Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Will the Empire end in Good Leadership or Blood?

"The silver lining is that we manage this [transition] with good leadership, consistent, sustained good leadership ... it has to be twenty to twenty-five years of good leadership. Where we gonna find that with our political process?"

"Think about 2000, I sat there as a member of the Republican party and I said to myself, My god, three hundred million people in this country and all we can come up with is Al Gore and George W. Bush! My god, how do we change that? I think that's part of the problem, that we have got to have sustained leadership. We've got to have good leadership and we've got to begin meeting these challenges."

"If we want oil, if we want gas, if we want it for our allies -- one of the things that wasn't mentioned about Mohammed Mossadeq, in '53 Truman didn't want to do it, Truman was adamantly opposed to it. Truman didn't like the CIA very much. Read his editorial in the Washington Post, December 22, 1963, right after Kennedy was assassinated. Truman says, I didn't recognize the CIA I created, that ain't the CIA I created."

"One of the reasons Eisenhower changed his mind, because Eisenhower came in opposed also, one of the reasons was a guy by the name of Allen Dulles at the CIA and a guy by the name of Winston Churchill who'd come back to power in the UK. And both were essentially saying not just that the Communists were coming ... which was kind of farcical but they were saying the Marshall Plan, the Marshall Plan and England and England. Because this money was huge, coming from the AIOC into the coffers of the Europeans and part into England. And you needed cheap oil to fuel the recovery of England and the recovery of Europe after that very cataclysmic war for them. We were the only nation essentially that was unscathed. The rest of Europe and Japan were ruined, they had to start over again. So that was part of the motivation."

"If part of the motivation is that we have to go after oil and gas in the world then, by god, we better start telling the American people about this, shouldn't we? And we should give the American people, including you here tonight, a right to vote on this! And you should have the right to say, that's not the way we want to do it."

"I believe the blueprint is the better way to do it, I believe that we should deal with world leaders, that the marketplace ... ought to designate where this goes and if it starts running out and we haven't made the transition fast enough to the basket of energy resources that we're gonna have to have it administered somehow and you don't administer -- as I was looking at doing in war planning in the US Pacific Command in the mid-'eighties by mounting the Arabian Peninsula with five million American soldiers, taking it over, putting the oil wells under the UN in a trusteeship and administering them for the world. That's not the way to do it! You need to get talking beforehand, you need to get dealing diplomatically beforehand, you need to work on the problem. You do not need bombs, bullets and bayonets! And I'm a soldier up here telling you because soldiers die, soldiers get wounded. I tell my students that the most fateful decision a President can make is the decision to send young boys and young girls to die for state purposes. And something we forget, to kill others for state purposes. Even by DoD's estimate we've killed one hundred thousand in Iraq. I think it's more like three hundred thousand. We have sent the greatest refugee problem into Syria and Jordan that the world confronts right now ... and where do you see it in an American newspaper? No one is reporting it."

"How do we Americans get out of this mess? This fiscal mess, this war instrument, the highest use mess, this business of presidents thinking that the only disciplined instrument of national power they have lives in the Pentagon? It isn't going to be because of President Obama, it isn't going to be because of national security adviser Jim Jones, it isn't going to be because of secretary Clinton, it's only going to happen if we Americans say we're fed up with it. It's only going to happen if we begin to stop doing what we've been doing for the past, I don't know, my lifetime, and I've been right there with you. We've been so damned apathetic about our government."

..."And we have allowed power to be used and misused in this country, particularly since Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger. It's been going on for a long time ... Where is the debate going on, where is the discussion going on? It isn't in the Congress of the United States. There are people over there who do not even realize that we are bankrupt. They think we can continue to print money because they've been printing money for so long that that is a lifestyle for them! The only way this is going to change is from the ground up. And we will be, let me say as cynically as I can, probably the first democratic republic possessed of an empire, commercial or territorial or otherwise, to resurrect itself from the ashes because history says we're going down. That's what history says. I dare you to name a single empire in human history that has survived. It is nowhere written in stone that the American empire will be exceptional."

"So it's about time we get busy and do everything in our power to make sure that whatever is happening happens so that our posterity which we seem to have forgotten about, so that our posterity survives with some prospects for the future ... Collectively [our children] are going to have a lower standard of living. That's the reality. Whether they turn that around so that their generation [and future] generations after them even have a place that is free, that is marked by democratic principles, that looks like a well-governed republic that isn't dominated by its military, that isn't physically irresponsible, it's up to them. That's the challenge they have. We have not left them, will not leave them a great opportunity in that regard. The challenge is much greater than it was for my generation or the generations before that, in my view."

"This fiscal crisis ... is more profound than 1929 and we will see the results of that slowly over the next five to ten years. It is going to be difficult, it is going to be challenging, it is going to be extremely hard. And Afghanistan and Iraq are going to be solved in that sense ... all of these things are coming, all of these things can be dealt with, all of these things can be managed with good leadership. But most of all they require a vigilant, alert, constantly-watching , constantly-overseeing electorate. And that may be the greatest challenge of all."

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