George Santayana said Those who do not remember the past are doomed to repeat it
. Looks like that phrase was also forgotten, because people keep making the same mistakes all over again.
Case in point: Spain has sent around one thousand troops to Iraq
, to help the american (and salvadorean, and danish, and ukrainian, and mozambican, of all places) occupation troops there.
Let's try to forget completely about the (non) reasons for going to war. Let's just stick to that fact, spanish troops sent to occupy a country. We are not talking about peacekeeping troops, helping to rebuild a country or trying to make a ceasefire accord stick, as it happened in Kosovo or Bosnia or El Salvador or one of the hundred places spanish troops have been in the latest 20 years or so. It's basically occupying a country, trying to keep a former (by all means evil) ruler to come back to haunt the country.
That's what the french troops did here in Spain during the so called independence war, two centuries ago. The french troops ousted a king who was manipulated by his prime minister, who was, at the same time, his wife's lover, and who was taking the country to a economic and social black hole. The french troops instated his own king, Joseph the 1st, who tried very hard to bring enlightment to the spanish populace. He obviously failed, even as his intentions were very good. With the help of british and portuguese troops, the spanish army and guerrilla expelled the french to reinstate... another evil dictator of a king, Ferdinand the 7th.
During the second world war, Hitler, who had helped Franco during the Spanish civil war, asked him into the Axis, as was Romania, Hungary, or Bulgaria. Franco, however, remained neutral during the war, sending only volunteer troops, who fought along with Hitler mainly in the Eastern front as division 250th. That obviously was in his own self-interest, but the fact was that instead of putting a part (even small) of the spanish army under the command of a foreign ruler, or sending them to occupy a country, he washed his own hands and just allowed recruiting to take place freely.
Couple of lessons to learn; the spanish were the iraqis during our own indepedence war, and Franco was in the boots of Aznar during the 2nd WW. In the first occasion, the spanish behaved just as the iraqis are doing now, and in the second ocassion, Franco behaved in a way completely opposite to what is being done now.
I just expect he comes back to his senses before the first coffin wrapped in red and yellow is shipped back from Iraq.