General Ripper might be right

Trump provides another apex example of life imitating art.

(Source: AP/TASR)

Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant 1964 satirical film “Dr. Strangelove” mocks the sort of insanity of escalation that made nuclear conflict a major risk throughout the Cold War. In one scene, the crazed General Jack D. Ripper is intentionally prompting a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. He is speaking with a British subordinate, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake.

“Mandrake,” he says, “do you recall what Clemenceau once said about war?”

“No, I don’t think I do, sir, no,” Mandrake replies.

“He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training nor the inclination for strategic thought,” Ripper says.

Uncomfortable questions

Another 50 years on, in an apex example of life imitating art, he might be right.

Iran claims the American drone it shot down Thursday was flying in Iranian airspace. While I am not generally inclined to agree with Ayatollah Khamenei, in this case, the fact that he says the opposite of Donald Trump does give him some credibility.

The rest of this article is premium content at
Subscribe now for full access

I already have subscription - Sign in

Subscription provides you with:
  • Immediate access to all locked articles (premium content) on
  • Special weekly news summary + an audio recording with a weekly news summary to listen to at your convenience (received on a weekly basis directly to your e-mail)
  • PDF version of the latest issue of our newspaper, The Slovak Spectator, emailed directly to you
  • Access to all premium content on and

The processing of personal data is subject to our Privacy Policy and the Cookie Policy. Before submitting your e-mail address, please make sure to acquaint yourself with these documents.

Top stories

Nicholson: Only a naive person would believe anything has changed

A former Slovak Spectator and Sme journalist wrote a book about the Gorilla file.

Tom Nicholson

Discrepancies found in the draft state budget

Minister Kamenický proposed the draft budget at the last minute. It is too optimistic.

Finance Minister Ladislav Kamenický

The biggest illegal factory in central Europe has caused millions in damages

47 people have been arrested. They can spend up to eight years in prison.

Two nominees for Record of the Year released within a week

Arguably, only a handful of journalists are likely to hear all 39 hours of Gorilla, but the public will no doubt jump at some sequences.

Protests over the Gorilla scandal drew thousands into Slovakia’s squares.