Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Lessons Not Learned

If you follow political punditry you must have come across several pieces which argue that talking about who was against the Iraq occupation before it started is a pointless exercise and that all we should focus on right now is how to win the "war" or how to get out with faces saved so that we still come across as the longest in war inches. Let's not blame each other and let's not point fingers at each other and so on. Instead, let's discuss how many months we are willing to give the Bush administration to prove that the surge works.

But what this argument completely misses is that there was a lesson to be learned from the events preceding the Iraq occupation, and unless that lesson is learned we will enter into a similar poorly planned war in no time at all.

The lesson is to use the expertise presidents have at hand, to talk to all sorts of people and not just to those who have a knife to hone for their own causes. The lesson is not to ignore history and culture and the experiences of other countries before diving headlong into a war without any plans on how to climb out of it later on.

I see no evidence that the lesson has been learned.