No, we don't seem to learn from mistakes

Letter to the editor

Posted: Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In Gregory Acres' letter to the editor of Aug. 22, he asks the rhetorical questions, "Do we learn from our mistakes, or are we doomed to repeat history?" It's refreshing to read that Mr. Acres acknowledges that mistakes have been made. The answers to his questions are no and yes. The United States has been at war nearly continuously since December 1941. During those 60-plus years, we have participated in many wars. Mr. Acres lists them. Have the war makers learned anything constructive? No. Did the United States repeat many of the mistakes since 1941, for example Korea, Vietnam, Bosnia, Guatemala, Panama, Kuwait, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq and elsewhere? Yes. The world's only superpower needs a better foreign policy than "bomb first, bargain second."

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Even if the United States suffers fewer casualties that its supposed enemies, it is morally corrupt to be a bully just because it has the military power to do so. To me, neoconservatism is a crime, not a virtue.

Mr. Acres made another statement: "I have to remember that facts seem to anger them, and lies placate them." Facts are just facts. They aren't things to be liked or disliked; they are facts. It seems to me that Mr. Acres is the one who is so angry that he has trouble remembering. The following are some facts that Mr. Acres may not remember:

Fact 1: For the United States, World War II lasted about 46 months. After 40 months of fighting, it was clear who would win that war. The Allies won.

Fact 2: The United States was involved in the Vietnam War for more than 180 months. The other side won. The Vietnam Memorial that was just in Juneau contained the names of 58,000-plus U.S. service personnel who gave the ultimate sacrifice for serving their country pursuing a mistaken foreign policy.

Fact 3: Currently, U.S. forces have been fighting in the Middle East for more than 40 months, and there is no end in sight or who the winner will be. No, the mission has not been accomplished. Was that a lie?

Mr. Acre's letter revealed his ignorance of the electoral process, and in his utter disdain to the pain, suffering and death experienced by those caught up in war. His latest missive unveils his unhealthy fascination with the sex life of another person. If the neocons remain in power, I fear some people may be subjected to the death penalty just for smoking in a no-smoking zone. Neocons have no idea what constitutes an impeachable offense. They may, however, still learn.

Lowell Barrick


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