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Sat., June 28, 2014

Learn from history

Finally, I have heard discussions on the modern history of Iraq, and the centuries-old Sunni-Shia conflict. During the President George W. Bush-Iraq war, a university student asked me what was the most important subject area. I said history, even though I was a scientist.

As a member of the Vietnam War generation, I have witnessed a succession of similar military misadventures that have weakened us and killed countless people. We once thought the Earth was the center of the universe. That notion faded as our knowledge advanced.

We seem to believe that America is the center of this world, and that we need a military response to every conflict. At the darkest hour of our Civil War, President Lincoln wrote to Congress: “We must disenthrall ourselves and then we shall save our nation.” Disenthrall means to be liberated from the bondage of prejudices and dogmatic beliefs.

How many times can we blindly send Americans into foreign conflicts for dubious reasons and shortchange veterans when they return? There is no excuse for us to remain ignorant of history as it lies at our fingertips. Look before you leap is a wise proverb that we can’t seem to follow.

David Webb


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