Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War by Andrew Bacevich
“Americans can ill afford to indulge any longer in dreams of saving the world, much less remaking it in our own image. The curtain is now falling on the American Century.”
In his book, Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War, Andrew Bacevich brings forth a sobering assessment of the United States foreign policy. Bacevich, a former U.S. Army colonel, spent majority of his life subject to authority and was someone who easily yielded his intellect for the conventional wisdom preached. Late in his life he came to the astonishing revelation that the “powerful…reveal truth only to the extent that it suits them” and it’s usually “wrapped in a nearly invisible filament of dissembling, deception, and duplicity.” Not truth, but public perception was what mattered to the demagogue’s in Washington.
Bacevich’s worldview fundamentally changed when he realized that the United States’ newly manifested power and its push for global leadership had underlying dubious intentions. The author awoke to the reality that “policy makers” are “heedlessly” thrusting their own country into “open-ended” global wars without any “notion of what victory would look like.” The cost of these wars with money and lives, are never methodically analyzed. To America’s corrupt policy-makers… the cost is irrelevant.
Eisenhower gave America a grave warning in his last speech as president when he stated “the potential for the disastrous rise of misplace power exists and will persist” and he went on to caution that “only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry” would be able to tame these dangerous powers that be. The president’s warning was ignored and now we are paying the price.
The US now spends as much on their military as the rest of the world combined. The Pentagon spends over $700 billion annually on endless occupations, including 761 bases in 39 different foreign countries. The empire is spread thin. The politicians and corporate thugs are fattening their pockets at the expense of soldier’s lives. They’re using our money to fight these plutocratic, self-interest wars while persuading our young kids that its their patriotic duty to fight in them.
Washington Rules starts with brief the history of the CIA. Not long after its formation in 1947, the group started to involve itself in clandestine wars, assassinations, regime overthrows and by current definition…state-sponsored terrorism. The author reveals how the CIA hyped up the Communist scare back in the 50’s for beneficial reasons for the agency. They knew that the populace is more easily manipulated and guided when they are consumed with fear. (Exactly what the “War on Terror” has done to our generation) The goal of the CIA back then and today is to persuade Americans that nothing is “more important than national security.” We bought it back then. We buy it now.
The author continues with the shady history of the Cuban Missile Crisis. He gives details on how state-sponsored terrorism was conducted by the US to try to “unseat Castro”, which turned out to be a massive failure. The Operation Northwoods documents prove that in 1962, U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff proposed a series of ways, some of them deadly, to deceive the American people in order to finagle a war against Cuba. President Kennedy was determined to annihilate the Cuban Revolution at all costs. Americans, still to this day, blame the Soviet Union for the Cuban missile crises and glorify Kennedy for saving the day and for preventing WW3. This narrative is the conventional knowledge that we accept without questioning the root causes. The US governments persistent meddling, interventions, and occupations are never seen as the provoker in this bogus storyline. The Vietnam War was no different. The US installed Ngo Dinh Diem as president of South Vietnam in 1953. One decade later, the US government “overthrew Diem and murdered him” so they could “re-energize the war against Viet Cong.” This opened the floodgates to the most unnecessary debacle of a war in our nation’s history.
This brings us to today’s wars. In attempt to keep Americans “safe”, the US government has adopted the Bush Doctrine of preventive war. The president can now take a whole nation to war without congressional approval and with very little rebuttal from the people. The number one mission of the military is for the politicians and generals to win the “hearts and minds” of the American people, for continued support for their dominating invasions. War has become “a spectacle, not a phenomenon” in our reality show, self-gratifying, illiterate culture.
Understanding the fact that the Republican Bush and the Democrat Obama are products of the same breed is the hardest actuality to try to break through the ideological barriers of a misled, two-party democracy. They’re puppets in this plutocratic, corporate-interest regime which is financially and morally bankrupting the American people. The author once stated “one of the great lies about American politics is that Democrats genuinely subscribe to a set of core convictions that make Democrats different from Republicans. And the same thing, of course, applies to the other party. It’s not true.” The two –party system is a distracter used by the state to keep folks divisive and ideologically enchained.
Furthermore, our Founding Fathers understood that nations which are defined by imperial power are destined for ruin. The “War on Terror” is the US government’s path to permanent warfare. The soldiers are instruments of the state, perversely used as show-muscle of imperial powers in which fatten the pockets of the corporate and political elite. We swallow these “War on Terror” lies continuously.
The time has come to shatter this manufactured fear with intellect and action before our once great nation turns into a Orwellian police- state nightmare. To continue on this same path is utterly insane. I would rather be free and endure the burden of chance than to be “safe” and surrender my liberties to the dishonest Oligarchy than runs our government.
After reading Washington Rules, you’ll come to a startling understanding on how the US global interventions, occupations, and wars have been the Credo in Washington ever since WW2 and if not stopped in the near future, will send our nation into a tailspin of “insolvency and perpetual war.” This book is a challenge for Americans to break free from the conformed mass-media propaganda that has saturated our minds and to confront the illusions, contradictions and deceit that our own government is displaying. Americans have become totally immune to the illegal wars their government wages all over the globe. War doesn’t faze us anymore and our empathy has been suppressed by a false set of beliefs. We as people no longer blink when the US kills hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle-East or ravage small villages and the lives of poor folks. Our compassion has been diluted by patriotism. The state has molded our brains to define the term “patriotism” as meaning love for government and its agenda. When in actuality, dissent from a leviathan form of government is the highest form of patriotism. We easily accept the corrupt system of militarism/corporatism handed down to us from generation to generation. The citizens of this country seem to have “forfeited any capacity” to question our so-called “National Security” policies. One might be labeled “extreme” or “unpatriotic” if they challenge the motives of their own government.
The futility of democracy has been exposed. The people must wake up and understand that we’re being had by the biggest criminals in the country, which all reside in Washington DC. Dissent is our only hope with the truth being our strongest weapon.