Blog Master G

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Myths Make Good History

Thursday, September 9th, 2004 · No Comments

Dan has an excellent blog entry from yesterday, parts of which I’m simply going to quote here:

    “War creates a mythic reality where everything our side does is okay. I once wrote – in a footnote to a history paper, as a throwaway line – that ‘myth is uncomplicated history.’ My professor circled it in bright red. That concept is central to understanding how societies construct themselves, and how people in power continue their power.

    “That is why Bush fought the 9-11 comission. Because on its surface, 9/11 seems as uncomplicated as history gets. Just the phrase ‘they ran into the buildings’ tears me up most times. But then you see the President reading My Pet Goat and, before that, John Ashcroft telling Richard Clarke not to bother him with this terrorism crap anymore and suddenly 9-11 is complicated.

    “It did not have to happen. But once it did, Bush needed to keep it mythical at all costs. Because he needed that myth to rub off on Iraq – where thanks to the efforts of the anti-war movement, the myths of quick victory and flower-throwing children washed off quickly, and everyone knows we’re in a long, hard slog.

Read the whole thing.

Tags: war