Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ethnocentrism and Blithe Indifference

In the Washington Post editorial "Trapped by Hubris, Again," Robert Kaiser writes,

"In Vietnam, as in Iraq, U.S. military power alone proved unable to achieve the desired political objectives. How did this happen again? After all, we're Americans - practical, common-sense people who know how to get things done. Or so we'd like to think. In truth, we are ethnocentric to a fault, certain of own superiority, convinced that others see us as we do, blithely indifferent to cultural, religious, political, and historical realities far different from our own. These failings - more than any tactical or strategic errors - help explain the U.S. catastrophes in Vietnam and Iraq."


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