Blogs > Liberty and Power > No Need to Rewrite the Whole Story

Mar 24, 2005 9:44 pm

No Need to Rewrite the Whole Story

Recently, while reading Walter Karp's book about how the United States came to be engaged in the Spanish-American War and in World War I (The Politics of War: The Story of Two Wars Which Altered Forever the Political Life of the American Republic [1890-1920]. New York: Harper and Row, 1979), I was struck by the many parallels with how the United States came to be engaged in the current war against Iraq.

To demonstrate these parallels, I took a number of passages from Karp's text and replaced the original persons, places, and dates with those pertinent to the present war, retaining the basic story line. The results appear in "Plus Ça Change . . . A Template for the U.S. War in Iraq," and "In Seeking War, George W. Bush Held True to Form."

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Kenneth R Gregg - 3/25/2005

I completely agree with Bill. Karp's Politics of War is an excellent analysis of the period. Trenchant, honest and clearly written.

I'm amazed at how well Higg's dropping in current leadership names and actions fit perfectly within Karp's mold. And sad, too, that the U.S. has blindly repeated the same foolishness over again.

Perhaps we need a new Cabinet member, dressed up in a clown suit--a Jokester, who will remind the others of idiocy and laugh at pompous fools basking in the light of their new-found glory. Perhaps the Jokester could remind them of reality.

Just a thought.
Just Ken

William Marina - 3/24/2005

Dear Bob,
I agree about what a fine book Karp wrote. I reviewed it in Reason magazine in 1980. The title, The Politics of War, was the title of a chapter in his earleir book, Indispensable Enemies: The Politics of Misrule in America (1973), about the corruption of the party system.