Tuesday, February 16, 2010

History Never Stops

And since it never stops, stories are rarely "over". For an extreme example, think of the poor Romans who thought they'd finally finished the story of those pesky Jews, back in the days of Hadrian. Guess they were wrong, huh?

On a vastly smaller scale, here's a fascinating story that Stephen Farrell of the NYT dug up in his newspaper's archive: Apparently the town the Americans and others are battling in this week, Marja, was invented a mere 50-some years ago. By well-meaning Americans. Also Nad-i-Ali, where an American missile accidentally killed 12 civilians two days ago. Wesley Morgan, a young man moonlighting for the NYT in the battle zone, follows up on Farrell's story with real-life evidence.


Farrell's story is then commented on by lots of readers, who go through the usual gamut of navel-gazing we're-the-center-of-the-world introspection: history happens because Americans are nice, or because they're not nice, and so on. So predictable, so uninformed, so uninterested in history... and so boring.

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