[LINK] {OT} Walk against War - sunday in sydney

Chris Maltby chris@sw.oz.au
Mon, 17 Feb 2003 12:51:51 +1100


> On Sun, 16 Feb 2003, Grant Bayley wrote:
>> I have my reasons for supporting action against countries such as
>> Iraq and North Korea, not the least of which is a good knowledge of the
>> history of the 20th century [...]

On Mon, Feb 17, 2003 at 11:12:32AM +1100, James Morris wrote:
> Perhaps then you have read Colin Powell's 1995 autobiography, 'A Soldier's 
> Way', also published as 'My Amercian Journey'.
> 
> In this he makes the point emphatically and repeatedly that the people
> must support any war that the government embarks upon.  He seems to have
> arrived at this as one of his primary guiding principles while studying
> Clausewitz at the National War College in Washington DC (which he
> describes as the 'Harvard of military education').

<snip>

> Has the requirement for public support, an "essential pillar", somehow
> been rendered false since 1995, or has Powell now abandoned a core
> component of his and (by extension) US military doctrine?

For a perspective on the institutional mind of US administrations,
there's a review in the AFR's Friday section of Daniel Ellsberg's
(The Pentagon Papers) new book "Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the
Pentagon Papers" (Viking, New York, 2002, 498pp.). The review is by Paul
Monk and includes this bit about how Kissinger's thinking on Vietnam
was influenced by the processes, especially institutionalised secrecy,
of the senior ranks of the administration.

    [Ellsberg] went to see Kissinger at San Clemente,
    in August 1970, with the idea of encouraging him to
    read the Pentagon study. "In effect, I had the idea of
    leaking information into the White House about what was
    actually visible from the outside ... I wanted Kissinger
    to worry that the trend of his policy was foreseeable,
    so that it might seem less viable to him."  This time he
    found Kissinger unresponsive and indisposed to learn,
    in just the manner that Ellsberg had warned him of a
    mere 20 months earlier.

Definitely a book to look out for... It might well make Grant Bayley
re-assess his understanding of 20th century history's last third.

Chris