Speaking at the Reagan Library over the weekend, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin (a former executive in the military-industrial complex) blamed chaos, bloodshed, and terrorism worldwide on Americans who oppose the US global military empire. Non-interventionists are the real enemy, said Austin
The Liberals and elements of the dominant media are criticizing the Conservatives for their insufficient commitment to Ukraine. But it’s those who have promoted the NATO proxy war that have damaged the country.
The prime minister and Liberal ministers have denounced the Conservatives for not voting for the Canada-Ukraine free trade deal. They are seeking to paint Pierre Poilievre as not serious or influenced by Donald Trump, which may be true. Trudeau stated, “the real story is the rise of a right-wing, American MAGA-influenced thinking that has made Canadian Conservatives – who used to be among the strongest defenders of Ukraine, I’ll admit it – turn their backs on something Ukraine needs in its hour of need.”
Excerpted from The Good Die Young, Jacobin and Verso Books’s book-length anti-obituary for Henry Kissinger. It features contributions from Carolyn Eisenberg, Gerald Horne, Bancroft Prize-winner Greg Grandin, and others. Available now from Verso.
JONAH WALTERS: Kissinger took his first official government job in 1969, as Richard Nixon’s national security advisor. What kind of administration was he sliding into?
CAROLYN EISENBERG: The war in Vietnam was the most prominent issue at the time. There was a lot of pressure on Nixon – who claimed to have a secret plan for ending the war, but didn’t want to tell anyone what it was – to find some kind of resolution on that issue. So he was walking into an administration which was immediately consumed by the war.
It’s relevant to note that Kissinger didn’t have any governing experience at that point. He had consulted for different administrations – he had even been a consultant for peace talks in Vietnam – but he had very little idea how the government really functioned. In that one respect, it was similar to the situation with the Trump people in 2016. As far as Kissinger was concerned, the actual practice of government was not a field he paid much attention to.
A recent article by Major General (ret.) Dennis Laich and Colonel (ret.) Lawrence Wilkerson notes a crisis in military recruitment in America. Here’s how their article begins:
The U.S. military’s all-volunteer force (AVF) model is an abject failure. Last year, the active Army fell 15,000 recruits short of its goal. This year, it was 10,000, and the Army Reserve fell 40% short of its goal. This year, the active Navy fell 7,000 short, and the Navy Reserve was 33% short. Finally, the active Air Force fell 3,000 recruits short, and the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard each fell 30% short of their goals.
There is no reason to believe these trends won’t continue, and even less reason to believe they will not get worse. In the past 10 years, the propensity to serve has fallen from 15% to 9%, and the portion of the recruiting-age population qualified to serve has dropped from 30 % to 23%. The number of children 5 and under in the United States is 12% smaller than the 15- to 25-year-old cohort, presenting a grim demographic reality.
Our national security crisis is part of a broader civic rot that plagues our democracy. Ultimately, the AVF’s failure could lead to war if the U.S. appears weak to a potential adversary.
The Israeli government is vowing to resume the war in Gaza:
“In recent days I’ve heard a question: Will Israel return to fighting after this stage of returning our hostages is over? My response is an unequivocal yes,” the premier [Netanyahu] says. “There is no way we won’t return to fighting until the end.”
The Biden administration is reportedly asking the Israeli government to fight the war in a “more targeted” way in the future, but there is no reason to expect that Netanyahu and his coalition allies will pay any attention to this. The U.S. isn’t trying to use any leverage to pressure them, and the Israeli government knows that it will face no consequences if it ignores this request. A few senators are finally entertaining the idea of putting conditions on US assistance to Israel, but it is hard to imagine that this administration would ever do that. Regardless, the people of Gaza need an end to the war and not just a “more targeted” continuation of it.