Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Robert over at the Sharpener makes some very good points.

One of the key problems with revisionism is that when successful, it negates any possibility that lessons can be learned from past mistakes. In this case, certainly in the U.S., the Republicons are already well down the road to blaming the liberals for their failed policies just as they did after Vietnam. If they succeed, it'll only make yet another similar tragedy more likely in the future.

I'd also add that the point of saying "we told you so" is not to make us feel smug. It gives me no pleasure to say it (far from it, it actually makes me very angry indeed and I desperately wish we'd been wrong). But it must still be said. The point is that the leaders who got things so wrong must be held to account. The benefit of hindsight is not a vaild defence if you've ignored or ridiculed the huge number of people who had the foresight to correctly understand the consequences of this folly.


While we're on the subject of revisionism, here's a quick word for those who now argue that "everyone" believed Saddam had WMD and posed a significant threat.
Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term - namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target.
- Robin Cook, 18th March 2003
Perhaps Dave "Blair tricked me into supporting this war" Cameron wasn't in the House when Cook made that statement.

Today, we have a defence against revisionism which was not available to previous generations. Much of what has transpired over the last few years has been archived in a reasonably accessible form. It cannot be erased from the record, no matter how embarrassing the record might be to those in power. We, the little people, can still see the truth. That at least, provides a sense of hope for the future.

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