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Tuesday, Jun 29, 2004

your headline here

"Politicians often rewrite history to their own purposes, but, as Bush's remarks suggested, there was more than passing significance to his revisionist account of the Spanish-American War. It reflected not just a distorted view of a critical episode in U.S. foreign policy but the rejection of important, negative lessons that Americans later drew from their brief experiment in creating an overseas empire. The United States' decision to invade and occupy Iraq wasn't, of course, a direct result of this misreading of the past. If Bush or Vice President Dick Cheney or Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz (the administration's leading neoconservative) had remembered the brutal war the United States fought in the Philippines or similar misadventures in Mexico, or the blighted history of Western imperialism in the Middle East, they still might have invaded Iraq. But they also might have had second, third, or even fourth thoughts about what Bush, unconsciously echoing the imperialists of a century ago, called a “historic opportunity to change the world.”"