( – promoted by lowkell)
Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University, retired from the U.S. Army with the rank of colonel. He is the author of The Limits of Power and The New American Militarism. His writing has appeared in Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal.
He is presently speaking on a book tour around the country promoting his new book “Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War”
In his talks, he notes the homeless people that he sees in numerous cities. He uses them to make two thoughtful points. First, don’t we, as a government and people, have a moral responsibility to them that is greater than to the people of Iraq or Afghanistan? And second, given the difficulties in trying to solve the problems of domestic homelessness, how could we ever think we could turn Iraq or Afghanistan into functioning democracies?
Here’s a quote from the opening of “Washington Rules” that gives its flavor:
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.
Similarly, the United States no longer possesses sufficient wherewithal to. . . . underwrite a policy of global interventionism. Touted as essential to peace, adherence to that strategy has propelled the United States into a condition approximating perpetual war, as the military adventures of the past decade have demonstrated.
When Americans demonstrate a willingness to engage seriously with others, combined with the courage to engage seriously with themselves, then real education might begin.
The assumption can surely be advanced that a number of the homeless observed by Col. Bacevich are actually our own veterans and that many thousands are permanently homeless because they are fatalities of senseless war.