Wednesday, September 22, 2021

America has lost one of its most incisive, insightful voices


Professor Angelo Codevilla, whom we've met in these pages many times before, has died of injuries he suffered from a vehicle accident.  He was apparently knocked down by a drunk driver.

It may be a measure of the cynicism and suspicion that dominate American politics today that not a few people - including myself - upon hearing the news, instantly harbored dark suspicions that the "establishment", the "ruling class" as he famously dubbed them, had finally had enough of him, and had taken steps to get rid of what they doubtless regarded as his pernicious influence.  That's probably not true (at least, I sincerely hope so) . . . but if anyone did more to expose the malicious, malignant influence of the current powers that be and the oligarchy behind them, I don't know who that might be.

Prof. Codevilla's voice will continue to resound long after his death.  You'll find a fairly comprehensive list of his important essays and articles here.  I very highly recommend that you bookmark it, visit it often, and select - at random, if you prefer - one of his articles to read and ponder.  He's that important a chronicler of our decline and fall as a nation, and offers insights and potential "cures" that few others could match in his lifetime.  A good overview of his thought may be found in this interview, which I recommend to your attention.

As a way to honor this great man, here are excerpts from, and the conclusion to, his most recent article, " Epitaph for the ‘War on Terror’ ", published just six days ago.  I think it's as powerful as any of those that preceded it.  Bold, underlined text is my emphasis.

Progressive thought had always looked away from the reality of war as the midwife of nations and the gravedigger of decadences. Kissinger wrote that America should only fight “wars that it could afford to lose”—as if there were such things. Thus it blurred distinctions between war and peace. Intellectually crippled in this way, U.S. military forces therefore have not aimed for victory.

Instead and because of this, military operations have been planned and executed on the basis of what will fulfill our foreign policy establishment’s personal and institutional interests, as well as its evolving ideological criteria. Contact with reality, having produced results very different from those the ruling class envisions, that class explains defeat in terms of its most fundamental animosities—toward its domestic competitors.

. . .

Treating the American people, especially conservatives, as the main threat results from the growth and clarification of attitudes endemic to Progressivism and already translated into policy and lack thereof ... America’s defeat by foreigners does not threaten these progressives’ prerogatives and identities as do their domestic rivals

Blaming domestic rivals to deflect defeat’s consequences in foreign wars is all too usual. Nevertheless, statements by Joe Biden’s Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin and Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley that “domestic extremists,” whom they functionally define as whomever opposes the ruling class, pose the greatest danger of terrorism—especially if they are white—is egregious in history. The official reorientation of the U.S. armed forces’ focus on fighting what is arguably the American people’s majority, is even more so. A grassroots progressive group called the Democratic Coalition leaves no doubt about the ruling class’s 2021 practical agenda: “we cannot rest until all of Trump’s traitorous, insurrectionist foot soldiers face justice.” Insofar as they are serious, and even if they are not, this augurs civil war.

. . .

Estimates of the “War on Terror’s” cost in money start at $8-10 trillion. Cui bono? To whom did that money go? Yes, millions, maybe even billions, went to rent the cooperation of Iraqis, Afghans, etc. But the trillions went chiefly to Americans—to the national security establishment; the armed forces and intelligence community, for enhanced careers and operations, and to their contractors; plus to the horde of civilian specialists employed to improve health, education, welfare, and social practices in foreign lands; our transportation network; and all manner of manufacturing and servicing. The consultant class also took it to the bank, and the people who run the conferences.

Think of all the reputations, careers, retirements on the golf course, second homes, fancy cars and vacations all this made possible. 

Think also of how fast and far the “War on Terror” advanced the ruling class’ perennial objective to limit the freedoms of Americans outside its orbit, and perhaps shut down domestic opposition.

When leftist Americans (alumni of Americans for a Democratic Society, a covert CIA subsidiary) hijacked airliners to Cuba, the ruling class would not hear of ending the problem by forcing Castro to give them up. Instead, they made it a crime for ordinary air travelers to defend themselves. After 9/11, the Department of Homeland Security set about establishing a new way of life in America, based on badges and regulations about what clearance would be needed to go where. The ruling class cares nothing of their effect (or, overwhelmingly, the lack thereof) on terrorism, just as it does not care what effect its shifting, contradictory mandates concerning COVID have on public health. And it does not even try to explain how adding minuscule amounts of CO2 to the atmosphere adversely affects the planet’s climate. No. The ruling class takes any and all occasions to advance its overriding objective in its own domination.

Terrorism, however, is especially useful. The premise that since we cannot know who is most likely to pose threats, that hence we must refrain from focusing on (profiling) Muslims and assume that the folks next door are as capable of mayhem as anyone shouting Allahu Akbar, has done much to make America what it is today. Especially because it is an in-your-face lie. The lie serves to free the ruling class to absolve or indict for terrorism whomever it chooses.

Surprise, surprise! Turns out that not everyone is as likely a source of terrorism as anyone else. The real, congenital, terrorists are conservative white folks. U.S intelligence properly profiles them to prevent the worst of them from taking part in society. And if anyone suggests that this relates to the fact that these white folks don’t vote for the Democratic Party, the Wall Street Journal tells us that the U.S. justice system is fair and competent: “The privacy of Americans hasn’t been threatened, while the Patriot Act has provided the feds with tools to break up domestic terror cells.” You must believe that, or else!

That is why the New York Times formulated the “War on Terror’s” official epitaph: “A War on Terror Accounting Since 9/11. The fall of Kabul shouldn’t obscure the successes over 20 years. Experts say it is the success of a multilateral effort that extends to as many as 85 countries.”

Who are you to disagree, white man?

There's more at the link.

We are greatly diminished as a nation by Prof. Codevilla's loss.  May his surviving relatives receive what comfort they may in their loss;  may his sins be forgiven him;  and may his soul, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.  He will not be forgotten.



jen said...

I am so sorry for his loss, the silencing of a brilliant voice that I only became aware of through you, Peter. Please stay safe.

Jim said...

His loss is a great one.

Mike Austin said...

Codevilla was probably the foremost enemy of the US Intelligence Services. Not anymore.

And I'll leave it at that.