The last time Condoleezza Rice ad Donald Rumsfeld discussed history in public, they were in total agreement. Occupied Iraq, they believed, was just like occupied Germany; both countries faced years of terrorist attacks by bitter dead-enders from the defeated regime. They were half right, Iraq was (and is) a mess. Germany, however, did not experience a single political attack following the surrender of the Reich in May 1945. This week they are again making historical analogies in defence of the endless war in Iraq, but this time Condy has boldly stuck out with a different analogy.
Last Tuesday, in a speech before the American Legion, Rumsfeld compared critics of the Bush administration's Iraq policy to those who sought to appease Hitler before World War II. This weekend, Condi said "no, that's not right. They're more like Civil War era Copperheads who wanted to save slavery in the South."
Asked if she still thought the decision to go to war in Iraq in 2003 was right, considering the cost in lives and treasure, Rice said, "Absolutely."
Rice then offered a parallel between critics of the administration's Iraq policies and "people who thought it was a mistake to fight the Civil War (in this country) to its end and to insist that the emancipation of slaves would hold."
"I'm sure that there were people who said, "why don't we get out of this now, take a peace with the South, but leave the South with slaves."
Perhaps it was the experience of being stung on the German werewolf business that has led her to disagree with Rummy this time. Or, perhaps it is a sign of growing maturity, self-confidence, and independence that has led her to offer her own bad historical analogies.In either case, the important question is, how can someone get a PhD in Political Science and major academic position and know so little about history?