reboot the republic daily August 12, 2010

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The Ruling Class Is Our Enemy

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 03:02 PM PDT

From LewRockwell.com

By Gary North

Every political movement needs a manifesto. The Tea Party surely needs one. So do other grassroots political resistance organizations. They don’t have it yet, but they now have its preliminary foundation, Angelo Codevilla’s essay, “America’s Ruling Class – And the Perils of Revolution.”

I have long regarded Dr. Codevilla as America’s smartest conservative political analyst. He has been unknown to the conservative public until last week, when Rush Limbaugh began promoting the best essay of Codevilla’s career. I regard this essay as the finest statement on the two-fold division in American political life written in my lifetime – more than this, in the last hundred years. He has laid it out clearly, accurately, and eloquently.

I am an expert on Dr. Codevilla’s most widely read previous essay, having published it in 1979: “The Danger Is Defeat, Not Destruction.” It appeared in my newsletter, Remnant Review. I pulled the copyright. It was reprinted so widely that I could not track it. I estimate that at least 500,000 copies got printed and mailed. But he received no credit for this. It was signed “Dr. X.” He was still working for the government, so we decided not to use his name.

I began working with him when we were both on Capitol Hill in 1976. I was on the House side. He was on the Senate side. His main assignment was defense policy. Mine was monetary policy.

Of all the scholars I have known in the conservative movement, he has been by far the best informed on foreign policy. He reads the major European languages.

But, as his essay indicates, he is very well informed on domestic politics, domestic economics, and the social issues that rule in the two major political blocs he discusses: the ruling class and the country class.

A NOT-QUITE MANIFESTO

I call this a not-quite manifesto. He lays out the scenario of American politics today, which he says is an extension of the split that began with the Progressive movement. He sees its incarnation as Woodrow Wilson. But he offers no call to action. He offers no program of reconstruction. He closes his essay without answering that most crucial of questions: “What is to be done?”

He is correct about Progressivism as the origin of today’s ruling class. The last bastion of resistance was the Cleveland wing of the Democrat Party. It was decimated in 1896 by William Jennings Bryan, a classic country politician, as Codevilla designates the anti-ruling class. Bryan was a Leftist – a Populist. But he hated the eastern Establishment, and they reciprocated. His nomination in 1896, 1900, and 1908 ended the old Democrats: pro-gold, low taxes, low tariffs, balanced budgets.

Progressivism is a bipartisan monster, just as Codevilla says. This bipartisanship had its origin with the election of 1912: Teddy Roosevelt and Wilson. All three Presidential candidates were certified Progressives: President Taft, Roosevelt, and Wilson. There was a hiatus in the 1920s, but then it reappeared again in the New Deal. In 1928, the Democrats ran Al Smith, more of a Clevelandite. He was surely no Progressive.

In contrast, Herbert Hoover was the incarnation of a Progressive. He was a budget-busting statist. He was a real engineer, whose mentality of engineering extended to politics – the mark of the Progressives and also today’s ruling class. Murray Rothbard provided the evidence for this Hoover legacy in his masterpiece, America’s Great Depression (1963). Coolidge dismissed Hoover as “the wonder boy.” Coolidge was the last of the non-Progressive Republican Presidents until Reagan, who at least abandoned the rhetoric of Progressivism. He changed little inside the system in his eight years. As Codevilla says, the Bush people gained control over Reagan’s Administration from the beginning.

As a faithful disciple of Edmund Burke, he raises the fundamental issue raised by Burke’s outlook, best expressed in Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790). A revolution is a top-down affair involving the expansion of state power. This is hostile to liberty. How, then, can there be a conservative counter-revolution?

Codevilla might have quoted a real expert in revolutionary theory, Marx’s co-author and lifetime subsidizer, the Communist owner-manager of a profitable textile factory, Friedrich Engels. Engels wrote an essay, “On Authority,” in 1872. He commented on the effects of revolution.

A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is; it is the act whereby one part of the population imposes its will upon the other part by means of rifles, bayonets and cannon authoritarian means, if such there be at all; and if the victorious party does not want to have fought in vain, it must maintain this rule by means of the terror which its arms inspire in the reactionists. Would the Paris Commune have lasted a single day if it had not made use of this authority of the armed people against the bourgeois? Should we not, on the contrary, reproach it for not having used it freely enough?

Codevilla ends his essay with this summary of the practical political problem facing both claimants of political legitimacy and therefore authority.

How the country class and ruling class might clash on each item of their contrasting agendas is beyond my scope. Suffice it to say that the ruling class’s greatest difficulty – aside from being outnumbered – will be to argue, against the grain of reality, that the revolution it continues to press upon America is sustainable. For its part, the country class’s greatest difficulty will be to enable a revolution to take place without imposing it. America has been imposed on enough.

Indeed! To replace one set of power-seekers with another affects the distribution of the political loot. It does not stop the looting.

THE GREAT DIVIDE

Every movement seeks legitimacy. It appeals to something beyond its own authority. Even Superman always proclaimed his allegiance to truth, justice, and the American way, and he was not in need of anything that he could not get voluntarily just by being bulletproof and flying around in red tights and a cape.

Codevilla correctly identifies the source of legitimacy for the ruling class: Darwinism. Darwinism removed God from the vocabulary of self-accredited academia. Once liberated from the doctrine of original sin, the Progressives regarded as illegitimate the Constitutional limits placed on the Federal government.

As the 19th century ended, the educated class’s religious fervor turned to social reform: they were sure that because man is a mere part of evolutionary nature, man could be improved, and that they, the most highly evolved of all, were the improvers. Thus began the Progressive Era. When Woodrow Wilson in 1914 was asked “can’t you let anything alone?” he answered with, “I let everything alone that you can show me is not itself moving in the wrong direction, but I am not going to let those things alone that I see are going down-hill.”

Wilson combined the fervor of his father’s Old School Presbyterianism with the social engineer’s faith in tinkering with the institutions of society by means of state power. This was a decidedly non–Old School outlook on Federal power, especially in the Southern Presbyterian Church, where his father served as the senior officer – Stated Clerk – for a quarter century. This was a toxic brew.

Wilson was the first American statesman to argue that the Founders had done badly by depriving the U.S. government of the power to reshape American society. Nor was Wilson the last to invade a foreign country (Mexico) to “teach [them] to elect good men.”

Codevilla recognizes the crucial importance of the New Deal. The second Roosevelt did what the first attempted to do, but had failed.

Franklin Roosevelt brought the Chautauqua class into his administration and began the process that turned them into rulers. FDR described America’s problems in technocratic terms. America’s problems would be fixed by a “brain trust” (picked by him). His New Deal’s solutions – the alphabet-soup “independent” agencies that have run America ever since – turned many Progressives into powerful bureaucrats and then into lobbyists. As the saying goes, they came to Washington to do good, and stayed to do well. As their number and sense of importance grew, so did their distaste for common Americans. Believing itself “scientific,” this Progressive class sought to explain its differences from its neighbors in “scientific” terms.

This is the heart of his analysis of the state of American society, and therefore politics, today. There is a great divide between the ruling class and the voters. This is better understood by the ruling class than what he calls the country class. The years between 1918 and the Second World War increased the bitterness of the Progressives, even under Roosevelt.

Above all, our educated class was bitter about America. In 1925 the American Civil Liberties Union sponsored a legal challenge to a Tennessee law that required teaching the biblical account of creation. The ensuing trial, radio broadcast nationally, as well as the subsequent hit movie Inherit the Wind, were the occasion for what one might have called the Chautauqua class to drive home the point that Americans who believed in the Bible were willful ignoramuses.

Anyone who doubts the importance of the Scopes “Monkey Trial” in July of 1925 cannot understand the great divide that exists today. Take a look at the clever faked newsreel, produced in 1960 – the year of Inherit the Wind – using footage from the trial. PBS still posts it. There is not a word on the #1 issue that motivated Bryan in his challenge to the ACLU: the right of voters to determine where their tax money should be spent (the content of school curricula), which the Progressives opposed. There is also not a word about the other unmentionable, which was dropped down the Orwellian memory hole after 1938: the right of state legislatures to pass laws forcing the sterilization of racial “defectives” in the Progressives’ long-term plan to establish the political dominance of the Nordic master race.

WHO WINDS UP ON THE MENU?

In politics, there are those who dine at the victory feast, and those who are on the menu. The country class has long been on the menu.

Politics is about attaining power. Today, as in ancient Greece, this has to do with patronage and loot.

Our ruling class’s agenda is power for itself. While it stakes its claim through intellectual-moral pretense, it holds power by one of the oldest and most prosaic of means: patronage and promises thereof. Like left-wing parties always and everywhere, it is a “machine,” that is, based on providing tangible rewards to its members. Such parties often provide rank-and-file activists with modest livelihoods and enhance mightily the upper levels’ wealth. Because this is so, whatever else such parties might accomplish, they must feed the machine by transferring money or jobs or privileges – civic as well as economic – to the party’s clients, directly or indirectly.

He believes that the bailouts of 2008 and 2009 finally awakened the country party. These people opposed the bailouts, but the government ignored them. They are now far more aware that the system is rigged against them, that they have no say.

This was a long time coming, I say. But better late than never.

He sees that the rise of the bailout state has created millions of dependents.

By taxing and parceling out more than a third of what Americans produce, through regulations that reach deep into American life, our ruling class is making itself the arbiter of wealth and poverty. While the economic value of anything depends on sellers and buyers agreeing on that value as civil equals in the absence of force, modern government is about nothing if not tampering with civil equality. By endowing some in society with power to force others to sell cheaper than they would, and forcing others yet to buy at higher prices – even to buy in the first place – modern government makes valuable some things that are not, and devalues others that are. Thus if you are not among the favored guests at the table where officials make detailed lists of who is to receive what at whose expense, you are on the menu. Eventually, pretending forcibly that valueless things have value dilutes the currency’s value for all.

This is the economic heart of the matter. But he sees that the real dividing issue is at bottom moral. There are rival views of legitimacy and authority dividing America’s politics. One is Progressivism. The other is localist, decentralist, pro-family, anti-abortion, and suspicious of the movement of society away from these values.

He thinks that the Progressives cannot continue to keep in power. But what is to stop them?

WE CAN’T BEAT SOMETHING WITH NOTHING

He does not discuss the circumstances favorable to a transition to a better world order. If I were to write What Is to Be Done? I would begin here. I would begin with the last chapters of Martin Van Creveld’s book, The Rise and Decline of the State (1999) and Jacques Barzun’s From Dawn to Decadence (2000). Both of them see a great bankruptcy of the modern nation states – a great default. This will undermine the states’ legitimacy.

This is the context of a great reversal without a revolutionary centralization of power. This is my answer to his question of the possibility of a revolution by the country class.

He sees the rise of the administrative state as anti-democratic. So do I. The only essay I regard as almost as important as Codevilla’s is Harold Berman’s Introduction to Law and Revolution (1983). He warned that the modern administrative state, with its system of laws and judges inside the executive, threatens to destroy the Western legal tradition. Most of that essay is posted here.

Codevilla is correct: there must be a wider understanding of the Constitution.

Only citizens’ understanding of and commitment to law can possibly reverse the patent disregard for the Constitution and statutes that has permeated American life. Unfortunately, it is easier for anyone who dislikes a court’s or an official’s unlawful act to counter it with another unlawful one than to draw all parties back to the foundation of truth.

Problem: the Constitution rests on the assumption of the Enlightenment’s worldview of Newtonian mechanics. This outlook has been replaced by Darwinism. No one saw this more clearly than Woodrow Wilson. He wrote in The Constitutional Government of the United States (1908),

The trouble with the theory is that government is not a machine, but a living thing. It falls, not under the theory of the universe, but under the theory of organic life. It is accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It is modified by its environment, necessitated by its tasks, shaped to its functions by the sheer pressure of life. No living thing can have its organs offset against each other as checks, and live. On the contrary, its life is dependent upon their quick cooperation, their ready response to the commands of instinct or intelligence, their amicable community of purpose. Government is not a body of blind forces; it is a body of men, with highly differentiated functions, no doubt, in our modern day of specialization, but with a common task and purpose. Their cooperation is indispensable, their warfare fatal. There can be no successful government without leadership or without the intimate, almost instinctive, coordination of the organs of life and action. This is not theory, but fact, and displays its force as fact, whatever theories may be thrown across its track. Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice (pp. 56–57).

That statement is the underlying premise of Progressives everywhere. It is why the Constitution has been undermined, exactly as Codevilla describes.

Ideas have consequences.

CONCLUSION

We must work at the local level and on the Web to create alternatives to the programs of the Federal government. We must adopt this slogan: “Replace, not capture.” We must not seek our share of the loot. We must end the looting.

Gary North [send him mail] is the author of Mises on Money. Visit http://www.garynorth.com. He is also the author of a free 20-volume series, An Economic Commentary on the Bible.

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W.H.O Has Financial Ties to Vaccine Companies / Big Pharma

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 09:40 AM PDT

From Natural News

(NaturalNews) After months of stalling, the World Health Organization (WHO) has finally revealed the names of key pandemic advisors who influenced its decision to declare a phase six pandemic last year — a decision that resulted in a financial windfall for vaccine manufacturers. As you’ll see here, that list includes at least five expert advisors received money from vaccine companies.

Here’s who received money from Big Pharma and then influenced the WHO decision to declare a pandemic:

Arnold Monto is a professor from the United States who has received money from virtually all the major vaccine manufacturers: GSK, Novartis, Roche, Baxter and Sanofi Pasteur. He has specifically been given grant money by Sanofi Pasteur to study influenza vaccines.

Nancy Cox works for the US Centers for Disease Control, which already maintains a pro-vaccine stance while utterly ignoring the importance of vitamin D in halting infectious disease. Nancy took funds from the International Federation of Pharmaceutical Manufacturers and Associations (IFPMA) to conduct work on vaccines.

John Wood works at Britain’s National Institute for Biological Standards and Control (NIBSC). They’ve taken money from Sanofi Pasteur, Novartis and several other companies focused on influenza vaccine research.

Maria Zambon is a professor at the UK Health Protection Agency Centre for Infection. She has received money from Sanofi, Novartis, CSL, Baxter and GSK.

Neil Ferguson is also a professor, and he has accepted money from Roche and GSK Biologicals.

There may be more to this story, too: The financial ties explained here are merely the ones that these people chose to publicly disclose to WHO. There may yet be other ties that currently remain a secret and will have to be dug up by some determined reporter…

What’s the problem with financial ties, anyway?

Why does it matter that WHO advisors took money from vaccine companies? It’s simple: The decision to declare H1N1 swine flu to be a phase 6 pandemic was made by the WHO under advisement from these very people who received money from vaccine companies. And that decision, we now know, resulted in a windfall of profits for the vaccine companies.

Those profits, in turn, were burdened by the taxpayers whose expenditures were largely worthless because a huge portion of those vaccines are now expiring and have to be destroyed. The money was wasted, in other words.

It all has the makings of a grand global con: The WHO enlists advisors with financial ties to the vaccine industry to decide whether a pandemic is under way and then conveniently follows their advice in making a decision that many health experts around the world have been questioning from the start. It all has the appearance of medical corruption, and it looks like WHO decisions are based more on politics than medical science.

It was politically convenient, in other words, to declare a stage six pandemic. And if these WHO advisors have already received money from vaccine manufacturers, it’s certainly within the realm of possibility that they would soon be financially rewarded with yet more payoffs. (You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours…)

The appearance of corruption

The unfortunate upshot of all this is that even if these WHO advisors are completely innocent, their financial ties still create the appearance of corruption. And that means the WHO is losing credibility that may compromise its integrity when a real pandemic comes along. If the world can’t trust the World Health Organization, in other words, then who should countries look to for real answers on pandemics and infectious disease?

Sadly, even the CDC in the US has now clearly positioned itself as an “anti-nutrition, pro-vaccine” organization, too. Ignoring the huge importance of vitamin D and the support of the human immune system, many CDC experts have also either been on the payrolls of vaccine manufacturers or are looking to join Big Pharma when offered a job. The former head of the CDC, Dr. Julie Gerberding, was recently offered a position as the president of Merck’s vaccine division (http://www.naturalnews.com/027789_D…).

The frustrating fact is that modern medicine has been subverted by Big Pharma. The vaccine industry practically runs the CDC and WHO — or at the very least, it heavily influences decisions by these two organizations. As a result, the so-called “scientific” decisions made by these organizations have very little to do with actual science but everything to do with protecting (and expanding) the profits of vaccine manufacturers.

And when public health policy is decided based on corporate profits, the people will always suffer.

Did you notice that the list of WHO advisors did not include even a single naturopathic physician? Not a single holistic nutritionist? There was nobody on the board that brought a pro-nutrition point of view to the discussions. And you know why nutritionists and naturopaths weren’t invited to join the WHO advisory board? Because the WHO has already pre-decided it doesn’t want to hear those points of view. It has stubbornly decided to entertain only vaccines as the solution to virtually all infectious disease.

And if you only invite vaccine pushers to the table, guess what kind of advice you’re going to get? “Push more vaccines!”

Asking a bunch of vaccine experts whether you should declare a pandemic is sort of like asking your insurance agent whether you need more insurance. Well of course you do!

No wonder the WHO has lost so much credibility. It refuses to look at real solutions that might work for poor nations (such as low-cost vitamin D supplements) while strongly favoring the high-profit operations of the vaccine industry. That’s why the WHO simply can’t be trusted anymore. It has now become a pawn of the pharmaceutical industry that will always make decisions that favor the financial interests of Big Pharma.

See the WHO list of advisors here:
http://www.who.int/ihr/emerg_comm_m…

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10 Objections To Red Light Cameras

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 08:41 AM PDT

From The National Motorists Association

The NMA opposes the use of photographic devices to issue tickets. With properly posted speed limits and properly installed traffic-control devices, there is no need for ticket cameras. They can actually make our roads less safe.

1) Ticket cameras do not improve safety.
Despite the claims of companies that sell ticket cameras and provide related services, there is no independent verification that photo enforcement devices improve highway safety, reduce overall accidents, or improve traffic flow. Believing the claims of companies that sell photo enforcement equipment or municipalities that use this equipment is like believing any commercial produced by a company that is trying to sell you something.

2) There is no certifiable witness to the alleged violation.
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it may also take a thousand words to explain what the picture really means. Even in those rare instances where a law enforcement officer is overseeing a ticket camera, it is highly unlikely that the officer would recall the supposed violation. For all practical purposes, there is no “accuser” for motorists to confront, which is a constitutional right. There is no one that can personally testify to the circumstances of the alleged violation, and just because a camera unit was operating properly when it was set up does not mean it was operating properly when the picture was taken of any given vehicle.

3) Ticket recipients are not adequately notified.
Most governments using ticket cameras send out tickets via first class mail. There is no guarantee that the accused motorists will even receive the ticket, let alone understands it and know how to respond. However, the government makes the assumption that the ticket was received. If motorists fail to pay, it is assumed that they did so on purpose, and a warrant may be issued for their arrest.

4) The driver of the vehicle is not positively identified.
Typically, the photos taken by these cameras do not identify the driver of the offending vehicle. The owner of the vehicle is mailed the ticket, even if the owner was not driving the vehicle and may not know who was driving at the time. The owner of the vehicle is then forced to prove his or her innocence, often by identifying the actual diver who may be a family member, friend or employee.

5) Ticket recipients are not notified quickly.
People may not receive citations until days or sometimes weeks after the alleged violation. This makes it very difficult to defend oneself because it would be hard to remember the circumstances surrounding the supposed violation. There may have been a reason that someone would be speeding or in an intersection after the light turned red. Even if the photo was taken in error, it may be very hard to recall the day in question.

6) These devices discourage the synchronization of traffic lights.
When red-light cameras are used to make money for local governments, these governments are unlikely to jeopardize this income source. This includes traffic-light synchronization, which is the elimination of unneeded lights and partial deactivation of other traffic lights during periods of low traffic. When properly done, traffic-light synchronization decreases congestion, pollution, and fuel consumption.

7) Cameras do not prevent most intersection accidents.
Intersection accidents are just that, accidents. Motorists do not casually drive through red lights. More likely, they do not see a given traffic light because they are distracted, impaired, or unfamiliar with their surroundings. Even the most flagrant of red-light violators will not drive blithely into a crowded intersection, against the light. Putting cameras on poles and taking pictures will not stop these kinds of accidents.

8) There are better alternatives to cameras.
If intersection controls are properly engineered, installed, and operated, there will be very few red-light violations. From the motorists’ perspective, government funds should be used on improving intersections, not on ticket cameras. Even in instances where cameras were shown to decrease certain types of accidents, they increased other accidents. Simple intersection and signal improvements can have lasting positive effects, without negative consequences. Cities can choose to make intersections safer with sound traffic engineering or make money with ticket cameras. Unfortunately, many pick money over safety.

9) Ticket camera systems are designed to inconvenience motorists.
Under the guise of protecting motorist privacy, the court or private contractor that sends out tickets often refuses to send a copy of the photo to the accused vehicle owner. This is really because many of the photos do not clearly depict the driver or the driver is obviously not the vehicle owner. Typically, the vehicle owner is forced to travel to a courthouse or municipal building to even see the photograph, an obvious and deliberate inconvenience meant to discourage ticket challenges.

10) Taking dangerous drivers’ pictures doesn’t stop them.
Photo enforcement devices do not apprehend seriously impaired, reckless or otherwise dangerous drivers. A fugitive could fly through an intersection at 100 mph and not even get his picture taken, as long as the light was green!

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Video: Rumsfeld Describes The Intricate Caves in Afganistan That Were Never Found

Posted: 12 Aug 2010 08:35 AM PDT

…we never found them because they never existed.

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‘Upbeat’ White House Faces Calls for Long Term Iraq Presence

Posted: 11 Aug 2010 10:32 PM PDT

From AntiWar.com

The Obama Administration remains committed to spinning its redefinition of combat troops as “transitional forces” as the end of the combat mission, even though there is no doubt that combat will continue past this date.

But while the “drawdown” is of political expedience at the moment, reports suggest that there is little stomach for actually ending the war among US officials, and perhaps even more problematic, no Iraqi government in place (beyond a powerless caretaker government) with any vested interest in ensuring the 2011 pullout happens.

In fact the Iraqi Army’s Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Babaker Zebari today warned that, while the level of violence is already rising precipitously it will be even worse after 2011, if the US leaves. He is calling instead for the US to commit to the occupation fo Iraq through at least 2020, which is when, in his estimate, the Iraqi military might be ready to take over.

Though one might be tempted to dismiss Zebari’s comments as those of a single Iraqi soldier, they seem to jibe closely with the sentiment of the US State Department, which over the past few months has been openly trying to create a Second US Army, answerable to the State Department, which would continue the occupation of Iraq for years after, or perhaps at this point it should be couched as if, the current US Army leaves.

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We Must Break the Vicious Circle of Violence

Posted: 11 Aug 2010 08:23 PM PDT

By Ron Paul

Last week the National Bureau of Economic Research published a report on the effect of civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq that confirmed what critics of our foreign policy had been saying for years. The killing of civilians, although unintentional, angers other civilians and prompts them to seek revenge. This should be self-evident. The Central Intelligence Agency has long acknowledged and analyzed the concept blowback in our foreign policy.

It still amazes me that so many think that attacks against our soldiers occupying hostile foreign lands are motivated by hatred toward our system of government at home, or by the religion of the attackers. In fact, most of the anger toward us is rooted in reactions towards seeing their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, and other loved ones, being killed by a foreign army. No matter our intention, the violence of our militarism in foreign lands causes those residents to seek revenge if innocents are killed. One does not have to be a Muslim to react this way – just human.

Our battle in Afghanistan resembles the battle against the many-headed Hydra monster in Greek mythology. According to former General Stanley McChrystal’s so-called insurgent math, for every insurgent killed, ten more insurgents are created by the collateral damage to civilians. Every coalition attack leads to six retaliatory attacks against our troops within the following six weeks, according to the NBER report. These retaliatory attacks must then be acted on by our troops, leading to still more attacks, and so it goes. Violence begets more violence. Eventually more and more Afghanis will view American troops with hostility and seek revenge for the deaths of a loved one. Meanwhile we are bleeding ourselves dry militarily and economically.

Some say if we leave, the Taliban will be strengthened. However, those who make that claim ignore the numerous ways our interventionist foreign policy has strengthened groups like the Taliban over the years. I have already pointed out how we serve as excellent recruiters for them by killing civilians. Last week I pointed out how our foreign aid to Pakistan specifically makes it into the Taliban’s coffers. And of course we provided the Taliban with aid and resources in the 1980s when they were our strategic allies against the Soviet Union.

For example, our CIA supplied them with stinger missiles to use against the Soviets, which are strikingly similar to the ones now allegedly used against us on the same battlefield according to the Wikileaks documents. As usual, our friends have a funny way of turning against us. Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein are also prime examples. Yet Congress never seems to acknowledge the blowback that results from our interventionism of the past.

Our war against the Taliban is going about as well as our War on Drugs or our War on Poverty, or any of our government’s wars. They all tend to create more of the thing they purport to eradicate, thereby dodging any excuse to draw down and come to an end. It is hard to image even winning anything this way. We have done enough damage in Afghanistan, both to the Afghan people and to ourselves. It’s time to reevaluate the situation. It’s time to come home.

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