Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Monday, May 30, 2016


Andrew J. Bacevich taught history and international relations at Boston University.  On May 13, 2007, his son, 1st Lt. Andrew John Bacevich, died in Iraq at the age of 27 after a suicide bomb explosion.

The following an excerpt is from an article he wrote a decade ago, that applies to those presidential candidates, who want to be “Commander-in- Chief, ” in 2017.

“The challenge confronting those aspiring to the presidency, therefore, is to devise an alternative to Bush's failed strategy.  To pass muster, any such strategy will have to recognize the limits of American power, military and otherwise.  It must acknowledge that because the United States cannot change Islam, we have no alternative but to coexist with it.

“Yet coexistence should not imply appeasement or passivity.  Any plausible strategy will prescribe concrete and sustainable policies designed to contain the virulent strain of radicalism currently flourishing in parts of the Islamic world.  The alternative to transformation is not surrender but quarantine.

“Over time, of course, Islam will become something other than what it is today.  But as with our own post-Christian West, that evolution will be determined primarily by forces within.  Our interest lies in nudging that evolution along a path that alleviates rather than perpetuates conflict between Islam and the West.  In that regard, the requirement is not for a bigger Army but for fresh ideas, informed by modesty and a sense of realism.

“The candidate who can articulate such ideas might well merit respect and popular support.  Those who in the absence of serious strategic analysis reflexively posture about the need for more troops deserve only contempt.”

A decade ago Andrew J. Bacevich couldn’t have anticipated fighting ISIS terrorist at home and in Iraq. 

Hillary Clinton pledges to continue and intensify what President Obama has been doing.


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