Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Those who slept through history class...

In 1965, Robert Taber's book War of the flea was published. It was a study of guerilla warfare and looked at how insurgencies win, and even occasionally lose. Taber's book seems prescient as regards Iraq, but in fact he also predicted the course of the Vietnam war, three years before the Tet offensive revealed the cracks in industrialised warfare รก la the U.S Army.

Taber felt that vested interests, primarily U.S fruit and coffee companies were setting the stage for similar hopeless wars in latin america. Taber ultimately said that "revolution cannot be suppressed" any more and needs to be channeled. Rather than spending money on a huge military presence, Taber argued that the USA should create latin american and african Swedens [my interpretation] to forestall revolution(Taber p.188).

It was as I read this that I realised that the US cannot do this, create liberal bourgoise welfare states, because Cuba and other leftist authoritarion states a provide examples in a false dichotomy of domestic U.S. political rhetoric, examples to maintain the domestic status quo.

"If we don't stay true to American values, we're gonna be just like Cuba." The US doesn't want to see a more "european" Canada either, because many american citizens might want to see such changes in their own country. Oddly enough,Cuba's Fidel Castro is just the boogy man the US needs to intimidate its own people. Fortunately, Venezuala's Hugo Chavez has appeared to say "boo" just as Fidel's health has begun to fail.

It's a pity that the "vulcans", as Rice, Wolfowitz ,et al styled themselves, didn't heed this book. As for the U.S. president, he is doomed to repeat history, himself a botched chimera of Teddy Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson.

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"If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country."
-E.M. Forster