...pace CNN, most Americans probably are not in imminent danger of death by stingray. But I do wonder if Irwin, having taken risks so oftten in the past, having cheated death on so many occasions, may not have gradually become over-confident in the face of danger.
Nations, as much as individuals are susceptible to such thinking. Kissinger said – I wish I could find the exact quote – that past victories can lead to defeat because those past victories can appear to have been inevitable.
I worry that because Americans proved equal to the task of defeating the Axis is the 1940s, and because the Communists lost the Cold War, too many of us have come to think we will of course defeat the Militant Islamists or the Islamo-Fascists or Radical Jihadis or whatever term you prefer. But the outcome of those other pastwars was not inevitable. Nor is the outcome of this one. Every stingray is a very real and present danger. |Cliff May, The Corner|
So, in the fever swamp, the lesson of Steve Irwin's death is that the doctrine of prevention is fully and completely justified. Or something like that. I'm just guessing that May won't move from "stingrays are dangerous if you poke them" to "don't poke stingrays" but will rather conclude that the only prudent course of action is to purge stingrays/islamofascists from the seas/earth.