An article in the Boston Globe by Andrew Bacevich points up the critical problems facing both Obama and the Democratic candidates in the coming election year. He notes the situation caused by the Paris attacks and concludes that there are no military options available to the US or any likely configuration of allies. He bases that conclusion on our experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan as well as the Russian experience there earlier. Military force does not suffice to quiet unrest, it only destabilizes. And of course the situation now in Iraq and Syria is the worst we have faced yet.
The chorus of fools among Republicans are already bleating their demands for armed intervention and Hollande is sounding just like George W after 9/11. The problem for Democrats is that the rational response Bacevich recommends requires them to speak the unspeakable, namely that the awesome military machinery we have built up in the US is of no use in this crisis. That’s the military we love, the one we worship with patriotic rituals before every athletic event, the one we think allows us to settle any world problem. No politician dares say those words.
Politico.com has an interesting article on how big money now is in competition with the GOP political apparatus to get favored politicians elected. In an article entitled “How the Kochs Launched Joni Ernst,” Kenneth Vogel looks at a new phenomenon in American politics:
“. . . . . financial support for Ernst ― detailed here for the first time ― offers the first signs of a move into GOP primaries. The Kochs and their allies are investing in a pipeline to identify, cultivate and finance business-oriented candidates from the local school board all the way to the White House, and Koch operatives are already looking for opportunities to challenge GOP incumbents deemed insufficiently hard-line in their opposition to government spending and corporate subsidies.”
We have seen this in the campaign for the presidency where the GOP candidates have gone off to meetings of potential donors to be inspected like cattle. Now the huge funding now available from the billionaire class is moving down to lower government levels. Maybe soon we will find the Koch funded congressmen joining together as a separate political party! No, there’s no need, They have that already. It’s called the Republican party.
Kenneth P. Vogel is chief investigative reporter at Politico and author of Big Money: 2.5 Billion Dollars, One Suspicious Vehicle, and a Pimp—on the Trail of the Ultra-Rich Hijacking American Politics (PublicAffairs).