Kennan and Containment

I had no idea that George Kennan was still alive. The man who literally wrote America’s containment policy, the policy that has directed our foreign policy for nearly sixty years now, is 98 and living in Georgetown. Speaking about Bush’s desire to wage war with Iraq, Kennan said:

War has a momentum of its own and it carries you away from all thoughtful intentions when you get into it. Today, if we went into Iraq, like the president would like us to do, you know where you begin. You never know where you are going to end.

He is also critical of Congressional Democrats, who are allowing the President to make this a purely political issue, despite Daschle’s protests.

I wonder why the Democrats have not asked the president right out, “What are you talking about? Are you talking about one war or two wars? And if it’s two wars, have we really faced up to the competing demands of the two?” This is, to me, as a very old, independent citizen, a shabby and shameful reaction. I deplore this timidity out of concern for the elections on the part of the Democrats.