Sunday, June 17, 2007

The NEW History - Writing it Before it Happens

In a post by Dr. Sanity, he points to an LA Times op-ed, by CHRISTOPHER J. FETTWEIS, who is assistant professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College.
The endgame in Iraq is now clear, in outline if not detail, and it appears that the heavily favored United States will be upset. Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war. So we ought to start coming to grips with the meaning of losing in Iraq.

The consequences for the national psyche are likely to be profound, throwing American politics into a downward spiral of bitter recriminations the likes of which it has not seen in a generation. It will be a wedge that politicians will exploit for their benefit, proving yet again that politics is the eternal enemy of strategy. The Vietnam syndrome divided this country for decades; the Iraq syndrome will be no different.
Correct me if I'm wrong (and I was a history major in college), but aren't historians supposed to be experts on - well - HISTORY? Not predictions of a possible future.

But Dr. Fettweiss isn't restrained by such minutia as training, expertise, and tradition. No, he eagerly sketches a future that learns the "proper lesson" from our involvement in the Mideast. That lesson is to be soundly spanked for our hubris, and learn that History is Destiny.
Once support for a war is lost, it is gone for good; there is no example of a modern democracy having changed its mind once it turned against a war.
So, by Dr. Fettweiss' reasoning, if something hasn't happened before, it simply can't happen in the future. Such a resolutely anti-change mindset is positively Anti-American. We are, after all, the people who said, we don't care that societies always are lead by kings and despots, and chose to install an elected government.

1 comment:

Allan B said...

Now his book is out, with its use of the Kuebler-Ross dynamic of anger, denial, etc., casting many people, including Gen Petraeus, as fools and dissemblers, as we come to terms with... defeat? If victory is defined always and ever as political, meaning that the situation has changed in a way that was better than before, is this not *gulp* some kind of v-v-victory in sight? Heaven forfend.

Fettweiss was on NPR in summer 07, gabbling that
we "expected" a Jeffersonian democracy, etc. Oh?
There is a snarky supportive blurb from Jeffrey Record, whom I admire, and that is the only reason that I read through Fettweiss's book. Maybe there is good reason to be psychologically prepared for war's aftermath. OK, so?