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FW: Principle Confronting Power: In Memory of Hans Morgenthau

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    ... From: Carrell, Susan Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:50 PM To: Boyle, Francis Subject: Copy of In Memory of Hans Morgenthau.doc Principle Confronting
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      FW: Principle Confronting Power: In Memory of Hans Morgenthau

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      From: Carrell, Susan
      Sent: Thursday, February 28, 2008 1:50 PM
      To: Boyle, Francis
      Subject: Copy of In Memory of Hans Morgenthau.doc

      Principle Confronting Power:  In Memory of Hans Morgenthau
       

                 During the 1950s I grew up in a family who rooted for the
      success of African Americans in their just struggle for civil rights and
      full legal equality.  Then in 1962 it was the terror of my own personal
      imminent nuclear annihilation during the Cuban Missile Crisis that first
      sparked my interest in studying international relations and U.S. foreign
      policy as a young boy of 12:  “I can do a better job than this!”  
       
      With the escalation of the Vietnam War in 1964 and the military draft
      staring me right in the face, I undertook a detailed examination of it.  
      Eventually I concluded that unlike World War II when my Father had fought
      and defeated the Japanese Imperial Army as a young Marine in the Pacific,
      this new war was illegal, immoral, unethical, and the United States was
      bound to lose it.  America was just picking up where France had left off at
      Dien Bien Phu.  So I resolved to do what little I could to oppose the
      Vietnam War.
       
      In 1965 President Lyndon Johnson gratuitously invaded the Dominican
      Republic, which prompted me to commence a detailed examination of U.S.
      military interventions into Latin America from the Spanish-American War of
      1898 up to President Franklin Roosevelt’s so-called “good neighbor” policy.  
      At the end of this study, I concluded that the Vietnam War was not episodic,
      but rather systemic: Aggression, warfare, bloodshed, and violence were just
      the way the United States Power Elite had historically conducted their
      business around the world.  Hence, as I saw it as a young man of 17, there
      would be more Vietnams in the future and perhaps someday I could do
      something about it as well as about promoting civil rights for African
      Americans. These twins concerns of my youth would gradually ripen into a
      career devoted to international law and human rights.
       
      So I commenced my formal study of International Relations with the late,
      great Hans Morgenthau in the first week of January 1970 as a 19 year old
      college sophomore at the University of Chicago by taking his basic
      introductory course on that subject.  At the time, Morgenthau was leading
      the academic forces of opposition to the detested Vietnam War, which is
      precisely why I chose to study with him.  During ten years of higher
      education at the University of Chicago and Harvard, I refused to study with
      openly pro-Vietnam-War professors as a matter of principle and also on the
      quite pragmatic ground that they had nothing to teach me.  
       
      In the summer of 1975, it was Morgenthau who emphatically encouraged me to
      become a professor instead of doing some other promising things with my
      life:  “If Morgenthau thinks I should become a professor, then I will become
      a professor!”  After almost a decade of working personally with him,
      Morgenthau provided me with enough inspiration, guidance, and knowledge to
      last now almost half a lifetime.  
       
      Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of
      the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by
      means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.  Then the
      Republican administration of President  William McKinley stole their
      colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines;
      inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the
      same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native
      Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal
      conditions.  Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into
      the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of
      China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy.   But
      over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and
      practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack
      at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the
      ongoing Second World War.    Today a century later the serial imperial
      aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration
      are now threatening to set off World War III.  
       
      By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the
      Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the
      Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf under
      the bogus pretexts of (1) fighting a war against international terrorism;
      and/or (2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or (3) the promotion
      of democracy; and/or (4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention.”  Only this
      time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century
      ago:  control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon
      resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic
      system – oil and gas.  The Bush Jr. administration has already targeted the
      remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia
      for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points
      at sea and on land required for their transportation.  In this regard, the
      Bush Jr. administration recently announced the establishment of the U.S.
      Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate,
      and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the
      continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species.
                  
      This current bout of U.S. imperialism is what Hans Morgenthau denominated
      “unlimited imperialism” in his seminal work Politics Among Nations (4th ed.
      1968, at 52-53):  

      The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the
      expansionist policies of Alexander the Great, Rome, the Arabs in the seventh
      and eighth centuries, Napoleon I, and Hitler. They all have in common an
      urge toward expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own
      successes and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the
      confines of the political world. This urge will not be satisfied so long as
      there remains anywhere a possible object of domination--a politically
      organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the
      conqueror’s lust for power. It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack of
      moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to conquest,
      characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past has been the
      undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind….
       
      On 10 November 1979 I visited with Hans Morgenthau at his home in Manhattan..
      It proved to be our last conversation before he died on 19 July 1980.  Given
      his weakened physical but not mental condition and his serious heart
      problem, at the end of our necessarily abbreviated one-hour meeting I
      purposefully asked him what he thought about the future of international
      relations. This revered scholar, whom international relations experts
      generally consider to be the founder of modern international political
      science in the post World War II era, responded:
       
      Future, what future? I am extremely pessimistic. In my opinion the world is
      moving ineluctably towards a third world war—a strategic nuclear war. I do
      not believe that anything can be done to prevent it. The international
      system is simply too unstable to survive for long. The SALT II Treaty is
      important for the present, but over the long haul it cannot stop the
      momentum. Fortunately, I do not believe that I will live to see that day.
      But I am afraid you might.
       
      The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World
      War and the Second World War currently hover like the Sword of Damocles over
      the heads of all humanity.  It is imperative that we undertake a committed
      and concerted effort to head-off Hans Morgenthau’s final prediction on the
      cataclysmic demise of the human race.  The simultaneous impeachments of both
      President Bush and Vice President Cheney would be an excellent place to
      start.


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