Friday, July 09, 2004


In an effort to understand how I came to be living in a country that can imprison and abuse children without anybody seemingly caring that much, I've been reading Late Thoughts on an Old War: The Legacy of Vietnam by Philip D. Beidler (not that I'm claiming that Iraq is another Vietnam--except, perhaps, in the arrogance with which we went into it). I found this quote particularly insightful:

"as our most recent exercise in 'democracy-building' in Iraq has shown, we have ... become the most adept nation in the history of the globe at making things history. As in, oh yes, but that's history. This kind of millennial doublethink ... has been the basis of a cultural arrogance perhaps characteristically Western but exacerbated by a capacity for self-delusion uniquely American. It fosters the very habits of mind that made us delusional in the first place and that have consistently let us walk away without much further reflection. Redeemer nation ... reinvents itself over and over as amnesiac nation."

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