HOLY WAR: The Lure of Victory and the Passing of America as a World Power by James A. Thomas

HOLY WAR: The Lure of Victory and the Passing of America as a World Power

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Above all else, says Thomas, the experience of Korea and Vietnam has taught us that the American public does not understand and hence will not tolerate limited, ""win-less"" wars -- military ventures with a solid ideological rationale but lacking the necessary beginning-middle-end and ""moral drama"" we grooved on in World Wars I and II. But with nuclear confrontation out of the question, we must come to accept and even enthusiastically endorse the concept of limited response -- not only the Vietnams but actions such as those in Lebanon, Berlin, the Congo, and the Dominican Republic -- if the U.S. is to remain a Great Power. But look who stands in the way of educating the people to such understanding: yes, the same bunch who invented containment back in the '40's -- the liberals. Now, with the guilt of Nam on their hands, they're crying ""Never Again!,"" burying their heads in the sands of ""intellectual flab and moral pretense,"" beating the isolationist drum. This is part of the beginning of the inevitable reaction to the Vietnam tragedy (for two other points of view, see Drew Middleton's bitter Retreat from Victory, KR, p. 170, and Henry Brandon's fine The Retreat of American Power, KR, p. 153) and it is worth reading and thinking about, for Mr. Thomas, a philosophy professor currently studying journalism at the Univ. of Missouri, makes his case intelligently, although the fulminations against radical academics, the advocacy press, and Ms. Fonda are tiresome and not really necessary.

Pub Date: Nov. 7th, 1973
Publisher: Arlington House