Not Quite Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
April 26, 2013
From an email to a friend who sent me the link below.
“Well, I agree that "foreign policy is not just about foreign policy," but I would say it is always about domestic politics. The US did not get caught in a quagmire in Vietnam; Vietnam got caught in the quagmire of American politics. [Francis Fitzgerald, Fire in the Lake, one of the very best books on Nam.] The war on terror was undertaken to serve domestic purposes as was the Cold War and the Korean War, and of course WWI.
“And what McCarthy misses or at least does not discuss anywhere is how our political establishment, including Obama, was and is merely interested in trying to preserve the status quo, the existing order of our national security state [which as the neocons knew was to be used to discipline us domestically]. There are insurgents, like Ron and Rand Paul, but they are hardly, as I see it, remaking the Republican Party - although they might like to. [And of course the largest part of the disciplinary agenda in light of the "anti-war radicals" and "black radicals" - or so McCarthy calls them, thereby blowing his pretense to "objectivity" - was to get the young and the blacks "civilized," or "repressed" as I and Locke would say. "Sex, drugs, and Rock n Roll! Not here!" the establishment said, electing Nixon in 68 and then destroying McGovern in 72! "Take that you cretans! You will be good Americans or go unemployed [whites] or go to jail [blacks]!" And then of course top it all off with Reagan for 8 years! Not quite "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," is it?]
“I have to say, Matthew, that I felt in reading this article as I often felt in some of my graduate classes, where I felt like I was caught in a fog and I couldn't see much. I use to think, sitting in those classes, some of them taught by "neocons" or "Straussians," "Well, the old fog machine is cranked up and going strong," and I would try to think of other things as there is no reason to try to argue with fog, is there?”