Dept of Never pay attention to history

Looking at the latest letters between the Coeur d’Alene Press and the Spokesman-Review; I was quite struck with the realization as to the degree of continuity in the general theme of all writers published, a failure to much appreciate history.  Tom Blaschka has an interesting idea, that if we simply build homes (kit houses) in the good old U.S.A. and shipped them to Afghanistan, that the Afghan people would be so grateful for our assistance that they would resist the Taliban’s attempt to destroy it.  In a way, it can remind myself of the naivety of the Bush administration when going to war in Iraq, all we have to do is invade, become responsible for the deaths of hundreds of people, topple a dictator, impose the western version of democracy and the Iraqi people would be so grateful.  Some seven years later and we’ve seen just how that attempt at nation building turned out.  Yes, there is less violence but violence continues.  Yes, Iraq might be seen now as slightly more stable, but not very.  What Blaschka does not take into consideration is that these people can easily build their own homes, but; theirs is a corrupt government, they are 80% illiterate, they are in the vast majority impoverished.  And when we built schools to assist in alleviating some of that problem, the Taliban destroyed the schools, the Afghan peoples did not prevent such attacks, simply because; we would have educated young girls.  An imposition of western values deemed alien to the locals.  If you have known a single type of culture dating back many thousands of years; any kind of change, besides being dramatic, and coming from outside of one’s own culture, would have been regarded as inimical.  Now what would our building and shipping western style homes into Afghanistan do to change a culture and create friends?  If Blaschka can be considered “the left” because he is anti-war, then consider the next published writer.

Joe Bloomsburg is in a major hurry  to refute a “My Turn” author Ken Staley on health care reform.  Among other things, to call the man a liar.  If you pay attention to the short history of the health care debate, the GOP insisted on Health Care Reform as a “Waterloo” for President Obama.  They would use any efforts and pushing real reform as measures to take out a presidency.  Given their very public stance, why should the Democrats invite them into the crafting of the bill in the first place, if the GOP only plan on being obstructionist?  It is what you don’t say right Mr. Bloomsburg, that also constitutes a lie?  Then Mr. Bloomsburg goes on to provide another even bigger whopper, you don’t look for insurance until you actually get sick.  Uh, it is while you are healthy that you buy insurance against the eventuality of becoming sick, so that the insurance itself assists in covering the costs of medical problems.  So perhaps Bloomsburg only expects to buy homeowner’s insurance after his house burns down.  His real whining involves what government will “take away” even as it “gives away” to other people.  Then attacks that Illinois politician (who came from the same state as Abe Lincoln by the way), for his Chicago style politics.  Uh, and GW Bush didn’t have Texas style politics?  Bill Clinton didn’t have Arkansas style politics?  Yeah, I am quite sure that there are many cities inclusive of Chicago that can be considered homes to corrupt politics.  At the same time, it is entirely possible for a politician to rise above past history and become the better man.  Even as the lingering critique (ref Bloomsburg) is to always associate the man with his adopted city and state.  You just have to love the ugly and dirty side of politics in a nation that immediately gives Bloomsburg the right to say it.  Wonder why he simply does not appreciate what he has?  After all, if he were truly living in a tyranny, no newspaper would publish his garbage and he would be arrested for publicly spouting it.

And finally, Christopher Bass getting published in the Spokesman-Review.  His letter was generally thoughtful however, he like a great many others among the new left forget that the Declaration of Independence was the first sounding of the drums of a Revolutionary War against a tyrannical state, that of Great Britain’s rule of the colonies.  It was not a declaration that centuries later, TEA Party activists, militia movements and etc. could then argue that a government run by the opposition party would be regarded as tyrannical.  Or that meeting the needs of the people who elected them should be regarded as tyrannical.  After all, these people know where the polling places are each November.  At no time have they been driven away from such polling places by threats to their very lives.  They can peacefully assemble and vote for their favorite politician.

Bass could consider that at one time, the presidency itself wasn’t obtained through popular vote.  State governments determined who the Electoral College attendees would be and “the people” would simply have to accept the outcome.  In short, this nation was actually at one time less democratic than it is now.  More federalist in the early 19th century than it is today.  What if President Andrew Jackson had not changed the rules on electing presidents, capitalizing on those changing of rules in order to obtain his place in the oval office?  Then shall we argue that Mr. Bass could have a legitimate complaint about  the “tyranny” that excludes his vote when it comes to initiatives, referendums, specific bonds and determining from the local, state, and federal offices who shall obtain a seat there?  After all, we are talking about the federalism of history, what it really meant to the people who fought against it, and Mr. Bass is now the beneficiary of that successful struggle.

What you don’t know about history you are bound to repeat it.  In all cases, the writers demonstrated an appalling ignorance of history.

A few words now about President Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize as shown on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” last night; Obama reminds his audience that he is sworn to protect the citizens of the U.S. …  Compare that to the cartoon in the Coeur d’Alene Press this morning that totally misrepresented what Obama had said.  Obama who pushes the troop surge in Afghanistan in the days prior to accepting the Nobel Peace Prize.  He leaves the soldier in the tank out on the street (the slogan on the tank reads Afghanistan troop surge) and Obama informs the soldier, excuse me, I’ll be right back.  Should I remind such people that terrorist attacks in the U.S. where the terrorists had their base in Afghanistan are the reason why we invaded that country in the first place?

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4 Responses to “Dept of Never pay attention to history”

  1. Dept of Never pay attention to history « Jeh15's Weblog Help just to Me Says:

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  2. The History of Gold and the Implications for Today Part 7 from YOUnique Wealth Systems | GoldsGold Says:

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  3. tom blaschka Says:

    I am a student of history and I know if we keep doing the same thing the same thing will occur…let’s kill and destroy that will have a different out come..don’t think so…if we build and give a new untit to each person who joins the afghan army well then you have bought thier loyalty…before al quiada arrived the taliban switched sides from one warlord to another for alot less than the price of a house…maybe YOU should study history a bit more before waxing poetic….

  4. jeh15 Says:

    Given how old this post is, it must have taken you a long time and plenty of blurking before you finally responded. What the Taliban did prior to our invasion of Afghanistan isn’t any of my concern. What the Taliban did POST the invasion of Afghanistan is however everyone’s concern. For a people to, as you put it, switch sides, can your letter truly be a correct historical view? People who “switch sides” can’t be trusted by their neighbors let alone be trusted to act in their own best interests even when foreign entities are supposedly there to help them. What you said at the time of your letter was if we just built kit houses and sent them to the Afghan peoples. Well now, we built schools, and well, they were destroyed as I recall. How would kit houses fare any better? Afghanistan is too complicated for such liberal naivety as you demonstrated in your letter to have much positive effect.

    If it weren’t for Al Qaeda exploiting the extremism of the Taliban to their own use, why would this country have been interested in Afghanistan in the first place? Our only rationale for being there today, is because of Al Qaeda. By trying to win hearts and minds (with Hamid Karzai trying to undermine the effort) do we have an “ally” against Taliban/Al Qaeda re-emergence in the region. Or not.

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