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Book Club: Losing Hurts Twice as Bad

Surveying the American occupation of Iraq, Tulane political science professor Fettweis maintains that the war is a lost—and utterly pointless—cause and that the only rational course for America is to accept defeat and withdraw so that the process of national … Read More

By / September 26, 2008

Surveying the American occupation of Iraq, Tulane political science professor Fettweis maintains that the war is a lost—and utterly pointless—cause and that the only rational course for America is to accept defeat and withdraw so that the process of national recovery—marked by four distinct stages (shock and denial, anger, depression and acceptance)—can begin. Precipitous withdrawal is possible because none of the feared consequences of such an action—humanitarian disaster, regional instability or loss of U.S. credibility—is remotely likely, in Fettweis’s view. Linking the debacle in Iraq to the post-WWII grand strategy of internationalism, the author argues for a return to the founding fathers’ favored foreign policy of strategic restraint. Such a retreat from the world, the author claims, is virtually risk-free because today’s threats are minimal, and the resulting peace dividend would be better spent at home on priorities like Hurricane Katrina recovery. Fettweis’s thesis—although well-intentioned—rests on several narrowly argued assumptions: the war in Iraq is unwinnable and the national security implications [of withdrawal] will be minimal. More polemic than scholarship, this book will likely generate more heat than light.

The inimitable Christopher J. Fettweis guest blogged for Jewcy all this past week, and in that time he shared his opinion that most Americans would rather vote for Yosemite Sam than George Kennan, explained why America should adopt a strategy of restraint, demonstrated that the coming election isn’t necessarily all that important, compared his misuse of a credit card as a college student to America’s problem with debt, and showed us how schadenfreude can ease our distress as the US collapses.  Check out his posts, join the conversation, and pick up a copy of his book.

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