Larry Wilkerson

What Happens Now?

Among Larry Wilkerson’s vignettes, he touched on themes both cautionary and uplifting. The balance tipped throughout. Discussing empire, he drew memories of the familiar parallels. But he brought it home to each individual in their own ways. Each will judge if we’re rising or setting; half full or half empty.

On a recent Friday, David Smick was invited to Washington to give a lecture on his new book, the World is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy. Though not sure he agrees with David, Wilkerson recommends a read, “I gotta remember he is a financial consultant for people like Lee Kwan Yew in Singapore, some of the major hedge funds in the world and so forth.” Smick explains in layman’s terms what has happened to us with regards to those worlds and “…whether he is right in terms of the solution or not, his explanation of the problem is pretty good.” Wilkerson says he has absorbed much of the same aspect from a lot of other people too, including what he calls some of our best minds.

Military-Industrial-Congressional Corruption

Peppered throughout Larry Wilkerson’s wide ranging comments in Williamsburg were references showing his disdain for the diminution of ethics in public service. Wilkerson has extended Eisenhower’s perception of the tentacles of influence to include the Congress. “What we need are more people who can stand against power without being corrupted.”

He told of being at Penn State University a couple of weeks ago. When he finished, a woman in the back stood up and she asked “Well, what can we do? What can we do?” And, because he had just finished talking about the military-industrial complex, and how much money that is bleeding off taxpayers, “I said, well one thing you can do is get rid of John Murtha. I know John Murtha, John Murtha is a good guy. John Murtha is so profane that he used to get out of HUMMVEES when we’d take him on a CODEL and he would curse everything in sight. John Murtha is a former Marine, but John Murtha is corrupt as hell. And you cannot deal with the military-industrial-congressional complex today…which as Eisenhower said in 1961, we should be very aware of, and very vigilant about…you can’t deal with it without recognizing that when you have someone like that, you need to get rid of him.”

What Do You Do About The Terrorists?

"The question is begged immediately, as it was the other day at Brookings," said Wilkerson, “What do you do about the terrorists? What do you do about the people who struck us and killed three thousand Americans? What do you do about al Qaida?”

Well the first thing you have to admit to yourself is that George Bush, Dick Cheney and the rest of them did it wrong. They brought the war instrument out to deal with a group of terrorists that on any given day amount to no more than about 10 or 20 thousand people. Once that war instrument is taken out of its sheath, you have no choice, you have to use it, but then you do you must understand that you just justified those guys' existence in a way you never have before because in the old way you were treating them as criminals and in the new way you are treating them, no matter what you call them, as warriors; legitimate warriors. No matter how many times you say the opposite; certainly legitimate warriors in the eyes of 1.3 billion Muslims.

The World Gets Its Curve Back

David Smick, Wilkerson tells us, says that Tom Friedman is looking at the world through other than economic and financial eyes. "Tom says, look out there at all the wonderful things." Smick says, "Through financial and economic eyes, the world is curved, I can’t see a thing. There’s no transparency."

Commenting about a recent presentation by Smick, who authored The World Is Curved: Hidden Dangers to the Global Economy, Wilkerson told the gathering in Williamsburg, this is especially true if you start passing toxic waste, "securitized and wrapped up in things like CEOs and whatever" out to the rest of the world and there’s no visibility until one day you turn over the salad leaf and you say “Wow, look at that worm!" And then all of a sudden that worm panic spreads throughout the global economy and that’s in essence what has happened. And largely the United States passed most of that bad commercial paper out. And this may eventually create as much anger at us out there in the world as our "War on Terror."

Our Kenyan Born, Muslim, Marxist President

Or so the huckster dull normals of talk radio pound out a message of innuendo designed to drive ratings and secure and build audience passion. But the evocative nature of these diatribes are less eloquent than provocative. They are not an appeal to the better character of our nation’s soul.

“How stands the Union?” allegedly the devil asked Daniel Webster. And the judge responded, “Rock bottomed and copper riveted.”…It ain’t no more. It is anything but. And there is a new captain at the helm.

So began retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson Monday evening, addressing a filled Williamsburg library theater. Some 300 James City County and Williamsburg residents came to hear the William and Mary visiting professor and former Chief of Staff to Collin Powell. In an extemporaneous ninety minute dialogue, he set a tone that was at once alarming and reassuring; if that can be done. More will follow over the next few days, but a haunting sense will begin the synopsis. Wilkerson did not specifically express the sentiments standing at the beginning or the end of this post. He elicited them.