Monday, April 01, 2002


I�ve just begun David McCullough�s beautiful biography of John Adams (available online here). I�m not yet 100 pages into this book, but I can already tell that it�s changing my perceptions about the man who was arguably one of the most influential players in the American Revolution.

McCullough quotes Adams�s voluminous writings throughout the book, demonstrating that Adams had an uncanny ability to predict the future. When he was in his youth, Adams crafted what has turned out to be an profound prophecy about the ascendancy of America in the global political stage. Adams had this to say about the appeasement and conciliatory measures that were being punted about the Continental Congress during it�s deliberations prior to the Declaration of Independence:
But I was not content with all that was done, and almost every day, I had something to say about advising the states to institute governments, to express my total despair of any good coming from the petition [the "Olive Branch Petition" to King George III] or of those things which were called conciliatory measures. I constantly insisted that such measures, instead of having any tendency to produce a reconciliation, would only be considered as proofs of our timidity and want of confidence in the ground we stood on, and would only encourage our enemies to greater exertions against us.
This philosophy, which could be characterized as "peace through strength" must prevail in places like Afghanistan and Israel. There can be no reconciliation with an enemy that is committed, strategically, to the destruction of not only Israel, but of the West.

Binyamin Netanyahu exhibits this Adams-esque understanding in Israeli politics, and although he is no longer Prime Minister (for now?), he obviously still exerts a strong influence, as demonstrated most recently by the justified actions Israel is taking to secure herself from terrorism.

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