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View Diary: Catch Us Before We Fall Into the Death Spiral (291 comments)

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  •  War experience also makes a people less bellicose (7+ / 0-)

    The survivors, I mean.  Which is why I have a hard time being too critical of Neville Chamberlain and those in Britain and Europe who wanted to try to negotiate with Hitler to avoid a second world war.  It's easy to see their error in retrospect, but at the time, having just concluded the cataclysm of WWI 20 years before (which used to seem like a much longer period of time than it does to me now!), I have some appreciation for why they were extraordinarily reluctant to go down that road yet again.  The casualty figures from WWI are often staggering:  Verdun, the Somme, Ypres (First, Second, and Third).  Reading about them is enough to nearly boggle my mind and bring tears to my eyes.  I can't begin to imagine having lived through some of them and survived and then being faced with the choice of whether to take your country right back into what you know will be the fires of hell.

    •  The problem with moments like these - the one (10+ / 0-)

      we are facing right now in the Middle East - is that they signal complete and utter failure on the part of humanity to stop them from coming to pass in the first place.  Rewind the way back machine to the end of World War I and all of the collective mistakes we made after that conflict made Hitler possible.  That was why wise people after World War II decided to create the Marshall Plan.  I don't know if war really makes people less bellicose.  Maybe it makes people more tired than anything.  But how we manage the peace has more to do with whether we can hold onto to peace than war does. That is my feeling anyway.

      The Lebanese Prime Minister just spoke and I am not sure how his speach will effect the situation.  He wasn't exactly war mongering, but he wasn't exactly backing off.  He did make an attmept to distinguish Lebanon from Hezbollah's actions.  See I think that there are a lot of Lebanese people who are being held hostage in this situation and what I am most concerned about is whether or not those reasonable people will survive and will not become more embittered about Israel.  We may have passed that point though.

      •  George H.W. Bush understood better (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        inclusiveheart, viscerality, Bhishma

        The first President Bush understood and appreciated the entire post-WWII structure of international relations, of which the U.S. was the major architect and a prime supporter (and beneficiary, of course):  the UN, NATO, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), IMF and the World Bank and the many international financial organizations and agreements, major international treaties such as the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and the Law of the Sea Treaty, etc., etc., etc.  Bush I and his closest international advisors such as Scrowcroft, Schultz, Eagleton and others had worked in and with that entire system.  Unfortunately, W and Karl Rove and the neo-con idealogues thought that these were old-fashioned and served only to slow down the U.S. in its imagined new role as the world's hyperpower.  So they set about ignoring them, at best, or undermining or dismantling them in some cases -- often using them as a partisan bludgeon to batter their political enemies as "naive" and "soft."
            How incredibly foolish.  As the nation atop the pyramid, we needed that structure much more than anybody else.  And we're deep into the process of finding that out now, with a vengeance.      

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