Jabberwocky for 2006 January 23 (entry 0)

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[Comments] (2) The March of Folly: I finished reading Tuchman's The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam and remain convinced of the fundamental meatheadedness of our government leaders.

"In the illusion of omnipotence, American policy-makers took it for granted that on a given aim, especially in Asia, American will could be made to prevail. This assumption came from the can-do character of a self-created nation and from the sense of competence and superpower derived from World War II. If this was "arrogance of power", in Senator Fulbright's phrase, it was not so much the fatal hubris and over extention that defeated Athens and Napoleon, and in the 20th century Germany and Japan, as it was failure to understand that problems and conflicts exist among other peoples that are not soluble by the application of American force or American techniques or even American goodwill. "Nation Building" was the most presumptuous of the illusions. Settlers of the North American continent had built a nation from Plymouth Rock to Valley Forge to the fulfilled frontier, yet failed to learn from their success that elsewhere, too, only the inhabitants can make the process work."

Sounds like us in Iraq doesn't it?


Posted by Joe Walch at Sat Jan 28 2006 14:39

I recommend Natan Sharanski's book: The Case for Democracy. I think that book is even more applicable in the relations of Palistinians and Israelies, Americans and Iraquies. In an area where freedom is as accesible as the desert oasis.

I think we will still see the desert bloom. It may, however, take the omnipotent power of the Savior to force every knee to bend. We may not be perfect either, but the genuflexion of our leaders, I am sure, has been much more frequent then those of our enemies leaders. By "our leaders" I include both democrats and republicans, of course.

Posted by Joe Walch at Sat Jan 28 2006 14:53

By the way. The author cited Japan and its failure. I wonder if the author cited Japan's success as well. The fact that the word "Right" as in a "Right" to bear arms was so foreign to their culture that they had to make a compound word comprising four japaneese characters and they still forged one of the most successful democracies in the world. That was "Nation Building" by the greatest generation to live--those who survived the depression and fought the "Good War." Another difference between Rome, Athens, the English Empire, the Soviet Union, and all the great superpowers of their day was the fact that they sought for gain. George Bush would have to be an idiot if he truly sought gain in the war in Iraq, or perhaps we, like Screwtape, are frustrated by the task of trying to figure out how Bush is making capital out of this whole situation.

Paschal said "There is no [rule of] law without force."

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.