USGov's greatest blunders of the last 100 years


Interesting list, though I personally cannot agree with #9, and though there were some legal problems with Roe v Wade, I generally support the outcome of "freedom of choice." I also have reservations about #4; it's speculative on your part, and usually wars don't work out like planned; in addition there are all the usual Libertarian arguments against wars in general.

There are so many other things that could be added. I wouldn't forget that other disaster of 1913 (of which you have already listed two), namely the change to the direct election of Senators. The whole "progressive" movement at the beginning of the century that culminated in the "revolution of 1913" and WW-I could be listed.

You might not agree, but I would also add the use of the atom bomb on Japanese innocents as pretty high on my list of bad things this last 100 years. So was the firebombing in Europe and Japan, as well as many other atrocities committed in the numerous wars including right up to the present.

Getting us into the two World Wars must also rank as pretty bad stuff... esp. World War I. Started badly. Ended badly. Could write my own speculative history of what might have happened if we hadn't entered WW-I, but don't think this is required in order to condemn our action.

How about the U.N.? Guaranteed to make any local conflict a multi-national affair!

Before you added your "100 year" qualification, I was wondering why you let Lincoln off the hook so easy!


Derek - I largely agree with Rich. And #4 is only
apparent in hindsight.

I might add some Nixonian currency stuff as well,
which of course will finally manifest itself over the
next 5yrs. I recently read some very ill analysis on
Wilson that would have me bump him up the list as the
'founder of American Imperialism'

Of course Lincoln was dead by 1906 though.

good stuff..

--- Richard Newell <richard@...> wrote:

If we had invaded in August
1945, we woulda had our
hats handed to us by the
Soviets, as they handled
most of the dirty work in
WWII and jsut a few years
later we almost lost our ... in
Korea, Getting out of
Vietnam was the most
adult thing this tired empire
has done since George
Washington said Farewell
and the exit was a triumph
for democracy, which
usually works poorly. Viet
Nam helped the Soviet
Union see a way out of
Afganistan, and untimately
out of Eastern Europe, and
fianlly out of the entire
Soviet system. I would have
to add our protection racket
with Saudi Arabia, our
installation of the Shah, and
just our entire Middle east
policy over the last fourty
years as perhaps our
greatest mistake that keeps
on compounding.
Seeds of hate sown in the
ancient battles of Serbia
may entagle us yet..
Meanwhile, gold continues
it's run to fresh multi
decade highs in the low
580's and silver has
exploded. Anything can
happen in the short run, but
austrian economics and
history have a special place
waiting for the usd and the
entire global faith based
monetary system. Watch
the fun on Very
amusing today is that the
new Fed Chair,Professor
Bernanke, gave a speach
earlier this week, and more
than half the refernces he
used were his own prior
Got gold?

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Not quite. Nixon could have gotten us out of Viet Nam in an adult manner but
he did not do so. He lied to the voters instead (1) ; he told us we had
already won! Soon after the US withdrew, the North quickly conquered the

I bring this up because it looks like history will repeat itself in Iraq.
As that country slips farther into chaos, Bush finally starts talking about
an exit strategy, at a future time when the US-trained Iraqis can take over.
Will the voters believe that when exit time comes, or will they know better?

Looking back on history, we can see these obvious blunders. How could we
have been so stupid we ask ourselves? Common wisdom says that hindsight just
makes them obvious. However, I think most of the mistakes were also
obvious to informed people at the time. What matters is whether or not the
voters got the message of truth, or fell for the propaganda pushed by
officials from the major parties at the time.

Harland Harrison
Libertarian for Congress
12th District (San Mateo-San Francisco, CA)

(1) According to our government at the time, Henry Kissinger had supposedly
negotiated a truce at the Paris peace talks. Under this agreement, they
said, the US could withdraw and South Viet Nam could defend itself. America
naively believed them. A Nobel prize was offered to Kissinger and his North
Viet-namese counterpart, Lee Duc Tho, for this "peace deal". Kissinger took
his half with much publicity in the US, but Lee would not accept his share,
stating that true peace had not yet come. Soon after President Ford took
over from Nixon, North Viet Nam overran the South. Ford personally pleaded
on the floor of Congress to get the US back into the war, but found no