- - Monday, September 22, 2014

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

A Spanish philosopher, George Santayana, said, “A people who do not learn from the mistakes of the past are condemned to repeat them.” Those words ring as true today as they were in Santayana’s day. Now in pure bipartisan fashion, Republican and Democratic members of Congress who voted to arm the Syrian rebels all need a history lesson. In the 1980s, America was arming the Afghanistan rebels against the Russians, and that included Osama bin Laden. We just passed the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Many who lived through that day as I did remember where we were and what we were doing at that time.

You would think they would have remembered that mistake, rather than vote to repeat that same mistake again. This is the definition of insanity, as attributed to Albert Einstein: doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Sen. John McCain and President Obama could not get approval to arm these same rebels to take on Syrian President Bashar Assad last year; now they are using the “threat” of the Islamic State terrorists. I commend my heroes in the U.S. Senate — Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky and Mike Lee of Utah — who all voted against this bipartisan insanity.

Though I am an officer of the Newport News Republican City Committee, the views I express in this letter are my own, and not that of the Republican Party. When individuals who believe as I do outnumber the current members, then maybe they would fear Republican voters again.

JOHN B. BLOOM

First vice chairman

Newport News City Republican Committee

Newport News, Va.


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