Syria vs Iraq, Teach your Children Well

Professor Yana: Might I ask, what species are you?
10th Doctor:   Time Lord, last of. Heard of them? (pause) Legend or anything? Not even a myth? (blank looks) Blimey, end of the universe is a bit humbling.

Doctor Who Utopia 2007

Teach your children well,
Their father’s hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you’ll know by….

…And you, of tender years,
Can’t know the fears that your elders grew by

Crosby Stills Nash & Young, Teach your Children 1970

It’s axiomatic that people on the net in general or on twitter in particular, aren’t necessarily who you think they are that thought instantly brings to mind  the trolls or the stalkers but there is one other aspect that is not malicious.

When you are speaking to a person face to face  you have an idea of their age. You can look at a 20 something and know they won’t laugh if you say: “Yeah but I shoot with this hand.” but someone fifty like me will remember this scene from Blazing Saddles

That’s not the case on twitter.  Icons & profiles not withstanding on twitter you can only use the conversation  to figure out the experience of whoever you’re talking to.  A great example of this took place this morning.

I’ve watched, with some surprise,  the MSM that fought George Bush tooth and nail on Iraq do their best to enable President Obama in Syria. This morning they received a shock as the British Parliament debated (and rejected) war in Syria. Seeing the clip of the back and forth on Morning Joe I tweeted out:

and got this response from a liberal that I occasionally joust with.


I was taken aback, could his person really not remember the protests, the debates, the months of back and forth on TV and finally the vote to authorize the use of force?

Then it hit me, she may not.

A person under 30 or someone who only became engaged with the rise of Obama or the  tea party might legitimately not know about the Iraq debate.

So for her benefit and those younger let me remind you of the vote in congress:

On October 16 2002 the Bush administration after months of back and forth in the media and making its case both to individual members of congress and to the public the congress saw a vote in congress take place on a resolution to authorize the use force in Iraq.

In the House the vote was 297-133 all but 5 republicans voted for the war. democrats were split 82-126 against. Bernie Sanders then in the house voted no. Ron Paul voted no on the GOP side.

In the Senate the resolution passed with 77-23.  All republicans votes yes except for Lincoln Chafee who is now a democrat. A majority of Democrats voted for this resolution including the current Sec of State John Kerry and the last sec of state Hillary Clinton

Yet even after the vote war didn’t come, a month later the US went before the United Nations and secured through the security council resolution 1441 on a 15-0 vote giving Iraq one more chance to come clean.

It would not be until March of 2003 that the first shots were fired.

Each of those steps took time, took debate, by the time the first guns were fired the people had heard the arguments for nearly a year and there had been plenty of loud debate, discussion and protest in George W Bush’s “rush to war”,  all of which my young debating partner on twitter was unacquainted with but has told me she will become so.

If you ever wonder why the teaching of history matters and conservatives constantly push it. This is why.  When people don’t know the past, who don’t remember the lies of Bill Clinton, the evil of the Soviets, the greatness of Reagan or the years before they become easy targets for those pushing ideologies that have failed over and over, but are not in their memory.

So have a little patience with the young when they don’t know what we do and see if you can educate them, you might be pleasantly surprised at what happens when they see facts that, for them, weren’t in evidence.


Full disclosure: In my opinion there is no question that Assad is an evil, no good murderous bastard, I find it very easy to believe he has used chemical weapons to retain his power and his removal would normally be a clear positive. I think considering the involvement of Al Qaeda with the rebels and the likely hood that their victory would create another Islamist state even more dangerous to us that Assad a “surgical strike” would likely not be in the interests in the United States nor solve the actual problem.

I think if we go in, we should go in whole hog Iraq style with all that entails, if we are unwilling to do so, we should stay out and do what we can to relieve the humanitarian situation.

Update: Of course that should have said 2002 not 2012 fixed

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