Everyone has heard the term "those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it." If that maxim is true, and if it is to be useful to everyone, then it is essential that we have access to an accurate account of history and the reasons why historical events occurred.
Most people would agree that war should be avoided if possible, yet in the 239 years since the American declaration of independence, the USA has been at war for 229 of those years. Were all of those wars necessary? If that isn't a repeating historical pattern, we don't know what is.
The First World War was called "the war to end all wars" and yet, just 20 years later, an even worse conflagration consumed the Eurasian continent, killing 65 million people.
The phrase "never again" is most often heard in reference to the genocidal policies of the Nazis towards the Jews of Germany and Poland, yet today a record number of Jews are fleeing Europe for Israel in the face of mounting anti-semitism.
Apart from 4 military assaults on sovereign nations, the deaths of at least 2 million people and the creation of an extremely instable security situation in many parts of the globe, the almost 15-year-long US-led war on terror has created a distinct anti-Muslim climate in many Western nations that bears many of the hallmarks of the first waves of anti-Jewish sentiment in Nazi Germany.
So if we have an accurate understanding of history, why does it appear to continue to repeat? Is there something wrong with our official historical narrative?
Behind the Headlines airs live this Sunday, 08 March 2015, from 3-5pm EST / 12pm-2pm PST / 7-9pm UTC / 8-10pm CET.
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