We live in historic times, and very few examples from history can fail to resonate in some way with current events. I found retracing of the Battle of Yorktown with Steve especially relevant.
On October 19, 1781, Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered his forces to General George Washington at Yorktown, Virginia, marking the end of America's struggle for independence. Britain's defeat in this battle was partly the result of a lengthy campaign that involved skilled application of guerillas tactics by the Americans and a brilliant joint and combined force operation conducted by American and French land and maritime forces. It also came about because of the pitiable foreign policies of King George of England and the arrogance and incompetence of his titled general officers.
Whatever line may have once demarked American foreign policies from domestic ones has vanished, probably forever. We cannot possibly address our internal woes effectively without some sort of workable solution to the overseas fiasco our Unitary George has created, but I'm somewhat pessimistic that the majority of our leading presidential hopefuls can provide that solution.
John McCain gives the promise of more war, even though war has devolved over the Bush decade into a degenerative tool of foreign policy. All Mitt Romney seems offer is a chance bribe the rest of the world into cooperating with us from his personal fortune, but even his pockets aren't deep enough to pull off a stunt like that. As best I can tell, the crux of Mike Huckabee's foreign policy plan involves having Chuck Norris beat up anybody who doesn't do what we tell them to, and I fear Hillary Clinton will still be explaining how she didn't really vote for the war in Iraq she voted for even as she explains how she didn’t really promise to get us out of it.
That leaves one viable candidate who might have a chance of hauling us out of the sand trap we've hooked our way into. So far, Barack Obama's taste in foreign policy advisers (like Zbigniew Brzezinski) seems impeccable. Let's just hope we never hear of him hunkering down with the likes of Bill Kristol and Fred Kagan.
Jeff's novel Bathtub Admirals (Kunati Books) will be available April 1, 2008.