The Long View 2003-02-13: Delusions

Unfortunately, delusions is about the best thing I can say about this post of John's.

That's almost true. I find that I do have three spools of duct tape, for some reason. I also for many years have been in the habit of storing a few gallons of water. I can't remember the last time I freshened the supply, so it's probably more dangerous than the nerve gas by now. Still, foresight is foresight.
The New York TimesTimes
"The White House argued that the tape, if it really was Osama bin Laden, simply demonstrated that Iraq and terrorism were indeed somehow linked. But we couldn't help wondering if the expression of solidarity with Iraq might have been a canny way of luring the United States into an attack on Baghdad that would rally the Muslim world against the West, producing new converts to Al Qaeda."
This is beyond folly. It would merit the Darwin Award for willfully frustrating self-preservation, had the French and the Germans not won it already. There is no point in picking on the French on this point, but I might suggest that it is unjust to compare the policy of the current French government to that of the government at the time of the Munich Conference in 1938. In 1938, the French would have had to bear the brunt of a war. They grossly overestimated the extent of German preparedness, but their decision to defer the war for a few years was not irrational. In the event of a war with Iraq today, in contrast, the French would be in no direct danger. The war might occasion further terrorist activity at home, but that was starting to happen anyway. The suppression of Islamicism at its bases, which is what the war is about, at least creates the possibility that the terror might cease.
* * *
Actually, this notion revives an American proposal; it just would use personnel that the Iraqis might find less threatening. Members of the Iraqi government have condemned the idea in both forms, and the Germans have denied ever considering any such thing.
* * *
TimesThrow France Off the Island
The problem, of course, is not the French, but an international system whose institutions divide legitimacy from responsibility. In this case, "responsibility" means the capacity to actually do something about lethal threats to civilization. The UN General Assembly is a parliament of rotten boroughs. The UN Security Council preserves in amber the coalition that won the Second World War, even though the old roster of great powers has been meaningless for decades. If the Council were created today, it would have quite a different membership. Friedman suggests replacing France with India. But why not take it further?
Theodore Roosevelt The Concert of Nations
* * *
Marcello Truzzi
evil crows
Copyright © 2003 by John J. Reilly

Why post old articles?

Who was John J. Reilly?

All of John's posts here

An archive of John's site