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The Emperor Wears no Clothes in Theory: Theories Underlying Major US Policies are Problematic

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This pragmatic approach is grounded in a long history of theories emanating from the works of William James, John Dewey, Charles Sanders Pierce, Walter Lippmann, Hans Morgenthau and Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

 

There is an expansive dichotomy between the essence of the ideas espoused by these men and the actual application of their principles in practice by foreign-policy decision-makers.   According to the philosophy of "political realism", values including human rights and international law must be sacrificed to "concrete interests" in the name of "political realism".

 

One critical flaw in this philosophy is that human rights and international law are indivisible and compromising them in the interests of some ostensibly higher cause renders them meaningless.

Another critical flaw is characterized by the so-called "concrete interest" which in almost all cases is an action to serve exclusively American interests by violating human rights or international law.   "Military humanism" was nothing more than a euphemism rationalizing actions that were, in fact, war crimes, such as the bombing of Serbia.   Primarily civilian targets including hospitals, schools, apartment buildings and factories were targeted violating the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations charter, the NATO Charter and the Helsinki Accords.

 

The aforementioned theories are either non-operational such as free markets or a pretext for ignoring international law and norms of morality.   Theories are the foundation on which policies are based and when the foundation is weak, the policies are misguided or misplaced.

To explain why American leaders embrace these policies is to open Pandora's Box.   Corporate donations, lobbying and the "swinging door" distort the priorities of the government by seducing it into serving the interests of corporations over the public interest.

 

 

 

 

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I have been a professor of political science at Seneca College in Toronto. I have published five books the last of which "Selling Out: Consuming Ourselves to Death" was released in May/08. As well, I have been featured in CounterPunch, Z (more...)
 
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