I disagree with Hightower.

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Walk softly and carry a big stick.

               I enjoyed the movie The Wind and the Lion  (1975) in which the Raisuli (Sean Connery), a minor Berber leader in Morocco, has taken as hostage a woman named Perdicaris and her two children. (In real life it was her husband that he held.  However, that would not have been nearly as titillating as was his holding of Candice Bergen.)  

The Raisuli then sent his demands to President Theodore Roosevelt (Brian Keith) in Washington.   The answer that he got was not what he had expected.

It read: “America wants Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.”

It is good theatre and a good representation of the young republic coming of age and taking its place on the world stage.  It included a display of force to impress the Europeans who were there.  It was what I have called KATN (kick ass and take names) foreign policy.  It was arguably appropriate then. 

However, if you roll the clock forward a hundred years, and use that approach now I do not think that it would work so well.  For most of the last hundred years we have been at the peak of world power.  But we have been at the peak of our power as well.  In the future we are going to have to be more flexible if we want to exercise any leadership in the world. 

1 comment:

  1. I would like to agree with the last sentence and I may, but I am not sure.

    If I roll the situation with Raisuli and Perdicaris into the present I see a hell fire missile fired from a predator drone flying in Raisuli’s window. Works for me.