The Chris Hedges Show Podcast with retired Army Colonel, Vietnam War veteran and former history professor at Boston University Andrew Bacevich on bidding farewell to the American century.
At the end of any empire there are always a handful of chroniclers who, like Cicero in the Roman Republic, see clearly the looming disintegration of empire. They call out the bankruptcy of an inept and corrupt ruling class, blinded by hubris, as well as a populace that has checked out of civic life and is entranced by bread and circus spectacles. Chalmers Johnson in his trilogy “American Empire: Blowback,” “The Sorrows of Empire,” and “Nemesis” The Last Days of the American Republic,” does a masterful job of showing how and why we are disintegrating. So does Andrew Bacevich who in his newest book of essays, “On Shedding an Obsolete Past: Bidding Farewell to the American Century,” writes about the debacles that have beset the American empire since the Vietnam war, a conflict he fought in as a young army officer. He warns that our inability to be self-critical, to dissect and understand the litany of disasters that have followed on the heels of Vietnam, including the twenty-years of fruitless warfare in the Middle East, will have terrible consequences for us and much of the rest of the globe. Joining me to discuss his new book is Andrew Bacevich, the president and co-founder of the Quincey Institute for Responsible Statecraft. A West Point graduate and retired Army Colonel, he is also professor emeritus of history and international relations at Boston University. His other books include “The New American Militarism,” “The Limits of Power,” “America’s War for the Greater Middle East” and “After the Apocalypse: America’s Role in a World Transformed.”