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Projects, Clashes and Think Tanks for the 21st Century:Academics writing out checks that real human

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2005
I went to Google, typed "Neocon assumptions" and hit enter. Found a readable commentary by Emile El-Hokayem, a researcher in Middle East security issues at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington think tank. He wrote this commentary for THE DAILY STAR. December 8, 2004.

It's a good commentary and referred me to other readings including Samuel Huntington and "Clashes of Civilizations" (not a Microsoft combat game) which also included links to reviews and criticisms of Mr. Huntington. All very interesting and readable. I guess going to college was helpful for me.

But ...

The combined writings and most combined writings coming from think tanks, university professors and talking heads have value almost entirely restricted to that ivory tower context where professional thinkers are paid to think important thoughts, then write those thoughts out complete with footnotes, quotes and references to other thinkers, think tanks and towers.

Tragically, these are not the words used in foreign policy discussions that occur in most living rooms in America where the primary national human assets are found - children bred for a theoretical future as: human combatants, human consumers, human labor, human tax-payers, humans with needs that will always be reflected in the theoretical considerations so abstractedly discussed by hired mindslingers. human assets for thinkers whose numbers who will probably never amount to much of a percentage of those who fight, consume, labor, pay the largest prorated shares of taxes out of the family budget and who worry the most about how to obtain and finance medical care.

I'm trying to imagine the mind-slingers bringing a Town-Hall type meeting to a real small-town American meeting with people like Senator Allen, Tom Delay, Richard Perle, William Kristol, Schmitt, Krauthammer and crew to sit on a stage in front of an audience full of small-towners - maybe with Prez Press Secretary McLellan to attempt to moderate despite having to face real questions and no planted political "loose Gannons."

First question: "Why is the Coalition of the Willing shrinking?"

One of them refers to Robert Kagan's "seminal examination of the growing distance between the strategic perspectives of America and Europe."

Those in the audience turn and look at each other.

"Who the hell is Kagan and why can't that guy up there talk guy talk?"

Herman Logroller turns to me and asks with a snicker, "At what point does an examination get 'seminal?'. That sounds like fun in the doctor's office!"

Bubbles Clawtubber, whose son gets calls from military recruiters every night stands up and asks, "Are we going to declare war on Iran?"

One of the think tankers begins to expound on the "universalist values of the neocon school" and "the inevitability and universality of democracy and free markets."

Unlike an MSM reporter, Bubbles sticks with it and follows up, "I'll ask you again, Are we going to declare war on Iran?"

The mind-slinger decides to put her in her place by talking of the "inevitable collapse of all rival political ideologies."

Sam Sixshot, as county deputy the only law in town, stands up with the Bubbles, looks right in the eye of the inevitable collapser and says, "That's what the Commies used to insist would happen to the capitalists and look what happened ta them. You sure you ain't staking too much on yer theories? Too much capitalism, too much being in love with military technology and not enough common sense?"

Delay stands up and starts shouting about how God has "consecrated the American economic and political system and that Americans have a God-mandated responsibility to spread and protect democracy and freedom as given and defined by God's mouthpiece, George W. Bush.

McLellan won't interrupt Delay and nobody else can get a word in edgewise until Tom Bumbbouncer, who owns the local tavern, walks onto the stage and lifts Delay by the back of his collar and drags him offstage.

Someone next to McLellan breaks the ensuing silence with an attempt to explain that "cultural features distinguish societies one from another and that individualist pursuits supersede identity."

But Rushford O'Flanity, our local DJ who fancies himself somewhat a talk-jock, yanks the mike from Bubbles and in his best Ed Shultz imitation says,
"Are you kidding me? We're hurting here in every sense of life, jobs, health, retirement worries and most of all, watching our young ones join up and never come home.

Who gives a rats ass about identity and individualist pursuits?Just answer the lady's question!"

Someone else up there in the ivory crowd says that America's victory in the Cold War authorizes "a mission to spread universal values" because "the U.S., as the world's most advanced state, can get away with promoting interventionist foreign policies as "democratic imperialists."

Herman got up and left, muttering about shit for brains.

Delay is back, shouting that Huntington was right. "Religion is the ultimate fault line that divides humanity."

Father Valentin Marcionus Catharis quietly takes the mike and says, "That's only true, Brother Delay, if we make it a "civilizational clash" and insist on a "disengagement from the world" after "alienating other civilizations with imported values."

The democratic imperialist jumps back in, "We also believe in the "morality of force and see military action as a viable means of inducing reform. We neocons know that "morality of intention supplants other considerations linked to the use of force."

Farley Smoothlips, who teaches Civics at the local high school, worries about the recruiters at the school and the desparation of the Pentagon for more and more young people.

To which there is a reply from the stage that there is a risk of "U.S. overstretch and the costs of forward policies."

To which Farley asks, "And if there is overstretch, will each of you convince all of your young relatives to enlist?"

At that point they all stand in unison and shout, "Many foreign policy practitioners and analysts respect the neoconservatives' intellectual brilliance and political perseverance. For us, America has the power to shape or determine the face of the world."

Sam Sixshot gets the last word, "Your intellectual brilliance ain't no damned Stratego game where you wear yourselves out patting each other on the back.

You ain't gonna shape or determine the face of the world for long if you think we'll keep producing war babies for your killing machines just because you can string together big words and think we don't know what the hell you're talkin about!

We might be a little slow on the uptake and distracted by American Idol, Survivor and the car races. But we'll wake up. And when we do, y'all better buy yourselves the best armored Humvee you can afford. You'll need it if your intellectual brilliance hasn't changed its mind."
Arthur Ruger 2005

Arthur & Lietta Ruger 2002-2008. The American Choice is a  political internet journal based in Bay Center, Washington. The views expressed not authored by Arthur or Lietta Ruger are the writers' own and do not necessarily reflect those of The American Choice or SwanDeer Productions. Permission of author required for reprinting original material, and only requests for reprinting a specific item are considered.

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