This essay, quoted from Atlantic Monthly, suggests that your worldview can be summed up by what period of the 20th century you think 2006 is like.
1938ers think that Germany (Iran) is a growing threat that we ignore at our peril. Don’t repeat the mistakes of Munich!
1942ers think we are bogged down against Japan (Iraq/terr’sts) and we mustn’t give up the struggle because victory is inevitable if only we don’t lose our will.
1948ers see the growing threat of the Soviet Union (Islamist Extremists) but believe a policy of aggressive diplomacy and containment is the surest path to victory.
1919ers see Wilson (Bush) as a dangerous idealist who is sacrificing America’s interests on some vague, impossible mission.
1972ers think we should just get out of ‘Nam (Iraq) now since defeat is inevitable. Escalation to Cambodia (Iran) would be reckless and cruel.
The blogger adds his own commentary…
The only thing I might add to the argument is how Osama bin Laden, Zawahiri, and the Islamofacists see it – 1683, perhaps, early in the year, sometime before the Ottoman defeat at the gates of Vienna?
…but why would all the good guys be choosing a year that represents [narrowly-avoiding]-a-bad-choice-but-it-will-all-be-alright-in-the-end while the bad guys are so stupid that they choose a year that represents massive defeat followed by a long period of humiliation? If I were an Islamofascist, I’d be comparing al-Qaeda with the Saracens, not the Ottomans. But maybe he knows something I don’t. After all, he is a professor and I am not.
The essay’s author leaves the threat of 1914 dangling ominously but doesn’t make it clear how the allied and central powers could avoid sleepwalking into catastrophe. Which side are we? Do both sides need to wake up to avoid the abyss?
I’m a 48er. What year are you?