On Mixing War and Politics

19 Feb

From the pen of Dr. Thomas Sowell, my favorite writer – an excerpt from a recent column of his titled “Another Galling Betrayal”.  The entire column can be found at

http://www.creators.com/opinion/thomas-sowell/another-galling-betrayal.html

Excerpt:

. . . .

If we learn nothing else from the bitter tragedy of the war in Afghanistan, it should be that we should put an end forever to the self-indulgence of thinking that we can engage in “nation-building” and creating “democracy” in countries where nothing resembling democracy has ever existed. . . .

F.A. Hayek said, “We shall not grow wiser until we learn that much that we have done was very foolish.” Nothing is more foolish — and immoral — than sending men into battle to risk their lives winning victories that are later lost by politicians for political reasons.

That started long before the war in Afghanistan. Vietnam was a classic example. Years after that war was over, the Communist victors themselves admitted that they lost militarily in Vietnam, as they knew they would. But they won politically in America, with the help of Americans, including the media — as they also knew they would.

The war in Iraq was more of the same. American troops won that war but our politicians lost the peace. Terrorists have now taken over, and raised Al Qaeda flags, in some Iraqi towns that American troops liberated at the cost of many lives.

How did this happen? It happened much the same way it happened in Afghanistan. We insisted on trying to create a “democracy” in the Middle East — a place with a history going back thousands of years, without a single democracy.

[End of excerpt]

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2 Responses to “On Mixing War and Politics”

  1. Anonymous February 19, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Yes, and many of the civilian public bought into the postulate that “once they taste democracy they will love it” forgetting that many living in a democracy do not “love” it. Have we learned from this debacle? I doubt it.

    • illero February 19, 2014 at 8:17 am #

      Thanks for visiting and commenting. You are so right. In fact, most of the people who have never tasted democracy probably have in mind a pure democracy with simple majority rule, which not only do we in the U.S. not have, but which would probably quickly lead back to tyranny.

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