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Tuesday, January 02, 2007
History repeats itself: first as tragedy, then as farce
It appears General Pace is soon to be out of Iraq and several thousand other soldiers are soon to be in. Bush is expected to announce his new "plan" for Iraq sometime before his State of the Union address, which is scheduled for January 23rd. His plan is widely suspected to include an increase of troops in Iraq. Most of these troops will be going back for at least a second time. Last time I checked, around 11% of the public agreed with sending more troops.
Marx's quote was quite clever, but what happens when history repeats itself for the third time, or maybe even the fourth?
I was watching Robert Fisk give a speech about journalism the other day and he made the point that both journalists and politicians don't know history. If this is true, and I believe it is, then I hope Tony Blair got a history book for Christmas because this is the third time the Brits have invaded Iraq. The British Empire went through this same struggle for the first time starting in 1914 and the second time during World War II in what was called the Anglo-Iraqi war. It is all too familiar. The 1914 invasion has striking similarities. They came as "liberators." They were received as invaders. Some of the nationalist insurgent forces in Iraq today have adopted the same names as the ones from the first British invasion.
Do they have to slap us in the face with a history book?
We Americans can't remember much of anything before Hitler and Vietnam, so Saddam became our new Hitler and we made damn sure Iraq was going to be nothing like Vietnam. Iraq didn't need to be another Vietnam because it was another Iraq. Also, I have noticed that the WWII comparisons have died down quite a bit after our involvement in Iraq finally surpassed that of the famous "just war."
Sure, there are subtle differences. This time the Brits are playing the role of the sidekick and colonialism has evolved (I believe they misleadingly call it "globalization" now) but the results are still the same. As the Democrats are poised to take over Congress on Thursday, they have a historic chance to open a history book and see the path that was taken and choose a different way. The Brits didn't want to leave Iraq because the country would descend into anarchy. Sound familiar? Many people in the UK were sick of their government's imperialist ventures and this helped fuel a Labour win in the 1929 General Election. But the Labour government failed to end the occupation. Democrats take note. Why do I get the feeling I know how this one is going to end?
link | posted by Jae at 11:32 PM |
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