Readings — From the November 2012 issue

How We Became Israel

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By Andrew J. Bacevich, from the September issue of The American Conservative. Bacevich’s article “Glory Days” appeared in the June issue of Harper’s Magazine. Peace means different things to different governments and countries. To some it suggests harmony based on tolerance and mutual respect. To others it serves as a euphemism for dominance, defining the relationship between the strong and the supine. In the absence of an existing peace, a nation’s reigning definition of the word shapes its proclivity to use force. A nation committed to peace-as-harmony will tend to employ force as a last resort. The United States once …

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  • Vivek Jain

    The URL for the piece at The American Conservative is: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/how-we-became-israel/

    I appreciate Professor Bacevich’s comments here and in his too-infrequent television appearances. He’s an important voice on the history and politics of the National “Security” State which has increased the physical, social, and economic insecurity of ordinary people in America and abroad while enriching and empowering the ruling class. The American public is deliberately kept from thinking about the costs of empire and the contradiction between imperialism and democracy, between imperialism and the principles the politicians and elites insist are American (that is, freedom, democracy, republican government, equality, justice, rule of law, etc). James Petras has recently composed some excellent columns on the transformation of the anemic social welfare state to an imperial police state; see his blog at petras.lahaine.org . A worthwhile companion to Bacevich is the work of David Swanson, as well as the analyses at TomDispatch.com and scholars such as Deepa Kumar (author of the just-published excellent “Islamophobia and the Politics of Empire” which explains how the new bogeyman, the concept of the Muslim enemy, has been constructed and toward what ends).

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