THE BLOG

A 1917 History Lesson

05/25/2011 11:55 am ET

I find it hypocritical and ironic that Secretary Rumsfeld and President Bush, in their latest speeches to spin the war in Iraq, both commented that "many still have not learned history lessons," as they drew inflammatory parallels between Nazism and today's war in Iraq designed only to provoke unreasonable fear in the hearts of Americans.

Clearly it was the ignoring of history that got President Bush and his ideological policymakers into the quagmire that now exists in Iraq. As history dictated, it was absolutely foolish to believe that by occupying Iraq, the United States would transform the country into a beacon of American style democratic ideals. The British failed in its occupation attempts during the early 1900s. You only have to press rewind to hear the now haunting yet familiar words of a British Commander in Baghdad in 1917 say, "Our armies do not come in to your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies, but as liberators." After a decade of fighting with the population they had forcibly "liberated," the British were finally expelled from what is today Iraq by a population who resented foreign occupation and control.

President George Herbert Walker Bush was obviously more astute than his son when it came to the learning of History lessons. During the first Gulf War he rejected the urging of many to march into Baghdad, fully understanding the complexities and pitfalls of such an act. President GW Bush should have spent a little more time under the tutelage of his much more insightful father.

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