Michael G. Waltz worked as a special advisor to Dick Cheney in the Office of the Vice President. He worked in the Pentagon. He was in the U.S. Army Special Forces. He is very much a man of empire. He has since moved into the “private sector” of the military-industrial-intelligence complex. He presides over a company, “a growing defense and intelligence contracting firm that provides strategic analysis, policy development, intelligence support, and foreign commercial development to U.S. Government and corporate customers worldwide.”
He comes to out attention in this article. Waltz comments about torture, the Taliban, the American bureaucracy, secrecy and the need for intelligence. But the most important single statement he makes is this:
“America’s conflict with Islamic extremism must be understood as a decades-long ideological clash, akin to our 50-year fight against communism. Despite the popular narrative about ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we are still in the opening throes of this conflict (as yesterday’s events in Paris should have reminded us).”
At the end, he repeats it: “America is going to be fighting extremists for decades to come.”
These presumptions, more than anything else, are what need to be questioned as strongly and deeply as possible, because these beliefs are what generate support in fighting men and profit-making men like him. They generate support among politicians and among Americans.
American conflict with Islamic extremism has arisen, not out of an ideological clash. That has been around for centuries. It has arisen because of American intrusions, invasions, and interventions of all kinds in a number of Islamic countries. It has arisen because the U.S. took sides with Israel. American meddling has been going on since Saudi Arabia became an American protectorate, since the U.S. recognized Israel as a state, since the U.S. overturned Mossadegh in Iran, since the U.S. went into Lebanon, just to mention a few meddling policies. These have been augmented immeasurably by U.S. policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Pakistan, Libya and Syria. It’s the U.S. that fired the first salvos in this purported conflict with Islamic extremism. There is absolutely no call, as Waltz thinks, now to continue fighting these losing battles for another 50-150 years.
Waltz’s thinking is way, way too shallow as expressed in this article. He simply takes endless war for granted. He assumes that this fight is noble and should be fought, and those presumptions are as false as his idea that some sort of conflict has erupted like a force of nature without its having been caused by the U.S.
I do not accuse him of thinking so stupidly, without attention to history, because he’s now making money off of it and has made a career of it. Probably he made a career out of it because, like Cheney, he believes in these erroneous ideas; although I do believe that these Washingtonians and career warmongers have found a symbiotic relationship with their beliefs and their paychecks and profits that is just a little too convenient as not to suggest a corruption and decay, a rottenness in the state of the U.S. No, I accuse him and his cohort alike of a convenient blindness and stupidity. Being gung-ho for Americans fighting good wars and beating enemies, even when success is nowhere to be found and hasn’t been found in decades, is a form of blind stupidity parading around as moral rectitude.3:31 pm on January 8, 2015 Email Michael S. Rozeff