Unintended consequences have interesting historical ramifications.
Had Hitler known America would come in with Britain, would he have set in-motion Operation Sealion, which precipitated the Battle of Britain, which led to the (possibly accidental) bombing of London and the retaliatory bombings of German cities and an entirely new chapter in warfare?
Had Wilson known that sending the AEF to France would result in the flawed Treaty of Versailles, the destruction of the Ottoman Empire (which gave rise to Islamic fundamentalism – ask bin Laden), to hyperinflation in a defeated Germany, German re-armament, World War 2, 50MM deaths, and Soviet expansion into Eastern Europe and the Cold War, would he have decided France was worth it?
Had Stalin not misunderstood Acheson’s speech on America’s “Security Perimeter,” from which South Korea was left out, would he have allowed North Korea to invade South Korea?
Had Carter understood that allowing Khomeini to return to Iran would unleash mass Islamist terror against Muslims and the West – ongoing decades later and with no end in sight, would Carter have assisted Khomeni’s return?
The key is that geopolitical opponents must understand how far they can go before provoking a response. Not knowing is far more dangerous than drawing a line and saying, “This far but no farther.”
Knowing the limits is always safer. Always.
Here’s a possible unintended consequence to consider: Ever since Saddam invaded Kuwait people have wondered: Did the lack of resolve on the part of our Ambassador regarding Kuwait cause Saddam to think we wouldn’t mind if he invaded Kuwait?
The invasion of Kuwait put American military forces in Saudi Arabia, which irritated Osama bin Laden, which resulted in 9/11, which led to American forces invading Afghanistan and Iraq and which may well lead to the destruction of Pakistan, and is leading to the rise of a nuclear Iran (and perhaps the destruction of Israel), Hezbollah, and various other Islamist terrorist groups.
The consequence of the lack of a well thought-out discussion with Saddam? Of the lack of a visible line which could not be crossed? Very probably.
This, of course, led to the power of the MoveOn organization and the moonbats on the Left correlating Iraq with Vietnam and demanding “U.S. OUT NOW!” which seemingly will lead to the presidency of a true geopolitical naïf, who, due to his lack of historical awareness and his ignorance about the importance of lines (ask Georgia), will lead to no lines being drawn.
Which, of course, will lead to accidental wars. With Venezuela, perhaps?
All because we have leaders who lack the common understanding that, first you tell someone where the line is that he cannot cross.
Probably what Biden was talking about?
But – Obama will heal the world – – and will not draw any lines that may be considered aggressive or imperialistic.
Too bad for the thousands (millions?) that will die in upcoming accidental wars that he – and those who voted for him – will have caused… by not drawing lines. By not letting our opponents know how far we can be pushed.
Yet another unintended consequence of teachers unions and the now-inescapable ignorant voter.