Congressional Approval Is Not The Critical Issue

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Obama acting alone against Syria is worse than acting with Congressional approval, but the latter is still unilateral military U.S. action. It’s still the wrong action, morally and pragmatically. It’s still part of what Albert Einstein termed “The Military Mentality” in 1947. An excerpt:

“The tendencies we have mentioned are something new for America. They arose when, under the influence of the two World Wars and the consequent concentration of all forces on a military goal, a predominantly military mentality developed, which with the almost sudden victory became even more accentuated. The characteristic feature of this mentality is that people place the importance of what Bertrand Russell so tellingly terms ‘naked power’ far above all other factors which affect the relations between peoples. The Germans, misled by Bismarck’s successes in particular, underwent just such a transformation of their mentality – in consequence of which they were entirely ruined in less than a hundred years.

“I must frankly confess that the foreign policy of the United States since the termination of hostilities has reminded me, sometimes irresistibly, of the attitude of Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II, and I know that, independent of me, this analogy has most painfully occurred to others as well.”

The situation has worsened since 1947. The mentality has become more messianic (“belief that a particular cause or movement is destined to triumph or save the world.”) The leadership is more self-righteous, more ambitious and more powerful. At the same time, the leadership is more divorced from the reality of the consequences of its actions. In that sense, a kind of psychosis has set in.

2:58 pm on August 31, 2013