Saturday, April 21, 2007

not all conservatives are ooky (I have proof!)...

I'm starting to fall behind on my issues of The Sun and National Geographic - which I never do - thanks to assigned readings from my shrink. Nevertheless, here's some additional greatness from the March issue of The interview with Andrew J. Bacevich, a professor of history and international relations at Boston University who has also contributed to the Weekly Standard and the National Review. He's a traditional conservative who, like an increasing (or increasingly vocal) group of Republicans, finds himself none too pleased with the hijacking of the GOP by the neocons - and the neocon ideology of global domination. While I certainly didn't agree with all of his viewpoints, it's striking - and encouraging - to hear from a sincere conservative who can separate his politics from the party that is supposed to represent his politics (and no longer does...much the way I feel about the Democratic Party). Check out the following comments from Bacevich...

...It does seem Orwellian. I am increasingly concerned about the public's habit of deferring to elites, particularly on national-security issues. We citizens don't pay enough attention to such matters, or are kept in the dark on them. Too many of us are willing to persuade ourselves that the generals will do the right thing, or that the civilians in the national-security establishment know better than we do what's good for the country. It's undemocratic. Citizens need to be engaged and informed, and they need to have a voice.

...(George) Washington...advised citizens to be wary of 'those overgrown military establishments which, under any form of government, are inauspicious to liberty, and which are to be regarded as particularly hostile to republican liberty.'

Washington was a general and did not see military power as an evil. He held soldiers in high esteem and considered the army to be essential to our national safety. He was warning against building a powerful military for its own sake or for the sake of expanding the nation's influence.

Americans hardly needed such a warning in 1796, having so recently won their freedom from the militaristic British Empire. But today, with our illusions about war and military might as means of forcing our values on the rest of the world, we need to heed Washington's words. If we don't, we'll surely follow in the footsteps of other empires that tried to use military power to fulfill their goals. We'll go on endangering not only our own security, but the security of other nations and the values we hold dear.

I wonder how many votes Andrew J. Bacevich would get if he were running for president...not as a Republican but as a conservative...

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