Saturday, March 29, 2003

 
SHRUB'S FOLLY?

IIRC, the late historian Barbara Tuchman, in her book, "The March of Folly," pointed out that French President Charles DeGaulle repeatedly warned the US government not to get involved in Vietnam, that the US really didn't know what it was getting into. He wasn't being hostile, he wasn't projecting supposed French superiority...he was a friend warning a friend against doing something really, really stupid.

The US government of course ignored DeGaulle, and the result was the death of close to 60,000 Americans and who knows how many Vietnamese.

Tuchman's book was about four events where major powers engaged in self-destructive folly despite loud and persistent warnings from friends and insiders. For example, she also details how King George III's hamhanded, bull-in-the-china-shop treatment of American colonists caused the Brits to lose the colonies.

During the runup to this war--and especially after French President (and Gaullist) Jacques Chirac promised to veto the second resolution in the UN Security Council--I kept thinking of the arguments made in Tuchman's book. IMHO, whether the USA wins or loses this war, it's still pure folly. If the USA wins, the cost will include long-term damage to the UN, NATO and its relationships with both allies and not quite allies/not quite enemies such as Russia and China. And if the USA loses...well, just remember this: The Bush junta never takes personal responsibility for its own mistakes.

Welcome to The Virtual One-Party State...

AN ASIDE:

I saw the following analogy on a message board I frequent, so I can't take credit for it, but I agree with it 100%.

The lashing out against the French for its promised veto is reminiscent of the scene in "The Sopranos" where Christopher's family and friends confront him about his heroin addiction and urge him to seek treatment. Instead of being thankful to people who really care about him, Christopher's first reaction is to lash out at them both verbally and physically. Finally, though, Christopher agrees to enter a treatment facility.

While they very well may have other motives, the French, the Germans, as well as the Russians and Chinese, were trying to stop the US government from indulging in behavior that's not only destructive to others but that's also self-destructive to the USA.

Unfortunately, unlike Christopher, the Shrub junta continued its self-destructive behavior.

A SECOND ASIDE:

Unlike the so-called "liberal media," The Onion is again right on target with regard to the Iraq folly. Its name for the war: Operation Piss Off the Planet.

Also, the folks at The Onion must be time travelers who know for sure what the future holds in store. Check out this Onion story from over two years ago(!!!), January 18, 2001:

WASHINGTON, DC—Mere days from assuming the presidency and closing the door on eight years of Bill Clinton, president-elect George W. Bush assured the nation in a televised address Tuesday that "our long national nightmare of peace and prosperity is finally over."

"My fellow Americans," Bush said, "at long last, we have reached the end of the dark period in American history that will come to be known as the Clinton Era, eight long years characterized by unprecedented economic expansion, a sharp decrease in crime, and sustained peace overseas. The time has come to put all of that behind us."


-snip-

During the 40-minute speech, Bush also promised to bring an end to the severe war drought that plagued the nation under Clinton, assuring citizens that the U.S. will engage in at least one Gulf War-level armed conflict in the next four years.

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