I received a copy of the March issue of the American Conservative in the mail today. Here are some brief outtakes from a book review (totaling @ 2000 words) I wrote in that issue on the general theme of Our Know-Nothing Foreign Policy :
*In the decades since John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, foreign policy experts have become Washington’s leading con men. Even though Wiz kids and Dream Teams have dragged America into one bloodbath and debacle after another, the media and politicians still kowtow to the latest sanctified “Best and Brightest.”…
*Regardless of policymakers’ Ivy League pedigrees, U.S. foreign and defense policy routinely operates on a “village idiot” level of information….
*The standards for decorum in discussing foreign policy practically guarantee that brazen liars will receive a pass, regardless of how many people perish as a result of their perfidy…
*WikiLeaks has revealed that U.S. foreign policy is far more venal and dishonest than the Beltway portrayed it….
*Instead of relying on purported foreign policy masterminds, Americans should remember Emerson’s maxim that “character is higher than intellect.” Washington is full of intellectuals more devoted to power than to truth. Professors hungry for influence are no more trustworthy than second-term Arkansas congressmen seeking a seat on the House Appropriations Committee.
*But even if Americans properly discount the pretensions of the next deluge of foreign policy sages, it is unlikely that the government will begin learning from its mistakes. The only surefire way to avoid past follies is to vastly reduce U.S. interventions abroad. Aside from that, the second best solution is to assure that it will be the pro-war “experts,” congressmen, and political appointees whose blood is shed first.