I first heard of Andrew Bacevich about two years ago. I came across one of his interviews with Bill Moyers. Moyers always asked the right questions. His liberal bias was so obvious that it actually made for good television. I was so fascinated by his style that I bought one of his books and reviewed it. But it was that lengthy interview with Bacevich that consolidated my allegiance with the Old Right. Here was a Vietnam Veteran who laid out his presuppositions with intense vigor and who had personally lived the pain of the Iraq war in the death of his son. It has now been several years since that interview and recently I ordered a copy of Bacevich’s The New American Militarism: How Americans are Seduced by War.
The preface to the book is quite stimulating since Bacevich lays out his background and what led him to interpret America’s wars through these lenses. After years, as a conservative political writer for Weekly Standard and National Review (both ardent neo-conservative voices), Dr. Bacevich began to dissolve his relationship with the conservative literary establishment (xi). In the end, Bacevich came to realize that “the Republican and Democratic parties may not be identical, but they produce nearly identical results (xi).”
Bacevich is a conservative with all the credentials, but his vast background (Historian, international relations expert and former US Army Colonel) has led him to different conclusions about the U.S. military pursuits around the world. His conclusions are bound to make both the left and the right uncomfortable.