I had not noticed that some of my postings to BNN had generated comments — mostly critical and assuming that I am not a loyal and proud to be American.  Let me state here that our country has many good features.  It is, however,  somewhat isolated from the rest of the world which does a number of things better than we do.  To assume that we can do no wrong or that we cannot do things better is a dangerous flaw in much of our national policy making.

I have identified myself as a social/political/legal philosopher (with prior theological training) now recently retired.  My job throughout my career was to sort out the good things we are doing in these domains and to urge reforms where we are blowing it, e.g. our health care system which costs twice as much as those of comparable nations which do the job better (our life expectancy rates and child birth deaths are shameful in comparison).

I am, incidentally, not a pacifist.  I agree, however, with the Machiavelli quote in my signature that one should go to war as a last resort.  Iraq was not such and has probably lost us Afghanistan with the distraction into Iraq.  Lest people think I am not willing to serve my nation, I was in training as an NROTC uniform wearing officer in college and was only rescued from actual service because Eisenhower had ended the Korean war just before I would have had to commit to three years — I believe in military service only when it is for a valid purpose.  As noted, Iraq was not and it may be time for us to pull back from Afghanistan where there does not seem to be a military solution.

Do feel free to criticize my judgments.  I ordinarily end a post with the question — “What do you think?”

Simon has asked me to omit the list of discussion groups that I have started in areas of concern to me from my posts.  I shall leave them this time so that you can see what they are.

“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)

Ed Kent  212-665-8535 (voice mail only) [blind copies]

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