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A Review from a former top CIA official and an interview in Frontpage Magazine

November 15th, 2011 - 6:07 am

Herbert E. Meyer, the Vice Chairman of the CIA’s National Intelligence Council under Reagan’s DCI Bill Casey, was one of a handful of Reagan Revolutionaries who believed that the days of the Evil Empire were numbered. In the 1980s, the overwhelming academic consensus held that the Soviet economy was doing well and that Communism was a permanent part of the world landscape. Meyer and his team at CIA argued that Russia was heading towards economic collapse. That was the kind of bold thinking that won the Cold War. I was a young fellow carrying a spear in those days (for Norman A. Bailey, the head of plans at NSC), able to catch an occasional glimpse of the great project that people like Herb Meyer had set in motion. It was an enormous honor to find Herb Meyer’s review of my two just-published books today in The American Thinker. The Reaganauts were my teachers, and a passing grade from an authority like Herb Meyer is a great encouragement.

Like most readers of PJMedia, I’m a steady reader of  Frontpage Magazine. Founder David Horowitz is a former leftist who saw the light, something I can identify with, having wandered in the fever-swamps of fringe politics in my youth. Frontpage editor Jamie Glazov interviewed me this week about How Civilizations Die–a great honor to appear in an online publication of its standing. Here’s the conclusion of the interview:

The United States must act like a superpower, rather than an NGO with a humanitarian agenda. That means standing by friends like Israel, preempting real threats like Iran, and punishing wayward allies like Turkey.  We’ve been talking about a lot of unpleasant things, but it’s important to remember that two-thirds of the world population lives in countries where things are getting better–China, East Asia, India, South America. Tens of millions of people each year move from rural poverty to urban prosperity. In the great scheme of things the Muslim world is of minor importance to America, and its disintegration will make that plain over time. Far more important are our relationships with India and China. And these depend on the perception that America is the undisputed world hyperpower, such that it is pointless to test our patience. That means more military spending, not less, but also less dissipation of our resources on well-meaning but futile exercises in nation-building.  China will be more willing to accommodate American security requirements, for example in Pakistan, if it perceives that American strength is past all possible challenge for the foreseeable future.

Americans have not begun to absorb how much the world has changed. We are likely to have humanitarian disasters on a gigantic scale in Egypt and elsewhere, about which we can do no more than we could in Somalia during the Clinton administration. We like to think of ourselves like the Lone Ranger, fixing everybody’s troubles. There will be occasions when our national security interests require us to stir up troubles rather than mitigate them. I wrote “How Civilizations Die” to harden American hearts, to horrify readers in order to inoculate them against the horrors to come.

 

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