Wednesday, October 19, 2005

What's History?

Last night, while having dinner, I watched a program on PBS Idaho about a certain battle during the VietNam war. Essentially what had happened was, a US battalion of about 150 soldiers was ambushed by a vietnamese battalion of about 1500; that resulted in a literal decimation of the US battalion with half of them killed and almost everyone else injured.

One of the surviving US soldiers being interviewed said that he was surprised no one called it an ambush and infact the media put a spin on it and called it a fight back against the vietnamese! And then he said, if this is the way history is written then you have no idea what actually happened down the ages. That was a profound observation!

Do we really know what happened in the past? Is it worth studying history or are we wasting our time reading made up stuff? It is said that it is important to study history so that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past. How valid is that statement?

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