Wednesday, June 06, 2007
The Price for Arrogance
I. "Scooter" Libby Sentenced to 30 Months in Prison for Lying
The president,however, might succumb to pressure from Vice President Cheney and other conservatives. As the saying goes, on this issue he is between the proverbial a rock and a hard place. He is probably praying for Libby to succeed in staying out of prison until the 2008 election as the appeals process moves through the courts.
Reading about Libby's jail sentence reminded me of passages from the book.
The attitude above all others which I feel sure is no longer valid is the arrogance of power, the tendency of great nations to equate power with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission. The dilemmas involved are preeminently American dilemmas, not because America has weaknesses that others do not have but because America is powerful as no nation has ever been before and the discrepancy between its power and the power of others appears to be increasing....
We are now engaged in a war to "defend freedom" in South Vietnam. Unlike the Republic of Korea, South Vietnam has an army which [is] without notable success and a weak, dictatorial government which does not command the loyalty of the South Vietn amese people. The official war aims of the United States Government, as I understand them, are to defeat what is regarded as North Vietnamese aggression, to demonstrate the futility of what the communists call "wars of national liberation," and to create conditions under which the South Vietnamese people will be able freely to determine their own future. I have not the slightest doubt of the sincerity of the President and the Vice President and the Secretaries of State and Defense in propounding these aims. What I do doubt - and doubt very much - is the ability of the United States to achieve these aims by the means being used. I do not question the power of our weapons and the efficiency of our logistics; I cannot say these things delight me as they seem to delight some of our officials, but they are certainly impressive. What I do question is the ability of the United States, or France or any other Western nation, to go into a small, alien, undeveloped Asian nation and create stability where there is chaos, the will to fight where there is defeatism, democracy racy where there is no tradition of it and honest government where corruption is almost a way of life. Our handicap is well expressed in the pungent Chinese proverb: "In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."
The Bushies, of course, remain oblivious. They live in a sort of dreamland of their making. But lately things have not been going well for them.....perhaps occasional nightmares haunt their sleep.