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Tuesday, January 18, 2005

The New American Militarism

Paul Craig Roberts reviews a new book by military expert Andrew J. Bacevich: The New American Militarism.
Bacevich understands that the problem is not how to deal with terrorism but how to deal with the hubris, laden with catastrophe, that America is God's instrument for bringing history to its predetermined destination. Being assigned such an exalted role creates the delusion that America's virtue is unquestionable and its use of preemptive coercion is infallible, delusion that led to the "cakewalk war" that would entrench Democracy in the Middle East and have the troops home in 90 days.

American hubris, which flows so freely from President Bush's mouth, explains why half the US population yawns over the US slaughter of Iraqi civilians and torture of Iraqi prisoners. The "cakewalk war" is now almost two years old and has claimed 10 percent of the US occupation force as casualties. Yet, the delusion persists that the US is prevailing in Iraq.
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The new American militarism has abandoned the Founding Fathers, deserted the Constitution, and unrestrained the executive. War is a first resort. Militarism is inconsistent with globalism and with American ideals. It will end in abject failure.

The world is a vast place. The US has demonstrated that it cannot impose its will on a tiny part known as Iraq. American realism may yet reassert itself, dispel the fog of delusion, cleanse the body politic of the Jacobin spirit and lead the world by good example. But this happy outcome will require regime change in the US.