One of the main purposes of university education is to escape from the Zeitgeist, from the mean, narrow, provincial spirit which is constantly assuring us that we are at the peak of human achievement, that we stand on the edge of unprecedented prosperity or unparalleled catastrophe…It is a liberation of the spirit to acquire perspective…to learn that the same moral predicaments and the same ideas have been explored before.
— Martin Wight
Washington continues to meddle in countries and create chaos, from Ukraine to Syria. How about keeping that money here at home? How about building or fixing bridges? In the U.S., some roads are so bad people should wear helmets in their cars; it’s like riding in a Dune Buggy. And Washington is sending more tax dollars abroad. It would be different if it were multilateral aid and went to helping people, but much of it goes to sow death and destruction.
U.S. tax dollars have gone to support Daesh (ISIS). The U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey have been arming, for some time now, what they call “moderate rebels.” Many of these rebels joined Daesh.
In the 1980’s the CIA armed the Mujahideen in Afghanistan; yes, they gave Bin Laden a big push start. The Pakistani ISI played intermediary, so he didn’t know his support was coming from Washington; he thought it was coming from independent Arab money. But a lot of people know that by now, so why does Washington continue to make the same mistakes? Can they not stop their greed? Do they have a lust for blood? What is wrong with these people in power? Most should be aware that it was the CIA that worked to radicalize the madrassas in Afghanistan, to get the Muslims out in the provinces all excited about fighting the very popular socialist government in Kabul and the “Soviet infidels.”
The Israel lobby’s lock on Washington has a lot to do with the insane Middle East policy. Is it any wonder why Washington targeted Assad? As George Galloway pointed out, Syria was one of the few Arab countries that didn’t have Mossad agents crawling everywhere. In recent years, the U.S. has worked to overthrow secular autocratic leaders in Libya and Iraq and replaced them with chaos and radicalism. They tried to do the same in Syria and created chaos, but will be unsuccessful in toppling Assad. That’s not to mention fourteen years in Afghanistan and strikes against Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia. What a mess.
Then one takes a look at the Gulf states– US allies, which are little family run oil kingdoms. Talk about undemocratic. At one point, Kuwait had something like 26 members of the same family in their cabinet. The Bahraini government mowed down peaceful protesters and prevented them from accessing the hospital, while the U.S. 5th Fleet stood by and watched. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are in the U.S coalition to fight for “democracy” in Syria? This is a farce, but so is American politics– for example, the election with Donald Trump and Ben Carson. Trump sounds like a fascist– wanting to build a wall, deport 11 million people, and implement a database to track people of certain religious faiths– and Carson looks like he is on tranquilizers. And these are the Republican frontrunners.
I don’t even have a desire to teach politics in an American university anymore; I’m great with staying with software development. I think every Political Science Department from every university in the U.S. could be cut and there would be no difference and maybe an improvement. It’s a waste of time for students, in my opinion. It’s more propaganda than anything. Students would be better equipped by studying history, but not of the revisionist variety, and political philosophy in the Philosophy Department. There is absolutely nothing scientific about political science. It’s amazing to look at some of the people in the revolving door between government and academia in this country, for example, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, and Madeleine Albright. These are bonified war criminals. Of course, students interested in becoming administrators could take public administration courses.
One might object, “But I want to study political science so I can enter politics.” For the most part, all one needs is money to enter the political arena (and be successful) in the United States. If Donald Trump doesn’t prove that true, I don’t know what would. It will also help greatly if an aspiring politician has no core values and does what the big donors want while simultaneously giving lip service to issues important to the working masses. Therefore, we can take someone sitting at a bus stop who is literate and has a decent image and as long as we have two million dollars to spare, we can probably get the person elected to Congress. High School students, if they pay attention, learn about the three branches of government– but their textbook won’t mention the reality of the U.S. Congress and the White House being owned by Wall Street. Anyway, the best education is a passport and a library card.
International Relations, as an academic discipline, began in Wales, primarily to study the causes of World War I and to prevent war in the future. That was a good idea. As a stand alone department, I think International Relations has its merits and is quite beneficial to study, but I would recommend studying IR in Europe and not in the U.S. Over the years, theories evolved and in the U.S. it just became ridiculous with the “realism” and the “liberalism.” These are not theories rather ideologies used to promote American imperialism and they really don’t explain anything in their simplistic reasoning.
I could write a substantial amount on American Political Science and why it, in its current form, does more harm than good in our educational system. But there are a lot of things wrong with the educational system. I’ll save that for another time. I think I took one Political Science course during my undergraduate years. I majored in Theology followed by Religious Studies and was a passionate student activist, and moved on to Diplomacy and International Relations in grad school.
I’d like to think that a lot of my American brothers and sisters know what’s going on, but many may just feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of it all. What are people going to do in the face of illegal invasions, arming terrorists, corruption, massive spying programs, and war crimes? I (along with many others) have done a lot of protesting, speaking, writing, and organizing. We do what we can and then have faith that God takes care of the rest.
Nevertheless, there is reason to hope. The Russians just installed the S-400 (Growler) defensive missile system in Syria, subsequent to the downing of their fighter jet. That effectively seals the skies over Syria and into neighboring countries. Somebody has to stand up to Washington’s madness for the good of the world and, frankly, for the good of the United States too. With Washington’s imperialistic behavior, a multipolar world is a safer world for everyone. After the mess that Washington created in the region (and beyond), I don’t see how any sane and moral person, who is paying attention, could have an ounce of trust in U.S. policy.