The old saying “those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it” has helped many people avoid making the same mistakes by providing an opportunity to learn from them. But when past actions resulted in desired outcomes, wouldn’t it be logical to repeat those actions in some shape or form?
With that in mind, there’s no surprise that we’re in the midst of our government repeating similar “mistakes” to achieve common goals. The question is whether they’re really mistakes or orchestrated tactics?
Let’s take a look back at a few moments in history and you can come to your own conclusions.
Spanish American War
On February 15th in 1898 a mysterious incident took place off the coast of Havana that left the US Naval battleship Maine at the bottom of the harbor and resulted in Democrats pushing a Republican administration to wage war against Spain.
Despite the Republican President’s wish to avoid war, pressure from Democrats, and from public opinion shaped by the yellow journalism of William Hearst, led to the Spanish American War. Subsequently American influence grew in the Caribbean and the Philippines.
On May 7th in 1915 a German U-boat sunk a British passenger ship (Lusitania) off the coast of Ireland. The ship’s occupants included 128 American civilians and covert military equipment. Despite that fact, the American contingent was upset that the people on board weren’t warned before the sinking of the vessel.
This act, accompanied by British propaganda of vulnerable towns being destroyed and civilians killed, elevated the American public’s’ opposition against the Germans. Their support was now fully in place to deliver a response.
Lastly, the interest of several powerful American businessmen such as J.P. Morgan were on the line. These entities funded the British and French war efforts upwards of $3 billion dollars. A loss to the Germans would have led to unpaid debts and yielded a significant financial blow to the American business community. Therefore it was imperative to demand U.S forces to join the allied powers against Germany through the Preparedness Movement.
Karl Marx once said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.
On December 7th in 1941 a squadron of Japanese fighter planes bombed Pearl Harbor which killed thousands of Americans and sunk four Navy battleships. Reports indicated that the American commanders in the Pacific received a prior warning on the 24th of November but no proof has ever been confirmed that the President was aware of the attack.
This act of aggression easily persuaded the American public to support the entry into the war and raised its associated fears. It help foster a system of discrimination against our own Japanese American citizens and the use of internment camps to keep the homeland safe.
Plans like the Lend Lease Program also added additional incentives to join the war. This program provided military aid with the expectation of payment at the conclusion of the conflict. America’s financial interest was heavily at stake and was in serious jeopardy.
Afghanistan & Iraq Wars
On September 11th in 2001 four passenger airlines were used to kill thousands of Americans in New York, Washington D.C and Pennsylvania. Prior to that day, multiple intelligence reports indicated the high probability of civilian planes being hijacked and utilized for attacks on American soil. The failures of sharing that information with the proper stakeholders has been deemed as the primary obstacle in thwarting this attack.
These events gave rise to several hate crimes against our own Muslim American citizens and garnered the support of the American public to wage war against any entity the Government held responsible. Questionable wars in Afghanistan and Iraq soon followed under the scope of eliminating al-Qaeda and its supporters.
15 of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, 2 from the United Arab Emirates, 1 from Egypt and 1 was from Lebanon. Those facts did not play a role in the decision making process. Even the false claims of weapons of mass destruction in the oil rich Iraq held enough weight to proceed with its invasion.
What’s next? Well Karl Marx once said that “history repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce”. Those words in addition to the aforementioned examples must awaken our collective minds.
The unjust discrimination and questionable conflicts based on fear and propaganda have all been too common in our history. Let the past be our source of guidance in creating a new future free of this overused playbook.