David Bromwich


David Bromwich, professor of literature at Yale University, discusses American ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry’s recommendation against a troop surge that Obama ignored, Eikenberry’s concern that continued US assistance will indefinitely delay Afghan independence and self sufficiency, Obama’s decision to forgo an Iraq Study Group-type reevaluation of policy on Afghanistan, the odd NYT note (end of article) that Robert Gates watched the military-coup movie Seven Days in May, Obama’s odd and infuriating contradictions between his speech-making and policy choices and why US resources would be better spent preventing a failed state in Mexico rather than Afghanistan.

MP3 here. (48:00)

David Bromwich teaches literature at Yale. He has written on politics and culture for The New Republic, The Nation, The New York Review of Books, and other magazines. He is editor of Edmund Burke’s selected writings On Empire, Liberty, and Reform and co-editor of the Yale University Press edition of On Liberty.

6 thoughts on “David Bromwich”

  1. I'm kinda freaked out that Gates was watching that movie.

    Anyways. Outstanding interview. I listened to it during my evening walk around South Beach. There was an anti-war protest with faux gravestones of all the South Florida men and women who have died fighting in IraGanistan. We have a horrible country here.

  2. Obama’s cavalier disregard of Ambassador Eikenberry’s concerns reflects enormous discredit on Obama. Of course, it lends credence to the view that Obama’s a warmonger.

    There’s a vast disconnect between what Obama says, and what he does.

  3. The generals requested that more troops be sent to Vietnam – and more troops were sent. As 'Dr. Phil' would ask: "And how did that work out for the U.S.?" Oops – I almost forgot – it resulted in more casualties and we still lost the war. WOW – and how will sending more troops to the quagmire that is Afghanistan work out for U.S.? Does anyone seriously think that the result will be any different than it was in Vietnam?

  4. As Bill Moyers indicates Obama like LBJ is trying to play the middle. Johnson knew Vietnam was a losing venture but politically he could not leave, so he had to look like he was being tough when he really didn't believe in the venture. Sometimes the middle is the wrong way to go because you are not fully committing to one side or the other. Bush was fully committed to war. Obama is partially committed to war. This means he will close down one war and escalate another. Or even close down Iraq and Afghanistan and escalate the drug war. He feels he can not follow Bush, but he somehow feels he can not go the road of peace (even with his prize).
    Obama is trying to have it both ways. And in going both ways with a country that is falling apart economically (and constitutionally), he is dooming the country to collapse. We must make a commitment to peace, and to hell with the military industrial complex (MIC). The MIC is our drug dealer and we can not seem to get enough of them. We need to go cold turkey for a while.

  5. One other thought. I find it interesting that conservatives, who claim to be so Christian (or whatever religious piety they adhere to), do not seem to believe in forgiveness. After watching "Invictus" last weekend I realized that our country is bigger on revenge and severely lacking in forgiveness. Maybe it's easier to forgive when you're not part of an empire (Jesus, Ghandi, MLK, Mandella).

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