'Intelligent discontent is the mainspring of civilization.' -- Eugene V. Debs

Monday, August 07, 2006

Domino Theories (or a Post in which I Rip-off Billmon's Schtickt) 

Eisenhower on the strategic importance of Indochina, 1954: (from here)

[Y]ou have broader considerations that might follow what you would call the 'falling domino' principle. You have a row of dominoes set up, you knock over the first one, and what will happen to the last one is the certainty that it will go over very quickly. So you could have a beginning of a disintegration that would have the most profound influences. [ ... ]

[W]ith respect to more people passing under this domination, Asia, after all, has already lost some 450 million of its peoples to the Communist dictatorship, and we simply can't afford greater losses.

But when we come to the possible sequence of events, the loss of Indochina, of Burma, of Thailand, of the Peninsula, and Indonesia following, now you begin to talk about areas that not only multiply the disadvantages that you would suffer through loss of materials, sources of materials, but now you are talking really about millions and millions and millions of people.

Rumsfeld on the strategic importance of staying in Iraq, last Thursday: (from here)

I know there are calls in some quarters for withdrawal or arbitrary timelines for withdrawals. The enemies hear those words as well.

We need to be realistic about the consequences. If we left Iraq prematurely, as the terrorists demand, the enemy would tell us to leave Afghanistan and then withdraw from the Middle East. And if we left the Middle East, they'd order us and all those who don't share their militant ideology to leave what they call the occupied Muslim lands from Spain to the Philippines. And then we would face not only the evil ideology of these violent extremist, but an enemy that will have grown accustomed to succeeding in telling free people everywhere what to do.

We can persevere in Iraq or we can withdraw prematurely until they force us to make a stand nearer home. But make no mistake, they're not going to give up whether we acquiesce in their immediate demands or not.

I guess those who don't remember propaganda are doomed to repeat it, or something...

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