This next question is from Truthdig reader Rogers. - Scheer, it seems to me that your take on this does not recognize the differences between the situation we currently face and the ’60s. What do you think are the relevant differences and similarities?
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:14:57 GMT
(If you have submitted a question please give Robert Scheer some time to answer the previous questions; we will get to yours shortly.)
9:16 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:16:03 GMT
I don’t see the differences in terms of claiming to fight an international enemy that threatens you. In the ’60s, there was something called international communism, but communism was even then hopelessly fragmented. There were hardly two communist governments that were on decent speaking terms—certainly not the Chinese and the Vietnamese communists. Yet we insisted we were fighting a war against a unified international communism. Now we commit the same error in insisting we are fighting a war against a unified international terrorism, but the Taliban in Afghanistan is, like the Viet Cong in Vietnam, a homegrown movement that has to be dealt with by people in the country who understand the culture, and change will come—as it has in Vietnam and China—from within, and not by foreign invasion.
9:16 Comment From Steve
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:16:12 GMT
Comment: Which are the regulatory bodies and why aren’t they being held more accountable. This would not likely have happened with Norway’s requirements. ...
9:19 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:19:06 GMT
(To Steve) If this refers to the oil spill, clearly we didn’t have an effective regulatory regime regarding oil drilling any more than regarding banking. The lobbyists own Washington. Read my book out in about four weeks called “The Great American Stickup” for the whole sorry, sordid tale. Regulation is not a dirty word in Norway, where they very effectively control their drilling operations, but thanks to the Reagan Revolution, abetted by Clintonomics and drunk to excess under George W. Bush, we lost regulation of any important aspect of multinational corporate activity in this country, be it in health, finance, mineral exploration, or what have you.
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:19:14 GMT
Question from Truthdig reader kayrun—Gen. McChrystal’s and staff’s disclosures to Rolling Stone are so far from normal protocol that it raises the question whether this was deliberate provocation of President Obama or staged? If so, would one purpose be to appoint Gen. Petraeus to head up the Afghanistan war? Obama would surely have the power to do this, but perhaps did not want public questions about putting Petraeus in charge. McChrystal must have known that this would be like setting fire to a munitions depot.
9:19 Comment From Steve
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:19:21 GMT
Comment: Oops—I (Steve) was thinking about the oil spill. ...
9:20 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:20:28 GMT
Comment: Indeed, we’re still persisting on manufacturing an enemy. In the ’60s it was the communists; today it’s terrorism. It looks like U.S. foreign policy hasn’t changed one bit. The same old mentality.
9:22 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:22:24 GMT
(To kayrun) I answered this with the first question—that I could see McChrystal wanting an exit strategy for himself, as did Gen. MacArthur back in the Korean War. And now, he is off the hook, and as things disintegrate in Afghanistan, it’s all going to be Obama’s doing, because he got rid of our John Wayne figure. Obama has fallen into the trap. Instead of changing course and picking one of the people who knows this policy is bankrupt, like our ambassador—a former general—to run things, which would mean basically taking seriously the date for beginning to get out and turning power over to this Afghan military that we’ve invested so much money in, he’s actually picked another so-called miracle maker in Petraeus, and it won’t work. It didn’t work in Iraq, which remains a bloody mess, and it certainly won’t work in Afghanistan, which is a far more complex, impenetrable situation.
9:22 Comment From gibby
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:22:43 GMT
Comment: What do you think about Ragland saying turn house [over] to lender if don’t work with lender to lower loan, and what do you think of Hedges’ thought on revolting against the system?
9:23 Comment From Steve
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:23:02 GMT
Comment: Do you think that the “left” should start organizing with the thought in mind of an alternative to Obama after his many betrayals? What else can we do?
9:24 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:24:05 GMT
Comment: Start organizing? It’s a semi-police state, we ...
9:24 Comment From Anthony Thomas
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:24:13 GMT
Comment: We’ll never get enough people for the MMS to cover it.
9:24 Comment From Foucauldian
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:24:27 GMT
Comment: Good question, Steve. I’m afraid the left hasn’t much pull. It’s the independents who hold the key to political victories.
9:24 Bob Scheer
Fri, 25 Jun 2010 17:24:54 GMT
(To Steve) Oh boy. Everyone should organize—not just the left—to demand that Wall Street be reined in, that unemployment insurance be extended to the millions that need it to survive, that deep-ocean drilling be stopped until we figure out how to do it, and that the U.S. end both these unnecessary wars we’re involved in. I don’t see these as left or right issues, but rather as a matter of common sense. As a candidate, Obama indicated that he had a healthy measure of common sense on such matters. And what we need to get across to him: that his presidency is doomed if he does not return to the clarity of his campaign.