Welcome to Bennett's Study

From the Author of No Land an Island and Unconscionable

Pondering Alphabetic SOLUTIONS: Peace, Politics, Public Affairs, People Relations




UNCONSCIONABLE: http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/author/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/book/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/excerpt/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/contact/ http://www.unconscionableusforeignrelations.com/buy/ SearchTerm=Carolyn+LaDelle+Bennett http://www2.xlibris.com/books/webimages/wd/113472/buy.htm http://www.prweb.com/releases/2014/08UNCONSCIONABLE/prweb12131656.htm http://bookstore.xlibris.com/AdvancedSearch/Default.aspx? http://bookstore.xlibris.com/Products/SKU-000757788/UNCONSCIONABLE.aspx


Monday, September 16, 2013

"Popular deference" let "national security" authorities "get away with murder"; dissent vital - Bacevich

“State interests” shrouded in “national security,” secrecy commonly conflict with domestic, foreign good
Dissent, disclosure imperative
Excerpt, editing by Carolyn Bennett

Professor of history and international relations Andrew J. Bacevich, often quoting an essayist of the last century on the state and dissent, wrote last month: “Those who speak for [the national security apparatus], pre-eminently the U.S. president, assert that the interests of the state and the interests of the country are indistinguishable.…

“But what if the interests of the state do not automatically align with those of the country?

In that event, protecting ‘the homeland’ serves as something of a smokescreen behind which the state pursues its own agenda.
In doing so, it stealthily but inexorably accumulates power, privilege and prerogatives.

Brazened state, weakened people

“War (whether actual hostilities, or crises fostering the perception of imminent danger) exalts, elevates and sanctifies the state. And among citizens, war induces herd-like subservience.” Quoting American essayist Randolph Silliman Bourne, Bacevich continues:

‘a people at war become, in the most literal sense obedient, respectful, trustful children again, full of that naive faith in the all-wisdom and all-power of the adult who takes care of them.’

“…Several decades of war and quasi-war transformed Washington into today’s center of the universe. The capital demanded deference and Americans fell into the habit of offering it.

“In matters of national security, the people became, if not obedient; at least compliant, taking cues from authorities who operated behind a wall of secrecy and claimed expertise in anticipating and deflecting threats.”

State crimes perpetrated with impunity, against the peace

“Critics and outsiders are not privy to the state’s superior knowledge; they are incapable of evaluating alleged threats. … The “national security” mechanism in place “confers status on insiders,” the controllers of secrets. “Their ownership of secrets puts them in the know [and it] insulates them from accountability and renders them impervious to criticism.

“Popular deference [has] allowed those authorities to get away with murder ─ real and metaphorical.”

In “national security” wars, though benefits accruing to the country as a result of these wars “have proved mixed at best and expertise claimed by those inside the [Washington] Beltway have not automatically translated into competence” ─ even in the face of incompetence, mismanagement, and one after another catastrophe at home and in foreign countries ─ “however costly or catastrophic,” Washington is unmoved, Bacevich writes.

The national security state has a formidable capacity to absorb, forget and carry on as if nothing untoward had transpired.

Already forgotten, for example, is the U.S. war on Iraq.

“…In the realm of national security,” he says, “dissent matters only when it penetrates the machine’s interior. Only then does the state deem it worthy of notice.”

Sources and notes

“The Manning/Snowden effect” by Andrew J. Bacevich, August 21, 2013, http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/opinion/perspectives/the-manningsnowden-effect-700116/700116/#ixzz2f59cIu3f

Andrew J. Bacevich is a veteran of the U.S. Army, professor of history and international relations at Boston University, and author of Washington Rules, The Limits of Power, The New American Militarism, and Breach of Trust: How Americans Failed their Soldiers and their Country. He also contributes regularly to U.S. newspapers and magazines.

Randolph Silliman Bourne (b. in Bloomfield, New Jersey, May 30, 1886 – d. December 22, 1918) was a progressive writer and ‘leftist intellectual’, a graduate of Columbia University, best known for his essays, especially an unfinished work ‘The State,’ discovered after his death. The Randolph Bourne Institute honoring his memory promotes “a non-interventionist foreign policy for the United States as the best way of fostering a peaceful, more prosperous world. It publishes the website Antiwar.com.” Wikipedia note

Bennett's books are available in New York State independent bookstores: Lift Bridge Bookshop: www.liftbridgebooks.com [Brockport, NY]; Sundance Books: http://www.sundancebooks.com/main.html [Geneseo, NY]; Mood Makers Books: www.moodmakersbooks.com [City of Rochester, NY]; Dog Ears Bookstore and Literary Arts Center: www.enlightenthedog.org/ [Buffalo, NY]; Burlingham Books – ‘Your Local Chapter’: http://burlinghambooks.com/ [Perry, NY 14530]; The Bookworm: http://www.eabookworm.com/ [East Aurora, NY] • See also: World Pulse: Global Issues through the eyes of Women: http://www.worldpulse.com/ http://www.worldpulse.com/pulsewire http://www.facebook.com/#!/bennetts2ndstudy


No comments:

Post a Comment