On Militarism of the United States Empire-and Bill Clinton Somervell County Salon-Glen Rose, Rainbow, Nemo, Glass....Texas


 

On Militarism of the United States Empire-and Bill Clinton
 


6 June 2007 at 11:03:14 AM
salon

I've been reading the book "The New American Militarism", which is an excellent read. I hadn't really considered that one reason Ronald Reagan was popular with the neocon oriented Republicans was that he pushed exalting the military. The book posits that after the Vietnam War, some people wanted to see the military be strong, and win, and welcomed intrusion into other countries as a requisite for safety. But I wondered about the Democrats, who, at least in my own mind, have traditionally been for peaceful means of resolving problems, negotiation, etc, rather than militarism. The author speaks of Bill Clinton, p 119.

When Clinton's chance at the brass ring came in 1992, he knew that he had to erase the memory of Dukakis's tank ride and show that on national security Americans could count on his party to do the right thing. And without renouncing his stance on Vietnam- essential to his bona fides as a Democrat- he had to assure a majority of American voters that he shared in the now-prevailing admiration for those serving in the armed forces..... Any reassessment of basic policy might have undermined the status quo, which the generals were determined at all costs to preserve. In the first presidential election of the post-Cold War era, Bil Clinton tacitly signaled his support of this effort. From Clinton's perspective, to invite such a reassessment- raising first order questions about the implications of a democracy asserging the prerogatives of *world's sole superpower*, of organizing statecraft around expectations of permanent military supremacy, of abandoning the tradition of the citizen-soldier in favor of a permanent class of warrior professionals- would have entailed greater risk. Given the reigning political dynamic, such a debate could be expected to work to his opponent's advantage, not his own. With his eyes fixed firmly on the prize, Clinton made sure that no such debate occurred.

And, I think that the presidential candidates ALSO in this round, including Hillary Clinton, who no doubt would be listening and watching what worked for her husband, also have a stake in not wanting to see this issue fully discussed. That's why, think what you might about Mike Gravel, he RAISED THESE ISSUES and he deserves, EVEN IF people don't think he is a realistic candidate, to have everyone talk about whether an Imperial American Empire based on militarism is what this country stands for?


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