07/19/2007 10:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Teeing Off : Pre War Ignorance

Courtesy of The Henry Rollins Show

On September 11th, 2001 America woke up to one hell of a disaster. In less than an hour the entire world changed as we knew it and many of us were filled with grief, shock, horror and an overwhelming anger directed at our enemy -- whoever it was. To guard against further attacks, president Bush sent American forces into Iraq to overthrow Saddam Hussein, bring peace and Democracy to Iraq and fight the war on terror. I think it's safe to say that we know more than we did then about the Middle East, Islam, fundamentalism, and America's history in that region. Conversely, I think the Bush administration made good use out of our collective pre-9-11 ignorance to facilitate his invasion and occupation of Iraq. If we knew then what we know now, perhaps we would have done some things differently. At the very least, that's up for intense debate. I say some key people knew then what they know now and still chose to invade and occupy Iraq anyway. Our relative ignorance of the region was no doubt built into the equation and expertly deployed to grease the rails. America is still terribly undereducated on this region and is given plenty of propaganda and not always enough facts. Recently Shrill Bill "Phone Sex" O'Reilly lamented that he was tired of all this Sunni and Shia business. That's his xenophobic version of, "Can't we all just get along?" This sentiment is not surprising, even from the BB brained Bill. A lot of Middle Eastern culture is too convoluted and ancient to the point of being obtuse for many of us to get our heads around. I am one of those. Horribly late to the party and working hard to catch up in an effort to see a bigger picture, living on planet Earth as I do. To quote the great one himself: "There's an old saying in Tennessee -- I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee -- that says, fool me once, shame on -- shame on you. Fool me -- you can't get fooled again." Are you kidding?! Of course we can. It's a luxury we can't afford.

-- Henry Rollins