Here’s a beautiful (that is, ugly) contemporary American illustration of the probelm Habakkuk was dealing with, as referenced in the prior post. I found this quote in a diary from “tiggers thoughtful spot,” who kindly directed me to its source in Jonah Goldberg.

I’m not sure my friend Michael Ledeen will thank me for ascribing authorship to him and he may have only been semi-serious when he crafted it, but here is the bedrock tenet of the Ledeen Doctrine in more or less his own words: “Every ten years or so, the United States needs to pick up some small crappy little country and throw it against the wall, just to show the world we mean business.”

I’ve mentioned Ledeen and his hero, Machiavelli, before on this site. [The Spirit of the Bush Team] [Machiavelli, Bush, and Jesus] He is a classic morally bankrupt very intelligent neo-con whose thinking is characteristic of this administration. It is in the heart of this administration’s thinking, since he is a respected advisor and a basic source of ideology for our leaders.

Here’s a little more from the original Goldberg article in the National Review.

you will at least agree that any legitimate argument against crushing Saddam’s regime does not include the assertion that Saddam is somehow undeserving of such a fate. He’s an avowed admirer of Stalin – Stalin! – and considers torture and mass murder to be the workaday tools of statecraft.

I am so deeply shocked! No American leader would ever justify using such tactics, I am sure!

Oops. My bad. That about Saddam and Stalin was written in 2002. My how times, and Republican values, change.

You see – and this is truly a great tragedy – we have become what we said we despised, and many of us even seem to be proud of it. Maybe we’d better go read that chapter from Habakkuk again.

“They are a feared and dreaded people; they are a law to themselves and promote their own honor … guilty men, whose own strength is their god.”

Back to Goldberg (and a slight change of topic):

But Saddam has very little to do with al Qaeda (as far as we know). The Islamic fundamentalists hate Saddam

Ah. Even Goldberg and the National Review get it right sometimes!