Saturday, July 02, 2005

Shelby Foote on Iraq Situation

Field Maloney: "Foote had not lost his keen sense of historical perspective. The Abu Ghraib scandal had recently broke, and he was surprised that Bush had stood by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld after the failures of postwar planning in Iraq. 'Lincoln went through six leaders of the Army before he got to Grant, whom he trusted enough to leave alone. All the others always had to look back over their shoulders. And Lincoln had to. They had wrong strategies and wrong notions of war.'

Foote mentioned that he had been reading Tacitus over and over. 'Tacitus writes about high-placed scoundrels. He's so damned good. He said that he wrote so that people would be ashamed of bad things and proud of good things.' Foote borrowed a quote from Tacitus in his final volume of The Civil War. That afternoon in Memphis, he was reminded of it: "A German, watching the Roman legions passing through the area beyond the Rhine, tearing it all up, says, 'They make a wilderness and call it peace.' I think we're doing some of that ourselves now." "
The perspective on Iraq from a great Southerner storyteller, controversial historian, a lover of bourbon, dogs, perspective, and the truth about man, war, and our conundrums.
(For UD.)

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