Sunday, May 29, 2011

We Pay a High Price for Ignorance of History

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." - George Santayana

The ever erudite and eloquent Victor Davis Hanson has some choice words for his colleagues in academia who cling to the illusion that they can promote peace by suppressing the study of war. (Pop quiz: in 200 words or less, describe any graduates of peace studies programs who have resolved any conflicts anywhere in the world. Sarcasm is authorized.)

"A wartime public illiterate about the conflicts of the past can easily find itself paralyzed in the acrimony of the present. Without standards of historical comparison, it will prove ill equipped to make informed judgments. Neither our politicians nor most of our citizens seem to recall the incompetence and terrible decisions that, in December 1777, December 1941, and November 1950, led to massive American casualties and, for a time, public despair...."

UPDATE: And now a word from someone who didn't write about history, but had a part in making history as a member of the Marine Corps deployed to Iraq. Andrew Kirkland in American Thinker has written "A Thank-You to Islamic Extremists" that is timely reading for the Memorial Day weekend.

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