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Sat Aug 31, 2013, 01:30 PM

"In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps.": Senator J. William Fulbright - 1967

A Dragon In Shallow Waters

Senator J. William Fulbright wrote in The Arrogance of Power in 1967:

The attitude above all others which I feel sure is no longer valid is the arrogance of power, the tendency of great nations to equate power with virtue and major responsibilities with a universal mission. The dilemmas involved are preeminently American dilemmas, not because America has weaknesses that others do not have but because America is powerful as no nation has ever been before and the discrepancy between its power and the power of others appears to be increasing.


I do not question the power of our weapons and the efficiency of our logistics...Our handicap is well expressed in the pungent Chinese proverb: "In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."


If America has a service to perform in the world - and I believe it has - it is in large part the service of its own example. In our excessive involvement in the affairs of other countries, we are not only living off our assets and denying our own people the proper enjoyment of their resources; we are also denying the world the example of a free society enjoying its freedom to the fullest. This is regrettable indeed for a nation that aspires to teach democracy to other nations, because, as Burke said: "Example is the school of mankind, and they will learn at no other."


We have the opportunity to serve as an example of democracy to the world by the way in which we run our own society; America, in the words of John Quincy Adams, should be "the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all" but "the champion and vindicator only of her own."

If we can bring ourselves so to act, we will have overcome the dangers of the arrogance of power. It will involve, no doubt, the loss of certain glories, but that seems a price worth paying for the probable rewards, which are the happiness of America and the peace of the world.

via: http://www.dohiyimir.org/2013/08/a-dragon-in-shallow-waters.html


"In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps."

In Asian philosophy Dragons are the symbols of universal power. They are meant to swim in the unreachable depths or sore the unattainable heights. When a dragon is in the shallows it is a metaphor for wasted power. It is not living up to its full potential, so the little shrimps play with it. make fun of it. The shrimps know they can move around easily in the shallows while a dragon can not. The shrimps who will never swim so deep or fly so high as the dragon take advantage of this situation.

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Reply "In shallow waters dragons become the sport of shrimps.": Senator J. William Fulbright - 1967 (Original post)
kpete Aug 2013 OP
gopiscrap Aug 2013 #1

Response to kpete (Original post)

Sat Aug 31, 2013, 01:45 PM

1. I loved Fulbright

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