Kaiser Bush II?Man, when Billmon gets on a roll, he really gets going. He draws some excellent historical parallels between the present position of the United States under President Bush and Germany under Kaiser Wilhelm II prior to World War I. For example:
Wilhelm II, however, was a different sort of emperor — insecure and arrogant, inept as a strategist but intolerant of criticism or dissent. He quickly rid himself of Bismark, and embarked on a program of military expansion and aggressive, if erratic, diplomatic bluster. Germany, he proclaimed, must have its place in the sun.
That sounds familiar, indeed.
I mentioned some similar ideas, though not as fully fleshed out just over a year ago “when I wrote”:http://www.back-to-iraq.com/archives/000281.php:
This isn’t the start of World War III, it’s the start of World War I — a very stupid war, started thanks to a tangle of alliances, national pride and personal egos involved. It never had to happen. And — again with the irony — WWI is the war that brought the world to this point, spawning the League of Nations, the failure of which led to World War II and the later creation of the United Nations and the Security Council. It also saw the destruction of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the Kingdom of Iraq. And let’s not forget the use of chemical weapons — allegedly the reason for the great big army in the desert. It was a war that embodied the Law of Unintended Consequences.
Well, we’ve certainly got consequences now. Isolation, manpower shortages and nigh daily casualties, civilian deaths and a resurgent foe. We’re in for a long year.