Ironically the US History class I am teaching reported on the Gulf of Tonkin incident that precipitated US involvement in Vietnam. The assignment was to compare that incident with the reports of “weapons of mass destruction” that led us into the Gulf War (which has still not been fully settled, and the consequences of which are still costing us lives and money). The objective was to see what we can and what we did learn from history. In this case, it seems that Georg Hegel was right: the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
The irony is that today it is being reported that there are “a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings” coming from Iran that the US has responded to by sending an aircraft carrier battle group to the Persian Gulf. As is typical, media outlets are essentially just repeating what the administration is saying without any kind of critical analysis. Face it folks, war is good business for mainstream media, so they are unlikely to act as more than cheerleaders. In the meantime the United States risks another quagmire in the Middle East, which we will charge into with gusto and a generation from now wonder what the hell we were thinking. The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.
The US has deployed an aircraft carrier to the Middle East to send a “clear and unmistakable message” to Iran. National Security Adviser John Bolton said the administration was acting “in response to a number of troubling and escalatory indications and warnings”.