Scott Horton Interviews John Basil Utley

Scott Horton, April 13, 2009

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John Basil Utley, associate publisher of The American Conservative, discusses the directly proportional relationship between lengthy congressional incumbency and pro-war attitudes, the left-right alliance needed to curb military spending, the military-industrial-congressional complex and the narrowing political divide in the U.S. (except the south).

MP3 here. (31:49)

John Basil Utley is a writer and adviser for Antiwar.com and edits a blog, The Military Industrial Congressional Complex.

13 Responses to “John Basil Utley”

  1. I’m surprised that there isn’t more bribery of congress via campaign contributions. I saw an article recently (didn’t save the link) that the rate of return on one particular “lobbying” effort was 2,200%. And it wasn’t military. The military furrows are well plowed. It’s all the other U.S. industries that are getting in line.

    As for Rs favoring controlling govt spending and standing up for the rule of law, they only think that when they are out of power. Don’t fall for the Lucy-with-the-football gambit.

  2. I’m not really sure a right/left union can be formed simply because so many are steeped in party politics and would be useless to any true pro-freedom movement.

    Look at the noise here on tax day. The Rs are back in full “big government bad mode” (when I expressed such feeling over the last 8 years I was told I deserved a 1 way ticket to Gitmo.) Admit it, if McCain had won the Rs would be demanding air stikes to be called in on all those tea parties going on because they undermine the war effort. But now, the formly anti-government Ds are now singing the praises of the State, Taxes, and War now that they are in power again. And when I voice my disgust with the current fraud WOsT or the folly of increasing the war in Afghanistan they tell me I hate America and want the terrorists to win and that if they had their way they’d give me a one way ticket to Gitmo.

    Both sides of the two party fraud have already purged the unwanted political elements from their ranks. I don’t think there is much left to reach out to.

  3. The party against the parties? What a concept! But how else to solve t he problem?
    What the parties have done is strengthen the don’t bother me with the facts I am for Mr. Left or Mr. Right. It does not matter if that party supported person lied to all his constituents or that he leads the nation for the race to be Mr. Corrupt.

    It is exactly that faith based ignorance that makes the third party the most powerful..
    Assume the two parties have 50% of the vote +- 20%.
    party against the parties 40%
    democraptic party 20%
    SnobofRepubliccan party. 20%

  4. The problem is that the building of military munitions (of one sort or another) is that it is spread all over the 50 States. That’s why it gains political traction. It is a kind of manufactured consent (to quote Chomsky) because the largesse has been embedded so that State constituencies want the bacon.

    It is DC driven but self-interest is appeased through this kind of MIC funding. The MIC, need it be said, is not in DC, it is scattered all over the US map and includes our food system and even our auto industry.

    People don’t WANT an empire, but they want what the empire provides, because it provides what they’ve come to expect as NORMAL.

  5. I spent 3 hours at today’s Tea Party in SF. About 500 people were there, about 95% White. This is actually a bit more integrated than last Saturday’s left New Way Forward rally against the bailouts.

    The leaders were all about the stimulus, “pork,” lower taxes, and “socialism.” There were also strong anti-immigrant speeches and signs, frequent singings of the national anthem and chants of “USA, USA.” However, among the protesters were a number of true libertarians and a smattering of open-minded leftists. Everyone was civil and all were against the bailouts, although the speakers hardly mentioned them.

    My sign said “Left and Right unite. Stop the Bankers’ Takeover. Jail, not Bailouts!” I got many nods and thank yous for this message, and no criticism, although one person stood behind me for about ten minutes with a sign that said “Infil-traitor.” We got some good conversations going. The one thing everyone agrees on is no bailouts for the banks.

    The event was promoted heavily on right-wing radio and on Fox. It had a definite “astroturf” feel to it, but there were some genuine grassroots types there, too. I do think we should continue to try to connect with these people as much as possible. My stock line was “The Left blames the corporations; the Right blames the government. Have you figured out yet that they’re the same people?” You can’t honestly attack one without the other.
    David

  6. There is no “left/right” coalition. The right is not owned by those who are anti-empire, and the left has been coopted by the Democratic Party (at least the largest numbers active progressives).

    It is beyond fantacy that there is a left and right that are on the same page. Are there some principled anti-empire on both sides? Sure, but they have yet to connect in any significant and meaningful way.

    Antiwar.org is probably one of the few places where both left and right anti-empire folks meet up; and that just won’t make a real difference given the power and dysfunctionality in the larger American landscape.

    A strategy for creating that “union” is needed, if it can be cobbled together; but talk about “natural” alliances is just that, talk.

  7. Max,
    I don’t think there’s a “natural” alliance at all, and I agree that it will be extraordinarily difficult. I’m just saying it’s worth trying.
    It could well be hopeless to do anything except wait for the empire to fall and try to stay out of the way of the falling pieces. But I hope there is something we can do.

  8. David,

    I’m all for common ground movements. I just wouldn’t frame it in right/left terms given the wild connotations they have here.

    Mr. Ultley, who seems to consider himself right of center/conservative, is certainly an example of common ground with some people on the progressive side.

    Common ground distinguishes those who are against US imperial interventionism. Again, what difference does it make if some progressives are strong on community and liberaterians are strong on individualism, in the end none of it matters if we can’t reign in this empire and it’s predatory nature.

    But there are those on the “left” who are more interested in Michelle Obama’s garden and the use of pesticides than the fact that the US government is on a daily basis killing children and babies in the lands of occupation.

    And there are those so-called right-wingers who have no problem with that except that don’t care about pesticides, but in tax reduction (not so much the bail out of banks but the idea of the government spending money, period (with the exception of for war – which they never found reason to complain about – can’t spend enough for war, just not on those homeless folks!)

  9. [...] 13 Apr 09 | AntiWar Radio [...]

  10. Over at http://www.stopthelie.com Senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission admits that the military and people in key positions of the govt agreed to lie about what happened on 9/11…add to that Richard Gages orginization of 600+ in Architects and Engineers for 9/11 truth and I would say that the 9/11 truth deniers will be outflanked by the truth…by reality…and by the swarms of engineers over there who can describe much better than me the case..Someday Horton will be forced to pull his head out of his ass..I hope the chill doesn’t affect him..

  11. Bill, you are a bigot and a damned fool. There is nothing in that link that hasn’t been out in the public for years. Long ago Vanity Fair published the tapes and transcripts of NEADS from 9/11 and explained what lies the Pentagon told about the air defenses and why they did so.

    You still have Nothing – except your stupid beliefs.

    So, why don’t you go to a Klan rally or Stormfront forum or something where everyone respects you as a legend?

  12. Whoa, I should not respond to racist 9/11 kook idiots before my first few cups of coffee…

  13. Scott,

    You don’t consider *every* 9/11 truth advocate to be a kook, do you? It’s a shame when some folks give the rest of us a bad name.

    Gary North and others at LRC are 9/11 truth advocates. http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north383.html

    Lew even posted an article last year titled “What happened to Building 7?”

    I’m not asking you to come out for 9/11 truth because that’s a personal choice, and it’s obviously an extremely touchy issue…

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