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"Bullets Or Bucks"

Recorded 1-9-11


1) 2:43 Bullets Or Bucks (long version) Mp3

2) 2:14 Bullets Or Bucks (short version) Mp3

 Bullets or Bucks
{col. writ. 1/8/11] (c) '11 Mumia Abu-Jamal

   As the U.S. Imperial wars slog on in Iraq and Afghanistan, American elite thinkers are envisioning a world where such mistakes as these are not repeated.
   For some time, such voices were heard in the aftermath of Vietnam, but, of course, such notions didn't last.
   They rarely do in empire, for the urge to acquisition is just too strong.  For empires acquire nations, like children acquire toys.
   Leslie H. Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), and a former editor at the New York Times, recently penned an article in the CFR journal, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, that prioritized the power of the purse over the power of arms.  In the article,"GOP Now Matters More Thank Force: Foreign Policy for the Age of Economic Power", Gelb argues for the rules that should govern future wars:
    “Land wars should be undertaken if and only if the following criteria are met: the threat is unique to the country posing it and clearly a danger to U.S. security; only land forces can neutralize that threat, and they can do so within a few years and at a reasonable cost; and the local population will fight for itself, fully supporting the effort and understanding from the outset that it will be its own defender.  Short of that, the United States should stick to aid and diplomacy to combat threats. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have a combined tab of almost $3 trillion and counting. Although the overall utility of these wars will be debated forever, the costs to the U.S. economy have been clear and horrendous.” {p.40}
   Gelb's rules are undoubtedly reflections on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but they are meant for wars to come -- not the wars in which the U.S. is now ensnared.
   But it is more: it is an elite statement that reflects war fatigue and, perhaps, financial fatigue.
   Being an empire usually means never acknowledging its limits, for it is the very essence of empire to not only accrue immense power, but to exercise it with blind abandon.
   What Gelb is really saying is that there must be some brakes on this Imperial madness, and he offers some speed bumps.

--(c) '11 maj

{*Source: FOREIGN AFFAIRS, [vol. 89: no.61] (Nov/Dec, 2010), p.40}

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