Boots & Sabers

The blogging will continue until morale improves...


Everything but tech support.

0738, 18 Mar 24

“Sometimes you had to fight it, sometimes you had to deal with it”

Here’s an interesting perspective from Gaddis’ biography of George F. Kennan:
“Foreign policy was not, therefore, a contest of good vs. evil. To condemn negotiations as appeasement, Kennan told a Princeton University audience early in October, was to end a Hollywood movie with the villain shot. To entrust diplomacy to lawyers was to relegate power, ‘like sex, to a realm in which we see it only occasionally, and then in a highly sublimated and presentable form.’ Both approaches ignored the fact that most international conflicts were ‘jams that people have gotten themselves into.’ Trying to resolve them through rigid standards risked making things worse. Evil existed, to be sure: the Soviet regime reflected it, as had Nazi Germany. Sometimes you had to fight it, sometimes you had to deal with it. The important question was ‘what sort of compromises we make,’ not how to ‘escape altogether the necessity of making such compromises.'”

0738, 18 March 2024


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