The Wall Street Journal bade our collective past ‘adieu’ the other day.
Bye, Bye, American History
Good catch by a Fox News correspondent, Daniel Henninger.
The memory hole, a creation of George Orwell’s novel “Nineteen Eighty-Four” was a mechanism for separating a society’s disapproved ideas from its dominant ideas… In the U.S. the memory-sorting machine may be the College Board’s final revision of the Advanced Placement examination for U.S. history, to be released later this summer.
What the high schoolers end up learning will directly affect this reality, ma’am. If you’re going to teach them about Japanese internment and the Ku Klux Klan, they might conclude America isn’t exactly a downtown act. If they learn the actual facts they might get the idea this country is little more than an off-route gin joint juggler, with a penchant for ethnic jokes.
At one point the curriculum’s authors say: “Debate and disagreement are central to the discipline of history, and thus to AP U.S. History as well.” This statement is phenomenally disingenuous. From Key Concept 1.3: “Many Europeans developed a belief in white superiority to justify their subjugation of Africans and American Indians, using several different rationales.” Pity the high-school or college student who puts up a hand to contest that anymore. They don’t. They know the Orwellian option now is to stay down.
Should I argue that the slavemasters never pretended to be above their slaves? Or should I go with the fashion? Seeing how wildly popular the option is these days I’ll probably go with Orwell. Look at me everybody, in my leopard skin shut-up chapeau.
Incidentally, you know who else liked to blitzkrieg the America of History? Downtown Dan Henninger.
Let us assume that Mr. Obama’s “smarter” view had prevailed, that we had left Saddam in power in Iraq. What would the world look like today?
Mr. Obama and others believe that Saddam and his nuclear ambitions could have been contained. I think exactly the opposite was likely.
Let’s not bother with Saddam’s imaginary “stockpiles of mass destruction” that he wanted to export to his terrorist pals, which is a rare and extraordinary moral justification for a peace-loving people to invade an Arab country (heavens). Let’s instead talk about how Saddam would maybe have wanted to become a nuclear power someday, which is a rare and extraordinary capital crime, and let’s do so years after we hanged him and posted the video on YouTube.
At the time of Mr. Obama’s 2002 antiwar speech, three other significant, non-Iraqi events were occurring: Iran and North Korea were commencing toward a nuclear break-out, and A.Q. Khan was on the move.
In March 2002, Mr. Khan, the notorious Pakistani nuclear materials dealer, moved his production facilities from Pakistan to Malaysia.
In August, an Iranian exile group revealed the existence of a centrifuge factory in Natanz, Iran.
A month later, U.S. intelligence concluded that North Korea had almost completed a “production-scale” centrifuge facility.
It was also believed in 2002 that al Qaeda was shopping for nuclear materials. In The Wall Street Journal this week, Jay Solomon described how two North Korean operatives through this period developed a network to acquire nuclear technologies.
You’re thinking: Ehh Whaa..? This editorial just fell off the rails. The writer is now running around in circles, spouting random foreign policy headlines. But no, dear reader – this is Daniel Henninger. So you should wait for it. That’s right, wait…and…ta-daaa:
In short, the nuclear bad boys club was on the move in 2002. Can anyone seriously believe that amidst all this Saddam Hussein would have contented himself with administering his torture chambers? This is fanciful.
How you like THAT? American intelligence figures that Saddam would’ve developed an atomic bomb by now because…Kim Jong-Un. And, also, because Iraq’s best friend: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Let’s not forget why every country on Earth now has long-range nuclear missiles: Barack Obama. What Daniel Henninger would think of the Memory Hole if he weren’t pounding it nightly in his dreams, I wonder.
Bonus: I forgot. Normally a persuasive argument requires no multi-media enhancement, but every once in a while a picture helps.
…and it has to be true, because it’s sourced.