Clive James on the Shaping of the Post-War Order by John McCloy and Other Visionary Washington Bureaucrats
It would help if the world's very large supply of anti-American commentators could decide on which America we are supposed to be in thrall to: the Machiavellian America that can manipulate any country's destiny, or the naïve America that can't find it on the map. While we're waiting for the decision, it might help if we could realize the magnitude of the fix that America got us out of in 1945, and ask ourselves why we expect a people rich and confident enough to do that to be sensitive as well. Power is bound to sound naïve, because it doesn't spot the bitter nuances of feeling helpless. The East Coast foreign policy elite were as bright as can be. In their young manhood, they had seen a lot of the world in which America, they correctly guessed, was bound to play a big part, although not even they could guess how big. They had the mental resources to sound as sophisticated as Talleyrand and Metternich put together. If, in retrospect, they look like big, clumsy children -- well, they didn't yet know what it was like not to get their way.