Sunday, October 01, 2006

Political Science 505, Thanks to Attaturk

I don't usually do this but Attaturk did an exceptional post this morning that read like a graduate level University course in political science which qualifies (I think) as a post worthy of thoughtful review.

It is series of opinions from a Political Scientist, Hans Morganthau who wrote of the Viet Nam war in the most realistic terms of anyone all the way back in 1965. It is not, however, just relevant to Viet Nam. It tells us of our mindset and the futility of dealing with Civil Wars of other countries....and tells of the danger of meddling in them in our uniquely American way. You can click here to read the whole work

The reasons for this failure are of general significance, for they stem from a deeply ingrained habit of the American mind, We like to think of social problems as technically self-sufficient and susceptible of simple, clear-cut solutions. We tend to think of foreign aid as a kind of self-sufficient, economic enterprise subject to the laws of economics and divorced from politics, and of war as a similarly self-sufficient, technical enterprise, to be won as quickly, as cheaply. as thoroughly as possible and divorced from the foreign policy that preceded and is to follow it. Thus our military theoreticians and practitioners conceive of counterinsurgency as though it were just another branch of warfare, to be taught in special schools and applied with technical proficiency wherever the occasion arises.

This view derives of course from a complete misconception of the nature of civil war. People fight and die in civil wars because they have a faith which appears to them worth fighting and dying for, and they can be opposed with a chance of success only by people who have at least as strong a faith.Magsaysay could subdue the Huk rebellion in the Philippines because his charisma, proven in action, aroused a faith superior to that of his opponents. In South Vietnam there is nothing to oppose the faith of the Viet Cong and, In consequence, the Saigon Government and we are losing the civil war.


And another quote that sums up the disaster of Bushworld:"The statesman must think in terms of the national interest, conceived as power among other powers. The popular mind, unaware of the fine distinctions of the statesman’s thinking, reasons more often than not in the simple moralistic and legalistic terms of absolute good and absolute evil."- Hans Morgenthau and Kenneth Thompson, Politics Among Nations, 6th edition (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1985), p. 165

So much for Sunday morning education and culture.....

If you're hungering for a little anti-bush snark, take a look at this put down by H.L.Menken aimed at President Taft....if could be quite relevant to the current occupant of the White House.

He writes the worst English that I have ever encountered. It reminds me of a string of wet sponges; it reminds me of tattered washing on the line; it reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it. It drags itself out of the dark abysm of pish, and crawls insanely up to the topmost pinnacle of tosh. It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.

No comments: