Crikey’s amateur war historian, Martin Hirst, writes:

In a week when two eminent American economists calculated that the final bill for the costly war in Iraq may well reach $2 trillion dollars, it’s instructive to take a look at some history lessons.

Bush critic and much-awarded foreign correspondent for Britain’s Independent newspaper, Robert Fisk recently published a 1,300+ page history of conflict in the Middle East called The Great War for Civilisation: The Conquest of the Middle East, which should be compulsory reading in the corridors of power this summer.

When
it comes to understanding historical precedent, there’s a famous proverb
along the lines of, “when history repeats, the first time it’s tragedy,
the second time it’s farce.”

Here are some examples that put the Bush regime’s $2,000,000,000 folly into perspective.

In
the years after World War One, 600,000 British troops occupied
Mesopotamia after defeating the retreating Turkish forces. The central
war aim was to safeguard British oil interests. In 1917 the British
commander, Lieutenant General Maude, issued a proclamation that
contained the following:

Our military operations have as their objective the defeat
of the enemy and the driving of him from these territories…but our
armies do not come into your cities and lands as conquerors or enemies,
but as liberators…Therefore I am commanded to invite you, through your
Nobles and Elders and Representatives, to participate in the management
of your civil affairs in collaboration with the Political
Representatives of Great Britain…so that you may unite with your
kinsmen in the North, East, South and West, in realising the
aspirations of your race.

To read on, click here.

Peter Fray

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