Thursday, August 24, 2006


Here be Dragons

Nietzsche famously pointed out that those who fight dragons often become dragons themselves. I've thought up a similar aphorism (although alas, I'm don't have the knack for the aphoristic phrase of a Nietzsche or Confucius):

Those fought by dragon-slayers eventually become dragons themselves

Consider, for example, how Castro and Ho, being thwarted by anti-Communists, came quickly to embrace Soviet influence, the current (literal and figurative) embrace by the beleaguered Chavez of Castro and the embrace of "tribalism" by neo-cons, many of whom come from backgrounds stereotyped as tribalistic. I know that "they drove me to it" is hardly an excuse, but it does happen: when one is fought for being X, even if X is an untrue stereotype, one eventually comes to embrace being X.

So does this kind of backlash, however inexcusable, pose a risk to us (and countries aping our strategies) with our foreign policy being as confrontational as it is? IMHO, as my dairy-farming cousins in MN would say: "you betcha!"

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