Stan Goff, a former member of the special forces, has written an excellent timeline of the mess our government has gotten us into in Iraq. From the first sentence, you can see Goff’s attitude toward understanding the problem: “It is always important to ask why we start history when.”
When our government has played a less than honorable role in history, whether in recent events or in events of the distant past, most pundits in the mainstream press take one of three approaches:
1. Ignore the history all together.
2. Distort the history into portraying our government as having played an honorable role.
3. Reluctantly acknowledge the mistake, but then invoke the doctrine of “change of course” – well yes, we did make a mistake back then, but it was innocent and we meant well and it surely has no predictive value for the future and we wouldn’t do that again, etc.
This attitude toward history leads to absurdities like W going on and on about how Saddam used chemical weapons without ever mentioning the fact that his dad and members of his administration helped Saddam acquire and use those weapons. Entirely predictably, the American press doesn’t have the integrity to point out this gaping hole in Bush’s logic, so most Americans end up ignorant of these inconvenient facts. Anyway, Goff doesn’t take this dishonest and counterproductive approach to political analysis. He logically lays out cause and effect in this historically accurate timeline. It takes a long time to read the whole thing, but it’s well worth it. You’ll be left thinking that we better get the hell out of Iraq ASAP. And you’ll be right.
Thanks to Kryton over at the Christopher Lydon site for calling this timeline to my attention.