Tuesday, March 22, 2005

I failed to notice the passing of George F. Kennan at the age of 101.

I had the good fortune to stumble upon a copy of his memoirs at a book sale at the US Embassy compound in Bonn back when I worked there and I bought and read it, despite the fact that diplomatic history has never much been my bag and that I distrust memoirs. I didn't regret it. Good book. Kennan was one of those guys who was everywhere when it mattered: the OSS, Yugoslavia, India, the State Department, Moscow, etc. He was the very definition of "clear eyed", even in his relative youth, and tended to say what he thought (if only through the proper channels).

I heartily suggest that everyone who reads this take a moment to look into Mr Kennan. He helped make the world in which we live, and lived to regret it and, unlike self-servers like Robert MacNamara, he was pretty quick to recognize and seek to correct his mistakes.

George F. Kennan, Americahater, RIP.


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