Tag Archives: Arrogance

Washington’s Arrogance Survives Afghanistan Disaster, by Doug Bandow

The warmongers are indomitable; defeat after defeat doesn’t stop them from marching someone else’s kids off to the next war. From Doug Bandow at antiwar.com:

Despite the Afghanistan disaster dominating global headlines, American policymakers don’t seem to realize that they just lost a war. After Washington devoted two decades to, endured tens of thousands of casualties for, and spent trillions of dollars on its Afghan creation, the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan melted away in less than two weeks.

The rapid and complete collapse destroyed any illusions of U.S. competence in and commitment to social engineering around the world. The belief that Washington can reorder other societies with barely a nod to differing cultures, histories, ethnicities, religions, geographies, traditions, and more now looks delusional. Yet the same people who concocted and promoted the Afghan misadventure now fill Washington, D.C. with advice on what needs to be done next.

The immediate problem is saving those who want to leave. No doubt, Washington blundered badly putting evacuation of Americans and Afghan friends last, after the military exited. The Trump administration should have repaired a broken visa process while negotiating the war’s end with the Taliban, but that president and his officials appeared to hate immigrants, even those who viewed the US as a beacon of liberty. Some Trump supporters now oppose accepting people who supported America’s military mission for years.

At least Donald Trump’s irresponsibility was predictable. The Biden administration should have recognized the urgency of streamlining the visa process, which could have been accelerated while deciding on policy. People then could have begun flying out on commercial flights before Biden removed US troops.

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Kabul’s Collapse and DC’s Incurable Arrogance, by James Bovard

A story that perfectly illustrates the mindset and pretension of our rulers, from James Bovard at mises.org:

After the Taliban captured Kabul far faster than anyone in Washington forecast, secretary of state Tony Blinken went on Sunday morning talk shows and announced that the US mission in Afghanistan had been “successful.” Unfortunately, there will be plenty of robotic civil servants and political appointees who recite that deranged verdict in the coming years.

There is no reason to expect the twenty-year US debacle in Afghanistan to humble Washington policymakers. Korean War fiascos were swept under the rug, paving the way for fresh delusions that led to the Vietnam War. The debacles of the Vietnam War were buried long ago, spurring similar follies in the Afghan and Iraq wars in this century. John Sopko, the special inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR), reported finding “a USAID lessons-learned report from 1980s on Afghan reconstruction but nobody at AID had read it!” Foreign policy makers will likely remain arrogant and myopic regardless of how many more nations they despoil.

On a winter hike almost a decade ago, I witnessed firsthand both the haughtiness of officialdom and its human cost. I arrived at Great Falls National Park in Maryland early for that Sunday morning jaunt and found a wooden rail fence to lean against as I awaited the arrival of other hikers.

A few minutes later, a handicapped van pulled to the side of the nearby road. A twenty-something woman bounded out of the shotgun seat and zipped around to the side of the van. Her long brown hair was pulled back into a single ponytail topped by a St. Louis Cardinals baseball cap. That bright red hat perfectly complemented a bit of rouge—or maybe she was naturally red cheeked.

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Arrogant Narcissism: The Essence of U.S. Foreign Policy, by Ted Galen Carpenter

Power’s corruption works insidiously on the ego. From Ted Galen Carpenter at theamericanconservative.com:

America’s micromanaging of its allies continues to cause friction.

U.S. leaders routinely intone that the United States stands for a “rules-based international order,” and that Washington has always tried to play its role as benevolent global leader. The reality is decidedly less savory and far more self-centered. Washington’s actual attitude since World War II is one of arrogant national narcissism, and the problem persists in our own era.

Perhaps the most succinct expression of that perspective was Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright’s comment during a February 1998 interview on NBC’s “Today” show. She stated that “we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future.” But that sentiment existed before Albright, and it has continued long after her departure from office.

One detects the same tone in President George H.W. Bush’s 1991 State of the Union Address.

For generations, America has led the struggle to preserve and extend the blessings of liberty. And today, in a rapidly changing world, American leadership is indispensable. Americans know that leadership brings burdens and sacrifices. But we also know why the hopes of humanity turn to us. We are Americans; we have a unique responsibility to do the hard work of freedom. And when we do, freedom works.

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Biden Day One: Nothing Changed, Nothing Ever Will, by Martin Sieff

The Biden administration is going to pretend like the 2016 election and subsequent four years never happened, and things are going to go back to what they were before. From Martin Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

The Liberal Sleepwalkers are not dealing with the passive, stupid thuggish, unthinking herd that they believe half the American people to be.

The Doom of the Biden Administration and within the next eight years of the entire supposedly great and mighty Democratic Party has been written in deeds on the very first full day of Joe Biden’s presidency.

There were absolutely no surprises whatsoever in it. Biden did what he said he was going to do. He nominated exactly the people he said he was going to nominate. The US Liberal Mainstream Media with their usual Courage and Character slavishly applauded with unanimous mindless reverence.

We are back in 2016. Donald Trump Never Happened. The populist national awakening across the American Heartland never happened. All the material gains that the white, black and Hispanic long-suffering working classes genuinely made in the first three years of Trump’s presidency are going to be erased. They Never Happened Either. Just Shut Your Eyes and It Will All Go Away.

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Kansas Should Go F— Itself, by Matt Taibbi

There has always been a strong populist strain in American politics that all the right people wish would just go away. From Matt Taibbi at substack.com:

Author Thomas Frank predicted the modern culture war, and he was right about Donald Trump, but don’t expect political leaders to pay attention to his new book about populism

The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism

Thomas Frank is one of America’s more skillful writers, an expert practitioner of a genre one might call historical journalism – ironic, because no recent media figure has been more negatively affected by historical change. Frank became a star during a time of intense curiosity about the reasons behind our worsening culture war, and now publishes a terrific book, The People, No: A Brief History of Anti-Populism, at a time when people are mostly done thinking about what divides us, gearing up to fight instead.

Frank published What’s the Matter with Kansas? in 2004, at the height of the George W. Bush presidency. The Iraq War was already looking like a disaster, but the Democratic Party was helpless to take advantage, a fact the opinion-shaping class on the coasts found puzzling. Blue-staters felt sure they’d conquered the electoral failure problem in the nineties, when a combination of Bill Clinton’s Arkansas twang, policy pandering (a middle-class tax cut!) and a heavy dose of unsubtle race politics (e.g. ending welfare “as we know it”) appeared to cut the heart out of the Republican “Southern strategy.”

Yet Clinton’s chosen successor Al Gore flopped, the party’s latest Kennedy wannabe, John Kerry, did worse, and by the mid-2000s, Bushian conservatism was culturally ascendant, despite obvious failures. Every gathering of self-described liberals back then devolved into the same sad-faced anthropological speculation about Republicans: “Why do they vote against their own interests?”

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Woodrow Wilson Goes to Europe: One Hundred Years of Delusional American Madness, by Martin Sieff

Martin Sieff discusses “that extraordinary American combination of innocence, arrogance and ignorance.” From Sieff at strategic-culture.org:

We are now in the dubious position of “celebrating” – if that is the word – the 100th anniversary of US President Woodrow Wilson’s departure on December 4, 1918 on the liner SS George Washington for the Versailles Peace Conference where he was confident he would dictate his brilliant solutions that would end war in the world for all time.

Historians and psychiatrists – including Dr. Sigmund Freud himself who co-authored a book on Wilson – have endlessly debated whether Wilson was sane and just deluded or raving mad. Freud clearly inclined to the latter view. And he had ample evidence to support him. What is most alarming is that, as Henry Kissinger – significantly not born an American at all – points out, all US presidents either share Wilson’s ridiculous messianic fantasies or feel they must pretend to.

During the supposed dark age of the Cold War from 1945 to 1989, the recognition that the Soviet Union was at least as militarily powerful as the United States imposed the disciplines of realism and restraint on US policymakers. But since the Berlin Wall came down, the Warsaw Pact was dissolved and the Soviet Union peacefully disassembled, that restraint has vanished.

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The American Disease: I Deserve to Get Away with Anything and Everything, by Charles Hugh Smith

From Charles Hugh Smith, at oftwominds.com:

The only thing as grandiose as this sense of entitlement is the hubris it engenders.

Here’s the American Disease in a nutshell: entitlement and power means you never have to apologize for anything. Public relations might require a grudging, insincere quasi-apology, but the person with power can’t evince humility or shame–he or she doesn’t have any.

What the American with power does have in nearly limitless abundance is a grandiose yet unacknowledged sense of entitlement and a volcanic sense of indignation. For the powerful feel entitled not to be questioned, and entitled to the supreme arrogance of never apologizing for anything.

Their indignation at being pressed to account for their decisions knows no bounds–how dare anyone question my actions? It’s outrageous! I don’t deserve this!

The most entitled and indignant couple in America might well be Bill and Hillary Clinton, famously crying poor while assembling a net worth in excess of $100 million.

Their resentment at being challenged to account for their actions is palpable. When questioned about his sordid encounters in the White House, Bill Clinton’s body language and tortured, seething responses spoke of a grandiose entitlement to get away with anything and everything. We could almost hear his inner dialog: “Nobody questioned Jack Kennedy’s multiple affairs–I deserve to get away with it, too.”

To continue reading: The American Disease