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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?


© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.