers is insignificant.
What does matter is efficient use of numbers to provide the equitable distribution of goods and services, the maintenance of society and the development of progress.
What we need to know is both the value of everything and the right cost for everything. Economics is a dynamic system and has to be projected to the future.
People need sufficient numbers to support their lifestyle just as government and industry need sufficient numbers to survive. The trick is allowing the economic system to work automatic as required and have numbers available to enhance the economic system.

Bacevich actually points out the psychological and spiritual dilemma facing the American people, though remaining politically, militarily and governmentally focussed. The tendency to blame the outside for our own interior difficulty is the paychological function of projection and denial. We resemble the Roman Empire as it was falling, busy indulging our vices, being entertained while people are fed to the lions (media), inept self-serving government (though there are genuine public servants in government). All empires are doomed to rise and fall, ours is falling. The question is how will we fall? Do we have the capacity to stop and look at ourselves and make different choices? It is demanded of us.

When we became the industrialize "teeming masses", when we were defeated by assasinations and liars in the White House, we masses became disenfranchised, disempowered. The actual fact that we are inextricably interconnected and that everything each one of us does affects everything and everyone else. This is known to us scientifically, ecologically, and from the mystical reality.

This economic crises is our second wake up call in a decade. As Congressman Kucinich said, "Wake Up America!" I don't know who to give the credit to, but someone said, "Democracy is advanced citizenship." We have an incredible opportunity now to stop behaving like Romans, fat, bloated pac man consumers believing it's our right to do whatever we want regardless of the cost, eating our peeled for us grapes flown in from Chile in the off season picked by field workers earning 10 dollars a day. How much oil does it take to get grapes to the US from Chile? How much does it cost to make a fruit supplier rich while exploiting people all over the planet?

Our power also lies in our consumer dollars, since that's all we're valued for, so what if we became smart consumers, lived more simply? What if we stopped gobbling up everything in sight? What if we really recognized that every single choice we make impacts the whole system? What if we realized that a little soul searching is good for everyone? What if we each actually took responsiblity for the situation we're in and decided to change the way we participate? Hmmm.

We're an ingenious delightful people. I really like Americans even the ones I disagree with heartily, resilient and resourceful and caring. What it means to be an American needs to be redifined. We have to recognize that to be a consumer society is an insult. Our happiness is not to be found through our consumption, our buying or crediting power, that's empty and it's destroying everything we ought to be holding dear. This country is really extraordinary. As Obama pointed out, we used to stand for something in the world, we used to provide people hope for the safety of having rights to speak freely (without wire tapping), to worship freely, to be able to protest, to get justice, not to be dominated by an ideology but to find one's own way.

We have to hold politicians accountable and PAY ATTENTION. When the rhetoric that they use to get elected is NOT what they do, they're OUT! We have to stop being manipulated by Rasputin like marketers who tell us what we want to hear while doing whatever they please. Remember that "ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS?" This is the huge problems the Republicans face. They talked a good game, they didn't deliver, and we the people not only let them get away with it, we got our greedy guts filled with the proceeds. The time has come to pay, not the fat cats, but the price. The consequences of our "buy now pay later" attitudes have come to pass.

As a person whose lived on the edge, whose credit rating is awful, I can tell you it's possible to live a fulfilled and happy life with very little ... it's probably more likely. Do more with less, need less, consume less, pay attention, know each person is an integral essential part of the whole, what we do matters.

The American Dream got hijacked by those who wanted money and power, it's not about being a billionaire and having a bunch of stuff. It's about the freedom to live a fulfilled life making a contribution not an empty life of endless consumption. We have always been at our best when participating in something larger than ourselves. We're all a part of a great experiment of mythological proportions: Can people effectively govern themselves? Freedom is not being free to indulge, it's great responsibility, it's being responsive to something larger than ourselves in every moment: society, country, community, planet, and/or whatever you may believe is the source and cause of all life. Who we are, how we live out our deepest held values is how change occurs. Gandhi said, "Be the change you want to see in the world." We have to stop letting ourselves off the hook. It's probably never been more important AND it's exactly how we come to be leaders in the world again, gain the respect of people. It means hard work, helping out one another, less comsumption of entertainment in isolation, more participation in whatever makes the world a little better, even in the smallest way. The only way a better tomorrow can dawn is by what each of us does right now. May we make informed compassionate choices.

Bill, as courageous as you, why not invite Ralph Nader?

His excellent interview 9/30
http://www.votenader.org/live/

Two points:
1) The Democrats were elected in 2006 to end the war, but they had only a simple majority and could not override the Presidential veto or a filibuster. I believe Bill Moyers should have pursued that issue when Bacevich said that the Democrats had failed.

2) Obama will NOT be an imperial president, he LEADS (not rules) by concensus.

Most of what Bacevich says is very insightful, but he clearly shows his Conservative bias on these two points. It is most unfortunate, because it limits how much the full spectrum of Americans will listen to him.

Absolutely incredible! I have never heard so much truth laid out in such a short time. There will be many who can't look in the mirror and honestly assess themselves and what they want vs. what they need. I needed to hear that someone out there understands what is really wrong with this country on so many levels.

In my family's house there is a mirror in the kitchen over the sink that I would notice my dad staring into on occasion. As I grew up there I watched how I matured day-to-day in that mirror as I passed through the kitchen. Then one day I came to realize that dad wasn't looking at his face, he was looking at his self and asking: "Am I who I need to be?" "Am I doing what needs to be done?" "Am I right or wrong?" I knew it because at that moment I started asking myself the same questions.

Hearing that interview w/ Mr. Bacevich speaking about the state of the populace of the United States just rang through so true to me and should inspire Americans to take a good hard look in the mirror too.

This was a profound interview. I will read the Col. B's book! I viewed Bill M's interview the day the Dow dipped 777 points. I think the interview and a long "look in the mirror" provided the most significant reason to panic...

It's very hard for us to hear that we, the American people, for various reasons, are a part of a systemic problem. Hyper-Consumption, entitlement, international arrogance, corporate hegemony etc...
Col Bacevich, (who lost a son to the wasteful needless Iraq war) with his incredibly well-spoken, thoughtful discourse, has given us a much needed kick in the ass toward realization. The fundamental point that change won't happen unless we actually stand up and do something will not go away. If we can bare to listen we will be well instructed.

That unrealistic sense of entitlement that we Americans feel (connecting back in history to the "Promised land theology" and Manifest destiny,) has led us to believe that it's ok to spend our resources like mad, (oil, food, land, forests, lives of soldiers) that it's ok to send the kids to war to defend some abstract notion of "National Security". We don't have a grasp of history and our relation to it, so Americans have little idea how not to behave with the flare of entitled adolescents.
This interview, Moyers and Bacevich knocked me over. In a media world full of fluffy pundits and mediocre intellects, the combination of these two intense thinkers was greatly rewarding even as it brought me to tears. Thank You PBS and Bill Moyers!

America LISTEN!

Well said.. totally agree with Bacevich.

Bacevich's facts are true, but his interpretation of those facts, no matter how plausible, is conjectural. Rather than cheerlead for Bacevich, Mr. Moyers might have offered alternative plausible interpretations. That is, Moyers might have been scientific rather than uncritical. Are the politicians just giving the American people what they want, as Bacevich claims, or are they, along with the big corporations, manipulating the people to want what they want? Why? Because by hyper-growing GDP, the government can get away with unheard of debt, and the corporations make unheard of profits. While the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, Bacevich blames the victim.

Great show....refreshing...so true.
What about saving the struggeling homeowners that were conned into these risky loans, and fine the originators. Investors that took out more than one of these loans are on their own!! To get the money for the refinancing, offer bonds or notes paying a good interest, tax free, up to 150,000.00 per taxpayer, to us taxpayers as a safe place to invest our retirements.
Who is going to put up the money for the 700 billion dollar loan? At what interest? Let the people of the United States invest in them.
Then clean up the mess....let the hedgefunds finance wall street.
A real campaign finance reform bill would help too!

Petition against Wall Street Bailout at http://www.nowallstreetbailout.com/ (as shown on C-SPAN's Washington Journal program on Sunday, September 28, 2008).

By the way, 60 Minutes interviewed the Treasury Secretary and stated that he's worth $500 Million. Care to guess who's behind he's trying to cover? He cannot be there for the fame or the money, so I can only surmise that he's there for the Have's to take from the Have Nots.

What a tragedy for the American citizen...

Vince Wilyard,
Thanks for the comprehensive post.
I think we have an unresponsive government that is going to self-destruct no matter how many buses we stuff.
We are all in the same bus going down the same road and it will take a major change of route to get to where we want to go.
We need to regain control of the government by the people. It will be necessary to wean the government of industrial control. It will be necessary to remove lobby ists from congress and use government funds to support elections. Candidates will be only those who are qualified to lead this country successfully. We can not afford more incompetent leadership. The citizens will have to curb their appetites and behave responsibly. Economics will have to be based on the efficient exchange of goods and services with both a trickle down and a trickle up economy to maintain both buying power and selling power. We need to regain truthful communications and moral principle consistent with people's best interests.
These things would be consistent with the welfare of industry and the welfare of citizens.
The alternative is death and destruction.

There are some thing I agree with Mr Bacevich with and some things I don't. For instance on an Armed Forces "draft". I absolutly believe that we should have one. For one, what we have now is a merceny army that is serving the power interests, money and power wise in America. It's an abomination what Bush and company have done to theseour brother and sister Americans and their familys. If our system was a mandatory draft,where the congressman and women could have their children called up as well, they might think a little harder before "approving a war". Furtheremore, even the Vietnam conflict I believe the resistance to men wanting to go to what appeared " and rightly so" to a senseless conflict-seems kinda similar to what we have now in IRAQ, was able to finally shut down the war. There is no such safety valve in the current mercenary situation. And let me tell you mercy is what these poor son of a guns of our soldiers are going to need, now and in the immediate future. This is only one area which I disagree with Mr B., there are many other ones but I take it in the future one at a time.

I do agree with the assessment in part because he addresses the problem for the most part.

The materialism and self centered or greed approach to America was a lament made even made by the founders because of the wide spectrum of the so-called Christian values.

The lament was the Christian traditional values that allowed the free thinking and free will of man to fluctuate or 'sin' on these values. The lament in detail was the justice for all and how to attain it.

Many of the country's leaders wrote or voiced this sentiment. Lincoln was strong on this lament and for one on the Dread Scot decision.

There was always a check and balance that let the America sway back and forth or traditionally mediated from the wrong interpretations of either side. It was not until the 20th century when the Warren Court threw out precedent and put feelings and psychology into the legal system thereby offsetting the balance and sway of the court.

You see this in the change from the pseudo Christian America to the secular or humanist values we have today. Mediation of the values was one sided and made truly neutral to allow values to be redefined to any ones' even evil values that seek to destroy.

This change and humanist occupied government was noted and explained by many of the traditional value organizations but they were ridiculed because of this sway of power and the materialistic attitude of the boomer generation. These of the Me generation powered with humanist psychology able to persuade the America through the courts to redefine these values.

The pseudo Christian America faded away, there was a brief wake up during the moral majority years but they went to snooze thereafter and put asleep in the 90s.

This change in America was incremental steps that started from the justice system allowing the liberalization of the American way of life.

The pseudo Christian America allowed a true melting pot of persons that came here like the legal immigrants before them to be part of the melting pot and not the hyphenated diverse and segmented societies we have now in America.

That is one reason that supports with Bacevich's statements that only part of America is fighting this so called global war that was created by an imperialistic government.

I disagree with him about SEATO treaty of RVN and his assessment that the Reagan Administration is part of the imperialistic government.

There are fine defining lines that separate actions that are in support of the Constitution and self interests.

We had since WWI an agricultural industrial commercial military complex that was converted to a military industrial complex that changed in the latter half of the 20th century, but these are issues that contribute to the topic because as Bacevich stated a multifaceted complex scenario. To the point it is the matter of right and wrong and who defines it. When traditional values are almost illegal and we have a humanist occupied government, it is those in power that have the pharaohs of justice able to redefine actions to fit their needs.

It will take many years to correct our situation and it is not the need of change, but the need to restore the traditional moral values this country espoused and maintained prior to the secular psychological rulings that destroyed the American melting pot.

Grady, about that march on Washington on 1-20-2009. How about this: A One Million Bus Convoy on Washington on that "special" day. Realistically we could probably get hundreds of busses into Washington D.C. if we were lucky. This would send a clear message that "We the People" are expecting real change and reforms, and quite quickly I might add.

To everyone posting and reading, I would like to posit a scenario that we would not like to find ourselves a part of in the next few years.

Multi-national banks dominating and manipulating our currency. Remember Germany when their money became worthless? Who came to power? Why? Once Germany fell into deep depression its people became desperate. They were willing to do anything to restore their national prominence, power, and wealth. They did just that. But their economy was based on a Military-Industrial Complex. This complex fueled a resurgence of capitalism controlled by industrialization vis a vis militarization. But it got people working again. They picked a scapegoat for their problems, and they started invading other countries.

Does anyone see or understand the parallels in our current set of dilemmas. We have a weakened currency due to an every expanding debt. Hubris has put us into over one hundred countries. Overconsumption has pushed our reliance on foreign energy sources to dangerously addictive levels. We have a presidential candidate who keeps pushing the same kind of fear mongering his current party leader in office has been helping to fuel through bad foreign policy.

We have no national security reason to be in Georgia. None. We have no national security reason to be in Iraq. None. So called "islamo-facists" have become the "greedy Jews" of our time. They have become the scapegoat / diversion to / from our foreign policy of interference in the name of "national interest". Iraq and Afghanistan are not the 51st and 52nd states my fellow Americans.

However, the saber rattling continues from the white house on through to the campaign trail. Meanwhile, private and personal finances continue to weaken. Banks, businesses, and institutions are failing on a regular basis. How long will it take before our currency is depressed to the point that is virtually worthless? Then it won't matter how much you earn. If people are perpetually working, then they have no time to question how we got to this point, never mind how we can change course.

Should our system go bankrupt, who would we turn to for leadership and guidance? When we cease to be a self-sufficient nation, who will manufacture our goods, grow our food, and build the arms necessary to defend ourselves as a free and united people?

So what am I getting at? Suppose that our system should fail. Then what? Who do we blame? Do we start blaming bogeymen in caves? Do we start blaming tyrants in Asia? That would be convenient, now wouldn't it? Then we could then justify building and basing our economy once again on a military-industrial system of capitalism. Who would complain? People would be working. A new currency would be invented to ensure the flow of goods, services, and of course arms manufacture to "defend our freedom". It would once again be patriotic to "go shopping", right? Fuel the economy while those in charge go get the "evil doers".

Does this read to be scary? It should. I hope that I am wrong. Unfortunately, corrupt governments always seem to find a way to convince the citizenry that those in charge are indispensable. Propaganda is strong even today. Now we must bail out faulty financial institutions while billionaires hide their windfall profits in foreign banks. And now the government, not the people, thinks that the only way to get this system back up and running again is to pump 3/4 of a TRILLION dollars into a system of finances so far removed from reality that it boggles the mind. But that is the point. By the time enough people figure out what went wrong, what is wrong, and what the real solutions are, the real criminals are back at the their schemes in some other form.

Free and responsible people do not need leaders. Leaders are for dictatorships and monarchies, two systems of government that our way of life is diametrically opposed to in every way imaginable. Those of us voting for other candidates hope to push those who claim to offer change in the just and ethical direction; because the other main campaign / philosophy seems to be on a one-way path to self-destruction.

I look forward to a meaningful reply.

Vince


A friend of mine once observed that the major Western cultural developments of the last few hundred years could be said to be religious democracy (epitomized by the Protestant reformation), followed by political democracy (epitomized by the establishment of the United States). If we continue this line of thought, then it is somewhat logical to conclude that the major challenge of our times is the establishment of economic democracy. The international imbalance of wealth between rich individuals and poor indiviiduals, between rich countries and poor countries, is practically beyond comprehension. If we address this issue, then many-- though not all-- of the corollary issues that have to do with trade, international debt, health care, education, racism and sexism will also be addressed.
The other major issue is the environment. We have seen recent, convincing evidence that the issues of economic democracy and environmental sustainability are the two biggest issues of our time. They are the ones that I would most like to see our leadership address. Currently the United States spearheads the problem in both of these areas; the question is, whether we can lead the world to solutions.

A draft is needed if we continue our current course. We are on a collision course with Russia over the Ukraine.
I agree with Bacevich that we do not need more troops but wiser foreign policy. Our Navy and Air Force are bigger than the Army can support. They could certainly attack Russia or China and do great damage, but boots on the ground is always needed.Then we could talk about MAD (mutual assured destruction). The size of our Air Force and Navy grew during Vietnam due to draft avoidance. I know people today that say they would rejoin Air Force or Navy but where turned down. I asked "did you try the Army", (after a few chuckles from bystanders) silence was the response.
The way to end temptation to flex military might is to reduce the Navy and Air Force drastically. The use of military force will be or undoing. We are not defending freedom we are imposing it and that is not freedom at all. This is tragic, I will guarantee that the Russian and Chinese will defend themselves with the same zeal we would.
I will end with his comments on the 1st Gulf War
"Politically, and strategically, the outcome of that war was far more ambiguous than people appreciated at the time. But nonetheless, the war itself was advertised as this great success, demonstrating that a new American way of war had been developed, and that this new American way of war held the promise of enabling the United States to exercise military dominion on a global basis in ways that the world had never seen.

The people in the Pentagon had developed a phrase to describe this. They called it, "full spectrum dominance." Meaning, that the United States was going to exercise dominance, not just capability, dominance across the full spectrum of warfare. And this became the center of the way that the military advertised its capabilities in the 1990s. That was fraud. That was fraudulent.

To claim that the United States military could demonstrate that kind of dominance flew in the face of all of history and in many respects, set us up for how the Bush Administration was going to respond to 9/11. Because if you believed that United States military was utterly unstoppable, then it became kind of plausible to imagine that the appropriate response to 9/11 was to embark upon this global war to transform the greater Middle East. Had the generals been more cognoscente of the history of war, and of the nature of war, then they might have been in a better position to argue to Mr. Rumsfeld, then the Secretary of Defense, or to the President himself, "Be careful." "Don't plunge ahead." Recognize that force has utility, but that utility is actually quite limited. Recognize that when we go to war, almost inevitably, there are going to be unanticipated consequences. And they're not going to be happy ones.

Above all, recognize that, when you go to war, it's unlikely there's a neat tidy solution. It's far more likely that the bill that the nation is going to pay in lives and in dollars is going to be a monumental one. My problem with the generals is that, with certain exceptions, one could name as General Shinseki, with certain exceptions-" Andrew Bacevich

Mr McCain listen to this West Point Grad, I bet he paid attention in class. You should have tried it. Jimmy Carter represented the Naval Academy well. Do the same!


I thought after writing my last that a political party formed to implement my list of six changes could accommodate both John Edwards and Andrew Bacevich.

However, there is a need for a larger goal which is to focus on fairness, whether in making changes on my list or any other part of our system. What I consider to be fair includes both fair concern for the less fortunate and fair reward for hard effort, risk taking, and talent.

Re John Edwards
(I am assuming it is the well known John Edwards.)
Might I suggest that your list is too long. It could be covered with a shorter list of more basic principles. Then we could concentrate on a few new laws that might be more carefully considered.

My list includes: (1)ending our attempt to dominate other countries, (2)educating our people so they are sensible voters and thus making democracy feasible, (3)ending corruption in government, (4)keeping religion out of government and government out of religion based issues, (5)providing for basic needs of everyone, and (6)re-establishing an industrial system.

Most of these are self explanatory, but the last one opens a number of complicated issues. Many of us have different ideas on these. Some proposals that seem to be technically sound do not seem so good when they are looked at closely. But if the other five basic principles are tended to, then we have a good chance of getting the new system we need.

Some examples of well intentioned acts that have been, or will turn out to be, mistakes: (1)Using our agricultural capacity to make ethanol as fuel for very inefficient vehicles. (2)Financing the auto industry to re-tool to make what they tell us are efficient hybrid or plug-in hybrid vehicles, where it appears that the plug-in craze is mostly going to end up in shifting from oil to coal as the fuel source, and again, the guzzling goes on.

Thanks for reading my thoughts.
Best regards, Jim Bullis

Andrew Basevich has an understanding and insight into the current state of affairs in the United States which exceeds by light years that of the two current candidates for President. The solution would encompass a grass routes effort via the internet to name Mr. Basevich as a write-in for the office of President of the United States of America. This effort would be predicated on two preconditions. First would Mr. Basevich be willing to serve. The second is how many states have a position on the ballot for a write-in candidate. What say you Mr. Basevich?

Any experts out there with the knowledge to answer the second question?

Petition against Wall Street Bailout at http://www.nowallstreetbailout.com/

First, I was surprised and amazed that I agreed with almost everything Mr. Bacevich asserted. Maybe my efforts to be independent objective are finally paying off..

Here's my take on the current situation:

Bush and Wall St. want a "top-down" solution, as ever. What is needed is a "bottom-up" fix. The big boys have problems w/ loan defaults. People are loosing their houses. Help those people who are deserving pay their mortgages and big boys' problem will go away.

Give people jobs, education, health care. Then they will be able to afford their mortgages. Fix the infrastructure and give people jobs in the process. Invest in America. Invest in education. Infrastructure, jobs, education, health care are all investments that will provide valuable returns both to individuals and society.

End the war. NOW!

Go full ahead with solar based energy - it's the only resource that will still be available in 300+ years, in 1000+ years. Every penny we invest now will return many many times over after a few hundred years. Plus, solar can become cleanest most sustainable energy source available, if it's ever adequately funded...

The problem with solar is it is egalitarian - the sun shines on everybody. The opportunity for Big Money to make Big Profits (like the oil companies are doing) by controlling the supply doesn't exist.

Withholding education, energy, health care, credit, etc. and spiraling inflation is a tool used by those on top to keep those at the bottom of the economic pyramid there forever.

Institute a plan to conserve valuable natural resources for future generations: Our children's children's children at minimum.

Do not reward the few big boys for screwing-up as astronomically as they have. Put it where it will do the greatest good for the greatest number.

The US needs a multi-party system where sensible people like Ralph Nader and Ron Paul can contribute and make a difference -- put and end to RepubliCrat totalitarianism!

Thanks for the opportunity to express myself!

Humbly Submitted for Your Consideration,

rj

The first thing we need to do is to select a panel of experts on social structure. The second thing we need to do is reconstruct our economics to support a quality life style for our people and to support our social structure. The third thing we need to do is put people to work reconstructing our infra-structure based on efficiency and quality life.
We also need to elect a vice-president who is an expert on social structure and put him in charge of running the country. Then we need to elect a popular president who can inspire good works.
The Judicial Branch should be free from politics and the Supreme Court Members voted in by the people.
Anything short of that will be a failure.

We have had to date two Bush's in the White House. One wonders if either knew there was a country out there...

The law is slow moving, almost glacial, but one wouldn't want to be on the wrong end of the glacier. We will need to wait 30 years for a correction.

I think it may be time to start a new political party. The country may be ready for this.
The party will need to appeal across the spectrum.
It would be 'Change with a Difference' and 'Yes, We Should!'
First we need to wait for Obama's victory in November, then begin a grassroot effort.
The platform might include:
No more foreign adventures
Energy independence by 2012
Regulatory control of credit policies
Respect for our freedoms
Reigning in of presidential powers
Educational initiatives re Choice
Discouraging Outsourcing abroad
Opening Dialogues w Foreign States
through finding common ground
Respect for Abortion Concerns
Support for Small Business
Labeling products re carbon emission
Health care for all
Overhaul of government waste
Promote international cooperation
on 'terror as criminal activity'
Promote local business/farming
Restore US as a moral leader
Insist on more international support
in Afghanistan
Insist on Iraqi govt assuming financial
and military responsibility with firm
timetable of withdrawal
Encourage EU expansion, not NATO,
for states near Russia
Convince Russia we mean peace
Stop increase in drilling for oil, unless
combined with rapid development of
alternative energies - not nuclear
Strengthen the UN
Stop adversarial international politics
Increase minimum wage
Encourage two-way trade, control
incoming flood of cheap goods
Support families and early childhood
education
Support gun ownership while
tightening control on automatic
weapons
Focus on hunger and homelessness in
in the US
Help inner city social problems
Fund speeded up security against
criminal terrorism - boost FBI

I'm curious how many people would join together to work out such a platform for a new party.
I'm ready to start something.
Thanks for reading this.
John

How about this?? Instead of being sworn in with a hand on a Bible the next President have his hand on Col. Baceivich's Book "The Imperial Presidency"? This could be and should be read and discussed like Thomas Paine's "Common Sense" in American pre-revolutionary era. Thanks again Bill Moyers for your intelligent, thoughtful and insightful interviews with the most lucid and interesting people. I am never disappointed but always engaged and become more curious. You are the best excuse for having a television set even if i still have an old black and white with tin foil on my rabbit ear antenna. PBS is all i need. Much Thanks.

Not only have we been asked not to sacrifice we are not involved at all. What percentage of the American people can find Iraq on the map? 5% 2% Quite sad.

My only criticism is with his notion that our government produces an economic system that reflects the desires of the people. To me that's similar to the old saying about people only wanting Model T Fords in the color black so that's all Ford produced.

It's not the people, but rather corporate America whose demands / desires are reflected in the economic system produced by our government.

Let's be honest it's all about money in D.C. Another name for it is bribery; you can buy what you want if you have enough money and know the right people. Who is it that's spending all that money in D.C.?? It's not "we the people"!

Most people I know would much rather do the right thing, and would prefer to do all the right things as a nation. We could march a million people to D.C. and it would be ignored by the government and the mainstream media.

Other than that I agreed with just about everything he had to say. Maybe he would make a great Secretary of Defense? Or head of the DOE?

Assuming (as you suggest) our current war to be misguided:
What motivates our youth to continue to support a volunteer military?
Why should this volunteerism be encouraged, supported, or rewarded?

In the Vietnam-era song "Christmas in my soul", the late, great singer/songwriter Laura Nyro sings: "I love my country as it dies in war and pain before my eyes." These lyrics came to mind upon reading some viewers' response to Professor Bacevich's trenchant and sobering analysis of where the United States finds itself today. Although Barack Obama is functioning within the current political and electoral structure, and is therefore its captive, I believe that if elected he has the insight, intention, and capacity to start to repair the damage. From Washington to Lincoln to FDR, a truly great president has appeared on the scene at a critical juncture every 64 to 68 years. Let's hope and pray the pattern holds.

My husband and I turned the channel to watch Bill Moyers and were so moved, by the conversation I had to post a comment. Mr. Bacevich is a man of intellect, a man of wisdom and genius. If both of the presidential candidates were to read this Mr. Bacevich's book it would change the whole debate and the whole election. I am now about to go and purchse the book and pass it on. I hope many people do the same. How blessed we are to have an American like Mr. Bacevich.

Dear Mr. Bacevich and friends:
I am very grateful to find that there are indeed many American citizens who really can look at themselves honestly. For us, who observe you from outside, and have to work with you from within, often recognize the tacit traits, which were eloquently explicated by Mr. Bacevich. Every nation on the earth has a similar problem. Arrogance of entitlement, complacency, and narcissism, etc, frequently blinds us all with a façade of nationalism and patriotism. Frightening reality is that United States has been so big that her blindness has cost countless grievances in the world. The way American citizens vote for their leader always has its consequence, and especially for the last 8 years, we helplessly witnessed its repercussions with a horror. Freedom and Power necessitates Responsibility and Humility. I pray that every American citizen can find a courage and means to cultivate wisdom and understanding, so that the United States can be more responsible and humble to exercise her power and freedom.

Mr.Bacevich I was watching the debate last night,but got bored so I turned the channel to pbs,and the longer I listen the more I liked listening to you,and I have one question, why are you not running for president? you know more about what to do than the two that are running, and god help us all if either one of them get it. and that's one reason that I want be voting this year,because neither one has said anything that makes any sense but listening to you I think you have your head in the right place.So what do you say about running for president? Maybe there's still time to save this country.Please think about it. I would vote for you and so would alot of people,you can count on it. we're begging you to save us. thank you and may god have mercy on our souls.

The escalation and reward of Greed and consumption as moral endeavors in this country have induced a blind and mindless stupor that has made us forget where we came from and who we are. Like church and state - money and state need to be separate. Unless we face the mirror, and as individuals work to stop lobbyists, corporate contributions, PACS and other corrosive monetary influence, we will truly see the end of democracy.

Having watched last nights programme I have to admit Bacevich is right on more fronts than N.Americans would like to admit. There is not much can be done about a over exploited citizen who all their life has been told 'This is the Greatest Country' and 'You deserve all there is to get out of life' and 'Gov. should stay out of your business' and American corporations and military will rape, pillage and plunder other countries for the goods and services that N.Americans need to keep up this pretense. But, no one told N.Americans the ..vast corporate/political avarice... it would take to accomplish this.

Mr. Bacevich,
You are in great pain. I feel your pain. I to am in great pain. We live in a society that breeds pain. I love my country and I am blessed, but I fear it could end at any time. I don't want anyone to suffer, especially my children, family, and friends. I don't want to see one American, Human, or gods creations suffer needlessy. I'm sorry for your sons needless murder.

I believe there are simple solutions. But they require great sacrifice. Our biggest obstacle is us of course. As you stated, each of us must be willing to look in the mirror and accept our social mistakes. We live on this incredible planet that takes care of all of our needs, but most of us refuse to fulfill taking care of an internal need that we are obligated to fulfill: Returning the Favor. We are obligated to take take of our planet, but instead we turn our back on Mother Earth. This is the root of our pain. We must take care of our planet and all its living beings. WE MUST TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER. What a crazy idea! It just might work?

Think of a tree and it's relationship to earth. The tree ask for some soil and water. In return the tree provides shelter, food, shade, purifies the air we all need, and gives life to countless species. In return it asks for some dirt and warter. Instead of modeling our own behaviors after the noble tree we instead try to slaughter the whole species.

We need to become part of our ecosystem instead of destroying all of our ecosystems.

We have the answers, we know what we must do to turn this world around. We must sacrifice our current lifestyles for the survival of life. For some this is great sacrifice. For others this is common sense. Can we meet in the middle?

WE MUST TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

Yes, I agree with his assessment. No, I don't believe we can fix it because government is merely a reflection of it's people. This country is devoid of any saving grace. We don't care about anything
but going shopping and if it comes from child slave labor, so be it. If this wasn't the case then how come Walmart is still in business? Where is the outrage? I rest my case. When I see a national boycott of Walmart then I'll believe there is hope for america.

A point Mr. Bacevich made about the imperial presidency being the people's choice rather than something imposed upon us really hit home. Earlier in the evening the BBC ran a short piece on the manner in which France operates its economy. There, you cannot employ a credit card to buy something you cannot afford. If you don't have the money in the bank, you cannot buy. Hence, France seems better able to withstand the shocks which are presently rippling through the markets.

This makes sense to me. I have always felt the onerous weight of debt, have never been able to wait till the end of the month to pay for things I want or need, so I have simply gone without. No credit cards for me. I don't point this out as a sign of superior wisdom - it has been a matter of reprieve from anxiety, and you can call me oldfashioned, antedeluvian even. Just the way I am. But in light of the inability of either presidential candidate last night to speak directly to us (and perhaps this was not the venue) about our profligacy, our personal, private or semiprivate profligacy, I would really like to see Mr. Moyers follow up on this point in future programs.

The American public needs to be weaned of its attitude towards ownership, because in a very real way that attitude extends and enlarges into an imperial attitude towards the world at large. And I think we are seeing that the world isn't going to put up with it much longer.

What each of us does in our own lives, in educating our children, will make a difference to the country we become as we deal with this crisis.

Great interview, Mr. Moyers.

After watching this interview, the previous presidential debate seemed such an exercise in futility.


Mr. Bacevich’s expressed thoughts that I'd been keeping supressed in the back of my mind. I have a sixteen and a twelve year old and these thoughts are frightening.

Everyone should by two of these books: one for yourself, and one for your congressional representative.

Mr. Bacevich, if you were to run for office, I would vote for you. Not that I think you're a savior of some sort. It's that one who speaks the truth and has sacrificed for his country as much as you have would be able to lead better than all "leader" I've yet seen.
May peace be with you and all of us.

Mr. Bacevich speaks the truth. I feel we live in a false economy that breeds materialism in the hopes we will stay content and docile and not disturb the aministration that rapes the world of its riches so the few can control the masses. We've been sold a bill of goods that is passed from one generation to the next. Who is truly happy! Its refreshing to know that someone gets it! The solution is: Stop settling for the BULL! We need to build our movement and unite all that understand that we cannot afford to continue this way of life or we will perish, or even worse be dominated. It is time for total sacrifice from all Americans if we want to preserve true freedom. Giving up our stupid, materialistic, toxic lifestyles is a responsiblity we must all share. Our time is here. Can we afford to wait any longer. It is time to clean house. Again, we need to make extreme sacrifices and endure these extremes for the survival of our beautiful country. Start with throuwing away your television, and then your car. Start riding a bicycle, and then plant a garden. Lead by example, clean thine house, and others will follow. There are no easy answers, but there are plenty of simple solutions if we are willing to sacrifice for beatiful America.

I'm no writer. Just a simple person willing to sacrifice. I want a society in which the basic core principle is: TAKE CARE OF EACH OTHER.

Capitolism = Greed = Selfish = Evil = Painful Demise

Why can't we just take care of each other? Like a family takes care of each other. Like a team takes care of each other. Can society maintain if we don't learn to act as a community that cares for each other?

I repeat my comment here below from this repeat of an earlier broadcast since nothing has changed except we are now in the final throes of a dying United States Republic from its planned financial disintegration and final takeover of the government by the corporations. After exhaustive research and much critical thinking as to the truth of 9/11/2001 and reading the past issues and watching and listening to all of the videos and webcasts at http://www.larouchepac.org/
http://www.larouchepub.com/eirtoc/index.html
http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/ I can only conclude our United States Republic as established by our founding fathers in order to get away from the tyranny of aristocratic and oligarchic Anglo-Dutch Liberal financial control through financial looting has this one last chance to survive IF We the People can force the Congress to force a bankruptcy onto the financiers rather than the financiers forcing the bankruptcy onto us by passing the Homeowners and Bank Protection Act of 2008 then establish a new world financial system with an FDR intended Bretton Woods Agreemeent even at the risk of Bush declaring matial law.

US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich has detailed the symptoms of the disease that has inflicted the Republic of The United States of America, however his recommendations only address and treat those symptoms rather than the disease itself.

Anyone who has opened there eyes and done their own research into the truth about the events of 9/11/2001 KNOWS 9/11 was not a surprise attack on America by Islamo-fascists, but an inside job orchestrated by fascist criminal elements inside the US government to justify the launching of continuing multiple wars throughout the globe. However, many if not most of those people refuse to talk about it openly for “political” reasons. Therefore, Iraq was not a mistake. Iraq was just one more well planned and executed “chaotic” step in the "right" direction of global empire building and eventually intended to lead to the ultimate demise of the Nation State including The United States of America whereby a small faction of global financial elites will ultimately rule the world from the top down and "democracy" will only exist for the very few at the top as it did in ancient Greece rather than for the majority of the people and for their "general welfare" as was intended for the latter by the founding fathers and stated in the Preamble of the US Constitution as follows:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The ONLY prescription for treating the disease that inflicts our republic and to preserve democracy as the founding fathers intended is rather quite simple however it's enactment quite bloody for the controlling financial elites. Return to The American System of Political Economy as the founding fathers intended and throw off completely and without compromise the chains of the “British” Oligarchic (read privatization) System of Colonial Empire Building and Central Private Banking that has been systematically foisted back upon this country by “Tories” found both inside and outside of our government and private industries. It has been this latter “British” Adam Smith Private Central Banking System (read Corporatism as in the pure Mussolini form of Fascism with its complete control of the mainstream media and continuing dissemination of propaganda) that has allowed private financiers to control governments and armies including our own (of which people like US Army Colonel Andrew J. Bacevich and his deceased son were members) and continually provoke wars in their ( the financial elites) interests and not for the general welfare of the people and the peoples sovereign state.

Eisenhower warned us in 1961 in his “farewell” speech about the forces behind the curtain, the military-industrial-(congressional) complex that if allowed to continue to consolidate its power would eventually come to influence and control all aspects of economic, political, scientific, and even spiritual aspects of American life.

We are there NOW. Where is our General Smedley D. Butler? Colin Powell squandered his chance.

Less than fifty days from the election, I hope Obama and McCain are willing to spend some time watch this program and to read Bacevich's book. I also hope that Jim Lehrer can watch the interview, read the book, and relate some of his questions to the book. Can anyone help.
I do not think that I will voate for either McCain or Obama, period.

Bill, I watched tonight with great interest, vast agreement, then with eventual shame, to your guest, Mr. Bacevich. Tonight he gave, us, the American average citizen a mirror into which to look...unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, I looked. He also gave us a well deserved spanking, which we Baby Boomers seem to need. I have seen the error of my ways, because I see now, that I have been duplicitous (thank you, spell check) in checking out on the obligations of the average citizen to it's country, it's people, it's military, it's constitution, and it's dreams. My question to you Bill, and it is a quite serious one...WHAT DO I DO NOW? A single vote no longer does any good...a phone call? nada....You have done a very good job, tonight of showing the error of my ways, but how do I take back what I gave away so complacently. This is my frustration. Can you at least give me a hint?
Thank you,
Rene

Andrew Bacevich and Bill Moyer=chilling view of America: our way of life is not negotiable-means we are locked into a death spiral
Bacevich: to send young Americans back repeatedly into Iraqi is not supporting the troops... it is a civic irresponsibility shared by all americans
In essence, there is no difference between Obama and McCain. It remains an imperial presidency drunk on it's own power
it is a dream that America's way of life can transform the world into a better place-Hah! Export financial meltdown, oil dependency, palin
The American dream, what'd that guy say? The Air-conditioned nightmare?!?!?!
Krishnamurti: What good does it do to be healthy in a sick society? To be healthy means to wake up from the dream, no?
The sheep look up
it was a very chilling interview, moved me to tears of rage

Thank you so much for this program..it cannot be said enough that this country is in serious trouble. We have lost our way.

The framers designed this country to work from the bottom up not the top down.
The federal government has become the IMPERIAL government.

Bacevich is right. The problem is here!!
Until we as an electorate recognize that we have allowed our state legislatures and state governments to abdicate to this Imperial federal government.
I don't things are going to change, unless we are willing to demand accountability beginning in our States and fight for reasonable rational government.

There is an old expression

Ones first obligation is to their family, the second to their community, the third to their state and region, and finally to their country.

It is not the "Governments"
fault..it is ours as a people we have turned away from our communities and looked to the Imperial Government to do the right thing.
Unfortunately we are beginning to see what are indifference has created and the ugly reflection of what we have become.

After watching Bacevich on Bill Moyers a few weeks back, I emailed many friends and relatives and told them to watch this interview if it should be repeated. Up to that point, I had never heard of Bacevich, let alone read any of his books. After watching the re-broadcast this evening, I am now of the opinion that the best person for the job of President is not on the ballot. Bacevich displays a level of common sense, insight, knowledge, truthfulness, integrity, and credibility that is sorely missing in our elected representitives today.

Taxpayers...spread em wide

Besides reaming out the taxpayer by saddling them with the $700 billion rip off - I heard that the average taxpayer will be paying an increase to their tax bill of about $700 to $800 a year to fund clean and renewable energy once these plans kick in.

Another issue for the taxpayer. All these mega financial institutions that are being created by emergency mergers will be way too big to ever let fail. When these institutions run into hard times where will the gov turn for their bailout...the taxpayer.

Political sickness can be summed up with this last tidbit...

Original Paulson plan = 3 pages in length.

Democratic revision of Paulson plan = 44 pages in length

Republican revision of democratic revision of Paulson plan = 104 pages in length

Public Radio sources.

Since it is not easy to find the previosly posted discussions, I need to clarify my last. I am not referring to automobiles like we drive today. Rather, a whole new approach to the car is appropriate. And this is possible.

Jack Martin and Grady Lee Howard would be better as President and VP than McCain and Palin. They would understand history of our country, what is important, and would represent the needs of everyone. As far as world affairs is concerned, choosing Palin was one bold stroke by McCain that showed he placed very little value on his own experience since he is willing to leave us with someone who is without anything remotely similar to that of himself. But McCain and Palin are well positioned to be elected homecoming king and queen.

Since Jack and Grady might be a little rough on the system, and things could get a bit primitive, Obama might be better. He seems to have skills that would better keep our financial system pumping along. Maybe that would buy us time to get a few more basic parts of our system in order.

My list includes (1)ending our attempt to dominate other countries, (2)educating our people so they are sensible voters and thus making democracy feasible, (3)ending corruption in government, (4)keeping religion out of government and government out of religion based issues, (5)providing for basic needs of everyone, and (6)re-establishing an industrial system.

I have discussed the last of these in previous posts. Jack and Grady have not completely agreed with my view that automobiles are desirable and that everyone should have one. Jack has recognized that by building innovative products, we could actually get industry moving. I add that the problem with the financial community is that there is not much industrial revitalization going on for them to finance.

But I want to also note that there should be a strong profit motive (not an absurd one) left in place, and that when I say basic needs, I do not mean free video games. And that it is ok to rely on experienced and educated people to call the shots.

The first thing we need to do is to select a panel of experts on social structure. The second thing we need to do is reconstruct our economics to support a quality life style for our people and to support our social structure. The third thing we need to do is put people to work reconstructing our infra-structure based on efficiency and quality life.
We also need to elect a vice-president who is an expert on social structure and put him in charge of running the country. Then we need to elect a popular president who can inspire good works.
The Judicial Branch should be free from politics and the Supreme Court Members voted in by the people.
Anything short of that will be a failure.

Let's have a big REALITY CHECK! Congress is broken. The Constitutional checks and balances that we used to have are gone. Congress no longer works for "we the people" but rather for big corporations. We've had 8 years of lies and deceit by those in charge. The entire system reeks of rampant lies and colusion, while the majority of us continue to struggle--just to make ends meet. It is an outrage to think that American citizens should have to bail out the fraudsters, banksters, all the crooks of Wall Street, and all the rich who are pulling the strings in the US Shadow Government. The US needs a cleansing. It needs to be cleaned out as the Augean Stables were in ancient Greek myth!

Let's have a big REALITY CHECK! Congress is broken. The Constitutional checks and balances that we used to have are gone. Congress no longer works for "we the people" but rather for big corporations. We've had 8 years of lies and deceit by those in charge. The entire system reeks of rampant lies and colusion, while the majority of us continue to struggle--just to make ends meet. It is an outrage to think that American citizens should have to bail out the fraudsters, banksters, all the crooks of Wall Street, and all the rich who are pulling the strings in the US Shadow Government. The US needs a cleansing. It needs to be cleaned out as the Augean Stables were in ancient Greek myth!

Brenda Johnston-Sept. 3, 2008-11:48pm: The Continental Congress did not write or ratify the Constitution. An elite of landowners, slave holders, land speculators, bond holders and merchants sent representatives to a convention ostensibly to amend the Articles of Confederation. When the document that suited this elite was fully drafted a minority (of the wealthier men in each state) ratified it by a hurried vote. There was resistance from small holders, mechanics and some professionals but people in the interior never knew it had occurred until months later. The most caring and astute sponsors demanded the new Congress sponsor the Bill of Rights and other amendments, some of which did not pass or were never ratified by the states. Under one which guaranteed adequate representation in Congress there now would be over 5,000 representatives holding office because of increased population.
The whole country then had a population about like a smaller state (Alaska or Montana) so you see it wasn't that hard for a savvy elite to impose a Constitution favoring their interests. A few people ran everything, kind of like Alaska today, and it was very self-serving. The two prime movers were Alexander Hamilton (Federalist) and James Madison(Demo-republican), so you see we already had a one party state. Everyone sweated in the city summers back then (no A/C) so that's not such a big deal. When Thomas Jefferson returned from revolutionary France after Washington was elected he was shocked at the elite coup, but he adjusted and took full advantage of the new rulebook. So it is no surprise today, Brenda Johnson, that we have a wealthy elite that owns and runs everything in a sham democracy (pluto-oligarchy). So don't invoke myths of a never was, ask why things are not getting better.

Our system - while it has gotten quite out off balanced (the tail wagging the dog, so to speak) is not too far gone. At least I hope as much. We need someone to step up and challenge the status quo. With everything that I read where people are upset by the current state of political affairs in this country, I believe that a true grassroots campaign could work (sorry Obama, $300M - to me - does not sound like a "grassroots" campaign). We need a genuine president, who can stand up to congress (who do the actual heavy lifting) and smack some sense into them so that - maybe - they will actually do the job that they were hired to do. There is a great deal wrong with this country...but I believe that it can still be set right.

The Continental Congress spent their valuable time in hot, uncomfortable quarters forging a democracy that would free us from the tyranny of imperialistic rule. Yet now, every four years we go to the polls to elect what can only be called a king (one day a queen)...one who wields unlimited power to make all the decisions about our lives. And then within months, we complain that he is not doing a good job as we sit back watching it all on our TVs. You cannot "elect" a king! We, unlike many in the world, are able to elect key components of our government to ensure the checks and balances that bring about decisions for the common good. And then we have ways to make them respond to us. But, you can't "phone it in". The president and his cabinet are only part of our form of government. Do you know those running for the legislative branch? Do you know about the local races? And do you understand that pulling the lever is not the end of your responsibility to Democracy? I celebrate the sheer size of the numbers engaged, for the first time in forever, wanting to be involved in the process (now if we could just make them think). Bush and his cabal did not subvert the Constitution, rob the treasury and leave the country in near ruin alone...our complicity made it possible. In his book "Moyers on Democracy", Bill Moyers begins with: "Democracy in America is a series of narrow escapes, and we may be running out of luck." And time…tick-tock people.

Mr Bacevich's comments are a great follow up to compare along side a previous and frequent guest, Kathleen Hall Jamieson...notably her latest book Presidents Creating the Presidency.

Republicans are people who say to those whom they exploit, "I've got mine, the heck with you."

Yesterday I was chatting with the sweetest, gentlest woman in China and asked her what she thought about our government and conventions. She said “Bush is an idiot donkey.” What about Barack Obama? Her reply, “Isn’t he the man who wants more war?” I said “No, that is John McCain, Obama wants to stop the war.” She replied, “Oh, then that is the man who rides the donkey.”

It begins to make one see that others in the world have interesting views of America. One would say, if she was 6 y/o, ‘out of the mouths of babes’, but she is a 37 y/o elementary school teacher.

It takes two sides to lie; The liar and the believer. Simply blaming the gang of Bush and Cheney is just not honest, above all, it will not bring meaningful change.

The government has intimidated the media -- PBS and MOYERS included -- from covering the real issues of the 9/11/2001 terror attack.

Scientists and engineers around the world have volunteered their skills for the past 6 years to uncover strong evidence that "9/11" was a FALSE FLAG event most likely as a pretext for preemptive attacks on nations with oil resources.

The available, de-classified history of how the US government has used FALSE FLAG terror as a pretext to engage preemptive military action tells us that 9/11 is really nothing new except that 9/11 was the "Mother of False Flags" when the target of government sponsored terrorism was the murder of thousands of Americans and foreign nationals in the collapse of three (3) World Trade Center skyscrapers - an act of deliberate and premeditated destruction using controlled demolition to bring down each building at virtual free-fall speed.

KNOW YOUR HISTORY!

KNOW YOUR SCIENCE!

KNOW THAT NOTHING WILL EVER BE RIGHT... until a valid criminal investigation uncovers the TRUTH about just WHO sponsored 9/11.

By the way, the FBI has no evidence that Bin Laden was connected with 9/11.

Look it up on the 10 most wanted FBI site.

Mr. Moyers -- Do your duty and make this investigation a priority for your journal.

HWS
Fan of Smedley Butler


Can the imperial presidency be fixed? Yes, but only if there is the political will. Bush and Cheney are arguably the most impeachable President and Vice-President in the nation's history, yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi declared impeachment "off the table." Why? It appears that the Democratic leadership figured that they have an excellent chance to gain the White House in 2008 and that to introduce impeachment proceedings would be an encumbrance. Never mind that the Bush Administration has authorized measures that violate our Constitution.

Right now, during the Democratic Convention, it is of course fair game to criticize the Administration for its mishandling of the economy and foreign policy, but it is off the table to imply, much less allege, that the President has authorized acts deemed criminal according to our Constitution. Significantly, when Senator Kucinach spoke at the Democratic Convention, the Obama Campaign redacted the following one liner, "They're [the Republicans] are asking for another four years; in a just world they'd get ten or twenty."

The judiciary, even the Supreme Court, has not been particularly effective in curbing the imperial (criminal in some instances) presidency because every time there is a ruling that limits presidential power, Bush has gone to the Congress to get a law passed that circumvents the court's ruling. This brings me back to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's statement that Impeachment is "off the table." It could be argued that Congress, Democrats and Republicans alike, has indirectly colluded with the President by voting for laws that legitimize and/or cover up the Administrations illegal authorizations.

Not long ago, I thought that a post election Truth Commission would in some measure set limits on Executive power and help to restore our democracy, but I now I doubt that the American people, much less the Congress, have the political will to investigate this recent chapter in our nation's history. Perhaps change will only take place when the American people decide not to let their democracy slip away from them.


I recall a wonderful NET Biography of Samuel Adams that featured this song sung by Judy Collins.

The Patriot Game

For the love of one's country
is a terrible thing.
It banishes fear
with the speed of a flame,
And it makes us all part
of the patriot game.
— Dominic Behan

Not quite, forty-one years ago, I witnessed a federal marshal thug beat the wife of a soldier, an Army medic from Indianapolis, at the Pentagon in Washington. My first visit to Washington and a police officer of the federal government beat that brave young woman while her husband risked his life in Vietnam for reasons that remain incomprehensible to me. That brutal image floods memory.

And our draft dodging president and vice-president repeated the folly.

Not quite, forty-one years ago, I witnessed a federal marshal thug beat the wife of a soldier, an Army medic from Indianapolis, at the Pentagon in Washington. My first visit to Washingon and a police officer of the federal government beat that brave young woman while her husband rish his life in Vietnam.

It floods memory.

Colonel, I just wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you for writing your book and giving that interview on PBS. I am currently a psychological operations sergeant in the army reserve, as well as a graduate student, and you expressed exactly how I think about the dynamic between the American people and our government. I first came to understand the military's use in projecting power in the support of economic objectives while I served as a young man in the active duty navy. The navy is the ultimate instrument of force projection around the world.
There is another dynamic that I believe drives U.S. policy, a belief in the global market system. While there is a belief in the Islamic world that all the problems of a nation can be solved if that nation or state embraced Islam and submitted to Sharia law, there is an equally comparable belief here concerning the power of the capital market system. That is, whatever ails a nation-state, whether it's a poor educational system, infrastructure, health care, human rights, etc... it can all be solved by plugging into the global capital free market and take part in free enterprise.
What is ironic is that China, a totalitarian regime, is the most successful capitalist market in the world, which seems to be ignored.
Both the west and the Middle East seem to cleave to these beliefs in the solutions to the worlds problems in spite of actual, empiric evidence.

Again, thank you so much, sir.

SSG Holden

Mr. Bacevich stated, "Who died?... And was it worth it? Now, there will be plenty of people who are going to say, "Absolutely, it was worth it. We overthrew this dictator." But I hope and pray that there will be many others who will make the argument that it wasn't worth it. "

Was it worth it? Where was he when millions of ordinary people who marched in hundreds of cities to protest the war. This was done prior to the launch of this "war", but to no avail. Even to this day, in some towns and cities across this nation, people gather on street corners calling for the return of our troops.

Congress has (and still is) being an enabler to GW's war. Again, thousands of citizens across this nation emailed (and continue to email) their Representatives and Senators to withhold funding (which isn't even reflected in the budget).

I've written to Congressmen and women with who are not from my state (MI) and am I am left to listen to the crickets.

I fail to understand why the Democrats have failed to stand up to this President. This regime should have been impeached and replaced years ago. Now our only hope is they will all face criminal charges after they leave the White House (provided they don't pull a fast one on us and declare martial law).


Wish I had seen it earlier. I practically wept for my country.

I am a Canadian privileged to be able to watch such insightful programming as the interview with Andrew Bacevich on PBS.
It is so unfathomable that a country that allows free speech as in this interview, cannot shake off the yoke of special interests. Your levels of government are even more corrupt than ours and the financial state of the country is just a house of cards. Your intelligent citizens know this but are powerless to change it as the majority of voters are manipulated by the "media" which is an arm of those who really control the country.
Bill Moyers Journal comes on in the early hours of the morning out of WNED Buffalo - not prime time.
I don't see any remedy using the existing loaded set up.
If you had only spent the money at home that you wasted on the Bush/Cheney Iraq adventure, you would have 100% Medical Coverage Nationally.
Isn't this catastrophy the reason you insist on being able to bear arms?
It is crisis time before even PBS is silenced.

Your interview with Mr. Bacevich is one of the most powerful discussions I have seen in years. The fact that our way of life is determined by the countries that export oil to us, should be a reminder that our nation is not independent and will have severe consequences in the future. Our company, Genesys, LLC, www.genesys-hydrogen.com has invented a new technology that would free our dependence on foreign sources of energy. This new technology generates hydrogen from water vapor injected in abandoned oil wells. To echo, Mr. Bacevich, we invited politicians from both parties to see a live demonstration of our technology. No one has taken up our offer. We elect leaders to perpetuate an imperial government that is only beholden to itself.

If we wish to get a glimpse into the ideals of what a democratic government is, lets see what the US government has to say about it.

http://usinfo.state.gov/products/pubs/whatsdem/whatdm2.htm

But underlying any democratic government, sometimes tough decisions have to be made for the benefit of the whole. This goes back to the question I posed to this blog - do we do the greater good or the greater right?

If we look at the various powers the government has through executive orders, we are pretty much a Democratic, Communist Nation Under God with only the swish of the pen from the president.

Here are just a few of them...

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10990 allows the government to take over all modes of transportation and control of highways and seaports.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10995 allows the government to seize and control the communication media.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10997 allows the government to take over all electrical power, gas, petroleum, fuels and minerals.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 10998 allows the government to take over all food resources and farms.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11000 allows the government to mobilize civilians into work brigades under government supervision.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11001 allows the government to take over all health, education and welfare functions.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11002 designates the Postmaster General to operate a national registration of all persons.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11003 allows the government to take over all airports and aircraft, including commercial aircraft.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11004 allows the Housing and Finance Authority to relocate communities, build new housing with public funds, designate areas to be abandoned, and establish new locations for populations.

EXECUTIVE ORDER 11005 allows the government to take over railroads, inland waterways and public storage facilities.

http://sonic.net/sentinel/gvcon5.html

What happened to all our individual freedoms with these executive orders?

It was lost long ago in the deluded American dream that believes the individual American can survive on their own.

Without a strong government you guys would be speaking Chinese or Russian. What happened to the personal property of Iraq when the US took it down? Ditto for your homes and McMansions if another country decided to move here.

Now, I am not making excuses for heavy handed tactics of the government, but I just bring this all up to remind us what can happen in a democratic country may not be that much different from what happens in some communist regimes.

Al I can say is if the government gets too out of hand from being drunk with power, sober em up some. Take to the streets and shut America down from coast to coast. Study up how our old friends the hippies did it back in the day. The just super-size it so it works better this time around.

If we citizens would have been organized as engaged citizens, both political conventions could have been given the message loud and clear that we do not want political business a usual in the US and we the people are ready to shut you down if you keep up screwing up...and we will shut you down consistently and by any means necessary.

Well, maybe next time astound the country would be more energized. Of course this presupposes we have the gas and the planes will still be flying so we can get to the conventions to voice our disgust about this putrid mess we call the American political system.

Contemporary USA...
Shameful ruling elite.
Shameful population. Shameful body politic.
Shameful acquiescence.
Shameful history.
Shameful national record.
Shameful "culture".
Shameful foreign policy.
Shameful domestic policy.
Shameful self-destructive nihilism.
Shameful narcissism.
Shameful national self-delusion.
Shameful projection.

Now ask yourself why BushCo. et al wanted to win the presidency so badly? Well Halliburton, Blackwater, and windfall Oil profits come to mind. All at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer...

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Sure money is part of it.

http://www.moonbattery.com/bill-hillary-clinton.jpg

To this...

http://www.andrewcusack.com/royalty1.jpg

But money aside, politicians are egomaniacal, power hungry, attention loving people and would probably do it for free if they could not grab power and massage their bloated egos in any other way.

Vince Wilyard: I agree with your assessment of a conniving elite, but do you stop before searching the contents of Pandora's Box. Real life is more like the x-files than Nader might care to admit. Still I'd like to see old Ralph up there on stage with Freebie and the Bean myself. I'd say you spell terrific, especially when you recommend consumer boyctts and media strikes (not watching). I just boycotted the Olympics (Take that GE.)and never go near a Walmart- that's a start. Let's boycott the staged conventions too. VW, what do you think of a march on Washington Inauguration Day 2009, just to let our "main man" know what we support?

Nathan and Nader agree that both China and the USA are one party states. I get sick of being labeled liberal because the word originates in an era od deregulation and free trade of the 19th century, and because my beliefs are closer to the substantive meaning of "conservative." Conserve nature and basic human rights, I say. At Beret and now at Figgers we call ourselves neo-abolitionists because we want to abolish corporate personhood and the sacredness of unlimited private property. (It's sad how few owners control farmland, water and other vital assets. Corporations endeavor to own the Sun, all intellectual property and the code of life (genes), which is the ultimate insanity. )

Bryan: You should have taken me down a notch too, for wasting space arguing with a juvenile (Who claims elsewhere to have a son in college.). I am a fool by profession or I would have been greatly embarrassed by my own crude reactions. I love teasing people because I have been teased all my life (as a 'little person" and have come to enjoy such attentions, because there's nothing else I can do about it. beretco.op@gmail.com I'm gonna lay low awhile and read these new voices. Get debating guys and gals!

My apologies to those thoughtful enough to read my post concerning the spelling errors. My posts were recently being lost in cyberspace due to server errors, so I wanted to get my post up before such an "error".

I look forward to some credible debate.

Thanks for reading.

Vince

Anyone perplexed by the nonsense going on in Georgia need only read Pat Buchanan's book: "A Republic, Not an Empire"; this is coming from a liberal.

I am quoting an old movie here.

"Why would anyone spend $10 Million dollars to get a job that pays $50K a year, unless he didn't intend to steal it all back with interest?"

Montgomery Brewster.
Brewster's Millions.

Now ask yourself why BushCo. et al wanted to win the presidency so badly? Well Halliburton, Blackwater, and windfall Oil profits come to mind. All at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

War on Terrorism? I think not. It is a cover for securing oil pipelines throughout central Asia. Just look at the maps.

Besides if we are at war with terrorists, then aren't they at war with us? If so, when we catch someone who is at war with us, wouldn't that make them a WAR criminal? Unless of course our president is an imperial one, right?

So what do we do now? Reading books on the problems is fine. Watching programs about the problems is fine too. But at what point do we turn it all off and ask for a redress of our grievances?

I will bet everyone of you reading this will say come on, get real, right? Here is a suggestion for that sentiment. While I do not think that "democracy" alone is going to get us out of this set of circumstances so clearly outlined by Bacevich, I do believe that it is a test of sorts. And I would ask you think about it carefully in November.

First, let Ralph Nader in the presidential debates. Why? Let's hear what the others have to say when he starts to rebuke their meally mouth answers to serious public concerns such as equal pay, the environment, and the end to our governmental militarism. If there debates and platforms are really as credible as they have been advertised to be then they have nothing to worry about come November.

But they won't have it, the Demublicans. Because they are two sides of the same corporately spent coin.

The American people will keep buying the same nonsense about bipartisanship as though their is something noble about to private interest parties monopolizing our "democratic" process in our once idealized republic. Bipartisanship is like a bipolar disorder. Power shifts from side to side given a set of circumstances brought on by private interests to sway legislation in such a direction as to yield even greater profits. The Patriot Act created a whole new security - industrial complex, hence an emerging police state answerable to an "imperial presidency".

Should a three, four, or even 5 way debate take place before November, then I ask of you to pay close attention to the questions and answers. Answers mean nothing if the right questions are not asked.

We must push our representatives to do the right things. Otherwise we should either vote out all of the incumbents or abandon the system all together. We can quit funding the advertisers with our hard earned money. We can quit supporting businesses that support special interests rather than public interests.

Terms like liberal, conservative, democrat, republican, progressive, etc. mean nothing when we are broke. This of course is where the country is headed with such incompetence at the helm of our government.

To quote a recent blockbuster movie: "You either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become a villian."

It is retirement time for villians.

“Allen Wrench”

I DID post a functional suggestion back on August 16, 5:30am. Write less, read more.

The reason for external controls, i.e., government, is what is called the tragedy of the commons. If there is a resource usable by all without consequence, it will eventually be destroyed by those who take more than their fair share. Perhaps the reason you’ve been banned from everywhere is that you’ve been hogging the netscape.

Today when I watched Speaker Pelosi defend her congress's 14% approval rating on Meet The Press I couldn't help but cringe when she contributed the failure of her institution to the Republican administration. Speaker Pelosi said, "We can only do so much unless we have a Democratic president to do all the things we want to do..." Didn't we just experience for six years what single-party-rule is like? Are Democrats not made from the same human fabric as Republicans? Are We, the American People, to expect this means our government can only work when the same party controls both branches? I hope not.

Does she and Harry Reid not preside over an equal branch of our government? Do We, the American people, need any more proof that our congress has, "thrust power to an American Imperial Presidency," as put by your recent guest Andrew Bacevich? How is it that the Speaker of the House can go on national television and issue this decree without having to answer to bewildered Constitutional experts and concerned constituents? I seriously doubt her office is buzzing with calls and e-mails questioning this comment.

The American Bus of Democracy has been running out of gas for over 30 years, and I'm afraid that when it stalls on the side of the freeway, Congress will be far to eager to jump out and push it wherever the President desires.

I would argue to the American people that the future of our great country doesn't lie in hands of the President-to-be, but rather in the fate of our Congress's functionality. If they refuse to get their act together, the very system our framers designed will be at stake, and that is something no President can fix - as much as I'm sure the American people will expect him/her to.

According to Dan Ackroyd; Pussy Whip is both a dessert topping and a cat grooming aid. It kills fleas and tastes delicious.
Spray it over a frosty mug of YooHoo, stir briskly with an allen wrench and enjoy. Anyone who can't enjoy that might as well leave for China now.
Cindy McCain will see you off with a sixpack and a bullwhip.

Well, Grady, most of the time animals are at peace in their natural environment. It is only when they come into close contact with man that they start to self-destruct.

Since you brought up animals Grady...you seem to be like an animal caught in trap, squirming and writhing in every direction, looking, grasping outside of themselves for freedom from this trap to find a modicum of inner peace.

But your trap is an 'inner one' Grady and all your efforts grasping outside of yourself is futile.

Every once in a while CNBC offers some words of wisdom other than the poker playing, crap shooting, compulsive gambler mentality of trading that they promote.

Rick Santelli offered one such pearl of wisdom when he said the powers that be in America need to take their medicine like men and stop trying to avoid the penalties of their financial shenanigans at all cost. To avoid taking their medicine is just making matters worse.

So, in your own case Grady, take you medicine like a man.

I can't help it life dealt you a shitty deck and you turned out o be a midget. But no doubt, there is still a man inside of you if you would only bother to revive him.

Stop having your wife pussy whip you into a political frenzy and start thinking for yourself Grady. A wise mans knows what he says and a fool says what he knows Grady.

If you wish to live off your wife then do so and if you want to be your own man then take that route. But in either case save the excuses for yourself.

If you can start to write your own line of coherent thought, instead of the usual cyclical reviews that echo the haggard shell of a human that is within you. You (maybe) can get on with life and take that first step in the opposite direction from where you have been headed in all these years. And may have a chance to open that door that is holding you in the death trap of a life you have created for yourself Grady.

Well, Grady, most of the time animals are at peace in their natural environment. It is only when they come into close contact with man that they start to self-destruct.

Since you brought up animals Grady...you seem to be like an animal caught in trap, squirming and writhing in every direction, looking, grasping outside of themselves for freedom from this trap to find a modicum of inner peace.

But your trap is an 'inner one' Grady and all your efforts grasping outside of yourself is futile.

Every once in a while CNBC offers some words of wisdom other than the poker playing, crap shooting, compulsive gambler mentality of trading that they promote.

Rick Santelli offered one such pearl of wisdom when he said the powers that be in America need to take their medicine like men and stop trying to avoid the penalties of their financial shenanigans at all cost. To avoid taking their medicine is just making matters worse.

So, in your own case Grady, take you medicine like a man.

I can't help it life dealt you a shitty deck and you turned out o be a midget. But no doubt, there is still a man inside of you if you would only bother to revive him.

Stop having your wife pussy whip you into a political frenzy and start thinking for yourself Grady. A wise mans knows what he says and a fool says what he knows Grady.

If you wish to live off your wife then do so and if you want to be your own man then take that route. But in either case save the excuses for yourself.

If you can start to write your own line of coherent thought, instead of the usual cyclical reviews that echo the haggard shell of a human that is within you. You (maybe) can get on with life and take that first step in the opposite direction from where you have been headed in all these years. And may have a chance to open that door that is holding you in the death trap of a life you have created for yourself Grady.

I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. The ACLU would be unnecessary if we had wealth, race and class neutral justice. It is not what it used to be (like unions) because of the increasing appointment of fascist judges over time, the miseducation and misinformation of the American public, and the bureaucratic, kingdom building, upper middle-class fund-raising model; all of which tend to calcify and co-opt progressive and acyivist organizations. (WASPism brings its sick brand of self-superior missionary work to everything it touches. The "Shining City on a Hill" was always a mirage.) The ACLU was originally underwritten by popular writers. Now I ask you, what goods have media stars recently financed besides themselves?
ACLU is another ideal (striving for perfection) we must/should recover.

"IT (Imperfections?) don't seem to bother animals," is probably the most profound nugget of fascist thought. Implications:
1. The writer would be happier if he could reduce others to a wholly animal state.
2.The writer is covert elite dominionist who cannot resist assuming a Godlike role in determining the destiny of nature and humanity.
3.The writer probably assumes society is nothing more than an atomized collection of random acting individuals who must be manipulated by great minds.

The entire tendency exhibits a disregard for hard won anthropological, sociological, cultural and spiritual insights transcendent of our biological nature.

Concerned Citizen seems to understand that our interconnectedness is more than an epidemiological model (David Eddy posted examples.): that we are joined in some kind of morally obligatory and universal way that we can't confirm or comprehend. (Clue: It's way beyond our petty political and country club religions.)

Discussion on this blog itself is predicated by such an assumption. (No one is dumb enough to think we have measurable political impact.) All of us are curious about what others think. This commons of idle curiousity illustrates what humanity could and should achieve. Jesse Jackson (with acknowledgement of his character flaws)was abstractly correct in his most seminal statement: "If you can (collectively) conceive it, and you (a mass quorum of humanity) can believe (trust) it; then you can achieve it."

Some people see no obligation to lift up half-asses like Obama/Biden, but are content to consume the aromatic droppings of proto-fascists like McCain/Romney.

That is my line in the sand, except that it is etched in stone, and you can't move it (to a lower standard) except by demolishing the edifice. (All of us on this blog have proven to be champions of mixed analogy, and we are the better for it.)

Certainly there remain worthy goals we must "give up" for the moment (Linda) because of strategic conditions. There will be increments of reform even with decided People Power. (If we reserved a place to stand, we could leverage the world. We must assume that place and deny it to selfish interests.) Improving oneself by learning to skin a cat and dive the Marianas trench are the self-interested illusions of a closet apocalyptic masturbater.

By the way, Dr. Dolittle, what makes you think you know what bothers animals?

CC and Linda both made good points. But not quite sure what the 'give it up' line meant. Can you imagine if Americans did less than they do now to try and correct their dysfunctional gov? But I may have misunderstood what Linda had meant.

Despite what others say, America still has some freedoms and is a democracy of sorts. And media may not be perfect, but it is infinitely more prefect than the media in China or Russia.

As I wrote in earlier posts we are looking at this all wrong. We put our hopes in finding a perfect human specimen that does a perfect job at governing or running a media conglomerate.

Perfectionism is a human disease - animals don't seem to be bothered by it. They just do the best they can and are at peace with it.

Even if we found the perfect president or perfect mogul to run a media corp they would move on or die and we would have to put all our hopes in finding another perfect specimen to run things.

The best that we can do is be alert to imperfect trends, speak out about those trends and then correct those trends. Citizen action committee's and organizations can be formed to fight such corruption. But they must be given teeth to chew away at the sickness and disease just as a doctor is given a scalpel to cut out the cancer.But even these organizations will make mistakes as well. Just keep testing and corrrecting as you go - that is all the imperfect humans can do.

When I look at the history of the ACLU it sounded like a good organization for doing the policing job of the gov for the citizens. But somewhere down the line it too must have lost focus and seems to be just an impotent shell of its former self.

I am especially impressed with the fact that "The ACLU has been critical of elected officials and policies of both Democrats and Republicans."...that must have the Dems and Reps shaking in their boots!

Once you get some teeth citizens - start gnashing away at the bastards.


from the wiki:

The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) consists of two separate non-profit organizations: the ACLU Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization which focuses on litigation and communication efforts, and the American Civil Liberties Union, a 501(c)(4) organization which focuses on legislative lobbying.[2] The ACLU's stated mission is "to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States."[1] [3] It works through litigation, legislation, and community education.[1] Founded in 1920 by Crystal Eastman, Roger Baldwin and Walter Nelles,[4] the ACLU was the successor organization to the earlier National Civil Liberties Bureau founded during World War I.[5] The ACLU reported over 500,000 members at the end of 2005.
Lawsuits brought by the ACLU have been influential in the evolution of Constitutional law.[6] The ACLU provides legal assistance in cases in which it considers civil liberties to be at risk. Even when the ACLU does not provide direct legal representation, it often submits amicus curiae briefs.
Outside of its legal work, the organization has also engaged in lobbying of elected officials and political activism.[7] The ACLU has been critical of elected officials and policies of both Democrats and Republicans

Linda writes an articulate exposition of the dastardly role of the media. Typically, the role of a free press in a democracy is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable. In our nation, the media has become totally obsequious and functions as an adjunct to, an arm of, the executive branch of our government.

This is not surprising, since the media consists of giant corporations. A corporation is a diictatorship, not a democracy. Witness the behavior of the media since the Reagan presidency. Consider the relative soft-glove treatment given to the current administration and the media's shameful role in "selling" all the lies that have gotten us into our current debacle. The media has betrayed the population with impunity!

Corporatism is a power unto itself, with no one left to speak for the masses. Anyone attempting to do so is derided as a demagogue.Congress has long ago abrogated their responsibility to the electorate. Adams, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, and all the rest of our Founding Fathers are turning over in their graves. We've got new masters, and they are far more powerful and insidious than the British Crown was in 1776.

Bacevich provided a long list showing the inadequacies of the national security state, beginning with its failure to protect us on 9/11.

One area where the national security state has been successful is where it has eroded Americans' civil liberties to the extent that it may be impossible to dismantle the imperial presidency without any effort short of all-out war between the people and the government.

I fully expect, probably in the nearer future rather than later, that our imperial presidency will use some crisis as an excuse, a crisis that may very well be concocted by it to preserve itself, to declare martial law within our borders and use its private paramilitary forces that currently operate outside the oversight of Congress (the people) against our own people.

Our government might succeed in doing this because of its success over the past almost-40 years to consolidate America's media sources, thus creating a scenario where media censorship is not recognizable to the typically-poorly-informed TV-watching citizen. (Sorry, Bill. Not referring to PBS/NPR viewers/listeners here.)

I don't think my personal situation is atypical when I say that most of my family members are scared out of their wits as a result of the fearmongering tactics used by the current administration to convince us that we must give up our freedoms in order to remain safe, a message that is carried out by a media industry that has sold out its obligation to the American people to provide real investigative journalism, and replaced it with mega-profits.

It's completely pointless to discuss IF our government will do this, only whether it COULD. The "conservative" crowd that supports greater executive power loves to get this discussion bogged down in accusations of "conspiracy theory."

That's it. What a hero Bacevich is for speaking up publicly. I will only fault him for his concerns re offending some people with his willingness to share intelligent conclusions that might seem harsh to some. My father was a West Point man, so I do understand his concerns. But I would encourage him to give it up. This is very likely going to be all-out war to either regain our country and its democratic principles from the conservative "demagogues" who got their marching orders from the likes of Paul Weyrich and the plan in the 1970s to create a conservative America by convincing the American people that conservatives can be trusted to take over US political structures.

Posted by: David Eddy

Allen Wrench,"The trouble is when opinions start killing people, it is a good time to do a reality check. Are our opinions based on ego or are they grounded in fact and truth?"

David Eddy, Actually, opinions are based on information we have accumulated and have formed into an opinion.


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As I wrote before...

Psychologist William James once said, "A great many people believe they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

The Greek philosophers knew that when passion rules the mind, that the only job left for reason is that of the subservient task to find cleaver ways to satisfy the passions. They called it "putting passion before reason." Both these areas of passion and reason where the foundation of much philosophical discussion of ethics and virtue with the ancient Greeks.

Addicts always put their passions before reason and sometimes put passions before even life itself when their addictions end up killing them. Sometimes this is due to just being a greedy sensualist other times it is due to needing immediate gratification to help diminish the pain from living a wrong life that is full of pain we have created for ourselves.

We're doing something near to impossible, which is to predict the future. Tons of IF's, AND's and BUT's that could happen. We just don't know. As futurists we try to anticipate future events and the direction the world is headed in and as survivalists we try to prepare for those circumstances. But ego, prejudice and passions are some of the things that can distort this process.

Glad you are writing about it Grady.I know all I need to know about your from reading your posts. What you write give a glimpse of what is inside you my friend.

As I said, you don't have to justify your life to me. If you are happy with your life then keep on keeping on and if not change directions.

Print out your posts and study them. You can use your writing as a blue print for change and what cannot be changed must be accepted if you wish to be at peace Grady.

Posted by: David Eddy

Allen Wrench,
"The trouble is when opinions start killing people, it is a good time to do a reality check. Are our opinions based on ego or are they grounded in fact and truth?"
Actually, opinions are based on information we have accumulated and have formed into an opinion.
Many factors such as preconceived notions, vested interests and indoctrination has a lot of influence on opinion.
Hopefully, we are able to apply humanitarian and social considerations to our opinions.
Usually, our self-interest is consistent with the welfare of other people because our fate is interwoven with the fate of others. Socio-pathic opinions are usually self-defeating because "We" are "Them" and "what goes around comes around".
I had hoped that people would have enough common sense to do what is in their own best interest simply as a matter course.
Somehow, people are rationalizing wrong conclusions causing them to form self-destructive opinions and are unable to get their mind around rational conclusions and form constructive opinions.
Is it cooking with lead pots or what?
Reality is fast approaching the critical stage and we are bogged down with meaningless gyrations.


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'Usually, our self-interest is consistent with the welfare of other people because our fate is interwoven with the fate of others'

One would think that to be the case.

But what is logical is not always practical when it comes to humans. As CC brought up P & L is a major factor with forgetting we all share the same breath. Many of us think we live in vacuums and can do as we please, squeezing people to death and never pay a price.

The business of humanism is 'all our business' if we with to live life at peace. For in the end, your sanity becomes my sanity and my sanity becomes your sanity.

Don't believe this? Let me illustrate how we all are in this together.

Remember the killings at Virginia Tech?

57 people shot or killed?

A millionaires daughter was a student at Virginia Tech. She was living a happy, carefree life as any millionaires child might do. But one day she ran into Seung-Hui Cho. She was subsequently shot, as some other 56 were. She lived, but is now she is paralyzed.

Seung-Hui Cho's sanity became her sanity...a sanity she lives with for the rest of her life. Seung-Hui Cho's sanity also became the sanity for the other 56 people that shared his thoughts that day.

The mega corporations big wigs forget they must to go outside sometime and share the sanity of the public that they have undermined by poisoning for profit.

Incidentally, I don't subscribe to any purist form of "ism" when it comes to socio-economic-ecologic arrangements. I believe that, since we are indeed navigating heretofore alarmingly uncharted territory on this little blue (soon to be red, and then brown) globe of ours, what we need is a vast pool of creative and caring thought-and-action if we are to have ANY chance of survival as mammals. Other life forms are, sadly enough, totally dependant upon humans ceasing to poison the blue globe.

Grady, P&L = "profit and loss", which, in turn, is the mantra which drives all "privatization" and "globalization" arguments which large corporate entities use to fleece the world's populations of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.


Asking people to come up with "solutions" to the multiple crises with which we are faced is somewhat akin to asking someone who has just stepped on a nail and simultaneously gotten a small shard of glass in his eye to "walk over yonder a piece and have a look at the beautiful scenery around the bend". The poor victim would be very pleased to do so, but first he is in desperate need of pain cessation.

Thanks for staying up, David Eddy. He's a deep diver: maybe he's seen that "hole in the bottom of the sea." There's a mass extinct frog on the lump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea. There's an allen wrench on the tongue of the mass extinct frog on the lump on the log in the hole in the bottom of the sea...

It's out there near Seattle, the garbage glob. I'm surprised you aren't helping with the clean-up.

Ah! It's almost 3am here. I'm going to lie down until this urge to work passes.

Allen Wrench,
"The trouble is when opinions start killing people, it is a good time to do a reality check. Are our opinions based on ego or are they grounded in fact and truth?"
Actually, opinions are based on information we have accumulated and have formed into an opinion.
Many factors such as preconceived notions, vested interests and indoctrination has a lot of influence on opinion.
Hopefully, we are able to apply humanitarian and social considerations to our opinions.
Usually, our self-interest is consistent with the welfare of other people because our fate is interwoven with the fate of others. Socio-pathic opinions are usually self-defeating because "We" are "Them" and "what goes around comes around".
I had hoped that people would have enough common sense to do what is in their own best interest simply as a matter course.
Somehow, people are rationalizing wrong conclusions causing them to form self-destructive opinions and are unable to get their mind around rational conclusions and form constructive opinions.
Is it cooking with lead pots or what?
Reality is fast approaching the critical stage and we are bogged down with meaningless gyrations.

CC: I may look stupid, but what is P&L?

Allen Wrench: Did you ever see Oprah calling Ellen fat? You may be a tool but don't assume the Moyeristas on this site are set screws. Even if we were your tiny girth would dangle in our hearts, never turning a cockle, and we would never feel it.

Your short menu of 3 colors is fascist bullshit. We are discussing the possibility of getting beyond past mistakes. Humanity is maturing and is ready for new possibilities. Both communism and capitalism breathed their last in the 1990s, and even the hybrids (like Yugoslavia) were extinguished. Universal fascism rules the day. (See my wife's (Gladdie Victrola) article on "A Novel Approach to Politics")

You need to read something new, maybe about neo-Amerindian movements in South America, or worker owned and managed cooperatives, or benign non-cult religious associations, or even a community garden (near you) and rephrase your inquiry.

I don't know what I advocate, but I will recognize it when I experience it. I broke with Jack martin because he, like you, and other boomers, lives in the past of list making and procedural solutions. He is a good teacher and a kind man but thinks a Prius is a good car.

How in hell do you know what I do with my time and money except what I have related? My wife and I have given all we have to a humanitarian organization that offers solace to low income artists and thinkers. We pay the rent and utilities and try to help those who ask. (We follow the example of Jimmy Carter and Millard Fuller in living simply.) My health problems are due to organ crowding from dwarfism induced by a medical error when I was 8 years old. I have out-lived my predicted demise by many years.(like Yoda) Also, I said some war criminals might deserve to die by smothering, which is better than what they alloted most victims and is more humane than a cocktail injection administered by a quack before 9 witnesses. The truth is I oppose capital punishment which is a far worse atrocity than passionate murder.

I admit that I lie for money in the service of a Wall Street bank. I haven't seen anyone else in my situation confessing publicly. My unique situation of owing a GS partner who paid for my surgery out of his wife's pity affords me some protection until the debt is retired. (I am paying half what I gross.) By the way, Wrench, are you a mechanic or something to earn your bread? Or are you Nigel Best messing with us again?
Somehow my intuition tells me I sympathize more with Concerned Citizen and Average Airline Pilot than my right-angled antagonist.

It doesn't matter who progresses to a better world first, us, or the Chinese, or the migrants from the south who will replace us. One human being is about as good as another. What really matters is not individual survival, but the triumph of the human potential to live sustainably and humanely in peace with the environment. As has been emphasized we all die because we are animal-bodied and tied to the evolved ecology of this planet. If only culture lives on, that is something to which we all contribute. Preoccupation with previous procedure and the printed word could even be part of the problem.
I feel like a dog scratching at the door of the accustomed. I want to go outside before I die.

"The reason why politicians both Democrats and Republicans continue to do shading and unscrupoulous activities is because they know they can get away with it, they are above the law because we the American Public do not demand that they be kicked to the curb when found out. "

Yes, both parties have problems with corruption, just like any political party since the dawn of history has. The question is not whether a party has corruption, because they all do, but rather to what degree. If you look at Republicans at the national level, starting with Nixon, over 30 Republicans in Republican Administrations have been convicted of felonies. The number for the Democrats in Democratic Administrations has been zero. If you look at the number of shady politicians in Congress today, the number of shady Republicans far outnumbers the number of shady Democrats, even today after the Republicans have lost their majority and much of their power to implement corrupt schemes. You can see the numbers at www.beyonddelay.org.

The Republicans have a real problem with corruption at the national level. Ever since Nixon and Ford burying all his crimes with a big fat pardon, they have never gotten over the problem of tolerating outrageous levels of corruption within the Republican Party. The message of Ford's pardon was clear: don't worry about corruption, the worst that can happen to you when you are President is that you are disgraced. No jail time. No full airing of your sins. It all gets buried. The lesson was repeated by George H.W. Bush when he pardoned Cap Weinberger and five others who started to testify under oath that Bush was right in the middle of the Iran Contra scandal.

Our current President has taken corruption and flagrant violation of the law to the extreme. With his cabinet dominated by Nixon holdovers, like Cheney and Rumsfeld, he has ignored the laws against spying on American citizens without a warrant, against torture, against outing CIA agents, against using the government to promote your own party, and against manipulating foreign policy by using the government to lie. This is not to mention the massive graft and corporate influence that has resulted in his former White House Chief Procurement Officer being a convicted felon and in our taxpayer dollars being diverted towards crony contractors and Bush and Cheney's longtime friends in the oil industry.

This was a major issue last election. It will be a major issue this election. There is a reason Americans gag at the sight of the holier-than-thou Republican hypocrites like the self-proclaimed protector of children pederast Representative Foley or the champion of family values like Senators Vitter and Craig. Americans know that the corruption does not stop there. Americans know about Jack Abramoff and how his corruption infected the entire Republican Party at the national level. Americans know that these Republicans at the national level have no character. None. They are either lawbreakers or apologists for lawbreakers.

The Republicans today tolerate an amazing amount of corruption within their party. And the outrageous corruption will continue until the party finally puts its foot down and says enough. It will happen. It will happen because the Republicans will see that unless it happens their party will disintegrate. It is disappointing that Republicans are waiting to root out the corruption within until it becomes a matter of their very survival. It is disappointing that they are waiting to root out the corruption until they are forced to do it for their own self-interest, as opposed to rooting out corruption because it is wrong, it is abhorrent and it is unAmerican.

Resources (both natural as well as human) need to be allocated according to the "greatest general good". The mantra of P&L does NOT EVER place the "public interest" at the top of the priority list.

Corporations need to be "re-defined" so as to remove from them the "protections and guarantees" that were bestowed upon them by the Supreme Court when the latter defined a corporation as a person! That is LUDICROUS!

Obviously, what probably will be needed is some sort of hybrid socio-economic arrangement that allows for some sort of centralized planning in the public interest, while simultaneously preserving some elements of capitalism (to be monitored and regulated in the public interest).

Of course, these ideas are anathema to the multinational corporate entities that own and operate the world.

To Grady Howard and Allen Wrench:

The world's people are at the mercy of HUGE and out-of-control corporate entities that do NOT "relate" to terms like "good" and "evil".....but only to terms like "profit" and "loss". Let's see....I wonder how much more fancy-dancing and "debating" the world's population can endure before we are ALL destroyed by these out-of-control "entities"?

Regarding book lists and seed-planting, I, too plant seeds and share book lists. I disdain and abhor anti-intellectualism, even though anti-intellectualism is as American as "God", flag, apple pie, mother, and indiscriminate violence against those weaker than ourselves.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you CARE!

Posted by: Concerned Citizen

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Hi CC and thanks for your reply. It looks like they are blocking my links again, so I had to remove them. It is a crap shoot if they will accept them or not every time I post.

Again CC, I have no argument with what you say. As Monsanto and the rest of American industry creeps along poisoning our world for profit. Your words are brought to life each day

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

And if they can't seem to get that 'terminator gene seed' bribe over (yet) they are working on laws to make it illegal for farmers to save seed from year to year.

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

Although I don't exactly agree with you regarding the good / evil profit / loss evaluation. For surely a portion of the good and evil debate comes to mind, maybe in different terms of illegal / legal, with the schemes they dream up. And most of the time I believe it to be more like 'can we get away with it without going to jail' type of decision.

Verona shared her book of 'Blessed Unrest' and while it is a good book for it's intended audience, it is useless for what awaits us around the corner. I shared just a few of the books I found useful in my own life for peak oil preparations. And Grady's words ring true that we can get lost in books and never get around to acting.

"It is not reasoning that are wanted now; for there are books stuffed full of reasoning." Epictetus

While Andrew's book sound like a winner, I do not plan to buy it, nor get it from the library. The topics he discussed in it are what I have been studying for decades, so that is an area that I am more or less content with my knowledge of.

I asked you and T. Rex for some feedback on this before and did not receive it. So let me spell it out a little more for you or anyone else to chime in on it.

There are basically 3 modes of society and government in our world that would be applicable for the billions we have in it.

They are:

Red - communists

Pink - a combination of communists and capitalism ...a la modern day Russia and China as examples.

Blue - shades of various degrees of capitalism.

So out of these 3 types of governments, how would you mix and match the best parts of each to form your ideal republic CC?

You don't have to write a book like Plato did in his Republic, But just give an outline as to what changes we can make. I am not trying to put you on the spot with trick questions, I just see from your posts you and T. Rex have strong feelings for the wrong, so wish to hear what you feel is right.

And if you can't express what is right for hundreds of millions in the US (not worrying about the rest of the billions in the world for now) then maybe you should temper your passions...just a little? Or at least until you refine you thoughts and crystallize them?

Let me paraphrase what Plato wrote to Crito.

Concerned Citizen, your zeal is invaluable, if a right one; but if wrong, the greater the zeal the greater the evil.

I surely don't have all the answers CC, other than the small changes and suggestions I have offered in making our gov more honest and transparent and less dysfunctional.

And even if we wished to close down all these corporations that are running the world, where would their employees go otherwise CC? This all goes back to Grady knowing he is doing wrong yet still doing it example...it is all he knows.

Same with almost everyone here CC. We have developed a society a certain way and it is all we know. But there is no doubt we can refine it to be the best we can make of a bad situation.

To Grady Howard and Allen Wrench:


The world's people are at the mercy of HUGE and out-of-control corporate entities that do NOT "relate" to terms like "good" and "evil".....but only to terms like "profit" and "loss". Let's see....I wonder how much more fancy-dancing and "debating" the world's population can endure before we are ALL destroyed by these out-of-control "entities"?

Regarding book lists and seed-planting, I, too plant seeds and share book lists. I disdain and abhor anti-intellectualism, even though anti-intellectualism is as American as "God", flag, apple pie, mother, and indiscriminate violence against those weaker than ourselves.

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you CARE!

Trying to drive a nail with an allen wrench, or other inappropriate tool, can leave you with some beat up wood.
Let me reiterate that Andrew Bacevich knows little more about what is ailing the USA than Larry King. If you bought every recommended book you would not have any money left and no time to read them, but even if you could do all the reading you would find that humans learn 4 or 5 times as much from doing than from reading. (Allen Wrench left out the "Anarchist's Cookbook.")

Someone told David Eddy that "good and evil" have lost all meaning. (That was mean, and inaccurate.) If there were no good and evil we'd accept any type of behavior nonchalantly. For instance, I know I'm doing evil on my Goldman Sachs job, but I'm doing some good paying the kind people who paid the doctors and hospital to save me from an agonizing death from intestinal necrosis. I also know that geo-realpolitik is evil, as in Georgia or Congo because it kills and harms so many people like me who are just making a living. Torture is evil. They teach it at WHUNSEC (formerly School of the Americas) at Fort Benning Georgia. One method is to invade the abdominal cavity minus anesthesia to gain full compliance from the victim. (Wow! What a sadistic political economy America can be!) Having passed out from gut pain even on morphine I know this procedure is evil. The corporate state eviscerates
every non-corporate economic approach in turn, disemboweling hard earned community effort. (See how they sell community gardens to developers for a dollar? See how they privatize, or piratize, every public owned utility and demand profit from what should serve the commons?)

Some long-winded posters foresee themselves as loner-survivors, serrated knife in hand, because of a flawed reading list. Let's hope we co-operative types don't have to resort to the not-entirely-evil good of smothering them while they sleep for the general welfare. (Maybe a just fate for Bush and Condi?)
At Figgers we never take a single opinion as final, but experiment and work for a consensus. I believe discussion will show that people are generally hopeful, adaptable and cooperative to the degree that the petroleum age can be transcended. Anyway, it would be foolish not to try, to revert to violent pre-emptive war and bloody competition before we know for sure. We have determined by long consideration that the major flaw in our Constitution is the sacredness of unlimited private property. This conclusion is more conservative than liberal in its eschatology. (Surprised?)

I'm sure you can debark your knuckles trying to drive a nail with an allen wrench, but I suspect one good neighbor (like David Eddy) might lend you a hammer. (Right this minute Bacevich is counting his book receipts and his bullets, probably.)

Posted by: Grady Lee Howard


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While I do not put limits on the discussion of truth - let me caution you from vague references and threats of death to our leaders Grady, as the 'freedom of speech myth' only goes so far even in the US of A.

And you do not have to convince me by some convoluted methodology that the evil you do in life is also doing good and therefore you are excused Grady.

Save such justifications for yourself and hopefully they will also persuade your body to not rot away from the inside out any further from such a misguided life.

All our actions have consequences Grady, and many of our actions produce consequences that end up destroying peace. They destroy our peace as well as the inner peace of others.

Now, sometimes 'right' comes under the heading of the 'lesser of two evils' or the 'best fit scenario' I wrote about in some of my 'long winded' posts. But If one is waiting to find the 'ultimate right' then you will be stuck in analysis paralysis and not do a thing, just as your life of analysis paralysis illustrates.

Your posts are a good example of this ego blindness disease at work Grady. You are too smart to learn from others - the only things you entertain as truth must come from within you via your bloated ego.

Reread my posts on a 'choice divorced from need.' Park you ego and wit at the door Grady and use truth as your tool to find the inner peace you desperately are seeking my friend.

Your life of 'wishful thinking 'will do no good Grady, it will just produce more of the same horrid life you are living now. But a new life only requires you to take that first step in the opposite direction from where you have been headed in for so many years.

If one way is not working for you Grady..try the opposite direction.

And if you have not taken what I have said to heart, it is no problem. For I understand some of the seeds I scatter will fall on barren ground and wither. I have leaned long ago that my job is just to plant seeds...but I have no power to make them sprout.

But in my own case, I do the footwork to do what I can do, irrespective of all the 'what ifs' that people throw up for excuses to do nothing...just as you have done Grady.

The Successful Survivor must accept that the Self must come first. And while it is unfortunate that the foundation of that Success is based in Selfishness and not in philanthropy...that is what the reality of it is.

If we lived in a perfect dream world, then we could wipe out all these unfortunate and unforeseen circumstances that would cause one to have to prepare for possible disasters, upheavals and emergencies.

But the cold hard facts are that the business of Survival is not always nice and pretty - but it is always rooted in putting the preservation of one's own life first.

Let me delve into the concept of Selfish versus Selfless actions a little more. I don't wish to promote the wrong view that being Selfish is the key to being happy and at peace.

Most humans have a natural desire to help those in need. It is part of their makeup. But we must accept that we have built our world on unsustainable means - a means built artificially on fossil fuel.

And when we live out of balance with natures intended means there is a price to pay to come back in balance with nature. And the price usually extracts pain from us in the adjustment process.

But whatever way you decide to proceed...be authentic and you can be at peace with your actions Grady. The 'authenticity acid test' would ask the question; 'Would you do the same thing again knowing the outcome of your actions?' If you would not do it again, then your actions are not authentic, since you are not at peace with the outcome.

Authenticity is the key to being at peace Grady. For even if you or your loved ones must die early to gratify one's philanthropic or ego based desires, then one can be at peace with that outcome if one authentically puts ego above personal Survival.

In the end you only have to please yourself with your actions Grady...just be authentic with what you do and you can be at peace with whatever the outcome is.

Let me leave you with the mantra of the mixed gas technical diver as it will apply to you Grady and your disease of ego blindness in a post carbon world...it is not a matter of if you will taste death Grady...the only question is if you will swallow.

Trying to drive a nail with an allen wrench, or other inappropriate tool, can leave you with some beat up wood.
Let me reiterate that Andrew Bacevich knows little more about what is ailing the USA than Larry King. If you bought every recommended book you would not have any money left and no time to read them, but even if you could do all the reading you would find that humans learn 4 or 5 times as much from doing than from reading. (Allen Wrench left out the "Anarchist's Cookbook.")

Someone told David Eddy that "good and evil" have lost all meaning. (That was mean, and inaccurate.) If there were no good and evil we'd accept any type of behavior nonchalantly. For instance, I know I'm doing evil on my Goldman Sachs job, but I'm doing some good paying the kind people who paid the doctors and hospital to save me from an agonizing death from intestinal necrosis. I also know that geo-realpolitik is evil, as in Georgia or Congo because it kills and harms so many people like me who are just making a living. Torture is evil. They teach it at WHUNSEC (formerly School of the Americas) at Fort Benning Georgia. One method is to invade the abdominal cavity minus anesthesia to gain full compliance from the victim. (Wow! What a sadistic political economy America can be!) Having passed out from gut pain even on morphine I know this procedure is evil. The corporate state eviscerates
every non-corporate economic approach in turn, disemboweling hard earned community effort. (See how they sell community gardens to developers for a dollar? See how they privatize, or piratize, every public owned utility and demand profit from what should serve the commons?)

Some long-winded posters foresee themselves as loner-survivors, serrated knife in hand, because of a flawed reading list. Let's hope we co-operative types don't have to resort to the not-entirely-evil good of smothering them while they sleep for the general welfare. (Maybe a just fate for Bush and Condi?)
At Figgers we never take a single opinion as final, but experiment and work for a consensus. I believe discussion will show that people are generally hopeful, adaptable and cooperative to the degree that the petroleum age can be transcended. Anyway, it would be foolish not to try, to revert to violent pre-emptive war and bloody competition before we know for sure. We have determined by long consideration that the major flaw in our Constitution is the sacredness of unlimited private property. This conclusion is more conservative than liberal in its eschatology. (Surprised?)

I'm sure you can debark your knuckles trying to drive a nail with an allen wrench, but I suspect one good neighbor (like David Eddy) might lend you a hammer. (Right this minute Bacevich is counting his book receipts and his bullets, probably.)

The dynamics of social interaction on a global scale is unavoidable. We will either follow the course set by the republicans to the death and destruction of a third world war or we will take a stand against the present trend and adjust our moral and social agendas to correct our present course.
So much depends on our doing what is right and good instead of what is wrong and evil.

Posted by: David Eddy

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

'...doing what is right and good instead of what is wrong and evil.'

Well, humans seem to have lost such moral virtues long ago David. They realized that 'might makes right' is the expedient approach that suits them best and offers the highest return on investment. And any talk of honor is just that...talk.

Whenever the conversation turns to doing right, the question comes up do we go 'the greater good or do we do the greater right' as many times these areas produce wildly different results. But these sort of questions require one to think outside themselves is a selfless way and have a legitimate interest in the well-being of others. And above all it requires honesty.

But politicians are bankrupt when the subject turns to honesty. Politicians are ego based, power hungry individuals that only care about maintaining power at any cost. So how could they do as you ask David, when they lack the very basics of tools needed to do such a job?

One would only have to see John McCain on the news yesterday not being able to give a straight answer about how many houses he owns. And this is what America is putting their hopes in to fix all our woes?

Whether they lie as blatantly as McCain does or by omission as Obama does - politicians are all cut from the same cloth. Always remember, hiding behavior is s signpost of dis-ease. Sure the gov need to have some secrets for national security, but I don't think the number of houses one owns is one of them.

http://www.motherjones.com/mojoblog/archives/2008/08/9322_john_mccain_houses.html

America has been in a steady decline since it's golden age of the 1950's. We are too busy for morals David. Nowadays the 'moral and social agendas' you talk about revolve around making the marrying gays as natural as mom's long lost apple pie. And socializing is all done by text messaging...we don't even talk anymore.

As Zig Ziglar once said, "we are too busy planning our vacations than planning our lives...we are too busy planning the wedding, than planning the marriage."

From reading your posts, I can see many of you don't understand the gravity of what awaits you. As sheeple, you are blind to your future.

As our crude runs out and the jets are grounded, bananas, pineapple, mangos, papayas and other topical delights will be a thing of the past for many of us. Our grandchildren may not even be able to know the experience of jet travel. Localized food as Verona talked about will be that of design more so than desire. They say the 1500 mile salad will be a thing of the past - well, for me it is more like 2500 mile salad.

Women will be hit especially hard by a post carbon world, for we all know how women fare in times of unrest. And there wont be much local help or protection - for police run on gas too. Just look at Katrina as your model for your future. Only this time, the entire country will be localized and it will be a never ending localization, so the calvary wont be able to rescue you.

Self sufficiency skills will be one of the deciding factors for those that die and those that live. I suggest you have some basic firearms in your possession and know how to use them as I mentioned here earlier.

In the end, only so much grass roots change can come about from our work on changing the system. For as we change 'the system,' society will change in ways we have not even thought about or prepared for. And this is especially prevalent with the green crowd I talk with, for they were too blind to their future by concentrating on the green. Flexibility and adaptation are two characteristics of the successful survivor. My survival mentor says to prepare for the unthinkable - one must first think the unthinkable.

A few years ago I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a con man named Charles Ponzi. He was credited with inventing the first pyramid scheme. The article stated when Ponzi was interviewed he was asked how he was able to swindle so many people so easily, his responded, "When a man's mind is concentrated he is blind."

Some of you dismiss what is being said with this same ego blindness as 'just one man's opinion or 'just a book.' Ah, how we like to dismiss things with just as wave of the hand. We don't answer the challenge, we just dismiss it all as not worthy of our time to address the topic in a a meaningful way. Some of you remind me my wife's stockbroker. she dismissed peak oil as 'just a theory.' Verona and some others puts their hopes in the green optimism of Blessed Unrest.

Well, we are each entitled to our opinions.

But, when the subject turns opinions I recall Clint Eastwood's famous line in one of his Dirty Harry series:

"Opinions are like assholes...everyone's got one."

The trouble is when opinions start killing people, it is a good time to do a reality check. Are our opinions based on ego or are they grounded in fact and truth?

I can't help that having your life ripped out from under you is depressing. It was depressing for me as well when my enlightenment came. But after a week of sulking I got to work doing what I could and accepting peak oil as something to prepare for.

When deaths from peak oil come about, it will be too late to do much - we had already had our chance, but found the whole subject as opinionated, depressing and something we can put off until decades in the future as we had put all our hopes into the fanciful imaginings of a hydrogen economy.

http://www.energybulletin.net/primer

"Nothing we have developed will replace crude oil...no biofuels, nuclear, CTL, cellulosic ethanol, algae lipids, tar sands, solar, methane hydrates, shale oil, dark matter, black light, solar thermal, bakken shale, switchgrass, fusion, wind, coal-bed methane, cane sugar ethanol, wave power, hydroelectric, geothermal, GTL, Fisher-Tropf, thermodepolymerization, cow farts, cat crap or dog poo. Ain't nothing. Get used to it." ~ from Peakoil.com

One other point; none of us will be ultimate survivors, we all have to die one day. But the successful survivor extends his or her life beyond an earlier death...a death that was caused by ignorance of how to make that life last longer. Sure be green, do good and hope for the best...but don't let green or your ego blind you to the black that awaits you my friends.


Book and DVD list. All available from your local library.

Beyond Oil: the view from Hubbert's Peak
by Deffeyes, Kenneth S.

The Coming Economic Collapse - how you can thrive when oil costs $200 a barrel
by Leeb, Stephen

A Crude Awakening - the oil crash
Lava Productions AG, Switzerland DVD

The End of Suburbia - oil depletion and the collapse of the American dream
by Greene, Gregory DVD

Fed Up DVD

High Noon for Natural Gas: the new energy crisis
by Darley, Julian

The Long Emergency: surviving the converging catastrophes of the twenty-first century
by Kunstler, James Howard

Oil Apocalypse
History channel DVD

Peak Oil Survival: preparation for life after gridcrash
by McBay, Aric

Powerdown: options and actions for a post-carbon world
by Heinberg, Richard

Resource Wars: the new landscape of global conflict
by Klare, MichaelT

A Thousand Barrels a Second: the coming oil break point and the challenges facing an energy dependent world
by Tertzakian, Peter

Twilight in the Desert: the coming Saudi oil shock and the world economy
by Simmons, Matthew R.
Well written book examining 12 of the key Saudi oil fields.

Who Killed the Electric Car?
Sony Pictures Classics release

Zoom:the global race to fuel the car of the future
by Iain Carson and Vijay V. Vaitheeswaran.

...you still have some valuable time left to prepare for what awaits you down the road. We are in the 'Indian Summer'of a post carbon world. Don't wait until the winter sets in to start work on your preparedness efforts.

The Alcohol Fuel Handbook / by Lynn Ellen Doxon.
by Doxon, Lynn Ellen

Art of Nothing
An excellent series of DVD's showcasing primitive skills:

Basic Essentials. Edible Wild Plants & Useful Herbs
by Meuninck, Jim

The Biodiesel Handbook
by Gerhard Knothe

The Bread Builders:hearth loaves and masonry ovens
by Wing, Daniel

Breathe No Evil
Safe-Tek Publishers

Brown's Second Alcohol Fuel Cookbook.
by Brown, Michael Halsey

Build a Root Cellar & Storm Shelter
by Hobson, Phyllis

Bushcraft
by Mors Kochanski
Great reference on primitive wood skills.

The Can Opener Gourmet
by Karr, Laura

The Citizen-Powered Energy Handbook: community solutions to a global crisis
by Greg Pahl

The Coming Economic Collapse - how you can thrive when oil costs $200 a barrel
by Leeb, Stephen

The Complete Book of Dutch Oven Cooking
by Fears, J. Wayne

The Complete Book of Fire: building campfires for warmth, light, cooking, and survival
by Tilton, Buck

The Complete Book of Survival
by Stahlberg, Rainer
An outstanding all encompassing guide to the philosophy of surviving - Highly Recommended.

The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants
by Lyle, Katie Letcher

Country Wisdom & Know-how
Numerous authors and publishers...all contain worthwhile information.

Dancing at Armageddon: Survivalism and Chaos in Modern Times
by Richard G. Mitchell Jr

Edible Wild plants
by Meuninck, James

Edible Wild Plants of Pennsylvania and Neighboring states
by Medve, Richard J.

Edible and Medicinal Plants of the West
Gregory L. Tilford

Emergency Preparedness. Awareness & Survival
DVD Apogee Communication, 2006 - Highly Recommended.

Farming for Self-sufficiency
by John and Sally Seymour

Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants of Eastern and Central North America
by Peterson, Lee.

First Aid for Dogs.
Various authors under related titles...First Aid for Cats...Horses...Pets....even Insects!

Four-Season Harvest:organic vegetables from your home garden all year long.
by Eliot Coleman

Going Local: creating self-reliant communities in a global age
by Shuman, Michael

Grit Magazine

Guns and Ammo Magazine

How to Dry Foods
by DeLong, Deanna.

Life after doomsday
by Bruce D. Clayton

Magic of Wheat Cookery
by Tyler, Lorraine Dilworth

Making Your Own Motor Fuel
by Fred Stetson

Mother Earth Magazine
Al back issues available on CD ROM for nominal cost from:

Natural Home Heating: the complete guide to renewable energy options
by Pahl, Greg

Nutrition and well-being A to Z
Delores C.S. James editor

The Omnivore's Dilemma

Pantry Cooking : quick and easy food storage recipes
by Robins, Laura

PDR for Herbal Medicines
by Medical Economics

Peak Oil Survival: preparation for life after gridcrash
by McBay, Aric

Powerdown: options and actions for a post-carbon world
by Heinberg, Richard

Primitive Living, Self-sufficiency, and Survival Skills : a field guide to primitive living skills
by Elpel, Thomas J.

The Renewable Energy Handbook:a guide to rural independence, off-grid and sustainable living
by William H. Kemp

Root Cellaring : the simple no-processing way to store fruits and vegetables
by Bubel, Nancy./Bubel, Mike

Seed to Seed: seed saving techniques for the vegetable gardener
by Ashworth, Suzanne

Shelters, Shacks, and shanties: the classic guide to building wilderness shelters
by Beard, Daniel Carter

U.S. Army combat skills handbook / Department of the Army.
Lyon's Press

Zips, Pipes, And Pens: Arsenal Of Improvised Weapons
by J. David Truby


The interview with Andrew Bacevich was one of the most compelling, informative, and moving pieces of journalism I've ever encountered. The discussion revealed such simple, but profound and little-heard, ideas. Thank you, Bill Moyers, for continuing to deliver this clarifying and sophisticated program.

The interview with Andrew Bacevich was one of the most compelling, informative, and moving pieces of journalism I've ever encountered. The discussion revealed such simple, but profound and little-heard, ideas. Thank you, Bill Moyers, for continuing to deliver this a clarifying and sophisticated program.

I hope I am not repeating here, as I came to the transcript of this program late, via tomdispatch.com. I have two comments. First, the description of the incursion into Georgia Mr. Moyers gives at the outset of the program is a half truth that is not up to his standards. Second, the elephant in the livingroom with regard to the excellent interview is that at the heart of the problem for our democracy is the privatization of everything under the sun in the name of freedom - something our founding fathers never envisioned and in fact tried to guard against. Corporations now own this country and are setting their sights on the world. The presidency has been privatized. It will raise hackles to call it fascism, but if it walks like a duck...

Calling it the imperial presidency is far to kind.

The dynamics of social interaction on a global scale is unavoidable. We will either follow the course set by the republicans to the death and destruction of a third world war or we will take a stand against the present trend and adjust our moral and social agendas to correct our present course.
So much depends on our doing what is right and good instead of what is wrong and evil.

Unfortunately, Mr Becevich is an ardent militarist who sees fighting war as honorable and necessary.Let's just find the right one to fight He wants wars that can be won and is suffering under the delusion that killing for your country is honorable. I profoundly disagree.Nationalistic patriotism is a religion which allows those with power to extract obscene amounts of money in the name of righteous warfare. War is terrorism.

Killing under the cloak of war is murder. Albert Einstein.

Posted by: tom

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

War does not determine who is right - war determines who is left

Sure war stinks Tom

But we are in a new era of human life.

We are entering the post crude phase of our existence and we will see much more turmoil in the near future than just the few killings that have come our of our current war effort.

You see, we will be at war over crude until the last buckets have been sucked from the earth...so get used to it.

As we would leave the Middle East...China or Russia would step in.

See:

http://www.amazon.com/Resource-Wars-Landscape-Conflict-Introduction/dp/0805055762

China has triple our pop and a fraction of our oil reserves within its borders.

So either we play bodyguard to the Middle East or China or Russia will.

We all like typing on the 'puter don't we?

Well, without the crude to make the diesel to power the train that brings the coal to the power plant you would not be typing on the 'puter.

But that is not all.

We are entering an era of peak natural gas, peak water, peak food, peak uranium. So many areas of new conflict are in our future.

Then again, we could just all start learning Chinese or Russian and throw in the towel?

Self sufficiency skills will be one of the deciding factors for those that die and those that live. I suggest you have some basic firearms in your possession and know how to use them.

A pistol is used to fight your way back to your assault riffle if you get separated from it...and if all else fails grab your shotgun....so I would buy 3 guns as a MINIMUM.

These 3 are the trinity of your self defense foundation Tom.

Someday you may have your guns taken from you either by force or so-called legal methods. If you have 2, 3 or 5 backups of each weapon, properly cached, you are still in the defense biz, but with only one weapon you are out of luck if it gets taken. Our back up guns and ammunition should be cached for the security that diversity offers.

Terry Thomas, you should be ashamed of yourself for your scathing, disgusting comments. For the record, Mr. Bacevich lost his son in May of 2007. Do everyone a favor and begin here educating yourself by reading the article he wrote in March, 2003. After that, begin educating yourself in general. That may be the best place America can start; educate ourselves beyond the narrow, black and white perspective.
Please read his article in the LA Times on March 20, 2003. Please!
http://articles.latimes.com/2003/mar/20/news/war-oebacevich20

Knew this was going to happen since the early 70's. Saw too many products from Japan at that time. We have dug a bottomless sink hole that will never fill back in.

Colonel Bracevitch's statement is biblical in its directness. It can't be fixed in the post 911 climate of a permanent external security threat.

Enjoyed and recorded the Mr Bacevich interview and find I agree whole heartedly. I'm proud to call myself a progressive; would fight Apache-style against those who are neo-Nazis and yet find this anger makes me as reactionary and narrow minded as them.
As a Democratic Party voter I also find devils in Andrew Jackson's legacy (support of slavery, his murderous hatred of First Americans and belief in the imperial presidency) too close to the fascist elements of the GOP neo-cons. It's a conundrum.

I believe in a reformist ideal vs the reactionary conservative. I believe our nation owes it's warriors respect and leadership which will repudiate it's Darkside rather than bathe' in it.

Mr Bacevich's son's sacrifice is one of the strange fruits of the incompetent Bush/Cheney eternal war. This is Viet Nam Part II, a nurturing of enemies and a wallowing in the greed of Big Oil (has anyone examined the profits made by Bush/Cheney and their friends?). We're getting stabbed front and back; the Saudis/OPEC get richer AND are able to spread radical doctrines as we act the part of The Great Satan. Five million Iraqis are refugees (think they'll be able to or want to move here?) or trust the USA on moral grounds (torture has become US). Thanks, King George!

I'm slipping away from broadminded and easy going. I don't believe we can survive unless the rich can pass through the eye of a needle and we can wean ourselves from the fossil fuel teat.

Unfortunately, Mr Becevich is an ardent militarist who sees fighting war as honorable and necessary.Let's just find the right one to fight He wants wars that can be won and is suffering under the delusion that killing for your country is honorable. I profoundly disagree.Nationalistic patriotism is a religion which allows those with power to extract obscene amounts of money in the name of righteous warfare. War is terrorism.

Killing under the cloak of war is murder. Albert Einstein.

Unfortunately, Mr Becevich is an ardent militarist who sees fighting war as honorable and necessary.Let's just find the right one to fight He wants wars that can be won and is suffering under the delusion that killing for your country is honorable. I profoundly disagree.Nationalistic patriotism is a religion which allows those with power to extract obscene amounts of money in the name of righteous warfare. War is terrorism.

Killing under the cloak of war is murder. Albert Einstein.

What the liberals forget is that Bill Clinton did the same thing in Iraq but did not finish the job. Bill Clinton's reason for Bombing Iraq was the same as GWB and that was he had WMD! Seems since 1998 Bill Clinton and the Democrats was saying Iraq had WMD..GWB did what others tried and done it right and finished the job!

Yes the problems will not be solved by the president at least not the ones that the media promotes. As long as people think that by voting against one party or the other that this will solve our problems we will continue to have the same problems. Right now we had a choice but people didn't see it so they are stuck with the same thing thinking that Mccain or Obama will solve the problems, how sad everyone is still asleep.

Thank you Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich for a thoughtful and much needed discussion last week. I thoroughly agree with the assessment. My thoughts on how to fix it are about helpiing people to vote for a candidate who proposes solutions (Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, Ralph Nadar, etc.) and forget about trying to "get someone who can win. " If enough people voted for 3rd and 4th party candidates, maybe we can get real dialogue and political discussion about the problems. Meanwhile, we must live/ walk/& talk the solutions - local food, alternative energy, local political issues, and grass toots movements. Paul Hawkins book, "Blessed Unrest" shows what is happening at the grass roots level and eventually we will manifest the changes necessary to have top level change. Grace Lee Boggs spoke of this, too.

Mr. Bacevich, after reading the comments stimulated by your incredibly thought provoking book interview, I would dearly love to hear any feasible recommendations you might have to place us on a path back to a more balanced political playing field here in the United States.
Thanks,
Jim.

This is comment #2 on "The Limits of Power".

Andrew Bacevich notes that the Iraqis and Afganis have adapted their weapons much more quickly than the Americans.

This is to be expected.

Lets say you have 1000 Bradley Fighting Vehicles that have to double their armour plating because of the IEDs. Its reasonable to expect this would take several months and at considerable cost.

The day the vehicles are upgraded, then Al Queda simply doubles the size of the IED explosives (at the cost of 2 pizzas instead of 1) and punctures the reinforced armour, to start the process again.

The sad thing is that this type of adaption should have been known before they got into this war. We are in their country and end up fighting on their terms.

Mike Smith

The "imperial" nature of the U.S. has been obvious for much longer than 1990, as Bacevich suggests. However, historically, all nations are imperialistic as long as their wealth, technology, military power, etc. are superior to other nations. The balance of power has shifted from nation to nation based on these factors since ancient times (Greece, Rome, Spain, Britain, etc.). Bacevich is correct that our democratic system is a hoax. It has always been controlled by those wealthy enough to buy influence, sidestepping the checks and balances designed into the political system. However Bacevich speaks of the time when the U.S. trade balance tipped in favor of foreign countries, weakening our ability to pay for our historic imperialism. Although unbridled consumerism is a U.S. weakness, reducing consumer demand won't return us to the pre-trade deficit state. The global interdependence of the world's economy was created by many forces including technological innovations. We can't go back to economic or political isolationism. Is there a balance between isolationism and imperialism? If so how do we achieve and maintain it? And how can the U.S. democracy restore power to the masses, being controlled as it is by the 1% wealthiest and most powerful?

What is missing are suggestions on what to do about the 2008 election.

Posted by: Pierre Pondrom

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Hope this gets by the censors...

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/screwd08.jpg

Panic is for those not prepared. We develop self confidence by mastering the skills needed to overcome any situation that arises to threaten our life...time to get to work Pierre.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/po2.jpg

...

Brilliant interview with Andrew Bacevich. The ideas and descriptions of the problems facing America were perfectly articulated. And with huge respect for Moyers and Bacevich, but why didn't Moyers ask Bacevich to propose a solution. Even hypothetical. I don't understand why he didn't ask that.
What is the purpose of articulating the problem with a high degree of precision and honesty, if not to carry it though to a suggestion for a remedy. We have enough reiterations and eloquent articulations of the problems facing this country. We have enough intangible ideals of what could be, or should be done. How about a simple blueprint for change that everyone can be a part of and actively pursue. I understand that informing people is part of the solution. But no one knows what to do with all this information. We can either intellectualize things until we're third world, or we can put our heads together and execute.
I don't have a plan. I'm just an average thinker, but my proposition is that: the minds that are wasting time reiterating the problems and posing idealistic abstractions should stop pandering to their own assembly, and propose something we, the common American citizen, can understand and can use today. Give us a solution.
I say, let's stop describing the problem and start making suggestions for remedies that we can all take part in right now. Is there an organization I can join? Is there a task I can do everyday? What can I do when I wake up tomorrow to start making a difference?
-ursus-
Posted by: ursus

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

You brought up a point that was haunting me last night...a solution. You also remind me of the people at the forum at the Picken's Plan. They don't want talk they want action. The trouble with both these areas of government and peak oil is they can't be fixed perfectly, they can only be a continual work in progress.

I think many of us are approaching this issue all wrong. We need to realize that imperfect humans are running our world. So when judgments have to be made, mistakes can and will happen. (as we know too well in our own lives).

That being said, instead of looking for a 'perfect solution' that smacks of the Martha Stewart syndrome, look for a 'diminishing of sickness' within our government and society.

As I said eariler, we can go in 3 direction with sickness. We can increase it freeze it or decrease it. If we 'look for direction and forget perfection' we may do better than trying to perfect imperfect humans.

If you have trouble with the 'sickness notion' then ask yourself if things are better or worse or frozen in our country?

But when it comes to presidents sticking their cigars in women private parts while they are on the job or slap happy idiots shooting off their arsenal of pop guns at every imagined threat - I view that as dysfunctional sickness.

As James Allen tells us - "Circumstances does not make the man - it reveals him to himself"

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

I've offered a few tools of reforms in my posts, but the bottom line is unless we start chastising the politicians for their crimes and put some bite in our bark, they will keep on keeping on.

I guess the first step would be to put some of our ideas to town meetings (sans presidential hopefuls) and a national vote. (if a national vote can even be done.) But I am like you in the sense that I know very little about the inner workings of laws and alas can only offer suggestions. But it takes all sorts, for I don't see the people knowing the law suggesting much here.

Our government has become so complex, that almost nothing substantive to help America can be done. The first step is to simplify the government and start returning to the ideal of 'the government of the people, by the people and for the people,

One big change would be transparency and simplification when voting. When the politicians vote on a bill - it has to be a vote on one single proposal. Outlaw the bundling of all these special interest add-ons that corrupt bills into a putrid mess that no one can understand.

But as soon as you unbundle the bills, how will the lying thieves get their pork funded? So they resist any such change at all costs.

It would be nice if we had an auto recall feature with our politicians, where they could be easily recalled if they didn't pan out after each year on the job. And don't make a big deal of it....just flush the crap down the toilet.

You know politicians are power hungry, egomaniacs and most likely would shape up if they were going to lose their drug fix and go cold turkey right to ego deflation. Clinton said he did not know what to do with himself for 3 weeks after he left the white house...well, he had some free time to shop for cigars I guess?

You ever see these old geezers having to be carried out on a stretcher from senate or congress? It is not because they are such dedicated public servants. It is because they can't bear to take themselves away from screwing the public.

But until RADICAL change has been FORCED on our politicians NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

IF NOTHING CHANGES...NOTHING CHANGES...it is that simple.

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

My education is so limited that I cannot put into words the sorrow I fell when I read of an American soldier dying in war. I am reluctant to even write to you due to your great lost.
I never would have dreamed the U.S. would become a county of war mongrels. I used to vote republican and now see them as evil as Germanys were in the early 1930. Even now is Bush trying for a war with Russia, after all a party at war during election always favors the party in office. And as you and I believe most American do not see Iraq as a real war more as police action. In my state a few year ago a senator named Mike DeWine campaign folks admitted to doctoring up a video of the world trade center by digitally adding smoke.Yes it really happened?? So this is why I believe the republican will do anything to get relected, even start another unnessarry war to keep power. It sad how logical argument for war can be, always a reason for war lets choice to look harder for the reasons to avoid them, human logic is truly foolishness. And folks that read this (the really smart ones) fell free to made fun of any spelling errors I made after all that what really important not our solider dying. Lets face it American this thirst for war in republican ranks is new and we need to get it under control. An ending note, I am horrifed of the though of another republican president getting elected and ashamed I ever voted for any of them.

HOW CAN WE FIX IT?

There are several ways recommended to “FIX IT!
Some believe by revolution!
Some by printing press monetary policy!
Some by demonstration!
Some by military power!
Some by electing new figure had – new president!
Some by amending the tax code!
Some by their religious believe!
Some by increasing the prisons!
Some by justice system that is defending a dead constitution; A system of
adapted laws to fit the interest of their particular political party etc.!

Some of us believe by “AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION”; to EMPOWER the PEOPLE TO “EXPRES THEIR WILL” on ALL ISUES!
The Constitution should have been address and amended long before these crises!
Changes should not have been made by adapting new LAWS!
AMENDMENS to CONSTITUTION worked before and should work again!
THE POWER SHOULD BE IN the PEOPLE and NOT in the dysfunctional CONGRESS and SENAT that conveyed their power to the PRESIDENT!
If anyone has other, better way than the ones stated, please let us know!

The ISSUES were well stated and they are:
CONSTITUTIONAL CRISES
WAR
HEALTH CARE
NATIONAL DEBT $10.6 trillion dollars
ECONONY -ECONOMIC OPPRESSION-DEPRESSION- POVERTY
SOCIAL SECURITY
PRINTING PRESS DEVALUATION of THE CURRENCY
IMIGRATION
JUDICIAL SYSTEM
MILITARY FOREIGN AID... while the NATION is BANCRUPT
TAXES
EARTH ECOLOGY – AIR POLUTION; WATER; OIL
PORK BAREL POJECTS
DEMOCRACY or IMPERIAL DOMINATION
EDUCATION ETC.

This guy is so right!!! We handed the congress to the democrats on the promiss that they would scale back or end the war back in 2006!
They have done nothing but lie since...So if you really truly think if Obama gets elected that things will change, then you all who voted for him are going to be very disappointed...

I agree. But this man doesn't know who he is. He has supported the people that caused the problem his whole life until he lost his son, who he states he doesn't want to exploit. Our problems will never be solved because there are too many with the attitude he had before he lost his son. The problem is greed and the desire to do things that we are ashamed of to get what we want. Why would anyone give back to the world that which they have taken from it through their evil exploitations. For example: Ask the Kennedy family to give back all their fortunes because it was all acquired by the bootlegging of Irish whisky in the prohibition times and other mafia like dealings. Most people with huge fortunes have done deeply disturbing things to get to their high and mighty position of moral leadership. I'm ashamed of our country, as it seems that Mr. Bacevich is now, after seeing the results of what they have done materialize right here at home with the current financial bailouts for the rich bankers in the face of millions of people loosing their homes. His turning over a new leaf isn't all that it is made up to be. He is looking to be a best seller, who is selling out his republican buddies not unlike Scoot McClellan. Hell, Castro has more foresight than our republican con artist. Look carefully at the Jack Abramoff and Karl Rove blue print strategy of how to lead poor countries to democracy. Castro said that we would starve poor countries with our turning corn crops into fuel. Look around. In the last century our country has dealt unfairly with the world and look where it has gotten us. We are facing a depression that will make the great one look small. Where will those ill gotten gains be used? -- to fence out the starving citizens of our own country? What a bunch of moral leaders we are for the world to follow!

I hate to say this, but iVillage is run by right-wingers. Their message board leans right, and there is a reason. iVillage has their finger on the right side of the scale. I know because I am proud to say I just got chucked off after quite a long time posting. I assiduously avoided personal attacks and anything that could be perceived as a TOS violation. I posted facts, facts and more facts showing that the right wing is out to lunch, nobody home. Our media, and our corporate owned web sites, all have their fingers on the scales for Republicans. This election should be an absolute landslide against the patently corrupt, lazy and incompetent bunch of Republican politicians running for all types of federal offices. Instead McCain can run around acting like a loose cannon and pick up 10 points in the polls because everyone gives him a free pass.
Here's my advice everyone. Join iVillage, join other web sites where the debate is happening and you are not just preaching to the converted. Keep getting the facts out. As I wrote in a recent diary, just the facts on oil alone are enough to make one gag on the Republicans' excuse for an energy policy: http://www.dailykos.com/...
I want my country back :(
Posted by: Duck Soup

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Well this is kind of off topic isn't it?

But as long as you brought it up I will give you a little background about myself and online censorship.

I used to go by the online name of 'V' or 'VFR' and I have been on over 300 forums over the last 10 years. I have been banned from about 70% of them due to prejudice. The sad thing is, vast majority of these forums have been dedicated to personal improvement as well as spiritual studies. During this time I have never attacked anyone or been in a flame war. My only crime is trying to discuss truth.

Now with Christian forums it is 100% ban rate and Buddhist forums is 95% ban and atheist forums it is about 95% ban.

So it seems this ignorance is universally 'human' in nature and shared by theists as well as atheists.

Psychologist William James once said, "A great many people believe they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices."

Let me give you an example that has happened to me in the past from a quote I posted here yesterday.

In the bible it says "Test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil," (1 Thess. 5:21)
Taking wisdom from Christian, Buddhist and most other religions of the world, I discuss such tools in my posts no matter their source.

When I talked about this 'concept of testing' and related it to the Buddha's tool of testing doctrine, but included this bible quote above, I was banned by the Buddhists. Yet the Buddha also encouraged testing of his teachings before adopting those teachings.

At a Christian forum, when I brought up the Buddha encourages testing just as it was said in the bible, the Christian forums banned me.

Then at the atheist forums when I mention the Bible and the Buddha both offered the tools of testing to help determine truth, the atheist sites ban me.

Yet, all three groups like the idea of testing for truth, as long as this idea comes from them and not from anyone else...many people believe they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.

The three unwholesome roots of delusions, greed and hate are very basic to a a Buddhist practice. Out of these three, delusion is the foundational root, for without seeing delusions for what they are, you cannot distinguish the other two unwholesome roots of greed and hate.

People suffer from delusions in all form and not just deity worship. Atheism, while freeing one's mind to think, but it does not guarantee one 'thinks right' and acts right.

For instance, I was banned from many 'so called' Buddhist sites such as Esangha, Tricycle, Shambhala, Buddha Chat, 12 step Buddhists, Sangha-Pauahtun, eBuddhism, etc even though I have a keen interest in Buddhist thought.

Some people claiming to be Buddhist think all they have to is shave their heads, adopt a silly name, be a vegetarians and burn incense to be a Buddhists...all the while they are doing great harm to others,

Which is how it is with many Buddhist forums that are 'for profit' and run by 'spiritually sick' individuals. Currently, it is a sad state of affairs with such online Buddhist groups.

I've been on dozens of Christian forums and I have perfect record at the Christian forums...100% banned...and I was a Christian myself for 50 years before I became enlightened to the truth.

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

I was able to finagle my way back into one Christian forum though:

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

But I could only stay if I claimed to be an atheist...and I do not post much and keep my mouth shut...and if I do post it has to be something non consequential. Also I am not allowed to post with the Christians. I can only post to the atheists. I like that forum as it reminds me of the 'sickness of attachment,' so that is why I put up with all the prejudice. At that forum you can 'buy your armor' to outfit your avatar to shield you from evil and 'trade blessings' with each other.

The Billy Graham and Catholic forums banned me after my first posts...then they solicit me for months on end asking for money. I don't know whether to laugh or cry?

Charity? Humility? Reciprocity? Freedom of Faith? Truth? And of course...Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself????
I'm afraid Christians don't practice what they preach...at least at their forums. (Even the Buddhist whose mantra is 'Do No Harm' ban me 95% of the time at their forums, so they are only a little better than the Christians.)

Atheist forums are not much better at freethinking. Been banned at evil bible dot com, ethical atheist, Internet infidels, X-Christians and others.

How do I find peace with all this prejudice?

By knowing

"With the same material one man builds a palace and another only a hovel." Russell Cromwell.

And accepting people are not perfect, nor am I perfect

I agree with most comments of Anthony Bacevich. My one disagreement is about his approach to Al Queda.

He suggests that we need to use more police and FBI agents to defend against this criminal conspiracy.

I think the State Department needs to look into why these terrorists hate us so much. I have a belief that the terrorists hate us because of our support for Israel who have occupied Palestinian land for 40 years.

Every nation plus the UN disagree with the Israeli occupation and the US stands alone in condoning this.

I think if the US foreign policy re: Palestine were modified, the threat from the Islamic terrorists might be significantly reduced.

The problems of our society will never be solved until we recognize the truth about our government, and who really runs our society.

9/11 was an inside job. Any honest investigation of the event will discover this fact.

We didn't invade Afghanistan for Bin Laden.

Iraq had no WMD. Bush knew it. The Congress knew it. The media knew it. The military knew it. The CIA knew it.

Iran poses no threat.

But it doesn't matter. Our rulers do not care about the truth. They care about control. They view humanity as cattle. Cogs in the machine. Things to be used for their benefit alone.

As bad as Bush is, he is not really the problem. The powers that be were there before Bush, are there now, and will be after Bush regardless of who the new President is.

The solution must come from the people. They must refuse to comply. We will not tolerate violations of the Constitution. We will not fight your wars. We will not fund your wars. We will not buy your garbage. We will not listen to the joke media. We do not recognize your authority. The government is illegitimate.

Dissent is the answer.

I hate to say this, but iVillage is run by right-wingers. Their message board leans right, and there is a reason. iVillage has their finger on the right side of the scale. I know because I am proud to say I just got chucked off after quite a long time posting. I assiduously avoided personal attacks and anything that could be perceived as a TOS violation. I posted facts, facts and more facts showing that the right wing is out to lunch, nobody home. Our media, and our corporate owned web sites, all have their fingers on the scales for Republicans. This election should be an absolute landslide against the patently corrupt, lazy and incompetent bunch of Republican politicians running for all types of federal offices. Instead McCain can run around acting like a loose cannon and pick up 10 points in the polls because everyone gives him a free pass.

Here's my advice everyone. Join iVillage, join other web sites where the debate is happening and you are not just preaching to the converted. Keep getting the facts out. As I wrote in a recent diary, just the facts on oil alone are enough to make one gag on the Republicans' excuse for an energy policy: http://www.dailykos.com/...

I want my country back :(

Ali your starting to be annoying.

First gas prices went down because demand fell, and speculation slowed down.

If you don't like PBS or Bil Moyers change the channel.

Ali your statements are full of false statements and your just proving how the right thinks that by yelling loudly and repeating the BS enough that people will start believing in what your saying.

Your wrong and no one is listening.

Thank you for this. I won't repeat the wonderful comments by many informed people. The fix comes with an informed citizenry. Quotes have been provided already. Government can only do bad things when the citizens are dulled and in my experience my children are not getting a fraction of the education in the publically funded system that I did growing up in the 60's and 70's. My first year university student and all his friends do not have an understanding of "how the world works" and it is very sad.

Brilliant interview with Andrew Bacevich. The ideas and descriptions of the problems facing America were perfectly articulated. And with huge respect for Moyers and Bacevich, but why didn't Moyers ask Bacevich to propose a solution. Even hypothetical. I don't understand why he didn't ask that.

What is the purpose of articulating the problem with a high degree of precision and honesty, if not to carry it though to a suggestion for a remedy. We have enough reiterations and eloquent articulations of the problems facing this country. We have enough intangible ideals of what could be, or should be done. How about a simple blueprint for change that everyone can be a part of and actively pursue. I understand that informing people is part of the solution. But no one knows what to do with all this information. We can either intellectualize things until we're third world, or we can put our heads together and execute.

I don't have a plan. I'm just an average thinker, but my proposition is that: the minds that are wasting time reiterating the problems and posing idealistic abstractions should stop pandering to their own assembly, and propose something we, the common American citizen, can understand and can use today. Give us a solution.

I say, let's stop describing the problem and start making suggestions for remedies that we can all take part in right now. Is there an organization I can join? Is there a task I can do everyday? What can I do when I wake up tomorrow to start making a difference?

-ursus-

Brilliant interview with Andrew Bacevich. The ideas and descriptions of the problems facing America were perfectly articulated. And with huge respect for Moyers and Bacevich, but why didn't Moyers ask Bacevich to propose a solution. Even hypothetical. I don't understand why he didn't ask that.

What is the purpose of articulating the problem with a high degree of precision and honesty, if not to carry it though to a suggestion for a remedy. We have enough reiterations and eloquent articulations of the problems facing this country. We have enough intangible ideals of what could be, or should be done. How about a simple blueprint for change that everyone can be a part of and actively pursue. I understand that informing people is part of the solution. But no one knows what to do with all this information. We can either intellectualize things until we're third world, or we can put our heads together and execute.

I don't have a plan. I'm just an average thinker, but my proposition is that: the minds that are wasting time reiterating the problems and posing idealistic abstractions should stop pandering to their own assembly, and propose something we, the common American citizen, can understand and can use today. Give us a solution.

I say, let's stop describing the problem and start making suggestions for remedies that we can all take part in right now. Is there an organization I can join? Is there a task I can do everyday? What can I do when I wake up tomorrow to start making a difference?

-ursus-

Reading so many thoughtfull comments by so many engaged, intelligent participants gives me cause for hope and so I would like to reiterate one of the original talking points which asked generally what can be done to to fix this problem if in fact it is fixable.
Thanks,
Jim

The Fed is only 1 symptom, 1 component of a much more complex national security state, Allen Wrench. The entire mechanism of governance and economy is a putrid, rancid, lethal mess. You will have a hard time if you think you can "reform" the ebola virus!

Posted by: Concerned Citizen

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I can't argue with you. And while diagnosing the disease may be half the battle, we have been living with the disease for some time. (and may soon be dying from it.)

The disease can go in 3 directions:

Get better, freeze or get worse.

While I have no illusions about a cure - can the virus be somewhat contained?

I agree with everything Professor Bacevich said in the interview. The thing that disturbs me the most is that our Congress has completely given over its powers under the Constitution to the executive and allowed the President to do whatever he and Cheney pleases. The new Democratic controlled Congress had the opportunity to end the war by exercising its power to withhold further funds and also to begin impeachment proceedings against Bush and Cheney. But the Democrats were afraid they would be called cowards and were not supporting the troops. To me, supporting the troops means questioning the administration on its decisions and stopping the war. If Iraq goes down the tubes, so be it. We have made a total mess of it. Also, the enormous debt we have racked up makes me very afraid for the future. And here Congressmen were asking Mr. Bacevich what he thought we should do about it!! Everyone in Washington is hiding from this financial trainwreck as if they are not on the train with everyone else. I don't know what the answer is but we somehow must make our Congress and Executive work properly in accordance with the Constitution.

Dr. Bacevich comes across as one of the most thoughtful persons I have ever heard speak. I thinks outside of the box and has a very clear perspective as to what is really going on with our country. Only wish all Americans could, or would , hear what he has to say so clearly. I could not be more impressed.

Alan Watts use to say we define ourselves by our enemies. We define ourselves by what we are not. He used the example of 'Beatniks and Squares' which were the in fad opposites back in his day. So of course it is natural for conservatives and liberals to view themselves as polar opposites. (and enemies)

When we invest excessive time and energies in acquiring or building attachments (such as liberal or conservative) these attachments become veritable extensions of our being and come to define us for ourselves as well as define who we are to others.

When these attachments take on this role we become susceptible to pain via these extensions. If the person, place or thing we are attached to gets rebuked it is a personal rebuke on us, if they get damaged or defaced so goes the defacement and damage to our very being.

It is hard to become fully detached with ideas, for if we did we would be like a feather floating wherever the wind blew us and would pick up any old idea with no firm grounding of what we perceive as right or wrong. But many of us make our judgments solely on 'who' says what, instead of 'what' is said.

If we have trouble looking at things with an open mind, we can practice dropping the prejudice for a moment and look at ideas without the preconceived 'no good's' that we immediately hit ideas with. This becomes easier the more you open your mind and practice being truth based. Although as soon as attachments form, be warned...honor dies where the interest lies...it is just human nature.

Although I am not very religious nowadays and am an agnostic freethinker, the bible reminds us "Test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil," (1 Thess. 5:21)

Even if you are an atheist, this concept of testing can be of help to you. For with such tests, 'the proof of the pudding will be in the eating' and decisions on will not be left only to your ego, but will be grounded in truth. And as soon as you open yourself up to testing you can release some of the prejudice that has been blocking you on your search for truth.

Now, sometime the truth is relative, sometimes truth is a best fit scenario. But generally we can say the truth is that which does not change.

This is not so just because people have the cleverest argument to prove such things. The proof of the pudding is in the eating. (testing) If it was otherwise, the spin doctors would be the kings and queen of inner peace and truth.

What is rhetoric (spin) based on?

Truth?

No...rhetoric is based on making the lie 'appear' as if it was truth.

Rhetoric is based on ego.The truth can be tested. The rhetoricians lies do not hold up to testing - they only hold up as lip service.

The truth can only be found from a 'choice divorced from need'...we divorce the need to massage our ego and become honest with ourselves and others.

"Trade curses everything it touches and even though you trade in 'messages from heaven' trade attaches itself and the whole thing becomes cursed." ~ Thoreau.

Where do I begin?

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure DOMESTIC tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

In 2008, our Founding Fathers would be ashamed.

Michael Marescalco,

We NEED people who know of what they speak, and are not afraid to speak truth to power. I recall recently, when we lost the wonderful David Halberstam to a tragic automobile accident, that Mr Moyers was recounting a conversation he had had with David. It went something like this: Mr Halberstam responded to Bill Moyers' question about people in power by saying, "Bill, the closer you get to people in power, the further away you get from the truth."

AMEN!

The Fed is only 1 symptom, 1 component of a much more complex national security state, Allen Wrench. The entire mechanism of governance and economy is a putrid, rancid, lethal mess. You will have a hard time if you think you can "reform" the ebola virus!

Mr.Moyer:

My interest in giving a response to your interview with Andrew J Bacevich is a compelling feeling to support his clear articulation of the problems of this nation. Enthralling was his assessment and affirmative to my less articulate yet fully cognizant perceptions of our deeply troubled nation. As a former U.S. Army Vietnam Veteran, I too have been very troubled by the course of US foreign policy starting from before I returned from Vietnam until this very day. This we have in common. I think I was actually physically ill about our foreign policy during the years of the Ronald Regan and Bush Regimes.

Since World War II the United States has been the prime purveyor and guardian of global capitalism. The Bretton Woods Agreement makes this clear enough. Since World War II the United States has given hundreds of billions in military aid to train, equip, and subsidize more than 3 million troops and internal security forces in some eighty countries. The purpose of this aid was not to defend them from outside invasions but to protect ruling oligarchs and multinational corporate investors from the dangers of domestic anti-capitalist insurgency. During the 10 year conflict in Nicaragua the enemy in that country was a Christian socialist government under the Sandinistas. In Chile the enemy was a social democracy under the Allende government. Operation Condor, was supported by the economist Milton Freidman to my understanding. The list goes on and on, millions have been murdered, tortured, and disappeared as a result of the policies and actions of the U.S. national security state. After Vietnam and all the political unrest it inspired here at home, these wars were conducted under the veil of low intensity conflict as proxy wars propping up savage pro capitalist forces and regimes.

One of the great lies about U.S. foreign policy is that it stands for freedom and democracy. It is a preposterous statement to say that the U.S. government is interested in protecting democracy and freedom. There is the lie in the current administrations stated second reason for the continuing occupation in Iraq. A little history goes a long way in understanding the reason for U.S. foreign policy. We need to get the history right.

Only a fool would suppose that the U.S. media was not infiltrated by the same national security state that is running U.S. foreign policy on behalf of multinational corporate interests. If this were not the case we might see truly objective reporting on south and central America. In fact, it is painfully obvious that those countries do not even exist when it comes to the amount of news coverage they receive from the majority of the press.

Take the recent incursion of Georgian Security forces, armed and trained by the U.S. national security state, into South Osetia and you have a prime example of how the administrations spin on this event turns the victims into the aggressors. The media is doing a little better on this than they had back in the days of the Ronald Reagan and Bush Regime, but the pressure the U.S. is putting on the Europeans to support sanctions is turning the whole picture upside down. One report I heard stated clearly that the conflict originally broke out when Georgian troops entered South Osetia, yet the Russian defense was being labeled as invaders of a sovereign state. 20 years ago Georgia and Azerbaijan were Soviet States and the oil in the Caspian Sea was the property of Russia.

I do feel that regardless of deception or what the media does, that the very realities we face as a nation will force the people out of Disney Land. Upon their arrival to reality I hope that the shock does not lead to a massive breakdown in social order or that “black day” that Professor Bacevich alluded to will be upon us like Katrina. Those in power will take advantage of the people in a state of massive shock and execute plans already laid out in advance. Naomi Klein has covered that aspect of capitalist design in her book, The Shock Doctrine. I still see people out pulling boats on the weekend when the price of gas is nearly 4 dollars a gallon. Hello…wake up America. Is anybody out there. I guess they didn’t know the party was over and its time to stay home.

The reexamination of our liberal ideas of freedom without the corresponding responsibilities they carry is an important part of the path forward that will free us from our current condition of dysfunction. But it is but a part only. Once you realize your government is a national security state apparatus hijacked by multinational capitalist corporate criminals then all you have to do is look in the mirror and your problems will be solved. I know it’s a little Gonzo to say this, but what the hell if you turn the mirror a little sideways there’s a lot more to see than just our desire to consume. Consumers are not responsible for making themselves consumers. Our glorious capitalist economic system and the controllers of its media apparatus thrust these ideas into the minds of the people. They pounded them every minute of the day with consumer content until they were like the children in Aldous Huxley’s, Brave New World, who were fed the state policy in their beds as they sleep. The collapse of the Bretton Woods agreement in the 1970’s and the British accumulation of gold raped from South Africa and the rise of Japans industrial base is what took those jobs away from America displaced to China. We don’t need education, its not our fault we are in debt, the capitalists abandoned us for cheap exploitation over the pond and took our jobs with them. Those Chinese are trained to work in those factories. They don’t have any special educational or scholarly background. Indeed, great truths are contained in small absurdities. Who’s responsible? The multinational banks and those who control world capital movements are in the drivers seat.

But no one ever seems to get the why part right. Greed for more money to make more money is not the whole picture either. Monetary wealth is only an illusion used by those in power to maintain power. To maintain power is to have the best technology. To have the best technology is to be capitalist and powerful. To advance technology at the speed of light would not be fast enough for those who hold the power. Economic growth is the driving force behind technological development. Capitalism is the meanest and baddest evolutionary economic driver of growth ever developed by man.

Of the remnants of the intent in our former constitutional system and the reexamination of what we can validly call, “our rights,” and what of them we must reject in light of our current understanding of the reality of the system in which those rights are claimed, both the system and the rights must be subjected to examination. We cannot reexamine our rights in the context of the system that is presently broken or we will fail to a false application. Worse yet the system is not really broken. The system is gone. It is not democracy and freedom that this current administration stands for but the imperial domination of the entire planet in a never ending war to defend the world for capitalist exploitation. This makes looking in the mirror as a means to solve our problems seem much more complicated. We’ll be looking in the mirror as we are marched to our final destination in the FEMA death camps.

As Proffessor Basevich has pointed to the preamble of our constitution as a beginning point, I would surely recommend that an eco-humanistic approach to our system repair is about the only hope we have. In a world of some nearly 7 billion and the current balance of debt due to Mother Natures account, if we take seriously our commitment to future generations, we must truly get our house in order, starting with our own nation to set the example. Then the rest of the world will envy us.

For the purpose of this requirement, I would suggest that the methods we need to employ are those that have already been worked out by the late Professor Emeritus of Human Ecology, Garrett Hardin. He gives us lessons on thinking correctly in his 1985 book, FILTERS AGAINST FOLLY, How to Survive Despite Economists, Ecologists, and the Merely Eloquent. However his later book, Oxford University Press 1993, LIVING WITHIN LIMITS, Ecology, Economics, and Population Taboos, is in my opinion, the ultimate reference resource for an intellectual guiding light to the path humanity must choose.

As for myself, I am afraid I have lost hope for any simple future that our country can transition into without a major reduction in the human population as the remorseless consequence of some critical natural threshold overshoot in the very near future.

In fact, Mr. Moyer, I believe our country has multiple problems of the grim reaper type standing in line all the way down the block and knocking on our front door as a result of actions that, as Mr. Bacevich mentioned, stem from the inaction and actions taken by our government, all the way back to the Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon era, and maybe even further. I was born in 1951, and I knew by the late 1960’s that overpopulation was representative of one of the great threats to the future of our nations people. Did Kennedy not know this? Did Congress not know this? I believe they knew this truth. The decision was to discount the future for humanity and full speed ahead for technology. That is why a laissez-faire attitude on population growth has been maintained, although economic oppression has always been used as a form of control on the working class as a sort of economic tool to weed out the bad genes, or in another term “economic genocide.” Just weeding out the garden and only planting the best consumer seed for the new crop.

We need a pretty big mirror to look into and we need a way to reevaluate our perceived freedoms which I believe had been mostly worked out by the late Professor Hardin. This is usually a judicial matter, but I believe the judicial branch of this current government incapable of , and unqualified to make such determinations. These decisions should not depart from the Natural Human and Scientific methods prescribed by Professor Hardin. But I doubt there is time for the kind of changes needed before the procession of intervention on behalf of one or two of natures grim reapers are upon us.

My concern with those who are in the thrones of power over our nation is that they may intend to carry out the role of natures grim reaper, with them doing the picking and choosing in advance. In my opinion this is the more appropriate issue to address at the moment and I have no army to carry out my duty sir. So perhaps we should welcome the undoing of our nation and give hope that one of our good neighbors will give us a hand and help us out… but I wouldn’t count on it. Russia provoked may step in to clean up this mess, but with bio weapons. We have no defense against this calamity.

I want to have hope for the future and I don’t believe I have missed the point of Professor Bacevich, but it seems to me that the time for fundamental change from within and taking a good look in the mirror is past due and cannot be retrieved until other matters are settled, or we will only fail again, to an illusion.


Michael A. Marescalco August 20, 2008
Vietnam Veteran
Eco-Humanist, Social Egalitarian, Citizen of the World

Mother Natures Laws Trump Mans Laws and Mans’ Gods Laws

I do want to thank you Bill Moyers, for all you have done over all these years to seek out the truth for all Americans in your profession as a journalist. My life, and I’m sure many others have been greatly enriched by your very presence in the sphere of our understanding and sharing in common, the thoughts and ideas of so many great thinking people that you have given voice to through your PBS Journal. And, that being said, seems inadequate but will have to do, it is a privilege and an opportunity I take, to honor you so. Good work!

You wanted my input?

OK T. Rex and C.C.

I'll pose the same question I asked Bryan to you - but regarding the Fed.

"....you know what is wrong...so you must also know what is right to know the wrong?"

It is agreed that the Fed has done a bang up job of micromanaging our economy into shambles, while making the select connected few in power richer

But would you consider the Fed the lesser of 2 evils, when compared to a country with 'no Fed' at all?

And if you consider the Fed to be the highest evil, then what is your proposal to replace the Fed with?

It's refreshing to see someone who identifies as a conservative (Bacevich) critique not only the current president, but every administration from J.F.K. onward for their imperialistic crimes. Progressive political debate transcends party lines to discuss the facts as they stand, and Bacevich has called all politicians to the table in this respect.

As a nation we need to keep on our politicans, as Bacevich stated, even those who say they are on our side such as Baraq Obama. I was furious at Nancy Pelosi after her firey anti-Bush speeches, followed by a term in Congress marked by little to no action.

Thanks again Mr. Moyers for this report, keep the quality journalism coming.

T Rex is spot ON! The fact of elite ownership and control of the economy is NEVER mentioned by either Moyers OR Bacevich. The Federal Reserve, far from providing any regulatory constraints on the largest and most powerful banking institution (JP Morgan) when it was created in 1913, actually strengthened and further empowered the House of Morgan!

The elite have almost TOTAL command and control of the machinery of government, so it is LUDICROUS when we hear "critiques" from guys like Moyers or Bacevich! They IGNORE that 800-lb gorilla of "who really owns and operates the economy AND the government?"

Profits are privatized, while costs, risks and negative consequences are socialized! The JUDICIARY? Well, THEY are the ones who declared a corporation to be a "person", thus giving corporations all the rights and privileges of a human being, without holding them accountable the way human beings are under the law. LUDICROUS!

This video was very artful manipulation of reality. While I think almost everything the good Colonel says is true, it (as per usual) ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room. People aren't inherently lazy, irresponsible and ignorant consuming machines. The fact that most people think cheap gasoline, juicy cheeseburgers and a constant barrage of entertainment and sporting events are a manifestation of the dreams our forefathers had for this nation has been endlessly promoted and in a very concerted manner, sold to us. Logically, we are genetically identical to the people who lived before the Federal Reserve, the Zionist Congress and the Council on Foreign Relations existed. And the portrayal of the government as the well-meaning, bumbling and misguided parent almost made me spit up my coffee! The ineptitude of our government is a favorite way to veil what's really going on, and in my estimation one of the older tricks in the book.

No matter the I.Q., the human mind is essentially just like a computer's random access memory. Shovel it full of enough feces and lo and behold, you are unlikely to get gems back in return. And when nearly all knowledge and information comes from the same sewage pile, just imagine blaming the computer! And imagine the power the owner of that sewage pile has.

Just like the first 30 seconds of the video in which Mr. Moyers ignores the fact that Georgian forces attacked South Ossetia BEFORE Russia got involved in Georgia, he and the Colonel ignore the well known perpetrators and go straight to the investigation. Doing this guarantees no resolution or disclosure of the perpetrator's identity, while sounding concerned, intellectual and journalistic at the same time. Imagine being able to talk this thoughtfully and at this length about debt, questionable war entanglements and empire building without a single mention of the Federal Reserve at the very least?

SOME people might think Grady Lee Howard's post below is uncommonly cynical and/or pessimistic. Quite the contrary! Guys like Bacevich and Moyers have been feeding off the system for their entire careers. Granted, these 2 men are NOT Karl Rove and Dick Cheney, but neither ONE of them is using his elevated position of visibility and power to call for Bush's or Cheney's impeachment for violations of their oath of office! To the extent that the system allows voices of "dissent" to speak out (people like Noam Chomsky, Bacevich in this instance, Frank Rich, Bob Woodward, John Dean, Vincent Bugliosi, etc etc), to THAT extent we can extrapolate the strength and resilience of the power of the ruling elite. Elections and academic dissent bother them not a whit! Only mass action and popular protest frightens the elite, a la the mass movements of the 1960's. THEN the batons and the guns come out with a vengeance! Debate and orderly discussion? PLEASE! Sure, go ahead! Debate all you WANT! The elite will even fund you to have “nice” discussions about any issue you please.

Obviously, the population is just not "uncomfortable" enough yet to go beyond anything more than whining and "debate".

Professor Bacevich's admonition for us to take a look in the mirror suggested to me the Abraham Lincoln quote:


"At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it? Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never! All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years. At what point, then, is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide."
-- Abraham Lincoln, Address Before the Young Men's Lyceum of Springfield, Illinois (January 27, 1838

Andrew Bacevich's interview was just one man's book, and one man's opinion. Those of you who were transfixed, called away from the Yankee's game and the Olympics, maybe even crying, are symptomatic of our manipulated and pitiful citizenry. I was amazed that several immature minds recommended Bacevich for President, a Colonel you hardly know in a short interview. He said himself that it doesn't matter who is president because the system of empire operates sui generis, get it?

Even without using an allen wrench, Bill Moyers has gotten a phenomenal response on this blog. Lat week's piece about the exploitation of the captive underclass almost made me suspend his hostage status, but this reversion to book shilling form has made me reinstate it. Bill Moyers has now been a media hostage 206 days!

The Bacevich interview (and book) do have value. He is a personification of our officer corps. The "Policeman of the World" has just tendered his resignation because of the futility and corruption he has witnessed. He mistakenly blames consumerism for our empirical cascade failure. This is like blaming the caged chickens for eating the feed they are given. The loss of his son is symptomatic of our dead future. He does recognize an elite with interests contrary to those of the country and admits our "democracy" is a sham, procedural only. Patriotism without comprehension of reality is only a delusion. Laverne Wheeler (Aug.17-3:09pm) got it right when she warned us that not every man in uniform is a hero. I see Andrew Bacevich as a depressed and deluded military man who realizes now that his career efforts were futile, and wants to blame the rest of us for not worshipping the military.

I agree with Amitola (Aug.15-10:01pm) that the conspiracy of 9/11 was the last gasp of the extraction pump placed upon worker productivity and the meager property of the majority of Americans. The United States has been a hype and a fraud from the beginning because it was established by a monied elite for persons like themselves and has only made material concessions to prime the pump.

I wish this unsustainable world could be slowly deflated in a caring way, but I wonder if the feedlot has proven too expensive and the overlords are planning a big cull. As subaware as people are made to be by socialization, indoctrination (masquerading as "education") and media I doubt the wealthy and powerful (feeling so entitled) have anything to fear besides their own sadism (could cause friction among the sharks). But I see here on the blog that about 5% are awake, laughing about the Big Daddyism of Ron Paul fanatics and the little property dispute in "South Upsettia". Don't you realize that Imperial Russia, Beehive China and the Arab-bopping USA are all the same thing? Maybe Bill and Col. Bacevich will realize it next year, if there is a next year.

I'm thankful for oil and food price spikes and for ecological peril if it helps wake humanity to their potential. (Sacred property is a babyish illusion. That's how they "get" you.)

Very disturbing.

Most respondents didn’t get past “Do you agree…”, wasting space with a longer or shorter version of “yes”.
The next largest group had some sort of “we’re not virtuous enough”, whether too much consumption, or too little religion. Yes, things would get better if we were all wonderful people, but that would require some very careful genetic engineering. The framers of the Constitution understood that people were imperfect, and that no system that relied upon human virtue could function in the real world. Not useful.
A smaller number of Libertarians responded stereotypically that the answer was less government, in one form or another. Again, not particularly useful.
Four or five posters must have produced at least 10% of total text. Seriously, put some limits on responses. Also suffers from a lack of subthreads for responses to responses.
A handful of people attempted to actually address the focus points, but were so separated by chaff that a serious dialog was impossible.
This was almost entirely a waste of three hours of my life. Get some moderators, or at least some auto-limits, or I never bother with this again.


Posted by: Bryan Williams

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

No reason to be disturbed Bryan.

An ancient Zen master tells us "Attain deliverance in disturbances".

So instead of telling others they are disturbing you - YOU write about what is disturbing YOU from the inside out and not from the outside in.

Expectations are pre-planned resentments and it seems you have high exceptions on how people should write their posts to please you.

Moderators?

Stifling discussion Bryan??

There is no shame in the discussion of truth Bryan, the only shame is in the blocking of such discussion.

Sure, 'fleas come with the dog' as our Taoist friends tell us, so we must accept that freedom of speech will have its fleas . But the alternative of 'lack of freedom' will be much worse than a few fleas Bryan.

Whenever some of you get disturbed by my posts, always remember, you do not pay me to write for you. I am not obligated in any way to write what you want to hear.

If you want a topic written about in a certain way, then you write it or hire a writer to write for you. But I am under NO obligation to please you in any way with what I write. The only master I serve when I write is that of truth.

No doubt Bryan, perfection is the nature of gods and imperfection is the nature of humans. There is no debate about that. But honesty from our leaders is not something that is beyond their grasp as imperfect humans - we are not asking them to do back flips.

We are all born honest, it is our ego that makes us dishonest Bryan.

While you outline many of our imperfections within this thread, you failed to give us the 'right' answer. After all you know what is wrong...so you must also know what is right to know the wrong?

So lets have it...instead of criticizing others, share your wisdom on how to decrease the sickness in Washington and our country. How can we take a step in the right direction to make things better, albeit not perfect in the US of A?

And one other thing.

If you wish to be at peace with the subject of controlling others, you should realize it is not your place to tell others how long to write their posts - your ONLY job, as a devotee of inner peace, would be to decide if you wish to read them Bryan.

"The highest object that human beings can set before themselves is not the pursuit of any such chimera as the annihilation of the unknown: it is simply the unwearied endeavor to remove its boundaries a little further from our little sphere of action." ~ Huxley

Very disturbing.

Most respondents didn’t get past “Do you agree…”, wasting space with a longer or shorter version of “yes”.
The next largest group had some sort of “we’re not virtuous enough”, whether too much consumption, or too little religion. Yes, things would get better if we were all wonderful people, but that would require some very careful genetic engineering. The framers of the Constitution understood that people were imperfect, and that no system that relied upon human virtue could function in the real world. Not useful.
A smaller number of Libertarians responded stereotypically that the answer was less government, in one form or another. Again, not particularly useful.
Four or five posters must have produced at least 10% of total text. Seriously, put some limits on responses. Also suffers from a lack of subthreads for responses to responses.
A handful of people attempted to actually address the focus points, but were so separated by chaff that a serious dialog was impossible.
This was almost entirely a waste of three hours of my life. Get some moderators, or at least some auto-limits, or I never bother with this again.

No truer words than (to paraphrase) there is nothing written in the Preamble that we need to remake the world in our image. What arrogance that politicians would even think this is acceptable?
I so agree with Dr. Bacevich. Please look in the mirror!
I would encourage everyone to examine closely the voting records of Senators and Representatives and if they truly are not doing the job you think they should, FIRE THEM!
I also want to extend my sympathy to Dr. Bacevich on the loss of his son.

What's depressing, though, is to read the comments: American citizens lamenting how bad their situation is?

Posted by: Otto Stinkenbruck

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Putting our complaints down on pen and paper first crystallizes in our heads what needs to be changed or accepted in our lives.

Getting it all out and putting it all down is the first start of this recognition process that leads us to change.

Without this recognition, that something is wrong in our lives, we cannot develop the desire for change. We don't even know what is wrong to change!

Writing your complaints down is the first start to making the roadmap for restructuring your life. Restructuring our lives is very important if we want to get peace.

Those things that cannot be restructured need to be accepted. Either way we can find peace -- by change or acceptance.

When you write, it uses a different part of the brain that mere speaking. Writing also helps crystallize your thoughts.

Just remember what the Buddhists say in the eightfold path about right actions. We have to use the right thoughts, the right actions and take the right direction with change. Just spinning our wheels in the wrong direction does little, so write about things that matter to you and your change.

(And in line with the eightfold path - my apologies for 'wrong speech' in my prior post.)

As always, Bill Moyer's show was a welcome change in the drudgery of what passes off as news in this country. What's depressing, though, is to read the comments: American citizens lamenting how bad their situation is? People, I'm not allowed to vote in this country, but I read the newspaper and try to stay informed. What Moyers is broadcasting on his show should not be news to you--it's the result of your complacency and inactivity! You wonder what you should do? Go out onto the streets, protest, start a revolution, burn your credit cards,... Oh, I forgot, that would be impolite, we can't be nasty to the people in charge. I'm sorry folks, if you're waking up now it's too late. Following generations will learn about the United States of America as a distant myth, destroyed by couch potatos to afraid to act as the citizens they pretended to be.

Posted by: Otto Stinkenbruck

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Please excuse my language if it is offensive to you.

Vote?

Voting got us into the mess we are in. Voting wont fix a damn thing Otto.

I have not voted since I was in college and got extra credit for voting in an election. That was in 1970's - my first and last time voting.

Lets see...should I vote for piece of shit 'A' or piece of shit 'B'???

I would wait in line overnight if there was something or someone worthwhile to vote for.

But even if a decent candidate showed up, the pieces of shit would be back within short order.

And I am not demanding that a candidate walk on water. Just be honest with me..tell it like it is.

But alas, pieces of shit can't talk truth, they just leave a trail of stench in their wake as they spin their webs of deceit.

Otto, the best we can hope for in the US, is 'to hope' the pieces of shit do not do too much damage to our country while they are screwing us.

...and the sad thing is pretty soon we wont even be able to use Vaseline while they are doing us...as that is made from crude oil as well.

As far as the Russia / George conflict....


"The fantasy that we can sustain our influence nine thousand miles away, when we can't even get our act together in Ohio is just a dark joke. One might state categorically that it would be a salubrious thing for America to knock off all its vaunted "dreaming" and just wake the frak up. "

SCO the New Warsaw Pact, Counterpoint to NATO

Is the SCO, which consists of China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, on the verge of being transformed into a new Warsaw Pact, a Eurasian counterbalance to the US-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization(NATO)?

Pavel Felgenhauer, a Russian defense analyst, who observed: "As Moscow's relations with the West deteriorate, the Kremlin is doing its best to seek allies and is building up the SCO to counterbalance NATO.

Meanwhile, the Russian newspaper Kommersant, in an article tellingly titled "Maneuvers to go around the United States", sees the exercises and the summit that will follow in Bishkek as part of a renewed Russian effort to push back against the US "on all fronts", from opposing plans to deploy missile-defense components in central-eastern Europe to "expelling" the US from Central Asia altogether.

RFE/RL: Representatives from the Shanghai Cooperation Organization have repeatedly said the organization's military cooperation is not aimed at any third country or party, yet the military exercises seem to be growing in size. Wouldn't this trend naturally be a cause of concern for the U.S. or NATO?

Stephen Blank: Certainly it would be. But although the SCO's representatives always say that it's not aimed at a third country or party, if you look at their communiques going back to 2001 -- and even before that to the Sino-Russian communiques and the formation of the six-party border agreements -- their communiques have always been full of coded anti-American foreign policy statements. So for Russia and China, it's aimed at American interests. And the size of these exercises is growing, and many experts do not believe that they are confined only to so-called antiterrorist activities, or even just to Central Asia. The August 2005 Sino-Russian exercises, which were conducted under the auspices of the SCO, were so large and [they] so thoroughly combined arms and major-theater conventional warfare in their approach, that people believed these were aimed as much at Taiwan and Korea as they were at any potential Central Asian contingency.

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link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

Russia's Return Bites the Neocons' Grand Energy Scheme in the Ass

At the time this gambit was first set up, in the early 1990s, there was some notion (or wish, really) among the so-called western powers that the Caspian would provide an end-run around OPEC and the Arabs, as well as the Persians, and deliver all the oil that the US and Europe would ever need -- a foolish wish and a dumb gambit, as things have turned out.

For one thing, the latterly explorations of this very old oil region -- first opened to drilling in the 19th century -- proved somewhat disappointing. US officials had been touting it as like unto "another Saudi Arabia" but the oil actually produced from the new drilling areas of Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and the other Stans turned out to be preponderantly heavy-and-sour crudes, in smaller quantities than previously dreamed-of, and harder to transport across the extremely challenging terrain to even get to the pipeline head in Baku.

It's one thing that US foreign policy wonks imagined that Russia would remain in a coma forever, but the idea that we could encircle Russia strategically with defensible bases in landlocked mountainous countries halfway around the world…? You have to ask what were they smoking over at the Pentagon and the CIA and the NSC?

So, this asinine policy has now come to grief. Not only does Russia stand to gain control over the Baku-to-Ceyhan pipeline, but we now have every indication that they will bring the states on its southern flank back into an active sphere of influence, and there is really not a damn thing that the US can pretend to do about it.

This must be an equally sobering moment for Europe, and an additional reason for the recent plunge in the relative value of the Euro, for Europe is now at the mercy of Russia in terms of staying warm in the winter, running their kitchen stoves, and keeping the lights on. Russia also exerts substantial financial leverage over the US in all the dollars and securitized US debt paper it holds. In effect, Russia can shake the US banking system at will now by threatening to dump its dollar holdings.

The American banking system may not need a shove from Russia to fall on its face. It's effectively dead now, just lurching around zombie-like from one loan "window" to the next pretending to "borrow" capital -- while handing over shreds of its moldy clothing as "collateral" to the Federal Reserve. The entire US, beyond the banks, is becoming a land of the walking dead. Business is dying, home-ownership has become a death dance, whole regions are turning into wastelands of "for sale" signs, empty parking lots, vacant buildings, and dashed hopes. And all this beats a path directly to a failure of collective national imagination. We really don't know what's going on.

The fantasy that we can sustain our influence nine thousand miles away, when we can't even get our act together in Ohio is just a dark joke. One might state categorically that it would be a salubrious thing for America to knock off all its vaunted "dreaming" and just wake the frak up.

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by Cid_Yama

As always, Bill Moyer's show was a welcome change in the drudgery of what passes off as news in this country. What's depressing, though, is to read the comments: American citizens lamenting how bad their situation is? People, I'm not allowed to vote in this country, but I read the newspaper and try to stay informed. What Moyers is broadcasting on his show should not be news to you--it's the result of your complacency and inactivity! You wonder what you should do? Go out onto the streets, protest, start a revolution, burn your credit cards,... Oh, I forgot, that would be impolite, we can't be nasty to the people in charge. I'm sorry folks, if you're waking up now it's too late. Following generations will learn about the United States of America as a distant myth, destroyed by couch potatos to afraid to act as the citizens they pretended to be.

Slightly off topic but the behavior is undeniable. The problems right now with Russia/Georgia is effectively provocation and escalation by the current U.S. administration.
The Bush administration unilateral pull out (abrogation) of the 1971 ABM Treaty to pursue missile network in eastern Europe on 13 Dec, 2001, Bush gave Russia notice of the U.S. withdrawal from the treaty. Putin said neither Iran nor North Korea had the weapons that the US was seeking to shoot down: "We are being told the anti-missile defense system is targeted against something that does not exist. Doesn't it seem funny to you?" he asked." The USN has shown successful anti-satellite capability from US navy ships. Surly this gives far (far) more "missile defense" flexibility with respect to North Korea/Iran? By perusing a missile network in eastern Europe, near Russian borders, and NOT near N Korea or Iran, we’re (the U.S.) is on the wrong side of this issue I’m afraid. This is to start a new arms race, with the money we no longer have.
What a mess...

Olaf Brescia / Sacramento, CA

Well, the cat's out of the bag!

*Our "leadership" is complicit in some of the most egregious violations of domestic and international law imaginable.

*Without hyperbole, corporate interests have tightened their death-grip on the American populace.

*Torture and "rendered" prisoners are now a fact of life in America's jurisprudence lexicon AND in reality.

*Electoral politics have been totally hijacked by the corporate elite in order to ensure that "the right people" attain high office.

*The social contract, the Constitution of the USA, and the social safety net that was put in place under FDR have all been systematically shredded and dismantled.

*Basic necessities like reliable food and potable water are being increasingly compromised.

*Healthcare, education and housing are becoming less and leaa accessible to the general population.

*Our taxes are being funnelled into the agendas of the rich and powerful without any accountability to those who PAY.

*Draconian measures like The Patriot Act are empowering the elite to pave the way for wholesale incarceration of "undesireable elements", without any recourse to due process.

All this and MUCH, MUCH MORE is happening right in front of our noses, and yet there seems to be NO energized mass expression of protest or popular outrage. These are, in my opinion, the precursors to a massive and swift erosion of all of America's most sacred and cherished core values, as enunciated in the Declaration of Independence, the United States Constitution, and other historic documents throughout our relatively brief history as a nation. Moyers and Bacevich gave expression to a very SMALL fraction of our societal problems. For THAT they are laudable. The scope of what we are facing as a society in the next 25 years is horrific!

What an outstanding program. I so appreciate watching The Journal - and this program was one of the best I've ever seen. Mr. Bacevich encapsulates, with great clarity, how far afield the United States has strayed from our own founding principles. And at the root of it - our addiction to our stuff.

Our society has been living a fantasy, and ultimately we all must face reality. Unfortunately, most of the time we wait until the situation becomes too painful to ignore before we change.

Gentlemen, thanks for your terrific work. Mr. Bacevich, I'll be buying your book and passing it along to my sons. I classify myself as a conservative (independent), but for this 45 year old who voted for Reagan (twice), the past eight years has transformed my political outlook. Kudos to you both for bringing great information and analysis to the public. It is much appreciated.

It would be nice PBS if you got yourself a decent forum where it would not take responders 3 days to try and get a post through. If you don't wish to have certain people post here, why not ban them and let them get on with their participation elsewhere where they may have their thoughts published. Use some of your PBS donation money to buy just a basic forum that works right - AW
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Posted by: jeff

Allen Wrench made some comments about buying salmon in Walmart that came from Alaska by way of China.

Allen if you can stop shopping at Walmart they should be boycotted.

The attitude of the person behind that counter sums up how complacent we have become.

IF you have a lawn and more that 6 hours of sun rip it up and plant a garden. Get rid if the lawn grow as much
your own produce as possible...

...I don't have any answers for this problem except short of some kind of revolution.

This does not mean it has to be violent, it could be like the velvet revolution that took place in the former Czechoslovakia.


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********


Hi Jeff.

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, good advice about growing food Jeff. I just got started 2/11/08 with my garden.

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And revolution...well if nothing changes...nothing changes. The greedy power hungry, dishonest politicians are too entrenched in DC to change without some drastic force being applied. Why would they change when they can screw their pages and the American public at the same time, as well as lining their pockets with dollar bills?

If the people really wanted change, they need to form massive citizen oversight committees and shut the country down with demonstrations when they see the knuckleheads in DC start to screw up. And I mean shut the entire country down. But this is just a pipe dream Jeff, as the sheeple will do nothing.

There is no oversight committee for DC and the politicians have free reign to do just as they please. Sure once in a while a token politician gets caught with their hands in the money bag, but most of the time nothing happens to corrupt politicians.

Integrity, ethics and moral values are a rare commodity nowadays. All we have to do is look at out current financial mess to see that we have become a a nation of poker playing, gambling addicts rolling the dice, even at the highest levels of 'so called' safe investing.

Jeff, boycotting is not that simple sometimes when we have to choose between boycotting and eating.

When I walked into Krogers the other day I could not find any wild fish at all. Their whole fish supply was farm raised poison. The farm raised salmon from Chile and other locals is loaded with PCB's - I don't want to eat it. I was so happy to find something wild at Walmart. But when I saw it was from China, I was turned off.

And to make matters worse, many of us can't even afford to 'even try' and eat right if one is in the working class with a family with such high produce prices. Krogers wanted $7 for a butternut squash $3 for one rutabaga, almost $2 for an apple, over $3 for a large tomato, $14.50 for a small bag of cherries, $6 for an organic yam and an artichoke was close to $5.

But, this is only the tip of the iceberg, for crude has not even risen that high when compared to what he future holds for us Jeff. And as goes crude so goes our food costs.

We are in world of trouble Jeff and unless they figure out how to burn water and air and make tires and pave our roads from corn, there is going to be a lot of pain in our future. And we just wont be spectators of pain, as one responder commented...we will all be participants.

I try to buy US as much as I can, but many times we have no other choice than imports. And pretty soon Kmart and Sears will go under and Walmart will even be further entrenched. But Kmart and Sears are just mini Walmart's, full of Chinese crap anyway, so they are all cut from the same cloth.

As was noted in the Imperial Presidency TV program, some time in our past we stopped making stuff and just started consuming stuff, and it is starting to catch up with us now. But, even if we want back to being producers, we would still run into problems since our population is so large and our power supply of fossil fuels is running out.

The World Coal Institute estimates world energy reserves as follows:

"At current production levels coal will be available for at least the next 155 years compared to 41 years for oil and 65 years for gas."

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And don't feel like you have it made and can get the prize for driving up to a gas station 41 years from now to buy that last gallon of gas. Long before the crude dries up, the government must 'secure a supply' of crude for it own national security needs. (and that goes for NG too!)

No doubt, gasoline / diesel will eventually be rationed by a hierarchy of needs.

1 Gov and military
2 Transports
3 Local Services
4 A few gallons a week for the general public.

So we will be out of the loop way before the crude run dry.

Life as we know it in America as well as the world will be in for an abrupt change in the not so distant future. And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable than the current path we are headed in.

But when I talk with the powers in charge they say there is 'no upside' in this topic of 'peak oil' worries. The upside is in the preparation and a more manageable and orderly transition which would = less deaths.

Without energy our country is open for takeover ... no jets...no tanks...no transport on the ground or in the air. Luckily we will still have nuclear powered submarines and aircraft carriers as long as the uranium holds out. But the jets on the flattop all use jet fuel. All the supplies for those subs and carriers petroleum dependent.

Other countries such as Russia that have a good supply of home based crude may not be so kind to keep on selling it to us and we need a 'local and continual' source somewhat within our borders. You see, jet fuel as well as gasoline deteriorates and cannot be stored indefinitely. So we must always be producing some of it to replace the stale stuff to supply the military.

"If the public does think briefly about future oil supplies, the question usually asked is, "How long will oil last?" This is the wrong question. Oil will be extracted in some insignificant quantity perhaps 200 years from now. The critical question is: When does the peak of world oil production occur?" ~ Richard C. Duncan

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But besides peak oil, peak natural gas, peak uranium, peak coal we are starting to see peak issues with food.

With the recent food shortages in the news I have to wonder as Richard Heinberg brought up "Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?"

"The average American farmer is 55 to 60 years old. The proportion of full time farmers younger than 35 years of age has dropped from 15.9% in 1982 to 5.8% in 2002. Who will be growing our food 20 years from now?" from "Peak Everything" by Richard Heinberg

"Amish farmers can't compete in conventual agriculture farming. 40 years ago 90% to 95% of the Amish were farmers. Today less than 10% are farmers." From: "How the Amish Survive" DVD

We have been worshiping the wrong God all these years. We should have been making farmers our God.

We should have been worshiping the farmer and doing everything we could to make their life a better one and kiss their asses for producing healthy and nutritious food for us.

Our food supply has degenerated unbelievably in recent years and getting worse every day that goes by. A societies well-being is based on healthy food that the farmer produces.

Just as cows go mad with poisonous, unnatural diet - so will society.

People will be headed off the deep end more and more as global warming starts to cook us, the oil and natural gas dries up and our excessive desires cannot be fulfilled any longer.

If the poison food does not drive us crazy, the salty and unnatural combinations and nutritionally bankrupt content will do the job as we get cooked from the inside with EMF and radio wave radiation for every direction.

The food being fed to us is factory made, genetically engineered, poison. But besides the greed for money, the drive for GMO food is that of necessity. We are overpopulated and our land is devoid of nutrition so they monkey with the food to try and keep pace with the insatiable demands of feeding the US.

In addition, there are not enough farmers in the US to feed us any other way than the way they do now. If the US went to organic farming with the same amount of farmers we have now - we would starve to death.

"In 1935, the number of farms in the United States peaked at 6.8 million as the population edged over 127 million citizens. There are over 285,000,000 people living in the United States. Of that population, less than 1% claim farming as an occupation."

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

If we look at the trends of farming in the US it goes in just one direction ... DOWN.

Much of the citrus groves in Fla and CA are disappearing due to skyrocketing real estate values. You know farming is tough work and many times nature deals you a blow with disease, pests and inclement weather that destroys crops.

So why would a farmer want to put up with all that when they could get $5,000,0000 or $10,000,000 for prime real estate?

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

It is really a tough life 'just finding' some decent food to eat nowadays unless you happen to live in a town with a good natural grocer and have lots of money. But money is still no guarantee. I bought some 'organic peaches' last summer at Krogers for $3 a pound...they rotted before the ripened ....went straight in the trash.

When I was a kid growing up in L.A. we could pick apricots from a tree in the alley and they had fabulous flavor even when somewhat green. What do you get now with apricots...tasteless rubber for $3 a pound.

The peaches have lost their fuzz since they are picked green, buffed and waxed with poisons and anti fungals. You can't wash it off either.

Soak a buffed peach in water and you will get a rainbow oil slick on the surface of the water composed of poison...no matter how many times you rinse it. Each summer I make it my mission to try and find a few edible peaches with the fuzz still on them...I usually fail unless I drive great distances and luck into a 'real' farmers market. (I've noticed some roadside farmers stands just buy their produce in normal channels to resell)

We will run out of natural gas, just as we deplete our crude supplies in the near future. Our population boom was fueled by synthetic fertilizers made from natural; gas. Once the natural gas dries up so does the fertilizer and a shortage of fertilizer equals a shortage of food...aka STARVATION!

link: (removed due to censorship guidelines)

I think we have a real food crisis brewing for the world. Not enough young farmers replacing the old, we will run low of fertilizer as the NG dries up and that food which is grown is devoid of nutrition and not healthy.

"When the sun rises I go to work,
When the sun goes down, I take my rest,
I dig the well from which I drink,
I farm the soil that yields my food,
I share creation, Kings can do no more."

Ancient Chinese, 2500 BC

In 1964 the American electorate overwhelmingly voted in favor of PEACE (Lyndon Johnson) and AGAINST WAR (Barry Goldwater). Once Johnson got elected, he began a massive escalation of the war in Vietnam! His "Great Society" program was an abysmal and miserable failure! Find out the dwetails of who, what, where, when and why:

Great Society Reader, The: The Failure of American Liberalism (Paperback)
by Marvin and David Mermelstein, eds. Gettleman (Author)

http://www.amazon.com/Great-Society-Reader-American-Liberalism/dp/B000FFSRUK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219176156&sr=1-1

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/index-flash.html

I would like to see all of us post the above link of the program to any and all newspaper sites, well-read blogs, etc and encourage those who do to please read all of these thoughtful and compassionate postings listed here. Let's get this out in the public arena

The total lack of American leadership accountability is extremely blatant and obvious. The weakened condition of democracy within the USA has been an ongoing process. One might easily argue that this process is a direct outcome of elite rule. After all, power hates accountability or restraint, and privilege disdains oversight. Democratic principles are inconvenient to those who wield enormous power and privilege. Witness the concerted propaganda campaign that was unleashed upon the American citizenry to justify military attack and invasion of Iraq. Witness the massive discrepancy between what the Bush Administration said about the likely duration of that “war” and the bleak reality of what the world sees now in the Middle East. Of course, both American political parties fully supported Bush’s march into the current military insanity. No entity seems willing or capable of holding the Administration accountable for its actions.

In the meantime, the powerful in the USA have contributed mightily to massively destabilizing the Middle East and, therefore, the entire world. Such destabilization, of course, plays directly into their hands and serves their interests. After all, if enough people can be significantly terrorized and frightened, they will grant any and all power to the “authorities” that hold out a promise to “protect” them. How convenient that these “authorities” have not been able to find, capture or kill Osama Bin Laden or his lieutenant, Ayman al Zawahiri. How convenient that, only when Bush suffered a huge decline in his “approval” ratings, suddenly the “authorities” were able to find and kill Abu Musab al Zarqawi. The list of outrageous crimes committed by the powerful in America, in the name of a powerless citizenry, has earned scorn, ridicule and hatred worldwide.

On August 11, 2006, headlines regarding the terrorist plot to explode several airplanes uncovered by the British government have been accompanied by additional headlines that read:

Democrats assail GOP fundraising effort
Jordan Falls News

Terror Plot Could Have Impact on US Elections
Voice of America

Politically, a chance to score points
Boston Globe
By LIZ SIDOTI, Associated Press Writer. WASHINGTON - Democrats assailed the Republicans Friday for e-mailing a fundraising appeal mentioning the war on terror hours after British authorities disclosed they had disrupted a plot to blow up aircraft headed to the United States. "In the middle of a war on terror, we need to remain focused on furthering Republican ideas more than ever before," former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said in a letter that asked for donations to the Republican National Committee. "Once the RNC learned of this error we ceased distribution of the e-mail," said Tracey Schmitt, a party spokeswoman.
The point here is not to deny that groups exist in the world at large, groups that are willing to resort to dastardly, heinous acts to inflict harm on innocent citizens to achieve their goals. Terrorism exists, to be sure. One must bear in mind, however, that one group’s terrorists are another group’s freedom fighters. The ability to define the terms dictates how these different groups are perceived. When the first world nations perpetrate a bloodbath against less powerful states, the perpetrators invariably couch such actions in terms of promoting “freedom” and “liberation”. When the much less powerful states respond with suicide bombings or other equally pathetic attempts at redressing the massive grievances they have, these people are labeled “terrorists”. When the USA bombs and slaughters millions with impunity, this is “liberation”, whether in Vietnam or Iraq. When 2 planes kill 3000 American citizens, this is “terrorism”.

This is only one small example of how the elite create the world they want and then use what they have created to further their interests, always at the expense of the masses. The one thing that they cannot do is control events globally. Once having unleashed the insanity of global military conflict, the powers in Washington now are at a loss to rein in what they have started in motion. Witness the total unpredictability of events in Iraq, followed by more of the same between Israel and Lebanon. The world may now be witnessing the opening battles of what might very well become WWIII. Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Andrew Card, Karl Rove, Karen Hughes, George W Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice and all the other people who have played a significant role in these developments will be held to account only by a distant history written by minds that have perspective. Meantime, we all have to live with the results these people have given us. Whether the human species can survive what has been set in motion remains to be seen.

Professor Bacevich states that historians 100 years from now will "puzzle" over why we didn't act sooner to end our dependence on foreign oil. I don't think it's a puzzle at all. Washington, D.C. is owned, lock, stock and barrel by corporate interests and the largest of these is the oil industry that gets rich not only from oil production, but from the wars we've been fighting to get oil from other nations, like Iraq. It's obvious, everyone whose head is not in the sand knows it, so say it for crying out loud.

Great program and great discussion - thank you all!

Thoughts on what to do as an individual:
1 - pay off all debt asap.
2- Save money.

Engage socially on:
3 - support alternative energy in every possible -ecologically sound- way (i.e.: pickensplan.com - not pure but a step in the right direction); lets try to produce our own (personal) solar/wind/geothermal/?... energy as soon as affordable;
4 - support gov subsidies for individual installs of solar/wind collectors;
5 - mobilize/support free education for all citizens beyond high school and lifelong - apparently we are quite ok with spending $50K per head a year on someone in prison, or someone who "volunteers" to be a professional killer- but not ourselves or our neighbors' kids?!!
6 - support gov (our $) investment in new energy-related technologies
7 - "nationalize" health care (see Frontline documentary on this subject): just like Switzerland/Taiwan/UK/Japan, etc. Take the profit out of health care, AND water.
7a. Water must belong to the "commonwealth" of citizens. We must reacquaint ourselves with the concept of "commonwealth"!!
8 - Support Ralph Nader's crusade to remove the rights of citizenship from corporations as though they were human beings. Corporations are paper entities backed by real humans who should be held responsible and accountable as the individuals they in fact are. Corps should not have "eternal life" without consequences of their acts. The blind pursuit of profit as a "raison d'etre" should be legally removed from corporate charters. The benefit to humans should be the only justification for profits.
9- Vociferously and actively refuse another war! This country must stop the never ending string of global plundering and pillaging actions - particularly around natural resources.
10 - Rename all Pentagon related depts what they actually are: "The WAR DEPT". Drop the euphemisms from "defense" and "security" to aggression and police action which is what most of their actions actually are. Thats what we are paying for currently!
11 - Eliminate the "Electoral College" (aka "cronies club") and "primary" elections cycle. One citizen one vote - directly, is what I consider a democracy.

Essentially, in my view our society would best benefit from putting "people first", in its full sense which includes our environment.

The cause of the imperial presidency? National broadcast television and 24/7 cable news networks. NBC and CNN will never pay attention to a Congressman because their audience is so small. The president, on the other hand, has a bully pulpit whenever he wants one.

Dear "Concerned Citizen",
Your effort to depict the political and societal beliefs of Bill Moyers is interesting, for those who have followed his career nothing new. It does not respond to the core issues raised by Bacevich but rather demonstrates a lack of tolerance for differing opinions. It is unfortunate that our political process has been highjacked by the right where our societal needs require governing with a good balance left and right of center. How will we effect the return of the pendulum while making sure it does not follow its natural course to the other extreme is perhaps what you were driving towards?

Finally, we hear some truth about the "American Dream" and from an extremely credible and articulate source. I agree this man would make a excellent president, although he would not last long swimming against the current. Ron Paul tried to speak some similar truth during the Republican debates and was not only derided by the other candidates, but by the hand-picked audience members and the so-called journalists moderating the events. The loss of true journalism and the rise of the corporate controlled "news" programs has been and will be the downfall of this "democracy".

I was impressed that someone could articulate so clearly, in so honest a manner, seemingly original ideas that seemed like common sense. This was like coming clean, saying dah, how stupid are we. We as a society are sooooo stupid, and we get the leaders we deserve(representive democracy) who will lead us to utter doom. One would give up, until listening to wise men such as this who give us hope and bring us to our senses. I only wish there were more than the one or two who pop up on late night public T.V.

As a regular reader of Andrew Bacevich's commentary in the American Conservative magazine, I was absolutely delighted to listen to this interview on NOW. Professor Bacevich's analysis is excellent and points out the vast divide which separates thoughtful cautious conservatism of years past from the bellicose imperialism of today's neocons and "amen chorus" politicos more concerned with gaining and keeping power than speaking truth and acting in the best interest of the nation. While some may find it interesting -- even odd that a conservative should be so determined an opponent of the neocons, I would point out that "paleocons" and "libertarian conservatives" were warning against war in Iraq well before the occupation went bad and IEDs became common-place. Col Bacevich: thank you for your patriotism, sir.

Until a Society, that claims to be open and free, purges itself of "Secret Societies" that are established and permitted to conceal their involvements under a cloak of secrecy.., that said open and free society will remain contradictory, hypocritical
and an illusion....

This that we are about is of planned design, and intended to lead us to the "chip" and the ultiment enslavement.., and it's right on course....

Anything less than confronting this cancer of "Secrecy" will fail in all other attempted cures....

"Yes" to all of that.

To Ali: (August 15, 2008 2:05 PM): Your post was truly nauseating. First, whatever you may think of Bill Moyers, Jim Lehrer, Gwen Ifill et al., they are far from "unprofessional". Second, most people are thoroughly nauseated by the Republican party, and somewhat nauseated by the Democratic party -- just like Ret. Col. Andrew Bacevich. I would give your comment an F for content and a D for style.

Ref: The Imperial Presidency
Mr Bacevich has made some valid and interesting points. He approaches things differently and has made some great suggestions. I can agree with much of what he says. However he misses too many causes, makes too many assumptions and jumps to wrong conclusions on cause. I do not agree that 90% of American's approve of the current approach albeit I think 90% of the senate and house might! I do not agree that the president, cabinet, senators and representatives are motivated purely by a belief in what Americans want; that eliminates the influence and power of special groups. Further- more I think he misses the points of many experts, including those of Paul Grignon in the affect of the government's monetary policies.
Thanks for all your work on this on other

In spite of his claim for truth and openness Mr. Bacevich does not factor in the work of John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt.Therefore
the presentation is out of contest, invalid.

time served and (although impossible) some serious punishment for the lives lost because of their greed...I'm just disgusted by them and even more so by the apathy of the American public (and if possible) even more disgusted by those who have the means to start an investigation and bring these criminals to justice...yet won't...

Posted by: Sir Vertual


*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Oh no..that is not the American way.

There are never consequences.

Traditionally the incoming pres pardons the outgoing pres.

"Good Grief!...Gee Beav, I gotta' go"...
and so it looks like that's how we'll let these morally & ethically corrupt theives leave office...not to ention the 9 TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT THEY ARE LEAVING US WITH!...Although it never should have been allowed to happen (God knows I've 'preached to anyone that would listen, since the before he stole the office), I personally don't think it's too late to at least bring these creeps to justice...There were laws broken...serious crimes have been committed, oaths have been broken...Someone with some authority needs to cuff em' and book em' like the low-life criminals they are (regardless of the color of their collars)...Again, I place some of the blame on the ignorance of those American voters who 'helped' them get anywhere close to The White House, but the actions that took place after they took control were of their own free will and the consequences need to be faced...Impeachment isn't enough...There needs to be monetary compensation, time served and (although impossible) some serious punishment for the lives lost because of their greed...I'm just disgusted by them and even more so by the apathy of the American public (and if possible) even more disgusted by those who have the means to start an investigation and bring these criminals to justice...yet won't...

I guess we as americans are not suffering enough yet as to force us to change. I however intend to voice my freedom by voting independently for Ralph Nader this election. Because I have seen my future steadily decline as a blue collar worker since I began working in 1979. Then I saw the white collar workers begin to lose ground. Who will be next ? Yet we keep hearing the same mantras from main stream media. Maybe those folks at Fox news and the like will begin to feel our pain shortly and revolt against their employers and report the truth. I can only hope.

Posted by: Kenneth King

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Change from pain?

That is tough to do in all cases Ken. Some addicts would rather die than change and pain means nothing to them.

http://i280.photobucket.com/albums/kk187/fookisan/drugofchoice.jpg

But if we do accept and seek change, it is a little more involved than just switching to florescent bulbs or using reusable shopping bags.

They say the road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom. But we have dug a hole for us that is not easy to get out of. And I'm afraid many of us will not reach the palace of wisdom, but are headed down the detour of death.

But we can prepare for a post carbon world and reduce the deaths - so that's the upside. Unfortunately our politicians will not acknowledge peak oil in public, so how can we get started when we can't even admit we have a problem?

Our society, no our WORLD is built on crude Ken...is all we know.

http://peakoil.com/fortopic42300-15.html

Crude is in our veins. (Crude really is in our veins. Studies showed 90% of the persons tested had plasticizers in their urine.)

Some of us will change from choice Ken, others may not change unless the pain sets in, as you say. And some of us cannot afford to change no matter what.

In my own case, even when the Chevy Volt comes out it will not help me. Number one, cannot afford $30,000 to $40,000 for it. I can't afford over $21,000 for a new car. And with all the inflation and cost of living hikes maybe that number will go down to $18,000 in a couple of years.

I don't need a sports car, I live in the snow country and need an AWD or 4x4 that can carry some cargo like my Subi Forester.

Sure I will accept the worthless battery powered A/C, heater and defogger that will be in all electric vehicles. I will accept the battery will barely get me to the store in sub freezing weather to buy some rice and beans. But without other basics I mentioned a car like the Volt is pretty useless to me.

I will have to give up my diving trips to Ginnie Springs in Fla. Can't drive 1100 miles at 30 miles per change. Chevy says it will go 40 miles per charge? So what...do we drive our gas cars until they run out? We always have to leave some reserve in.

But besides my concerns, what about the multitude of motels, hotels and travel dependent business along the pilgrimage route to Fla? How will these fair when we are all electric and batteries?

Yes, many changes in store for us Ken.
The fact is; just like it takes a certain amount of money to 'just live' so it goes with crude Ken.

Even if we cut out the extra crude usage and have zero fun and waste, we still need to consume a certain amount of crude to just live. (in our modern society).

And even if we burn no crude, petrochemicals will burn it for us if we are a consumer and if we eat food.

Carving up a barrel of crude oil, we can see that each barrel supplies many of our necessities of life.

Out of each barrel of crude we make the following products:

42% of each barrel of crude is used for Gasoline

21% Fuel oil - Diesel

8% Jet Fuel and Kerosene

8% Petrochemicals

Such as....

Solvents Bearing Grease Vaseline Ink Floor Wax Ball-point Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician's Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD's Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste

6% Propane

4% Heating Oil

3% Asphalt and Road oil

2% Petroleum coke

1% Lubricants
Now if our society become less complex, then it will take less crude to live.

But we will not be living at the same complexity as we do now.

And our retirement funds will reflect this as we power down to our less complex future.

I like green activities besides sucking down crude in my RV or jet ski. But even if I go backpacking the mylar bags the freeze dried food comes in are made from crude. The freeze dry process uses crude. My boots and backpack are made from crude. I use crude based fuel to heat my food and all my wicking garments as well as my outer garments are made from crude. And of course without crude I can't get to the trailhead or catch a shuttle back to my car to pick it up.

If I go kayaking my hard-shell yak is made of crude, my drysuit is made from crude. My wet suit and rashguard is made from crude. My paddles are made from crude. My air pump and my IK is made from crude. My PFD is made from crude. It takes crude to get to the put in and crude to get picked up at the take out.

If I go longboarding I have to drive to a hill and use crude and my board and wheels are all crude based.

Sure, renewables are our future Ken, we will change albeit slowly.

But...

Renewables are not a seamless and fungible replacement for fossil fuels.

Renewables do not replace the petrochemical uses of crude oil.

Renewables do not replace the specialized uses of natural gas in industry or food production.

Renewables will be our future by design and not by desire.

But they are the default choice for our further power needs as ALL fossil fuels and nuclear energy source will be depleted in the near future.

The more realistic we are with our evaluation of the conversion to renewable energy, the less deaths will occur from fantasizing about the improbable future that the intellectuals, cornucopians and political spin doctors have dreamed up.

After reading "concerned citizen's post, it reinforced my views of Mr. Moyers - a good and thoughtful man, very concerned about the state of his country.

For those of you who are not familiar with our fellow citizen, Bill Moyers, I am asking your indulgence as I offer the following:
Commentary

[edit] Regarding the U.S. media

[edit] On the media and class warfare
In a 2003 interview with BuzzFlash.com,[16] Moyers said, "The corporate right and the political right declared class warfare on working people a quarter of a century ago and they've won." He noted that "The rich are getting richer, which arguably wouldn't matter if the rising tide lifted all boats." Instead, however, "The inequality gap is the widest it's been since 1929; the middle class is besieged and the working poor are barely keeping their heads above water." He added that as "the corporate and governing elites are helping themselves to the spoils of victory," access to political power has become "who gets what and who pays for it."

Meanwhile, the public has failed to react because it is, in his words, "distracted by the media circus and news has been neutered or politicized for partisan purposes." In support of this he referred to "the paradox of Rush Limbaugh, ensconced in a Palm Beach mansion massaging the resentments across the country of white-knuckled wage earners, who are barely making ends meet in no small part because of the corporate and ideological forces for whom Rush has been a hero... As Eric Alterman reports in his recent book — a book that I'm proud to have helped make happen — part of the red meat strategy is to attack mainstream media relentlessly, knowing that if the press is effectively intimidated, either by the accusation of liberal bias or by a reporter's own mistaken belief in the charge's validity, the institutions that conservatives revere — corporate America, the military, organized religion, and their own ideological bastions of influence — will be able to escape scrutiny and increase their influence over American public life with relatively no challenge."[16]


[edit] On media bias
When he retired in December 2004, the AP News Service quoted Moyers, "I'm going out telling the story that I think is the biggest story of our time: how the right-wing media has become a partisan propaganda arm of the Republican National Committee. We have an ideological press that's interested in the election of Republicans, and a mainstream press that's interested in the bottom line. Moyers said: Therefore, we don't have a vigilant, independent press whose interest is the American people."[17]


[edit] On Karl Rove and U.S. politics
During his speech at the "Take Back America" Conference, Moyers defined what he considered to be Karl Rove's influence on George W. Bush's administration. Moyers asserted that, from his reading of Rove, the mid to late 1800s were to Rove a "cherished period of American history." He further states, "From his own public comments and my reading of the record, it is apparent that Karl Rove has modeled the Bush presidency on that of William McKinley...and modeled himself on Mark Hanna, the man who virtually manufactured McKinley."[18]

He stipulated that Hanna's primary "passion" was attending to corporate and imperial power.

Furthermore, Moyers indicates that Hanna gathered support for McKinley's presidential campaign from "the corporate interests of the day" and was responsible for Ohio and Washington coming under the rule of "bankers, railroads and public utility corporations." He submitted that political opponents of this transfer of power were "smeared as disturbers of the peace, socialists, anarchists, or worse."[18]

Lastly, he refers to what historian Clinton Rossiter called the period of "the great train robbery of American intellectual history," when "conservatives--or better, pro-corporate apologists" began using terms such as "progress", "opportunity", and "individualism" in order to make "the plunder of America sound like divine right." He added that Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was also used by conservative politicians, judges, and publicists to justify the idea of a "natural order of things" as well as "the notion that progress resulted from the elimination of the weak and the 'survival of the fittest.'"[18]

He concludes, "This 'degenerate and unlovely age', as one historian calls it, exists in the mind of Karl Rove, the reputed brain of George W. Bush, as the seminal age of inspiration for the politics and governance of America today."[18]

During coverage of the 2004 presidential election, Moyers stated, "I think that if Kerry were to win this in a tight race, I think that there would be an effort to mount a coup, quite frankly. I mean that the right wing is not going to accept it."[19][20]


[edit] Presidential draft initiative
In late 2005 an attempt was begun to draft Moyers for a 2008 run at the Democratic Presidential nomination. The founder of this initiative, Scott Beckman, circulated an article on the Internet entitled You Are Not Alone,[21] laying out his reasoning and establishing a website. Although the effort was popular on the Internet, it was not supported by Moyers, who, according to his attorneys, would "not under any circumstances" run for President.[22] The petition drove to gain 100,000 signatures by the end of the year, but it garnered less than one percent the few months it was in operation. The website was taken down at Moyers's request, but on July 24, 2006, political commentator Molly Ivins published an article entitled Run Bill Moyers for President, Seriously[23] on the progressive website Truthdig. A follow-up was published two days later by John Nichols on his blog on The Nation magazine's website.[24] However, this effort too failed to garner the extensive grassroots support envisioned. Then in October 2006 an article[25] was published on Common Dreams NewsCenter by Ralph Nader in which he supported the Moyers candidacy. "With his deep sense of history relating to the great economic struggles in American history between workers and large companies and industries," Nader added, "Moyers today is a leading spokesman on the need to deconcentrate the manifold concentrations of political and economic power by global corporations. He is especially keen on doing something about media concentration about which he knows from recurrent personal experience as a television commentator, investigator, anchor and newspaper editor." Nader's effort was seconded by Nichols.[26] There are also two websites promoting the effort: Draft Bill Moyers For President Blog[27] and Draft Bill Moyers For President Activist Center.[28]


[edit] Allegations of bias
In 2005 former CPB chairman Kenneth Tomlinson commissioned a study of the show NOW with Bill Moyers. Tomlinson said that the study supported what he characterized as "the image of the left-wing bias of NOW".[29] Moyers replied to this by saying that his journalism showed "the actual experience of regular people is the missing link in a nation wired for everything but the truth." Moyers characterized Tomlinson as "an ally of Karl Rove and the right-wing monopoly's point man to keep tabs on public broadcasting." Tomlinson, he said, "found kindred spirits at the right-wing editorial board of the Wall Street Journal where the 'animal spirits of business' are routinely celebrated."[29] Moyers also responded to these accusations in a speech given to the National Conference for Media Reform, pointing out that he had repeatedly invited Tomlinson to debate him on the subject, and had repeatedly been ignored.[30] Tomlinson subsequently resigned on 4 November 2005 after a CPB inquiry found improprieties in the commissioning of the study. Investigators at the Corporation for Public Broadcasting said on 15 November 2005 "that they had uncovered evidence that (Tomlinson) had repeatedly broken federal law and the organization's own regulations in a campaign to combat what he saw as liberal bias."[1]

Referring to a 2007-07-13 edition of Bill Moyers Journal, discussing the possible impeachment of President George W. Bush, and featuring guests from opposing ends of the political spectrum, both in favor of impeachment,[31] PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler praised Moyers for his initiative in highlighting different topics, but felt he could have used a more balanced approach.[32] Moyers disagreed, saying:

"The journalist's job is not to achieve some mythical state of equilibrium between two opposing opinions out of some misshapen respect — sometimes, alas, reverence — for the prevailing consensus among the powers-that-be. The journalist's job is to seek out and offer the public the best thinking on an issue, event, or story."

Getler responded by saying that

"On the broad issue of balance, I don't disagree with Moyers .... It can create a false sense of equivalence among readers or viewers in cases where that is not justified.... [but that] while conventional, equal-time balance is frequently a false measure, the absence of any balance can undermine any program."[33]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Moyers

If you’re not outrage, then you’re not paying attention… I have to say that part of the blame lies with us, the American citizen as we have bought into the consumer/capitalistic society hook, line, and sinker. The dangerous outcome of this is we as Americans have developed a “Divine Sense of Self Entitlement” and that we are destined to be the chosen ones and a great nation or society without effort or sacrifice. We talk a good talk but when it comes to rolling up our sleeves and doing the necessary work, we rather pass it off to someone else and go about our business of consuming. Hardships, we long forgotten what this is like, Sacrifice, not me, it’s my right to not be burdened with such things. It is my divine right to have everything, be interrupted by nothing, and go about my material life without needless regards to the affects on my community or our society as a whole. I believe that at times we get what we deserve and to me the last administration was a reflection of where we are as a society. In a nutshell as they say in our Presidents home state; All hat and no cattle. In other words, we like to appear engaged, enlightened and great but do the actual work required? I think not… my fear for Obama is that he will be elected but ultimately fail because of one key component. He is relying on the American public to come out of the haze of consumerism and participate.
Seek the truth and it shall set you free? Andrew Bacevich presents the truth, warts and all… and yet I wonder how many are willing to forgo consumerism and entertainment to spend the time to deal with the harsh realities facing our nation. Guess we’ll find out soon… but in the meantime, the Olympics are on and we do have not much time for such issues.

To get a clearer idea of the why's and wherefor's of our nation's history, both foreign and domestic, it is imperative to understand political economy.....especially now! Without that understanding, we citizens are at the mercy of the very forces who have put us in this pickle in the first place!

William A. Williams
Gar Alperovitz
Herbert Marcuse
Marty Sklar
Harry Magdoff
Paul Sweeney
Paul Koistinen
Broadus Mitchell
G. William Domhoff
Ferdinand Lundberg
Robert Fisk
Noam Chomsky
David Korn
Michael Isikoff
Frank Rich

These are just a FEW of the authors who speak, across the decades, to the central issues with which we are all now grappling. Happy reading, fellow citizens!

This is a nation of people who have used force to obtain and sustain the "American way of life" since the first ships landed. It will continue to operate on the principle that it's easier to shoot people than it is to share until it's out-gunned.

I watch, as usual, the Friday evening Bill Moyers 'Journal'on my dish in Morelos, Mexico.

The Bacevich interview was valiant and chilling as it unveiled with candour and honesty the reality of the present moment and the uncertainty of tomorrow's.
I have downloaded the complete transcript and will have the "The Limits of Power" hand-carried from NY.this weekend.

First rate- all round.
Please schedule a fall or pre-election repeat.
Ian Thomas - Mexico City.

I caught the interview on rebroadcast at about 3 AM Saturday morning and I can’t stop thinking about it. Bacevich’s insights articulated and advanced notions that have been rattling around in my head for a long time. At breakfast my girlfriend and I talked about it, and in tears she said “but what can I do about it. The Congress, the President and the Generals are not listening, they don’t care, Big Oil has a vested interest in the status quo, and Putin’s invasion of Georgia just realized the neoconservatives’ wet dream by resurrecting the “Evil Empire” just as the “terrorist threat” was losing traction. After breakfast I went to my local bookstore and read the last chapter which ends with “Americans appear determined to affirm Niebuhr's axiom of willful self-destruction. ...". In other words we are committing suicide. Framed in those terms the vocabulary for dealing with this crisis on a personal basis has to be recast. The only thing that comes to my mind is turn of the TV, park the car, stop buying “stuff”, and start reconnecting with community around you. When I let go of the notion that the president regardless of who wins is going to “fix” things I can relax and focus on making those changes within my reach.

As we must now know, the first step in correcting a serious national problem is to recognise that there is one. How stunningly refreshing it was to listen to someone who systematically articulated the facts that so many of us have stuggled with over the years. Furthermore, after reading the abundance of concerned constructive comments, my faith in Americans is at least partially restored enough to believe that change is indeed possible. Never say 'never'!

When huge corporations determine how all of our most precious resources, both natural resources and human resources, are to be deployed and allocated, then we end up with what we have today in the USA...a profoundly dysfunctional body politic, a meaningless charade that gives the appearance of democratic elections every 4 years, a pair of "major" political parties that are now and have been ever since the late 19th century totally and completely owned and controlled by the corporate dynasty, a corporate media that trivializes all that is important and sensationalizes all that is insignificant, an infrastructure that is rapidly deteriorating, an increasingly powerful and insensitive executive branch that continues to erode our Constitutional protections..... and this short list of problems is just the TIP of the iceberg!

The one common thread that runs through both our American foreign and domestic policy ever since John D Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie pioneered the development of Standard Oil and U.S. Steel, respectively, back in the late 19th Century is this: the huge aggregates of capital accumulation in the hands of ever fewer hands(proportional to the overall population)has continued unabated from that day to this. Such concentrated massive economic, financial, political and military power is antithetical to all of the core values expressed by the Founding Fathers in our Constitution. All of the most serious threats to our individual liberties are posed by the massive corporate and banking conglomerates that have put an iron stranglehold on the manner in which we conduct our affairs as a nation and as a society!

I guess we as americans are not suffering enough yet as to force us to change. I however intend to voice my freedom by voting independently for Ralph Nader this election. Because I have seen my future steadily decline as a blue collar worker since I began working in 1979. Then I saw the white collar workers begin to lose ground. Who will be next ? Yet we keep hearing the same mantras from main stream media. Maybe those folks at Fox news and the like will begin to feel our pain shortly and revolt against their employers and report the truth. I can only hope.

ALL meaningful change is impossible until and unless corporate rapacity and elite ownership and control of our economy is substantively altered, addressed, redressed, changed, modified, transformed, transmutated, evolved, etc etc etc. ALL else is a bunch of HAPPY PIE IN THE SKY!

The basic problem is not Americans' very human predeliction to consumerism based in democracy and capitalism (witness the rampant growth of consumerism in China based on authoritarian 'Communism'). The basic problem is economies based on gangster elites of giant transnational corporations that brainwash their consumers into mindless acceptance of endless exploitation of precious resources, all for short-term profit. The megacorps will always be the source of human destruction until they are deprived of their superhuman privileges.

Rotsa Ruck,
Lou

People just quite simply have to learn the difference between 'need' and 'greed'.

Last I heard 'gluttony' was one of the seven deadly sins.

As an expat living abroad to realize that we have thinkers such as Bacevich with a clear vision of so many of our problems is refreshing. We do not need another "shoot from the hip" cowboy, perhaps Senator Obama if elected may provide a first step or more in this direction but the greatest hurdle is the change in national consciousness. We need to look outwards, shake off the arrogance that makes many believe we are more that primus inter pares in this world, then consider other societal models that fare better than ours for the many versus the few. Already the conservative forces are seeking to justify our horrendous foreign policy, I am shocked by the self adulation provided by Luttwak's recent essay "A Truman for our times" that has appeared in this month's Prospect magazine, when we find ourselves incapable of countering the aggressive posture of Russia today, certainly emboldened by our quasi unilateral adventurism in Iraq and elsewhere.

During the show, Col Bacevich asked questions -- who is paying the price? who is dying? etc. One question he didn't ask is WHO PROFITS?

It is time we revive the second definition of conscription -- "a compulsory contribution of money to a government during a time of war." Use this term instead of "war profiteering tax" or "windfall profits tax" and require those who benefit most to pay up.

One of the key messages seemed to me to be about using/limiting ourselves to what we really need and can honestly afford--(while most of us would rather be encouraged to seek whatever we really want). This idea of rational limits, excess, decline, etc can seem negative and gloomy and can easily be distorted by those who carry it too far in guilty self-recrimination....and the idea of limits and honest values can also be mocked by those who want to sell eternal sunshine in a mythical morning in America. Mr. Bacevich was especially effective in the calm and assured and articulate way that he suggested we have been foolish, and that for our own good we need to find a better way. Surprisingly, his message seemed positive, or at least re-assuring, for those who have sensed that something is wrong.
Posted by: Thomas Wick


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Selling eternal sunshine in a mythical morning in America...are you talking about CNBC selling us the Goldilocks economy?

Yes, mocking others is part of America freedom of speech ethos.

Remember Dan Quale and all the mocking when he talked about our bankrupt family values? Yes, much better to have less family values and keep going the route we have been headed in...isn't it.

We have to realize that greed is never satisfied by attainment - it is only satisfied by contentment

But, most of us in America are taught that we have no limits - we can do anything. Contentment is for losers and slackers...that is what we have been taught.

But, some of us forget we are spiritual beings residing in physical bodies living in physical world and as must work to balance both spiritual and physical aspects of our live.

As such, we are all governed by the following 3 branches of laws:

1 - Natural or physical laws

2 - Man made laws

3 - Divine or spiritual laws

Now, if your an atheist, you may not think much of spirituality or divine law, but you still have to answer to natural and man made laws. And some people say they can defy man made laws as well as divine laws. But no matter how defiant the person or addict is - no one escapes natural laws.

So they stretch themeless to see how far they can go. The Buddhist have a saying "when one eye is kept on the destination it only leaves one eye left for the journey." So people they lose sight of inner peace and get lost in the goal.

A few years ago I read an article in the Wall Street Journal about a con man named Charles Ponzi. He was credited with inventing the first pyramid scheme.

The article stated when Ponzi was interviewed he was asked how he was able to swindle so many people so easily, his responded, "When a man's mind is concentrated he is blind."

This case of having your mind concentrated to the point of blindness is not anything new. The ancient philosophers new this well. They called it "putting passion before reason."

Both these areas of passion and reason where the foundation of much philosophical discussion of ethics and virtue with the ancient Greeks.

They knew when passion rules the mind, that the only job left for reason is that of the subservient task to find cleaver ways to satisfy the passions.
When our minds are occupied with too much wreckage of the past, too many problems and complexities and out of control passions then there is little room left in it for reasoning.

We should not confuse Voluntary Simplicity with the misnomer of 'Voluntary Poverty' VS is not about living low, it is about making choices and balanced living. We can take a vow of poverty and not have a pot to piss in - yet we can still live a sickly, complex life full of unneeded rituals and stress.

What it does take is self-introspection and balanced living coupled with a desire to achieve greater inner peace.

...from "Wealth Addiction" by Philip Slater

All personal solutions to wealth addiction involve one form or another of what has come to be called Voluntary Simplicity. This doesn't not necessarily mean going "back to nature" and does not mean living in poverty and discomfort, although some people may elect forms of simplicity that would be highly uncomfortable for the rest of us. Above all, it does not mean forcing yourself to give up something you really enjoy, out of some pious conviction that it's the "right thing to do." Voluntary Simplicity merely means trying to rid one's life as much as possible of material clutter so as to concentrate on more important things: creativity, human survival and development, community well-being, play.

The key word in Voluntary Simplicity is "voluntary," which means that the giving up of the material clutter is not coerced either from the outside or from the inside. As Andre Vanden Broeck observers, only those who have experienced affluence are in a position to have a "choice divorced from need." The poor aren't in a position to make such a choice-they are stuck with a scarcity that is neither simple nor voluntary.

Nor is Voluntary Simplicity coerced from within, for to deprive yourself out of some ideological conviction is merely to feed the Ego Mafia. The word "simplicity" may have overtones that arouse our suspicions: a vaguely puritan ring, conjuring up images of drab smocks, self-righteousness and flagellation. But if this is in the spirit in which Voluntary Simplicity is embraced the result will most certainly be noxious.

There is an old Zen story about two monks traveling together who encounter a nude woman trying to cross a stream. One of them carries her across, much to the consternation of the other. They continue in silence for a couple of hours until the second monk can stand it no longer. "How," he asks "could you expose yourself to such temptation?" The first monk replies, "I put her down two hours ago. You're still carrying her."

Addiction is internal; if you experiment sincerely with Voluntary Simplicity and find yourself still thinking of money and possessions, your simplicity is a fraud and you might just as well go back to pursuing wealth until you've had your fill of it. To achieve its goal, Voluntary simplicity must be undertaken in the spirit, not of Puritanism or self-flagellation, but out of adventure. All adventurers throughout history have, after all, been people who abandoned comforts, possessions, love and security to seek new experiences in faraway places.

Richard Gregg, who coined the term in 1936, once complained to Gandhi that while he had no trouble giving up most things, he could not let go of his books. Gandhi told he shouldn't try: "As long as you derive inner help and comfort from anything, you should keep it." He pointed out that if you give things up out of a sense of duty or self-sacrifice they continue to preoccupy you and clutter your mind. To talk of "denying oneself" is to use the language of despotism. Simplicity is an affirmation, not a denial of oneself.

Does Mr. Bacevich, or any of you, have any idea what the impact would be on our fragile economy if we suddenly stopped spending and with nearly 40 million U.S. citizens living in poverty how many out there do you think are splurging? Americans have always been consumers.
Posted by: Burt C

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Yes Burt, the same thing that would happen to a drug addict if they did not have their fix.

And we wont stop consuming until we can't consume any longer - either from affordability or from crude depletion.

We have built a defective model for long term population support Burt. We can only keep on keeping on as long as the crude is free flowing and affordable by the masses.

Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But seven billion people can't burn the trees!

We must accept that we have built our world on unsustainable means - a means built artificially on fossil fuel.

And when we live out of balance with natures intended means there is a price to pay to come back in balance with nature. And the price usually extracts pain from us in the adjustment process.

It has been estimated that for the earth to sustainably support its population without fossil fuels a 90% dieoff must occur. I don't know if that is the right figure, but I do know humans could not live as they do unless it was funded by artificial means via fossil fuels.

http://dieoff.org/

So if this dieoff happens, of course there will be great amounts of pain in the world. But it is natures intended balancing act. It also reminds us that nature does not bow to humans - it is humans that always bow to nature.

Animals live within their intended balance with nature and it is only man that destroys his environment and has to pay the price through pain and suffering from working against nature.

You still have some valuable time left to prepare for what awaits you down the road Burt. We are in the 'Indian Summer'of a post carbon world. Don't wait until the winter sets in to start work on your preparedness efforts.

Ultimately, I am afraid that the United States is closer than people think to the later stages of the Soviet Union, and that we may find ourselves in the same position as the Soviet Union. In other words, within twenty or thirty years, the United States of America may no longer exist as a country. And sadly enough, we may disappear for the same reasons that the Soviet Union disappeared.

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China and Russia tried to support its people though a sustainable, self sufficient manner when they ere totally RED. Now that they are PINK, they are much more successful at support,

So the world exchanged the dread of communist domination for that of the problem of more capitalism and consumption. But as Taoists tell us...fleas come with the dog.

America now wishes China and India had stayed backwards. But as long as the crude holds out, they can't go backwards once they got a taste of the American dream.

So the US tells the world - "Don't do as we do...do as we say. Stop using up all the fossil fuel China and India...and leave all the depletion of fossil fuels to us professionals in the US of A!"

This is American hubris at its best.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption

Bacevich is the most insightful observer of our socio-political-economic reality. I'd like to amplify a bit on this fascination with the Presidency. Where does it come from? The answer is obvious: the media. Your local daily has probably devoted one hundred times the column inches to the Presidential race--if not more---than to the election of your local representaive in Congress. When compounded by the national media's obsession with the Presidential race, about which the talking heads begin their prattle at least two years ahead of the election, it's no wonder that the average voter is led to believe that there's really only one race that counts--and that the outcome is actually significant. Why do the media obsess about the Presidential race far more than any reasonable interpretation of its actual significance would suggest? It is because it is an exercise of media might. The press tells us who's a viable candidate-- and thus whom they will cover--and who isn't based upon fund raising ability. Junior senators Clinton, Edwards, and Obama were deemed the front runners by the national press corps long before the first caucus vote was cast; the far more accomplished and experienced candidates Dodd, Biden, Richardson, and Kucinich were never given coverage of those "serious" candidates. Why is money so important to the election? On what is it largely spent? MEDIA ADVERTISING. Consciously or not, the members of the press corps are not dispassionate observers, THEY ARE GATEKEEPERS WHO ENSURE THAT THE SYSTEM NOT CHANGE. Instead of party regulars deciding upon their nominee, as in the past (in the so-called "smoke-filled rooms"), the media preselects a very small number of candidates based upon their campaign war chests, i.e., how much they have available to buy media time and space. With all the coverage of our Presidential race, is it not curious that one never sees a report on how the Chief Executive is selected elsewhere. The reason? Every other major democracy has grasped the obvious: if you allow money to play a major role in the political process, those people and institutions with access to large amounts of money will subvert the system to favor thier interests at the expense of those without such access. This is inherently undemocratic and unfair and antithetical to the interest of the majority. It is also the reason why health care policy is controlled by the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, energy policy by pals of Cheney and Bush in that industry, etc.

The Journal is the best thing on TV, bar none. Congratulations on your Bacevich interview. This is the most important issue before us. I simply MUST get a copy ot THE LIMITS OF POWER. Give'em hell Bill!

Correction of my last post--" After seeing this interview I can not wait to read Dr. Andrew J. Bacevich's Book".

After seeing this interview I can not wait to read Mr. Schlesingers book. Thank you for your candid and honest discusion. I am excited to see a piece of the puzzle fitting into place. I am insired to learn more and share with every one in my life. I belief American's can still change once we set our minds in the right direction.

Ultimately, I am afraid that the United States is closer than people think to the later stages of the Soviet Union, and that we may find ourselves in the same position as the Soviet Union. In other words, within twenty or thirty years, the United States of America may no longer exist as a country. And sadly enough, we may disappear for the same reasons that the Soviet Union disappeared.

There is the possibility that this can be prevented. The future is, after all, still the future and unpredictable as all get out. But I believe that inertia for something as large as the American Empire will only be overcome by a titanic force, either through a worldwide economic collapse, or through the collapse of the global climate through global warming.

Never underestimate the power of American society to reinvent itself, though. If we have a wise president who respects the Constitution, and who listens to the world community instead of trying to impose our will on the rest of the planet, we may start the process of returning America to the better place that Prof. Bagevich described. That's why the election is important, as well as why citizens need to become far more active in the processes of government than they have been historically.

Scientists now speculate, for example that we may the very narrowest of windows as far as taking aggressive action to limit the damage from global warming. Like our political malaise, if we shine on our individual and collective responsibilities towards the environment, we may not only be sealing the fate of our country but our species.

Thank you PBS. Thank you Bill Moyers. Thank you Dr. Bacevich. The clear thinking, exhibited by Mr. Moyers and Dr. Bacevich, inspires us all to be better citizens.

Dave's Top 10 Ways to Save the Human Species from Extinction
(A Dave's Top 10 List That Matters)

1. Cut the gross world product in half. In the last 30 years, the amount manufactured by the combined world nations has tripled! Not only do we wantonly waste precious resources, we have surrounded ourselves with useless and excessive possessions that estrange us from your own natures as human beings. Such a change would require the introduction of a new, non-material lifestyle for many western people. And an economic theory that does not measure success in terms of yearly, continuing growth of the GNP and GWP.

2. Cut world population in half. From the 50s to the 80s--IN 37 YEARS--the population of the world doubled! From 2.5 to 5 billion. It is now doubling again in less than 37 years! While we cannot say definitely that this will bring mass starvation, class warfare, epidemic disease, it has already degraded our planet's collective mind. And we see an acceleration of "things happening" and a carelessness of human actions--as we no longer feel a sense of free space and time--that begins to dominate our consciousness.

3. Begin a system of "weighted democracy" in which the influence of each person's vote is derived from some kind of established criteria of knowledgeability, sensitivity, intelligence, compassion, spiritual consciousness. A real democracy requires an electorate that cannot be duped, manipulated or spun. The criteria for "weighting" of course would require a good deal of thought and care to insure that they are both legitimate and accurate.

4. Establish a Supreme World Court of our wisest and most impartial individuals to rule on international laws and to settle the disputes of nations. If two individuals cannot settle a dispute among themselves, they go to a judge. If a businessman and laborers cannot agree upon a contract, they go to an arbitrator. But if Israel and Jordan or the United States and Iraq cannot agree, they go to war. It is not logical or mentally consistent or productive of personal and species harmony that nations should be allowed to do what individuals may not. And yet, that is what we call our present understanding of law.

5. End the commercialization of everything. The principle of advertising is stupid. It degrades human beings by being a role model for dishonesty. This leads to cynicism, promotes a climate of massive consumption, and thus prevents the building of a truly good human society, one which expresses the best spiritually in us.

6. Refashion the media of the world: TV and newspapers, Internet, etc. These are now a prime cause of disease: the mental (and consequent physical) illness that now affects our society's collective mind. These shapers of our culture, partly from a misunderstanding of their social function--a perceived need to shock, control and titillate to compete, their reporting as fact and/or important what is best for those who own them, etc.--have become toxic. They must be made health-producing.

7. Insure that we can isolate, prevent the worldwide spread, of lethal infectious diseases now that we are dependent upon massive global travel and trade: One grave example that our technologies can get beyond human control. We become more susceptible to epidemics and pandemics in the very times of societal psychological and physical depression because our minds are so closely related to our bodies.

8. Add "the lost Commandment," the one that got tossed over the years in all the religious hustle/bustle. The one that would have handed us a much wholesomer history, if we'd only gotten it right:

"The Earth and all things of it are sacred. As its most intelligent creatures, you are its guardians. Thus, you shall deal with it in all ways with sensitivity and awareness."

Yes, it's really that simple--that's all we had (and have) to do! Was it the God(s) we chose or was it the person(s) writing it down who left out this irreplaceable assignment? That is, we have to consult our minds and our scientists but the final decision rests in our hearts.

Make earth spirituality a total planet phenomenon. Begin global, and universal, honorings/celebrations of the solstices, equinoxes and phases of the moon. Adopt a new earth calendar. Make this a part of all the major religions.

9. Radically alter human living environments. Large urban areas have made us insane (out of touch with reality). They are grand monuments to human power and consumption. We no longer know the power of the earth, of our planet. Create living environments in harmony with the nature that is part of us. Come back to rest on Our Mother Earth.

10. Begin all public meetings and the meetings of all aspects of all governing bodies only after each participant feels confident in his/her performance of the following silent meditation. The meditation: When the meeting opens, at the instruction by the chairperson or facilitator, everyone will sit silently and honestly ask him/herself: "How can we all agree rather than disagree? How can I personally come to an agreement with these people?"

Abe Frankel
www.circleoftheearth.org


Why weren't South Ossetia and Abkhazia offered a referendum on Georgia or Russia early on in Sakasvilli's presidency before opinions hardened? Why shouldn't Ukraine do the same thing now before the political landscape hardens and we're thrown into a full scale war? If you pull the fuse out of a time bomb it can't possibly go off.

I watched the show with a very keen interest last Friday. Your insights are wonderful, and I believe incredibly accurate and well thought out. All I could think of was a local program I saw a few months ago taped at the Panetta Institute where James Carville (one of the featured guests) saie "Ypu don't send an army to war, you send a natin to war."
Your comment on the lack of sacrafice put forth by the American people during these two wars, and how we were told to go shopping to bolster the economy seem so incredulously insane now (as they did back then...). I couldn't agree with you more. The military power should be reserved for protecting freedom, not a consumer way of life.
I will be reading your book.

Incredibly thought provoking. I'm at a loss to even respond intelligently. It will take some time to digest such a candid discussion.

It will take some time to know what to do on an individual level.

In 1917 Professor Christophe Nyrop at the University of Copenhagen wrote a book called "Is War Civilization". Professor Nyrop discussion of power, the state and process of war rings true as the events of today in America continue to develop.

Another great interview. And another book I will have to read - the list continues to grow and a significant number of the titles have come from the Journal. As to the issues at hand this week, why not a return to the draft, and learning from other nations, allow an option for civilian service if the citizen so elects - perhaps two years military or three years civilian service. I have to believe that it is still possible for us to turn our country around and escape from the effects of the military-industrial complex. Why can't we implement more education and training programs domestically, and as to foreign affairs, we could achieve significantly better results at drastically reduced cost (in lives and money) by utilizing the soft power approach that one of your previous shows highlighted. I think what is truly needed is a focused effort to make these things happen. It appears that those who feel as I do cannot get themselves organized enough to be effective. Perhaps we are getting close to a tipping point where such an organization will be formed and try to force the political system to function more effectively.

I completely agree with Prof. Bacevich's assessment. Rarely in life do you hear somebody put into words so clearly what you have been noticing in the back of your mind all along. Brilliant analysis of the information and a equally competent ability to so clearly communicate those thoughts. For me, watching this program today felt like how I imagine reading "Common Sense" must have felt to colonials in the late 18th century.

Thank you for bringing him on your program. All I can hope is that his truly critical breakdown of the problems we are now facing as a country get through to a percentage of the population comparable to that of Thomas Paine's time.

ANDREW BACEVICH

GREETINGS SIR. I SERVED IN VIETNAM WITH THE MARINES AS A COMBAT INTELLIGENCE NCO FOR TWO BATTALIONS (66 - 67)...WELCOME HOME.

MY DEEPEST SYMPATHIES FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR SON LAST YEAR.

I FULLY CONCUR WITH YOUR PERSPECTIVE NOTED IN THE RECENT INTERVIEW WITH BILL MOYERS; AND WANT TO SHARE THE PRESENTATION I MADE EARLIER THIS SPRING AT A LOCAL COLLEGE IN MARYLAND FOR THE GREAT DECISIONS FORUM SPONSORED BY THE FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION (WWW.FPA.ORG).

_______

WE THE PEOPLE ~ THE BEST & BRIGHTEST

OUR CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: THE BATTLE FOR PEACE

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF AN UNPRECEDENTED CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS WITH VAST IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES, OUR DIMINISHING DEMOCRACY AND THE WORLD THAT DEMANDS, WHAT NATIVE AMERICANS CALL “SEVENTH GENERATION” THINKING.

THE 9/11 ATTACK AND SUBSEQUENT POLITICAL AND MILITARY ACTIONS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THE MYOPIC CONSTRAINTS OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY THINKING AND INFRASTRUCTURES THAT RESULTED IN THE REACTIVE ATTACKS AGAINST THE TRUE BELIEVERS OF AL-QAEDA IN AFGHANISTAN; THE “NOT-SO” CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, RESULTING IN THE OVERTHROW OF LATE THUG SADDAM AND HIS NON-EXISTENT WMD; AND THE CATISTROPHIC FIASCO OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.

AS TERRORISM AND THE DESTRUCTIVE FOLLY OF THIS ILL-CONCEIVED AND SO-CALLED PRE-EMPTIVE WAR LOOMS OVER THE REGION, SLAUGHTERS OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST MILITARY PERSONNEL AND INNOCENT IRAQIS, AND IRREPEARABLY TRAUMATIZES THEIR FAMILIES, THE CRISIS INTENSIFIES.

IT IS THE DEBATE AND OWNERSHIP OF THE “SOUL OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY” AND WHO PAYS! CLEARLY, THE U.S. IS PROBABLY THE SOLE SUPERPOWER WITH AN OBLIGATION TO IMPROVE THE LOT OF HUMANITY, AND IS STRUGGLING WITH THESE GREAT VERSUS AMONG OTHERS:

• PROGESSIVE WORLD LEADERSHIP ~ EMPIRE BUILDING
• WAR PROFITS ~ PEACE DIVIDENDS
• SCARCITY ~ ABUNDANCE CAPITALISM
• POVERTY ~ SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
• DECLARATION OF WAR ~ CONGRESS VS WHITE HOUSE
• FOLLY POLICY ~ DIPLOMACY: FOREIGN POLICY BASED ON INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES VS UNILATERAL & PREMPTIVE USE OF MILITARY FORCE
• BILL OF RIGHTS ~ UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS

IN JAN ’08, THE CENTER OF PUBLIC INTEGRITY PRESENTED THE RESULTS OF ITS RECENT 2.5 YEAR STUDY ENTITLED:

"FALSE PRETENSES" ~~

FOLLOWING 9/11, PRESIDENT BUSH AND SEVEN TOP OFFICIALS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION WAGED A CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN OF MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY SADDAM'S IRAQ. BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD, WOLFOWITZ AND OTHERS, MADE OVER 900 FALSE STATEMENTS IN THE TWO YEARS ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY SADDAM FOLLOWING OSAMA’S ATTACK. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE STATEMENTS WERE AN ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY GALVANIZED PUBLIC OPINION AND, IN THE PROCESS, LED OUR NATION TO WAR.

IT IS NOW BEYOND DISPUTE THAT IRAQ DID NOT POSSESS ANY WMD OR HAVE MEANINGFUL TIES TO AL QAEDA. THIS WAS THE CONCLUSION OF NUMEROUS BIPARTISAN INVESTIGATIONS, INCLUDING THOSE BY THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, THE 9/11 COMMISSION, AND THE MULTINATIONAL IRAQ SURVEY GROUP ESTABLISHED THAT SADDAM HAD TERMINATED HIS NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN 1991 AND MADE LITTLE EFFORT TO RESTART IT.

IN SHORT, THESE OFFICIALS LED US TO WAR BASED ON FALSE INFORMATION THAT THEY METHODICALLY PROPAGATED. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THOSE WITH THE MOST OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE SPEECHES, GRANT INTERVIEWS, AND OTHERWISE FRAME THE PUBLIC DEBATE, ALSO MADE THE MOST FALSE STATEMENTS.

GROWING NUMBER OF CRITICS, INCLUDING A PARADE OF FORMER OFFICIALS AND MILITARY OFFICERS, HAVE PUBLICLY, AND IN SOME CASES VEHEMENTLY, ACCUSED BUSH AND HIS INNER CIRCLE OF IGNORING OR DISTORTING THE GROUND TRUTH OF AVAILABLE INTELLIGENCE.

THEY HAVE SO FAR LARGELY AVOIDED THE HARSH, SUSTAINED SPOTLIGHT OF ON-GOING, FORMAL SCRUTINY ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LITANY OF REPEATED, FALSE STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS THAT HAVE AND CONTINUE TO KILL THOUSANDS.

WHY HAVE THERE BEEN NO CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS AS THE FULBRIGHT HEARINGS ‘68? WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS THAT WERE CALLED FOR IN 2005 BY SEN. CHUCK HAGEL?

CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT HAS FOCUSED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON THE QUALITY OF THE PRE-WAR INTELLIGENCE, NOT THE PLANNING, JUDGMENT, PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS, OR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY OF ITS HIGHEST OFFICIALS. CONGRESS CONTINUES TO BE PARTY TO THE FALSE CONSENSUS ABOUT IRAQ.

RISE IN U.S. MILITANCY:

ACCORDING TO GEN. SMEDELY BUTLER, USMC, WHO WON TWO MEDALS OF HONOR, "WAR IS A RACKET!"

EVEN OUR MILITARY WAS STRUGGLING WITH IT OWN GREAT VERSUS ABOUT STRATEGIES AND BUDGETS: COLD WAR AND M.A.D., VS FUTURISTIC WEAPONRY, COUNTERINSURGENCY, AND HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS...TROOPS ON THE GROUND VS MILITARY CAPITAL!

HOWEVER, THE FALSE JUSTIFICATION OF WAR ON TERRORISM, AND THE INVASION ENDED THIS DEBATE WITH BOTH CAMPS WINNING. THE FLOW OF HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF WAR FIGHTING FUNDS INTO THE COFFERS OF THE PENTAGON'S PRIVATE CONTRACTERS CONTINUES.

ON SEPT. 12, ‘01, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE HAD LONG PLANNED A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH FOUR OF OUR MOST DISTINGUISHED RETIRED MILITARY LEADERS WITH OVER 100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TO ADDRESS NUMEROUS ISSUES WITHIN THE DOD, INCLUDING OBSTACLES TO REFORM, TECHNOPHOBIA AND THE AMOUNTS OF WASTE IN THE DEFENSE BUDGET.

QUOTING TWO ~

GEN. BOYD (USAF): “…IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE EXCESSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT REMAINS IN PLACE [FROM THE COLD WAR] FOR POLITICAL, NOT MILITARY REASONS, THEN YOU COULD CUT COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY AND UNDOUBTEDLY INCREASE CAPABILITY. ALTHOUGH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO QUANTIFY, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE NATION SPENDS $300 BILLION ON DEFENSE AND MAYBE GETS $200 OR 225 BILLION WORTH OF CAPABILITY.”

ADM. OWENS (USN): “…I’D HESITATE TO USE THE WORD WASTE, BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE NUMBER OF $100 BILLION OF GROSS INEFFICIENCY IS ADEQUATELY STATED.”

WHAT ARE THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THIS ADMINISTRATION’S STRATEGY OF PREEMPTION AND REGIME CHANGE? I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING ARGUMENTS:

1. UNSTRUCTURED DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST.

2. INTERESTS OF EMPIRE ARE BETTER SUITED BY FORMENTING TENSIONS, THE THREAT OF WAR OR WAR ITSELF RATHER THAN PROMOTING PEACE, PROSPERITY AND STABLE MARKETS.

IKE’S WARNINGS AGAINST THE DANGERS OF THE MILITARY – INDUSTRIAL – POLITICAL COMPLEX AND ITS INTRINSIC TENDENCY TOWARDS WAR AND MILITARISM ECHOS HERE.

3. THE GREAT GAME OF THE 19TH CENTURY CONTINUES OVER RESOURCES IN THE REGION INCLUDING OIL AND WATER AND NOW NUCLEAR PROFILERATION & WMD.

4. DISTRACT THE CRITICAL DEBATES ABOUT URGENT DOMESTIC ISSUES BY FRIGHTENING AMERICAN CITIZENS 24/7.

5. HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF WAR PROFITS EARNED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMPLEX, OIL COMPANIES, THE SAUDIS AND OTHER OPEC MEMBERS. SEN. MCCAIN NOTED EARLY IN THE WAR ~ AMERICANS SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AT THE WAR PROFITEERING.

THE CRITICISMS ARE NUMEROUS WITH ARGUEABLE MERIT, AND COME FROM ALL COMPONENTS OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM HERE AND ABROAD; AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA.

WE MUST GO BEYOND THE VILLIANS, VICTIMS AND HEROES…TO INTENSIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, OPEN DEBATES ABOUT THESE CRITICAL ISSUES OF OUR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES, AND HOW BEST TO COUNTERATTACK TERRORISM AND ELIMINATE ITS UNDERLYING ROOTS AND HATEFUL TRUE BELIEVERS.

WE MUST INSURE THAT PRIVILEGED GROUPS, LAP DOG POLITICAL PUNDITS, SO-CALLED EXPERTS AND GROSSLY INCOMPETENT OFFICIALS WHO SUPPORTED BUSH’S DECEPTIVE DIATRIBE, “YOU ARE WITH US OR YOU ARE WITH THE TERRORISTS,” WILL NOT RESPRESS OUR DEBATES AND DISSENT IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS (EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL), MAINSTREAM MEDIA, TOWN HALLS AND OTHER NATIONAL FORUMS.

WE MUST DEEPLY UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF THE THREATS, THE REQUIRED MEASURED AND SUSTAINABLE RESPONSES, THAT WILL EITHER AFFIRM OR ELIMINATE THE ASSUMPTIONS AND FOUNDATIONS OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY.

THIS WAS RECENTLY WELL-DOCUMENTED BY BILL MOYER’S OUTSTANDING PBS SPECIAL ~ BUYING THE WAR. OTHERS INCLUDE IRAQ FOR SALE ~ WAR PROFITEERS, WAR IS SELL AND DOZENS OF INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARIES.

I STRONGLY URGE EVERYONE TO SEE THEM SEVERAL TIMES, VALIDATE THE CONTENTS AND MAKE YOUR OWN INDEPENDENT CONCLUSIONS AND SUBSEQUENT ACTS OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

AS CITIZENS OF A DEMOCRACY, WE MUST, REPEAT MUST DEMAND ALL OF THE FACTS (INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE) TO UNDERSTAND FULLY THE ENORMOUS CHALLENGES BEFORE US.

WE MUST RETHINK OUR POLITICAL AND MORAL RELATIONS, PASSIONATELY REFLECTING ON AND CHANGING OUR VALUES AND ALLEGIANCES THAT HAVE HAD AND CONTINUE TO HAVE BRUTAL EFFECTS ON OUR FELLOW HUMANS ~ WITH WAR BEING THE ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.

WE MUST STRONGLY INFLUENCE OUR FOREIGN POLICY DEBATES AND DECISIONS THAT HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT ON HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN.

WE ARE THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST AND ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE DECISIONS. WE MUST INSTRUCT OUR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ABOUT THE GREAT TRUTHS FOR SOLVING OUR LARGEST AND MOST DANGEROUS PROBLEMS.

ACCORDING TO TOM PAINE, “WE HAVE IT IN OUR POWER TO BEGIN [OUR] WORLD AGAIN”. IF THOSE IN HIGH OFFICE ARE UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO PROACT IN THE INTERESTS OF OUR WORLD AND HUMANKIND THEY PROFESS TO BENEFIT, IT IS ALSO COMMON SENSE TO HAVE THEM RECALLED AND SEVERELY SANCTIONED AS APPROPRIATE.

THIS HANDFUL OF MEN AND WOMEN REPRESENTING MYOPIC SELF-INTERESTS MUST BE PREVENTED FROM USURPING CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND AGGRANDIZEING THEIR INEPTLY PLANNED AND GROSSLY FAILED POLICIES WITH PROPAGANDA, SPIN, FALSE INTELLIGENCE AND PRETENSES.

THIS DYNAMIC STRUGGLE IS ABOUT OUR CORE BELIEFS AND IDEAS OF OUR STRUGGLING DEMOCRACY, ITS VISION AND THE UNDERLYING HUMANITARIAN VALUES INHERENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION, DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES THAT INSPIRE US TO TAKE ACTIONS FOR OUR WORLD...WHEN WE CHOOSE.

GANDHI’S DEFINITION OF PATROTISM SEEMS VERY APPROPRIATE:

“MY PATROTISM IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE THING. IT IS ALL EMBRACING AND I SHOULD REJECT THAT PATROTISM WHICH SOUGHT TO MOUNT UPON THE DISTRESS OF THE EXPLOITATION OF OTHER NATIONALITIES. THE CONCEPT OF MY PATROTISM IS NOTHING IF IT NOT ALWAYS, IN EVERY CASE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, CONSISTENT WITH THE BROADEST GOOD OF HUMANITY AT LARGE.”

CONCLUSION:

THE WORLD IS INDEED STARVING FOR SUCCESSFUL AND SUSTAINABLE POLITICAL, ECONOMICAL, DIPLOMATIC MODELS THAT GUARANTEE THE DIGNITY AND WELL-BEING OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS, ESPECIALLY FOR OUR CHILDREN.

ACCORDING TO USMC GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI (BATTLE FOR PEACE), OFFICIALS MUST BE MADE TO DEAL WITH CURRENT AND FUTURE THREATS BY STRATEGICALLY REORGANIZING OUR OUTDATED NATIONAL SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURES TO BETTER INTEGRATE THE ELEMENTS OF POWER NEEDED TO DEAL WITH THEM. ALSO, GEN. POWELL’S “STRATEGY OF PARTNERSHIPS” OFFERS CREDIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE MODELS. THERE ARE DOZENS TO CHOOSE FROM HERE AND ABROAD.

WE MUST CHOOSE TO BE A PROGRESSIVE WORLD LEADER, WITH OUR MILITARY, ESPECIALLY SPECIAL OPERATIONS BEING RECAST INTO ITS ESSENTIALLY SUPPORTING DEFENSIVE ROLE AS A COMPLEMENT AND BACKUP FOR THE OTHER VITAL COMPONENTS OF OUR SECURITY STRATEGY AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY.

THEY MUST DEAL WITH INTERNATIONAL PERCEPTIONS, GROUND TRUTHS, AND POLITICAL VIEWS OF OUR POLICIES AND MILITARY ACTIONS, AND EXPLORE AND IMPLEMENT THREAT REDUCTION USING ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS.

OUR CHOICE TO EXERT OUR PRESTIGE AND POWER TO INSURE PROGRESS TOWARD GREATER STABILITY, UNDERSTANDING, TOLERANCE, PROSPERITY AND ABUNDANCE FOR ALL PEOPLES FOR SEVEN GENERATIONS AND BEYOND WILL BE THE CONSTANT STRUGGLE TO DEVELOP SYSTEMS, MEASURES, PROGRAMS AND INSTITUTIONS THAT WILL PREVENT CRISIS.

SADAT NOTED BEFORE GOING TO ISRAEL TO WAGE PEACE ~ “TO EVERY MAN ON THIS LAND WHO HAS SACRIFICED HIMSELF, TO EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS GIVEN HER SON FOR THE BATTLE, AND TO EVERY YOUTH, I SAY THIS: WE WILL NOT ALLOW ANY SINGLE ONE OF YOU TO BE HURT SO LONG AS WE CAN MAKE PEACE. WE WILL DESTROY THE IDOLS OF FEAR AND WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS OVER THE ENEMIES OF LIFE.” AND, I ADD: AND THE MERCHANTS OF DEATH!

U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS ARE SWORN AND TRAINED TO PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION AND NATION FROM ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC WITH THE MORAL COURAGE TO FACE SACRIFICE AND DEATH ABROAD. IN ADDITION, ACCORDING TO FORMER SEN. ROBERT KERRY (MOH), ANSWER THE “CALL OF A CERTAIN DUTY, TO BRAVE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AT HOME.”

THIS PROFOUND PROPOSITION IS BOUND UP IN BLOOD, SACRIFICE, SERVICE, HONOR, COURAGE AND INTEGRITY OF OUR SERVING ARMED SERVICES, VETERANS, FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES; AND CRIES OUT FROM THE ALTAR OF FREEDOM WITH THE THREE MOST POWERFUL WORDS ~~ WE THE PEOPLE!

I AM REMINDED OF THE NO GREATER LOVE CREED (CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS KILLED OR MISSING IN ACTION) ~ “…WE BELIEVE THAT THEY AND THE FLAMES THAT BURN IN THEIR MEMORY CALL US TO NOBLER DEEDS TO HELP MAKE GENTLE THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD…”

GEN. BUTLER’S CLOSING COMMENTS: “TO HELL WITH WAR.” AND, AS JFK SAID: “MANKIND MUST PUT AN END TO WAR OR WAR WILL PUT AN END TO MANKIND.”

MY/OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT EXPENDABLE AS WE WERE DURING THE FOLLY OF VIETNAM. IF YOU LOVE YOUR FREEDOM, HUG A VET AND HONOR AND PROTECT THEIR FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE FALLEN!

TREASURE LIFE & SEMPER FIDELIS
DAVID DECHANT MARCH 17, 2008

__________

SO HOW DO WE BEGIN TO EMPOWER OURSELVES? I WAS TRAINED BY SAUL ALINSKY'S EXECUTIVE LEADERSHIP AT THE INDUSTRIAL AREAS FOUNDATION AS A COMMUNITY ORGANIZER SOON AFTER I RETURNED FROM THE WAR IN VIETNAM.

WE CAN USE THESE STRATEGIES AND TACTICS THAT HAVE BEEN REFINED OVER THE LAST 40 YEARS WITH A SPECIAL EMPHASIS ON INSTANT COMMUNICATIONS AND TRANSPARENCY.

DESPITE THE FEAR-BASED SPIN MASTERS THAT SEEK TO INDUCE PESSIMISM, DESPAIR AND HOPELESSNESS, OUR REALITY IS DIFFERENT.

THERE HAS BEEN AND CONTINUES TO BE A SUBSTANTIAL PROGRESS IN THE UNENDING QUEST FOR JUSTICE, FREEDOM AND ACCOUNTABILITY CREATING A FOUNDATION FOR OUR DEMOCRATIC LEGACY TO BE CARRIED FORWARD.

OPPORTUNITIES FOR EDUCATION, MEANINGFUL DEBATE AND ORGANIZING ABOUND. AS HISTORY NOTES, OUR RIGHTS ARE NOT LIKELY TO BE GRANTED BY GROSSLY INCOMPETENT OFFICIALS, OR WON BY SPARCE ACTIONS: PARTICIPATING IN A FEW DEMONSTRATIONS OR PUSHING A LEVER IN THE PERSONALIZED QUADRENNIAL ELECTIONS AND CONVENTIONS DEPICTED AS DEMOCRATIC POLITICS.

OUR CONSTITUTIONAL TASKS REQUIRE DEDICATED DAILY ENGAGEMENTS TO CREATE, AND IN SOME CRITICAL CASES RECREATE THE BASIS FOR A VIABLE DEMOCRATIC CULTURE IN WHICH WE THE PEOPLE PLAYS VITAL ROLES IN DETERMINING NATIONAL ECONOMIC AND FOREIGN POLICY ISSUES FROM WHICH WE HAVE BEEN SYSTEMATICALY EXCLUDED.

CONGRESS, DESPITE THE HONORABLE ACTIONS OF A FEW INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS, IS SIMPLY A "LOBBYIST INDUCED DATE RAPE."

OPPORTUNITIES TO ORGANIZE ARE NUMEROUS; HOWEVER, FAILING TO GRASP THEM WILL PROBABLY HAVE OMINOUS AND IRREVERSABLE REPERCUSSIONS FOR OUR NATION, THE WORLD AND FUTURE GENERATIONS.

TREASURE LIFE & SEMPER FIDELIS.

DAVID DECHANT

Hi
I have been a avid follower of your reporting for twenty five or more years. Mr. Bacevich and you kept me glued to the screen last night. Two other friends saw this program at their homes and we discussed it for an hour. Excellet program and he is totally correct. What can we do about it? Nothing it is too late and human nature does not change.Decline of Rome Part 2

What is even more interesting than the writing of Mr. Bacevich is that it is likely that millions of Americans share his feelings and can identify with his tone. This is even more reason to know the whole picture of our recent past and not the tidy abridgement he offers. The supposition that those leading this country have been blinded or corrupted generation after generation is a possible disservice to the millions who have moved mountains for the US on all fronts. The actions of the many do hurt the few sometimes and that is very regrettable and tragic. However, no action will and does hurt the many and that is more than tragic.

This was a wonderful perspective. The balance of power between the presidency and the other two branches is completely outside of what was considered acceptable by the founders of our government. The "imperial presidency" must be curtailed and the congress and the courts must once again take up their constitutional obligations. Enough is enough.

-Warren
Candidate for U.S. Congress
AZ CD5

WHOSE MILITARY/INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX?

Inca Group "War and Peace"

The Puppet Masters Behind Georgia President Saakashvili
14.08.08
Global Security


The controversy over the Georgian surprise military attacks on South Ossetia and Abkhazia on 8.8.08 makes a closer look at the controversial Georgian President and his puppet masters important. An examination shows 41 year old Mikhail Saakashvili to be a ruthless and corrupt totalitarian who is tied to not only the US NATO establishment, but also to the Israeli military and intelligence establishment. The famous ‘Rose Revolution of November 2003 that forced the ageing Edouard Shevardnadze from power and swept the then 36 year old US university graduate into power was run and financed by the US State Department, the Soros Foundations, and agencies tied to the Pentagon and US intelligence community.

Mihkail Saakashvili was deliberately placed in power in one of the most sophisticated US regime change operations, using ostensibly private NGOs (Non Governmental Organizations) to create an atmosphere of popular protest against the existing regime of former Soviet Foreign Minister Edouard Shevardnadze, who was no longer useful to Washington when he began to make a deal with Moscow over energy pipelines and privatizations.

Saakashvili was brought to power in a US-engineered coup run on the ground by US-funded NGO’s, in an application of a new method of US destabilization of regimes it considered hostile to its foreign policy agenda. The November 24 2003 Wall Street Journal explicitly credited the toppling of Shevardnadze's regime to the operations of "a raft of non-governmental organizations . . . supported by American and other Western foundations." These NGOs, said the Journal, had "spawned a class of young, English-speaking intellectuals hungry for pro-Western reforms" who were instrumental laying the groundwork for a bloodless coup.

Coup by NGO

But there is more. The NGOs were coordinated by the US Ambassador to Georgia, Richard Miles, who had just arrived in Tbilisi fresh from success in orchestrating the CIA-backed toppling of Slobodan Milosevic in Belgrade, using the same NGOs. Miles, who is believed to be an undercover intelligence specialist, supervised the Saakashvili coup.

It involved US billionaire George Soros’ Open Society Georgia Foundation. It involved the Washington-based Freedom House whose chairman was former CIA chief James Woolsey. It involved generous financing from the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy, an agency created by Ronald Reagan in the 1980’s to “do privately what the CIA used to do,” namely coups against regimes the US Government finds unfriendly.

George Soros’ foundations have been forced to leave numerous eastern European countries including Russia as well as China after the 1989 student Tiananmen Square uprising. Soros is also the financier together with the US State Department of the Human Rights Watch, a US-based and run propaganda arm of the entire NGO apparatus of regime coups such as Georgia and Ukraine’s 2004 Orange Revolution. Some analysts believe Soros is a high-level operative of the US State Department or intelligence services using his private foundations as cover.

The US State Department funded the Georgia Liberty Institute headed by Saakashvili, US approved candidate to succeed the no-longer cooperative Shevardnadze. The Liberty Institute in turn created “Kmara!” which translates “Enough!” According to a BBC report at the time, Kmara! Was organized in spring of 2003 when Saakashvili along with hand-picked Georgia student activists were paid by the Soros Foundation to go to Belgrade to learn from the US-financed Otpor activists that toppled Milosevic. They were trained in Gene Sharp’s “non-violence as a method of warfare” by the Belgrade Center for Nonviolent Resistance.

Saakashvili as mafioso President

Once he was in place in January 2004 as Georgia’s new President, Saakashvili proceeded to pack the regime with his cronies and kinsmen. The death of Zurab Zhvania, his prime minister in February, 2005, remains a mystery. The official version—poisoning by faulty gas heater—was adopted by American FBI investigators within two weeks of the killing. That has never seemed credible to those familiar with Georgia’s gangland slayings, crime, and other manifestations of social decay. Zhvania’s death was followed closely by a functionary of the Premier’s apparat, Georgi Khelashvili, who allegedly shot himself the day after his chief’s demise. The head of Zhvania’s research staff was later found dead as well.

Figures allied with Saakashvili reportedly had a hand in the premier’s death. Russian journalist Marina Perevozkina quoted Gia Khurashvili, a Georgian economist. Prior to the fatal incident, Mr. Khurashvili had published an article in Resonans newspaper opposing the privatization and sale of Georgia’s main gas pipeline. Ten days before the prime minister’s body was found, Khurashvili was attacked and his editor-in-chief—citing pressure from ‘security service’ figures he refused to name—issued him a warning.

The late premier’s position on the pipeline issue was believed the direct reason for the murder of Zhvania. Zhvania’s brother, Georgi, also told Perevozkina that not long before Zhvania’s death he received a warning that someone was preparing to kill his brother. Saakashvili was reportedly livid when the US State Department invited Zhvania to Washington to win a Freedom Medal from the US Government’s National Democratic Institute. Saakashvili tolerates no rivals for power it seems.

Saakashvili, who cleverly marketed himself as “anti-corruption,” appointed several of his family members to lucrative posts in government, giving one of his brothers a position as chief adviser on domestic issues to the Baku-Ceyhan Pipeline project, backed by British Petroleum and other oil multinationals.

Since coming to power in 2004 with US aid, Saakashvili has led a policy of mass-scale arrests, imprisonment, torture and deepened corruption. Saakashvili has presided over the creation of a de facto one-party state, with a dummy opposition occupying a tiny portion of seats in the parliament, and this public servant is building a Ceaucescu-style palace for himself on the outskirts of Tbilisi. According to the magazine, Civil Georgia (Mar. 22, 2004) until 2005, the salaries of Saakashvili and many of his ministers were reportedly paid by the NGO network of New York-based currency speculator Soros—along with the United Nations Development Program.

Israel US military train Georgian military

The current military assault on South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in violation of Saakashvili’s pledge to seek a diplomatic not military solution to the territorial disputes, is backed by US and Israeli military “advisers.” Israel’s Haaretz newspaper reported that on August 10, Georgian Minister of Reintegration, Temur Yakobshvili, “praised the Israel Defense Forces for its role in training Georgian troops and said Israel should be proud of its military might, in an interview with Army Radio. ‘Israel should be proud of its military which trained Georgian soldiers,’ Yakobashvili told Army Radio in Hebrew, referring to a private Israeli group Georgia had hired.”

One of the targets of Russian bombs near Tbilisi was, according to IsraelNN.com, “a Georgian military plant in which Israeli experts are upgrading jet fighters for the Georgian military… Russian fighter jets bombed runways inside the plant, located near Tbilisi, where Israeli security firm Elbit is in charge of upgrading Georgian SU-25 jets.”

Israeli Foreign Minister and candidate to succeed ousted Israeli Prime Minister, Olmert, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, proclaimed on August 10 that “Israel recognizes Georgia’s territorial integrity,” code for saying it backs Georgia’s attempt to take South Ossetia and Abkhazia.

The reported 1,000 Israeli military advisers in Georgia were not alone. On July 15, the Reuters news wire carried the following report: “VAZIANI, Georgia - One thousand U.S. troops began a military training exercise called “Immediate Response 2008,” in Georgia on Tuesday against a backdrop of growing friction between Georgia and neighboring Russia. The two-week exercise was taking place at the Vaziani military base near the capital Tbilisi, which was a Russian air force base until Russian forces withdrew at the start of this decade under a European arms reduction agreement... Georgia has a 2,000-strong contingent supporting the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq, and Washington provides training and equipment to the Georgian military. The United States is an ally of Georgia and has irritated Russia by backing Tbilisi’s bid to join the NATO military alliance... “The main purpose of these exercises is to increase the cooperation and partnership between U.S. and Georgian forces,” Brig. Gen. William B. Garrett, commander of the U.S. military’s Southern European Task Force, told reporters.”

With Russia openly backing and training the indigenous military in South Ossetia and Abkhazia to maintain Russian presence in the region, especially since the US-backed pro-NATO Saakashvili regime took power in 2004, the Caucasus is rapidly coming to resemble Spain in the Civil War from 1936-1939 where the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany and others poured money and weapons and volunteers into Spain in a devastating war that was a precursor to the Second World War.

In a curious footnote to the actual launch of military fighting on the opening day of the Olympics when Putin, George W. Bush and many world leaders were in Beijing far away, is a report in IsraelNN.com by Gl Ronen, stating that “The Georgian move against South Ossetia was motivated by political considerations having to do with Israel and Iran, according to Nfc. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili decided to assert control over the breakaway region in order to force Israel to reconsider its decision to cut back its support for Georgia's military.”

Ronen added, “Russian and Georgian media reported several days ago that Israel decided to stop its support for Georgia after Moscow made it clear to Jerusalem and Washington that Russia would respond to continued aid for Georgia by selling advanced anti-aircraft systems to Syria and Iran.” Israel plans to get oil and gas from the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline from the Caspian.

Although as of this writing Russian President Medvedev has announced Russia is halting its military response against Georgian targets, the situation is anything but stable. The insistence of Washington in bringing Georgia into its geopolitical sphere and backing an unstable regime around Mikhail Saakashvili may well have been the straw which broke the Russian camel’s patience if not his back.

Whether oil pipeline disputes or Russian challenges to Israel are the proximate trigger for Saakashvili’s dangerous game, it is clear that the volatile Georgian and his puppet masters may have entered a game where no one will be able to control the outcome.

* F. William Engdahl is author of A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order (Pluto Press) and Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation (www.globalresearch.ca). He may be reached through his website, www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net.



Source: by F. William Engdahl Posted by: Фыва

ANDREW BACEVICH

GREETINGS SIR. I SERVED IN VIETNAM WITH THE MARINES AS A COMBAT INTELLIGENCE NCO FOR TWO BATTALIONS (66 -67)...WELCOME HOME.

I DEEPEST SYMPATHIES FOR THE LOSS OF YOUR SON LAST YEAR.

I FULLY CONCUR WITH YOUR INTERVIEW RECENTLY WITH BILL MOYERS; AND WANT TO SHARE MY PRESENTATION I MADE EARLIER THIS SPRING AT A LOCAL COLLEGE IN MARYLAND FOR THE GREAT DECISIONS FORUM SPONSORED BY THE FOREIGN POLICY ASSOCIATION.

WE THE PEOPLE ~THE BEST & BRIGHTEST

OUR CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS: THE BATTLE FOR PEACE

WE ARE IN THE MIDST OF AN UNPRECEDENTED CONSTITUTIONAL CRISIS WITH VAST IMPLICATIONS FOR THE UNITED STATES, OUR DIMINISHING DEMOCRACY AND THE WORLD THAT DEMANDS, WHAT NATIVE AMERICANS CALL “SEVENTH GENERATION” THINKING.

THE 9/11 ATTACK AND SUBSEQUENT POLITICAL AND MILITARY ACTIONS CLEARLY DEMONSTRATE THE MYOPIC CONSTRAINTS OF OUR NATIONAL SECURITY THINKING AND INFRASTRUCTURES THAT RESULTED IN THE REACTIVE ATTACKS AGAINST THE TRUE BELIEVERS OF AL-QAEDA IN AFGHANISTAN; THE “NOT-SO” CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER, RESULTING IN THE OVERTHROW OF LATE THUG SADDAM HUSSEIN AND HIS NON-EXISTENT WMD; AND THE CATISTROPHIC FIASCO OF THE WAR IN IRAQ.

AS TERRORISM AND THE DESTRUCTIVE FOLLY OF THIS ILL-CONCEIVED AND SO-CALLED PRE-EMPTIVE WAR LOOMS OVER THE REGION, SLAUGHTERS OUR BEST AND BRIGHTEST MILITARY PERSONNEL AND INNOCENT IRAQIS, AND IRREPEARABLY TRAUMATIZES THEIR FAMILIES, THE CRISIS INTENSIFIES.

IT IS THE DEBATE AND OWNERSHIP OF THE “SOUL OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY”...AND WHO PAYS! CLEARLY, THE U.S. IS THE SOLE SUPERPOWER WITH AN OBLIGATION TO IMPROVE THE LOT OF HUMANITY, AND IS STRUGGLING WITH THESE GREAT VERSUS AMONG OTHERS:

• PROGESSIVE WORLD LEADERSHIP ~ EMPIRE BUILDING
• WAR PROFITS ~ PEACE DIVIDENDS
• SCARCITY ~ ABUNDANCE CAPITALISM
• POVERTY ~ SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
• DECLARATION OF WAR ~ CONGRESS VS WHITE HOUSE
• FOLLY POLICY ~ DIPLOMACY: FOREIGN POLICY BASED ON INTERNATIONAL LAWS AND TREATIES VS
UNILATERAL & PREMPTIVE USE OF MILITARY FORCE
• BILL OF RIGHTS ~ UNCONSTITUTIONAL LAWS

IN JAN ’08, THE CENTER OF PUBLIC INTEGRITY PRESENTED THE RESULTS OF ITS RECENT 2.5 YEAR STUDY ENTITLED:

"FALSE PRETENSES" ~~

FOLLOWING 9/11, PRESIDENT BUSH AND SEVEN TOP OFFICIALS OF HIS ADMINISTRATION WAGED A CAREFULLY ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN OF MISINFORMATION ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY SADDAM'S IRAQ. BUSH, CHENEY, RICE, RUMSFELD, WOLFOWITZ AND OTHERS, MADE OVER 900 FALSE STATEMENTS IN THE TWO YEARS ABOUT THE THREAT POSED BY SADDAM FOLLOWING OSAMA’S ATTACK. THE RECORD SHOWS THAT THE STATEMENTS WERE AN ORCHESTRATED CAMPAIGN THAT VERY EFFECTIVELY GALVANIZED PUBLIC OPINION AND, IN THE PROCESS, LED OUR NATION TO WAR.

IT IS NOW BEYOND DISPUTE THAT IRAQ DID NOT POSSESS ANY WMD OR HAVE MEANINGFUL TIES TO AL QAEDA. THIS WAS THE CONCLUSION OF NUMEROUS BIPARTISAN INVESTIGATIONS, INCLUDING THOSE BY THE SENATE SELECT COMMITTEE ON INTELLIGENCE, THE 9/11 COMMISSION, AND THE MULTINATIONAL IRAQ SURVEY GROUP ESTABLISHED THAT SADDAM HAD TERMINATED HIS NUCLEAR PROGRAM IN 1991 AND MADE LITTLE EFFORT TO RESTART IT.

IN SHORT, THESE OFFICIALS LED US TO WAR BASED ON FALSE INFORMATION THAT THEY METHODICALLY PROPAGATED. NOT SURPRISINGLY, THOSE WITH THE MOST OPPORTUNITIES TO MAKE SPEECHES, GRANT INTERVIEWS, AND OTHERWISE FRAME THE PUBLIC DEBATE, ALSO MADE THE MOST FALSE STATEMENTS.

GROWING NUMBER OF CRITICS, INCLUDING A PARADE OF FORMER OFFICIALS AND MILITARY OFFICERS, HAVE PUBLICLY, AND IN SOME CASES VEHEMENTLY, ACCUSED BUSH AND HIS INNER CIRCLE OF IGNORING OR DISTORTING THE GROUND TRUTH OF AVAILABLE INTELLIGENCE. THEY HAVE SO FAR LARGELY AVOIDED THE HARSH, SUSTAINED SPOTLIGHT OF ON-GOING, FORMAL SCRUTINY ABOUT THEIR PERSONAL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE LITANY OF REPEATED, FALSE STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS.

WHY HAVE THERE BEEN NO CONGRESSIONAL INVESTIGATIONS AS THE FULBRIGHT HEARINGS ‘68. WHAT HAPPENED TO THE INVESTIGATIVE HEARINGS THAT WERE CALLED FOR IN 2005 BY SEN. CHUCK HAGEL?

CONGRESSIONAL OVERSIGHT HAS FOCUSED ALMOST ENTIRELY ON THE QUALITY OF THE PRE-WAR INTELLIGENCE, NOT THE PLANNING, JUDGMENT, PUBLIC STATEMENTS AND DECISIONS, OR PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY OF ITS HIGHEST OFFICIALS. CONGRESS CONTINUES TO BE PARTY TO THE FALSE CONSENSUS ABOUT IRAQ.

RISE IN U.S. MILITANCY:

ACCORDING TO GEN. SMEDELY BUTLER, USMC, TWO MOH, "WAR IS A RACKET!"

EVEN OUR MILITARY WAS STRUGGLING WITH IT OWN GREAT VERSUS ABOUT STRATEGIES AND BUDGETS: COLD WAR AND M.A.D., VS FUTURISTIC WEAPONRY, COUNTERINSURGENCY, AND HUMANITARIAN MISSIONS...TROOPS ON THE GROUND VS MILITARY CAPITAL!

HOWEVER, THE JUSTIFICATION OF WAR ON TERRORISM, AND THE INVASION ENDED THIS DEBATE WITH BOTH CAMPS WINNING. THE FLOW OF HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF WAR FIGHTING FUNDS INTO THE COFFERS OF THE PENTAGON AND PRIVATE CONTRACTERS CONTINUES...

ON SEPT. 12, ‘01, FOREIGN POLICY MAGAZINE HAD LONG PLANNED A ROUNDTABLE DISCUSSION WITH FOUR OF OUR MOST DISTINGUISHED RETIRED MILITARY LEADERS WITH OVER 100 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE TO ADDRESS NUMEROUS ISSUES WITHIN THE DOD, INCLUDING OBSTACLES TO REFORM, TECHNOPHOBIA AND THE AMOUNTS OF WASTE IN THE DEFENSE BUDGET. QUOTING TWO ~

GEN. BOYD (USAF): “…IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE EXCESSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT REMAINS IN PLACE [FROM THE COLD WAR] FOR POLITICAL, NOT MILITARY REASONS, THEN YOU COULD CUT COSTS SIGNIFICANTLY AND UNDOUBTEDLY INCREASE CAPABILITY. ALTHOUGH IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO QUANTIFY, IT SEEMS TO ME THAT THE NATION SPENDS $300 BILLION ON DEFENSE AND MAYBE GETS $200 OR 225 BILLION WORTH OF CAPABILITY.”

ADM. OWENS (USN): “…I’D HESITATE TO USE THE WORD WASTE, BUT I BELIEVE THAT THE NUMBER OF $100 BILLION OF GROSS INEFFICIENCY IS ADEQUATELY STATED.”

WHAT ARE THE DRIVING FORCES BEHIND THE ADMINISTRATION’S STRATEGY OF PREEMPTION AND REGIME CHANGE? I SUGGEST THE FOLLOWING ARGUMENTS:

1. UNSTRUCTURED DIPLOMACY IN THE MIDDLE EAST.
2. INTERESTS OF EMPIRE ARE BETTER SUITED BY FORMENTING TENSIONS, THE THREAT OF WAR OR WAR ITSELF RATHER THAN PROMOTING PEACE, PROSPERITY AND STABLE MARKETS.

IKE’S WARNINGS AGAINST THE DANGERS OF THE MILITARY – INDUSTRIAL – POLITICAL COMPLEX AND ITS INTRINSIC TENDENCY TOWARDS WAR AND MILITARISM ECHOS HERE.
3. THE GREAT GAME OF THE 19TH CENTURY CONTINUES OVER RESOURCES IN THE REGION INCLUDING OIL AND WATER AND NOW NUCLEAR PROFILERATION & WMD.
4. DISTRACT THE CRITICAL DEBATES ABOUT URGENT DOMESTIC ISSUES BY FRIGHTENING AMERICAN CITIZENS 24/7.
5. HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF WAR PROFITS EARNED BY MEMBERS OF THE COMPLEX, OIL COMPANIES, THE SAUDIS AND OTHER OPEC MEMBERS. SEN. MCCAIN NOTED EARLY IN THE WAR ~ AMERICANS SHOULD BE OUTRAGED AT THE WAR PROFITEERING.

THE CRITICISMS ARE NUMEROUS WITH ARGUEABLE MERIT, AND COME FROM ALL COMPONENTS OF THE POLITICAL SPECTRUM HERE AND ABROAD; AND INDEPENDENT MEDIA.

WE MUST GO BEYOND THE VILLIANS, VICTIMS AND HEROES…TO INTENSIVE, COMPREHENSIVE, OPEN DEBATES ABOUT THESE CRITICAL ISSUES OF OUR INTERNATIONAL SECURITY, HUMAN RIGHTS, SUSTAINABLE DEFENSE AND FOREIGN POLICY OBJECTIVES, AND HOW BEST TO COUNTERATTACK TERRORISM AND ELIMINATE ITS UNDERLYING ROOTS AND HATEFUL TRUE BELIEVERS.

WE MUST INSURE THAT PRIVILEGED GROUPS, LAP DOG POLITICAL PUNDITS, SO-CALLED EXPERTS AND GROSSLY INCOMPETENT OFFICIALS WHO SUPPORTED BUSH’S DECEPTIVE DIATRIBE, “YOU ARE WITH US OR YOU ARE WITH THE TERRORISTS,” WILL NOT RESPRESS OUR DEBATES AND DISSENT IN THE HALLS OF CONGRESS (EXTREMELY DOUBTFUL), MAINSTREAM MEDIA, TOWN HALLS AND OTHER NATIONAL FORUMS.

WE MUST DEEPLY UNDERSTAND THE TRUE NATURE OF THE THREATS, THE REQUIRED MEASURED AND SUSTAINABLE RESPONSES, THAT WILL EITHER AFFIRM OR ELIMINATE THE ASSUMPTIONS AND FOUNDATIONS OF U.S. FOREIGN POLICY.

THIS WAS RECENTLY WELL-DOCUMENTED BY BILL MOYER’S OUTSTANDING PBS SPECIAL ~ BUYING THE WAR. OTHERS INCLUDE IRAQ FOR SALE ~ WAR PROFITEERS, WAR IS SELL AND DOZENS OF INDEPENDENT DOCUMENTARIES.

I STRONGLY URGE EVERYONE TO SEE THEM SEVERAL TIMES AND MAKE YOUR OWN INDEPENDENT CONCLUSIONS AND SUBSEQUENT ACTS OF RESPONSIBILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY.

AS CITIZENS OF A DEMOCRACY, WE MUST, REPEAT MUST DEMAND ALL OF THE FACTS (INTELLIGENCE AND PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE) TO UNDERSTAND FULLY THE ENORMOUS CHALLENGES BEFORE US.

WE MUST RETHINK OUR POLITICAL AND MORAL RELATIONS, PASSIONATELY REFLECTING ON AND CHANGING OUR VALUES AND ALLEGIANCES THAT HAVE HAD AND CONTINUE TO HAVE BRUTAL EFFECTS ON OUR FELLOW HUMANS ~ WITH WAR BEING THE ULTIMATE INSTRUMENT OF DEATH AND DESTRUCTION.

WE MUST STRONGLY INFLUENCE OUR FOREIGN POLICY DEBATES AND DECISIONS THAT HAVE A PROFOUND IMPACT ON HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF MEN, WOMEN, AND CHILDREN.

WE ARE THE BEST AND BRIGHTEST AND ARE ULTIMATELY RESPONSIBLE FOR THOSE DECISIONS. WE MUST INSTRUCT OUR GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEES ABOUT THE GREAT TRUTHS FOR SOLVING OUR LARGEST AND MOST DANGEROUS PROBLEMS.

ACCORDING TO TOM PAINE, “WE HAVE IT IN OUR POWER TO BEGIN [OUR] WORLD AGAIN”. IF THOSE IN HIGH OFFICE ARE UNWILLING OR UNABLE TO PROACT IN THE INTERESTS OF OUR WORLD AND HUMANKIND THEY PROFESS TO BENEFIT, IT IS ALSO COMMON SENSE TO HAVE THEM RECALLED AND SEVERELY SANCTIONED AS APPROPRIATE.

THIS HANDFUL OF MEN AND WOMEN REPRESENTING MYOPIC SELF-INTERESTS MUST BE PREVENTED FROM USURPING CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES, ACCOUNTABILITY, AND AGGRANDIZEING THEIR INEPTLY PLANNED AND GROSSLY FAILED POLICIES WITH PROPAGANDA, SPIN, FALSE INTELLIGENCE AND PRETENSES.

THIS DYNAMIC STRUGGLE IS ABOUT OUR CORE BELIEFS AND IDEAS OF OUR STRUGGLING DEMOCRACY, ITS VISION AND THE UNDERLYING HUMANITARIAN VALUES INHERENT IN OUR CONSTITUTION, DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND INTERNATIONAL TREATIES THAT INSPIRE US TO TAKE ACTIONS FOR OUR WORLD...WHEN WE CHOOSE.

GANDHI’S DEFINITION OF PATROTISM SEEMS VERY APPROPRIATE:

“MY PATROTISM IS NOT AN EXCLUSIVE THING. IT IS ALL EMBRACING AND I SHOULD REJECT THAT PATROTISM WHICH SOUGHT TO MOUNT UPON THE DISTRESS OF THE EXPLOITATION OF OTHER NATIONALITIES. THE CONCEPT OF MY PATROTISM IS NOTHING IF IT NOT ALWAYS, IN EVERY CASE, WITHOUT EXCEPTION, CONSISTENT WITH THE BROADEST GOOD OF HUMANITY AT LARGE.”

CONCLUSION:

THE WORLD IS INDEED STARVING FOR SUCCESSFUL AND SUSTAINABLE POLITICAL, ECONOMICAL, DIPLOMATIC MODELS THAT GUARANTEE THE DIGNITY AND WELL-BEING OF ALL HUMAN BEINGS, ESPECIALLY FOR OUR CHILDREN.

ACCORDING TO USMC GEN. ANTHONY ZINNI (BATTLE FOR PEACE), OFFICIALS MUST BE MADE TO DEAL WITH CURRENT AND FUTURE THREATS BY STRATEGICALLY REORGANIZING OUR OUTDATED NATIONAL SECURITY INFRASTRUCTURES TO BETTER INTEGRATE THE ELEMENTS OF POWER NEEDED TO DEAL WITH THEM. ALSO, GEN. POWELL’S “STRATEGY OF PARTNERSHIPS” OFFERS CREDIBLE AND SUSTAINABLE MODELS. THERE ARE DOZENS TO CHOOSE FROM HERE AND ABROAD.

WE MUST CHOOSE TO BE A PROGRESSIVE WORLD LEADER, WITH OUR MILITARY, ESPECIALLY SPECIAL OPERATIONS BEING RECAST INTO ITS ESSENTIALLY SUPPORTING DEFENSIVE ROLE AS A COMPLEMENT AND BACKUP FOR THE OTHER VITAL COMPONENTS OF OUR SECURITY STRATEGY AND PUBLIC DIPLOMACY. THEY MUST DEAL WITH INTERNATIONAL PERCEPTIONS, GROUND TRUTHS, AND POLITICAL VIEWS OF OUR POLICIES AND MILITARY ACTIONS, AND EXPLORE AND IMPLEMENT THREAT REDUCTION USING ALL OF THESE COMPONENTS.

OUR CHOICE TO EXERT OUR PRESTIGE AND POWER TO INSURE PROGRESS TOWARD GREATER STABILITY, UNDERSTANDING, TOLERANCE, PROSPERITY AND ABUNDANCE FOR ALL PEOPLES FOR SEVEN GENERATIONS AND BEYOND WILL BE THE CONSTANT STRUGGLE TO DEVELOP SYSTEMS, MEASURES, PROGRAMS AND INSTITUTIONS THAT WILL PREVENT CRISIS.

SADAT NOTED BEFORE GOING TO ISRAEL TO WAGE PEACE ~ “TO EVERY MAN ON THIS LAND WHO HAS SACRIFICED HIMSELF, TO EVERY WOMAN WHO HAS GIVEN HER SON FOR THE BATTLE, AND TO EVERY YOUTH, I SAY THIS: WE WILL NOT ALLOW ANY SINGLE ONE OF YOU TO BE HURT SO LONG AS WE CAN MAKE PEACE. WE WILL DESTROY THE IDOLS OF FEAR AND WE WILL BE VICTORIOUS OVER THE ENEMIES OF LIFE.” AND, I ADD: AND THE MERCHANTS OF DEATH!

U.S. MILITARY PERSONNEL AND VETERANS ARE SWORN AND TRAINED TO PROTECT OUR CONSTITUTION AND NATION FROM ALL ENEMIES FOREIGN AND DOMESTIC WITH THE MORAL COURAGE TO FACE SACRIFICE AND DEATH ABROAD. IN ADDITION, ACCORDING TO FORMER SEN. ROBERT KERRY (MOH), ANSWER THE “CALL OF A CERTAIN DUTY, TO BRAVE CONVENTIONAL WISDOM AT HOME.”

THIS PROFOUND PROPOSITION IS BOUND UP IN BLOOD, SACRIFICE, SERVICE, HONOR, COURAGE AND INTEGRITY OF OUR SERVING ARMED SERVICES, VETERANS, FIRST RESPONDERS AND THEIR FAMILIES; AND CRIES OUT FROM THE ALTAR OF FREEDOM WITH THE THREE MOST POWERFUL WORDS ~~ WE THE PEOPLE!

I AM REMINDED OF THE NO GREATER LOVE CREED (CHILDREN OF VIETNAM VETERANS KILLED OR MISSING IN ACTION) ~ “…WE BELIEVE THAT THEY AND THE FLAMES THAT BURN IN THEIR MEMORY CALL US TO NOBLER DEEDS TO HELP MAKE GENTLE THE LIFE OF THIS WORLD…”

GEN. BUTLER’S CLOSING COMMENTS: “TO HELL WITH WAR.” AND, AS JFK SAID: “MANKIND MUST PUT AN END TO WAR OR WAR WILL PUT AN END TO MANKIND.”

MY/OUR CHILDREN ARE NOT EXPENDABLE AS WE WERE DURING THE FOLLY OF VIETNAM. IF YOU LOVE YOUR FREEDOM, HUG A VET AND HONOR AND PROTECT THEIR FAMILIES, ESPECIALLY THOSE OF THE FALLEN!

TREASURE LIFE & SEMPER FIDELIS
DAVID DECHANT MARCH 17, 2008

Mobilizing for Modern War
The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1865–1919
Paul A. C. Koistinen
496 pages, 6 x 9
Modern War Studies
Cloth ISBN 978-0-7006-0860-7, $45.00

Although the military-industrial complex became familiar to most Americans during the Cold War, Paul Koistinen shows that its origins actually go back to the dawn of this century. Mobilizing for Modern War, the second of an extraordinary five-volume study on the political economy of American warfare, highlights the emergence of this pivotal relationship. In this volume, Koistinen examines war planning and mobilizing in an era of rapid industrialization and reveals how economic mobilization for defense and war is shaped at the national level by the interaction of political, economic, and military institutions and by increasingly powerful and expensive weaponry.

Covering the Gilded Age and Progressive Era through the Spanish-American War and World War I, Mobilizing for Modern War shows how a partnership evolved between government and business to prepare for and conduct modern warfare. Koistinen traces the origins of the military-industrial complex to the emergence of a modern navy at the turn of the century, when building a new fleet of steel, armor, and ordnance required a production team of political leaders, naval officers, and businessmen. A similar team was brought together again between 1915 and 1918 as the War Industries Board to mobilize the economy for World War I, and it became the model for subsequent industrial mobilization planning.

Koistinen shows how mobilizing for World War I left an indelible imprint on twentieth-century life. By accelerating the emerging Progressive political economy, it strengthened the cooperative planning ethic within business and government and introduced the concept of industrial preparedness, carried out largely under military leadership.

"With this volume, Koistinen hits his stride in conveying his mastery of the history of the political economy of American warfare and military institutions. His work will long remain the principal authoritative study of American economic mobilization for World War I and its long-run impact and implications."--Russell F. Weigley, author of The American Way of War

"A real tour de force. Based on prodigious research, this book provides a thorough and insightful account of the material basis for the United States military in one of the most important periods in American history."--John Whiteclay Chambers II, author of To Raise an Army

"This fascinating analysis of the political economy of warfare in the United States during the Gilded Age, the Progressive Era, and World War I is a major contribution to our understanding of the forces that have shaped American society. It is part of a monumental study of the origins and development of the military-industrial complex. For military historians, economic historians, and scholars of United States history, the notes alone are worth the price of the book."--Ronald Schaffer, author of America in the Great War

"A most impressive book. I am awed by Koistinen's grand design and outstanding research. When completed, this series will be one of the most distinguished feats of scholarship of our time."--Edward M. Coffman, author of The War to End All Wars

PAUL A. C. KOISTINEN is professor of history at California State University–Northridge. His other books include Beating Plowshares into Swords: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1606-1865; Planning War, Pursuing Peace: The Political Economy of American Warfare, 1920-1939; and The Military–Industrial Complex.

http://www.kansaspress.ku.edu/koimob.html

The Bacevich interview, both content and style, was extraordinary. To see so many positive responses on this blog is heartening.

Mr. Bacevich's is very thought provoking. As always PBS thank you for giving Mr Moyer's a plateform to recieve and interview such distiguished guest.

I watched this Bill Moyers show tonight instead of 60 minutes and I was glad I did. Prof.Bacevich is a tragic figure,having lost his son in a war he obviously does not believe in or support.
He speaks of the imperial presidency with conviction and perception. It is a concept long believed in by many scholars and many average Americans.It was linked to the military industrial complex by a
republican president and General of the Army,Dwight Eisenhower. He told us the truth during the Cold War with global communism,ended the Korean War,refused to rush into Indochina to bail out the French and started no new wars as president.He spied on the Russians but avoided direct confrontation with them over Suez.He was not an imperialist,not a warmonger,not a privitizer, and raised no private or professional armies for anything.He knew of war,spoke face to face with those youngest about to die for those oldest amongst us.He brushed up against them,faced them,warmed them and loved them, as a soldier, a father and a patriot.And the American people never forget that. "I Like Ike" was an understatement if ever there was one.
He clearly saw the tide turning away from the intentions of the Founding Fathers in order to meet the challenge of radicalism exploding in the names of Marx,Lenin,Mao,Stalin and Ho Chi Minh.
He knew we had to give up some freedom to hold on to some,and advanced the cause of freedom for millions of black Americans fighting for equality and justice.He would not fight despotism abroad and knuckle under to it at home.America was a civilized nation in the fifties and reacted morally to the fascists in miss.and Alabama and Arkansas.Eisenhower remembered all the faces on the beaches of normandy,not just the white ones.And he remembered why our sons were dying
there, not for foreign oil,not for cheap goods from China,not for the dollars of lobbyists.
Americans would not die for those causes in the 1940's or the 1950's.And in the 1960's, those who would have to die rebelled against an unjust foreign war in Vietnam,the same war Ike rebuked.
But then we got JFK,who said we would "bear any burden and pay any price" for American security world-wide.Not in the Western hemisphere alone, as in Cuba,but in Vietnam,too.And all that followed brought us to where we are today.Lost in the wilderness of foreign conquest and occupation the likes of which we haven't had since the days of European imperialism in Africa,
asia and the middle East.Americans acting like Belgians in the "Belgian" Congo.And a president acting like Hirohito attacking Hawaii.Pearl Harbor was 'shock and awe" at its best and served only to end the imperial Japanese dynasty forever.The only shock and awe Japanese want these days is from ever increasing bank deposits while bankrupt Americans continue to pay for their defense.
How right Prof. Bacevich is to say pre-emptive war doesn't work,nor does a "global war on terror" designed to frighten Americans into accepting the end of all their freedoms and all their morality, as well as their economic future and their childrens and grandchildrens. We now face the choice of saving the imperial presidency or saving ourselves. Will we have the end of global warming,dependency on foreign oil,rampant consumption paired with ballooning debt,endless foreign wars,insane military spending coupled with inadequate and failed armies of war, or will we have the end of ourselves?

How can we believe in military budgets that produce armies too small to win, a "surge" based on cash bribes to victorious insurgents,weapons that cost billions and end up with soldiers in pieces all over the highway?
When will we choose the rational over the fantastic? Time is running out.And that's the truth,the whole truth and nothing but the truth.Time is not on our side.

Eisenhower's warning about the military/industrial complex, just before he left office, was way too little, way too late. To wit:

The War Industries Board (WIB) was a United States government agency established on July 28, 1917, during World War I, and reorganized in 1918 under the leadership of Bernard M. Baruch. The organization encouraged companies to use mass-production techniques to increase efficiency and urged them to eliminate waste by standardizing products. The WIB set production quotas and allocated raw materials. It also conducted psychological testing to help people find the right jobs.

The WIB also dealt with labor-management disputes resulting from increased demand for products during World War I. The government could not negotiate prices and could not handle worker strikes, so the WIB regulated the two to decrease tensions by stopping strikes with wage increases to prevent a shortage of supplies going to the war in Europe.

Under the WIB industrial production in the U.S. increased 20 percent. As a result, retail prices soared, almost doubling between 1914 and 1918. The War Industries Board was decommissioned by an executive order on January 1, 1919.

With the war mobilization conducted under the supervision of the WIB, unprecedented fortunes fell upon war producers and certain holders of raw materials and patents. Hearings in 1934 by the committee of U.S. Senator Gerald Nye held war profiteers to account, including Remington Arms Company and the British Vickers Company, whose salesmen had manipulated many nations into wars, and then supplied all sides with the weapons to fight them.


[edit] Members of the War Industries Board
Clarence Dillon owned a majority share of Dillon, Read & Co., an investment banking powerhouse that ranked alongside J.P. Morgan & Company and Kuhn, Loeb & Co.. During World War I, WIB chairman Bernard Baruch asked Dillon to be assistant chairman of the WIB. Dillon was also director of American Foreign Securities Corporation, which he had set up in 1915 to finance the French Government’s purchases of munitions in the United States. Clarence Dillon is the father of C. Douglas Dillon who was director at U.S. & Foreign Securities 1937-63, chairman Dillon Read 1946-53, Ambassador to France 1953-57, under Sec. State 1958-60, helped Bechtel Corporation obtain Arabian contracts (Bechtel later bought out his family firm, Dillon Read), Secretary of Treasury 1960-65, Brookings Institution president 1960-1961, Hoover Institution trustee, Heritage Foundation trustee. His daughter is Princess Joan of Luxembourg, who married into family who are direct descendants of William of Orange who chartered the Bank of England.
Robert S. Brookings was appointed to the WIB by President Woodrow Wilson in 1917. Brookings was later named chairman of its Price Fixing Committee of the WIB. In this role, he was the liaison between the U.S. government and many different industries. A St. Louis merchant and head of the Cupples Co. which revolutionized the distribution of goods from railway stations, Brookings founded the Brookings Institution. An original trustee of Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Brookings set up the Brookings Garduate School of Economics, which merged with the Institute of Government Research and the Institute of Economics in 1927 to form the present Brookings Institution. It is listed as "not a membership organization", whose goal is "to set national priorities", in short, to make government policy, which it does. It rode into power with Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, hardly a surprising development, since its incorporator, Frederic A. Delano, was FDR’s uncle. The Brookings Institution has always been the forum of the world’s most powerful financiers.
Samuel P. Bush, father of Prescott Bush, grandfather of George Herbert Walker Bush (another Bonesman) and great-grandfather of George Walker Bush (another Bonesman), became chief of the Ordnance, Small Arms and Ammunition Section of the WIB in spring 1918, taking national responsibility for government assistance to and relations with weapon companies, including Remington Arms Company, run by Skull and Bones member Percy Avery Rockefeller. This was an unusual appointment, as Bush seemed to have no background in munitions, having been in the railroad business supplying equipment to the Wall Street-owned railroad systems, including railroads controlled by E. H. Harriman. Later in 1918 Bush became director of the Facilities Division of the WIB. Before joining the WIB, Bush had been General Manager of Buckeye Steel Castings, the makers of railcar parts, which was run by Frank Rockefeller, the brother of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller. Samuel Bush's wartime business relationships would continue after the war, and it's believed these relationships would especially aid his son Prescott Bush's career of service to Brown Brothers Harriman & Co..
Robert S. Lovett, President of Union Pacific Railroad, chief counsel to E.H. Harriman and executor of his will, was in charge of national production and purchase "priorities" for the WIB. Interesting here, because E.H. Harriman had gained control of the Union Pacific Railroad in 1898 with credit arranged by William Rockefeller, Percy's father, and by Kuhn, Loeb & Co.'s British-affiliated private bankers, Otto Kahn, Jacob Schiff, and Felix Warburg. And even more interesting, because Robert A. Lovett son of Robert S. Lovett and a close friend of Prescott Bush became a partner in Brown Brothers Harriman, with other partners including W. Averell Harriman (another Bonesman and son of E. H. Harriman), his brother E. Roland Harriman (another Bonesman) and Prescott Bush (another Bonesman). Robert A. Lovett would later serve as Assistant Secretary for Air during World War 2, Under Secretary Of State 1947-1949, Rockefeller Foundation trustee 1949-1961, Deputy Secretary of Defense 1950-1951 and Secretary of Defense 1951-1953.
Eugene Meyer was a Special Advisor to the War Industries Board on Non-Ferrous Metals (gold, silver, etc.) In 1915 he had entered a partnership with Bernard Baruch in the Alaska-Juneau Gold Mining Company. Meyer was Special Assistant to the Secretary of War on aircraft production. In 1917 he was appointed to the National Committee on War Savings, and was made Chairman of the War Finance Corporation from 1918-1926. He then was appointed chairman of the Federal Farm Loan Board from 1927-29. He served as Federal Reserve System chairman from 1930 to 1933. Meyer must have been a man of exceptional ability to hold so many important posts. However, there were some Senators who did not believe he should hold any government office, because of his family background as an international gold dealer and his mysterious operations in billions of dollars of government securities in the First World War. In 1933 he bought the Washington Post. After World War II, Harry Truman named Meyer, then 70 years old, to be the first head of the World Bank in June 1946. He was the father of publisher Katharine Graham.
Edward Stettinius, Sr. served on the WIB during the First World War. A native of St. Louis, he had been active in many business enterprises, he became president of the Diamond Match Company (1909-1915), a partner in the banking house of J.P. Morgan & Co.. His son Edward Stettinius, Jr. was head of the Lend-lease aid to the Allies, Undersecretary of State in 1943, and Secretary of State 1944-1945. In addition, junior Stettinius was chairman of the US delegation to the United Nations Conference on International Organization, which was instrumental in the formation of the United Nations in 1945.
Walter D. Stewart served on the War Industries Board in 1918. He also served on the Federal Reserve Board from 1922-25, and then joined the law firm of Case, Pomery, a Rockefeller firm. He was economic adviser to the Bank of England 1928-30, Special Adviser to Bank for International Settlements 1931, Rockefeller Foundation trustee 1939-50, Presidential Council of Economic Advisors for Eisenhower 1953-56, and later president of the Institute for Advanced Study.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_Industries_Board

Well I live in brooklyn NY, I keep telling my fellow American Citizens that they are slowly but steadily moving towards an Oligarchy and that they are not concerned whatsoever. My observations are that somewhere as Prof Bacevich points out starting after the Eisenhower Administration, society in the U.S. had started to go into a coma and now it is heavily comatose.
The solutions to Americas malaise lie with a wholesale change of Congresssman/Senators/City Councilman/Satate senators and every other elected position. People have to feel that they have had enough one party or the others incumbent and just change everyone of them and give everyone a very short leash i.e hold them accountable every 2/4/6 years and not just allow them to get re-elected again and again.
Don't expect Presidents to change anything they will continue to be Imperialists until we the People challenge the status quo...

The problems with the presidency lies with the State Department and lobbyists. Same people advising our presidents year after year. A Clinton adviser becomes a Bush adviser and so forth. Who said the State Department should be a lifelong job? Those lobbyists? Hasn't anyone come to the conclusion that the State Department has a bent for certain groups? What better example is there when John McCain has Randy Scheunemann as a foreign policy adviser. Just where are Randy's loyalties? Who is benefiting from our disfunctional government? Why doesn't Bill Moyers ask these pointed questions?

I really enjoyed the interview with Mr.Bacevich. He articulated many of the things that I feel about the United States. It is hard to think of ways to fix these problems. I suppose that is our challenge. I have been trying to make changes that would support my views but it is hard. I never could understand why we can't produce everything we need here in this country. I always try to by things made in the US. I don't know if that helps but I like the idea of being able to survive on what we have here.

When your Presidents, Congress & Highest Court have been bought and paid for by the Richest criminals in Industry, you got to realise it is not the instutions which changed it is WHO/WHAT they serve.
When they decide public policy with only the benefits to Corps and Foreign investors, things tend to move away from anything remotely akin to a Democracy for the Masses.
It is not the presidency's Imperialism, it is Corps and their foreign sponsors who have been granted citizens Constitutional Rights and complete control over National agendas.
W., just like most his predecessors,is nothing more than a 'Dept Head' of this division of their operation.
Until we finally realize that such things as Defense, Commerce/Economy, Food, healthcare and education are the reason mankind Developed gov't and should not be enterprises, we will never be 'Energy Independent'Or Free

One of many examples from the George W. Bush Administration is highlighted below:

On August 17, 2006 a Federal judge ruled that the government's warrantless wiretapping program is unconstitutional and ordered an immediate halt to it. The judge, U.S. District Judge Anna Diggs Taylor in Detroit, ruled that the National Security Agency’s program violates the rights to free speech and privacy as well as the separation of powers enshrined in the Constitution.

Exacerbating these usurpations of power by the executive branch of government is the unfortunate demise of a truly independent free press. In a modern first world democracy, the function of the vaunted Fourth Estate (the press) is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. American history is replete with examples of genuine muckraker reporting that exerted a restraining influence upon otherwise unbridled corporate greed and abuse. The population was at least minimally protected by the media’s willingness to expose particularly heinous abuses of power and public trust. Not so any longer. Especially since 1979 and the Iran hostage episode, the media has assumed a particularly obsequious and subservient role in the political arena.

If there is any question about media bias, one need only ask oneself this: “Is there any difference between (A) the manner in which the media treated Bill Clinton over a sexual dalliance with Monica Lewinsky and (B) the manner in which the media treats George W Bush over his lies to the nation about weapons of mass destruction in order to drag the country into a war with Iraq?” One offense did no harm to the nation. The other offense has caused ongoing, possibly irreversible damage to the USA as well as Iraq. Yet the Republicans appointed Kenneth Starr as special prosecutor and spent over $40 million to investigate and try to impeach Bill Clinton. No such outrage is being directed at George W. Bush and his Administration even though thousands of civilians have died since Bush’s decision to take the path to war with Iraq based on lies. Let the reader be the judge. Is the media really “Liberal”?

Attacks on "liberal media" are a convenient ploy by the elite who run the nation. After all, one need only consider that the "media" are owned by, and completely serve the interests of, very large corporate structures, which are, in turn, owned and controlled by very wealthy elites within American society. Nevertheless, labeling the "media" as "Liberal" creates a sham debate among the general populace...a debate in name only, never in substance. In fact, the terms "Liberal" and "Conservative" no longer have any substantive meaning in American political discourse.

Just as both major parties marched in tragic lockstep towards the horrendous misuse of American power in Southeast Asia from 1957 to 1975, so now also have they done vis a vis the Middle East. Then the external enemy was Marxism. Now the external enemy is Terrorism. The current "ISM" is a far more effective tool for focusing the attention of the masses. The “threat” is ongoing, ubiquitous and ever changing. An example is this story headlined on CBS News:

Bush: America Safer, But Not Yet Safe
US will be fighting terrorists for years to come - Bush

First of all, this "ISM" is not confined to any one readily identifiable nation state. This enables the elite to project its military power with impunity wherever it sees fit.
Secondly, this “ISM” lends itself to constant change in definition, depending on the current needs of the elite. Thirdly, it can just as easily be applied against internal as external "undesirables". An impervious assault upon long cherished Constitutional rights and liberties is being aggressively pursued. Unwarranted wiretaps, the questionable election results from 2000 and 2004 (the first of these having predated 9-11-01 argues in favor of elite scorn for democratic practices BEFORE terrorists gave them a convenient bogey man), and “rendered” prisoners are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

Michigan men released from jail; terrorism charges dropped
Columbus Dispatch

US Drops Terrorist Charges Linked to Cell Phone Purchase
Voice of America

Fourth, new "terrorists" are easy to "create", based on the definition fed to the populace. There are many more parallels between the two “ISM”s that have dominated public discourse since 1917. I will not bore the reader with further detailed enumeration. Suffice to point out that, once again, the elite has effectively found a “cause celebre” to distract the masses and allocate society’s wealth and nature’s resources in such a way as to massively benefit the few at the expense of the many.

Tthis presidency has only solidified the fact that this country is run by Corporations- most notably the Oil corps.We have been under their control, have been their scapegoats and their cash cow.
Referring to Iraq, Iran,Georgia or Israel as a pertinent issue in OUR natioanl interest or security is an outrage. Israel is nothing more then big brass' other citizenship and a great excuse for going after muslim's & their nations..which just happen to have OIL or a strratedgic advantage as it pertains to OIL!
It is not the Presidnecy which has too much power- it is the Corporations they have been working for!
Basic Proof of Corp influence over national issues...Off shore Drilling. No One has bothered to mention the fact WE do not own the oil now from our land/shore and WE will not Own it when they are giventhe opportunity to poach on OUR Property with this new drilling deal.
No one will ever be 'Energy Independent' until their citizens own and control their natural resources.No One has mentioned thee Corps ar enot all American, not obligated to give US the oil they extract, nor accept our 'bid' even if it is less then they would get somewhere else.
It's not the Presidency which is in such grave danger of imploding, it is our current trend of allowing private profit entities to control a Human democracy

Alex's post leaves out too much. Beginning particularly with the Iran hostage crisis of 1979, a global shift in world power configurations began with the ascendancy of an Islamic regime that was willing to reject American hegemony in the Middle East. The 444-day standoff saw 66 Americans held inside the American embassy in Tehran by revolutionary students under the new regime. In the aftermath, the American right discredited President Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan was installed as the new US President, and a systematic and methodical dismantling of FDR’s social safety net of programs to ameliorate some of “free enterprise’s” more glaring inequities was initiated. Ronald Reagan set his union-busting sights on the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO), the majority of whose members he fired in the summer of 1981. It was to spell the death knell of collective bargaining as a legitimate device for working people to ensure themselves some modicum of control over their own economic destiny.

Over the course of the ensuing 25 years, America has seen corporations close thousands of manufacturing facilities and relocate them in underdeveloped nations, where there were no troublesome regulatory constraints and labor was plentiful and dirt-cheap. The US citizens who used to work in those facilities saw their livelihoods disappear before their very eyes. McDonald’s, Wal-Mart, Target and a host of minimum-wage employers moved adroitly to fill the vacuum, further marginalizing American workers and creating a huge permanent underclass of “working poor”, people who labor 40-plus hours per week and still find themselves barely able to survive economically. All this was done in the name of “free enterprise” and “globalization”. Basically, these code words connote massive shifts of wealth to the upper stratum of the elite, always at the expense of the mass of the population. Always these ploys are couched in terms of promoting “free trade”.

By June 1990 the East German Government had officially dismantled the Berlin Wall and a year later, on Christmas Day of 1991, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned from power and the USSR officially dissolved. These events were to have a significant impact upon the American population, but not the one they expected. The projected windfall that, by right, ought to have accrued to the citizenry of the USA never materialized. Americans felt that, finally, the financial and material resources that had for 75 years been diverted to “fighting communism” would now be applied towards improving living conditions for millions of American citizens. They were about to be bitterly disappointed.

The reality of "politics" in the USA today, a quarter century later, is that there has been a massive rightward shift in public discourse that significantly predates 9-11-01. It started with Clinton's attacks on welfare "cheaters" and has continued unabated ever since. Clinton immediately abandoned most of his progressive agenda as soon as his "handlers" convinced him he needed to move to the right in order to win re-election in 1996. The vicious and unrelenting Republican hatred for Clinton notwithstanding, the two "sides" were not then and are not now substantively different in their views on how to "govern" the nation.

Basically a new external enemy has been created, cultivated and proliferated...a much-needed distraction to supplant the COMMUNISM that so effectively served wealthy elites for 75 years until the demise of the USSR. After all, nothing would anger the wealthy more than having to direct such massive budget surpluses as existed before 9/11 towards the health and welfare of the American general public. War always enables those in power to usurp democratic freedoms and aggrandize executive power. A cursory review of presidential behavior during every American war will point this out.

I enjoyed this interview and I will read his book. A few casual observations:

1. The American Presidency has always been imperial. The American government has a house of Patricians (Senate) and a house of Plebes (Representatives), and an Imperial Consul (President) because it was modeled on the Roman Government. Even our architecture is Roman, but this isn't unusual or surprising because every western capital in the World is modeled on Rome. We humans like our archetypes.

2. Democracy in America in the 19th Century wasn't free of patronage, mud slinging, arrogance, or ugliness, and so it isn't today.

3. Our system is far too complex, and the interests too powerful, for any of the actors in the drama to affect any real changes.

4. Neither political party is concerned with the well being of any Americans except themselves and this is the essence of a society that is built on myths of individualism.

5. If you want community, join a church.

6. If you want to live in a real democracy, move to Canada, Australia, Denmark, or even Sweden.

Mr. Bacevich is apparently careful about his writing and his thinking. He also appears to miss the forest for the trees. His facts are not disputable but he overlooks the reasons that America and other countries have done what they have done since 1970. Were we in a cold war during much of the time he says we lost our way? Are we in a cold war of sorts now with both the Islamist struggle and resurging Soviet aggression? The answer is yes to both but that is not really factored in to his bottom line. He mentions flash point concepts like a trade deficit of $800B per year yet fails to mention as all do that our deficit is basically payments a year in arrear and is wiped out about 12 months after incurring it. It is not an additive $800B per year that we can never repay. Mr. Bacevich is from a school of mid-level technocrats who never made it to the big leagues and is now certain he has a valuable message for everyone. We need to pick our messengers better and we can start by not giving Mr. Bacevich credit he does not deserve.

08.17.08

Heard this interview directly after returning from a meeting in Suffolk, VA at a historical house called Riddick's Folly. Rebuilt in 1837 by Nate Riddick it was called "folly" because it was over 8,000 sq feet with 21 rooms including a kitchen! The "folly" of including a kitchen in the main building was the talk of the town. Twenty-five years later during the Civil War the house was a Union Army headquarters. On December 5, 2008 the Riddick's Folly Museum will present a 1860's Christmas play with little scenes written, by me, in 9 of the 21 rooms. There'll be carolers and good food with hot mulled wine and eggnog. It's going to be quite wonderful. They loved the script I gave them except for the last scene where the newly freed Black ex-slaves are talking about the 13th Amendment and quote Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. "Too controversial" they say. This opinion was coming from a white male in his 60's who had grown up in Suffolk and had watched his father get beaten by the KKK because he paid his white and black sharecroppers the same salary. So this is a guy who knows how sensitive his people are and if he says that Black folks quoting the Gettysburg Address in 2008 is too controversial than maybe it is. But as a Black female born and raised in the South can attest to, ignoring the situation don't make it go away, but God does work in mysterious ways. As I pondered the meeting with the Riddick Folly's staff I needed to find a way to maintain the intregrity of my script while not ignoring the truth and reality of the fact that there are still who have not accepted that the Civil War was about ending slavery and Black people won. The connection between Moyers and Bacevich in helping me realize this was both timely and immediate. The first thing I did after the coming home from the meeting was to check my email and boom! It was magic. To paraphrase Jimmy Carter, "If we act now, we can save ourselves a whole lot of trouble down the road." Can a sister get an amen?

When will the American people wake up and realize our problems are more complex than the idea of an ‘imperial presidency” or with which political party controls Congress? Mr. Bacevich brought up some interesting issues but gave no definitive solutions to correcting anything and now some of you suggest putting him on the ticket with Mr. Obama. Many of you have thanked Mr. Bacevich for praising former President Carter for speaking out against our dependency on foreign oil but I have not read the first comment with regard to the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Bill that President Carter signed in 1980 which, was and is, a major contributor to our current economic problems. Mr. William Greider brought this to Mr. Bill Moyers attention on a recent airing of the Journal, anyone remember? Mr. Bacevich, along with some of you who have left comments, have said that we need to “look in the mirror” and stop being so self-indulgent. Does Mr. Bacevich, or any of you, have any idea what the impact would be on our fragile economy if we suddenly stopped spending and with nearly 40 million U.S. citizens living in poverty how many out there do you think are splurging? Americans have always been consumers. The main reason for our trade deficit is that the items we want we once made and now people in other countries are making them for a much lower wage than we would. The people of this great Country need to take the time and learn how our economy operates and identify the individuals who truly are in control and have the ear of leaders in Washington. Our great President Thomas Jefferson gave us warning of them in the following quote:

“ If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their money, first by inflation and then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of their property until their children will wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered”

Mr. Bacevich is correct, but many Americans have already looked inward, and then tried to effect change. Our ideas have been suppressed, however, by the corporate elite. Who rules America? Corporations. One obvious example is the suppression of the electric car. GM's EV1 and RAV4, in the mid-nineties, were both recalled and shredded, much to the chagrin of the millions who wanted them, and the millions more who would have, had they known. But the transportation conspiracy actually started in the 30's and 40's, when auto and tire companies bought up and destroyed mass transit systems in every major city in America, thus sealing our dependence on the private car. Looking in the mirror won't change the facts of corporate rule. Even our government can't tell automakers what to build, and laws to bring a certain amount (10% by 2002 in California) of electric cars to market have all been trashed by the auto industry's well paid bank of lawyers. There was an electric car movement in California in the 90's which received scant media attention. No, we have already looked in the mirror, and then attempted change. Our ideas were suppressed. We live in a corporate state, which is worse than a dictatorship, and even more entrenched, more difficult to change. The only faint hope we have to stop the corporate juggernaut, the auto and oil industries, for example, is to stage a massive consumer boycott--to simply not buy anymore new model gas cars. More people are rebelling--taking the bus, walking, simply not buying cars,or using them, despite the almost hypnotic appeal of advertising. We have already looked in the mirror--we simply need to spread the word. Everyone needs to fight for no new gas cars, for example, also fight for light rail, and more public transportation, and, of course, production of the electric car, such as the GM EV1. We could transform our dependence on oil, but we'd have to get rid of the croporate despots in the auto and oil industry who have literally suppressed good ideas for change, and kept the population in chains of oil dependency.

Ben Carter’s post below points out a very disturbing trait that has manifested itself throughout our nation’s history, namely the seemingly congenital inability of America to be honest with itself about it’s shortcomings. THAT is the main cause underlying our nation’s absolute REFUSAL to openly and honestly admit that we engaged in a horrifically stupid and morally reprehensible projection of military power against an impoverished Asian nation that posed NO threat to America. That same societal denial mechanism is operating in this current situation, wherein, once again America has seen fit to project our military power against a nation that posed no threat to us. Now we find ourselves enmeshed in a quagmire in the Middle East. This has been orchestrated premeditatedly and by design. The large media corporations are complicit, no less than all the parasitical corporations reaping profit from this bloody episode in our ongoing saga of international hubris.

Hi, I’m back from earlier today. In perusing these posts, I feel that I have walked into a room of congenial, like-minded strangers who, like myself, were deeply moved by the truths put forth by Professor Bacevich in his interview with Bill Moyers.

Consider the other side of the coin. I speak off one Rush Limbaugh who (from his golden EIB mike) vigorously defends “American exceptionalism,” supports big oil and its profits, could not wait for the “war on terror” in Iraq to begin in 2003, adores W, and maintains that “Cheney can do no wrong.” And let us not forget that “Great American” Sean Hannity, draped in the American flag, who purports to love our troops while supporting any show of our military force throughout the world. He did not “serve” himself, I believe.

While it is unlikely that Professor Bacevich’s voice will be heard above the din of talk radio and Fox , it remains a hope devoutly to be wished for.

It was with great interest and hope that I watched Mr. Bacevich detail America's peril and it's path to redemption. As Americans we must continue to individually challenge ourselves to demand more from our government. I refuse to tolerate policies that enable our society to deteriorate. I plan to discuss with those that I know the resolve in the American people to demand honest solutions to serve the world and America. I applaud Mr. Bacevich for holding up the mirror to Americans. The invasion and occupation of Iraq, The Patriot Act, Abu Gharib and runaway consumption are intolerable! I accept his challenge and will not remain silent or inactive any longer!

As usual, the commentator was excellent at articulating the problem but had no solutions. His idea that Iraq will bring a day of salvation is incorrect. If the American people were prone to that type of behaviour, it would have happened after Vietnam. As the age old saying goes, all of history can be written in a page.

The problem, as I see it, is that humans are too prone to thinking in their own short term economic self interest. In America, our culture encourages this. As for what the end has in store, we will crash just as the Roman empire crashed in a sea of decadence and self-indulgence.

I remember last week when Bill Moyers said "shameful". He was right, of course. However, Americans have shown a remarkable ability to engage in shameful activity. What is needed to some solution. I remember a few weeks ago when a guest said something like "live poor, vote rich". This is the issue that needs to be discussed. I doubt anything can be done, but continually examining the problem as Bill Moyers does every week may be interesting (and often shocking) but it will not take us anywhere.

While Bacevich does well to attack runaway Consumerism as a an empty, vapid replacement for many of our society’s core values, both he and Moyers woefully neglect to point out that responsibility, by right, needs to be assessed in direct proportion to power! It is absolutely ludicrous to assign blame upon the entire population in a sort of blanket disdain. Speaking truth to power also entails being HONEST about WHO the real power is and HOW it is intricately interwoven throughout all the branches of government and, even more to the point, the economy!

Despite several technical interruptions in Georgia, we refused to turn the channel from watching the interview with Professor Bacevich.

Our family has five Veterans that served in the Army and often have discussions on how Americans take our freedoms for granted.

How many Americans would support the troops if it meant someone from their family serving in the military to defend this nation? We can not get the average American to vote.

We have hope in America every time a person like Professor Bacevich tells us the true. I challenge the Americans who care to listen to the interview and read his books.

From the Desk top of a Praying Grandmother
Ruby Bozeman Davis
Unhappy Taxpayer & Voter
www.unhappytaxpayerandvoter.com

While I thoroughly enjoyed hearing a frank delineation of SOME of our problems, as elucidated by Bacevich and Moyers, I am chagrined that neither of them so much as TOUCHED upon the fact that all of these problems are intimately related to the outright ownership and control of America's economy by a lon-standing, very powerful and very committed ruling elite or, if you will, a corporate dynasty that has retained virtually unfettered power ever since the start of the American Industrial Revolution!

The repercussions of the "American Dream" are turning into an "American Nightmere". The deification of Consumption and Greed is feeding a socioeconomic tsunami that unfortunately may level off an otherwise wonderful country with admirable solid foundations.

As an antidote to the consumption addiction you might consider the latest book by Eckhart Tolle "A NEW EARTH, Awackening to Your Life's Purpose".

Also, one might consider demonstrating to the American public what the current contents of the "American Dream" really mean and, for the sake of the whole world, try to redefine it as the "American Values". The new definition would need to be proposed by Historians and Ethicisists, not by Politicians (most of whom come with strings attached).

Wonderful talk by Professor Bacevich. However, a couple of relevant and highly important topics were left out of the discussion: the influence of the public relations industry and its sophisticated ability to create and massage artificial consumer "wants and needs;" and the role of corporations, which both fund elections and are required by law to enhance shareholder value, ie, stimulate increased consumer spending. Unless these primary levers of corporate influence are removed, it's hard to imagine any significant change until the collapse is upon us, and quite likely irreversible.

I have found a presidential candidate that I can believe in. It is so refreshing to find someone willing and able to tell it like it is. In doing so he points to the problem, and as Pogo said decades ago,"we have met the enemy and it is us." Neither MaCain nor Obama will bring the change that we need. I am going to forward this video interview to as many as I can, and urge others to do the same.

Steve Knox

The ideas presented in this and other shows you've broadcast recently may be disturbing, but the fact that such disturbing thought may be made available at all is reason to hope. I've lived long enough to observe that today's marginalized thought is tomorrow's mainstream. For at least two decades, all new ideas seemed to come from Reagan Republicans, but now it's heartening and refreshing to find a new set of ideas developing.

I can't help but think of another personally likable president of questionable competence whose administration was full of corruption: President Grant. The comparison may not be completely accurate, but it will serve. Some good and a few great congresses and presidents followed him. There were times of difficulty and times of achievement. Although the stakes are much higher now, the USA survived the reconstruction, and it seems likely that it can survive our time of crisis. The presidency, like all constructs, is not static but must be maintained, leaving it at least somewhat flexible. While there are greater trends, each individual president has redefined the office. While the current state of the presidency may be alarming, it's important not to sink into alarmism because such an attitude weakens worthy ideas. Keeping the USA afloat, keeping our own government form despotism, has been a struggle from the beginning, and as long as shows like Bill Moyers Journal exist, the process continues.

I was watch the interview twice and called my son so that he could watch it too

It was so good to finally hear someone speak their thoughts with so much honesty. I left the interview with a new understanding, as to what is really happing in the United States. I will go and buy the book for sure.

A COMPLETE REINFORCEMENT OF
OUR CONCERNS BEFORE THE INVASION OF IRAQ AND NOW
THE PASSING OF THE TOOL BOX
TO THE NEXT PRESIDENT.

MOYERS GUESTS ARE THE BEST,

THANK YOU,

DAVE & JUDY

I was watch the interview twice and called my son so that he could watch it too

It was so good to finally hear someone speak their thought with so much honesty. I left the interview with a new understanding, as to what is really happing in the United States. I will go and by the book for sure.

I was watching the Olympic coverage on T.V. and happened upon an interview that completely floored me. For 1 hour I was captivated. I got angry, scared and ultimately inspired to do something. Our government has established a foreign policy that goes against the established values that we share in this country. I laughed at C. Rice's condemnation of Russia's recent military activity. We have no right to judge their actions with our record of military use. Thank you for this inspiring interview.

Posted by: Joel

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Captivating?

Yes, that is a good description for me as well Joel. And my wife who normally does not care about such topics could not take leave from the program as well. We were both floored by the honesty that was presented.

We just were not used to hearing from 'men that mean just what they say' in this day and age of politicians that make a career on how to spin their webs of deceit so they may profit or gain power.

As far as pointing the finger to other countries?

It is not hard to do if your an American politician Joel. Americans are exempt from doing what they say.

And we are about to head into another war zone with Iran. Some say Iran's need nukes for energy illegitimate. Others say no it is not. We can't go by past performance of the gov, as we were told nothing but lies about Iraq...we are still waiting for even one weapon of mass destruction to be found. This is the problem with a government that lies to us Joel. We just don't know what to believe since they have such a poor record at honesty.

I will say all this 'attacking and killing' will come back to haunt us Joel. This unwavering law is not bound by Karma or as retribution for God - it is due to the simple fact that humans operate via the 'monkey see ~ monkey do' mentality. So we should not complain when the bill comes due for us to pay.

Bacevich talked about squandering wealth, resources, and military power; if you’re interested in a history of how others have fared doing the same, I recommend a book by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto titled “Civilations: Culture, Ambition, and the Transformation of Nature”.

Sometimes, when panic and desparation set in, the simplest of effective steps that can and should be taken to achieve real change or impact are easily overlooked...

What is of extreme importance in this day and age is that each of us make one CRITICAL sacrifice - regular donations to support public broadcasting, and keep shows like this on the air. Is it unthinkably scary to the rest of you, as it is to me, how THIN and brittle the lifeline between our society and objective, non-profit motivated reporting has become? Though most of the overarching challenges we face seem too mammouth and difficult to overcome, this is one step we can all take, and must encourage those we care about to take.

Often in here there are references to buying time on FOX or other "mainstream" outlets to show this interview. Do not think for one second if those outlets felt there was any real possibility at all that the average viewer would care enough to leave it on and listen that ANY of them would allow its airing, for any price. This is the America we've become -- beholden to a powerful few for where our information comes from, and what in contains.

Instead, please use the limited resources remaining to us. Tune in on Fridays (or to any/all other public programming you feel conveys a high level of standards) and shut the rest off. Encourage your friends to support public broadcasting - financially and otherwise. And use the internet as a medium to move this type of programming to your personal network of "audience" and encourage them to take a short while to look at it, and pay serious thought to it.

Let's take these small simple steps to "pay it forward" when it comes to ensuring that open discussion, free and thoughtful dialogue, and access to a discourse that is TRULY in our collective best interests, does not fade into memory as will the oil on which we so greatly rely today.

What an outstanding interview! It gives me a glimmer of hope knowing there is at least one individual in the public eye with intelligence, superb communication skills, and a clear understanding of America's problems. Now, if we can only get rid of all the Obamas and McCains and their ilk and put a Bacevich in their place we'd be getting somewhere.

Great story Bill.

I just want to put the lie to McCain and Bush on their energy policies. They say the sky will fall if we don't drill drill drill. Nothing could be further from the case. Read the details in my diary here: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2008/8/17/142624/520/168/569362

I was impressed with Colonel Bacevich's interview with Mr. Moyers and wished our Congress would exercise the insight, reflection and transparency of actions he exhibited in his interview. I will purchase the book for my library and research. Thank you.

Why was my post removed? Is it because I said that I do not believe Americans in general will look in the mirror until the consequences of what the Professor predicted come to pass?

The tragedy is that no politician who tells the truth -- as Professor Basevich does -- can be elected. The American Electorate "can't handle the truth." Our Political Dilemma is that we must elect a candidate who will make the requisite promises to get elected, and then turn out to be a Liar by iniating the fundamental changes we need to fix our society / economy and to address climate change.

What worries me is that we now have children, aged 7 and up to a cognizant age of 12 or 13 who have actually known nothing but war, lying politicians, violence, rudeness, and rampant consumerism their ENTIRE lives - to them, this is what life is - this is NORMAL.

The tragedy is that no politician who tells the truth -- as Professor Basevich does -- can be elected. The American Electorate "can't handle the truth." Our Political Dilemma is that we must elect a candidate who will make the requisite promises to get elected, and then turn out to be a Liar by iniating the fundamental changes we need to fix our society / economy and to address climate change.


Posted by: Ron McLinden


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Word!

The dictum to "lead a simple life" does not mean existing in a mud hut on bananas and coconuts. The people forced to live those lives are working as hard as they can to emulate the "American Way of Life".
Rather, we must all find the little things in our daily lives that we can alter one by one and eventually find our way out of consumerism. Do we really need a new wardrobe every season? Do we really need to feed our families with processed food? Do we really need a Ford Expedition to take our children to school and shop for groceries?
Posted by: LaVerne Wheeler

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Well, people (especially Americans) do not like limits La Verne. Most of em are too busy trying to figure out which is the perfect ring tone to down load than to consider how to live a simpler life...a life that is bound by comfortable means.

We seldom question if more of a "good thing" is desirable for our supposed happiness in life. The question, that Voluntary Simplicity helps answer, is the question of what IS enough so we may be happy right now in the present.

A life of Voluntary Simplicity focuses our attention on the fact that "everything we own take a little piece ~ peace of us." And in doing so, we can let go of peace and life destroying rituals and possessions and replace them with a contented, satisfied and complete life in the present moment instead of a life that revolves around the next thing to be acquired in hopes of satisfying our insatiable appetites.

I find VS to be a very important state of mind to be in. It shows which direction a person is pointed in with their life. A person suffering from an overly stressed or complicated life can be expanding the complications, freezing the complications or reducing the complications.

And you are right LaVerne not confuse VS with the misnomer of 'Voluntary Poverty' VS is not about living low, it is about making choices and balanced living. You get out what you put in with VS. If you do not cut back enough on the complexities that rob you of living life, then all you have is your same complex life back that you started with. If you cut out too many complexities and are unhappy or bored, don't worry, you can always add them back.

We suffer from no shortage of stress and complexities of living, especially if you have a family. Life gives us plenty of problems for free. You can even trade the complexities that offer no reward other than more problems for new complexities that offer rich rewards or good feelings.

I question everything and experiment with which complexities could be removed and which need to stay in order to live a balanced life. We make what we want of VS, there are no rules other than if you do not do enough you do not get any results. There are no VS police to boss you around and tell you what is right or wrong. We have to decide this for ourselves as individuals.


Thoreau from his book Walden.

"The twelve labors of Hercules were trifling in comparison with those which my neighbors have undertaken; for they were only twelve, and had an end; but I could never see that these men slew or captured any monster or finished any labor. They had no friend Iolaus to burn with a hot iron the root of hydra's head, but as soon as one head is crushed, two spring up."


I have to post this in two parts:
As I scrolled through the comments my one emotion was hope. There are so many of us who see the problem and want to find a solution. What we can do is stop waiting for the politicians to give us the answer and realize the answer is in our own hands. The dictum to "lead a simple life" does not mean existing in a mud hut on bananas and coconuts. The people forced to live those lives are working as hard as they can to emulate the "American Way of Life".
Rather, we must all find the little things in our daily lives that we can alter one by one and eventually find our way out of consumerism. Do we really need a new wardrobe every season? Do we really need to feed our families with processed food? Do we really need a Ford Expedition to take our children to school and shop for groceries?
The economists have been saying for decades that what has driven the American economy is the American consumer. They have told us for decades that we are not saving enough money. And the explosion of advertisements on TV and now on DVD's and at rhe movies should be a small clue to what is going on.
None of this is new information, even though Professor Bacevich articulated the issues so remarkably well.
Why are we buying cell phones for 10 year olds? To what purpose?
Why are any of us shopping at WalMart? Cheap and shoddy is the overriding reason we are forced to continue to replace our goods. What do you really save if you have to replace a $4 tee shirt 4 times throughout the school year?
The great foreign oil debacle has been thoroughly discussed. And thank you, Professor Bacevich, for placing President Carter into his true place in our history. Thank you, again, for placing President Reagan in his true place in our history.
Every time another bridge fails, another airline goes out of business or forces a bad wage deal on their workers, every time a flood washes out a badly maintained dam or levy, I say "Thank you Ronald Reagan". Reagan's presidency was the clue the Conservatives needed that the American populace was willing to believe any fairy tale as long as it allowed them to stay away from the truth.

The tragedy is that no politician who tells the truth -- as Professor Basevich does -- can be elected. The American Electorate "can't handle the truth." Our Political Dilemma is that we must elect a candidate who will make the requisite promises to get elected, and then turn out to be a Liar by iniating the fundamental changes we need to fix our society / economy and to address climate change.

As I scrolled through the comments my one emotion was hope. There are so many of us who see the problem and want to find a solution. What we can do is stop waiting for the politicians to give us the answer and realize the answer is in our own hands. The dictum to "lead a simple life" does not mean existing in a mud hut on bananas and coconuts. The people forced to live those lives are working as hard as they can to emulate the "American Way of Life".
Rather, we must all find the little things in our daily lives that we can alter one by one and eventually find our way out of consumerism. Do we really need a new wardrobe every season? Do we really need to feed our families with processed food? Do we really need a Ford Expedition to take our children to school and shop for groceries?
The economists have been saying for decades that what has driven the American economy is the American consumer. They have told us for decades that we are not saving enough money. And the explosion of advertisements on TV and now on DVD's and at rhe movies should be a small clue to what is going on.
None of this is new information, even though Professor Bacevich articulated the issues so remarkably well.
Why are we buying cell phones for 10 year olds? To what purpose?
Why are any of us shopping at WalMart? Cheap and shoddy is the overriding reason we are forced to continue to replace our goods. What do you really save if you have to replace a $4 tee shirt 4 times throughout the school year?
The great foreign oil debacle has been thoroughly discussed. And thank you, Professor Bacevich, for placing President Carter into his true place in our history. Thank you, again, for placing President Reagan in his true place in our history.
Every time another bridge fails, another airline goes out of business or forces a bad wage deal on their workers, every time a flood washes out a badly maintained dam or levy, I say "Thank you Ronald Reagan". Reagan's presidency was the clue the Conservatives needed that the American populace was willing to believe any fairy tale as long as it allowed them to stay away from the truth.
I am a child of the end of WWII. I grew up with Eisenhower, and Nixon. And I have thoroughly understood the misconceptions presented to America as possibilities "if only we were in power".
I do not believe Mr Obama will be our savior; but I do believe Mr McCain will be our undoing.
As one commentator already indicated, we have run out of time. And the most tragic of all is that our children and grand children will pay the price for our follies. We have already insured that they will inherit a broken earth.
Worst, however, is that they will have no aspirations. Once upon a time we wished for our children to become professionals. Now we wish for them to become professional soldiers.
We use the term "hero" so often it has lost any real meaning. The police and firefighters who rushed into the destruction of the World Trade Towers were indeed heroes. They had no idea what the consequences of their actions would be on their lives and they rushed in anyway.
Every policeman and firefighter is NOT a hero. They are people doing a job they chose.
Conversely, every soldier is NOT a hero. But by selling that notion we have urged our young people to give their lives and limbs and sanity for the aggrandizement of the politicians who have decided the lives, limbs and sanity of our youth are negotiable for the politician's ends.
We fly tattered flags on our trucks and cars, completely disregarding the honor due our flag and proper flag etiquette.
There are more people wearing the flag on their posterior NOW than there ever was in our history.
We stick colorful magnets on our vehicles as if that is sufficient "support" for the troops we have decided can die for us.
We are not willing to pay them more money; insure they have adequate health care, at least on the par we provide our politicians; assist their housing needs or the needs of their families when they die in service.
The myth of the returning Vietnam-era soldier being spurned and castigated by Americans has easily led us to this current shame. Just as the myth of "flag burners" has lead to the lapel flag pin, and the aforementioned tattered flags on vehicles. We don't have to actually DO anything, or learn anything about issues - we just slap on a magnet or stick a flag on something. Voila - a patriot.
I have rarely been as moved as I was by Professor Bacevich's discussion today. It is reassuring to know someone with a public voice has the courage to say "The Emperor has no clothes on".
Bless you, Professor Bacevich, and God grant you the ability to make your message more widely known.
However, the fact that a book of lies about Barack Obama is number one on the New York Times best-seller list, while I am sure Professor Bacevich's book has not even made the list, leads me to believe yours will be a voice crying in the wilderness.

If the U.S. people begin to listen to Mr. Bacevich and all the others academics that really understand what it is going on with the U.S. and its wrongdoing in the foreign affairs policicy, there is still hope for the future of the United States of America.

Two little hints, no matter what the media is hammering in your heads, the U.S is NOT the most powerfull nation of the world and the outside the U.S the people around the world doesn't like the U.S Government because its greed, double standar, disrespect for international laws, encouraging torture and rolling over the Human rights.

Everybody around the world thinks that the U.S. government is a puppet of the trans national corporations looking after their profits and not after the real interests of the U.S. people.

The tragedy is that no politician who tells the truth -- as Professor Basevich does -- can be elected. The American Electorate "can't handle the truth." Our Political Dilemma is that we must elect a candidate who will make the requisite promises to get elected, and then turn out to be a Liar by iniating the fundamental changes we need to fix our society / economy and to address climate change.

How about everyone passing on Mr. Bacevich`s name to Obama`s campaign headquarters - and insiste that this man`s message be heard and that, at the very least, he be drafted into a very high position in an advisory capacity to help - this man`s voice needs to be heard on the election trail, preferably beside Mr. Obama. But get his message out now before it`s too late.

Wow!!!
What a guy. I was not only impressed I was shocked to find somebody that understand with that level of clarity what it is going on in the United States, and expresing the feeling of all the people around the world about the mistakes made by the U.S governmentsin its foreing policy that ended with the use of military force, in a not different way that the former Soviet Union.

I will add to his coments that the media has been playing a pivotal and disastrous rol in helping to mislead the U.S people.

I hope the people of the U.S. begin to listen thinkers as Mr.Bacevich for the good and future of the U.S,

Would it not be a good idea to bombard Mr. Obama's campaign headquarters with the very strong suggestion that `at the very least` draft Mr. Bacevich into a very high advisory position within the next government. Better yet, let his message be heard on the campaign trail beside that of Mr. Obama. If we can get his name out in front of the public, and get more people to hear his message, maybe we can get someone who really does represent what is the best in Americans into the White House in an advisory capacity, someone we can once again point to with pride and not with shame and uncomfortable embarrassment. We have allowed ourselves to become sheep and we have sold ourselves out to immoral and corrupt unethical shepherds. Let`s turn this around now and take control of our own destiny by growing up, demanding good education by well-educated teachers, and, above all, cut out the crass commercialism and boycott any sponsor who encourages the foul-mouthed rudeness passing for political punditry that our children see daily on TV (Bill All-Riled-Up comes to mind, telling guests to `shut up`- beyond disgusting).

As with anything, including freedom, `use it or lose it`.

American addiction to high consumption is a chronic disease which could not be cured by ideological prescription. Only time, this universal healer, can do it. As the ability to consume produced by increasing prices and decreasing incomes grows weaker and weaker the conspicuous consumption will eventually fade away by itself.

Allen Wrench made some comments about buying salmon in Walmart that came from Alaska by way of China.

Allen if you can stop shopping at Walmart they should be boycotted.

The attitude of the person behind that counter sums up how complacent we have become.

IF you have a lawn and more that 6 hours of sun rip it up and plant a garden. Get rid if the lawn grow as much
your own produce as possible.

Getting back to Dr.Bacevich's conversation with Bill Moyers I have heard him speak before and have to say his intelligent and straight to the point.

If you listen to his statements on the military he evokes Eisenhower who warned over 40 years ago to be wary of the industrial industrial military complex.

The question remains, can we change? Obama's campaign slogan is full of the word , but he does not seems to be interested in real change.

I heard Congresswoman Pelosi on the the radio recently and she was defensive and evasive about not taking on the Bush administration on the war.

The democrats are note the part of opposition, and as
Dr.Bacevich pointed out we seem to have a one party system more interested in keeping power then in doing anything good for our country. For this they get a good salary free health care for themselves and their family and very generous pensions.

I don't have any answers for this problem except short of some kind of revolution.

This does not mean it has to be violent, it could be like the velvet revolution that took place in the former Czechoslovakia.

I watched the interview with Bacevich, it is refreshing to see more and more of the Military(ex/current)talk about how the military has changed from protecting to inciting.And how to get back to the basics or at least try.

Andrew Bacevich has placed a mirror to America's face and view back is ugly. American's product are made not to be repaired, we fill our landfills up with plastic bottles and disposable diapers;our infrastuctures cumble and states don't have the money to repair them. We outsource our military to Blackwater who steals our trained solders, and then sells them back to use at a profit, all the while our enlisted men and women are not paid what their worth.

I watched the broadcast twice and am much taken with Professor Bacevich' incredible insight and grasp.

Since Jimmie Carter's defeat I have watched this country succumb to an era of self congratulatory arrogance.

its to bad George Carlin is gone he and Dr Bacevich share a common insight to the American failure to recognize that accumulating a lot of foreign stuff purchased on credit is not the way to ensure a happy future.

When those nations we have borrowed so heavily from begin to perceive their own and the strength of the rest of the world and decide to cash in our debt we will have to learn to sacrifice just to survive. But sadly it will be on the terms selected by other nations that will determine the depth and length of the American sacrifice.

We should have listened to Jimmie and we should have looked in the mirror.

I am already reading him and hope to see and hear more of Andrew Bacevich, he has much to say.

I just finished watching Mr. Moyer's interview of Professor Andrew Bacevich. Firstly, I wish to express my condolences to Professor Bacevich on the loss of his son. The interview of Professor Bacevich was spellbinding. Professor Bacevich was insightful and articulate. In particular, was shocked to hear him assert that the response to 9/11 should have been an international police effort, not a declaration of war on half of the world's population. I have believed this from the day of the attacks, and I have never heard anyone express that same view. But now I understand why President Bush took the action he did after 9/11. Given the changes in the changes in the political and military landscape in America since the end of the Cold War, he had no choice. I firmly believe that if the United States had more men in power like Professor Bacevich, Americans would be far better off, and America's standing in the world would be much improved. God bless, you, Professor Bacevich. You are a true patriot.

Years ago I wondered why I did not build a FLW usonian home. In the sixties there were movements to build green homes also. Well recently I awoke and did a full evaluation of my home - insulated it, sealed the leaks and recently added solar. I have been buying Prius' since 2003 and my children have also purchased Prius cars. We are finally trying to meet the challenges stated in this program.

Thank you, Professor Bacievich for thought-provoking and realistic insight. Your bitter and unflinching views on the state of the Presidency and this country should be supported by any clear-minded person who is not dumbfolded by demagogism from either political spectrum and its surrounding media razzle-dazzle.
I wonder,though,at what point we all lost touch with reality that now we percept the common sense talk of the Patriot Bacievich as a prophecy? How low then we all fell, but may be now some of us have a strength to go and ask tough questions to our representatives in the Congress and to our presidential candidates and FINALLY hold them accountable for their action.And yes,we should fix a mess in our own house to become a symbol again.

As to Prof. Bacevich for VP. We have never elected our intellectuals as president. And what they would have to compromise to go through the flames of campaigning would kill them. We need to save them for advisory positions.

I agree with the majority of comments above praising the clarity and veracity of Professor Bacevich’s thesis that America’s demand for consumption is at the root of our current crisis and of the “imperial presidency.” On a personal level, I have recently had an upfront view of two close friends at or near retirement age who are awash with credit card debt and remortgaging. These are professional women whose impulsivity over the years has led both to the edge of bankruptcy. Theirs is the story of our own economy writ large.

I was not aware until the end of Bill Moyers’s interview that the author had lost his own dear son to this disaster of choice in Iraq. Professor Bacevich’s hope that the only good thing to come from this attempt of the neocons to exert America’s “full spectrum dominance” in the Middle East would be a sober national discussion of our folly and its unintended consequences. That possibility is unlikely.

A few months ago I noticed a young man whose two legs had been amputated maneuvering his wheel chair across an intersection in a nearby town. I could not get that image out of my minds for days. Last week I saw him again in the company of a male attendant. Then I noticed that his left arm too had been amputated below the elbow.

The question remains for the Professor and us all – FOR WHAT???

If change were really the goal,why is it that a man like Bacevik is not vetted for the V.P. position?The American people need a hero,someone whom, like the parent of inexperianced children,pulls there fingers from the flame.

Greetings.

I regret to hear that Professor Bacevich's beloved son was killed in Iraq and extend my sincere sympathy to Professor Bacevich and his family and honor his memory.
It brought me to tears to see the pain in his face when he mentioned his son.

Thank you for another informative video. Please post it to your youtube channel so that sharing would be easier.
best regards

'Honor dies where interest lies.'

People like to talk about how to fix global warming and peak oil.

Well, nothing can be done about either of these topics.

Humans are too invested is delusion and money to do a damn thing. And to do anything substantive would cause a financial and population backlash of unimaginable proportions.

Lets look at just 'a token move' in the right direction...a move that wont fix a thing, but would buy us a little more time.

Can we cut back on GNP by 25%?

Cut back on utility use at home by 25%

Cut back on driving by 25%?

Cut back on consumption whether it be food or hard goods by 25%?

Cut back on interstate trucking by 25%?

Cut back on air travel by 25%

And cut back in all related areas that use energy or petrochemicals by 25%?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

The 'public' gets their underpants in a bind when the GNP declines at all...even when it is still in the positive numbers.

They start a panic in the stock market when the GNP is +1%, so how can it survive a -25% GNP drop?.

And as for cutting back on our demands...well it goes against the American dream.

And even if America decided to cut back 25%, that is only a drop in the bucket, as the rest of the world is ever increasing their demands on the environment and would soon make up for such a small decrease in greenhouse gas and fossil fuel depletion.

In addition, if we cut back 100% on the burning of fossil fuels, the petrochemical business would still deplete our crude oil, albeit on a longer time scale.

Petrochemicals make up a large portion of crude's importance to mankind.

A partial list of some of the products made from crude oil.

Solvents Diesel Motor Oil Bearing Grease Ink Floor Wax Ballpoint Pens Football Cleats Upholstery Sweaters Boats Insecticides Bicycle Tires Sports Car Bodies Nail Polish Fishing lures Dresses Tires Golf Bags Perfumes Cassettes Dishwasher Tool Boxes Shoe Polish Motorcycle Helmet Caulking Petroleum Jelly Transparent Tape CD Player Faucet Washers Antiseptics Clothesline Curtains Food Preservatives Basketballs Soap Vitamin Capsules Antihistamines Purses Shoes Dashboards Cortisone Deodorant Footballs Putty Dyes Panty Hose Refrigerant Percolators Life Jackets Rubbing Alcohol Linings Skis TV Cabinets Shag Rugs Electrician's Tape Tool Racks Car Battery Cases Epoxy Paint Mops Slacks Insect Repellent Oil Filters Umbrellas Yarn Fertilizers Hair Coloring Roofing Toilet Seats Fishing Rods Lipstick Denture Adhesive Linoleum Ice Cube Trays Synthetic Rubber Speakers Plastic Wood Electric Blankets Glycerin Tennis Rackets Rubber Cement Fishing Boots Dice Nylon Rope Candles Trash Bags House Paint Water Pipes Hand Lotion Roller Skates Surf Boards Shampoo Wheels Paint Rollers Shower Curtains Guitar Strings Luggage Aspirin Safety Glasses Antifreeze Football Helmets Awnings Eyeglasses Clothes Toothbrushes Ice Chests Footballs Combs CD's Paint Brushes Detergents Vaporizers Balloons Sun Glasses Tents Heart Valves Crayons Parachutes Telephones Enamel Pillows Dishes Cameras Anesthetics Artificial Turf Artificial limbs Bandages Dentures Model Cars Folding Doors Hair Curlers Cold cream Movie film Soft Contact lenses Drinking Cups Fan Belts Car Enamel Shaving Cream Ammonia Refrigerators Golf Balls Toothpaste Gasoline

http://www.beloit.edu/~SEPM/Geology_and_the_enviro/Petroleum_need.html

Are you starting to see the folly of thinking mankind can stop global warming or fix our peak oil woes, when our world is built on such a ludicrous foundation?

But, lets forget the public for a moment and look at someone in the know.

Matt Savinar is one of the well known names in peak oil circles and runs the 'Life After the Oil Crash' website and was interviewed in the movie 'A Crude Awakening.'

In the movie Matt Savinar said he would probably not vote for a president that would adopt strong peak oil measures, giving an example of cutting back on auto production which in turn would cut back on Americas GNP.

So if someone in the know cannot stomach what needs to be done how on earth could an everyday Joe or Jane do it?

When it comes down to the tough decisions it is always a case of...honor dies where the interest lies

Fueling the problem of our consumption sickness are the games the Federal and World banks play with interest rates. They manage the economies in ways to fuel consumption and mask the real trend.

Witness the constant cries for Federal bankers to lower interest rates...so the stock market can go up...fueled by spending of the consumer.

The more we consume to bolster our economy, the more fossil fuel we deplete...the more fossil fuel we deplete the warmer the earth gets. Yet we talk about fixing global warming and fixing peak oil?

Our consumption sickness is drug habit that Greenspan got us hooked on and we just can't get away from.

Sure, we were always consumption based, but Greenspan 'mainlined our drug' to us and once we got a taste, we were sunk. Even now, the government is proposing ways to help the consumer keep spending while we are suffering through the sub-prime lending debacle.

Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

The US is built on consumer consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up. Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....it is all we know.

The US GDP is based 70% on consumer spending. Our economy is based on the philosophy of constant consumption. Our cars are not made to last, nor is our economy built on such ideals of durability. We are slaves of fashion and progress and every car produced sucks down more crude in its manufacturing as well as heats up our planet in the process.

Matt Savinar may not have been exactly right when he said "oil is our god" in the movie Crude Awakening - our real god is CONSUMPTION.

We consume our planet whether it be animal, mineral or even its environment.

I guess it is just how we humans are.

Mankind is just a little 'too smart' for his environment and learned to live beyond natures intended means - on 'steroids of crude' so to speak. But mankind does not seem 'smart enough' to fix the mess that it has created for itself.

Yes, mankind has done great things over their reign on earth, but we must always remember nature does not bow to man...it is man that always bows to nature.

Humans need 'moral guidance' or a moral conscience since they have a 'free will' of sorts or they will self-destruct from wrong actions if left to their own 'freedom of choice' without this moral conscience.

Actually it is like this.

We are free to do what we want -- but are not free to want what we want. As all our actions have consequences, and many of our actions produce consequences that end up destroying peace. (both ours and other's peace).

This is what separates us from the animals that run solely on instinct. Humans run by instinct as well as moral guidance.

Sure, most humans try to do good, but when decisions have to be made, mistakes can and will happen.

And sometime these mistakes lead to ends that just cannot be fixed and we must accept responsibility for our actions. Once we accept responsibility, we can at least be at a semblance peace with the outcome of our actions and recover a modicum of honor in the process.

...We are out of time. Forty one years ago, when I first noticed things were starting to go down hill, we had time. Thirty eight years ago, when the Club of Rome published their book, "The Limits of Growth", we had time. Thirty five years ago, when Jimmy Carter tried to encourage conservation & alternative energy sources, we had time. We have frittered that time away and now it is almost gone. If we are lucky, we have ten or twelve years before the problems become so overwhelming that the entire civil and social fabric of our society will disintegrate. If you think we can solve our problems that quickly, you are more optimistic than I. Of course, if John McCain wins the election you can just forget it. It's over.

Posted by: Reg

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Well spoken post Reg.

The US car makers are out of touch with what the world needs. The auto industry reminds me of senile 'Maverick' McCain...they can't even hear themselves fart.

Would Obama do any better?

No, he just lies to us to get votes.

The really sad thing is neither presidential candidate for '08 is a worthwhile choice for what faces America.

Both candidates are out of touch with reality. But it goes far beyond this fact that both of them would be useless for governing the US of A. Our whole political system would block anything meaningful happening even if we had Superman for president.

Ron Paul sounds like the best candidate for the job from what I've seen.

But Ron Paul can't fix us either...we are screwed unless we come up with new energy sources that replace our rapidly declining fossil fuel sources.

And the new sources must replace the old very closely in order to keep the status quo AKA retirement fund from tanking - which is what fuels much of the governments agenda.

And the sad truith is there is NO repalcemnt for crude oil.

That is why the government hides so much...it would raise hell with the Dow.

Now, if Ron Paul wants to take our hand and restructure the US and downsize us to 'live within our means' he may be the right man for the job.

But again, that job is almost an impossibility no matter who the Pres is.

What about the pres going public to American and laying it all on the table?

Can we cut back on GNP by 25%?

Cut back on utility use at home by 25%

Cut back on driving by 25%?

Cut back on consumption whether it be food or hard goods by 25%?

Cut back on interstate trucking by 25%?

And cut back in all related areas that use energy by 25%?

ABSOLUTELY NOT!

Will these cuts fix out problem anyway?

No..it would just slow down the inevitable.

The 'public' gets their underpants in a bind when the GNP drops at all...even when it is still in the positive numbers.

They start a panic in the stock market when the GNP is +1%, so how can it survive a -25% GNP drop?.

And as for cutting back on our demands...well it goes against the American dream.

Are you starting to see the folly of thinking mankind fix this dilemma when our country is built on such a ludicrous foundation?

There is no 'simple or easy answer' to this issue nor is there even a 'not so simple and hard answer' to our dilemma.

I wrote to 15 of the largest newspapers in the US and a half dozen news magazines about this subject and not one publication was interested. I also wrote to Al Gore...no response.

A copy of that letter for your perusal:

It seems everyone wishes to hide their heads in the sand when it comes to this subject of peak oil. We can't depend on the President to come clean with the public. All his energies are spent just trying to keep the oil flowing. He can't admit that the oil will stop in the not so distant future, no matter what we do. It is a problem beyond his as well as all of our control.

As they say in 12 Step programs - admitting you have a problem is step 1. And our country cannot admit it, after all, admitting this problem would raise hell with our retirement funds. And until we can admit it, we cannot begin on our long road to a 'semblance' of recovery.

And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable in the not so distant future than the current path we are headed in.

The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But ten billion people can't burn the trees! (Ten billion people is a conservative estimate of world population in the not so distant future. We are at 7 people billion now.)

The World Coal Institute estimates world energy reserves as follows:

"At current production levels coal will be available for at least the next 155 years compared to 41 years for oil and 65 years for gas."

http://www.worldcoal.org/pages/content/index.asp?PageID=21

Even though this was written a few years ago and it is based on 'current production and consumption' it gives the same haunting message to the generations to come.

We may not exactly see the end of our free flowing energy as we know it - but some of our descendants will in the not so distant future. This is the legacy they will inherit from us. But before the energy dries up completely massive changes in our world will have taken place.

Our population has grown to levels where it has passed the point of no return for supporting a sustainable human population as we know it today when it comes to their energy demands.

And leading the pack of over consumers is the USA.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption

Consumption is ingrained in us and we know no other way. And even if we wished to amend our ways, how could all our retirement funds take the hit? America is built on borrowed money, spending and consumerism.

And what does all that consumerism lead to?

It leads to the mess we are in now and the bigger mess the world will be in once India and China pick up momentum to copycat the envious lifestyle that they have held in high esteem as the 'American Dream'

What an impressive interview. I want to join with all the other commentors who thought this was an exceptional discussion. I hope this will be re-broadcast. I hope too that that the tone of intelligence, moderation, and commonsense will not be distorted as his ideas are interpreted and formulated into "policy implications".. For example, I would like to purchase the book, and I would like to think this does not violate the spirit of his critique of consumerism. One of the key messages seemed to me to be about using/limiting ourselves to what we really need and can honestly afford--(while most of us would rather be encouraged to seek whatever we really want). This idea of rational limits, excess, decline, etc can seem negative and gloomy and can easily be distorted by those who carry it too far in guilty self-recrimination....and the idea of limits and honest values can also be mocked by those who want to sell eternal sunshine in a mythical morning in America. Mr. Bacevich was especially effective in the calm and assured and articulate way that he suggested we have been foolish, and that for our own good we need to find a better way. Surprisingly, his message seemed positive, or at least re-assuring, for those who have sensed that something is wrong.

Posted by: Thomas Wick

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'...I would like to purchase the book, and I would like to think this does not violate the spirit of his critique of consumerism.'

The main problem is we have built our society on steroids. We have built an artificial, non sustainable model for our world. There is not much alternative either way when it comes to billions of people.

http://dieoff.org/

Do we make gargantuan hell hole cities and pile every one in these concrete high rise monsters? Or spread the people out and use some fuel to cart em around?

Either way we are sunk.

I posted about population control to another group and one responder commented "if eating babies is right I want to be wrong."

Well, I have no answer as to how to go about pop control, but I can see we have too many people in our world for the limited resources that are available.

If the world was a perfect entity, no, the gov should not dictate pop control...but we are far from perfect.

Our future existence on this planet will demand some form of pop control, but I think nature will take care of that problem in the not so distant future.

And in the big picture, we can't fix the problem, we can only postpone the inevitable. But buying a little more time would make things much more livable in the not so distant future than the current path we are headed in.

The world is in a death spiral and politicians as well as industry are pretending this problem does not exist. We can only blame ourselves, for it is just how we have built our world over the years....too many people, living outside of natures intended balance and not an infinite supply of energy to fuel all our demands.

It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But 7 billion people can't burn the trees!

The public just won't not go for pop control...too UN-American...goes against our religious upbringings...too controversial and all of the rest. I can hear the cries now...Communist!...Atheist!...Baby Killer....Hitler....Impeach the President!!!!

I think nature will help us humans out with that hard decision - for nature does not discriminate nor find the truth too controversial or provocative or opinionated to be true. And in the end, nature will settle the dispute of population control with even handed justice by removing excess population just as it does with all its species, ever reminding us all that nature does not bow to man...it is always man that bows to nature.

Your question comes under the theory of: "IT IS ALL THEY KNOW"

Let me give you some examples

A woman puts glitter on her chest to show off her boobs then gets mad at man for looking them...it is all she knows.

My moms old Hispanic maid complained about the sexual harassment she got in L.A. What does she do...she gets breast and butt implants.....it is all she knows.

A few months ago CNBC says the RE builder are building mors houses when there are tons of unsold house foreclosed on....it is all they know. (What they going to do start growing crops or poaching diamonds.)

Sustainability...lets be honest, we only pay it lip service.

We talk of living in a sustainable world, yet our actions betray our true feelings. All we have to do is to look at the stock market to see what happens when growth declines even a little.

Even if a company yields stable earning, but does not grow its earnings it is looked down upon. Stability and balance is part of a sustainable footprint, yet we shun such balance.

With one breath we talk about cutting global warming and how we have to cut our dependence of fossil fuel.

Then with the next breath we demand no cut backs in our standard of living, we must spend and consume above all else...build more, build faster, build bigger.

The GDP must only go up, up and away...all the while this consumption just increases global warming and keeps depleting the fossil fuels faster and faster.

Sick...sick..sick mentality, buy more cars, build more houses and monstrosities of architecture, spend more but 'cut back' to save our dear fossil fuels. For all practical purpose we will be out of crude oil and natural gas in 2 or 3 decades and possible much sooner.

Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

All this consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up contributes to more and more global warming and the depletion of our natural resources.

Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....IT IS ALL WE KNOW and the bill is coming due soon Thomas!

I differ in opinion from Professor/COL Bacevich in only one respect: I think it is already too late.

The tipping point for me was when the US media all (PBS included) signed on to Bush's agenda. For 8 years now I have been getting 90% of my news from Deutsche Welle, France 24, and the Economist. It is amazing to see the contrast between what they present and what one sees in the US media.

I am voting for Nader for president, and against all the local incumbents. Not that it will do any good, but at least I will be able to sleep at night.

Posted by: StephenS

*********** REPLY SEPARATOR ***********

Sure Stephen, the news media is corrupt as the politicians. Media outlets are money hungry, power driven self serving systems. They only pay 'truth' lip service, as they kiss the ass or every dollar bill they grab onto.

In 2007 I wrote to 15 of the largest newspapers in the US and a half dozen news magazines and the largest TV stations, 60 minutes, many politicians, etc about Peak Oil. Not one publication or TV broadcaster was interested in discussing PO. NO ONE even responded to my letters


BTW, wrote to Nader too and Gore...no reply.

Although, Mr. Bacevich did not present the grand solution to the problems the country is facing (there is none), he did provide a hint of the solution, when he said we need to look into a mirror. The first and easy solution I can think of is that each and every American needs to drive their vehicles less. I can't believe that even if we have already cut back, we can't cut back more. Try it.

Thank you very much for an excellent program.

As you state, we are the problem. For example, we failed to listen to the wisdom of Jimmy Carter and elected an optimist who increased our national debt. So, the solution starts with us. We need to be willing to live within our means. We need to make sacrifices and to reduce our "footprint" so that we can be energy independent. Finally, we need to elect officials who speak the truth in wisdom rather than tell us what we want to hear.

Our mirror says:
1
Brains exaggerate threats.
2
Power corrupts
3
Founding Fathers warned us against "blindly worshipping the powerful" and we "blindly worshipped them" ever since.
4
Fear begets
War Taxes begets
Power begets
Corruption and the
Corrupt monger
Fear (repeat from 4)
5
Each loop through 4
is amplified by 1 until we arrive at "The Big Lie"
6
US should copy UK's
cCBT.co.uk that you can experience here:
MoodGym.anu.edu.au

I want to thank Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich for the courage of articulating what so many of us think..
But I would urge Mr Moyers to have conversations with people who have a solution to the quandry that Mr Bacevich so well defined.
where is the solution? What to do about it?
Certainly not by electing more/ different people who gladly will go to Washington , with good intentions may be,only to be part of the machinery and soon will be the same spineless politicos which we are so tired of.
It is like solving the oil crisis by pumping more oil...
Please Bill, let's have serious talks about solutions!
Americans "see" what the Washington machinery and "televized mass propaganda" is doing and are so frustrated about their inability to affect change!
To vote for the "lesser of two evils" is still to vote for "evil", to vote "for the in to be ousted and the out to go in" is just a way to perpetuate the same kind of people to be elected, to find a "faultless" leader is an antiquated notion that a human being can be perfect ( only one person in history that we know of has ever been that ).
Please help us, the general public, ( do not use the "American People", the term is a clear signal of the pandering of this political machinery we hate...) be clear as to what to do next.
Should we throw "the tea in the harbor"? should we take to the streets? or stop driving for a day?
Somewhere in this great country of ours, a person has thought of real solution to real problem and my hunch is that it probably is not in Washington!
The apathy of the voter is just a sign of his/her frustration with the quid pro quo of electorate choices!
I live in one of the poorest states in the nation amongst incredibly good neighbors and friends. They live their moral values and not talk about them, they struggle to survive and help each others even when their financial resources are to say the least extremely limited. They conserve out of necessity, not as a new "cause celebre".Their sons and daughters serve in Irak and Afganistan. They do not complain, they are Americans.
Find people with real solution before it is too late and we will act.
THAT is what makes America great. THAT is the strength of this country in which I chose to come live, the legacy of Washington and Jefferson and Adams.

What an eye opening interview. Thank you Mr. Moyers and PBS.
Eighty percent of Americans believe the United States is headed in the wrong direction. They are probably right and Mr. Bacevich gives them the insight into why we are headed in the wrong direction. All Americans need to listen to what Bacevich is saying. Copy the link and e-mail it to your friends.

Dear Mr. Moyers:

Thank your for another great program! The interview with Andrew John Bachovich was wonderful, insightful and sadly accurate.

As one American I will also offer my condolances and appreciation to Mr.Bachovich and his family for the gift of their son to this nation. May we, as a nation, always deserve this gift.

I certainly agree with the views expressed by Mr Bachovich. In the past I think this nation shared those views. May we soon leave our mass insanity behind us and return to those views we once valued.

Thanks also to PBS for their support of such programs!

Since I came to this country 30 years ago I realized that education is perhaps the biggest problem and the main reason for the mess that we will continue to have if nothing is done about it.
Children ought to be taught the true meaning of both democracy and freedom. Instead they are asked to salute the flag and repeat endlessly that this country is the best, the freest and most democratic. How can one have democracy when you need millions of dollars to be elected? How can you be free when you are afraid to express the thought that the war in Iraq is an oil war? And the 9/11 event was very convenient to nurture a state of fear and paranoia among the mass of credulous Americans?
Teach children the true meaning of words. Teach them the history and geography of the world.
Teach them to think for themselves and doubt the veracity of what politicians tell them.

Bacevich is correct. We do have a false democracy; one by representation- and our voice is not heard. The people change things; not our leaders. So it is up to us. Maybe the National Initiative for Democracy is the answer. Also, Arundhati Roy echoed many of Bacevich's comments in her book, War Talk, years ago. I would love to see her as a guest on the show.

This interview was good, but it was disappointing because it did not address a critical reason for so much of the militarism and globocop madness that has gripped America. That reason is the vicious, sustained backlash against civil rights in particular, and against social progress in general.

Dear Dr. Bacevich,

I am an avid watcher of a variety of media programs that decipher American politics, the war, our President, etc. I just finished watching your interview with Bill Moyers and I felt compelled to write to you. I have never been moved to write to any person or personality previously.

I just wanted to say to you that every detail of every answer that you gave during the interview perfectly conveys my own thoughts and beliefs on the same subject matter. I wish to congratulate you for, in my opinion, being absolutely dead on correct in your assertions of this country in which I have been living for the past 7 years. I am Canadian by birth, therefore I still sometimes feel like an observer and probably will continue to do so until which time I become eligible for citizenship and can voice my opinion in the form of a vote, which should be some time in 2010.

In conclusion, I would like to thank you for so perfectly articulating my own opinions on the United States and the state of the country and its place in the wider world.

Regarding excellent program of retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich's book and pragmatic philosophy theme.
Fran G suggests filling in e-mail inboxes with the important information of this program. However, I doubt Congress, which has failed to minimaly do what we elected them to do, would bother to read it. Did they read the Constitution they were elected to uphold. Did they consider what any of their modifications to basic freedoms or our real-life living of democracy meant based on the constitution? Or, just what they might get away with or give their friends as material gifts at this moment. Did anyone test them for knowledge of the constitution and give them a course on constitutional responsibility of the house they serve within that constitution. Did you see any of the investigation. Some of the congressional questioners hadn't read the documents in quesiton (was meeting elsewhere, being on another comittee, away getting funds for re-election, I apologize). And they accepted "I don't recall" statements from people who did and record every action they did on every date they did it in office and every meeting they attended (casenotes/cya notes)--as if it's understandable. Profess and espouse your deep centered faith in what--a religious book never read. Has anyone ever taken a elephantine mule (with oil revenue campaign re-election funds as it only appetite) to any well or library and made it drink, read, or change? What's the penalty if it won't read or honour the basic constitution? It's not in university and won't be given a test, so it doesn't have to read or change. To many extraneous parties and meetings to attend. Who's going to vote for it based on its historical record, not appearance or patriotic slogans in re-election good-folk speeches. The voters? When Ms. Simpson has the most powerful election commercial in our campaign, will congress change by reading an important book, among many similar historic works. I doubt it. But maybe one of them will and last in office long enough to inspire some change.

One way to get us involved may be to have "rationing", such as fill-ups of only 10-15 gallons per week per personal vehicle, or stickers on each car that says it can only fill up Mondays or whatever day per car nationally. Like the text messaging fees on cell phones, the resultant outrage and concern by the grumbling public may cause congress to change and reclaim some of the powers it shoved onto the president. Bush did what Congess told and authorized him to do. It "mistakenly" didn't read what it voted on. We should elect readers who can vouch that they know how to and will read before voting on our behalf. Make sure they do so and represent our agenda's or vote them out. Or impliment re-call elections before terms are up--feet to the fire time. Then maybe filling boxes with messages to read something, anything important, may effect change. Congress did not live up to the mandate we voted for it to do. And like Cheney, they all say, "SO......" They got the best medical care, life insurance, vacation times benefits, meals, houses,funeral expenses, life insurance, tuition money to suplement their above minimum wage annual salaries. They feel Americans' plight? By reading about it? Who/what will make them change--a book or a Pearl Harbour or China calling in its loans or what, Polar Bears roaming the everglades. A President voting campaign or a Congressional voting campaign?

I am about as right wing as they come, but I will have to read this book. Unlike Bill Moyer's typical liberal drivel, this man was a combination of articulate, intelligent, and most suprisingly... rational.

I am so glad Mr Bacevich was your guest.
He was able to put things into a perspective that made sense to me. I puzzled,for many years, why we(USA) chose certain paths. Particularly, why the changes in the 70's under Carter (which were making improvements in our energy usage)were thrown away. For 20 plus years,it has seemed like the 70's were the lie and that made no sense to me.

Unfortunately, I fear,as in addicts, there must be an awareness and desire to change.
We are in the awareness stage,again.

Again,THANK YOU for this show. Please continue your efforts.


Many patriotic Americans are keenly aware that our nation is in deep, deep trouble. Colonel Bacevich, my former Squadron Commander at Ft Bliss, Texas, has offered an intriguing explanation for the longstanding inability of our political and military leaders to face the compelling realities of our national dilemma. Indeed, we are living in a fool’s paradise that few of them, for whatever reason, are willing to confront.

Our vaunted “American way of life” has devolved into a tacky mass consumerism buttressed by seemingly limitless debt and mindless entertainment. We are setting ourselves and our nation up for a fall of epic proportions unless we individually and collectively take a serious look in the mirror, as Dr Bacevich suggests. Perhaps it is not too late to turn things around, but the hour is late indeed.

After a Jesuit high school service trip to Tijuana, Mexico this summer, it was sobering to return to my own beloved land and listen to the incessant whining and complaining of my fellow citizens – of all ages! The widespread sense of entitlement (by conservatives and liberals alike!) and the overwhelming sense of downright ungratefulness were jarring to behold.

However, the four cornerstones of the student trip to build homes for the destitute (selfless service, genuine community and charity, overarching simplicity, and daily prayer) contained the seeds of renewal that we must rediscover if our land is to regain a truly American way of life that we can joyfully pass on to our posterity.

Will it take a prolonged economic depression (a widespread financial meltdown) or a natural disaster to shake us from our foolish complacency? In the long run, perhaps this is what we will really need, and regardless of the pain and dislocation, this would not be all bad for us!

Nonetheless. . . Bravo to the lucid and compelling broadcast with Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich! I only wish that Dr Bacevich was not a self-described “distant” observer of politics. If not President, I can’t imagine a more suitable nominee for Secretary of Defense or Secretary of State!

Book is already #1 in Amazon Book List.
May be Bill will get a commission.
Better than Oprah's recommendation.

I agree almost entirely with Col. Bacevich's assessment of the state of the nation. However, I disagree with his use of the word "freedom" when what he really meant was "license". Americans, especially those in positions of power feel entitled to do as they choose, without regard for consequences. That is license, not freedom. Also, by now it should be apparent to all, especially him, that the invasion of Iraq was motivated entirely by lust for control of Iraq's oil, which may be the largest petroleum resource in the world.

Col. Bacevich concludes that it is up to us, the American people, to fix the problems we face. Well, we certainly can't expect the politicians, who benefit from the status quo, to do it. So the questions are: Are we capable, do we have the will & is there enough time left to do it? I'm afraid the answer to each of these questions is no.

However intelligent, educated and engaged most of those who commented on the show are, they are in the minority. Contrary to the propaganda we constantly hear, most Americans today, including college graduates, are poorly educated, compared to earlier generations. They have trouble with simple math. Their English is so poor that even if they have something to say, they have difficulty expressing themselves. They know next to nothing about history & geography, subjects that aren't even taught in many schools. Physics and chemistry are almost as mysterious to them as political science. And civics? Most have never heard the word. How can ignorant people be expected to make decisions and solve problems?

In part because they are not well educated, many Americans are apathetic, content to leave whatever needs to be done to someone else. Self indulgence is their way of life. If they don't care what is going on around them, they can't even realize anything is wrong. These are not the people who make up Bill Moyers' audience. To make matters worse, they are fools. If they weren't fools, would they be carrying thousands of dollars of credit card debt? Would they have taken out mortgages they knew they couldn't pay off on houses they knew they couldn't afford? Would they have voted for George W. Bush --- twice?

How do you solve problems if you don't understand them? How do you understand when you aren't educated? How do you educate yourself if you don't care?

We are out of time. Forty one years ago, when I first noticed things were starting to go down hill, we had time. Thirty eight years ago, when the Club of Rome published their book, "The Limits of Growth", we had time. Thirty five years ago, when Jimmy Carter tried to encourage conservation & alternative energy sources, we had time. We have frittered that time away and now it is almost gone. If we are lucky, we have ten or twelve years before the problems become so overwhelming that the entire civil and social fabric of our society will disintegrate. If you think we can solve our problems that quickly, you are more optimistic than I. Of course, if John McCain wins the election you can just forget it. It's over.

SEND YOUR READ COPY OF "THE IMPERIAL PRESIDENCY" TO:

WHITE HOUSE
PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH
ATTN: PRESIDENT ELECT
WASHINGTON D.C. 20500

DEDICATION...

PLEASE...BY THE SHEER NUMBER OF COMMENTS AND THE CONTENT OF; HERE NOW FROM WE THE PEOPLE..LET IT BE KNOWN UNTO THIS OUR NATION...BUY THIS BOOK, SEND IT TO THE WHITE HOUSE..BY THE GROVES! TRULY...THE DEDICATION DESERVES NOTHING LESS....

"[Russians]...decided instead to attack some of our other friends, the Georgians...But when President Bush demands Russia go home and leave Georgia alone, his pal Vladimir Putin - the modern Russian czar - gets that sardonic smile on his face." First and foremost wasn't it Georgia who attacked first? And being frank about the subject, isn't Georgia a lackey of the US empire? Without the US Georgia would have never come to what it has become. The policies Georgia executes come straight out from Washington, not Georgia itself. Georgia could never challenge Russia if it didn't have the support it has from the US. Moyers is full of crap as well as propaganda. As far as Mr. Bacevich goes, he's hit the nail right on the head. One thing I disagree tho: he states that he wonders about our dependancy on oil when this is not new (since the 70). My friend, when you control the oil and the people that guard it, like the saudis for example, then it really becomes a moot point. The whole 70's oil crisis was not really about the oil crisis at all, but mostly about the the value of the dollar tied to petroleum in international markets, or "Petrodollars," in relation to "Petrodollar Recycling" (you can google what that is). It is how the US strategists have positioned themselves to dupe foreign countries to pay their mass consumerism. As far as the fundamental change in the US from an Empire of Production to an Empire of Consumption has to do with the fact that in order to build up power as a nation, you must build up your production capacity and technology. Once that is accomplished and you're at the top, then you can keep controlling the technology, but have other countries make the appliances etc for us (modern day slavery, much like sweatshops). As far as his comment that the mamoth security state was not able to forsee 9/11 is to completely miss the bigger picture. They "failed" to forsee it because it was an inside job, which is why there are several well made documentaries questioning the whole thing. As the New American Century put it, America is bound to change very slowly ABSENT A NEW PEARL HARBOR. What that means is that without a new Pearl Harbor type attack, politicians in power will not be able to change much (get a blank check). Knowledge is power.

There is a way this excellent show could have a wider impact, you know... We could each send it to our officials and candidates for every office coming up in November as well as to our friends. But I think if candidates saw the impact reflected on this blog, they'd have to sit up and notice, don't you? Let's jam their inboxes with this message!

I wish to offer my heatfelt gratitude for Andrew Bacevich's son's service and deepest sympathy to his family for their loss. I am continually appalled at the seeming lack of concern for the well being of those serving our country in Iraq. It is forever imprinted in my memory as I watched the initial stages of our troops going into Iraq. I was in a state of disbelief. "What are they thinking?" rolled over & over my mind. I am anxious to read Mr. Bacevich's book as I believe his words ring true.

Ah, how I wish programs like this were on mainstream TV. Alas, this will never be the case as long as we have big business running our government. We have been so busy 'keeping up with the Joneses' that we have not realized that the Joneses are bankrupt, corrupt, shallow, ignorant and selfish. They are not worth 'keeping up with' at all. And when did the 'pursuit of happiness' morph into the pursuit of money? We have sold our souls for a few tarnished shekels. Success does not equal money. As someone once said "shrouds don't have pockets". We must rediscover the true meanings of the words 'happiness and success'. We must learn to say 'no', and we must learn to question those who scream and yell thinking that they can shut us up by their ill-bred boorishness. Keeping us 'fat, dumb and happy' is a fool's paradise and we better realize it now and stand up for our beliefs or we will become just a minor footnote in history.

I saw the interview last night (8/15/08) and this morning I heard the latest news about the Russian perception that their vital security intrests demand regime change in Georgia and Poland, new or prospective NATO members. We may find that the most immediate limits to our power are imposed by those who claim to follow our example. What a MESS!

Always a source of engaging journalism and debate, Bill Moyers Journal is to be congratulated for the outstanding conversation with Professor Andrew Bacevich on August 15. I cannot recall a more incisive and sobering assessment of our national morass without the usual political dogma. I would concur with Professor Bacevich on virtually every point which he stated so concisely and eloquently.

Folks! agreing about this great and articulate man does NOTHING!.we need to get this particular interview aired on FOX! however many $$millions$$ it takes lets DO IT! money talkes, Bill O-rielly wouldnt dare have him on would he?

First let me say to Mr. Bacevich I am sorry you lost you son in this horrible war. He was certainly being a responsible and courageous human being and you are entirely correct in recognizing the differences between the involvement of the American people in this war and Wold War II. I only hope that whomever becomes president has the wisdom to consult and include individuals like Mr. Bacevich in doing the necessary reshaping of this country. If they don't we are doomed to follow the Romans into history as a crumbled empire.

Bill, I watched your interview with Professor Bacevich both Friday night, and again on Saturday night. I have ordered his new book for both myself and my daughter. He is very much in tune and so correct in everything he said. I do though think he needs to look at Presidential hopeful Barack Obama's campaign a little closer. I do believe that Mr. Obama does have the following of Americans that do believe in him, who will make sacrifices, and will make a HUGE CHANGE in how America thinks. Mr. Obama's online presence and organization is phenomenal. Both my daughter and I campaign and fund raise for him and my daughter is very active in the Indianapolis campaign headquarters. My daughter is 22 years old and she has gotten thousands of people involved in this election herself. Do not underestimate the younger generation. They can read through the BS much better than those who have become oh so brainwashed. I do believe Barack Obama will be the next president of this OUR UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, and, I do believe that his energy policies, his social policies, and his GUIDANCE with NO WAR UNLESS TOTALLY NECESSARY will create a NEW AND STRONGER AMERICA. Thanks so much Bill for always having such wonderful programs and guests.

We were also spell bound when we stumbled across your show. I pray that someday we could have a man representing the USA as inspiring a Mr. Bacevich. God bless you Mr. Bacevich and your words. And please accept our heart felt thanks for your precious son. Know that this is one family that feels our Armed forces are not treated right also.
God Bless you Mr. Moyer also.
Mike and Eva Moore

I agree with many of the comments of Professor Bacevich regarding the Iraq war, but there is no question as to how the nation got into this foolish war. It was President George W. Bush's intent to pay back the ruler of Iraq for attempting to murder his father. There is nowhere in American legal documents that authorize the president to use the U S military for personal attacks on foreign governments. Because of President Bush's behavior, he should be subject to legal action upon leaving office.
I further wonder if the US military has good leaders period. This nation has not won a war in over 60 years!

Bill,

Your program with Professor Bacevich was, by far, one of the best broadcasts you've had thus far. The professor offered an insightful analysis of our foreign policy gone wrong, of our personal responsibility gone astray, and of our own ignorance about an executive branch with greatly enlarged powers which is leading us over the precipice if it hasn't already done so. Perhaps optimism isn't called for now; perhaps the American people need to take back the democracy we say we cherish and maybe we need to stop being "consumers" and start becoming better "citizens." Just how we go about that process seems to elude me, especially since I had such hopes in this election. Professor Bacevich spoke the absolute truth; I want to read his book, but I hope he provides some solutions as well. Otherwise, I feel like becoming an expatriate.

Outstanding interview with Mr. Bacevich, how refreshing yet sad to know the path our Country finds itself in. This man, Bacevich, he has the knowledge, he has the wisdom, he has the TRUTH, that so many Americans are hungry and eager to learn.
Bill Moyers program is a blessing in disguise to many of us that are able to receive it, Andrew Bacevich message to us all is one of Reality, all wrapped up in a tight little package for us to open and discover. We need the Truth now, we need the messengers such as Andrew Bacevich, who can articulate and lay out the patterns before our very eyes ........... Well done, Sir.
Regards,
Mark Casillas
Memphis,Tennessee

Andrew Bacevich has Hit The Nail On The Head. Elected Presidents reflect their people. This has been in the making for a long time.

America has been naive about itself, who it thinks it is, along with its consumption, and its expansionism.

I believe, however, that out of bad things good things can come. Painful failures are great teachers.

Let us hope we will look inside our own hearts about the directions of what we truly value.

As I listened to Mr. Bacevich it was as if he articulated clearly and concisely every thought that I have had for the last 8 years of this American crusade.

My sincere feelings go out to him and his family for the terrible loss of his son.

When the Trade Towers were taken down I sensed that a tipping point in our history had occurred. No terrorist group could have subsequently done more to destroy what has been destroyed (our laws, our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, our educational system, our soldiers, our economy, our privacy etc.) than Americans and our elected leaders have already accomplished. We have lost our conscience, our way and our humanity. We have hidden our failures under the shroud of fear, greed and the cover of religion. We are a living under an active and collective delusion.

It remains only for Mr. Obama or Mr. McCain to drive the nails deeper into the coffin that Mr. Bush and the theocracy has put in place.

I don't really know if there is anything that can be done to stop the process of collapse since the forces behind our degradation are powerful, greedy and ego driven and they have told us that they have god on their side. Maybe a possible solution to start the process of change resides with each of us as individuals where we could collectively withdraw our support of the system. We can start this process by NOT VOTING and let the crises follow its natural end just a bit sooner than it would have if we try to fix it.

Thank you, Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich. Your dialogue managed to focus my sense of dread that we are a nation of lemmings headed for the cliff. I am outraged at the War on Terror, disgusted by politics at all levels and feel powerless to do anything about it. I despair that voting in the last election for the Democrats who promised an end to business as usual in Washington was spitting in the wind. What happened to arming kids and old ladies like Lillian Carter with how-to books and sending them around the world? Or at least trying to fight the War on Poverty? That's what I miss now.

The US has become instead the latest and greatest military empire following the Mongols, the Romans, and the British, to name a few. Might makes Right. If I were Iran, I would want nuclear weapons, too.

I was in college in the 60's. We took to the streets to stop the slaughter of innocents and fighters on both sides, including our classmates. We could see that the Domino Theory was rubbish and all those people over there were dying for absolutely nothing. Students were even shot and killed on the Kent State campus. But we believed we could make a difference and we did. Peace and Love.

Where is the outrage now? Where the idealism of youth? This time the country (it's not "our country" anymore) has run amok, fueled by hubris and greed, yet we're all either out shopping or sitting here blogging, blinded by the light from our myriad electronic devices.

I watched the show last night and thought Mr.Bacevich was amazing. I may not be the most educated on the subject, I may even be a liberal but I thought he should be in the congress or senate or even president. He seemed to capture my feelings on democracy and the Iraq War.
In the end I even cried at the thought of his son and all the sons who have died in this unnecessary war.
You Go!! You Go Mr Bacevich!!!!

People cannot be made to go down a path they don't to go down. When we blame the corporations and our politicians for leading us to this point we need to remind ourselves that we voted for, and we bought what they were selling.

The professor reminded us of these truths in his interview. Sadly most watching already believe this, it is much of remaining America that needs to be made aware.

Mr. Bacevich offers the most comprehensive view of American politics and foreign policy that I can ever remember hearing. Even when he says things that I don't particularly agree with, he's stunning.

The videos (Parts 1 & 2) are about 25 minutes each in length, and they are well worth the time it takes to view them. Mr Bacevich makes my mind feel very small. (Though bigger than it was an hour ago.) WATCH IT! We all need to watch it!

Mr. Bacevich articulated with such precision the wrong turns our country has taken. It is agonizing to have so many voices echoing his sentiments, but our elected representatives DO NOTHING! We are willing to sacrifice and make changes to restore the basic fundamentals our nation was built upon. Aside from writing and writing letters, is there any way to get through to the people we elect?

Most Americans are stpid and naive. They do not know how to elect their leaders.

They elect a president based on his faith, family value and lies.

That's why we get a President we deserve.

Americans are also big whiners. Before elction they listen to candidates' false hopes and phony promises. As soon as election is over, they start complaining.

Case in point re-election of George Bush. His approval rating is lowest in the history, sitlll foolish Americans re-elected him and after election started complaining about hi,

Most Americans are stupid and naive. They do not know how to elect their leader. People in other countries are much smarter than Americans.

Americans love to whine. Before the election they get carried away in candidates' phony promises and false hopes. They elect their president as if they are electing a Pope or a magician.

After the election Americans start whining.

You elect a President you deserve.

So wake up or get lost

I just finished watching the interview with Mr. Bacevich, which was absolutely excellent! I would very much like to see this followed up with an interview with Naomi Wolf, author of "The End Of America". Her book touches on so many of the same points in this interview, but with a startling conclusion on what our fate might be in very short order, unless we take steps to prevent it. Please, Bill...ask her on the show. Your viewers will thank you!

I have never been as impressed with anyones presentation and ideas as I was toward those expressed by Mr. Bacevich in your recent interview. I have watched it 3 times and cannot find a point I disagree with. Please have him on again and repeat this program so that I can recommend it to others.
Thank you

Bacevich is so right on about the (perhaps) largest problem (of many) facing America...we have become an empire, and try to enforce our will thru our military might.

Near the end of the interview with Moyers, Bacevich seemed to be somewhat optimistic that the Iraq War may turn out to be a blessing for America.

I am not optimistic at all. I felt that we might have learned from Vietnam, but the approach to Iraq seems to show that we did not. The military-industrial complex is too embedded in American political thinking and the system.

My forecast is that America will have to suffer greatly, perhaps in a war fought on our soil, before attitudes change. It took two devastating wars in the last century to bring Europe to the realization that war was not the answer. As Bacevich points out, less than 1% of Americans are carrying the burden of the war in Iraq, while most of us are still "shopping" as usual, still sleep-walking thru our own history.

Listening to Bacevich last night, I thought about the first American presidency - nobody really wanted it. The fear was that a president might resemble too much the monarchy the first Americans had so recently fought to overthrow. The irony was not lost. We have now come to a place where exactly that kind of monarchy is inherent in our 'imperial presidency.'

As for personal action, I intend to begin right now writing letters, old-fashioned letters, to my own and other congressmen and women to remind them of their constitutional roles as members of the legislative branch. I'm not foolish enough to believe anything will change in the near future, but life is long (though I'm 70). Seeds of conscience planted now may grow into gardens of responsibility for future generations.

great and informative show as always, however it does no good to myself and the average regular PBS watcher, we already know this stuff, if you really want to make a difference PBS should somehow purchase an hour of semi prime time air on a station such as FOX and this Andrew Bacevich interview should be aired to the people that really need to see it,
Andrew bacevich is a wonderfull speaker that the average American would listen to! he is a military man who lost a son in Iraq and he is EXACTLY what America needs to know about, showing it to myself and the normal PBS patren does nothing but make us more upset or frustrated, frustrated that the rest of America isnt seeing this briliant articulate man.

Marcos.

the REAL reason for the war in Iraq is oil and the currency it is traded in, Iraq had transitioned to the Euro and the war became a bullying strategy to dissuade other OPEC countries from following suit. 9/11 served as the perfect conduit towards that endeavor.

http://home.hiwaay.net/~becraft/IraqWarFRN.pdf

We desparately need a leader who can think anew about America's place in global matters: political, economic, and (yes)militarily. Is it possible that Obama could be such a man? Possible. Is it possible that McCain could be such a man? (not likely). Although a former supporter of the two Bush's, I am ready for the posible.

Your talk with Bacevich was stunning. I've read him before and agreed with him, but I figure he must be down to basics if this liberal agrees with him on so much.

On reflection my question is whether or not he gives enough attention to the role of corporate entities, and the whole way the economy and politics interact to protect this system we have (re D. Cay Johnston). But since I've not read his book I don't know. I'm eager to see how he factors that in.

Your talk with Bacevich was stunning. I've read him before and agreed with him, but I figure he must be down to basics if this liberal agrees with him on so much.

On reflection my question is whether or not he gives enough attention to the role of corporate entities, and the whole way the economy and politics interact to protect this system we have (re D. Cay Johnston). But since I've not read his book I don't know. I'm eager to see how he factors that in.

We desparately need a leader who can think anew about America's place in global matters: political, economic, and (yes)militarily. Is it possible that Obama could be such a man? Possible. Is it possible that McCain could be such a man? (not likely). Although a former supporter of the two Bush's, I am ready for the posible.

This blog must be the all-time longest ever. In a brief summary, almost everyone agrees this is the best of many excellent shows. Ditto.

What is missing are suggestions on what to do about the 2008 election.

A couple of bloggers suggest voting for Ralf Nader. My fear is that our votes will be wasted.

My suggestion to set up a web site to solicit pledged votes prior to Nov 4th. Then if the resulting pledges fall short of the 34% of the total needed, all those who signed up may change their actual vote in Nov. I have sent this idea to the Libertarian Party (Bob Barr) yesterday, but have not been contacted yet.

Thanks for letting me vent.
Pierre

The US is addicted to consumption, because our religion tells us we are super-creatures, unattached to the natural world, for whom all these riches are ours to use up, eat up and consume. And this religion is increasing in influence.

Dear Mr.Bacevich

I wish there was a way I could thank you personally for what you have inspired in this one particular family, like others have commented we inadvertently stumbled upon your interview on Bill Moyers channel surfing and became spellbound by your sobering analysis on the spiraling downturn of this once great country virtually hanging on every word you uttered.

We are staunch Ron Paul supporters but resigned ourselves to voting for "one of the lesser two evils" and realized, my god even the Presidential Election has become an exercise of "fear", who do we "fear" the least of the two is who we will vote for then we saw your interview and became inspired to take that look in the mirror and take back our own personal democracy starting with this Presidential Election.We decided to exercise our DEMOCRATIC RIGHT to vote for the person WE REALLY WANT even if that candidate's name is not on the ballot, come November 2 we will look at ourselves in the mirror, go to the polls and, in good conscience and good faith, vote for OUR candidate Ron Paul by writing his name on the ballot.

From my family to yours we extend our deepest condolences on the loss of your son, may our new found inspiration serve as a tribute in honor of his memory.

Agreeing with Andrew Bacevich is like agreeing with myself. But his is such a welcome, clarifying articulation! Ever since 9/11/01 these thoughts about a tipping point have persisted; I'd like to share them since they need clarification.

A) With regard to the American public and American foreign policy, suppose these two things were true that were not true then, nor are they now: we value and fully support our share in the United Nations; we value and support the World Court. I believe the following could have happened, and I believe (Andrew Bacevich's having cited a caution regarding "unforeseen consequences of war") that unforeseen benefits could have accrued, regardless of this lack of truth.

B) On 9/11/01, when the United States had the expressed sympathy of the people of the world who knew what had happened, what if, instead of declaring the events of 9/11 an "act of war," 1) the American response had been a declaration of a "Crime Against Humanity," and 2) the announcement had been made of these simultaneous actions: a) a formal, urgent call to the United Nations for confirmation of the declaration; and b) formal filing of complaint at the World Court.

C) Improbable as those actions were and are, let alone their success, these questions remain: Where might the United States, the United Nations, and the World Court be today, with benefit of these seven years since 9/11/01, had American leadership made that alternative declaration despite all odds? With regard to leadership, could that response have set a course for breaking the age-old cycle of war as solution? Might needed improvements to, both the World Court and United Nations have had to be undertaken and advanced? Specifically, could world pressure have brought (forced?) better mechanisms for prompt United Nations consideration of, and for World Court's trying of, international criminal acts? Could these international efforts have enhanced, in effect, the same efforts of any single nation? And by now, might progress in human affairs prove to have been tipped upward instead of downward as it has been - downward to its globally tragic current state?

Leadership that tips human affairs upward, at home and abroad, is what I expect of us Americans and of those we elect to govern. Indeed, let's look in the mirror!
Kayren Morrill

Dr. Bacevich offers an unflinching assessment of where we are as a nation. Having just completed 25 years of active duty military service, I have to concur. My own repeated service in the Middle East reinforces my view of his conclusions.

I hope Dr. Bacevich will be called to serve in our government and that he will answer the call.

Very powerful and right on the money. All elected officials should be required to read this.

It was refreshing to say the least, to listen to a discussion of the problems of our current state of affairs without the constant bickering of 2, 3 or more opposing talking heads. When will we, if ever, get back to electing people to actually represent the people and do what is really best for the country rather that toeing the line of a party line that is merely designed to get and keep power to control us all and keep getting themselves elected. We should have mandatory recall elections after a short period of time to get rid of any elected servant that fails to actually serve and represent the voter rather than the party or a special interest.

Bacevich is a "conservative", a point that he sort of glossed over. He belongs to the camp which thinks that the goals are still correct, but the recent implementation has been wrong. This view is still filled with the same fallacies: that smaller government, a balanced budget and the return to "traditional values" are meaningful. Smaller than what? Balanced budgets are a pointless nostrum and show a lack of economic understanding, borrowing (reasonable amounts) to finance investment in the future is a sensible policy and is standard for all growing economies. And what "values" do conservatives support that are different than those of others? Is any one in favor of more misery or less education or poorer health.

"Traditional values" is code for authoritarianism, usually by WASP men.

He also supports the fallacy that international policing can stamp out "terrorism". This shows an unwillingness to explore what these people's aims are. The rightist belief that Islamofascists want to take over the world is just paranoia, and if it were true than no amount of policing will stamp it out. The British learned with the IRA that policing can't stamp out insurgent groups and can't prevent all attacks, preaching otherwise is giving false hope to people and this will lead to calls for more limits on civil liberties when the next attack happens.

He also implied a belief that we could still carry out some sort of "concert of democracies", just not using military adventurism. One cannot force western society on other states whether at the barrel of a gun or via soft power, but people keep hoping.

His key point can be summed up in the old Pogo quote: "We have met the enemy and he is us". The US population is not being asked to sacrifice to ensure for a better future. This is a failure of leadership. He did not offer any remedy to this, but he is right, both parties are pandering to voters in this respect.

Finally somebody who seems to understand the underlying problems of the Imperial Presidency. I just odered Bacevich's book and am looking forward to read it.
I agree with the author that we have to stop problem solving and face the fact that we create it in the first place.

After watching the Bill Moyers Journal PBS last evening (it is the best political program on television), I was about to make a comment about what in my view is the only way to change the politics of this country when I happened to glance at Anthony’s post – August 15 at 11:12 PM. Uncanny but I was about to say pretty much the same thing. The only way change is going to come about is through electing politicians at the local level in every office, mayors, councilmen, school boards, all the way through state and national offices who demonstrate their policies and support policies that really represent their constituents and express the democracy for which we yearn. This is what renders us powerful, in stark contrast to Catherine’s repeated posts heartfelt capitulation to the status quo.

Col. Bacevich is articulate and precise and I honor and respect his views. For the most part I completely agree with what he said.

I have to disagree, however, that terrorism from the Islamic world is something nonexistent. From reading of Islamic religious doctrines, Islamists are bound by their dogma to be imperialistic, and for whatever reason they might feel justified, fanatics wish to injure and destroy the United States and they have said this many times. That may not be the view of the entire Islamic multinational entity, and I do not believe it is, but it is enough that the US must be vigilant. We hear little criticism of the terrorists expressed from the Arab countries. Americans have the right not to want to be destroyed. Even with this fear, I do not support any preemptive action with Iran or any other Islamic nation. I think, along with Joseph Stiglitz , and Andrew Bacevich, that would be an insane act of thanatos. A death wish for America. There must be ways short of war that civilized human beings can find to solve the conundrum of the horror of more war. The talk about warring against Iran is another instance of political mental illness.

Thanks to both the Bill Moyers and Andrew Basevich. Denial may be a painless way to cope, but denial is also hopeless.

This discussion Moyer had with col Bacevich should be
viewed by every citizen in this country. As a Vietnam veteran and retired officer of the US military, and now at 61 years of age, I was simply stunned to hear such a patriotic and professional American lay out in clear terms the very serious and dangerous position that has been created for America by total fools.

I was watching the Olympic coverage on T.V. and happened upon an interview that completely floored me. For 1 hour I was captivated. I got angry, scared and ultimately inspired to do something. Our government has established a foreign policy that goes against the established values that we share in this country. I laughed at C. Rice's condemnation of Russia's recent military activity. We have no right to judge their actions with our record of military use. Thank you for this inspiring interview.

Excellent show as usual! It is refreshing to know that people still care about Liberty. Personally I think it usually boils down to Liberty. Do we care as Americans enough about are Liberty to make the effort to return this country to what it once was? Or in the alternative to make it a place that our future Americans (like my grandaughter Nicole) will have Liberty. We need leadership now more than ever-Pass it on

The most unfortunate thing about our society is that nothing will change so long as the American people are able to buy what ever they want regardless of cost. There is no thought of the future, only the now. Unless this fundamental attitude of American society is changed, there will be no change in how our government works.

Insofar as this discussion is related to the judicial branch, let's just say that the justices are just as corrupt as the other two branches of our government. The law means nothing to them except how they can apply it to their own constituencies. After all, recent presidents (both democrat and republican)` have picked their nominees based more on their political positions then on how they've applied the law .

Yes, I truly feel that our county is broken. But, it can be fixed. The question is though, how much more does it have to break before the American people decide that it is in their best interest to fix it?

Andrew Bacevich hit the nail on the head. For years, I have wondered as to what happened to our system of checks and balances and the separation of powers. From the beginning I spoke of the Iraq war as an unnecessary invasion and have thought of President Bush as dictatorial rather than presidential and the congress without backbone. Oh, that all Americans tuned into this particular program.

As a card-carryin' conservative, surely Prof. Bacevich must have received a call from Bill O'Reilly by now to schedule an interview forthwith, right? On the other hand, Prof. B. lacks that sarcastic, snarling hatred of progressives (as one person called him here, about 300 messages ago, "a boring guy"). And how 'bout Stewart and Colbert? Nothing real funny about this discussion.
I was thinking today of CNN and wondering why their discussions of the economy seem so lame and simplistic. Duh. It's because their advertisers would run far away fast if the talking heads told US viewers what's in store for this country if we don't look in the mirror pretty soon.
One blogger's typo caught my eye--this truly is "Saturday mourning" in America.

I look forward to the time when the American people and Bill Moyers learn the truth that 9/11 was an inside job. Believing this truth changes everything. We are in a war based on a lie. Our soldiers are dying in vain. No rationalization can change that. This program was wonderful. I believe in personal responsibility. I value this blog and the opinions of the writers, but I think some of the opinions would change if viewed from the truth that 9/11 was an inside job. Even Bill Moyers is not ready to accept the beyond horrible truth. Yes, human beings are capable of unspeakable lies and evil, and some of these human beings are in our own government. I do not like believing this, but my gut, my conscience tells me it is true. I think it is this truth--the 9/11 cover up- that will ignite the American people to action to overhaul our government.

For the most part, I agree with Col. Basevich's assessment. But I mildly disagree with the claim that the government is dysfunctional - it's only working for those whom it's designed to work for. Address government contract war-profiteering, the outrageous profits of Big Oil and Big Pharma, and you'll understand why nothing changes.

Col. Bacevich cuts through American Myth and gets to the heart of our dilemma. Oh, we like sheep...have farmed out our responsibility to ensure our liberties to a government that has been bought and sold. Could it be that waving the Amercian flag is actually a sign of surrender to an Imperialistic elite? This interview was a tremendous tribute to his son.

politics is all about power and $$$$$. as long as it is going to cost $500M to elect a president(and going up), only the very wealthy, famous and/ or corrupt can get elected! money must be taken out of the equation. one way to do this is to mostly allow campaigning thru the airwaves with mandatory donated time by tv, radio and any other deemed media. this period could go from march to june, when all the primaries would be on the same day. the presidential campaign could be done the same way with the summer off to select vp and cabinet and start in sept. the members of the house should be elected for 4 yr terms(staggered-one-half every 2 yrs), since they now are compaigning the day after they are elected. term limts for house and senate should be established.
as long as staying or getting into positon of power is the primary objective of politicians and their party, and "the american way of life is nonnegotiable", the politicians have no incentive to make the necessary important decisions that will keep american strong, free and maintain a high quality of life for the generations to come.

Perhaps the most compelling, most important interview I've seen on television in decades. Thank you both for your extraordinary work.

Your Andrew Bacevich interview was priceless. I was about to give in, vote for Obama and hope for the best, but I'm back to thinking the only way we can have an impact is to support Nader in his effort to get on the debates. He may not have a chance to become president, but he can force the candidates to discuss the real issues. How else can we have a voice? After all there's a lot more of us than there are of them.

I say this without intending to be contrary: Col. Bacevich has gotten this subject exactly wrong, and I thank him for this.

In his model American consumerism led to trade deficits and American empire, as the elite tried to satify the voter desire for its way of life.

In fact, as NSC-68 shows, it was the American reach for empire by the Washington Elite, during the time of Truman, and continued with every presidency since, which depended on the consumerism of American voters, and, ultimately, cheap imported products.

The interview was astounding and deeply moving, despite this fundamental flaw.

Dear Mr. Moyers and Mr. Bracevich,

Thank you both for the hour I spent with you on the Journal.

Mr. Bracevich, your book and its truthfulness is a great testament to your son's life. I am truly sorry for your loss.

Just after 9-11, before the war, I personally wrote an editorial for my local newspaper. I realized then, that the word TERRORISM contains the words, 'set mirror'. I couldn't agree with you more, Mr. Bracevich about the need to get our own house in order. The 9ll call for 'higher' consciousness is true for us as individuals and collectively as a nation. Sometimes our 'soul' work has to first bring us to our knees.

'Change', to me, is an acronym for Choosing (an) Honorable Authenticity, Not (the) Glorification (of) Ego. There are many who resonate with the truth you speak. Please keep talking. I'm optimistic about the shift we can make back to the core values of this nation.

Hope is Holding Open the Possiblities (for Good)that Exist.

Thank you both.

Sincerely,
Carol

I watched only the last half of the interview along with my wife. She normally does not care to watch this type of show. However what Mr. Bacevich had to say was important to both of us as it was from someone who intelligently and calmly pointed out what is so wrong in America. I wish all politicians would take the time to visit war memorials found in the center of Washington, D.C., before making decisions about sending troops or even military aid around the world in the name of "national interests." And we as a nation need to make sure our voices rise so that those defending us can do an honorable job in every sense of the word. We are paying a price not only in lives today, but in uncounted ways tomorrow that no one wants to own up to. Thank you, Mr. Moyers, for having Andrew Bacevich on your program.

Thank you for bringing thoughtful discussion to the issues that should matter to all Americans. Thank you for shining a light on those that pursue their selfish agendas that harm our nation in the long run. Finally, thank you, thank you for bringing Andrew Bacevich to your forum. He articulated my feelings and thinking about our international policies, our lying president(s), our useless leaderless congress, and the lame professions of support for the troops conducting our military adventure in Iraq. I will buy and read his books. I do believe that those in power care not how many copies of a book are sold and read. They know that the vast majority of the sheep population do not read and do not think. Programs like yours and books like Mr. Bacevich's pose no threat to them. But I thank you for your efforts.

Once again, Bill Moyers has proven himself indispensable to our democracy. Without honest and earnest voices like his, we would be lost in the woods.
His continuing efforts to bring intelligent discourse to the increasingly toxic public forum should alone qualify him for canonization.
That said, last night's program reached new heights.
Col. Bacevich is truly and amercian hero. A scholar-warrior who knows of what he speaks and has paid for that knowledge through great sacrifice. Thank you sir. I hope everyone will read his writings and take a more honest look at our nation and ourselves. We like to think that all our problems are someone else's
fault. But as my college lacrosse taught me, when you point the finger at someone else, your other fingers point right back at you.

Thank you Bill, Col. Bacevich and of course, PBS...

I was moved to tears. This was one of the most important, truthful to-the-core programs I have ever seen. Just when I think Moyers can't get any better, we get his show with Col. Bochevich. We HAVE to show this to those who don't care or know much about politics.

Fair Warnings Unheeded by the American People


President Franklin D. Roosevelt in an April 29, 1938 message to Congress warned that the growth of private power could lead to fascism:

"Liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself. That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power."

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's farewell address of January 17, 1961:

Our military organization today bears little relation to that known by any of my predecessors in peacetime,” he said, “or indeed by the fighting men of World War II and Korea… We have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions… We must not fail to comprehend its grave implications… We must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex.

What makes anyone here think that the American People will heed Andrew Bacevich's wise warnings, articulate and informed as they are?

I agree with everything Mr. Bacevich. His words makes us look in the mirror and take stock of ourselves and our country. Nothing in this country will change until we, the people of this nation, stand up. We did not stand up when they wanted to invade Iraq, we did not stand up when they borrowed trillions from China to finance the war, we did not stand up when they sent our soldiers on multiple deployments, we did not stand up when they hid the coffins coming home, we did not stand up when we were told that thousands of injured soldiers are being sent home, we did not stand up when we heard the soldiers were receiving inadequate health care, we did not stand up when they took away our civil liberties, we did not stand up when corporations took over the news media, and we are not standing up today as gas prices soar and our Imperial President plays the war drums with Russia. Mr. Bacevich is on target!

Without a doubt, one of the most thought provoking, and moving guests I've seen, and that's saying a lot.

I would love to explore ways to completely revamp our gov't, starting with congress, and the elimination of K Street.

What can we citizens do to take a proactive stand?

I am an informed, altruistic, patriotic citizen, and am willing to serve w/o the absurd perks that these elected, self-serving, hob-knobbing, phonies demand.

There has got to be a better way than what this dysfunctional congress has shown the country.

Anyone else truly interested in a gov't by the real people, who are willing to leave their egos in the parking lot, and work for the taxpayer instead of corporate lobbyists??

I'll bet there are millions of us out there.

Prof.Bacevich, your interview should be required viewing in all high-school civics classes. Too bad they don't have civics classes anymore, and the looming threat of a lawsuit on a lowly Social Studies teacher is a stark reality.

I am a 2 tour Vietnam Veteran who recently retired after 36 years of working in the Defense Industrial Complex on many of the weapons systems being used by our forces as we speak.

If you are interested in a view of the inside of the Pentagon procurement process from Vietnam to Iraq please check the posting at my blog entitled, “Odyssey of Armaments”

http://rosecoveredglasses.blogspot.com/2006/11/odyssey-of-armaments.html

The Pentagon is a giant, incredibly complex establishment, budgeted in excess of $500B per year. The Rumsfelds, the Administrations and the Congressmen come and go but the real machinery of policy and procurement keeps grinding away, presenting the politicos who arrive with detail and alternatives slanted to perpetuate itself.

How can any anyone, be he a President, a Congressman or even the Sec. Def. Mr. Gates, understand such complexity, particularly if heretofore he has not had the clearance to get the full details?

Answer- he can’t. Therefore he accepts the alternatives provided by the career establishment that never goes away and he hopes he makes the right choices. Or he is influenced by a lobbyist or two representing companies in his district or special interest groups.

From a practical standpoint, policy and war decisions are made far below the levels of the talking heads who take the heat or the credit for the results.

This situation is unfortunate but it is absolute fact. Take it from one who has been to war and worked in the establishment.

This giant policy making and war machine will eventually come apart and have to be put back together to operate smaller, leaner and on less fuel. But that won’t happen until it hits a brick wall at high speed.

We will then have to run a Volkswagen instead of a Caddy and get along somehow. We better start practicing now and get off our high horse. Our golden aura in the world is beginning to dull from arrogance.

great and informative show as always, however it does no good to myself and the average regular PBS watcher, we already know this stuff, if you really want to make a difference PBS should somehow purchase an hour of semi prime time air on a station such as FOX and this Andrew Bacevich interview should be aired to the people that really need to see it,
Andrew bacevich is a wonderfull speaker that the average American would listen to! he is a military man who lost a son in Iraq and he is EXACTLY what America needs to know about, showing it to myself and the normal PBS patren does nothing but make us more upset or frustrated, frustrated that the rest of America isnt seeing this briliant articulate man.

Marcos.

It was such a relief to hear Bacevich's assessment of our political, economic, and social malaise. As a historian, I was also deeply impressed with Bacevich's obvious grasp of recent history in the Middle East, and of the history of empires in the past. All empires succumb to the oldest human weakness there is: hubris. The American brand of hubris is this mindset of American superiority allied to a surreal expectation that any government can wage war without impacting the daily lives of the society waging that war. This disconnect between the battlefront and the homefront, allied to the lack of any meaningful look at what price our society is really paying for the "war on terror" in the mainstream media is at the heart of our current crisis of faith in ourselves and our political system. As we all look in our own personal mirrors, we would do well to understand that our current slide from world power status is an old pattern. How we respond to the necessity of becoming more realistic, modest, and conscious of our own place within the world rather than trying to maintain a mythical place at the center of the world will be our true measure of power in the future. European societies have already been through this process. Hopefully we can learn from the mistakes other empires have made in the past and from the wisdom of our own political tradition, forged by transplanted Europeans, who also understood in their time that European empires would fall. I greatly appreciate knowing that other concerned citizens are beginning this very important process of national renewal-a process that must be based on actions that reflect real values, rather than just paying lip service to the ideal of democracy. It is the very least our country owes to those young men and women dying in Iraq, the citizens of Iraq and the prisoners in Guantanomo Bay who have failed to receive the treatment we agreed to give them in the Geneva Convention. We have lost touch with the standard of ethical behavior that separates democracies from dictatorships. Our government has condoned and advocated the use of torture. Thanks this interview I at least know that other citizens are as concerned as I am that the ideals at the heart of our historical and political tradition are being betrayed-through a sort of collective hubris that we must abandon.

Thank you for your excellent understanding of what our nation has become. We will only return to sound policies when we let go of money and return to service as our model of excellence. We are most secure in the world when we are respected for the high standards that we set for ourselves, not for others. We find our finest potential as a model, not an enforcer.

Mr. Bacevich correctly points out that our “democracy is a false one” but says nothing with regard to our entire monetary system also being a false one. He fails to touch upon the issue that foreign policy is being dictated by financial policy and that our government turned that over to a private corporation many years ago. I take exception to Mr. Bacevich’s implication that we Americans, as if by choice, have gone from an “empire of production” to an “empire of consumption”. Does he think the people of this great Country got tired of producing steel, cars, radios, televisions etc. and decided we would be happier flipping burgers for a fraction of our previous wage? Mr. Bacevich should be ashamed to imply that our foreign policy is being “concocted” by the “political elite” to satiate the greed/lust of the average citizen. Let him try telling that to the almost 40 million Americans living at or below the poverty level in this Country who are trying to make it on a minimum wage that in 40 years has gone from $1.60 to $6.55 while in the same period gas prices have gone from $.24/gallon to over $4/ gallon. Is it an imperial presidency that is destroying what America stands for? Not entirely, it goes so much deeper than just the office of President. If Mr. Bacevich would read more than just the preamble of our Constitution, he would find that our forty fourth President will have no more Constitutional power than our first. What this Country desperately needs is a President, Congress and Judiciary that will simultaneously have the conviction and courage to follow it to the letter.

This was one of the best in a field of excellence!

I would like to suggest Paul Craig Roberts as another conservative with a similarly incisive critique.

My guess is that 80 years ago, there was probably a thoughtful German warning of the dangers and evil direction of Hitler's Germany. And just like today, most 'good' Americans not only refuse to listen but to ACT. Though Colonel (Cincinnatus) Bacevich would decline the honor, he ought to be elected as president.

I was so deeply moved by this program. How refreshing to listen to a calm, rational presentation of facts. I applaud Mr Bacevich and would like thanks him for allowing me to feel like I can support the troops without supporting the war.

I've admired Andrew Bacevich for a long time and read most of what he's written. We are very good at seeing what has to be done and energetic about promoting a wiser way of living. Many of us see so very clearly what others are doing wrong! But the bottom line is not what America is not doing, not what our community is not doing, not what those some like to think of as "ignorant" are not doing, but what we as individuals are willing to do to get our lives and our country back in balance. Starting now.

It was great to hear Bacevich's take on Carter's speech. I was living overseas at the time and thought the speech was right on target. So it was surprising to find when I returned that "common wisdom" judged it (and Carter) a failure. We know better now.

One of the most insightful programs I have ever seen on television. Mr. Bacevich touches on two critical points in his analysis: 1) That we have become obsessed with consumerism which, in turn, has become the end to most of our policy determinations and 2)the solutions to the inevitable problems this profligacy creates will thus come from a difficult re-assessment of our own personal and collective selves. Either that or it will be forced upon us by other factors (such as sky-rocketing energy prices).

Frankly, I'm not too optimistic about the self-reassessment option and think it more likely the latter will occur.

Tangential to this, we cannot expect our politicians to "solve" these problems since their decision making is simply an extension of our own philosophies -- we must change ourselves first, and the political forces will follow. To put it another way, "We have seen the enemy and it is us."

It is instructive that everyone -- liberal and conservative -- says they "just want the truth" from politicians. But politicians understand that one's "truth" in this context is more accurately defined as "personal belief." Thus, politicians don't give you the truth, they give you what you want to hear. If they did otherwise, they'd never get elected.

I quibble with Bacevich's argument that Democrats failed to follow through on their 2006 mandate for "change." It is not possible, with 51 votes, to ride out vetos -- a tool that George Bush has used effectively -- or filibusters, and until the Democratic (or Republican) majority pushes or surpasses 60 votes, not much will change.

Nonetheless, I don't know much else about Mr. Bacevich, but he sure looks like a great possibility for Obama's running mate!

Although I'm registered as a member of the Green Party I agree with everything Andrew Bacevich said to Bill and I wish that he were running for President. In fact, since Obama will completely slam McCain here in California, I plan to resurrect my tradition of 'tilting at windmills' and write in his name on my ballot. Aside from voting for Ralph Nader, I've written in Barbara Jordan's name twice over the past thirty years. That's the luxury of living in California. If you wait until 7:00pm PST you already know who's gonna win so you can creatively waste your vote and walk out of the booth with a clean conscience.

James Mahaffey - Los Angeles

Bacevich is on the mark in underscoring American's dysfunction of seeking its identity and answers outside itself rather than in the mirror. Instead of having a primary mentality of "what does Europe or the UN think of America"? - maybe we need to be asking "what do congressmen think of congress" or "what do Americans think of being American"? It's as if we are asleep at the wheel of our own lives, steeped in guilt, waiting for the media or other "new" symbol (new president, new house, new spouse, new car) to provide answers and hope. America seems to be more interested in following the idea of an imperial symbol, like the president or the "collective conscience of the world", rather than looking within.

Our success on the world stage may just hinge on eventually waking up and taking stock of the abject failure of our congress to carry out the will of the people, and of our communites, our families - our selves to be responsibly introspective rather than deferring to government, TV, Europe, the Middle East to tell us who we are or what we should be.

As with physics, an object in motion tends to stay in motion - unless acted upon by another force. This is the trajectory of declining politics and self-responsibility of the last 50 years. America, currently, seems to have nothing to fight for. Materialism, the illusion of continued economic and social superiority (with the help of the media's articulation) have lulled us into complacency and denial. Perhaps America has not yet been sufficiently acted upon by another force, to make us more conscious. To the extent that we deny that freedom and economic solvency must be fueled by sacrifice and conciousness (like balancing our personal spending), we put ourselves at risk, to be controlled by others who do understand and live consciously. Deep down inside, we have all taken our communites, our marriages, our country for granted.

Americans, now, seem to not have it in ourselves to feel gratitude to those who have fought for our freedom, to have gratitude for the vision of our forefathers and constitution. Perhaps that gratitude and consciousness will only re-surface in the face of domestic attack or economic calamity. However, does it consciously make any less sense to skip paying our fire insurance premium than it does for Americans to give congress a pass on effectively, efficiently dealing with a war on terrorism or for voters to hold the congress accountable to those they serve? Are we now willing to "trade in" democracy, freedom and sacrifice for something "new and improved", contrived by private interests, mega-corporations and the next media blitz?

I must admit shame while Mr. Bacevich held up the mirror. We are so co-dependant on the likes of G. W. Bush and his easy answers. The day will come when we will no longer be allowed to beat up on the rest of the world with economics and the military.

The families of the dead soldiers must INSIST that the caskets be shown as a matter of course as well as blown up Iraqi children, etc.

Thank you for such a well-done interview.

If all the individuals that took the time to thoughtfully comment on this seminal interview are an indication of American potential to cope with the extreme problems that lie before us, we have many "philosopher kings" waiting in the wings to guide the way out of the darkness of this period. The two words that sum up the poles of our two major political parties in this electoral cycle are Security vs. Hope. It is the job of the "philosopher kings" to help their less intellectually gifted brethren to make the choice most consistent with the long-term survival of not only this nation but the planet. It is ultimately up to "We the People..." to guide the policies and decisions that must be made by whomever is elected and we can only be effective when we keep the dialogue alive, living and practicing our beliefs. Thanks to many of you I have more resources to check into and ideas about how best to put my "shoulder to the wheel". I will be recording the rebroadcast of this seminal event to share with my grandchildren. There is great potential in the youth of today. With study abroad a requirement of many of our universities, our students are learning about the world that lies outside mainstream media and the propaganda that keeps so many Americans ignorant of the urgency of the crises facing this world. It is up to us, as their elders to preserve the ability to freely discuss and experiment to solve problems. Ideas and innovation flourish where there is light and encouragement.

Like so many of you, I was compelled by the interview with Prof. Bacevich and couldn't agree more with his views on the apparent decline and abuses of power going on in this country.

One thing I think we can all do, as a starting point, is to contact PBS about the show and urge them to rebroadcast it especially after the coverage of the Olympics is completed.

I have suggested in my note that perhaps a fund raising campaign featuring his books and DVD's of the program would encourage them to do so.

Too much is at stake to let this go by without trying to get more of the populace to be aware and bring people together to address this most important issue as a first step.

We are the people and it is our responsibility and right to determine the future of America.

The interview with Professor Bacevich is an exceptional interview.
As My cousin in England would say, "Proper Job" Bill Moyers.
I agree with Professor Bacevich's assessment of our present situation. We need to get back in line with our moral compass and our national commitment to do what is right and good.
We have the resources to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and resolve the terrorism problem. We need to work with other countries to improve their quality of life without forcing our will on their people. It is ironic that we deposed a dictator and created our own dictator.
We are too volnerable to corruption and it will destroy our freedom and our quality of life. Our band aid approach to problems is disastrous. We need to be dedicated to massive changes to preserve our union. The first thing we have to do is root out the corrupt and incompetent leaders and apply our skills to improving our economics and our social organization.
Dave Eddy

Another outstanding program with highly sensible people. Which makes me wonder why we have such second raters in Congress and running the country.

Prof. Bacevich's exposition of our problems and mistakes over the past 28 years, but especially the last 8, is right on.
The Bushies seem to have failed to read or learn from history.

Everybody who is upset with Russia seems to have forgotten that the US has the Monroe Doctrine, which regards the Americas as our sphere of interest.

In the same view, Russia regards all the former Soviet Union and its environs as its sphere of influence. What did we do when missiles were about to be placed into Cuba?
How did we react to Cuba tying up with Russia?
Offering NATO membership to Georgia was very similar. What would we do if Mexico entered into a treaty with Russia?

Like most whose comments I have read on this blog, I found the interview with Col. Bacevich to be one of the most coherent explanations yet of where we are and how we got here. I would not disagree with his assertion that we need to look "in the mirror" to see the root of our situation.

However, I was surprised that there seemed to be little discussion of the entrenched corporate interests who seem to have ample motivation to keep us in this state. (When I read his book I may find that this subject is indeed adressed.) A weak, ineffective government removes an obstacle for them in pursuit of more profit. Perhaps Prof. Bacevich is correct insomuch as the apparent greed that drives the military-industrial and capital interests is no different than, and is probably just an extension of the consumerist addiction that he so eloquently describes as a core value of American life.

Nevertheless, these corporate interests, while perhaps not the original cause of our disease, are now one of the most significant manifestations of it. I am not confident that looking in the mirror and changing our consumer appetites will be enough to starve this beast that we have created, to mix my metaphors.

I agree with Bacevich's comments. We, the American people as a whole have become increasingly cozy using whatever means necessary to maintain our ignorance and lack of responsibility. His comment about the armed forces really struck a chord in me because in essence what he was saying is true. Because of our willingness to relegate our wars to a half a percent of the population, war has lost its seriousness and has transformed into the first option used, into a aseptic and clean view of a truly ugly and terrible thing. The ONLY way I see of curing this problem is for the American people to become aware of their surroundings. And, I don't mean only our immediate surroundings, I mean of our psyche as a whole, and take that long hard look in the mirror.

Andrew Bacevich clearly put into words my thoughts of our troubled and foundering country. Recently Bill Moyers interviewed Susan Jacoby writer of The Age of American Unreason. I recommend that these two brilliant minds meet, if they haven't already. Maybe Mr. Moyer's can arrange it. They could learn from each other. Bacevich's use of the depersonalized word troops instead of soldiers is where I made the connection...the only flaw in his interview. I'm only a third of the way through Jacoby's book and look forward to reading Bacevich's. Thank you Bill.

Thanks for the excellent program!

Where does America begin to set things right?

It certainly should not start with violence.

Go to the polls and vote your conscience in November.

A VERY Large Number of Non-Democratic AND Non-Republican votes will at least say that the AMERICAN silent majority is still out there and getting tired of the direction the country is going.

Next: ISSUES

Legislators need to be directed to address the following issues (or be replaced by those willing to do so):

1) Defining as a CRIME the Greed. materialism. and the amorality of Corporate executives.
2) Corporate rights superior to individual rights were never part of the constitution. The Judiciary must be held accountable for this travesty and forced to readjust the lopsided judgements set in place since the American Revolution. This can be corrected by NEW Legislation that makes it clear that the Individual's basic inalienable rights may NOT be overshadowed by Corporate rights or abbrogated by either the short-sightness (or corruption) of any single judge OR the Judiciary.
3) A legislator's job is NOT to continually legislate. As individual freedom, independence, and pursuit of happiness is largely dependent on less governance,legislator's play a major role in doing away with laws as much as creating them.
4) The right to property is a fundamental value in the constitution which may not be tampered with. NO American government (municipal. state, or federal) should be allowed to "condemn" property on behalf of the "greater-good." This Judiciary failure must be set right by legislation.

(By the way: A citizen loses his right to vote when serving a jail term & only regains that right when his time is served.
Non-citizens have no rights under the constitution. Lawyers should not be given a right to practice until they acknowledge and agree to uphold these fundamental constitutional concepts.)

This is just the beginning. There is a long road ahead for Americans to appreciate and benefit by the gift given us by our forefathers.

As much as I enjoyed the program, there was little discussion of how to set the wrongs right...hence my suggestions above for a starter.

Andrew Bacevich's conversation with Bill Moyers, I must confess, brought tears to my eyes and, more importantly, gave expression to the truths that we must recognize if we are to preserve 'the central core' of what AMERICA means to us.

Professor Bacevich, we recognize that what you are saying is so VITALLY important, and we honor you for saying it with such conviction and with such eloquence!

Your remarks concerning the 'next president' recognize that our failure to look ourselves in the mirror has made the fixing (or even the recognition of) our problems presently impossible.

In view of this, it appears that these imperial presidencies will continue to destroy what almost all of us claim as America's core. And I think that this country -- to use Churchill's famous phrase -- "may sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age, made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science" -- or the lights of a perverted MSM.

We want our country to be the best of what we once believed it to be and to "move forward into broad, sunlit uplands". That is a sacred thing. And it has been spat upon now for decades.

Thank you, Mr. Bacevich, and thank you, Mr. Moyers, for your interview of this inspiringly great American! A truly historic event in this dark period of our history.

What a wonderful interview - nearly every week I find myself thinking that Bill Moyers should become the Secretary of Conscience in any new administration.

I was struck by Bacevich's repeated assessment that the country needs to look itself in the mirror. The same idea (towards a reality check and integration) is essential in Jungian psychology — the concept of recognizing the personal Shadow.

On an individual level, it isn't an easy thing to gain a view of one's tendencies towards violence, greed, etc. and come to accept them as having a life of their own. And I find myself wondering — what sort of mirror would Americans trust? Not the political class, definitely, and not the media any more, as they're seen as having succumbed to the same sorts of self-interested behaviors as the rest of us.

Can it be that we NEED disasters of various kinds to temporarily wake us from this slumber of self-satisfaction?

Thank you Mr. Bacevich for telling us americans what we need to hear and not what we want to hear. My heart is heavy with sorrow and my head is ashamed . Apathy is no longer exceptable.

This is THE BEST PROGRAM EVER--CONGRATULATIONS. We have an Imperial Presidency, a Do Nothing Congress set on being reelected, and a Judicial that reflects the Polarization. What to do? Beam love, forgiveness, and healing to all the above, and act in a similar way in our everyday lives. The rest will follow.

Much of the current mess could have been avoided if there were a clause in the Constitution that said: "Any order, decision, rule, or statute of any branch of the federal government is null and void if such order etc. is rationalized on the basis that the end justifies the means."
The form of argument, the end justifies the means, is not recognized when made (e.g. "it's for a good cause") and, if recognized, is not understood for the deception it is.

Thank you Mr.Moyers and Mr. Bacevich.

I too, like so many others here, was riveted by Mr. Bacevich's pivotal and poignant analysis on the downward spiral of this country, its political system and the insatiable consumption-debt mentality of the American people leading towards economic, moral, ethical and financial collapse.

My deepest condolences to Mr. Bacevich and his family for the loss of their son and to all the other American families who have lost a loved one in this ill-begotten Iraq War.

It is with regret that I agree, to a large extent, with Dr. Bacevich. On the national, state, and local levels government has become the instrument by which people try to fix perceived wrongs, to whom people look to smooth the road of life. Americans have forsaken a heritage of personal responsibility in favor of a life of ease in which someone else is at fault and is to be blamed. That someone else can be next door or 10,000 miles away.

Will anything change, not a chance - too much inertia in such a hugh political system and too many fat, lazy, and slothful Americans who are interested in nothing more than their own comfort and seeming well being.

As a nation Americans have this idea that our way of doing things is the best way, the only way, and that the whole world should follow us. As a nation we are arrogant, self centered, and self important. As a nation we deride, belittle, and denigrate others for differing ways of life, differing forms of government, and differing beliefs. Is it any wonder a large portion of the world’s population finds America and Americans distasteful?

This is no longer the America I was raised to believe in, no longer an America I can be proud of - sad.

Perhaps if, as a nation, we can get “our own house in order” I may be able to be proud again. I hope so. How might we accomplish this task? In my opinion it is nothing new or strange, it’s been said before; term limits and a balanced budget amendment. Vested interest being what it is, this is a dream.

To be honest I don’t think we, as a nation, will change. I am coming to believe that we will limp along for a long while yet and then crumble. At this point we will join the next higher level of governmental association, that being a hemisphere wide government. Government is evolving and in the very long run it is my belief we will see a single world government and that will be a good thing. The need for armies will go away, maybe we could finally get all these little wars under control, maybe we could finally solve hunger and disease and the myriad social problems that now beset us - maybe.

I listened with my head and finally with my heart. Very compelling.

I was lucky enough to watch the Professor's conversation with Bill Moyers yesterday. I emailed him afterward to thank and commend him. Also to ask as a layman, not a scholar, why it is what he said should'nt be 'common' sense, and part of our common understanding.
Maybe he is best able to assess whether we are blind, blinkered or are we actually squeezing our eyes shut?

Or all three.

This interview was so fascinating and true. I am having my husband watch it on the web. I HOPE!!! That ALL of the interview is available for him to watch! I was disappointed that Mr. Bacevich did not admit to America going into Iraq specifically for oil. Halliburton and Blackwater are BIG BUSINESSES that ONLY make money off of war! This country is run by BIG Corporations! And they must be reined in as well as the consumerism of all Americans. I too have a son who has gone to two tours in Iraq he is only 22 and had joined the Natl. Guard in our state of Hawai'i. He now is mared for life with severe PTSD. We WILL NOT let him go back for his own survival. The Govt. does not care about him. He now has no medical ins. and yet the Natl. Guard keeps him in limbo not releasing him. It is deplorable what America is doing and has done to its young people for the profit and greed of the oil companies.

Col. Andrew Bacevich should be congratulated for a powerful, eloquent and lucid explanation of the predicament in which this country finds itself – and Bill Moyers for helping him make it. The core of Col. Bacevich’s argument is that the US is trying to use its military to sustain an unsustainable lifestyle based on excessive consumption and ever-increasing indebtedness. Where Col. Bacevich needs to ‘go back to school’ is in his attempt to assign the primary responsibility for this predicament to the American people, as several other contributors to this blog have already observed.

Col. Bacevich fixes the approximate start of this country’s time of troubles to the years since the pinnacle of its involvement in Vietnam. That may well be accurate for the issue of primary concern to Col. Bacevich – this country’s abuse of its all-volunteer military. The excessive consumption and indebtedness - which Col. Bacevich implies is the root cause of this country’s abuse of its military –have far more distant historical roots. The simple fact is that a world with a rapidly increasing population can not continue rapidly increasing its consumption of finite natural resources without soon facing a disastrous collapse. This country and the world went beyond the bounds of necessity perhaps as early as the beginning of the 20th century.

(Actually, this is one of the great undeveloped themes of a history written and propagated by ruling elites throughout all history. Regardless of political or economic systems, these elites have always attempted to appropriate to themselves or for purposes they value the fruits of human technological progress, e.g. military conquest, building magnificent temples and pyramids, etc.)

The consumption and debt Col. Bacevich decries have to a large extent become mandatory in contemporary America. For debt, your recent programs on the credit crisis have made it clear that many Americans have contracted massive debts out of necessity, not choice, e.g. for medical care. The same argument can be made for one of the largest expenses most families in the US incur, personal transportation. In most Western cities, as we have permitted their peripheries to expand further and further from a decaying urban core and the mass transit systems needed to link us together, an automobile has become an article of compulsory consumption.

Other contributors to this blog have assigned responsibility for this state of affairs to bankers and financiers who must keep the economy growing so they can make profitable loans and investments, perhaps with some degree of justification. In an economy filled with all kinds of products designed to self-destruct as rapidly as possible so they can be sold and sold again to their owners for a profit, natural resource wars, even for a country once as richly endowed as the US, become inevitable. In a market as filled and satiated with jaded consumers as the United States, it only makes sense to shift the power to consume to other people who have yet to experience the dubious joys of conspicuous consumption, particularly when by doing so you can enhance the profitability of your investment by exploiting much lower wages and basically non-existent environmental standards in other countries.

If we the people are vulnerable to any criticism, it is that we have let all this happen. It is true that the media, our educational institutions and needless to say our political elites have all been co-opted by those with a strong interest in preserving the status quo. But we STILL have a democracy; the information is out there, in print and on the Internet. If that democracy is to be preserved, if the habitable earth we inherited is to be preserved, we must find that information and act on it.

One of the really remarkable things about this blog is the reference to all sorts of information sources that even those of us who consider ourselves reasonably well informed never knew existed. In closing, I would like to offer some of mine. First and foremost is the work of Dr. Michael Hudson, see www.michael-hudson.com. Dr. Hudson was Alan Greenspan’s boss when both worked for David Rockefeller at Chase Manhattan bank. Dr. Hudson was one of the first economists to describe the ‘deficits don’t matter’ game American politicians have been playing since this country bankrupted itself in 1973 policing the empire it inherited after WW II. Dr. Hudson described this game IN 1977; see his book “Super Imperialism”, downloadable at the above web site but buy it! I guarantee you will be rewarded.

If you think the US or for that matter other industrial democracies are governed by people with a vision of long-term sustainability and the needs of future generations, read Dr. Hudson’s book. The amount of seat-of-the pants ‘statesmanship’ is mind-boggling! Two other authors of importance are Ellen Brown (see her book “The Web of Debt” and web site webofdebt.com) and Stephen Zarlenga’s “The Lost Science of Money”. You will probably have to order Zarlenga’s book from http://www.monetary.org/lostscienceofmoney.html as it doesn’t seem to be available through most commercial sources.

I as my wife knows, have been saying the exact same things for many years and no one listens or thinks there is anything we can do about it.

Thank you Bill for the conversations with Professor Bacevich whose two winged approach/analysis (two wings -left/right wing) is cogent. It tells us that we as a nation are quite capable of deep and factual analysis, this is what we need to keep us out of future pickles as we have today. Thanks a lot.

I was actually surfing channels when I happened upon this interview. After just a few words, I found myself sitting up straight in bed alert to every word Prof. Bacevich was saying and his commanding way of speaking. Like so many of us I too feel this war would have ended by now if more Americans were personally and financially sacrificing for it, like Prof. Bachevich and his family. This is the reason there is no large, organized anti-war movement in this country. But how can we, as individuals, pressure the president and congress to end the war, if we are not organized. Voting, as evidenced by the 2006 congressional elections, doesn't seem to work anymore. Some democracy we are.

Thank you Bill Moyers.

P.S. I am a librarian and I have just ordered Prof. Bachevich's book for my library.

Thank your Bill I live here near Angles Camp California, I record your every saturday mourning and it is always very inspiring. Today's was exceptional regarding our inability to look at ourselves squarely in the mirror/face. I knew that going into Iraq was going to be a disaster even before we went in and Shock & Awed that country. Your guest could not have said it better. We have become a nation of credit and we have abdicated our democracy so we can buy cheap goods without facing any of the consequences that comes from it. And I agree that our Congress is only there for power and re-election with no cares about the American Citizen. I will be voting for Obama, McCain gives me nightmares that I don't want to become daymares. Keep up the good work. A 60 years young Democrat in California

I have gone back and forth concerning the failure of congressional Democrats to stop the war. Finally, I realize that the failure to stop funding cannot be blamed on senate
Republicans. The fact is, the D's could have stopped the war if they had had the courage to risk their own political futures. The trade-off was their careers vs the lives that have been lost due to their inflated views of their own indispensability. I think they chose wrong.

After watching this thought provoking interview..I acually felt mentally "drained"..I've know for sometie that OUR gov't was in trouble,and NOT wrkong for "We the people"..but the Clarity Mr Basevich brought to the Forefront was "Telling and Frightening"! I have NO idea what the answer is..too return OUR gov't to the People...but I have a feeling,we'll ALL know soon enough! Let's see IF the GOP Pulls it's "October" surprise...and Bush Cancels the Elections ie: Executive order.....that,will Tip our gov't one way or the other..and then,and only then..will we see IF the American people Finally Look themselvesin the Mirror and say "No More"!!! Thank you for a Great Informative Interview. John Rex, Deptford NJ

What can I do to fix a broken country drowning in the darkness of denial?
Well quite simply with some medicine of light, a dose of Truth, living the truth myself.
And what must our country do?
How about getting back to what it was designed to do, simply delivering the mail.
I'd be happy with that!

Thanks Professor and Mr. Moyers for the dose.

=
MJA


I am humbled.

Andrew Bacevich's assessment of our nation's predicament is sober, logical and brilliant. He threads the current Iraq debacle, as well as our economic and energy crises, into the larger tapistry of American moral decline - - the empire of consumption.
Amazing....

A wonderful and stimulating conversation with Prof. Bacevich! Thank you for having him, Bill and I hope it can be rebroadcast for more to hear. I am always looking for more emphasis on solutions, however. We can discuss the problems and causes forever, but now we need changes to stop our precipitous fall into the consumer morass. I keep waiting for one of our leaders to take the LEAD and speak as Pres. Kennedy did 40 years ago by saying that we "will put a man on the moon and bring him safely back in ten years". Now it is Al Gore taking up the gauntlet and challenging our nation "to commit to producing 100 percent of our electricity from renewal energy and truly clean carbon-free sources within 10 years." But to accomplish this we have to have the government on board. People will give up their SUVs and change their way of using energy when the alternatives are easily accommodated. Unfortunately government mandates and taxes on energy use are solutions that most do not want to hear about, but without leadership coming from the highest voice, the changes that are needed will not happen fast enough. Can Obama be that voice for us? Will he be courageous enough to see what needs to be done and speak and propose reasoned solutions? Will Congress agree? Will the American people and American corporations get on board? Will we all listen and agree with the precepts of Al Gore's latest visionary call? I hope so, because if not, America and the world will face a future fraught with more problems than we can now foresee. The next President has a hugh task before him and we must all be ready to do our individual part. Thank you for such a meaningful conversation with Prof. Bacevich!

In Walmart I was looking for some wild caught fish. I picked up a package of frozen Alaska salmon fillets, but when I read the label it said - "harvested in the USA and processed in China."

How messed up can we get to catch fish here and have to ship them to China to have them clean it and do god knows what to them and then ship them back?

When I was discussing this with a Walmart employee he pointed out everything I had on from head to foot and even in my pockets, arms and eyeglasses came from China. (Well, he wasn't exactly right, my underwear came from Honduras.)

China has also wiped Tibet off the face of the map...

I picked up a blow up globe of the world at Walmart and noticed China has wiped Tibet off the face of the map...there is NO TIBET to free when it comes to China's maps.

Tibet simply does not exist it is all China! And this is how it is with any world map or atlas printed in China.

Yes, we can see where they are coming from with their 'one world' slogan.

I used to be proud to be an American...but we have become the bitch of China.

I agree completely with Andrew Bacevich's analysis, with one exception. Although I agree Americans expect an unlimited line of credit and unlimited access to consumer goods but are unwilling to pay the price of those things, I don't see citizens as having any input on foreign policy at all. What I do see is corporations influencing foreign policy to maximize profits.

By the way, Bill Moyers rocks!

Dr. Bracevich's analysis was right on. As a followup, would like to hear his analysis on steps necessary to bring about an informed populace in view of the political, main line press, and other commercial interests who like things as they are.
When the Admin-
istration declared war rather than police action after 9-11, it was a serious mistake. To my surprise, I have felt lonely in that view until Dr. Bracevich's analysis.
Joe Gormally

Mr. Bacevich's interview was outstanding.

If one goes down the wrong road, no amount of right decisions thereafter will make the road right. Mr. Bacevich has outlined the the answer: get off the wrong road, get back to three branches of government, live within our means, fight (police) our enemies, allow the people to reach their full capacity, educate the people, and motivate them to look within.

Fantastic appraisal of where we are as a nation! I was disappointed at the end when you did not ask Bacevich how we should "support our troop".

I propose we can all do that by upping our personal and corporate taxes to pay the 3 trillion for this war, then all of us are accountable for this war. This way we support the troops by our actions and sacrifices as we have done in previous wars. Financing the war by credit only imposes a burden on our kids when they grow up and they will have the right to say to us - you screwed us.

Dear Bill Moyers:

I liked this show and generally love your work.

I was a little disappointed, however, by your opening comments on the Russian/Georgian situaution. You seem to have accepted the line promulgated by the media and the U.S government that Russia brutally invaded a sweet little democracy.

Things are a lot more complicated than that. It would help if people tried to see the Russian perspective. Russia feels surrounded and threatened, and the U.S. seems bent on increasing that sense of threat. At the same time, the Georgians, probably with a U.S. go-ahead, started this war. (Was this an early October surpise hatched by Republicans to cause people to vote for McCain? All I know is that Karl Rove was just in the Crimea with the Georgian president, and McCain's staff includes a lobbyist for Georgia).

In any case, try to see the Russian perspective. It would be helpful

I always enjoy the show, but last night's guest was the most intelligent, sensible person I have ever heard. Everyone in America needs to learn to know this man a little bit. He sums up our major problems more succintly and understandable than any politician could ever hope to. I only wish both presidential candidates would heed his warnings and advice. Thanks so much for having him on.

We, too, stumbled upon Professor Bacevich's interview and were amazed also at the clarity of hia alalysis of recent history.

He made so many points but the one that we think is of utmost importance is that we cannot continue to expect or demand that our servicemen and women serve multiple deployments in Iraq or Afghanistan. This is the way we can support our troops, not just by bumper stickers.

He also emphasized the concept of a "Just War" being the ONLY acceptable war, and as the last resort. There were certainly many other ways of dealing with the cruel criminal actions of 9/11, ways that would not have cost our country so many lives and so many of our financial resources.

Like Professor Bacevich our family suffered a loss (our Nephew died on 9/11 in New York). To honor his name we need to pursue justice, not an ill thought out, falsely presented military action in Iraq. At that time (and since) so many who have questioned our path have been labeled unpatriotic, which reminds me so much of McCarthyism. Just label your critics anti- American.

Thanks to Bill Moyers and Professor Bacevich for this thought provoking program.

Katie Dawson

Don't think that post-traumatic stress disorder is only experienced my military in combat. I also suffer from nightmares, hear the voices of women and children screaming in pain and horror, see trees and vegetation melt under the onslaught of thousands of napalm bombs, lifeless and limbless bodies in physically-impossible poses strewn along a mine field before me.


The Vietnam war ruined my childhood. My parents tried to shield us children from the reality of war, but children are more perceptive than their parents think. We can sense the anxiety, the dread, the sorrow. Our ears prick up when adults whisper conversations or abruptly end them when you enter the room. You know that the tears in your mother's eyes and the quiver in your grandfather's voice are at odds with their smiles. You recognize the look of pity in the eyes of neighbors and strangers watching you play.

I was too young to understand why my mother, my younger sister and I moved in with my maternal grandparents during my Dad's two tours. I do remember the visit of a life insurance agent and selling our house before my father deployed but at the time didn't know what that meant either. I prayed, pleaded, bargained every night with God to end the Vietnam war...to end all wars. But he obviously didn't hear me and still doesn't. I imagined that my friends whose father's didn't come home had left to move in with their grandparents too and it must have been very, very far away because I never ever saw them again or know what happened to them after that.

By the time my father returned, I had forgotten what he looked like except that he was tall and that he had very short, dark hair. I didn't understand why he was in a foul mood most of the time or had violent outbursts after his return. For years afterward, I actually wished that he would go away and we could live with my grandparents again instead. We were happier when he was gone during his six or nine month tours. He didn't start to become nice until I was already an adult, after my sister was killed by a drunk driver, and he'd been out of the military for awhile.

I'll always be grateful to the protesters who got their skulls cracked by billy clubs in order to save American, Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian lives. They are my heroes. But sadly, the consequences of war are far darker than anyone acknowledges even for those that come home "safe".

I personally believe that if you choose to make a career of the military, you don't have the right to burden your children with the devastating emotional consequences of your choice of careers. Spouses of military personnel are adults and can make their own decisions as well, but don't be so selfish as to bring innocent children into the equation. It is irresponsible and in my eyes...a crime.

I've always protested, written letters, called the White House and done everything in my power to prevent every military engagement and there have been many...not for the gullible or foolhardy adults who think war is honorable, exciting, an emotional rush. They've made their choices. I do it for the innocent children of military families and the poor defenseless civilians under attack that usually unarmed and powerless are the true voiceless victims of the wanton carnage and inhumanity of war.


I would add a companion volume to Mr Basevich's insightful book. That is...Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth." This book discusses in depth the human condition, and how the nature of the ego has gotten us into this [and all other!] predicaments that we now find ourselves in. I have found that Tolle's understanding of the root cause of world "problems" a most enlightening perspective...indeed it appears to be woven into the very fabric of humaness...All of us. "I am human, therefore nothing human is alien unto me" describes it pretty well. The solution the way I understand it, starts when we "wake up", ie, separate our awareness from our thinking...stand as a watcher to our own thoughts...and thus creating a space for new awarenesses. From here we are able to watch the ego react in shame & blame and spin its defenses against the truth. From this perspective, the common good of all can be seen...and, more importantly, felt. When I have created a clear space where I can experience the felt sense of my brother's needs being as important as my own...then my reality will be transformed. And this is happening, one person at a time. In this way, as I understand it, the reality of the world can be transformed.

What CLARITY, delivered without ideology and ego from a man that thinks and observes critically. Thank you Mr. Bacevich for a TRUE PATRIOTISM!!!!!!

Thanks as always Mr. Moyers, truly refreshing.

Good show. I am impressed by Andrew Bacevich's candor. But while he shows the political mess our country is in, there is no political solution offered. As I see it, only 3rd party candidates will address the problems created by Democrats and Republicans. You should interview Bob Barr and other 3rd party candidates as a logical follow-up to this segment.

For someone who can't sit still when watching TV, I didn't miss a minute. The best part was the HOPE he offered.

I sat with rapt attention today listening to your interview with Dr. Becevich. For several years I've wondered WHY we go blindly on, buying more and more and more, driving SUVs while ignoring European citizens paying $4-$6/gal for decades. Well, Dr. Bacevich has articulated this issue and has outed the elephant in the room, the American Ponzi scheme for all to see. THANK YOU BILL MOYERS AND DR BACEVICH!!! As for me; I am trying to get my house in order and be debt free asap. I hear you loud and clear and I'm responding by LEARNING TO LIVE WITHIN MY MEANS. THANKS AGAIN. It's been years since an interview captured me like this one.
Cheers! Keep talking about this issue.

Posted by: Lynn Delcourt |

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"LEARNING TO LIVE WITHIN MY MEANS..."

Yes, the foundation to inner peace.

We need to put our pride in a a balanced life and not in the cult of next.

Thoreau once said when people invited him to dinner they put their pride in how fancy and expensive a meal they could make. Whereas he put his pride in how simple and inexpensive a meal he could make.

But, where do we put our pride?

We tell ourselves we will be happy when we get our Masters Degree, but then our happiness is postponed until we get our Ph.D. and then we need a fancy car to be happy and then we need a job to pay for the car to be happy and then we need a marriage to be happy and then we need a house to be happy and then we need furniture to be happy and then we need to redecorate our house to be happy and then we need kids to be happy and then we need a boat to be happy and then we need a new job to be happy and then we need a vacation to be happy and then we need a bigger house to be happy and then we need to redecorate our bigger house to be happy and then we need sleeping pills to be happy and then we need retirement to be happy and then we need our kids and grand kids to visit more often to be happy and then we need a vacation house to be happy and then we need to sell our big house to be happy and then we need an operation to be happy and finally we put our last hopes for the happiness that has been eluding us our entire lives in our hope of getting the right coffin...The Cult of Next!

They tell a story about the Buddha and his monks who were sitting by a road when a distraught farmer wanders by and asks them if they have seen any cows. The farmer goes on to say how miserable he is and tells the monks his sesame crop has failed and now all of his 10 cows have wandered off and without them he knows he will die. The Buddha tells the farmer that they have not seen his cows and to look in another direction. When the farmer leaves, the Buddha tells his monks, "See how lucky you are that you have no cows, otherwise you would be suffering and in as much misery as that farmer." This lesson from the Buddha reinforces in me to be happy "as-is" and to not put too many demands or prerequisites on my happiness and contentment.

When we put too many demands on our happiness, we are sure to fail sooner or later. When we realize that happiness is our birth right and we have the potential to be happy as-is, with no outside demands, we are surer to find it. Or as Thoreau wrote: "I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contended one can be with nothing definite - only a sense of existence." When we wake up in the morning each day with a sense of gratitude, such as Thoreau wrote about, for just having the privilege to live life in that moment we will not be so dependent on all those "cows" we have tethered to ourselves with the false hope that they are required for our happiness.

Someday we will run out excuses for not being happy right here and right now ... in the present moment. Happiness is so elusive when it is always in the future. Mindfulness of the present moment is the cure for the cult of next. You can start by being mindful of your breath and everything you do whether eating, sitting, walking or standing - be mindful, grateful and happy in that moment. Voluntary simplicity or simple living helped me build a less complex engine with fewer parts to break down. Instead of 1000 parts, I now have only a handful of parts. Whenever we put our happiness in people, places or things we will sooner or later be let down. Happiness starts from within us and cannot come from anyplace else. We can achieve a "diminishing of pain" from people, places or things, but cannot find true happiness in these material things as the pleasure found in such things is impermanent and can easily be turned into pain.

From Walden:

"Some of you, we all know, are poor, find it hard to live, are - sometimes, as it were, gasping for breath. I have no doubt that some of you who read this book are unable to pay for all the dinners which you have actually eaten, or for the coats and shoes which are fast wearing or are already worn out, and have come to this page to spend borrowed or stolen time, robbing your creditors of an hour. It is very evident what mean and sneaking lives many of you live, for my sight has been whetted by the experience of others; always living on the limits, trying to get into business and trying to get out of debt, a very ancient slough, called by the Latin - 'Res Alienum' or 'another's brass' for some of their coins were made of brass. Living, seeking to curry favors, lying, dying, and buried by 'other's brass'; always promising to pay, promising to pay, tomorrow, and dying today insolvent."

Like many Americans, with the possible exception of some of our more extreme right-wing friends, I believe America has lost its way. Last night on the journal Prof. Bacevich, in a few simple and well chosen phrases, articulated the sense of dread and disappointment that I feel about our national direction and attitude towards ourselves and the world around us. Thank you and I hope America will listen and summon the courage to change.

It seemed to me that perhaps Bacevich was too clear and complete. It was great stuff, but was the reduction a little too extensive?

I wondered about the following things: 1) the result of an "imperial presidency" not from flaws in the political process but from the American filling in for European empires after World War Two, 2) the drive to leave manual labor behind (become "upwardly mobile") on the part of families moving into the American mainstream, 3) the critical failure to understand America in terms of its economy in parallel with (not mixed with) its political system, 4) the lack of a mechanism for real change in the political system (constitutional conventions clearly are not substantive), 5) the lack of a public / general interest mechanism for getting information to voters (which is to set aside any media claim to perform as a legitimate source, watchdog, etc.).

Dr. Bacevich's ideas are well thought out and convincing. However, his savaging of Senator's Reid and Pelosi because they did not deliver on their promises to end funding of the Iraq war seems to overlook the fact that 50 Republican senators and a lame duck president did everything in their power to block these efforts.

I sat with rapt attention today listening to your interview with Dr. Becevich. For several years I've wondered WHY we go blindly on, buying more and more and more, driving SUVs while ignoring European citizens paying $4-$6/gal for decades. Well, Dr. Bacevich has articulated this issue and has outed the elephant in the room, the American Ponzi scheme for all to see. THANK YOU BILL MOYERS AND DR BACEVICH!!! As for me; I am trying to get my house in order and be debt free asap. I hear you loud and clear and I'm responding by LEARNING TO LIVE WITHIN MY MEANS. THANKS AGAIN. It's been years since an interview captured me like this one.
Cheers! Keep talking about this issue.

Mr. Bacevich is absolutely right on mostly everything he said.

I wonder if looking at Alexander Solzhenitsyn would help the discussion.

From two journals:

"Obviously, the demands of freedom and higher obligation are paradoxical. They seem as different as pride and humility, and there is no political solution in the real world which can reconcile them. They can be reconciled only in a world where freedom is used solely for self-limitation in service to the highest good—a condition that Solzhenitsyn sometimes compares wishfully to a new historical stage that would be as different from today as the change that occurred from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance and Enlightenment."
First Things

"For example, describing the Western worldview as “rationalistic humanism,” Solzhenitsyn decried the loss of “our concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility.” Man has become “the master of this world . . . who bears no evil within himself,” he announced. “So all the defects of life” are attributed to “wrong social systems.”"
CE

I would be interested in how Mr. Bacevich would relate religion to the current state of US affairs.

Another terrific interview Mr.Moyers, and I hope Americans will pass Dr. Bacevich's insights to all their friends. He has certainly hit the nail on the head.I look at America sinking like the Titantic, but not as it did from hitting a foreign source, but because we've gone way off course and an internal explosion has blown a hole in our bottom. America is sinking and blaming others and thinking we know what is best won't stop us from hitting the bottom.

Of course, if everyone lived the simple consumerism that I have, this economy would have gone broke a long time ago. Such a delicate system of balances. I've spent the past year teaching the folks at church that it is in our enlightened self-interest to end global poverty. This will be a tougher sell in the coming year. And how do you give to buy mosquito nets at the same time you sponsor refugees to come here? I want to believe that there's money enough to do it all.

Posted by: Fran G

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Of course Fran something would have to give. We have built a defective model for long term population support. We can only keep on keeping on as long as the crude is free flowing and affordable by the masses.

It would be one thing if we all reverted back to rural living, burning trees for fuel and housing and living within our comfortable means allotted to us by nature, as our ancestors did back in the day. But seven billion people can't burn the trees!

We must accept that we have built our world on unsustainable means - a means built artificially on fossil fuel.

And when we live out of balance with natures intended means there is a price to pay to come back in balance with nature. And the price usually extracts pain from us in the adjustment process.

It has been estimated that for the earth to sustainably support its population without fossil fuels a 90% dieoff must occur. I don't know if that is the right figure, but I do know humans could not live as they do unless it was funded by artificial means via fossil fuels.

http://dieoff.org/

So if this dieoff happens, of course there will be great amounts of pain in the world. But it is natures intended balancing act. It also reminds us that nature does not bow to humans - it is humans that always bow to nature.

Animals live within their intended balance with nature and it is only man that destroys his environment and has to pay the price through pain and suffering from working against nature.

The only comment I wish to make is: Thank you for the interview with Mr. Bacevich. Please have him back on the Journal.

I am hopeful. As we are confronted with the present scale of global disfunction, many people are going back to the basics of life on earth. In fact many people have never left their connection to mother earth and are there for a model. All life forms must maintain a balance of energy and humans are no different. The most powerful part of humanity has broken their concious connection with the earth and are now out of mental and spiritual balance.

As others have mentioned here...I stumbled onto your program last night...then couldn't sleep after watching and listening to Mr. Bacevich. His is the truest, most honest voice of the condition of our country I have ever heard!

This episode of the Journal was only broadcast here last night. I've been an admirer of Bacevich's work for several years and read him consistently.

I'd take issue, though, with one of his thoughts voiced in the interview in which he said "There was a time, seventy, eighty, a hundred years ago, that we Americans sat here in the western hemisphere, and puzzled over why British imperialists went to places like Iraq and Afghanistan. We viewed that sort of imperial adventurism with disdain."

It may be that Americans viewed Europe's adventures with 'disdain' but America's imperialist roots date back to the initial colonization followed by the destruction of the indigenous populations, the acquisition, by force, of the entire U.S. southwest from Mexico, and (a hundred years ago) an imperialistic war against Spain for control of the Philippines, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other of Spain's possessions. Right when Bacevich says Americans were 'puzzled'.

Consequently, it's not at all surprising that the imperialism runs deep in America's veins.

“History is to the nation as memory is to the individual. As a person deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future…

History is the best antidote to illusions of omnipotence and omniscience. It should forever remind us of the limitations of our passing perspectives. It should strengthen us to resist the pressure to convert momentary interests into moral absolutes. It should lead us to a profound and chastening sense of our frailty as human beings— to a recognition of the fact, so often and so sadly demonstrated, that the future will outwit all our certitudes and that the possibilities of history are far richer and more various than the human intellect is likely to conceive.

A nation informed by a vivid understanding of the ironies of history is, I believe, best equipped to live with the temptations and tragedy of power. Since we are condemned as a nation to be a superpower, let a growing sense of history temper and civilize our use of that power.

Sometimes, when I am particularly depressed, I ascribe our behavior to stupidity—the stupidity of our leadership, the stupidity of our culture. Thirty years ago we suffered military defeat—fighting an unwinnable war against a country about which we knew nothing and in which we had no vital interests at stake. Vietnam was bad enough, but to repeat the same experiment thirty years later in Iraq is a strong argument for a case of national stupidity.

In the meantime, let a thousand historical flowers bloom. History is never a closed book or a final verdict. It is always in the making. Let historians not forsake the quest for knowledge, however tricky and full of problems that quest may be, in the interests of an ideology, a nation, a race, a sex, or a cause. The great strength of the practice of history in a free society is its capacity for self-correction.”
- Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., "History and National Stupidity,"
New York Review of Books, April 27, 2006

Andrew Bacevich is one such
blooming historical flower.

Don't blame me, Don. I've been practicing a "simple living" path since I was a Girl Scout. Of course, if everyone lived the simple consumerism that I have, this economy would have gone broke a long time ago. Such a delicate system of balances. I've spent the past year teaching the folks at church that it is in our enlightened self-interest to end global poverty. This will be a tougher sell in the coming year. And how do you give to buy mosquito nets at the same time you sponsor refugees to come here? I want to believe that there's money enough to do it all.

I'm tired of this argument: it doesn't matter who we elect; there's no difference between the two candidates. I remember back when the Greens succeeded in persuading a bunch of people that Al Gore was no better than GW on the environment. Now I ASK YOU....

Applause is the American way for both approval and releasing oneself from taking any responsibility to follow through with action. We know that Bacevich puts the blame on our self-indulgence and we might even talk about it while pouring gas into our SUV to cart home a pile of Chinese goods from Wal-Mart. How many of us in the audience are willing to bite the Bacevich bullet and go to the window screaming "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore."

Thank you Bill Moyer's for inviting Mr. Bacevich onto your show. His explainations of our country's current negative situations has helped me understand the confusion I have felt regarding our government and how it works (or doesn't). I will be purchasing "The Limits of Power" and look forward to learning even more. I have never written a blog before - however I kept thinking of last nights thought provoking interview and couldn't help but want to respond and say thank you to Mr. Bacevich for his devotion to helping other people of our country and world to share the insights of his life, knowledge and experience by writing this book. How lucky we would be if Mr. Bacevich were to be working for our federal government. I will be sharing the information of this interview and the book with my friends here in Maine. I would love to watch this interview again.

I, like others, after listening to the discussion/interview with Mr. Bacevich, wonder where all of these intelligent, thoughtful, wise individuals are hiding and why we do not here this insight espoused from our leaders. I have wondered this so often. Seeing Barack Obama in Titusville, Fl. recently, he said something that so resonated with me being: " You don't expect the Gov. to solve all our problems, do you? Sadly, I think we do. We vote, we sit back and wait for miracles without any personal sacrifice or inconvenience to us personally. The proverbial land of milk and honey is over as we have known it and it is time to open our eyes wide and sober up. Thankyou Mr. Moyers and Mr. Bacevich!!!!!

Sustainability...lets be honest, we only pay it lip service.

We talk of living in a sustainable world, yet our actions betray our true feelings. All we have to do is to look at the stock market to see what happens when growth declines even a little.

Even if a company yields stable earning, but does not grow its earnings it is looked down upon. Stability and balance is part of a sustainable footprint, yet we shun such balance.

A good book that discusses concepts of sustainability is: 'Peak Everything' by Richard Heinberg

America is built on debt and spending.

70% of our 'economic heath,' better termed as 'economic sickness' is based on consumer spending. When the consumer can't compulsively spend any longer our economy collapses...we are not a healthy country.

China on the other hand is built on selling its output not only to its countries citizens but the entire world...especially the USA. America has become the bitch of China.

With one breath we talk about cutting global warming and how we have to cut our dependence of fossil fuel.

Then with the next breath we demand no cut backs in our standard of living, we must spend and consume above all else...build more, build faster, build bigger.

The GDP must only go up, up and away...all the while this consumption just increases global warming and keeps depleting the fossil fuels faster and faster.

Sick...sick..sick mentality, buy more cars, build more houses and monstrosities of architecture, spend more but 'cut back' to save our dear fossil fuels. For all practical purpose we will be out of crude oil and natural gas in 2 or 3 decades and possible much sooner.

If it comes to the government and military having a supply of gas or the avenge citizen you know who is going to be first on the list. Yet we are sucking down these non renewables as fast as they can be pumped out of the ground.

And leading the pack of over consumers is the USA.

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/ene_oil_con-energy-oil-consumption

Consumption is ingrained in us and we know no other way. And even if we wished to amend our ways, how could all our retirement funds take the hit?

We have the tiger by the tail and cannot let go...but our grip is getting tired and all hell is going to break loose soon.

Our world population has grown to levels where it has passed the point of no return for supporting a sustainable human population as we know it today when it comes to their energy demands.

And what does all that consumerism lead to?

It leads to the mess we are in now and the bigger mess the world will be in once India and China pick up momentum to copycat the envious lifestyle that they have held in high esteem as the 'American Dream'

The problem is not with the earth having enough land for all its people - the problem is with earth providing ad infinitum for all the needs the people crave.

The more people born, the more heat is produced from their life and all their cravings, As such, the warmer and more polluted the earth gets and the more energy they all use and the earths resources are depleted.

Fueling the problem of consumption is the games the Federal and World banks play with interest rates. They manage the economies in ways to fuel consumption and mask the real trend.

Witness the recent cries for Federal bankers to lower interest rates...so the stock market can go up...fueled by spending of the consumer.

It is drug habit that Greenspan got us hooked on and we just can't get away from.

Our economy is not based on sustainable health - it is based low interest credit to encourage compulsive spending, debt and living a life of constant consumption with a 'disposable mentality' when it comes to durable goods.

All this consumption to artificially fuel our economy to make our retirement funds only go up contributes to more and more global warming and the depletion of our natural resources.

Then the governments juggle the numbers to make the inflation figures seem artificially low, so everyone's retirement portfolio will make them happy so they will continue to buy and consume more...and on it goes....IT IS ALL WE KNOW and the bill is coming due soon!

It was refreshing to hear someone give an honest assessment of our political system and where our country is headed. The only thing missing was Andrew uttering the words PEAK OIL

Our government has lost its focus of 'the government of the people, by the people and for the people' that Lincoln wrote about in his Gettysburg Address.

The politicians we have entrusted our lives and our country to have failed miserably with the job they have been given.

The politicians are corrupt, dishonest, greedy, power hungry, egomaniacs that will do anything to maintain power. The only conscience they serve is that of their special interest groups that shell out the dollars.

Our government has become so complex, that almost nothing substantive to help America can be done. The first step is to simplify the government and start returning to the ideal of 'the government of the people, by the people and for the people,

If you can just get these 2 changes made in government you will be on your way to a government that serves its people, instead of people being slaves to the politicians.

1) When the politicians vote on a bill - it has to be a vote on one single proposal. Outlaw the bundling of all these special interest add-ons that corrupt bills into a putrid mess that no one can understand.

2) Draft 12 + 12 Americans to serve as a government oversight committee.

They oversee what is going on with the politicians and make regular reports to the citizens. Put 12 in the Senate and 12 in the Congress. They do not spin the data. They serve no special interest.

If we start smelling something funny with these trusted servants, replace them - we can tell when shit stinks. Our noses have been fine tuned for this job with our politicians.

If the nation wishes to correct government corruption, they can have their say and demand a national vote to overturn ANYTHING the Senate and Congress passes or rejects.

Now, this is just a very simple outline I have offered. But it addresses the main part of the problem and gives the citizens some options in correcting those problems.

But until RADICAL change has been FORCED on our politicians NOTHING WILL CHANGE.

IF NOTHING CHANGES...NOTHING CHANGES...it is that simple.

We can't afford politics as usual any longer in our country. America is headed for collapse due to peak oil, peak natural gas, peak food and the rest. Citizens take back your country from the self serving politicians while you still have something left to call America...the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.


Ahhh..the voice of reason...what a relief...To fix it, commercials pushing garbage food and toys on children must be pulled. The rich must curb their demands. I believe that War is a method of the rich(actors, tv producers,...)to continue to create addiction to unhealthy behaviors and products in Women(Men)and Children in an effort to rake in more money for themselves. By advocating for and electing Officials who send Troops away to fight other Nations unnecessary Wars, Television Producers and Toy Maker CEOs have free range over the minds and (indirect)education of the partial families left behind.
I agree, Intelligence and surveillance to protect our Nation and open dialogue negotiating and promoting Peace and non-violence with other extremist Islamic and Sectarian Nations together with an obligation to protect citizens worldwide from mass murder at the hands of depraved tyrannical dictators is the answer.

Congratulation on your interview with Mr. Bacevich. Being in Canada, I have never understood the reason why Ronald Reagan has been put on such a huge pedestal by conservatives. Mr Bacevich has certainly spoken the truth about Reagan's excessive spending, and bankrupt trickle down economic theories.

"Aye Aye."

As it was Arlo who said at an AID's Clinic, "We all in here have AIDS." It can be said, if one person is not free, none of us are free.

I differ in opinion from Professor/COL Bacevich in only one respect: I think it is already too late.

The tipping point for me was when the US media all (PBS included) signed on to Bush's agenda. For 8 years now I have been getting 90% of my news from Deutsche Welle, France 24, and the Economist. It is amazing to see the contrast between what they present and what one sees in the US media.

I am voting for Nader for president, and against all the local incumbents. Not that it will do any good, but at least I will be able to sleep at night.

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be."
- Thomas Jefferson

"Whenever the people are well informed, they can be intrusted with their own government; that, whenever
things get so far wrong so as to attract their notice , they may be relied on to set them right."
- Thomas Jefferson

Professor Bacevich’s description and condemnation of our national path to moral, ethical, democratic, financial and spiritual bankruptcy is impressive. The tragic personal loss of his son to the war in Iraq is obviously his jarring and life-changing moment of clarity.

During the remarkable interview, I began to imagine what it would be like to discover an old friend in a meeting of Alcoholics Anonymous: “Welcome - so nice to see you. We prayed you’d eventually come. We’ve been saving a chair. We share your pain.”

There are no guarantees, but this is as good a place as any to start.

Commentary part II

Prof. Bacevich referred to his guiding principles and American values grounded in the preamble to the U.S. Constitution, that follows:

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

Clearly, when the U.S. Supreme Court beginning with Sandra Day O'Connor and ending with that disease of a justice Clarence Thomas disregarded the will of the American electorate to appoint George W. Bush as the next imperial president, it disregarded the spirit and letter of this Preamble.

Prof./Col. Bacevich said what needs to be said to a nation of pampered and self indulgent whiners -- willing to sacrifice their neighbors' children overseas for a six pack of beer, a new HD-TV set, and gas guzzling SUV in their driveways.

Those writers above who attack PBS as "liberal" and "leftist" merely for presenting the impartial truth fit my characterization above perfectly -- and they vote for boozey liars like good 'ol boy Doubl-ya Bush 'cause he promises to make others pay for their excesses.

Bacevich put it very gently in his poignant analysis of our imperialistic presidency and how it got that way. However, it may take a soon to arrive economic collapse followed by Great Depression II, followed by a civil war to get us out of this mess.

Also, each time our newly elected cowardly government tries to sweep this mess under the carpet, the carpet must get bigger and bigger to hide it. Maybe in 2008, we have run out of carpeting!

Yes, I agree with Mr. Bacevich's assessment.

The second part of the assignment is a bigger challenge. Mr. Bacevich identified the tipping point when the trade imbalance began. This coincides closely with the beginning of what Kevin Phillips has called the financialization of the economy. I do not think this is a simple coincidence.

Our nation today faces many of the same problems which were described in the "Omaha Platform" of the Progressive Party as The controlling
influences dominating both these parties have permitted
dreadful conditions to develop without serious effort to
prevent or restrain them. Neither do they now promise us
any substantial reform. They have agreed together to ignore,
in the coming campaign, every issue but one. They propose to
drown the outcries of a plundered people with the uproar of
a sham battle..., so that capitalists, corporations, and the
oppressions of the usurers may all be lost sight of. They
propose to sacrifice our homes, lives, and children on the
altar of mammon; to destroy the multitude in order to secure
corruption funds from the millionaires.

Since the business of Congress seems to be getting its members re-elected, the first step is to follow through with term limits for Senate Rats and Congress Varmints. Following that, begin the process of unwinding the ridiculous notion that a corporation has the rights of a person. If it has the rights, it surely has the responsibilities and until we start jailing corporations for bad behavior, it is obvious that they are not persons.

What an impressive interview. I want to join with all the other commentors who thought this was an exceptional discussion. I hope this will be re-broadcast. I hope too that that the tone of intelligence, moderation, and commonsense will not be distorted as his ideas are interpreted and formulated into "policy implications".. For example, I would like to purchase the book, and I would like to think this does not violate the spirit of his critique of consumerism. One of the key messages seemed to me to be about using/limiting ourselves to what we really need and can honestly afford--(while most of us would rather be encouraged to seek whatever we really want). This idea of rational limits, excess, decline, etc can seem negative and gloomy and can easily be distorted by those who carry it too far in guilty self-recrimination....and the idea of limits and honest values can also be mocked by those who want to sell eternal sunshine in a mythical morning in America. Mr. Bacevich was especially effective in the calm and assured and articulate way that he suggested we have been foolish, and that for our own good we need to find a better way. Surprisingly, his message seemed positive, or at least re-assuring, for those who have sensed that something is wrong.

I agree with everything Mr. Bacevich. His words makes us look in the mirror and take stock of ourselves and our country. Nothing in this country will change until we, the people of this nation, stand up. We did not stand up when they wanted to invade Iraq, we did not stand up when they borrowed trillions from China to finance the war, we did not stand up when they sent our soldiers on multiple deployments, we did not stand up when they hid the coffins coming home, we did not stand up when we were told that thousands of injured soldiers are being sent home, we did not stand up when we heard the soldiers were receiving inadequate health care, we did not stand up when they took away our civil liberties, we did not stand up when corporations took over the news media, and we are not standing up today as gas prices soar and our Imperial President plays the war drums with Russia. Mr. Bacevich is on target!

Well, the Supreme Court elected Bush president and it rarely calls into question his authority to wage war.

I don't understand why congress keeps funding our invasion of Iraq, but I fould be more surprised if they did not.

Both parties are involves in this fiasco and in the imperial mind.

And most of make little effort to change.

When I am at the airpor, I sometime weep as I watch soldiers leave families. I don't do it in public but in my heart.

No major disagreements with Basevich’s analysis, but for some of us it wasn’t anything new. The danger of republic devolving to empire is as least as old as Caeser. A discussion of solutions would have been much more useful. Jared Diamond’s “Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed” is more instructive.

The current situation is the fruition of the two-party system. When voters have only two choices, the parties eventually compete on who has the least-worst idea, rather than the best. An inept Democrat can succeed simply by not being a destructive Republican. This is a product of the winner-take-all system. Americans are primarily commercial in nature, and are loath to spend their votes on minor parties because the chance of yield is so low when the entry barrier is 50%-plus-one.

If that entry barrier were significantly lowered, and a minor party could achieve a legislative presence with a small percent of the vote, market forces should produce competition based on quality. At the least, there would be choices other than dumb and dumber. Most of the world’s representative states have a version of this, with an assortment of instructive flaws, omitted for the sake of brevity.

In summary, my proposal is conversion of the House of Representatives to a proportional, non-geographical party based system, with a 5% entry requirement. This allows new parties to gain that critical foothold of respectability, while preserving an independent executive, and a representation of regional interests in the Senate. Institutions are necessary for the stability of a state, but must be able to fail in a non-catastrophic manner when their time is done.

Post-script: The American judiciary has had no power over the executive since Andrew Jackson, and is currently irrelevant to the problem of an imperial presidency.

Thanks Bill Moyers, thanks Andrew Bacevich. Thanks to the whole nation for the voice I was able to hear today.
We are tired of hearing just words. We are listening constantly nothing but slogans, repetitions of social noises without any meaning.
Dominance will never mean freedom, on the contrary, dominance is the loss of freedom.
Are we wasting our best potential in preserving and perpetuating the role of dominance?
Are we sacrificing the joy of living and the resources to the fear of losing power?
Today I was allowed to hear the voice of a real human consciousness. A person, a father, a man of integrity. The voice of reflection, of love, of value. It was not the voice of knowledge only. It was the voice of wisdom.

After watching Mr. Bacevish's interview, I could not sleep. The truth was like a laser cutting through all of the garbage on TV. I wanted to get up as Mr. Bacevich spoke and shout Amen! The presidential elections have become for me a choice between the lesser of two evils, although still not much of a choice. What do we expect from the outcome? Not much because that is what we get. False promises that get people killed and continue to plunge our country into further debt. To me the country was awakened at 9/11 to the reality of our situation within the world. Something we have not been exposed to much! We were forced to realize our roal in the world, and that there are responses to our policies and life styles, both posative and negative. Since that brief period we have lulled ourselves back into our own self interest, where the media can make an issue of wether a candidate wears a flag on his coat and Britney Spears makes the 6 oclock news. How ridiculous. We, or should I say the small percent of our military will continue to pay for our self indulgance.

What you reap is what you sow.

I agree with Colonel Bracevich on some things but not all. I believe his perceptions don't go far enough. He doesn't see the class system in our nation. He didn't say anything about the corruption and immorality of the busines and political classes in this society. When he says that we are a materialistic society he thinks of those who have extra cash. He forgets that at an estimated 1/5 of Americans can't afford healthcare. And I would guess that another 2/5 of the population can't afford quality food or a quality education. He did give President Carter his due when Carter told the nation we shouldn't become dependent on foreign energy. I recall reading that President Reagon had the solar panels removed from the Whitehouse roof.
Colonel Basevich also said that there are those that would still argue about the Vietnam war. I thought it was finally decided that that war was a mistake.

Mr. Moyers,
Thank-you for inviting the most intelligent voice I've yet heard on any television program. I've long thought that Ronald Reagan through George W. Bush are all The United States citezens deserve anymore. At last someone has articulated it well enough for me (to put in a way that is less crass than I would). We might as well spit on our forfather's graves, and those of our soldier's, since their sacrifice amounts to an uninterupted supply of crap for us all. Was it Franklin that said "He who sacrefices freedom for security deserves neither"...? We can all say good-bye to both.
-CrankyPants


A breath of fresh air..Andrew Bacevich..a man that has defined our Nations problem by telling the truth. Look in the mirror & it is us!!!
Now..what to do. Personally as a life long Democrate I'm going to write in Ron Paul for President. Yea I know, a little radical in some of his proposals but someone that also speaks the Truth about deteration of the Constutition & Imperial Presdency.
As a veteran I would also like to see Congrss bring back the Draft on this time the lottery numbers start with 60 yr. olds and then work their way down with no exceptions...starting with the Senate, the House, Lobbyiest, Wall Street Brokers etc. etc No volunteers under 40. See how many Wars get voted on then.
Response to "Ali"s post
You would like nothing more than to shut down PBS's Independent voice so "you" the elite can keep the truth hidden. Your biggest fear is an independant electorate that's educated to the truth!!
Sparks ,Nevada

Besides all the obvious truths Mr. Bacevich speaks, one of the most important concepts he graphically illustrates is that a person can say they are a "conservative", or conversely I presume, a "liberal" and NOT be a radical, closed minded spin spewing, drone. I would call myself a "liberal" yet I also believe in smaller government, spending restraint, and core values (however you define that). The trick seems to be "think" as he so graphically illustrated by saying he voted for every democrat he could get near to in 2006. So much for the over use of labels and the little boxes we falsely think they should indicate. When are going to "get smart" and combine the merits of both camps and stop competing.

One of the things that was also worth noting on this excellent program was the fact that for the ( I believe) third straight week, the featured speaker, in their comments, referred to one of, if not THE, root cause of our problems being closely related to energy and our dependence upon foreign sources to satisfy our needs. Our growing dependence for all produced goods from foreign sources and our reluctance to admit to, and overcome, those failures. Isn't it time for the program/s that deals with energy in our future? I would LOVE to see Bill Moyers interview T.Boone Pickens and Amory Lovins. Individually or together. And it's NOT just about the immediate price of gasoline as the mainstream media and DC politicians always reduce it to immediately. So shortsighted.

Its 2 a.m. and I'm doing something that I usually don't do at this hour...respond; but, like everyone else, after tonight's program, I feel compelled.

On a personal note, my role models/heroes have always been my Dad and The Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, because they are, for me, Black men that represent strong, uncompromising Black leadership that speak Truth to power despite what ANYBODY else thinks. Agree or disagree, take it or leave it alone, one must respect men and women who speak Truth to power.

Before I forget, I would like to offer prayers and heartfelt condolence to Mr. Bacevich and his family for their loss. I have never experienced such, and hope that I nor anyone else has to endure such devestation. (Please excuse my saying so, but both Obama and McCain would KILL to have just a fraction of Mr. Bacevich's GENUINE, HUMAN EMOTION at that critical moment during a model televised conversation!)

To hear Truth being spoken to power via the vessel of former Col. Andrew Bacevich obviously had some impact, because I am adding my voice to the discussion and allowing the United States government agencies to fatten their dossier on my deviant behavior(s) on this World Wide Tracking System (I can't figure out which is worse, the internet or cell phones...well, what does it matter if we still believe in the "delete" button or that "nobody's listening").

Anyway, for someone like me who loves discussing history, international relations, politics, and U.S. foreign policy (Yeah, a real nerd; and a Black one, at that!), hearing Mr. Bacevich's points was excellent (although he could NEVER compare with The Hon. Min. Louis Farrakhan); but the most important point that Mr. Bacevich made was his Biblical quote to, "Set thine house in order."

In my limited view, this quotation is a direct order. I see it as being personal. In other words, we, as Americans, must first set our own personal, individual "house" in order first(spiritually, morally, politically, economically, educationally, socially, and physically), then it will become a "ripple effect" expanding to our families, mosque, church, temple, synagogue, schools, etc.

Every four or eight years, we love to believe the Lie, and place our hopes in a someone, anyone the powers that be parade before our digitized eyes (Now we think things will actually change, because two brand new variables have been allowed on t.v.: Race and Gender!)

Wow! Boys and Girls! Race and Gender are candidates to be nominated for president! Is this historic?: Yes. Does it change the base of power that has been in control of the country since post-WWII? Uh,...No.

If we are to avoid becoming victims of our own unchecked, homegrown; Yes, I am going to call it what it is: TERRORISM!, then we must STOP being scared and distracted by "economic stimulus packages", "orange level terror alerts", and the "Its morning in America" commercials!

Yeah, it IS morning in America! And this morning we are going to look America straight in the eyes reflected in our mirror, sober, and ask America, "Who are you?" "Are you making the right choices?" "Well, what can we do, here at home, to make it right, again?"

That was a magnificent discussion about some of our most pressing
national issues. Mr. Bacevich comes across as a very wise and gentle man.

He reminds me of another quiet and honest man, Ron Paul.
Unfortunately, as the latest presidential primary election has shown,
most Americans reject outright any leader of common sense,
and instead embrace fear mongering and appeals to the ego.

Here are a few action items for readers to consider:

  • We must break the duopoly of the Republican and Democratic parties.
  • We must do away with the Federal Reserve and our debt-based economy.
  • We must move to renewable energy.

It will be difficult for people of goodwill to make these changes
when the foundations of our society have been rotted by sloth and greed.
Let us take hope from men like Andrew Bacevich and redouble our efforts.

That`s right...set your own house in order! Can´t help but wonder why these politicians don´t see the problem(s) as clearily as Mr Bacevich does. Interesting, what former Pres Carter said about fixing the oil problem back in his day and still people are debating how to fix the problem...wondering if the problem in Georgia/Russia/ and the neo-conservatives in U.S. are linked to this.

Great program. Finally a breath of fresh air. Unfortunately, these insights appear to be ignored by the vast majority who listen to the same old propaganda.

Tonights program with Prof. Andrew Bacevich was captivating. I do agree with most of his assessment, but I would suggest that Mr. Bacevich read the essay "Greed" by Julian Edney to get to the real core of the problem--morality and corporate greed. Here is the opening comment of her essay:

An essay concerning the origins, nature, extent and morality of this destructive force in free market economies. Definitions. Paradoxes and omissions in Adam Smith's original theory permit - encourage - greed without restraint so that in a very large society over two centuries it has become an undemocratic force creating precipitous inequalities; divisions in this society now approach a kind of wealth apartheid, and our values are quite unlike Smith's: this is an immensely wealthy society but it is not a humane society. Wealth and poverty are connected, in fact recent sociological theory shows our institutions routinely design inequality in, but this connection is largely avoided in texts and in the media, as is the notion that greed is a moral wrong. Problems created by greed cannot be solved by technology. We are also distracted by already-outdated environmental rhetoric, arguments that scarcities and human suffering follow from abuse of our ecology. Rather, these scarcities are the result of what people do to people. This focus opens practical solutions.

Dear Mr. Bacevich,
Your interview with Bill Moyers is incredible! Very few people are able to clearly and concisely, say what you have said. You are one of the few men I have seen as of late, that is brave enough to say to Americans that they should point thier finger directly back at themselves. You are right, most Americans either do not want to hear these facts as they are, or even worse are those who can not comprehend the undeniable truth in what you state.
Unlike the americans who lived through the Depression and WWII, The latest generation(s) of the United States have truly become "fat and lazy" in the sense that we have no idea what true sacrafice is. If Americans truly knew what sacrifice was, and were made to sacrifice (i.e. rationing of goods) only then would they realize what it really takes to once again make America the great and self sufficient nation we once were, and should be.
I agree, supporting our troops should mean more than putting a sticker on the back of our cars, it should mean sacrifice for the nation as a whole. Only true sacrifice, not token sacrifice, will make the american public reallize what is truly at stake, the next time a President decides to involve our troops in some foray in the name of our "national interest"
Consumerism, corporate greed and it's grip on it's grip on our politicians, etc.are truly the root of most of the problems facing the United States.

Respectfully,
Nicholas


"we've gone from creating products to fill needs to creating needs to sell products"

Wish I could remember who said this I tink it was on "pbs" of course. Thomas Friedman maybe?

Bill Moyer is for me, one of the great harbingers of truth of our era.I cannot tell you how much hope he instills in that belief of a free and open society through such discourse towards a viable future.Which he aids in keeping kindled within me through his words and broadcast.Thank you.
To Mr. Bacevich-
I was compelled to write after hearing your words upon this broadcast.
In the loss of a child, one is forced to reflect upon the meaning of life. In a very biblical way, the taking of his son, forced Mr. Bacevich to reflect upon such loss to the core of his soul and very belief system. In his reflection he found the face of a son looking back at him in that hard light truth by which all he had built his life upon as a solider and as an American. Building beliefs upon the lies we were told as truth.All now revealed to be untrue.
We do all come to this place in our own time.
In this painful realization, he has chosen not to perpetuate the lie and fall into rank,but to gift us all with an eloquent, if not painful vision of our history as a nation. And that of all humanity.Our place in it.And our hand by our unquestioning subservience to an ideal sold to us as taught to us all as children. Or imposed by our collective direct action as a nation. As by our indifference, which today, now can no longer be spun nor ignored.
We are all faced with truth at some point in life. Most often at life's profound moment of our own end. But also in the loss of a loved one.We can chose to strike out. To wallow in our pain. Or honor the memory of the one we lost and loved.
Your honoring your son, becomes a revelation of truth for us all.And from your words, It is my hope that that truth as freedom,will ring.
War is waged to covet or defend. All war is based upon fear. Fear of loss of those truths we live by,and what life we hold dear.To what we perceive as fear of a threatened present tense. Pushed against our will into an uncertain future.
A preemptive strike turned as to defend. A moral line crossed against our own mandate of ideals, of what we stood for in a world which once admired and strove to emulate.But perhaps it was all forever a lie.Like George cutting down the cherry tree.As we have discovered, so much of our history was spun to us.A call to arms. A sacrifice of funds and lives for the greater good. As we now see all wars in the past century were about power. Oil. The promise of more. Imperialism.
We have since our beginnings as a nation, been teetering on a path to becoming an imperial nation.Absolute power corrupts absolutely. And beginning with the advent of the Federal Reserve privately held corporation, we enticed towards a standard of living which both increased our debt as dependence for more. And created the need to to expand empire and impose our will upon other nations in exchange of the very same promise of that same standard of living and a desire for more.Imperialism is the means and it's own end. It is destined to fail. And fail it does every time in world history.
Still it's America's turn.And never has there been a more imperial state than under the George W. Bush administration.As our Congress folded and empowered the office more.Blatantly denying their oath of office. Ignoring the constitution. And allowing the world to pay the price of power abused.
We The People, have been taken.And it goes way beyond the Presidency and Congress.
Imperialism is a tool of a shadow government.Those in place beyond a political party and term.The ones pulling the strings in economic control over all nations through a world ban system imposed.
We as individuals, are born and raised to a time and place. A set of rules and tasks as jobs. To live a life as we are allowed under whatever flag and government we happen to be born into.And indoctrinated to beliefs we will live by and die for.
The bravery of a solider is in the knowing that that they are on the side of truth. Whatever nation they are raised within.To live for what one would die for. To die for what one believes in.In that truth, they are willing to die, as to never live without.It is fueled by beliefs. Taught.But in the realization that they risk and do sacrifice, are sacrificed...Sacrificing their lives for those ideals,beliefs, now unearthed by time as lies told to us as truth.Which serves not truth. Nor our heartfelt beliefs and ideals,but the long term,as covert purpose of imperialism by the powers that be. In collusion empowered above all nations to control the game.
Soliders are driven by duty.And an inner belief in a right and wrong they are taught to defend in the beat interests of all of us. Willing to die for their country and it's beliefs.But in the Iraq war, we are faced with a truth. The realization of the lie sold to a nation as truth,which lead to war. The lives lost for an what can now be viewed as a faintly cloaked, but an overtly imperial purpose. Which dishonors their sacrifice.And dishonors a nation and the sanctity of all life in that heaven and on earth.
Mr. Bacevich, as a high ranking solider and grieving father...A human being, seeing the truth all at once as he has been forced to do through the death of his son,has been thrown into the fire. And rather than being seared into ashes to ashes. Burned to be blown away with the indifferent winds of political change for change sake.He has instead been forged.To reflective hard edged truth as steel.Reborn
a phoenix. As the messenger of truth which can no longer be ignored.Few if any in our time have ever seen it more clear and said better.More honestly. More truthfully. Connecting all the dots to formulate the bigger picture of truth. This hard truth of which this nation must now face and can no longer deny.As we as a nation have forever been conditioned to ignore.I for one hear you. I see that truth.I always had, but felt alone in the expression.Helpless in the solitude imposed by a world fast moving in task, as purpose and without consideration of consequence.
Rushing towards a head on collision with a future soon here. And running from the truth towards the lies we choose to believe in our need of comfort and denial of our misbegotten deeds.
Know.The loss of your son was not in vain. And he is not gone. But carried within you. Within your words of truth. You are now an ambassador.A messenger.Now carried within me as within others.In that truth,your son shall live forever.
I am , as we all are, diminished by the loss.That promise and that sacrifice.
Thank you for your candor and introspection. And for your bravery.Your words of truth and insight reflected upon our nation to see the truth and to change things for our sake and the world's.Here at the crossroads. The hard light of truth by which we now find ourself reflecting as individuals, and as a nation.
Things do need to change.And they will.But we must be moved as a nation of individuals towards truth and away from the lies which we have lived by in the past and used to falsely comfort us, as we systematically relinquish our voices. Our truth,our morality,our values and our freedoms for the promise of more things.And at what cost?Thank you for telling the truth.
Only through real truth and without fear, will such constructive true change for the betterment of mankind ever happen.
Together standing tall and true, we will change things.
Together.
Thank you for speaking the truth.

Darrell

Right on Professor.
The problem is US, the American Public. The reality is followers only follow when leaders are just a little or one step ahead. Unless we change and demand more of ourselves, drastic changes in leadership will not happen. (see)Dan Kolhoff has it right.
We must change our lifestyle, go green, learn how to look beyond influences, bias, ridiculous soundbites etc.,etc. Guess what? You and I can change the balance of power and problems in the Middle East and Russia just by quitting or cutting down on the purchase of gasoline! Boy, a few national no gas usage days, and extreme use of anything and everything to stop the money flow for oil out of the country; will change the balance of power toward Russia and the Middle East in big hurry. We don’t need to bash the presidency, the constitution, past history, or the Electoral College. That is easy and fruitless. To become an involved human being and citizen is scary, wild and tough. To thine ownself be true and the rest will fall into place.

I watch the Journal every week, and always learn and enjoy. But rarely am I moved to tears by such a compelling truth-telling interview. I salute Mr. Bacevich and his call to U.S. citizens to look into the mirror. I will begin with myself and then pass it on. Meanwhile, I hope Andrew Bacevich won't mind if I write him in on my presidential ballot this November.

Mr. Moyers... am so very glad you're back on the air. This program brought me close to tears as only the sound of Truth can.

I have a fantasy of someday creating a billboard-sized spreadsheet showing all the arenas in which our country is *not* number one: education, technology, gnp, access to health care, development of smart energy, and on and on and on. Then I'd like to display that billboard on every major street corner in our country. Maybe that would shatter the fantasy that "we're number one" and give us something more realistic and humane to become.

I look forward to reading Bacevich's book. Thank you both.

I grew up in a time in America, where I was led to believe that we would always be the good guys, the benevolent ones in the face of World Tyrants. WWII confirmed that image, when America geared up to rescue the world at great sacrifice to its own people. At that time, Americans actually did sacrifice. Now, it is we who are the hated world tyrants, violently imposing our imperialistic power and belief systems on individual and sovereign nations. These nations have a right to follow their culture, politics, customs and religion, just like we believed in our own right to do so, and fought the forces that tried to stop us in the beginnings of our Nation. How hypocritical we are! And the American people exist in a hypnotic state of ignorant "bliss". It is time for the people of this young nation to "grow up," and take responsiblity... first and foremost of its own internal household. Then, and only then, it may provide a model for others to aspire to, if they choose to. Thank you, Bill Moyers and Andrew Bacevich for having the courage to unveil and clarify the truth as it really is, not the propaganda fed to us by the mass media, and a weak administration. It's time for change. We now live in 2008, not 1776.

Bravo, Dr. Bacevich. A
poignant, important, interview that tells the truth about facts known and unknown and how we should really view war and continue to support our troops, from the most important voice, a war veteran. In all you are 100% correct,"The war was a fundamental mistake."

The sermon from which the sound bite used to pillory Obama was Rev Wright making a similar case as Bacevich makes, though from a evangelical Bible perspective, like a speaker uses poetry to create imagery.

Rev Wright spoke of the arrogance of power, looks to the causes of 9/11, speaks of the secrecy of government that creates distrust and causes many to believe the fantastic.

I prefer to listen to reason and logic of Bacevich, but I know many people do not, so they need someone who can provide the emotional, symbolic, poetic message.

Bacevich argues with reason and logic that the US is, can I use the word doomed, because it fails to look at our failures as a people to do what has long been apparent to those who think. Rev Wright said, "the chickens have come home to roost" and then "god damn America - its in the Bible" stretching the poetic Bible message calling on the nation of Israel to follow the correct path.

We face a dilemma: Rev Wright is able to catch people's attention, and it then sound-bite-ed, distorted, and pilloried. Bacevich is merely going to lecture away to those who will at best bore their friends and neighbors, or at worst express their frustration emotionally and be labeled a nutcase like Wright.

Re-reading Carter's speech from three decades ago, I was struck with how easily Obama or McCain could make the same speech today, making only a few changes of wording on the fly to make it totally relevant today. I have been waiting for three decades for the US to get back to the energy program that existed in 1980 to about 1982. Oil imports fell 5% each year for six years - oil imports were cut in half in six years. In 1984, oil imports were down to 2.5 million barrels a day, but 25 years later they are four times at over 10 million barrels a day.

So many people have died, so many have suffered, so many have lost jobs, so many have lost homes, so many have lost hope, all because we as a nation of people have almost entirely refused to face the reality of the limits to the earth.

My actions may not be consistent in all cases, I might take the easy road too often, but I have kept hammering away at the science that limits the amount of fossil fuels we can extract, the limits to pollution, the intergeneration equity, the global equity, and the great opportunity to make the nation's economy to be truly sustainable, with interesting and rewarding jobs for all who want them, challenge with the very real solutions that are there to find.

Like Bacevich, I believe that we have reached a time when the questions on so many fronts will be unavoidable, and my hope is with the "kids" who have gotten the message that hippie freak envirowacko subversives have been hammering away at for three decades.

Still, three lost decades is really a deep hole to have dug.

I was captivated by Andrew Bacevich's perception of our current country's current situation. I consider myself a independent liberal with some conservative views. The direction our country is being directed will eventual become our demise. I am a baby boomer who has never voted for a Presidential cadidate--only for the individual I considered the lesser of two evils. There are many things that need to be changed to get our country back to being the greatest democracy in the world. 1)We need to get rid of the Electorial College. The electorial votes in a state that has a smaller population are disproportionally greater than the states with larger populations. This causes some people's vote to be weighted more heavily. It should be one vote equally weighted for every person. 2) Our first priority should be to become as energy independent as possible. It's unfortunate that most people are so short sighted all they think of is oil, coal, and nuclear. What if our government and leaders would have had the foresight to put the money they have spent on the Iraq war into developing and building the infrastructure to deliver solar and wind energy. These are not a finite resource that will be depleted in the next 100 years, as oil and coal are; and they do not leave us with life threatening waste. The more money we put into renewable energy sources the sooner it will a viable alternative to what we have now. 3)It is impossible for anyone to get elected today who is not backed by big corporate money. Unless you are for big business you'll never get enought money to even be recognized as a candidate. It's the same with the media--if you don't have big money backing you there will be little or no coverage. The media is always shoving down the public's throats the rich and famous. The majority of people today belive that as long as you work hard you will be able to make it big; when in the real world, making it big is about a easy and attainable a winning the lottery. The distribution of wealth would go a long way to making our country a better place for all. 4) Our leaders (especially the ones in Washington) need to start thinking about what their legacy will be. How they will be remember in 200 years (someone that made a difference for the better of all people or someone who was just useless). I could go on and on, but I feel these points I have made are just a few things that can be done to get this country back to a great place for everyone--not just the rich.

Refreshing to hear these truths about our democracy shared with such honesty and compassion. I am moved and inspired. Let's hope there is a revelation and a day of reckoning in our county...soon. Thank you Andrew, Thank you Bill.

A very important program tonight. I salute Col. Bacevich and thank Bill M for the interview. Perhaps when Americans discern the difference between "standard of living" and quality of life, we will be able to live sans empire as Europeans now do.

How refreshing to hear the TRUTH as Mr. Bacevich spoke it on your program tonight...I was mesmerized...since it is so rare to hear the truth these days...there should be some way to stop any and all power-hungry presidents and any politician if they make immoral decisions as soon as they do so...impeachment takes too long...they, of course, will give an account to God, Himself, but after they leave office, they should also be held accountable for the lives lost in Iraq, water-boarding, wire-tapping, on and on by the American people...this administration is the most uncaring, unfeeling, incompetent, out of touch with reality and morals I have ever seen...one writer said "a pocks on them all" and I say also an accountability from them ALL...Shirley

Public television at its best. America was once the envy of the world and many wanted to copy it. Somewhere along the line America's rulers decided that wasn't good enough and thought it was time to force the American Way of life upon others. It didn't work for the Soviet Union and it wont work for America. All empires fall ; that's why we study history.

"Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?" said Abraham Lincoln. I have often wondered why, when 9/11 happened, the United States did not immediately ask "Why did they do that?... Why do they hate us?... What good can we do to change our enemies into friends, to turn this around?" Instead, we retaliated and added to the misery and destruction with our own evil.

Thank you Mr. Bacevich for a brilliant, bold and brave assessment of our national and personal accountability. I only fault you for not acknowledging Barack Obama as the clear choice for a more positive, humane and intelligent future. I believe that McCain sees a world of probable enemies and Obama sees a world of possible friends.

Thank you once again, Bill Moyers, for your hopeful contribution to mind, spirit and community.

Andrew Bacevich HAS to be a stooge for the Bush administration!
To place the blame for the Iraq war at the feet of the American citizen is as absurd as calling Bush the best president ever!
Certainly there's enough blame to go around and there's no doubt about our consumerism, but it was G. H. Bush that went into this war in order to fill the pockets of his friends and associates. That's the real untold story of the Iraq war!

While boringly flipping past various channels, I hit your show and was immediately caught up in your conversation with Mr. Bacevitch. Finally, someone speaks honestly about the path our nation has been stumbling dumbly down since 9/11. I'm buying his book tomorrow.

Yea!

Great show with Bill Moyers and Prof Bacevich. It would be great if the next president would challenge the American people to meet the problems facing the country and tell us we must make sacrifices to solve them. Then call on Congress to work with him to get busy - no excuses or party politics. This won't happen - somebody will whine and complain about his program being cut or neglected. But it sounds good. What we need is leadership! Maybe we would follow.

Andrew Bacevich eloquently voiced all that I have been thinking for the past eight years. I can only hope that there were lots of people tuning in that ususally would not otherwise enjoy public broadcasting television. Kudos to Mr. Bacevich. I will buy the book tomorrow!

Nothing will change until we have a leader or leaders with the courage to tell Americans the following:
1) Live within your means
2) Strive to achieve your best
3) Respect each other
4) Understand the impact of your actions before undertaking them

However, it will be impossible for that leader to appear until the following happens:
1) our information sources become independent from influence, bias, and soundbites
2) money is removed from our political system
3) politics is removed from the mechanisms that govern our electoral processes

As one who looks for guidance from our collective past, I know this will only happen when it is too late since that is when the window opens. It will only be when things are truly bad for everyone, that these changes can occur. But we must hope that it will happen before then.

Bill, WHAT AN EXCEPTIONAL PROGRAM !!!
Your invitee tonight was speaking my mind the entire hour of the show. If we could only clone minds like that into the White House , now that we no longer have a Democracy in this country, perhaps the new Imperial President will start changing to get out the inmoral path we have chosen for our nation for the past 40 years
CONGRATULATIONS and keep up the good work.

I was captivated by Andrew Bacevich's comments as well as his sincerity. He describes himself as "conservative" and I consider myself very "liberal". Yet I agreed with almost everything he said. While much of our society's political discourse is superficial, he got to the heart of the matter of problems facing our country and our society at this time. It was also heartening to hear his criticism of the war in Iraq and of how we started the war. I was touched by the pain he expressed about the death of his son in Iraq.

I agreed with Mr. Bacevich's comments on our government's failure to set spending/debt limits, and believe he is correct in saying that this happens in our personal lives as well. I agree that our society is based on consumerism. He didn't say why he thought that has happened and I don't know if he would agree with my understanding that our consumerism is fed by constant barrages of advertising supporing corporate priorities, as well as the media's support of a consumer culture and its failure to report the news beyond a superficial level. As another writer commented, the lobbyists for corporations are certainly an impediment to the democratic process.

I also agreed with Mr. Bacevish'sanalysis of Democrats actions in Congress. I too voted for Democrats in Congress, and have been very disappointed in their inabiity to stand up to the Administration and to Republican leaders. I will vote for Obama in the presidential election, but I also don't have hope that either of the presidential candidates will be willing or able to provide the leadership to confront out real problems, and make major changes in order to get our country back on track. I have been an active volunteer in election politics in the past, but I have lost faith in the political system. It seems to be more of the same no matter who gets elected. I do have faith in the NM Democratic candidates this year for senate (Udall) and for the House in my district (Heinrich) and will put my efforts there.

Thank you for presenting this guest on Bill Moyers' Journal. Hopefully it will open up dialogue between people with different political identities and help our country finally get a grasp on the real and very serious issues we face at this time.

Tonights program was the best I've ever seen!
As a Viet Nam vet I'm not one bit surprised that things have worked out the way they have. Our country has been brain washed for years, we've become fat and lazy. Our national karma will be paid and it won't be pretty.
Andrew Bacevich should be on the road with this message. I'll donate, where do I sign up?
Gary
Kingston Wa

Thank you for another thought provoking brilliant author. "We the people" do have the ability to turn this nation around. The task is monumentous and the will, at present is nebulous but change we must or we become another failed experiment in government. Reading the comments is always illuminating; apparently Bacevich and Moyers hit a sensitive nerve with some "know nothings". It is unfortunate that the bearer of bad news is pilloried. The news doesn't change but apparently disqualifying it by casting aspersions on those that bring it soothes the fears that arise when difficult topics are addressed. Those of us that lived through the depression era and World War II remember a time when Americans were united to preserve our culture. Most of us had very little and willingly shared with others what we did have. We had coping skills that our young people lack but those things can be taught. The new generation of conservatives takes exception to the concept that we are citizens of this nation and the world and as such must plan for a future that is mindful of that interdependence. We still are blessed with vast resources, the greatest of which is our ability to innovate. Innovate or perish just might be a mantra for our future.

Facing fear is never a pleasant experience. We avoid it and seek distraction from fear in many ways. We need to respond to fear and not react out of it. The reference to IUD's over USA 's high tech weaponry is analogous to David and Goliath.

Is our country capable of confronting our self imposed dependency that has put "The Home of the Free and Land of the Brave" in bondage? What will it take?

It will take suffering. It will take courage and fortitude. It will take sacrifice and a willing determination to go to any lengths to end self indulgent entitlement. Are we capable of making the necessary changes to make our country into what a "world Leader" could be? What would happen if we made a decision and took action to shift the paradigm from one of "having and getting" to that of "sharing and conserving"? Where will it start? Who is responsible. A good place to begin is now. It is really all we have. We must relate to the past as an asset. Something we learn from. We cannot predict the future, however, we can create a better one by examining our deepest sense of value and honoring it within ourselves and in others.

Easy, no. Possible... ABSOLUTELY! "Get you own house in order." Well said Mr. Bacevich.

Let's eat only what we need. Let's excercise more and use gas guzzlers less. Let's read more and get rid of pill pushing TV that is riddled with commercial brainwashing. Vote.

Fear is the corroding thread of destruction. Courage is making a positive response in the face of that fear.

I have never heard such a powerful, brilliant,and lucid voice anywhere on television. Bacevich gave an absolutely stunning interview. Thank you Bill Moyers for working to bring the public such consistent and outstanding quality.

the AMERICAN idea to allow (or actively ENCOURAGE) parts of the former Soviet Union to JOIN NATO

(North Atlantic Treaty Organization) is a terrible mistake and incredibly FLAWED foreign policy ........ the Russians have stated for some time

what they would do if these areas attempted to join NATO ..... and GEORGIA is an example of this happening .......

sometimes I think the American government (and especially the PRESENT one) is incredibly ignorant ...... to the point of stupidity ......

the United States is already engaged in TWO wars
and is forcing its Armed Forces into several 'rotations' back in to the
war zones ("stop-loss") policy ..... the Armed Forces is stretched to the limit ..... to send any troops to GEORGIA is inviting NUCLEAR WAR ....
this would be insane ....

Greg (Calgary, Alberta, Canada)

If you agree with this man, you probably will love Ron Paul and his ideas.

Check them out here:
http://www.campaignforliberty.com/mission/

join the mailing list

come to the rally!
http://www.rallyfortherepublic.com/
www.campaignforliberty.com

I wanted to stand up and cheer during the discussion of "Support Your Troops. Sending these guys and girls (and I supose in between) is immoral. And to have the vast majority of Americans act like the war wasn't going on is sickening. Passing the cost of the war on to our children so we don't have to pay taxes
is beyond contempt.
"Support Our Troops" is meaningless, empty slogan unless we pay for proper equipment; pay for proper and complete medical care and complete mental and physical rebhabilitian of our troops, stop punishing soldiers for getting wounded, stop putting the burden of the war on a few hundred thousand troops to go back again and again into the furnace and destruction war complete with blowing sand.
keith campbell
Denver

For many years now ordinary Americans have been saying "Our country is going in the wrong direction" but unable to really clarify what it is they were sensing. Andrew Bacevich articulates beautifully what these people have been unable to. Americans may not fully "get it" but there seems to be some real searching going on and Mr Bacevich just makes too much sense to be ignored. The problem is our popular media wouldn't be interested in giving him a voice and starting a discussion. Maybe enlisting Paris Hilton could get it started.

Magnificent interview. Bill Moyers used so few words to pull out so many from Dr. Bacevich. This interview should be played in every history class in every high school in this country. Young people should have discussions about the sustainability of our (their) current lifestyles. For 50 years the privileged and middle class in this country have achieved what many believed to be the American Dream, and Bacevich so clearly points out the the price for this achievement has been the creation of a World Nightmare to support this dream. And now, as John said years ago, the Dream is over

The last post's url was wrong. Its myspace.com/spaceoutlaw9 not spacecowboy, that was already taken...
I still have great hope for this Land to show the rest of this Beautiful Planet how to do it right. Corporate greed with the guns and bombs budget isn't it!

It gives me hope that this man and Ron Paul are around. If only more people just paid attention, the truth-tellers wouldn't be so few and far between. Of course, the mainstream media doesn't help. Thanks, Bill, for having this man on your show.

Its gonna take a Constitutional Convention to make any real change. If 2/3's of the States' Congresses vote for one, we may just stop enough bs to make a difference for the next Generations.
As Arlo sings in Times Like These: "These Times will pass in times to come."


Superb.

Thankyou........

I just got an idea and I am not joking. Let's stop the NASCAR and DAYTONA and have them bike race instead, no pollution, just a good 50 lap heart workout. Let's have the crowd watch that munching popcorn and eating Nachos with Cheese dip and Tostados, and whatnot.

Wow. Bacevich certainly tells it like it is. But greedy self-indulgent Americans put their hands over their ears so they won't have to hear it. This book is a must read. I'm heading for the book store first thing tomorrow.

Bill your program with Col. Bacevich was inspiring. Never have I heard with such economy, intelligence, truth, and sincerity, a short history of what is wrong with and how to fix America. I hope both Obama and McCain have the sense to watch this program and read the Col.'s book and the wisdom to allow these to influence their actions.

Mr. Moyers,
Please express my condolences to Dr. Bacevich on the loss of his son. And let him know, there are people here, in this country, who care. And if we can, want to make a difference.

Another gripping and informative program this evening.
I believe our Congress has been more involved
in partisan values than in what we the people asked of them.
I believe that WE knew it was all wrong, but the Congress betrayed us all and our Constitution for their own gain.
Remember the old phrase "a pocks on all of them" !
Thank you Bill Moyers and Guest Superb for important information.
Lillian

After 911, Congress correctly (and temporarily) expanded presidential powers. It was an emergency and cells of Al Qaeda could have been (and were) hidden throughout the country. Senator Byrd, asked for a "sundown provision" to make an ending date for presidential war power, but the younger crowd of Congress ignored him (without that provision, the war ends when the president says so). Even so, Congress wasn't the problem.

The problem was caused by a power mad president who used

1. Signing statements

2. Recess appointments of Congress

3. Fear (to gain compliance) generated by:

3A. Phony reports of WMD (mushroom cloud references)

3B. Phony "Orange Alerts" which Tom Ridge said were ordered by his superiors (Zahn interview)

3C. Lies about a fairy-tale "Axis of Evil" (which we now know had no ties to terrorism).

3D. Wiretapping of average Americans in excess of FISA guidelines (all presidents have the right to wiretap before getting FISA clearance (for a while), but Bush never asked for it and exceeded the time period).

3E. Torture (Bush aides tried to redefine it, but it was clearly spelled out in the Geneva Conventions). It was to "shock and awe" the enemy, not get info from those deemed innocent (as up to 90% of the detainees were) and no longer in the loop of information after years of incarcertaion and torture. Bush aides tried to deny it, and moved those with limbs lost to water boarding in ice water (gangrene) away from Congressional inspectors. The CIA ordered soldiers to give all evidence of torture, then they "lost it."

3F. Phony linkage of Saddam to phony terrorism (example: Nigerian yellow-cake, and what appears to be revenge against CIA agent Valerie Plame for husband, Wilson, not going along). Another example: Aluminum tubes and balloon trucks which were not at all linked to terrorism.

4. Religious tests for Federal judges (Democrats who objected were accused of creating an anti-religious test of the judges. . . news stories about this have been buried in accusation stories).

5. No-bid contracts to crony corporations and using the cloak of national security to prevent people from knowing which companies were involved. (I asked FactCheck.org to find out, and they could not since the FBI was investigating the matter, but they worked for Bush and didn't want the answer). I know that Messer-Greisheim (made Xylon gas to exterminate WW II Jews) was one of the no-bid companies.

/////////////////////

The handlers of W. Bush (assuming that he is too lazy and stupid to actually be the president) are at fault. I assume that W. Bush's father, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rove, et al, were the ones who crafted the exorbitant number of bills and policy decisions while W. Bush barely bothered to show up to work (6 hour days when not going through drug detox for months at Crawford).

We don't know that Congressmen were only concerned with their own elections. Such rash opinions of Andrew Bacevich (not substantiated by facts or sources) harm his credibility.

Contrary to the rash opinions (stated as fact) of Andrew Bacevich, Congressmen have, on many occasions, articulated a view of the common good (a good source for such statements is OnTheIssues.org, which shows statements from most politicians on most issues (sorted by issues and sorted by people who made the statements)).

The Democratic political system didn't wear thin because of Congress. Democracy is about free elections by the people. Slanted media distorts their views, and unfair distributions of soft campaign donations throws elections. The soft money is often hidden from view and often not spent during an election years, such as the money spent to hire Republicans to write in forums as if they are grass roots supporters, or money spent on the Anti-Clinton library in Little Rock. Congressmen are in for life because they have PAC money and name recognition. Republican corporations have even donated to democrats to give them an edge over their fiercer democratic competitors whom, for sure, they don't want to win. Maybe Congress (at the urging of Granny D and others) can do something to mitigate some of these influence peddling problems?

It was wonderful for someone to express the realism that we as individuals represent in our daily lives as we relate with those next to us and with ourselves a microcosm of the real problem that faces us as a nation which expresses itself in how we (in total) relate to the rest of the world ( the macrocosm). Andrew's comment that we as individuals are responsible for the actions of our country in how we think, vote and allow ourselves to feel that if we expend all our energy and resources solving what we think is wrong with others which is outside of ourselves, we self-righteously can ignore the real problem that lies within ourselves, is a truism in my mind.

Mr. Bacevich has given us a thoughtful intelligent and much needed look at America's bent on war and power. It is good to see Republicans giving this idea a second thought. In my opinion all war for all purposes is an obscenity before GOD and MAN. It should not be engaged in for any purpose whatsoever. I am sorry but after seeing my own family torn apart by WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Gulf War ONE, I am sick to death of war. We have squandered the wealth of the working people and put ourselves in a much deserved state of poverty and debt. We deserve what is coming and it is coming fast. We deserve our punishment. We must learn humility and grace and quit thinking we are the biggest, baddest, best country in the world. We are indeed NOT. We are just one among many and we had better learn to REPLENISH THE EARTH rather than despoil it.

My own son is alive and well and is a conscientious objector. I am sorry this man learned the hard lessons after loosing his own cherished beautiful son. God Bless and heal his family.

Here's hoping that one of the first things a Democratically-controlled White House and Congress does is reassert the need for a strong PBS network.
We need to hear more of the unvarnished truth from broadcasters like Bill Moyers. Another great program tonite,Bill. Thanks you!

All politicians and our future elect presidential candidates must be asked to read this book by Andrew Bacevich. A nationwide discussion of the book and relating to the nation's ills is in order. The president once he is elected must hold weekly talks called - Talk with the President. 4 or 5 distinguished guests or citizens must be allowed to discuss the nation's ills and from that standpoint, the state governments have to take action to remedy economic and social problems. Bacevich's thoughts and Bill Moyer's discussion still haunt me.

In "Three Days of the Condor" Cliff Robertson's CIA character tells the idealistic Robert Redford's character, "What will happen when the people run out of oil? They won't ask us how to get it...just when." Orwell had it right. Aren't we just playing out our hand?

In "Three Days of the Condor" Cliff Robertson's CIA character tells the idealistic Robert Redford's character, "What will happen when the people run out of oil? They won't ask us how to get it...just when." Orwell had it right. Aren't we just playing out our hand?

I appreciated the show tonight. Mr. Bacevich’s assessment gave me a number of things to think about. I particularly thought his point that we need to look into the mirror collectively and see that we, individually, may be responsible for many of our current problems.

I wish that there were a larger percent of the Public paying attention to topics like we heard tonight. Perhaps then we could have a larger national debate on real issues that we need to address during this election.

Mr. Moyers, thank you again for your exceptional journalism and passion. Mr. Bacevich, I am so sorry for your loss. I so totally agree with your insightful, heartfelt, balanced and honest assessment of our government and the current state of affairs. One of the most important things you pointed out is individuals' expectation that the next president will have the fix. I have long told people that for everything we depend on the government for, we give up more of our freedom. That freedom comes in many forms including the lifestyle that you and I, being close in age, experienced as children growing up. Something I fear my grandsons may never know. It is time for us, individually and collectively, to bear the responsibility for the state of our country and our government. You state your case in clear terms that can be understood by everyone. We have allowed things to run amok far too long. Unfortunately, some speak out with violent action which is not the way to express an opinion. We need to employ passive activisim. But that takes first an awareness that there is a problem, that we bear responsibility, and that it requires responsible, unwavering action. It is amazing to me how many people I meet who have no concept of what is really going on, or plead that "ignorance is bliss." I look forward to purchasing your book.

I happened to hear the last bit of this interview tonight, as channels were flipped, and I immediately said, leave it there, I want to hear this! We listened for just less than 10 minutes to Mr. Bacevich and Bill Moyers talk, and he was saying exactly what I keep thinking when I hear about the soldiers going back again and all the stuff they are asked to do -- dont' hear about it often, just now and then on a talk show I might listen to while working (outside). Then I don't think of it again 'cause not in the mainstream news and what I see everyday, busy working and so on like everyone. But then he says we are not being asked to participate in this war, not in any way, and he's right! And the trillions spent! And the teachers being fired, the homeless being forced out for lack of 1ast and last months rent, the staffer at the shelter who loves the job and is doing great but has to leave because we can't afford to pay enough to keep good people in these jobs!

So why aren't we being asked to sacrifice for our country the way our parent's generation was? (I'm mid 50's) Why aren't we all out growing our victory gardens and giving each other rides to work and rolling some collective bandages, for God's sake!?

We'll see if we get a president who gets us going. We'll see.
SJS