History Lesson

Senator Christopher Bond of Missouri said that it was a bad idea for the Senate to investigate the prewar predictions by so-called and self-styled US intelligence agencies.  He called for the nation to stop rehashing past controversies and to focus on”the myriad of threats we face today.”Exactly!” as Stephen Colbert would say. It’s hard enough to keep things straight today, and if you add in yesterday and the day before, let alone last year, things just get too confusing.  Moving on.

Whenever the powerful announce that we’re in a crisis and that we don’t have time for discussion or consideration, that can be easily interpreted: don’t ask any questions; don’t think about it; shut up and get in line.

The US military is reported to be viewing “The Battle of Algiers,” the brilliant anti-imperialist film dramatizing the French occupation of Algeria, searching for lessons about how to be successful in an “counterinsurgency.”  The big lesson is of course beside the point: don’t invade another country; as soon as you put your first boot into foreign soil, you own every problem; your miserable humiliating defeat is inevitable, the only open question, at what cost?

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