Thursday, February 24, 2005

Wrong But Right

You've heard of accurate but fake, Indian but White Man. But have you heard of right but wrong?  Hat tip to a great blog, The American Future, which is following events in Europe. They've spotted this gem of sophisticated thinking from the Guardian describing President Bush's recent European trip.

The transatlantic reconvergence, in other words, is for real. The problem is that its purpose remains both unstated and, even to those closest to the process, somewhat unclear.

Much of this is summed up in the current transitional fluidity over the politics of Iraq. The war was a reckless, provocative, dangerous, lawless piece of unilateral arrogance. But it has nevertheless brought forth a desirable outcome which would not have been achieved at all, or so quickly, by the means that the critics advocated, right though they were in most respects.

Historians remarked that the European upper classes never recovered their prestige after the blunders of the Great War. The idea that 'the public school men knew best' took a knock in the mud of the trenches. But it was not ignorance which was at fault; for that after all can be amended. It was the obstinate persistence in error, the steadfast refusal to learn that was really at the root of much of the tragedy. Those who will not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.