Letters to the Editor: August 14 – 20, 2014
Containment Was Not U.S. Founders’ Original Intent
In reading the last week’s guest commentary of Brian Sando and trying to understand why, as Sando describes it, America has taken up the mantle of empire, one must examine the legacy of a one particular American whose life and influence took effect long after our founding documents were written. Less than a year after the end of the Second World War, an American diplomat by the name of George Kennan, still stationed in Europe at the time, sent a lengthy cable or long telegram back to our nation’s capital in which he warned of a perceived Soviet threat and its expansionary ambitions throughout much of that continent, albeit the eastern half.
Kennan then advocated for a doctrine of containment which he believed to be a necessary counter-weight against growing Soviet strength. Aside from the Monroe Doctrine of more than a century earlier, here we now have the foundational monstrosity for legitimizing American intervention abroad. As is the case typically for many political scientists who work in foreign policy, Kennan was employing the classical theory of balance of power used throughout mainstream views of international relations.
One year after Kennan’s telegram, the predecessor to the post-9/11 Patriot Act otherwise known as the National Security Act of 1947 became a new law reinforcing Occidental acceptance of containment and prevention as the necessary components for implementing American defense and foreign policy, both of which become difficult to distinguish. Likewise, national security becomes loosely defined and indicative of constructive ambiguity where subjective, arbitrary and capricious interpretation is entitled to whomever holds power at that moment.
Unfortunately, the existence of a standing army, something which many founders debated including several who did not want such a weapon, has enabled the Legislative and Executive Branches to deploy this tool for the misguided purpose of projecting American exceptionalism throughout various spheres of influence and theaters of war where containment and prevention are often the stated objectives. After trillions of dollars spent in Emergency War Supplementals and the entanglements of foreign alliances, it is time for nation building at home. Containment was never part of the founders’ original intent.
C. Cormack Thomson
Dictators & Terrorists Don’t Listen to Editorials
Nicholas Benton’s Great War installment two weeks ago was one of the stranger columns. Although I couldn’t tell for sure, it looked like he was blaming the actions of ISIS and Russia on right wing neoconservatives in the U.S.? I’m equally unsure of how he proposes dealing with terrorists and dictators, and I’d be lying if I said I had the answers. But I am pretty certain that nobody in history has ever surrendered to a sternly worded editorial.
Thanks to All Who Helped With Summer Concerts
The Village Preservation and Improvement Society and City of Falls Church Summer Concert Series concluded August 7 as over 1,800 people attended the seven concerts.
I would like to thank all of the volunteers from VPIS who helped this year – Jon Hundley, Dave Divecha, Bonnie Murphy, Mike Volpe, Carol Sly, Dan Sevier, Tom Bowman, Henry Lowman, Keith Thurston and Barry Buschow. The concerts could not be a great success without the support of the City staff including Amy Maltese and William Kargbo.
We live in a wonderful community with amazing talent. This is Falls Church!
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