‘Read history: Don’t relive it’

I write this letter having just listened to President Bush’s address to the nation and having read David Vos’ Jan. 10 letter to the Northerner (“Leaving Iraq not an option”). President Bush stopped listening to me before I, or others of like mind, even began to voice opposition to his policies, so I have only the hope that Mr. Vos will listen. His letter seems entirely in keeping with a soldier’s -deferential to the commander-in-chief – reflective of the official line.

However, Mr. Vos is only a soldier, and a student in a university atmosphere. When one continues to learn, there’s always hope for new perspective and a willingness to change.

If Mr. Vos were to cross the aisle from political science to the history department, he might run into the admonition that says “Read history: Don’t relive it.” He may even conclude that the same dictum applies to biography. Colin Powell, for instance, provides a chilling example of what can happen when a subordinate is unduly deferential to a commander-in-chief.

While those of us in the lower strata of influence may have difficulty deciding early in a conflict whether our commander-in-chief is suffering from delusions, power erections or egomania, there is absolutely no doubt in 2007. Good luck with your studies.

Professor David M. Bishop College of Education