My regular readers may have noticed that I’ve been absent much more than usual lately: the reason is because I’ve had to deal with increasing health problems, the extent of which I’ve tried to keep from interfering with my writing schedule. However, as much as I’ve attempted to keep up my usual pace, it just isn’t possible under the present circumstances. Therefore I’ve decided that, as a temporary measure, to alter my schedule for this column to twice a week instead of three pieces weekly.
Yes, it’s a temporary measure: I plan on getting back to my usual grind as soon as I’m feeling a bit better. However, until further notice, my column will appear on Mondays and Fridays. And, of course, if Something Really Big comes up, I’ll be right here at my post, no matter what day of the week it is.
Today [Thursday] is one of my bad days, and so there’s no regular column. But I do want to take the opportunity to urge you to get Scott Horton’s just-released book Fool’s Errand: Time to End the War in Afghanistan. It couldn’t be more timely, and that is the least of its virtues: I’m reading it now, and will come out with a full review of it next week at some point, but I have to say that, as I turn the pages, I’m bowled over by the extent of Scott’s knowledge, the originality of his analysis, and his attention to detail. I’ve been reading about this complex subject for years, but this is the most comprehensive and up to date treatment I’ve seen.
Just to give you a taste of it, here’s a key section from the introduction:
“After more than a decade and a half, the results are in. The U.S. government has been unable to achieve its goals in Afghanistan. Even worse, what state it has been able to establish there is completely unsustainable and is certain to fall apart when the occupation is finally called off, and America does come home. The politicians, generals, and intelligence officers behind this unending catastrophe, who always promise they can fix things these problems wit just a little bit more time, money, and military force, have lost all credibility.
“The truth is America’s Afghan war is an irredeemable disaster. It was meant to be a trap in the first place. America is not only failing to defeat its enemies, but is destroying itself, just as Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda always intended.”
This last paragraph is, I believe, key to understanding the essence of our folly: “It was meant to be a trap in the first place” – and Washington fell for it, hook, line, and sinker.
And another plug: our fundraising campaign has just about reached mid-point, and yes I’m reminding you that if you haven’t already donated now is the time to do so. Antiwar.com doesn’t get a dime from the big foundations, the Hollywood crowd, or any of the other funding sources that the Washington-based thinktanks depend on for their survival (think foreign lobbyists, big corporations, and eccentric billionaires). We depend on you, our faithful readers and supporters, for the resources we need to keep going. Since 1995, we’ve been sustained by numerous small donations from ordinary Americans who want to change the direction of America’s interventionist foreign policy – and we’re turning to you once again.
As I get older, I get more optimistic – not the usual pattern, to be sure, but there you have it. In retrospect, I can see that, as bad as things may seem in the present, the past has been far worse in many ways. We’ve come a long way from the war hysteria of the post-9/11 era, when the mere existence of this web site was cited as “treason” by the neocons and their media cheerleaders. Looking back on it now, the pattern is clearly one of gradual improvement of the prospects for peace.
The American people are waking up from their fever dreams of hubris. Now our task is to educate them, and help them to understand how they’ve been deceived — and by whom.
But we can’t do that without your financial support. And now is the time to make your contribution, because we’ve been pledged $35,000 in matching funds. This means that your donation will be matched dollar-for-dollar: but there’s a catch. We must match that $35,000 in smaller donations. So please, lease make your tax-deductible donation today.
Remember: For the time being, the new schedule for this column is Mondays and Thursdays. See you on Monday!
NOTES IN THE MARGIN
You can check out my Twitter feed by going here. But please note that my tweets are sometimes deliberately provocative, often made in jest, and largely consist of me thinking out loud.
I’ve written a couple of books, which you might want to peruse. Here is the link for buying the second edition of my 1993 book, Reclaiming the American Right: The Lost Legacy of the Conservative Movement, with an Introduction by Prof. George W. Carey, a Foreword by Patrick J. Buchanan, and critical essays by Scott Richert and David Gordon (ISI Books, 2008).
You can buy An Enemy of the State: The Life of Murray N. Rothbard (Prometheus Books, 2000), my biography of the great libertarian thinker, here.