There is a lot of commentary around these days, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Iraq war. They span the political spectrum and are both critical or self serving reflections, depending on your POV. However, all seem to be painfully aware of the cost of this great Imperial preemptive action which arose from this basic imperative:
What drove events was the imperative of claiming for the United States prerogatives allowed no other nation.
The idealistic ideas of America’s role in the world arose in the fertile minds of the “Best and the Brightest” attending John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). Of course, we are speaking of military power here, but I do think some of this idealism also applies to how elites think about exercising U.S. Financial power too, ala FATCA.
Written by Andrew J. Bacevich, and published in Harpers Magazine, it is one of the more interesting and insightful articles I have read. It discusses where the “big ideas” about “American global hegemony” germinated. It ends by asking Wolfowitz now, not to flinch from taking on the hard questions,
“even if the answers threatened to contradict his own long-held beliefs. Help us learn the lessons of Iraq, so that we might extract from it something of value in return for all the sacrifices made there.”
As a parallel (and maybe this is a stretch) but it seems to me, that when it comes to FATCA and our current global phantom ‘War On Offshore Tax Evasion’, (WOOTE) this lesson rings true here.
Some wars can’t be won and aren’t worth fighting.
Haven’t heard of the ‘Wohlstetter’s Precepts’ that guided us into Iraq? Well let the education begin. You can read about it here.
For an article that starts out with this in the second paragraph, you know you will want to read it! 🙂
From five years of listening to these insiders pontificate, I drew one conclusion: people said to be smart — the ones with fancy résumés who get their op-eds published in the New York Times and appear on TV — really aren’t. They excel mostly in recycling bromides.
Give it a shot.