Tuesday, January 16, 2007

A long, strange trip

I was just watching Secretary of State Rice last night, selling, er, testifying about the President's new surge policy in Iraq. She made yet another in a series of historical analogies involving the Iraq war. This conflict, she said, resembles the darkest hour of the Cold War, after which there was a brilliant dawn and the oppressors of the captive nations were consigned to the dustbin of history. All we have to do is remain steadfast, follow the President and we will see the same miraculous conclusion to this war!

This dubious comparison joins Iraq as World War II(we stayed the course there!), Iraq as the Spanish Civil War(good people vs. horrid fascists), Iraq as America immediately after the revolution(all kinds of conflict between parties!), even America during the Civil War(we had the same kind of conflict here and we came through it! patience required!). President Bush and his friendly minions in the media have had their part to play in this, too, with Bush alternately striking Ronald Reaganesque poses, comparing himself or being compared to Harry Truman and/or FDR, or talking about Presidents Lincoln and Ford being unafraid of unpopular decisions, secure in the knowledge that they were right long-term. The comparison there was implicit rather than explicit, but we all got the idea.

This is all nonsense, of course. We made history in Iraq, the kind of history no one is going to want to own in the future: we launched the first pre-emptive war in American history, against a people who had done nothing to us, and now stand in the middle of murder and mayhem that we unleashed. The President and the Secretary of State have taken us on a long, strange trip through their version of history, but we always come back to the same unflattering reality. It's going to be very difficult, if not impossible, to revise it.

2 Comments:

Blogger jodmeister said...

Who is bush's historian anyway? He/she must have a PhD in fairy tales!

9:22 PM  
Blogger betmo said...

these folks have tried to rewrite history to their version since day one- too bad no one told them that there are still folks alive to remember the actual reality of history. oops.

6:10 PM  

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