« I Told You So... | Main | Good News, Bad News »

November 11, 2009

How Should a Victorious Candidate lose a War?

In recent weeks, several of the issues I’ve struggled with since starting this blog have come together in ways that are both new and internally consistent with the different view of human nature forced on me since I started treating cannabis applicants like patients and research subjects in 2001. For one thing, I’ve had to seek answers in several disparate disciplines, something that shouldn’t be surprising because the drugs we humans self-medicate with reflect the same cognitive conflicts driving all our behaviors. In that respect, my education, training, and past experience were very helpful in some areas and left me at a disadvantage in others.

Before considering those areas in detail, (and future entries) I’d like to advance one of the key concepts that just came into focus: whether he realizes it or not, our rookie President is now struggling with a problem faced by several other national leaders since the end of World War Two: how does one lose a war gracefully; especially when the enemy won’t agree to a cease fire?

Starting with Viet Nam, several solutions have been tried unsuccessfully; Lyndon Johnson turned his back on the Democratic nomination in 1968, thus giving Richard Nixon a close victory. Nixon compounded the losing war in Viet Nam by attempting to shift the onus of defeat to the corrupt regime we’d agreed to prop up under Eisenhower and continued supporting under Kennedy. Unfortunately, Nixon also opted to punish his political enemies with what has ballooned into a global “War on Drugs,” in which surrender is also unthinkable to those charged with "winning" it.

Currently, Obama is pondering his limited options in two other losing wars in which the risks were seriously underestimated and “victory” was not defined by those who started them, exactly the same problems faced by Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon in Viet Nam and Bush-Cheney in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Doctor Tom

Posted by tjeffo at November 11, 2009 06:12 PM