It’s a complicated world, and it becomes more complicated every day. Now, more than ever, political decisions are based on incomplete analysis. But however difficult the decision, once a conclusion is reached, action must be unambiguous.
There’s a story about Alexander the Great that goes something like this:
When Alexander was rampaging across Asia, he came to a place where some ancient monarch had left a tangled knot behind with the provision that whoever could untie it should be made king. Many wannabe rulers had tried and failed to untie the knot, but Alexander simply drew his sword and slashed it apart.
That may be one reason he was so great. He refused to be distracted by complicated nonsense.
I liken this legendary conqueror to Harry Truman. The decision to drop the atom bomb was obviously very difficult. The implications were horrible and the pros and cons complex. But had he not dropped the bomb, we might still be fighting World War II.
No modern American – or British or European – politician has shown that kind of decisiveness.
They’re like Wile E. Coyote trying to change his mind after running off a cliff (see illustration above).
The same is true of NATO. And especially the UN.
Look at what’s going on in Libya, for example.
The super-powers obviously want Gaddafi out of there. But instead of taking whatever action is required to achieve that objective, they utter mealy-mouth platitudes and take tiny steps, letting “I dare not” wait upon “I would,” like the poor cat i’ the adage (as Lady Macbeth put it).
That kind of cowardly indecision can be fatal. While western politicians and pundits ponder the possibility of blowback from a full-scale assault, thousands of rebels are dying.
I say get in or get out. But stop this nonsense.