William Greider is national affairs correspondent for The Nation. During his 40-year career, he has written for numerous periodicals, including the Washington Post and Rolling Stone. You can learn more about his work here.
Come Home, America -- universally ignored by the media heavyweights -- has received a stunning review in Congress Daily (June 15, 2009). It was written by George Wilson, author of "Mud Soldiers" and other books and for many years the lengendary defense correspondent at the Washington Post. George and I are old pals and former colleagues at the Post so I guess he doesn't count as objective. On the other hand, he is the wisest reporter I know on military affairs and I am deeply flattered by his reaction to to my book.
Forward Observer: War Without End?
By George C. Wilson
Is this Global War on Terror going to last forever? Has it already changed our nation from an historically defensive Athens to an offensive Sparta whose military looks everywhere for trouble and finds it? Who is calculating the cost to benefit ratio of sending Green Berets and other Special Operations troopers into remote corners of the world to assassinate suspected terrorists?
I have started blogging -- clumsily and irregularly -- but my sister Nancy Gluck is way out ahead of me as a blogger. Yikes. Now she is blogging my new book, chapter by chapter. Nancy is five years older and more advanced in many other ways. Tenaciously bright, she loves books and reads always with a critical sensibility (she teaches Lifetime Learning courses too).
I read her entries with some trepidation. But she is treating me gently. SO FAR. Big sisters will do that for you. I am grateful that her views align with mine on many of the themes in Come Home, America. Check out her observations and other interesting essays at http://silverseason.wordpress.com.
Here is a sample:
Posted on June 1, 2009
Paul Krugman, like many other Democratic partisans, wants to blame Republicans and right-wingers for causing the financial disaster by deregulating the system. This may be comforting to Dems but, alas, it requires them to falsify the history, as Krugman does in this morning's column. Krugman flogs the notorious Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 and quotes Ronald Reagan's extravagant praise for the measure. [http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/01/opinion/01krugman.html?_r=1&hpw]
The Nation's cover for May 25 has an alluring design by Gene Case and Stephen Kling of Avenging Angels. A narrow ladder climbs through a hole in the gray wall overhead and reaches for blue sky beyond. That brilliantly captures the spirit of my piece. "The Future of the American Dream" is an excerpt from Come Home, America.
My stubborn optimism stirs people in different ways. Some readers tell me I am delusional. Others are pleased to see that their views are no more crackpot than mine. The responses tell me I am hitting a good chord with lots of people and at least agitating others. This is a worthy process to encourage.
The Democratic party is astride the same awkward straddle it has managed (not too successfully) for more than 25 years. The party tries to serve two masters with opposite interests. It takes care of business for business, while it also speaks for labor and working people. Guess who has gotten the short end of this arrangement. What is different this year is that Dems have lost their best excuses. Tthe party has the White House and robust majorities in both House and Senate. No longer gets to blame Bush.
My latest blog at The Nation website -- Obama and the Big Dogs -- http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090504/greider?rel=hp_currently drew complaints for crudely sexist language. I was deliberately in bad taste. There is always a crude physical level to power struggles, seldom discussed in polite circles but well familiar to participants. Yes, this is "guy talk" but women are learning the language too. How often we hear someone admire a rising politician by
Reading the Washington Post this morning, I had to re-read the story twice. The first paragraph talked about "harsh interrogation technques." The second graf referred to "enhanced interrogation practices." What are they talking about? The third graf mentioned "the possibility of legal jeopardy for those who formulated the interrogaton policy." Which policy is that? The one "which critics say amounted to torture."
An interviewer asked why I put so much store in young people. Because young people don't know what's impossible. They are less burdened by the past so will ty something new without bothering to ask if it has been tried before. That is always how big changes occur. When people set out to imagine a different future, there are no authorities.