Wednesday, January 17, 2007


Today's post is a quickie, drawing on the column "This Day in History" which, along with the comics and horoscopes, constitute about the only reasons to bother to pick up the Local Rag. The news stories, as faithful readers of this column know, are about as accurate as the horoscopes, and the editorials (except for the bi-weekly column by the AuthorBabe) are about as laughable as the comics. 'Nough said.

So here are some events of history for us to contemplate. On this date in 1893 a group of businessmen and sugar planters overthrew the Hawaiian monarchy, the better to enrich themselves. The US of A annexed the islands in 1898; they remained a territory until 1959, when statehood was granted. Ah, the good old days of Yankee imperialism! We just did what we wanted, and let world opinion go hang. Isn't it nice that those days are *are* over, aren't they?

By 1917 we were a little better-mannered. On this date in that year we bought the Virgin Islands from Denmark for $25 million. Still highway robbery, but at least not at the barrel of a gun. Anyone care to figure out the value of these islands 90 years later? Somewhere in the trillions, I would imagine.

On January 17, 1945, Raoul Wallenburg of "Schindler's List" fame disappeared while in Soviet custody and was never seen again. We may never know what happened to this brave humanitarian. How ironic that he survived the Nazis only to become a non-person at the hands of our purported ally, "Uncle Joe" Stalin, who within a couple of weeks would be shaking hands with FDR and Churchill at the Yalta Conference. With Wallenburg's blood on his, no doubt.

Our Supreme Commander in Europe, Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower, made his farewell Presidential address on this day in 1961. Like Washington's advice to avoid foreign entanglements, Ike's has gone largely unheeded. He warned us, as you may recall, about the rise of the "military-industrial complex." Was he able to foresee the role of Halliburton in Iraq some four decades later? Apparently so. One wonders what Dick Cheney's farewell address will sound like.

Well, that's enough to get you thinking for today, dear reader. Remember, as always, that those who do not learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat them. Which is probably a good part of the reason that our foreign "policy" is such a clusterf*ck these days...maybe we need a new national education program, "No President Left Behind"...or is it already too late?


Post a Comment

<< Home