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history repeats itself


Here's an interesting op-ed from today's New York Times. Quote:

ith our troops massed against Iraq, Americans are apprehensive and divided. The polls show us still torn between containment and war, between the instinct to give it time and the yearning to get it done. We worry about civilian carnage, American casualties and terrorist reprisals, about further shocks to a shaken economy, about being a nation alone. The Pentagon is ordering body bags by the thousand.

President Bush has enlarged the war agenda: we are not just eliminating a threat, we are delivering a promise of democracy to a region steeped in tyranny. Many, though, remain suspicious of his motives. "No Blood for Oil," the protest placards insist, and others mutter that this is somehow, too much, about Israel. The question of what comes after war has revived our longstanding fear of getting bogged down in unfriendly places.

Colin Powell, after trying to slow the march to war, has fallen loyally into step with his commander in chief. But the world, whose collaboration we crave, is in no hurry. The Germans are paralyzed by war angst. The French, deeply invested in Saddam and always happy to tweak the Americans, have been maddening. Democrats are straining for a way to be patriots without forfeiting independent judgment. The pope is calling for more "dialogue." Susan Sarandon is rallying opposition outside the United Nations. Saddam watches it all on CNN, and assures us we will be bloodily humbled.

Ah, the memories. The paragraphs above are constructed entirely from coverage of our national mood in the winter of 1991. Reading those old files made me wonder if maybe George Santayana was only half right: even those who remember history are condemned to repeat it.

Spooky.

Related to this, a Salon article that talks about the "human shields" positioning themselves on Iraq.

Categories: personal
Posted by diego on February 22 2003 at 3:41 PM

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