Like hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of other Americans, I couldn't agree more with Mr. Clifford's conclusion in his article, Let's Give Up Insanity and Try a Sane Approach to Dealing With the World, that we could achieve security and peace much more effectively by spending the trillion-plus dollars for building infrastructure, irrigation systems, hospitals, etc., which will promote the welfare of the people in general, than spending the same amount of money for trying to win the "war on terror" by bombing, killing and maiming a huge number of people, including both those whom we call "terrorists" as well as innocent civilians, as our government has been doing for the last 14 years. Yet I couldn't disagree more on what he considers the logic of the wisdom of such strategy. His basic point is that we are idiot enough to pursue such "crazy" policy, so that if we were to enlighten ourselves, we would see the way.
The critical problem with Mr. Clifford's reasoning is that he uses the pronoun "we" in a dangerously sloppy way. If you mean by "we" the majority of the American citizens, I think he is wrong in two critical ways. First, I think he is wrong in believing that Americans by and large support such militaristic policy with a near total blindness and idiocy, as he assumes. Second, under current political situation, the majority of the American citizens cannot be said to make any meaningful decision on our government's foreign policy.
By all indications, our own government's policies, including the foreign policies, are made under the intense pressure and control, direct or indirect, by a small minority of the American super-rich plus a very small super-rich foreign capitalists. These global 1-percenters (or, 0.01-percenters) are those who have undue influence on our government's policy and who provide full support and impetus for the current war-based foreign policies, It would also be most irrational to believe that these smart money people would not know that such war-based policies are totally counter-productive from the point of view of achieving our national security and peace in the world. Based on their behavior, it would be far more rational to presume that they are not even interested in make Americans safe. They certainly behave as if their primary goal were to profiteer as much as they can from anything they can make our government do for them.
The present reality is that the more war and hostile military situations they create, the more money they make and the more prestige they muster. The war partiers also have a better chance of retaining their political power by fear-mongering. From their perspective, there is nothing crazy about their policy. Far from it, the seemingly chaotic militaristic foreign policy pursued by our government during the last decade or so may have caused greater insecurity in our country and millions of casualties and injuries abroad but such policy may have been just what their doctors ordered for their near perpetual super-enrichment scam, at the expense of everything else.
So Mr. Clifford's view that we the American people are not smart enough to see the idiocy of our way is not really relevant to the analysis we need. Because that analysis which many other people may share does not begin to see the reason and possible solution to such bankrupt and immoral foreign policy. Moreover, the present situation is far more dire than he seems to assume. We are being led right now to an even bigger potential spectacle of a direct conflicts with Russia and China through the dangerous meddling in Ukraine and East Asia.
In point of fact, I think that the global 0.1-percenters who are behind the driving force for such catastrophic foreign polices are in fact very stupid because they apparently believe that they can survive the global climate change, the worldwide nuclear war, the transformation of the global food supply system into one which will be under their monopolistic control, etc., as if their children, grandchildren and descendants would be able to continue to live happily ever after, even after much of the world has incinerated or immersed under water. But no amount of money they may have secured for their children would be able to make the world safe and fun place for their descendants to live in. They apparently don't know that we can only survive all together as a community or we will all perish. But they are not stupid in the way Mr. Clifford believes they are.
It is high time that every one in America woke up for the reality we face. Stupid or not, we cannot have a useful prescription to our problem, if we don't have a correct diagnosis.