Discuss Ralph Peters


April 2, 2003, 01:57 PM
I have just recently discovered this guy through his impressive NY Post columns, of which I've read only 3 or 4, and thought I would post an interview here to see what THR thinks.

It's a long interview, so I'll just post the link. Read the whole thing, he jumps around and it's worth it.


- Gabe

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April 2, 2003, 02:26 PM
He's a good author too. I've read his earlier novels and can recommend them.

Silent Bob
April 2, 2003, 05:23 PM
RED ARMY was an excellent book, a story about World War 3 told entirely from Russian viewpoints.

Al Thompson
April 2, 2003, 06:54 PM
Read most of his stuff. The latest op/ed think pieces are truely great writing.

April 2, 2003, 07:40 PM

I think I gained 10 IQ points from reading that!

Holy crap that guy is a smarty head.

D.W. Drang
April 3, 2003, 12:46 PM
He's a putz.
Back to you.

Al Thompson
April 3, 2003, 01:25 PM
Putz? What makes you say that?

April 3, 2003, 01:58 PM
The other crucial American advantage is the fact that over the past 150 years American women have fought their way into the workplace and the educational system. This means that today America operates on a wartime basis every single day in terms of our utilization of human capital. Rosie the Riveter is in the boardroom, she’s on campus, she’s flying jets off carriers. The numbers aren’t hard to understand. This is grade-school math. Because of Elizabeth Cady Stanton, because of Susan B. Anthony—and the Pankhursts in England—the American economy is booming. Greenspan’s done a good job, but it was really the feminists who put us over the top. This is a really interesting idea. You really never get the full impact of it unless you go visit in Italy or Latin America and see the way "normal" economies work. They make US cities seem like a frantic race by comparison. "No full hour lunch breaks off for you, buster or we'll fire you and replace you with a hungry single mom!"

April 3, 2003, 02:16 PM
Oh, bravo.

Which part makes him a putz?

Is it his point against our policy of promoting global "stability" or perhaps his points about how nations that oppress women will never compete with nations that give them full rights?

Did you dislike his views on religion and our own scepticism of our national mythology and the Islamic worlds inability to see past their own mythos?

Was it his view that society needs to get rid of the "Single path to truth" notion to advance?

Please, we are all ears - debunk away...

April 3, 2003, 03:00 PM
Interesting stuff. The article however only touched the surface of it. I think I need to get some of his books.



April 3, 2003, 03:04 PM
He's a putz.
Back to you.The title of this here thread is "DISCUSS Ralph Peters"...you must have missed that.

- Gabe

D.W. Drang
April 4, 2003, 11:26 AM
OK, he's a liberal elitist crypto-faxcist.
See if you can dig up any of his writings for the "profesisanl military" press, especially his stuff about "Nation Building." He's klintoon's dream.

Severa years ago he wrote a piece in Army Times about "Military Intelligence, The Broken Branch", in which he offered a lot of opionion about what was wrong with the way MI was trying to do things--some of whihc I agreed with. But in the dust up that followed, I heard many things said about him from Field Grade officers and senior NCOs who knew him personally, to make me woder about him.

Some of his novels are good, some are not so hot. Didn't like the Deus Ex Machina ending of Red Army, otherwise it was OK.

April 4, 2003, 12:35 PM
I most definitely have not gotten the impression that he's a lefty from the, admittedly, very little I've read so far. I'll have to reserve judgement until I learn more. Thanks for the heads up, though.

- Gabe

April 4, 2003, 12:39 PM
Unless this guy is blowing some serious smoke, i don't know where the 'liberal' label comes from, DW.

He professes no love for the left.

- Gabe



February 3, 2003 -- WHEN you appear in the broadcast media, amid the snarls and wails, self-control helps you sell your ideas. Yet I do not regret the time I lost my temper on the air.

During the Kosovo fuss, I appeared on a talk show with the editor of a lefty journal whose motto should be, "The truth is irrelevant." The editor blathered on about American aggression and how Milosevic's Yugoslavia was a sovereign state in which the United States had no right to intervene, no matter what was done inside its borders.

I blew up. Unlike left-wing extremists, I'm not very good at finding excuses for genocide, mass rape and torture. I pointed out that, by her standards, Hitler would have been just fine if he had limited himself to killing German Jews.

For perhaps the first time in history, a left-wing scribbler found herself at a loss for words.

At the beginning of a new century, the United States needs to revolutionize international relations. The Bush administration has already begun to do this on a practical level by pursuing terrorists around the world, bringing down the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and preparing to depose Saddam Hussein. Still, we need to move beyond our current piecemeal approach, to forge a new American doctrine on sovereignty.

Today, claims of territorial sovereignty by dictators and illegitimate regimes amount to the biggest con in history. No matter how unfairly borders are drawn, no matter how monstrously tyrants behave toward their populations, no matter how ruthlessly a strongman seizes power, the world pretends that those who hold the reins in the capital city are entitled to do whatever they want on their own territory.

The current system is the greatest collective violation of human rights in our time. The United States must shatter this antiquated scam designed by kings and princes to protect their personal fiefdoms. In the 21st century, a government must earn its right to claim sovereignty.

How? By working for the benefit of its citizens, not just for the privileges of a small, armed elite. By respecting the dignity of its people, including its minorities. By providing for its citizens, instead of stealing from them. By allowing them to speak freely and to live without fear of their own government. Above all, a state must earn its right to sovereign borders by adhering to universal standards of human rights.

And don't try to tell me that human rights are relative. We all know better. We may argue about the morality of the death penalty, but we can all agree that mass murder is unacceptable. Torture is not a cultural tradition, nor is mass rape merely a social construct. Yes, there are nuances. But on the level that matters internationally, we all know human-rights violations when we encounter them.

Leftists, clinging to their memories of protests past, will object that America has no right to judge others, that we violate human rights ourselves. That's nonsense, and we all know it.

Next, the lefties will warn of "slippery slopes" and American imperialism. That's nonsense, too. Deposing Saddam does not lead inexorably to the invasion of Sweden.

To the left's horror, today's international revolutionaries are on the political right. The left wing represents the ancien regime: old slogans, old prejudices and badly failed approaches to security and human rights. American "conservatives" are the driving force behind overdue global reforms.

And we are led by a president who appears to have recognized an obvious truth resisted by the left: The human rights of one dictator are not more important than the human rights of the tens of millions of citizens he oppresses.

What could say more about the intellectual and moral bankruptcy of the left, here and abroad, than its defense of Saddam, of the Taliban, of international terrorists and of every thug who wins a game of capture-the-flag in the developing world?

The Bush administration has a chance to pioneer an international system of tiered sovereignties that would strip tyrants and their apologists of their current, horribly unjust diplomatic defenses.

It should work like this:

Level One: Every government, from Mexico to India, that respects the will of its people through democratic institutions, works for the betterment of its citizens, demonstrates progress toward respect for human rights and strives toward the rule of law deserves continued recognition of its full, legal sovereignty.

Level Two: States that cannot control their own territory, that lack the ability to protect their own citizens or to prevent international terrorists and other criminals from using their territory as a refuge, would be able to claim only partial sovereignty. More capable, rule-of-law states would have the right to intervene for limited purposes to bring killers and other criminals to justice. In every other respect, these weak, but well-intentioned states would enjoy the traditional privileges and protections of sovereignty.

Level Three: Regimes that refuse to enforce the rule of law inside their borders, that knowingly harbor terrorists and criminals, that behave aggressively toward their neighbors or that abuse their own citizens would forfeit their territorial sovereignty and their right to govern. Period.

Of course, dozens of United Nations members would howl, given their own governmental inadequacies, their addiction to corruption and their present ability to get away with murder in the most literal sense. But we must recognize that the majority of the voices in the United Nations do not represent the majority of their own populations. The United Nations has become a travesty, a talkathon for tyrants. We must forge ahead, regardless of criticism.

If President Bush has the vision to see through the sovereignty con and to begin to dismantle the diplomatic defenses that coddle dictators, we just might live to see the day when a majority of the world's states will accept the self-evident truth that every government should be of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Ralph Peters is a frequent Post contributor and the author, most recently, of "Beyond Terror: Strategy in a Changing World."

Sean Smith
April 4, 2003, 01:36 PM
Proof that Peters has gotten at least one thing right in his life:

"Military Intelligence, The Broken Branch"

Circa 2001 (when I left the Army), M.I. branch was a basket case. I know that because I was an M.I. officer. :banghead:

Al Thompson
April 4, 2003, 05:03 PM
My experiance with MI was very poor. I ETS'd in '92 and wore crossed rifles. I did follow Ralph at CAS3 in 1987 and heard nothing but good stuff abut him.

While he may be a putz, I find his non-fiction writing great articulation and I agree with his points. I don't have to like someone to acknowledge that they have both an excellent command of the language and a world view I agree with.

His fiction is a bit dark for my tastes. I'd rather have the good guys win.

The Army has a great way of closing ranks and starting nasty rumour ccampains against folks with a different POV. Look what happened to Mike McGee when he published several articles criticizing the status quo. I suspect the same thing came from MI branch.

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