Learning from history depends on the point of view | SummitDaily.com

Learning from history depends on the point of view

This letter is in response to Gerald Dobert and Maureen Dudley, who wrote letters about the anti-war walkout by students at Summit High School.

Comments were tossed around regarding the quality of our public education and more condescending comments about our ability to learn from history.

After the World War I, our economy was in a recession. A strong isolationist sentiment prevailed and was one of the driving factors in U.S. politics and foreign policy. We were not in World War II, standing up for the downtrodden for the first three years, and only when we were attacked by Japan did we enter into the war. Who was “standing up for our right to protest” when we sat back and watched the Nazi war machine trounce Poland, Denmark, Norway, The Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Greece, Yugoslavia, and watch fascist Italy help destroy the French buffer zone?

Regarding the subsequent Cold War, to say President Ronald Reagan “won” it would most certainly be a refracted view of history. We didn’t defeat the Soviet Union; it had a coup, of sorts, and it was an internal crumble due (simplistically) to unrest and Gorbachev’s glasnost theory.

Reagan’s proliferation of nuclear weapons and “strong military” succeeded only in making this world a more dangerous place.

It is ironic that we are being accused of not learning from history and this is potentially the second time we have waged war with Iraq, and both times there was a Bush in power.

Demonstrations this time around are about preventing the loss of innocent lives. Talking with Iraq in the past has failed, but history teaches us, Mr. Dobert, force did not work last time. I have lived in this county for 17 years. All of my education has been within the bounds of our public facilities. Many of us walked out that Wednesday to show we cared to stop the human rights violation that is war. We know that in the 1960s walkouts and other student protests help to end the war in Vietnam. The comments we read in the paper were generalized and basically unfounded. Our education is what we take out of it.

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