"To discover to the world something which deeply concerns it, and of which it was previously ignorant; to prove to it that it had been mistaken on some vital point of temporal or spiritual interest, is as important a service as a human being can render to his fellow creatures..."
John Stuart Mill, "On Liberty"
As the war in Afghanistan goes badly, as evidenced by the recent WikiLeaks documents, no doubt that in a year or so we will be looking for someone to blame. Just as Americans had the need to explain emasculation and defeat in Vietnam through fantasies of home-front betrayal, like images of Jane Fonda and the character of "Hanoi Jane," perhaps our current failures will give rise to a whole new and similar kind of imagery. Certainly anxieties about America's declining global status and deteriorating economy are fueling a populist reaction now, just as they did then.