Blogs > Cliopatria > Analogy as Prediction

Dec 12, 2005 9:43 am

Analogy as Prediction

Can someone explain, seriously, to this non-Americanist [in oh-so-many ways] what is George W. Bush's intent in continuously comparing Iraqis to America's founders? Is the intention to highlight America's role as the failed imperial power? Or that there is a civil war coming soon in Iraq?

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Nathanael D. Robinson - 12/14/2005

Considering conservatives are fond of prognosticating the enduring weakness of the EU on the basis of "not having gone through a Civil War like the US," why should it not be logical, if the US is a normative model of nationalization, that a civil conflict should erupt in the future before the Iraqis can become a united people?

Manan Ahmed - 12/13/2005

Also, Ronald Reagan, "the mujahideen are the moral equivalent of the founding fathers of Afghanistan" about the Mujhadeen [later taliban]...

Greg James Robinson - 12/13/2005

No, he is part of a long tradition of Presidents using reference to the American revolution as a way to suggest that a repressive regime deserves American support. Please see, for example, Lyndon Johnson, "Diem is the George Washington of South Vietnam"; and Ronald Reagan, "The contreas in Nicaragua are the moral equal of our Founding Fathers"

Nathanael D. Robinson - 12/12/2005

Interesting. Does that also mean that Bush is saying that Iraq will need substantial assistance from foreign militaries in order to achieve their democracy?

Rebecca Anne Goetz - 12/12/2005

Agreed, but I think part of it is also the (unsavory) American habit of idolizing our founding era and its participants. It's a natural analogy since most Americans think of our founding as a blessed, providential event. I could be overreading Bush here, but I detect overtones of that sentiment in his speeches as well.

Jonathan T. Reynolds - 12/12/2005

I suspect his goal is to suggest that contemporary Iraqis are forging a fledgeling democracy, as were the early citizens of the US.