Thu, 20 March 2014
The problem with foreign policy that depends entirely on analogy with the past is that it ignores current reality. We fight the war just ended.
The lesson of World War I was that events can spiral out of control. Treaties made at the drop of a hat are sometimes paid for so many times over, the original tripwire becomes meaningless in comparison.
And so Neville Chamberlain learned the lesson and declared Peace in our Time as he left Munich.
The lesson of Munich was that appeasement never works. Lines must be drawn and never compromised.
And President Johnson drew that line in Vietnam against the monolithic Communist conspiracy to rule the world.
The lesson of Vietnam was that war and peace were not simply in the hands of two superpowers. There were other players in a world of client nations.
President Bush and Vice President Cheney applied the lesson of national sponsors of terrorism after the al Qaeda attacks in New York and Washington. They searched for the culprit among smaller nations and found Saddam Hussein's Iraq.