pick of the day

Today's pick adds another dimension to the above commentary on the Iraqi crisis; it is a discussion by Chidanand Rajghatta in The Times of India recalling The Ugly American, the once-influential novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer that prophetically documented U.S. foreign policy failures in Southeast Asia, thereby prompting President Eisenhower to make a sincere (but ultimately ill-fated) attempt to reform the State Department and the diplomatic service. While Rajghatta's work has a distinctly angry flavor and makes several points with which most conservatives would probably disagree, it nevertheless provides an interesting perspective on how the war with terrorist Islam appears from much shorter range. Rajghatta's assertion that from one U.S. presidential administration to the next, "There is...very little institutional record or memory, and even less inclination, that can help U.S. mandarins learn from past mistakes," is an undeniably justified indictment. His complete essay is available here.

posted by on April 12, 2004 12:54 PM