I just, finally, finished Robert Timberg’s The Nighingale’s Song. Last month, I posted some lines that related to Jim Webb. A description of Ronald Reagan brings to mind another national, and for me local, political figure: He “was anyone you wanted him to be, stone soup made flesh, a vessel into which others contributed both their own expectations of him and man of the ingredients that defines his presidency…he portrayed himself as a strong leader determined to renew America at home and restore its standing abroad.”
Some other perhaps timely quotes from the book:
[Jonathan] Poindexter nevertheless failed to heed the most important less on the American tragedy in Indochina. If you can’t persuade Congress and the people that your policy makes sense, you’d better take another look at the policy.
Timberg also notes Webb’s opposition to the 1991 Gulf War, an opposition “rooted in the Lebanon experience and the central lesson he had drawn from it: never get involved in a five-sided argument. He also insisted that U.S. involvement could set loose forces that might haunt American policy in the region for decades to come.”