Monday, March 10, 2008

Daydream Deceivers

There is an ancient wax like thingy from way back in the last millenium called a 'Long Play Record' or LP in the ancient tongue. Kinda round and frisbee like - they have a tiny tiny hole in the center.

They were packaged in 'Album Covers' and on the back of it they featured 'liner notes'. Ancient PR - way before the net, blogs, satellite radio and MTV, MTV1, MTV2,VH1 and videos in general.

During this Nick at Night TV Land era, before Rock and Roll was transformed into Rock, bands of Brit Cats 'invaded' the states with a wild, new sound that wiped clean and drew again the face of pop music.

Hot on the heels of the
Moptops (who were alledgedly bigger than Baby Jesus) were a gang of 5 that are still around in name today - The Rolling Stones.

On one of their first 'records' the liner notes featured a crazy, cool rant by their manager -
Andrew Loog Oldham. Appealing to the inherent 'hooliganism' of baby booming kids in the Great Satan these notes commanded the kids

"If you haven't the money for this record, then knock a blind beggar on the head
and steal his money"
In a way, this could be applied (in jest y'all - that means teasing - harmless joshing) to the latest pub by Dr Fred Kaplan.
"Daydream Believers: How A Few Grand Ideas Wrecked American Power"

Don't spend cash on it (or gift cards) - and don't try to steal it either - just hang at Barnes and Nobles on a Sunday Afta and check it out. May wanna lay off the venti tripple expresso mocha latte Chocco grande though.

To be fair the writing is flat out great, hey, it dang well better be -
this cat is a Pulitzer Prizer.

"American power seemed not merely undiminished but nearly absolute. It was a new era, time to devise new ways of seeing and dealing with the world—new strategies
that would take full advantage of what they saw as their unbridled supremacy.
The traditional paths to influence were waved off as the figments of ''old

Multinational diplomacy was unnecessary; the United States could go
it alone. Fine if allies wanted to come along; even better—less constraining—if
they didn't.

Nor were massive armies any longer a prerequisite to dominance. New
American-made technologies made possible lightning victories on the battlefield
with far fewer troops and much lighter armaments.

The mere demonstration of these weapons, of how quickly they can crush an enemy's army and destroy its regime, would compel other foes to change their ways and fall into our orbit or else face the same doom. "

Sweet! Sounds about right. And like Me Maw (bless her heart) who used to forget that she'd done sugared the tea once (or twice) Dr K gets sweeter.

"America would go to war against this new kind of foe; the intellectuals had a
strategy for a new kind of war. The old rostrums of stability, deterrence, and
containment were deemed irrelevant (after all, they hadn't prevented 9/11); the
new strategists called for regime change, preemption, and victory.

And their concept of victory was expansive, to include not only defeating an enemy in battle or ''making the world safe for democracy'' but—in an ambitious twist on
that age-old ideal—remaking the world into a democracy. "

And that's about where the sucking starts.

According to
Dr. Globestomping , Great Satan has actually totally suicided herself in 8 years. This boring, inappropiate handwringing is weak and lacks vision - unless gleefully listing every error and mistake (many of which can hardly be attributed to Great Satan alone) since 911.

Essentially, 911 was a fluke, an anomoly - even worse - Great Satan's faux righteousness really really hurt the feelings of veto powered ho's at the UN.

Dissed so bad they would rather sit on their hands (
or Saddam's) than to honor realpolitik era alliances or jump in and plot with the revolutionary, crazy, skoal chomping upstart Ray Banned culture spewing Americans that were breath takingly arrogant to daydream that lottie dottie everybody wanted to be free.
"There is no Universal Man marching inexorably down a common path to freedom.
Real human history is molded, not fated. . . . It is not only naïve but reckless to believe that blowing off a tyrant's lid will unleash the geyser of liberty.
It will unleash only whatever social forces have been teeming or festering underneath."


Only at the end does Dr Kaplan realize how retarded the entire book is - that it goes nowhere, suggests nothing, and is as hopelessly stuck in a time traveling loop as are all Iraq war arguments.

Dr Kaplan's conclusion is null and void.

Neo's overreached and
Victory like isolationism is impossible (take that Michael Desch), immoral and illogical, and his precious realpolitik is still as incinerated as the nearly 3k innocents who made it into work that late summer day.

So how can the Great Satan act out in the new millenium? Shall she be truly
Unbound like Ivo Daalder suggests? Or Michael Mandlebaum's "Case For Goliath" ?

Shall America tolerate intolerant, illegitmate regimes (many with pitiful literacy rates, no free media and an amazing ability to torment their own people, their neighbors and spawn militias that tend to sprout up in civilian heavy areas attacking any democracies in weapons range)?

Another Neo bashing book - wheeee! Throw it on the pile. Cali Poli Sci Dr. Douglas teaches that
"Otherwise esteemed analysts and pundits make the same mistakes over and
over again in recent journalistic histories of neoconservatives in the top ranks of power."

This book by Dr Kaplan may best be interpeted as a risible chronicle of his inner ethical wrestling match slide from Cold War Realpolitik's amoral, corrupt cult of stability to a new millenium amoral, corrupt cult of stability.

A tough sell - like Daydream Believers. Wait til Late spring when you can get it online for a buck.

Or less.

Original manipulated, doctored, edited and make believe cover by GsGf


Jeff said...

This is a sweeeettt post, Courtney. I did read through DD at a Barnes and Noble a couple of weeks ago. Luckily I didn't waste my money and buy it. However, that was 30 minutes of my life wasted that I can never get back.

Debbie said...

The author won't be using your book review in his publicity, heh.

There's nothing wrong with looking back and seeing if and how we could have done things better or differently, but I really hate this type book.

Jeff is right, time we would never get back wasted reading negativity.

Iran's President Ahmadinejad said that Iraqis didn't like Americans. I beg to differ with him. He was projecting his own views. The Iraqis love Americans. Too bad some Americans don't love Americans.

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

Debbie Hamilton
Right Truth

heidianne jackson said...

i was not so wise and i wasted my money on this book of junk. i can't understand why i thought it would be a good one - had i only seen your review BEFORE plunking down my $18.00 - it's dead on!!!

the last half of the book i was damning it loudly and often. i am so tired of people in this country apologizing for the horrible things the u.s. has done when no apology is required. rather thanks should be issued by those who choose not to stand with us and yet reap the benefits of our benevolence.

heidianne jackson

Karen said...

Yeah, I don't think this pile of paper will be on the to-read stack here either. Bleck. We can read American hating bash fests all day long on the Interwebs for free!

Hellfireblogs said...

By the gods! That's the greatest book review I've ever read.

I've always disliked Kaplan and his ilk. I've had more than one dreadful conversation at one of those horrible college mixers where a poli-sci prof basically quotes Ron Paul and Pat Buchanan while explaining why America is responsible for everything bad in the world.

Liberals like Kaplan must make JFK roll over in his grave.

Uncle Joe said...

Thanks for the warning. I'll save my $18.00 and just listen to Hillary's and Obama's campaign speeches for this kind of stuff.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Jeff, There were some parts that read like operational doctrine - very cool to read - yet his conclusions were totally incorrect.

It was maddening.

The author blew a real chance to make a great case that like - say - the battle of Kassarine Pass. There may have been some hitches here and there but to throw up your hands and just up and quit seemed deceitful.

And Dr Kaplan of all people certainly knows better.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Debbie - yeah, so far Slate has acted like if you haven't bought it yet - you're just not with it.

I'm with you - inner ethical wrestling matches like this one are a distraction from opportunities that are out there.

Kaplan should have concluded that it worked and will most likely work again.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Heidianne - Actually, there are some great parts where he describes the ideas of America Unbound.

Since you purchased it - find those sweet parts and use them, raid them, twist them up and have your way with them.

Several really good paragraphs and outlines that can help make a case or six about future 'stick' components of the olde 'carrots and sticks' idea.

Or harbingers that await other enemies.

Don't feel bad - I bought Dennis Ross' "Missing Peace' only to find 800 pages later that PLO Arafat was a murderous oath breaking creep who couldn't handle the idea opf 'Peace".

And he doesn't have as many decent paragraphs and outlines like Kaplan did.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Hi Karen, so true. Americans are like General Patton said - we love winners. And generally don't cotton too well to whiners.

GrEaT sAtAn'S gIrLfRiEnD said...

Heckfire! Hey there - Thank you!
Yeah, I've used some of Kaplan's stuff against the defeat retreat and repeat crowd.

Specifically his descripts of 'globestomping' to make the case that the ideals are sound and in combination with everything in the tool shed are an unbeatable policy component

Lately I've noticed if critics are up to speed they cry 'oh, the cost' and refuse to define 'victory'.

Most seem like they are still stuck on 2003 though.