Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shortsighted View of History

The Financial Times published an article today titled "History Leaves Bush and Blair Behind".

I don't know if it is because I'm not a 20 something gal, or what, but that title seems awfully shortsighted to me. I believe that ten years from now the worst thing we will have to say about Bush and Blair is that they did too little and too late.

The British would understand the "too little, too late" concept well. Neville Chamberlain did his best to make peace with Hitler and his radical Nazi regime. He even signed a treaty in good faith with Hitler that was supposed to keep Britain out of any conflict with Germany. Didn't do any good.

The Americans have also been bitten even though they tried to isolate themselves from conflict with the radical German Nazi regime. American merchant ships were continually attacked by German Sea Wolf raids, even though the merchant sailors were civillians and America was not at war with Germany. This happened in the 30s years before the official start of WWII. Economic sanctions against the Nazis were tried, but it only gave them more time to perfect their war machine.

Take note that Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is the highest selling book in Iran today under the title "My Jihad". They like it in Egypt, too.

More recently, look at the Vietnamization program under Lyndon Baines Johnson in the late 60s and early 70s during the Vietnam conflict (read "war"). The program was partially successful, but ironically a Republican candidate by the name of Richard Milhouse Nixon won the election in '72 by being the "anti-war" candidate. When Congress finally forced him to keep his campaign promises and pull the troops out of Vietnam, our enemies were immediately emboldened. And not just in Vietnam, either. They learned from us. They learned that if they could make the casualties high enough, and sustain the war long enough, that the Congress would wail like little children and clamor to bring the troops home in order to save their jobs. Sound Familiar?

History will show that there are always consequences for abandoning your allies in the middle of a conflict after you tell them stupid things like "we'll stay the course no matter what."

It is too early to decide that Bush and Blair are on the ash heap of history. The whining children we call our political leaders are reliving history.....again.

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