Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Right Always Screams Loudest

Another quote from The Lost Peace:
Truman’s initial decision to respond to [North Korean] aggression made eminent good sense. To stand aside would have carried unacceptable political consequences at home and abroad. But crossing the [38th] parallel proved to be reckless, serving neither the United States in general nor the White House in particular: it cost thousands of additional American lives, provoked antagonisms with China for another twenty years, and largely destroyed Truman’s capacity to lead. The only initial gain for his administration was in quieting political attacks from the American right, which would have pilloried the president and [Secretary of State Dean] Acheson for missing a chance to liberate North Korea from communism. The the invasion of the North brought Truman only six months of bipartisan support. Once he rejected [General Douglas] MacArthur’s ill-advised strategy for a wider war with China and, if necessary, Soviet Russia, he became the object of a renewed right-wing vilification.

Going on 60 years now. Always on the warpath.



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