Available Now! (click cover)

America's Counter-Revolution
The Constitution Revisited

From the back cover:

This book challenges the assumption that the Constitution was a landmark in the struggle for liberty. Instead, Sheldon Richman argues, it was the product of a counter-revolution, a setback for the radicalism represented by America’s break with the British empire. Drawing on careful, credible historical scholarship and contemporary political analysis, Richman suggests that this counter-revolution was the work of conservatives who sought a nation of “power, consequence, and grandeur.” America’s Counter-Revolution makes a persuasive case that the Constitution was a victory not for liberty but for the agendas and interests of a militaristic, aristocratic, privilege-seeking ruling class.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Regarding Russia, Georgia, and the U.S.

The Russian invasion of Georgia (like the U.S. invasion of Iraq) is inexcusable. The intractable dispute between the government of Georgia and the Russian-backed separatists in South Ossetia in no way warranted Russia’s air and ground attacks against innocent Georgians. Once again, “mere” people suffer for what governments do.

That said, we would be telling only part of the story if we ignored the role played by the U.S. government and its neo-imperial foreign policy. The Bush administration’s loud sponsorship of Georgia (and other former Soviet republics and satellites) for membership in NATO, and its training and equipping of the Georgian military, could have no other effect than to provoke traditional Russian fears of encirclement by the West. As the old saying goes, just because someone is “paranoid” it doesn’t mean no one is after him. The Bush plan to bring NATO -- which was established as an anti-Soviet alliance after World War II -- to the Russian doorstep is reckless and provocative. It surely emboldened Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili’s recent military violence against the separatists in South Ossetia, which the Russians then exploited opportunistically and ruthlessly. (Brendan O'Neill's analsysis here is worth reading. Hat tip: Jacob Hornberger. Also see Juan Cole's take on the Bush-Putin Doctrine here.)

If it is from such recklessness, provocation, and opportunism that wars are born -- yet another demonstration that the Bush foreign policy is the biggest threat to peace in the world today.

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