Scott Horton Interviews Bill Kauffman

Scott Horton, May 21, 2008

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Bill Kauffman, author of Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle-American Anti-Imperialism, discusses the different categories of anti-war and anti-empire individuals, the uselessness of the label “conservative,” how Bush’s false promises of a humble foreign policy helped expose him as a prep-school cheerleader rather than the cowboy he claims to be, John McCain’s lack of character, the history of our empire, how the war party has betrayed the legacy of George Washington, the founders’ anti-militarism, the theft of Hawaii, how one intervention usually leads to others, how ex-commies hijacked the conservative movement in the 1950’s, Pat Buchanan’s journey to the peace camp and the smearing of the America First Committee by the Roosevelt camp.

MP3 here. (41:06)

Bill Kauffman is a Jeffersonian, an anarchist, a cheerful enemy of the state, a reactionary Friend of the Library, and a peace-loving football fan. His Ain’t My America: The Long, Noble History of Antiwar Conservatism and Middle American Anti-Imperialism has just been released by Holt/Metropolitan.

4 Responses to “Bill Kauffman”

  1. Good interview.

    Always difficult to speculate what would have happened in “The Great War” without US intervention. I have read the books “Foch: Supreme Allied Commander in the Great War” and “Hindenburg: Icon of German Militarism” (with William Astore as co-author) and still got to read the one on Haig, but – if I remember well – it seems that if the US had not checked in, the Germans might well have succeeded in reaching Paris.

    Maréchal Foch, coalition leader, seems to have depended critically on the moral support provided by the US, both on the field and in the political arena, and later – after the US troops had managed the deadly learning curve of European battlefields – on their military support. Even so, he just managed to hold the German lines at terrible losses (i.e. with crazy disregard for the cost of his ‘hold every meter’ orders). Then, in the war’s later stages Germans went full out, basically invented the Total War concept (Hindenburg harnessed the full economy into the war effort, sucking it dry) and then managed to actually break through the static lines southwards in 1918. What a victorious but by then thoroughly nastified Wilhelminian Germany would have led to is difficult to guess at. Maybe one would have had Tsarist and Kaiser constitutional monarchies, the UK an enfeebled also-ran, the Japanese a major power, and de-colonialisation delayed by 50 years? Better? Worse? For whom? And who knows?

  2. I think I understand why Jesse Walker likes him so much.

  3. Great INterview, burned it to CD and listened to it a bunch!!!

  4. BTW, Pat Buchanan lost credibility in 2004..made a lot of $$ attacking Neocons, then sides with them against Kerry and against Buchananite candidate Peroutka

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