Chris Hedges and Andrew Bacevich: After the Apocalypse and the Folly of Endless War

Apocalypse Then (DPG Aug 2011)

Image by Shakespearesmonkey via Flickr

Dandelion Salad

with Chris Hedges

TheRealNews on Nov 11, 2022

In the months of July and September 1940 the French historian and future resistance fighter Marc Bloch, who fought in World War I and World War II, wrote a short book called L’Étrange Défaite or Strange Defeat.

It was a searing condemnation of the French high command and political class which was responsible for the humiliating defeat and disintegration of the French army with the Nazi invasion of France. Bloch, who went underground to fight the Nazi occupiers, was executed by the Gestapo in 1944.

His book, published after the war, was the model for historian Andrew Bacevich’s book After the Apocalypse. In his book Bloch wrote: “Our war up to the very end, was a war of old men, or of theorists who were bogged down in errors, engendered by the faulty teaching of history. It was saturated by the smell of decay…”

Bacevich is no less censorious of the political and military class that has led the United States into one debacle after the next since Vietnam, a war he served in as a young officer. He argues they are woefully out of touch with reality, crippled by self-delusion and unable to adapt to a changing world.

Unless they are wrenched from power, he argues, the twilight of the American empire will be one filled, especially given our refusal to seriously address the climate crisis, with catastrophe after catastrophe.

Joining me to discuss his book After the Apocalypse is retired Army Colonel Andrew Bacevich and emeritus professor of history and international relations at Boston University. He is also the cofounder and president of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.


From the archives:

Tell the Truth: Veterans Day Is A National Day of Lying, by David Swanson

A Veteran Remembers, by Howard Zinn + How the U.S. Poisoned its Veterans

Chris Hedges and Lee Camp: War—That’s How Empires Die

U.S. Escalates War Against Russia, by Gary Wilson

Ukraine Without Ukrainians, Earth Without Life, by David Swanson

Chris Hedges and Medea Benjamin: War in Ukraine: Making Sense of a Senseless Conflict

Crossing the Border into Ukraine, by Brad Wolf

Fifteen Seconds Till Armageddon, by Robert C. Koehler

Playing Games with Armageddon, by Robert C. Koehler

Doing Nothing While the World Burns and Extinction Looms, by Andy Worthington

2 thoughts on “Chris Hedges and Andrew Bacevich: After the Apocalypse and the Folly of Endless War

  1. I am more or less in general agreement with the narrative presented here, but there are some points I think should be acknowledged and explored more explicitly.

    What thoroughly distinguishes ‘the West’ both culturally and historically, are the methodical developments and empirical achievements of theoretical and applied science ~ so much of which has grown directly from the devastating experience of the Second World War.

    The Webb Space Telescope is now perhaps the most obvious example of the technological competence of the US, that demonstrates unequivocally the (theoretical) capacity of the most ambitious culture on Earth to excel and accomplish very great endeavours of immense value and utility to all of civilization, with stellar sophistication.

    Now, listening to President Biden’s upbeat and stoic address to the delegates of COP 27, I was frankly amazed by its content. Whether the US can actually deliver on these commitments and avowed services to the biosphere that are now so urgently needed, remains to be seen; but no other country has yet summoned the coherent will with such consummate determination as was in evidence here.

    It seems that some enduring benefit may emerge from the carnage of Ukraine, insofar as this despicable aggression has elicited most fully, the superior capacity of the Western alliance to unite and resist this criminal Russian onslaught; a violation that has justified in very ample measure, the immense resources that US military power has been able to deploy so successfully against Putin’s ill-conceived, bloody and indiscriminate genocidal misadventure.

    I had never in my lifetime hitherto paid so much attention to generals and chiefs of staff as this year has demanded, since February 24th. Like so many others, I never believed that a Russian invasion was possible, but it happened and the consequences have been painfully, brutally and abundantly clear for all to witness.

  2. Pingback: Scott Ritter: America’s Hubris is Stunning and a Threat to World Peace, interviewed by Finian Cunningham – Dandelion Salad

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