Burton's Advice

Four years of war in Iraq! I cannot help but recall a passage in John Dunning's book " The Bookman's Promise". Central to the book was the narrative concerning Sir Richard Burton and his travels in the South just prior to our Civil War. When questioned by his companion Charles concerning England's possible involvement if a civil war did breakout Burton had some words which could apply to the Iraq War. He responded that if the Prime Minister of England sought his thoughts they would be:" That we would be ill-advised to get involved in this conflict in any way. That the American spirit will not be defeated. That even if the South should somehow prevail-it won't-but even then there would resistance groups at work to restore the union, and that intervention or tampering by any foreign power, especially one based thousand of miles away, would be insane. That such a foreign power can expect fierce guerilla warfare , perhaps for years, with many casualties. The day is coming when no power, not even England, will be able to sustain such a war. If Palmerston brings us into it, it will be a quagmire and history will remember his name for that above all else. That's what I'll tell him."Would that there had been such a voice advising the President prior to our intervention in Iraq.

1 comment:

Caroline said...

Tony, I truly enjoy your insightful comments. I especially appreciate this one. Thank you for posting them.