Tuesday, October 31, 2006

- note to WesPAC about General Clark's Rising in New Hampshire - 10/31/06


Thanks for this. With the New Hampshire speeches last week, General Clark and the Democrats began entering a new phase. I write about phases of history and specifically how in or around the 60th post-war year, the post-war period falls apart. One sympton of this is the inability of management to think strategically and to act tactically - its the "git 'r done" impulse that today guides the administration; but it is without guidance, or plan. There is no course to stay. But when the crisis comes, the master strategists return again; the cultural breakage occurred between 1925 and 1932 in the last post-war period and the crisis then as now has similar characteristics - in many ways it was a "crisis of incompetence" which led to it but after the breakage occurred it brought forth great strategists; Roosevelt, Eisenhower, George Marshall, George Kennan. We are in a similar phase of in-between now and as far as I can see, only General Clark adresses it substantively. Like Eisenhower, he is a master strategist. The great movie Casablanca is about the period of indecision which preceded action between the wars; appeasors arise - Marshall Petain and Pierre Laval - as the French citizens are intimidated by the German bullies (Capt. Renault - Claude Reins - is surely the spiritual father of the House and Senate today, bullied by Karl Rove into voting for the invasion of Iraq although it was transparently designed by neocons for their specific agenda; lets remember their names). It is very much like a psychological sickness. But when the Marquis leader Victor Laszlo - Paul Heinreid - stands up in Rick's Cafe Americain and orders the playing of the La Marseillaise to drown out the German folk songs, the indecision breaks; the fever passes and the citizens awaken. General Clark is that rising figure - you could feel it rising in New Hamshire. (Thanks to my son Peter for photo crop skill - and to Paul Hienreid.)