On the ‘why’ of James Stavridis’ success! Old Socialist’s observations

Mr. Stavridis’ rise to the top of the Military/Capitalist coterie’s Olympus is here made clear to the reader of his latest essay at Bloomberg Opinion:

Headline: Brent Scowcroft Never Hated His Enemies

Sub-headline: His realist approach to global affairs came straight from “The Godfather.”

That such a citizen, an exalted member of the American Technocracy, praises Brent Scowcroft, via a comparison to blood soaked Hollywood Gangster kitsch, doesn’t even qualify as faint praise. Or is this indicative of the Scowcroft ‘toughness’, and or ‘resolve’?  After some preliminary and obligatory funeral oration chatter, this paragraph resolves any doubt in the readers mind:  

A second quality was his unemotional, analytic approach to the world, sometimes called realpolitik. Scowcroft earned his spurs around former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, and took Kissinger’s place the first time he became national security adviser. When he told me not to let the Russians get under my skin, he meant to stay calm and be the adult in the room. As Don Corleone puts it in Mario Puzo’s “The Godfather”: “Never hate your enemies — it affects your judgment.” 

In order to win, one must never be blinded by inconvenient emotion, it is offered as the sine qua non of the gangster and the political operative! Stavridis offers this admonition about the political present:

This lesson in realism remains a striking and necessary lesson for the U.S. today, from dealing with the dangerous adventurism of Vladimir Putin to the irascible behavior of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. 

In the world view of Gangsters and Technocrats it is about ‘winning at any cost’ via a strategic use of Adam Smith’s  Impartial Spectator, to dress it in undeserved intellectual finery.

Here is Stavridis’ anti-penultimate thoughts, the two that follow are simply History Made To Measure and more funeral oration cliche: 

Finally, the general advocated an international outlook. He was a keen student of history, and in that 2009 talk he pointed out to me that a century earlier, the world was on the verge of two global conflicts in three decades. His prescription was simple: to best protect the nation and serve its interests, America had to remain engaged in the world — not as the world’s policeman, but as a source of leadership when it mattered.


America is the World’s Policeman! Its continuing Wars of Empire, and a World surrounded by its  military bases, and its not so secret military interventions, around the world, are facts that Technocrat Stavridis will never acknowledge!

Old Socialist 





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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