9/13 How American Efforts to Humanize War Dehumanize It Even Further w/ Samuel Moyn

September 13, 2021

Sam and Emma host Samuel Moyn, Professor of History at Yale University, to discuss his recent book Humane: How the United States Abandoned Peace and Reinvented War, on how the evolving face of the American Empire has changed the way we perceive war, and what we can do to get the conversation back on track. Starting all the way back in the mid-19th Century, Professor Moyn dives into the first Geneva Convention and the attempt by the Swiss to make war more humane, as well as the response by some like Leo Tolstoy who worried that it might, in fact, further legitimize war. He, Sam, and Emma then situate the role of America in all of this, jumping off of the massacres of the Vietnam War and the changes both in Geneva law – focused around civilians and collateral damage – and in the perspective of the US military, that it inspired, before moving back to how the two World Wars and transatlantic combat put the US at the warfront of the western empires, locking them into brutal wars to “keep the peace” ever since. Next, they look into why the backlash to the brutalities of Vietnam was so much more severe than that of the war on terror, situating the former within a pre-existing anti-war movement, and then jump into the role of Barack Obama in really cementing the ideology of the “humane” war through public declarations of both the need for constant warfare, and the need for humane warfare. They wrap up the interview with a conversation on the role of technology in bolstering the Rumsfeldian light warfare, and summarize the evolution of, and what we could see next from, the American empire. Emma and Sam also touch on Manchin’s mumbling maneuvers to avoid getting too into the numbers of the Infrastructure Package, despite his recent complaints about the numbers.

And in the Fun Half: Gabe from Ontario calls in to get out the vote for the NDP in the upcoming Canadian election, Sandy from Ontario boosts that message before getting a warm thank you for her incredible gift to the MR studio, and Nicholas from St. Louis converses with Sam and Emma on the differences in pushing for individual lifestyle changes (veganism) and pushing for actual policy change. The MR crew also explores the social (rather than immune) boost Joe Rogan got from ivermectin, discusses the recent and growing legitimization of George W. Bush and his administration’s war crimes, and reflects on the disasters of Rudy Giuliani past, present, and future. They wrap up the fun half with Tucker Carlson finally speaking on a topic he has expertise in (lying and using your power to protect the powerful) and the progression of recent anti-Mask Mandates, plus, your calls and IMs!

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