ASPEN. This fair summer camp for the (very) fortunate got double-whammy’d by the War Party on Sunday.
First there was a “debate” about whether ISIS should be “contained” or “defeated”. That was followed by a glowing progress report from General John Allen. He is President Obama’s Special Envoy for the Global Coalition of the Unwilling and Unable (to fight ISIS), and the gist of his speech was that 6,000 airstrikes since last August have been winning droves of hearts and minds in the Upper Euphrates valley.
This was all for the edification of the pooh bahs of the foreign policy establishment who were in town for the annual Aspen Strategy Group conclave. The latter bills itself as “a bipartisan foreign policy group that includes legislators, experts, journalists, policy practitioners, members of academia, and business leaders”.
No it’s not. It’s an off-campus exercise in mendacity, vapid group-think and narcissistic self-glorification by the perpetrators of Washington’s endless foreign policy catastrophes. Once a year they come to admire each other and split hairs about pointless tactical differences.
The debate about “containing” versus “defeating” ISIS proved that in spades. In fact, the “exterminate ISIS” team embodied an exact caricature of the bipartisan folly which has congealed in the Washington War Party.
Not surprisingly the #2 chair in the duo was occupied by a an-out-and-out neocon warmonger, Professor Phillip Zelikow. He was an architect of the Bush wars on WMD and head of the 9/11 Whitewash Commission. His case boiled down to shouting vehemently that the Islamic hordes are heading for Times Square.
So America needs to obliterate the 200,000 citizens of Raqqah, Syria before they get us. Never mind that there is not one iota of evidence that the self-appointed enforcers of Islamic purity who occupy a few dusty desert towns in the Upper Euphrates have any intentions or capacity to attack the fleshpots of Broadway and 42nd.
But what was dispositive was that the #1 chair on the perpetual war team was occupied by Michele Flournoy. Not only was she Obama’s #2 at DOD and now Hillary Clinton’s SecDef designate, but she is ostensibly a legatee of