Henry Kissinger: Object of Maureen Dowd's sarcasm

Historians in the News

Like W., Senator McCain values the advice of Henry Kissinger and said, “We can find wisdom in several suggestions put forward recently by Henry Kissinger.”

Why they continue to seek counsel from the man who kept the Vietnam War going for years just to protect Richard Nixon’s electoral chances is beyond mystifying. But Mr. Kissinger holds their attention with all his warnings of “American impotence” emboldening radical Islam and Iran. Can’t W. and Mr. McCain see that American muscularity, stupidly thrown around, has already emboldened radical Islam and Iran?

The president mentioned in his speech yesterday that he was reading history, and he has been summoning historians and theologians to the White House for discussions on the fate of Iraq and the nature of good and evil.

W. thinks history will be his alibi. When presidents have screwed up and want to console themselves, they think history will give them a second chance. It’s the historical equivalent of a presidential pardon.

But there are other things — morality, strategy and security — that are more pressing than history. History is just the fanciest way possible of wanting to deny or distract attention from what’s happening now.

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