Thursday, May 15, 2003 Customer Reviews: The Guns of August - August 1914 - Barbara Tuchman
Tuchman quotes the pre-war thinking of German officer Bernardi: 'Nations, he said, must progress or decay, there can be no standing still and Germany must choose world power or downfall. Among the nations Germany is in social-political respects at the head of all progress in culture... She cannot attain her great moral ends without increased political power, an enlarged sphere of influence... This increase of political power befitting our importance and which we are entitled to claim is a political necessity... What we now wish to attain must be fought for... Conquest thus becomes a law of necessity.'

Looking back from two world wars (or four world wars in neo-con speak) such doctrines must be regarded as mad or criminally irresponsible or both. What, then, are we to make of the Bush doctrine, with its 'full spectrum dominance', 'preemptive war', 'unchallenged and unchallengeable power', and 'only viable social model?' It is equally mad and equally dangerous, although rather than another world war it is more likely to lead to a worldwide pattern of terrorism and counter-terrorism (or repression and resistance), for years to come, with unknown casualties and consequences.

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