John Mearsheimer is the Wendell Harrison Distinguished Service Professor of Political Science at the University of Chicago and one of the leading foreign policy scholars in America. Here’s what he has to say to you.
Dear Antiwar.com Reader,
One would think that in a venerable liberal democracy like the United States, there would be open and free-wheeling debate in the mainstream media about the key foreign policy issues of the day. One would certainly think that would be the case given the recent debacles in Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the unfolding debacle in Ukraine.
But sadly, that is not the case. There is a deeply entrenched and constricted narrative about American foreign policy that dominates the commanding heights in both the Democratic and Republican parties and is also found in virtually every corner of the mainstream media. Moreover, the White House and the deep state have become adept at shaping that narrative, in good part by making it difficult for opponents to challenge it. There is little reason to think this situation will change anytime soon.
This means that we need alternative media more than ever. We need a variety of first-rate outlets that invite dissent and help foster a vibrant marketplace of ideas. The reason is simple. All countries sometimes pursue foolish if not reckless policies, as the United States has demonstrated in recent years. One of the best ways to avoid disastrous policies is to have serious public debates where dissenters have free rein to speak truth to power. After all, isn’t this the core reason why freedom of speech and freedom of the press are enshrined in the constitution?
This is where Antiwar.com comes into the story. It plays a critical role in spreading the views of individuals who are bent on challenging the conventional wisdom. It is a platform for dissenters, which the United States – and the West more generally – need more than ever.
In my experience, some people identify dissent with unpatriotic behavior. Purveyors of the conventional wisdom tend to make that argument. The clear implication is that we are supposed to support our government no matter what. As the saying goes, “My country, right or wrong.” Such a view is wrongheaded and dangerous. A true patriot should challenge American policy when he or she thinks that it is likely to do the country harm. It makes no sense to remain silent and let your country pursue a policy that you think will have disastrous consequences. Of course, the problem we face today is that it is hard for dissenters to get their voice heard in the mainstream media. In short, it is difficult to act responsibly.
That’s where Antiwar.com comes in. If you care about the welfare of the United States and want to make it a better country, please give generously to Antiwar.com.