Those words are often said to mean It's over and done with.
It belongs to the past.
But that isn't the right way to look at history. The story of
human events is not a mere collection of isolated facts. It is
a live, connected flow of human actions and words and motives,
each affecting the next. The past, both known and unknown,
touches us, making us what we are, guiding what happens next.
We need to know history, or we will constantly be surprised,
not so much by what will happen, but WHY it will. Yet teachers
of history, writers of books, and keepers of records often lie,
or omit important parts, to handicap our understanding.
We are usually taught the history that makes our country
and its leaders look good. That is the least important part.
The mistakes, the crimes, and the secrets are what we need to
The point is not to make everyone a cynic, thinking that all
leaders lie or have bad motives. It is to learn the truth
about the rights and wrongs, the wise and honest, the inept and
deceptive. Elaborate imagined conspiracy theories come from
knowing too little, not from learning too much.
Here is one example, a mostly-unheard story of the first Iraq
Highway of Death: 22 Years
...over 60 miles of coastal Highway 8 from
Kuwait to Iraq, a division of the Iraq's Republican Guard
withdrew on Feb. 26-27, 1991.
Baghdad radio had just announced Iraq's acceptance of a
cease-fire proposal and, in compliance with UN Resolution 660,
retreating Iraqi troops were ordered to withdraw to positions
held before Aug. 2, 1990.
'U.S. planes trapped the long convoys by disabling vehicles in
the front, and at the rear, and then pounded the resulting
traffic jams for hours,' says Joyce Chediac, a Lebanese-American
'It was like shooting fish in a barrel,' one U.S. pilot
This was Iraq invasion #1, that was supposedly justified.
Iraq's invasion of Kuwait, done because Kuwait was stealing oil
from Iraq, happened after Sadaam told the US Ambassador his
and he was told the US wouldn't interfere.
We all know Bush #2 lied to start a war with Iraq, but so
did his father. It seems to be a family trait.
Sometimes what is left out of history is not what
but what might have happened
If Winston Churchill had gotten his way, World War Two might not
have ended the way it did, but continued against the USSR.
Churchill ordered his Generals to come up with a plan. They
added up the numbers, and showed him. The Russians had a much
bigger army and more figher planes than the Allies, and would
have almost certainly won easily.
Of course the idea was abandoned, but Stalin learned of
Churchill's intentions, making the Cold War inevitable.
From 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow
more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30
populist-nationalist movements fighting against intolerable
regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused
the end of life for several million people, and condemned many
millions more to a life of agony and despair.
US Foreign Policy
--cosmic rat, Jan. 5, 2015