There are more examples of statements that seem to contradict his own words earlier in the book. He accuses Mexico of firing the first shots in the war. This is, by his own account, a dubious statement at best, and one that still doesn't justify any response, however unreasonable. He issues a ringing endorsement of the Manifest Destiny principle, citing the "force of democratic rule" that enabled America to embrace "this heady vision of national destiny." It's unclear just what element of the Mexican War showed this "force of democratic rule," even before considering slavery, limited suffrage, and the undemocratic nature of the country at the time.
The most confusing statement, though, is that history doesn't move on a concern for humanity, but rather "moves forward with a crushing force and does not stop for niceties of moral suasion or concepts of political virtue." I'm at a loss as to what this really means. History is typically shaped by the "crushing force" of the powerful over the powerless, but are we supposed to just accept it? Or even endorse it? Then why address it at all?
It's disappointing to see that Merry's good work throughout the book is tainted by some sort of ultra-nationalist view of history, a view that doesn't appear in the book at all until the very end. I wish that the editor had placed this statement at the beginning of the book, so that the reader would know what to expect before starting. Putting it at the end inevitably dampens the reader's enthusiasm for the rest of the book, which is truly unfortunate.