@thomaswright08: Fellow Traveler Gideon Rachman ‘reviews’ All Measures Short of War: The Contest for the 21st Century and the Future of American Power. A comment by American Dissident

I’ll begin my comment with this paragraph from Mr. Rachman’s review of Mr. Wright’s book, that demonstrates that Mr. Wright’s book doesn’t labor under a political  misapprehension, but expresses the ideological myopia of a Neo-Conservative public intellectual:

Wright’s book is a convincing refutation of the idea that America might be better off if it abandoned the idea of a liberal global order and acquiesced in the creation of regional spheres of influence for Russia, China and (possibly) Iran. “The liberal international order has been tremendously successful in safeguarding US interests while bolstering the peace and prosperity of most of the rest of the world,” he argues. By contrast, a world organised around regional spheres of influence would be much less stable and would encourage China, Russia and others to test US resolve. In such a world, trade would diminish and democracy would retreat. “The United States would quickly find itself embroiled in conflict and from a much weaker position than it now enjoys.”

The facts are that Russia,China, and Iran(not possibly but actually) have already carved out their ‘spheres of influence’. On Russia: the invention of the myth of its revanchism in Crimea and Ukraine, and its being poised, to do what? on the borders of Europe, or so goes the New Cold War Mythology. On China: the South China Sea dispute waxes and wanes, its an on demand ‘crisis‘ trotted out as need be. On Iran: the reader need only look at the close relation that America’s Protectorate Iraq enjoys with the successors to the 1979 Revolution.

Even Merkel declares, in response to Trump, that Europe must defend itself.  She is, after all, the current representative of ‘The Virtuous Northern Tier’, that myth built on four defaults in the 20th Century, and on being the economic engine that propels the faltering E.U., and its economic cudgel the European Central Bank, not to mention her capo Wolfgang Schäuble.

The reader need only consult the Brookings web site to see Mr. Wright’s rather impressive CV:


Even the most agnostic reader of this resume, can doubt that Mr. Wright is a Neo-Conservative, who would have been a perfect fit for the Hillary Clinton Administration. Clinton  favored Victoria Nuland, Susan Rice and the rest of the coven of Neo-Cons at The State Dept.

The Think Tank, especially Brookings, has become the holding pen for policy intellectuals, with a product to sell. Those intellectuals write the manifestos that simply reiterate the myth of America’s Manifest Destiny, tarted up for the world stage.The American Destiny is to fight ‘The War on Terror’, its own Thirty Years War. Or simply the fulfillment of Huntington’s paranoid conception of his ‘Clash of Civilizations’, rationalized by Mr. Wright with his proviso being ‘short of war’.  Mr. Rachman provides the indispensable service of the ‘yes man’, the perennial character out of the reality of American Corporatism. (See ‘The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit’ a 1955 novel by Sloan Wilson and ‘The Organization Man’ by William H. Whyte published  in 1956)

American Dissident



@U999 @StephenKMackSD

Thank you for your reply. As I imagine it, Mr. Rachman spends too much time in the company of his fellow pundits, reading their Manifestos and schmoozing at social gatherings, with these Policy Technocrats. Can’t you just see these men- the unsurprising bailiwick of the male gender as ‘expert’-sipping single-malt and exchanging the shopworn cliches of the current ‘climate of opinion’. As in some of Saul Steinberg’s most telling cartoon pastiches of conversations, rendered as a series of cartouches fighting for space in the picture plane.




About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.' https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n20/perry-anderson/diary
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