Free Forum Q&A – ANDREW BACEVICH U.S. Army, Colonel, Ret.(after 23 years) who lost his son in Iraq WASHINGTON RULES: America’s Path to Permanent WarWritten on June 26th, 2015
Originally Aired August 2010
President Obama’s recent decision to add an additional 450 American soldiers to our 3,000 strong train-and-equip mission in Iraq made me reach for a dose of ANDREW BACEVICH, a voice of sanity on issues of war and peace. Bacevich wrote of Obama’s move in an op-ed, Washington in Wonderland: Down the Iraq Rabbit Hole (Again).
In WASHINGTON RULES, the 2010 book we talk about in this interview, Bacevich (in his own words) “..aims to take stock of conventional wisdom in its most influential and enduring form, namely the package of assumptions, habits, and precepts that have defined the tradition of statecraft to which the United States has adhered since the end of World War II — the era of global dominance now drawing to a close. This postwar tradition combines two components, each one so deeply embedded in the American collective consciousness as to have all but disappeared from view.
The first component specifies norms according to which the international order ought to work and charges the United States with responsibility for enforcing those norms. Call this the American Credo — …to lead, save, liberate, and ultimately transform the world.
…With regard to means, that tradition has emphasized activism over example, hard power over soft, and coercion (often styled ‘negotiating from a position of strength”) over suasion. Above all, the exercise of global leadership as prescribed by the credo obliges the United States to maintain military capabilities staggeringly in excess of those required by self-defense.”
Crazy though it may be, I assume many have accepted the fact that the Republican party has a problem with science and ultimately with evidence facts — reality. It is now a matter of politics for them to deny science. Among their presidential primary candidates, only Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney accept that warming is happening and humans are a contributing factor.
CHRIS MOONEY has been on this trail for years. In 2005, he wrote the best-selling
THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON SCIENCE. By the time their anti-science, anti-reality bias was established, MOONEY was asking a deeper question. Did science have anything to teach us about why? And it turns out, recently, science does. That brings us to Chris’s new book, The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science and Reality.
According to Mooney, from climate change to evolution, the rejection of mainstream science among Republicans is growing. Not only that, so is denial of expert consensus on the economy, American history, foreign policy, and much more. Why won’t Republicans accept things that most experts agree on? Why do they fight facts? He writes that the political parties reflect personality traits and psychological needs -Republicans wedded to certainty, Democrats to novelty – and this is the root of our divide over reality.
Hopefully, understanding how or why Republicans deny science and facts should suggest ways to interact and work with that “reality” differently in order to be more effective moving forward.
ESTHER DUFLO, a Professor of Economics at MIT, has received numerous honors including a John Bates Clark Medal for the best American economist under 40 in 2010, a MacArthur "genius" Fellowship in 2009. She was recognized as one of the best eight young economists by the Economist Magazine, one of the 100 most influential thinkers by Foreign Policy, and one of the "forty under forty" most influential business leaders under forty by Fortune magazine in 2010.
Together with Abhijit Banerjee and Sendhil Mullainathan of Harvard University, she founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab in 2003, and authored with Banerjee, the new book, POOR ECONOMICS: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty
ROBIN WRIGHT has reported from more than 140 countries on 6 continents for numerous news organizations, including The Sunday Times in London, CBS News ,The Washington Post ,The Christian Science Monitor ,The New York Times ,The New Yorker ,The Atlantic Monthly, Foreign Policy and the International Herald Tribune.
She has covered nine wars and several revolutions, and won the Overseas Press Club Award for "best reporting in any medium requiring exceptional courage and initiative" for her work during the Angolan war. Wright was one of the first journalists to write about the emergence of Mideast terrorism and Islamic extremism, which she has covered since the 1970s.
Currently a fellow at the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, she won the 1989 National Magazine Award for her reporting from Iran for The New Yorker. Her last book was DREAMS AND SHADOWS: The Future of the Middle East and her next is ROCK THE CASBAH: How Street Vendors, Sheiks, Rappers, and Women are Shattering the Old Order.
JOSEPH STIGLITZ became a full professor at Yale in 1970 at the age of 27, and in 1979 was awarded the John Bates Clark Award, as the economist under 40 who had made the most significant contribution to the field. He has taught at Princeton, Stanford, MIT and Oxford, and is now University Professor at Columbia University, Chair of Columbia's Committee on Global Thought, and co-founder and Executive Director of the Initiative for Policy Dialogue.
Stiglitz was a member and chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers during the Clinton administration, and later Chief Economist and Senior Vice-President of the World Bank. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics and he was a lead author of the 1995 Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
JOSEPH STIGLITZ is the author of, among other books, Globalization and Its Discontents, Fair Trade for All, Making Globalization Work, The Three Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict, with Linda Bilmes, and his newest, Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy.