Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Today is Tuesday, 8 May 2007.

I am only 55, yet I have been waiting for 3 decades for a proper biography of George Frost Kennan (1904-2005).

This volume I today purchased, and hold in my hand, is not that proper biography, but it will do ‘til then.

George Kennan: A Study of Character, by the esteemed John Lukacs.

Kennan is the only significant person in the US Govt. in the Early Cold War Period who comes to mind who had some sense. He advocated, not war with the USSR, but “Containment”, a status quo, waiting for the USSR to fall apart.

I will have to address this subject at length in the future, because it will take too many words for this evening’s column, but, students of the subject will recall the brilliant “Long Telegram” of 1946”:


When it comes to anti-Communism, Kennan was a measured and ethical Tough Guy.

I regret I was so foolish as to not make the time to take the train from NYC to Princeton and chatting the man up. By the time I spoke with his secretary, he was in his final illness.

More fool me.

Kennan wasn’t ignorant and sociopathic, like W Bush, nor bombastic and venal, like Nixon.

Kennan wrote the following in 1982 (when Reagan, among others, slobbered at the possibility of imminent Armageddon):

“The readiness to use nuclear weapons against other human beings --- against people whom we do not know, whom we have never seen, and whose guilt or innocence is not for us to establish --- this is nothing more than a presumption, a blasphemy, an indignity --- an indignity of monstrous proportions --- offered to God!”

Amen, and amen.


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