I have been lucky enough to have piles of documentaries on DVD in my house. I have seen most of them before in years gone by but I look at some of those concerning WWI and WWII differently now. In particular how the lessons we learned in those wars may not have taken hold like they should have.
I was watching one recently and took a few notes concerning tidbits of WWI that had certainly left my head.
The first was that in this war which took place between 1914 and 1918. During that time 22-Million people died. That is a lot. This was generationally changing. Think of how many scientists/engineers might have been in there….Poets, Artists the list goes on.
This was apparent to me that this War set the stage for WWII. That to me seems to be a parallel to Iraq parts 1 and 2. If you must go to war be sure to finish the job you start. Lesson missed? I think maybe. If George Bush (President number 41) had finished the job perhaps George Bush (president 43) may not have done what he did.
The other thing WWI did is show lots of countries what military technology to develop. I think WWI did something similar for WWII. Germany certainly developed lots of tech.
Another interesting note I saw in this recent documentary was that the European countries involved in WWI at the outset weren’t afraid of what happened if they went to War…They were afraid of what they did if we hadn’t gone to war. To anyone who paid the least bit of attention to the outset of Gulf War II this sounds EXACTLY like what president #43 was saying!!!
The other interesting bit I think that draws an IMMEDIATE parallel to modern day is that many countries and leaders assumed this war would be very fast (referring to WWI). The reason was technology. Surely with all their tech it would be over fast….Again sound familiar yet wrong?
My point here is that we all need to be students of history no matter what our field. The danger is that we repeat the mistakes.