Blogs > Liberty and Power > HISTORY REPEATS, ENDLESSLY

Mar 17, 2004 1:17 pm


About the early part of the twentieth century (from a UPI story excerpted here some months ago):

The general impression one got from their writings, and from the pronouncements of President George W. Bush, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, his deputy Paul Wolfowitz and the other masterminds of the war was that Iraq, the legendary site of the Garden of Eden, had indeed been one, and that that state of innocence had endured until Saddam and his allies seized power to establish the Second Baath Republic in 1968 or, at least until the pro-Western monarchy with its trappings of parliamentary democracy was destroyed in the bloody coup of 1958.

But that was not the case.

The history of Iraq before the 35-year-long night of the Baath Republic descended upon it should have provided ample warning that once the lid was lifted off, those long decades of repression, more years of terrorism, assassination and massacre were only too likely to follow. For they were what had gone before. ...

Although Britain came to Iraq as its military conqueror in 1918 with a 300-year long record of imperial conquest and colonial administration unequalled by any other power in modern history, it failed to successfully transplant any of the institutions of freedom and Western democracy there, even though it tried hard to do so for 40 years. And almost as soon as they entered the country, the British faced a ferocious popular uprising of Sunnis and Shiite alike, though dominated by Sunnis, which it mercilessly crushed at the cost of thousands of dead. ...

Friday's frightful bombing in Najaf, coming so soon as it does after the destruction of the U.N. compound in Baghdad and the murder of the chief U.N. envoy within it, serves notice that the bullet, the knife and the bomb are reigning again in Baghdad, just as they did during all those four long decades of supposedly enlightened British rule. U.S. policymakers should cease laboring under the delusion that they are about to change it.

From a short while ago:
BAGHDAD, Iraq (AP) - A large explosion hit a hotel in central Baghdad on Wednesday night, sending flames shooting into the sky. Witnesses said it was a bomb blast, and that the hotel was destroyed.

Rescuers were seen pulling bodies out of the hotel damaged in blast.

Thick clouds of smoke rose behind a central square from the area of the blast. Trees were on fire, and flames jumped to nearby buildings. Several cars were destroyed. Ambulances headed to the blast site.

The explosion shook the nearby Palestine Hotel, where many foreign contractors and journalists are based.

The explosion occurred behind Firdaus Square, where a bronze statue of Saddam Hussein was felled April 9 with the help of U.S. Marines who had just entered the center of the Iraqi capital.

Many people continue to repeat that"9/11 changed everything," as if saying it often enough and with sufficient insistence will somehow make it true.

In fact, if one is concerned with underlying principles, long-range consequences -- and above all, with truth -- it changed precisely nothing.


(Cross-posted at The Light of Reason.)

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Max Schwing - 3/18/2004

That's exactly what I thought, when I heared 9/11 again and again. It is a sad tragedy, but only the climax of an on-going bombing against the western civilization. And bombing back, as Bush did it, will change nothing, because it hits those unfortunate people who tried to stay clear of it.

As I see it, the development is seamless and has started since the decline of colonialism and the rise of US domination.
It just recently claimed a new height and it will again rise up when we will follow the same strategy as in Iraq and Afghanistan: Lashing around at everyone without common sense and long-term strategies.